Monday, May 30, 2011

Long Weekend

I never knew what Memorial Day was really all about until I married a former military man who comes from a long line of military men. I love patriotic holidays with my family almost as much as I love Christmas and Easter.

This long weekend was full of flags flown proudly, ripe cherries, swimming with Daddy, wet, curly ponytails, nigh night snuggles, baby bottles of "mook" before bed, chips and salsa in the heat of the afternoon, and swimming with cousins. I hope your weekend was spent remembering those that sacrificed so much so we all can enjoy longs weekends.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

28 Weeks

My stomach has hurt a lot this week. Partly from the stress of the move and selecting doctors and insurance plans (and watching our hard earned savings fly out the window in the general direction of California). And partly from the human growing inside of me. This pregnancy hurts, y'all. I don't remember being in this much pain when I was carrying Beatrice. Discomfort, yes. But pain? Not so much. From the trapped gas (I hesitate telling you how to relieve this very painful ailment because it involves being on all fours with your rear in the I feel awkward.  And so do you...) to Beatrice's elbows and jabs straight to the uterus, this mama says ouch more than she says much of anything else.


Weight gain: Last week, when I wrote that I wasn't having cravings, I started having cravings. So I am a little hesitant to step on the scale. I predict I've gained a little bit, but we shall see at my OB appointment later this week. Total to date weight gain: 22 lbs.
Stretch marks: None.
Movement: Yes! She is wild. And it hurts. I can't tell if she's tap dancing in there or a ninja warrior in training. From the muffled "hi-yahs" I keep hearing from my belly, I'm going with ninja.
Cravings: If I'm being really honest, sugar. In any form. Candy, cake, pie, donuts, cookies, whipped cream. If it's sweet, I want to eat it. And let's just say that the list of sweets I just gave is not a hypothetical one. I have eaten all of that in the last week....
Sleep: Somewhat better, but I never wake up rested. I think my body is doing that weird, terribly unfair thing of prepping me to get used to never sleeping again. It's cruel, really.
Best moment this week: Feeling pretty, despite feeling like I don't recognize my own body anymore.
Gender: Girl!
Labor signs: A few Braxton Hicks contractions here and there.
What I miss: Not being in abdominal pain at some point every day.
What I'm looking forward to: Holding Penelope. And nursing her. I love nursing my babies. Even though that hurts too.
Weekly wisdom: Eating too much sugar probably has contributed to my stomach hurting the most. Even I cannot believe I just wrote that. Blaspheme!
Milestones: I wore a bikini in the neighborhood pool this weekend. During my 3rd trimester. And no one gouged their own eyes out.

A creepy photo for the record: Creepy because I can't figure out where to look when taking a self-portrait in a mirror. Clearly it's not directly into the mirror. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Target Missed

This morning, we ran out of soap. I made a list of about 5 things that we needed to hold us over until the big grocery shopping trip and Beatrice and I headed out. To Target.

Now, if you're a normal person, Target probably doesn't have the same effect on you that it does on me. I cannot be controlled at Target. I go in with a list of 5 things and come out with at least 2 or 3 times that much because hello, who can resist the dollar bins in the front and all of the colorful merchandise with clever advertising? Not me. Nope, I have never left Target with only the items on my list. Which means I have never honored a budget at Target. Which means JD hates it when I go to Target.

This was my list:

And this is what I came home with:

I doubled what was initially on my list. And this isn't even all of what I bought. I took the liberty to omit the 2 liter of Coke and bag of Doritos from this photo. I didn't want you all to think that we eat like a bunch of couch potatoes. We really don't, the 2 liter was on sale for nothing and I was craving nacho cheese. It's awfully misleading of me though, isn't it? Target brings out the worst in me. I'm working on it.

Here's what I couldn't resist today:
1. Dial Soap. Point for me since it was the whole purpose of the trip, AND I bought it in bulk. JD will think I am very resourceful.
2. Dum Dums. I have a whole post started about my emergency diaper bag kit and the Dum Dums are apart of that, but for the sake of this post, Dum Dums are an instant tantrum-killer around here. They are a staple for restaurant patronage, meetings with the guy at the bank handling some business for us, and for doctors' appointments lasting way longer than any toddler can handle while maintaining a sweet disposition. Dum Dums are a lifesaver. 
3. Starburst Red Fruits. Don't judge me, I was hungry when we went shopping. 
4. Archer Farms Fruit and Nut Trail Mix. This is healthy and a good representation of typical snacks in our house. 
5. Hand Soap. We ran out, which indicates good hygiene so another point for me. 
6. Welch's Fruit Snacks. These are good and do not have any pesky additives. They are made from fruit juice and Beatrice loves them as an afternoon snack. Or if I'm out of Dum Dums, these have the same effect. 
7. Stauffer's Iced Animal Crackers. 2 words: dollar bin. 
8. Orbit Raspberry Lemonade Gum. Impulse buy. 
9. Market Pantry Fruit Snacks. These are Target's version of the Welch's fruit snacks. Actually, I don't know why I bought both. Subtract a point for poor planning. 
10. Annie's Bunny Graham Friends. These are favorites at our house. They are organic and only have recognizable ingredients you would find in your own kitchen. They're not really healthy per se (since you know, they're cookies and all), but they are void of all preservatives and additives making them a smarter cookie choice than the majority of the selection on the shelves. And they were on the list. 
11. Stickers. These are for my emergency diaper bag kit I mentioned earlier. Stickers are good for hours of fun. And on the list. Except when I put them away in my secret stash, I noticed that I have an unopened pack of 200. Oops. Subtract that last point after all. See? I suck at Target shopping. 
12. Plum Fruit and Vegetable Puree Pouches. These are actually baby food purees that I serve to Beatrice as juice pouches. She loves them and they are a great way to get otherwise icky vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and pumpkin into her daily diet. These are a staple, healthy, and on the list. Win. Win. Win. 
13, 14, 15. Not pictured: Plastic Toy Watering Can, Coke, Doritos.
And I completely forgot the body wash. Actually, I didn't forget. I just didn't want to spend $5 more when there was already so much extra stuff in my cart. And I'm lying again. Target is not good for my moral compass.

Because of my inability to maintain restraint at Target, we don't go very often. But when we do, we can't wait until we get home to dig into our goodies.

As you can see, I am really no good at Target-ing. Or maybe Target's no good for me, because the more I talk to people about sticking to the items only on their list the same thing seems to happen. I am convinced that Target has some sort of brainwashing ability or amnesia inducing mist that is sprayed on patrons as they enter the store. There is no other explanation for my lack of self control. At least that's what I tell JD.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Good, Comfortable

You see this girl?

She has no clue what it takes to pay a mortgage, to stretch a budget, to save for the future. Her biggest concern on the planet is if she can have more fruit snacks. She is a baby. She has not a care in the world. She has it made for at least the next 20 years.

You see her?

She knows all about paying a mortgage, stretching a budget, and saving for the future. And selecting insurance plans, doctors, and relocating an entire family cross country all from the (in)convenience of the internet. She is an adult. She is pretty darn stressed. She wishes she were a baby.

When I snuggle with Beatrice before naps and bedtime, I marvel at the fact that she has no idea what it takes to make her life good, comfortable. She just has to wake up and her day is automatically going to be filled with food, drinks, toys, clean clothes, love, and fun. While she is peacefully snoozing away, Mommy and Daddy are making the tough decisions in life to ensure that her life stays good, comfortable.  As she slumbers, we are sacrificing to make sure she always has food, drinks, toys, clean clothes, love, and fun in her life. And while I would do anything to guarantee that she always has those things, the stress of knowing that we are making the right decisions makes my stomach hurt. Quite frankly, it makes me want to barf.

Honestly, this is the first time in my life that I have had to make such hugely important financial decisions. Planning this move has been the most grown up thing JD and I have ever done. Which is pretty weird considering having children is a pretty grown up thing to do, but strangely, having babies seems like a walk in the park compared to moving to the most expensive place in the galaxy. It is scary enough trying to plan a budget that we haven't had a chance to live yet, but add some sweet babies into the mix that need to eat pretty regularly and the stress-o-meter reaches new heights.

Dealing with the burdens of financial decisions makes me realize how awesome my parents were at making my own life pretty good, comfortable. We were very middle class, maybe even a tad lower class during my childhood. My mom says that when we were little, my dad gave her $50 a week for groceries. That wasn't a lot of money, even back then. But we had plenty to eat, plenty to drink, and we always had new clothes every school year. Us kids never knew that my parents had to make sacrifices to make sure we had the things that we needed and wanted to make our lives plentiful. We went to bed knowing that when we woke up, we would have what we needed. It was pretty awesome. Oh to be a kid again.

Being in my shoes now as an adult faced with a bazillion decisions that could end up being the wrong ones for our family is no fun. For 29 years I have managed to avoid all insurance pamphlets and have not had to make any budget decisions larger than whose car to pay off first. We have been blessed to not have a financial stress at any tax income bracket (and we've been all over the bracket range). Until now. Now it is different. Now we are having to plan for a hypothetical monthly budget (hypothetical because we are totally guessing on what groceries cost, how often JD will have to fill up his gas tank with his commute, etc). And it is really stressful. I just wish we were there already and settled into our new budget so I can relax. I don't think I would be so uneasy if we didn't have babies' lives to make good, comfortable.

JD says that it will all work out, and I believe him. I have adopted the promise that "God has plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans for a hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11). I speak that verse out loud several times a day, just so I don't forget. Surely God did not open up every shut door with this move and not have a financial plan for us too? I have to believe that He does have a plan and will make a way. He has proven to be the ultimate Giver of good, comfortable lives and I am leaning on His promise to meet our needs like slumbering babes, totally unaware of the stresses involved in making our lives plentiful.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25-27

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Third Trimester

I think I suffer from body dysmorphic disorder. But the reverse kind where I look in the mirror and think, "I look pretty darn good, hot even." Until I see photos like this and reality shatters my dream world. Hot I am not. Pregnant I am.

I think I'm so convinced I look better than I do because I feel so good right now. I have been listening to my body and not gorging myself on cravings. I stop eating when I'm full because hello, I'm a responsible adult. Duh! And maybe because the heartburn/reflux is not worth whatever delicious thing I want to indulge in... No gorging equals no weight gain in 3 weeks. And no heartburn. If I can maintain this kind of restraint for 1 more week, this will mark a new pregnancy landmark for me. I am determined. You know, so I can keep the heartburn away. It has nothing to do with vanity. Nothing at all.


Weight gain: Total from the beginning, 22 lbs. No new gain in 3 weeks. It's some kind of miracle, I promise.
Stretch marks: Nope.
Movement: Lots and lots. And hiccups too! I felt Penelope's first bought of the rhythmic nuisance today. Swoon. I should write it in her baby book...
Cravings: I don't really know. I haven't given in to too many in the last week so maybe I'm not having any?
Sleep: Eh. Not so good. Last night I migrated to the couch around 5am. Partly because insomnia is a stupid-head meanie-butt, but mostly because sleeping with JD is a real adventure. Between the snoring and INCESSANT restless leg syndrome, sleeping with him is like sharing a bed with a lumberjack (get it? Sawing logs...) during an earthquake. Add sciatic nerve pain and an exhausted less than hot body and you get a very grumpy wife. Lucky for him I forgot all about it by the time he came down with Beatrice late this morning. With coffee. Coffee makes it all better.
Best moment this week: Third trimester, baby.
Gender: Girl!
Labor signs: I have been having some painful cramping. I think I'm overdoing it a bit. Must. Slow. Down.
What I miss: A hot(ish) body.
What I'm looking forward to: My Skype interview with the midwife practice I'm very interested in joining up with in California. I am elated to discuss/experience natural childbirth with like-minded practitioners.
Weekly wisdom: Trust that God's plan is way better than yours/mine.
Milestones: Third trimester and baby's first hiccups. We've had a big week!

A photo:

Another photo, this time straight on to show you how un-pregnant I think I look from this view and further exemplify how deluded I am. I see this and think, " girl, you don't look pregnant at all." Except for that HUGE third trimester belly protruding from my mom boobs. Deluded, I tell ya.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I Make (More) Stuff

About 152 years ago, I bought a sewing machine. I was working at a medical clinic and was sick of spending $40 a pop on the world's ugliest outfits: scrubs. Although very comfy, scrubs are the epitome of shapeless, drab office wear. But they seemed simple enough to make. So I bought a sewing machine and decided to teach myself how to sew.

Sewing turned out to be pretty darn easy for me. I made scrubs, curtains, and these weird jean extension things I created in the height of my grunge/hippy phase. A phase that was quickly replaced by a weird hair phase and followed by a too much makeup phase. Shudder. Anyway, I digress. When I quit my nurses' assistant job for a barista position at Starbucks, I packed my sewing machine away in the attic. It hasn't seen the light of day for nearly 10 years. I'm old. Until a few weeks ago when I had a wild idea to make Beatrice and Penelope dresses. Down came the sewing machine and for the most part of 2 weeks, I've been sewing like a mad woman. Look what I can make:

Sweet little jumpers:

Whale onesie:

Pig onesie:

Chick onesie:

Who knew that actually reading the instruction booklet that came with my sewing machine would be so helpful? I taught myself how to applique (so easy) and how to do an embroidery stitch (easy after practice). These are available in my Etsy shop. With more designs to come!

JD is less than enthusiastic about my newest hobby. Partly because I devote a lot of time to crafting when I get on one of these kicks, but mostly because our dining room table looks like this:

I tell him it could be worse. I could have weird hair and wear way too much makeup. What do you all think of my newest endeavor? Cute? Too handmade looking to ever sell? You wanna see some jean extensions in my shop?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's Cool, But It's Not Cool

We went to my brother and sister in law's house last night. They have a fireplace. They lit it. In May. Mid-May. We are having some sort of blackberry, fruit, freak of nature extra winter around here. It's a bit ridiculous if you ask me. But no one asked me. Hmmmph.

Scenes from the wintry night we had:

Scenes from this exact time last week:

Somebody should have asked me. Just sayin.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cloth Diapering Is For Winners

We use cloth diapers. Out of all of the parenting choices out there, that one seems to get the most attention from people. I get a lot of looks of terror in addition to tons of questions about how it works. Mostly, people want to know what possessed me to want to cloth diaper. It's simple really. I like saving money, I like saving the environment, and I like handling poop. Just kidding on that last one. I dislike handling poop, but when handling poop is part of the deal regardless of whether you use cloth or disposables, I decided the saved money and cleaner environment were worth it to me to go with cloth.

I think a lot of the looks of terror I get from people stem from the misconception that today's cloth diapers are like those of yesteryear. You can still use the prefolds that our moms used back in the day, but modern cloth diapers are designed to function with the ease and convenience of disposables. When I began doing research on using them when I was pregnant with Beatrice, I learned that they were just as easy as using disposables, except for the extra laundry part. But I figured there was no way around extra laundry with a baby in the mix, so we decided that we would be a CD family. And we haven't looked back.

The great thing about using cloth is that we never run out of diapers. Unless I forget to do laundry. I have enough to last us 2 days so I'm not washing every day. I wash every other day and it is as easy as doing a regular load of laundry (with an extra rinse cycle or 2). We have HE (high efficiency) machines so less water is used in each load, making our endeavor to save the environment that much more effective. JD often tells me he is surprised how green and crunchy I am underneath all of this J. Crew. I heart trees. 

There is a poop factor involved, but that's true with disposables as well. Unless there is a diaper on the market that eats poop or turns it into sparkly glitter, there will always be a poop factor when changing a baby's diaper. The difference with cloth is you have to dispose of it into the toilet after you change the baby. Actually, if you read on the disposable diapers' packaging, there is a PSA about doing the same so the ground water isn't contaminated with your child's poo. I think this is reason enough for people to dismiss cloth diapering altogether, but again, there may be some misconceptions about the poop disposal process. Never have I ever dunked a diaper into the toilet or bucket of water resulting in poop hands, nor have I ever had a washing machine full of poop. Solid poop plops straight into the toilet, cow patty style. Breast milk poop is water soluble and dissolves completely in the rinse cycle, but if that doesn't float your boat, you can invest in a diaper sprayer. This wondrous invention sprays the soiled diaper completely with a high velocity stream of clean water from your toilet's water supply. Softer poo and formula fed babies' poo will need to be sprayed off with one of these handy dandy sprayers too.

Honestly, the saved money is the best perk of the whole thing. Our initial investment was around $400. But that is all we have spent on diapers in 18 months (minus a pack or 2 of disposables for trips out of town longer than a few days) and they will last us the diapering lifespan of all of our future children. That is what sold JD on cloth diapering. When our budget is tight for whatever reason, we never have to wonder how we're going to afford another pack of diapers. We have as many as we'll ever need. Ever.

Cloth diapering isn't all fun and glittery poop though. There are some drawbacks as well. They are bulky. My diaper bag often looks stuffed to the brim - and it is, with diapers. Tiny newborn bottoms look 85 times their size in a fluffy CD. When you're out in public and have to change a diaper, you have to carry the dirty one around too. Wet bags are great for this. And people are often intimidated by anything other than the familiar disposable. I get a lot of anxious looks from the nursery workers at church when they see them for the first time. But after a change or 2, they are old pros and the anxious looks are replaced with questions about how I really like cloth diapering full time.

And I always say the same thing: I really like it. It is easy. It is cheap. And cloth diapers are cute. Really cute.

Newborn cloth diapered baby

Medium cloth diapered baby

Cloth diapered toddler

Cloth diapers are not going to be for everybody. I can see some of the challenges with CDing if your child is in daycare or if you travel frequently. But if you can handle an extra load of laundry here and there and you like saving the planet along with some dough, I encourage you to check out cloth diapering. It has really been a great decision for our family that has proven to be a pretty easy endeavor as well.

For more info, check out the new tab under the header aptly named CLOTH DIAPERS. I have posted detailed directions and suggestions for getting started. Or you can email me at

Sunday, May 15, 2011

News With A Side Of Random Things

Last week when I wrote this, I failed to mention just how stressful it has been planning this move. It seems as though every step in the process depends on another step and until the original step is accomplished, we cannot progress to the remaining steps. Basically, it's been very frustrating and I may have been feeling a little sorry for myself a few times here and there. And with time ticking away, it's kind of important to complete some of those steps. Know whatta mean?

While I secretly want to be plotting the best shopping spots and beaches, our first step has been finding a place to live. We have certain things on our wish list, but ultimately we have to find a place that is safe, close to JD's work, and in our budget. Until that step is completed, I can't line up pediatricians and obstetricians (L.A. is vast and 30 miles of distance can compute to 2 hours of travel time. I need to know where we will be living in order to know what doctors will be close), I can't research churches, I can't secure insurance, etc, etc, etc. And finding a house has not been difficult, I have found many, but the searching has been overwhelming since we are basically doing it blindly without really knowing where these properties are and how safe the areas are. I finally told JD that we just need to decide and be done with it.

So, after a lot of prayer (a lot), we have finally secured a house. What do hardwood floors, Spanish tiles, harbor views, and 2200 square feet have to do with this post? Well, nothing. Except that they're the specs on our new crib! Woot woot. And before you get all green with envy at the harbor views, the rent is a bajillion dollars a month so don't be too jealous. 3 times what we currently pay, FYI. Ouch. It feels good to have the biggest and most crucial step out of the way. Now, hopefully, all of the other steps will easily fall into place and this move can go ahead and get planned already. I can't give you any specific details of exactly where we'll be living because of internet psychos, but I'm sure I'll post photos when we get settled. 

In other news....

Ooey gooey butter cake is going to be the end of me.

Except that I ate what was left tonight and am seriously considering making another one tomorrow.

And also...

The pool is open.

Beatrice took her nap on my shoulder today. It was precious. All 13 minutes of it...

I may or may not have polished off the Mother's Day candy today...

And I'm mildly obsessed with the Vignette photo app on my phone.

The end.

26 Weeks

Having a toddler and being pregnant is really hard. I knew to expect this, but I didn't realize how limited I would be with this big belly. I can hardly find room on my hip for a long, 23 lb body anymore and my lap is shrinking by the day. Bath time is beginning to pose several problems since there is lots of bending required and putting Beatrice to bed is nearly impossible without dropping her in the crib. My belly is the exact height as the crib ledge and since the mattress is so low (she's a monkey), it's kind of impossible to not just dump her in there every night. Let's not even talk about the wrestling matches that are getting Beatrice dressed and changed several times a day. I can't get off the couch without JD hoisting me up or me rolling off. Saying my belly is cumbersome is the understatement of the year. But this is part of it, and only a short part. Right?


Weight gain: I have been walking our neighborhood a lot this week so I hope not more than the 22 I've gained thus far, but based on the tightness in my bra it's probably another couple hundred pounds. Sigh.
Stretch marks: Nope.
Movement: Tons and tons. She never stops. I'm loving it, but also a little worried that this is an indication of what she's going to be like on the outside. Gulp. With a toddler to boot. Double gulp. 
Cravings: Fruit and vegetables. And water. And cake, shhhhhh.
Sleep: Wonderful, glorious, fabulous, restful sleep. Keep it coming. 
Best moment this week: Receiving some new things for our Nell-la-pee. I'll share them with you soon.
Gender: Girl!
Labor signs: None.
What I miss: Dexterity.
What I'm looking forward to: Having Penelope on the outside, endless activity and all. 
Weekly wisdom: Despite not having the same range of movement that my slenderer self had, I can still do a heck of a lot around here if I just press on and do it. Darn it. 
Milestones: There are less than 100 days left of this pregnancy. 

Where are my feet?

Self portraits require a lot of concentration. And a bathroom backdrop. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


We don't have a yard. We have a fenced in patio with a tiny patch of grass. It is kind of nice actually since I can sit and play Words With Friends on my phone while Beatrice plays without having to worry about where the heck she is. She's always right there. Small enclosed spaces = undivided attention to mindless word games for mama. Oh, and safe playing for little kids, of course. Since there's not much to do out there except kill ladybugs, we let her play in the water from the faucet. She loves it, except she prefers to play completely uninhibited.

And by uninhibited, I mean naked.

She takes her diaper off all by herself. She will have none of that pesky nonsense that is clothing. Thankfully, our neighbors don't have any windows facing our little nudist camp. This behavior is very disturbing to her father, as you can imagine.

Beatrice says don't knock it until you try it. Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

25 Weeks

This is my third Mother's Day as a mama. The first I was pregnant, the second I had a 6 month old. And now, I am the mama of 2 precious girls. I am blessed.

I really like being a mother. Despite all of my failures and mishaps, I feel like I am cut out for this. And with each passing year, I tuck a little more experience and know-how under my belt. Except this year. I tucked it into my demi-paneled maternity cargos. 


Weight gain: A lot. 22 lbs. I hate admitting it on the internet but doing so keeps me accountable and let's face it, we all like to know where we stand compared to someone else's experience. When I read another pregnant mama's blog, I want to know how she's doing in this department. So I guess I am doing this for you. You're welcome very much.
Stretch marks: None, but I noticed a weird vein thing on my side this weekend. It is awfully reminiscent of a varicose vein. But on my side??? Is that normal?
Movement: Yes, almost constantly. And robust at that!
Cravings: Berries and fruit. I realized yesterday that up until dinnertime, I had only eaten fruit all day.
Sleep: Superb. I am sleeping great.
Best moment this week: When Beatrice kisses and hugs my belly before bed. She loves giving sissy nigh-night kisses and saying, "nigh-night Nell-la-pee. Kees. Hogck." Such a good big sister already.
Gender: Girl.
Labor signs: I'm happy to report there have been no happenings in this department all week. Way to stay in the game, uterus!
What I miss: Being able to see my lady region. It's a distant memory at this point. Not that I need to see it per se, but I like the option of knowing that I can. 
What I'm looking forward to: Receiving some handmade things for Penelope from a friend. With so many hand-me-downs in her future, I'm excited to have a few things just for my littlest girl.
Weekly wisdom: God chose me to be these girls' mother. It was not a random draw. That blows my mind.
Milestones: Penelope is the size of an eggplant!

We had Beatrice's 18 month photos taken this past week and our dear photographer snapped some of me and my belly. I'm more like 24 and a half weeks pregnant in these photos, but they're too beautiful not to share. Oh, and my boobs are 45 weeks pregnant. Just sayin.

Photos by Sara Rose Photography.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Dumbest Thing In My Life Happened Tonight

I have irrational fears of insects, reptiles, and amphibians. So tonight when I went out to water the geraniums on the front porch and didn't see the gigantic bullfrog perched on our welcome mat until I stepped over it, I freaked out in epic proportions. JD was at work and my cellphone was safely inside the house (where I should have been), so there was no calling for help. I did look around at my neighbors' porch lights to see if anyone was home to help me, you know, shoo away a bullfrog, but no such luck. My block was dark and empty, much like the bullfrog's endeavors tonight. 

I panicked. Beatrice was inside asleep and I was outside on the sidewalk. Nothing between me and the comforts of the interior of our home except for one gigantic, menacing, evil frog that would not budge. I very quietly called for help, aloud. I knew how stupid I looked, but my biggest fear other than it touching me was that when I opened the door to go inside, the frog would follow me. Then I would have to sleep in the car. Or call the police. Because there is no way I am sleeping/living in a house that is frog infested. And everyone knows that once a bullfrog pitches tent in your house, the snakes and zombies follow. 

I threw a few rocks at it in hopes it would hop away, but it didn't move AT ALL. And calm down, the rocks were tiny, little things that never hit it. I don't wish harm on frogs, just that they never existed. After about 10 minutes outside in a sheer panic, I mustered up enough courage to hop over it into the house. He had the same idea because he hopped away as I lunged for the door. I synchronized hopped with a frog, awesome. 

I am glad to report that I am safely inside (never to go outside again) and that after careful inspection, our house is frog-free. I do however have an eternal case of the heeby jeebies. And those poor geraniums are going to die because I am never watering them again.

Rest in peace, pink pretties.


There was a mother of a new baby sitting in front of me at church tonight. I know her and know that this is her first baby. Every time the baby fussed or whimpered, she knew just how to hold and shush her to contentment. While JD was elbowing me and ooing and ahhing over how sweet it all was, it made me feel really insecure. I wasn't as seemingly calm as my friend was when I was a new mother. I was clumsy and unsure and awkward. And I never dared to bring my newborn to church without my mom because I didn't have what my friend has: confidence in my mothering and the ability to meet my children's needs.

I have always compared myself to other mothers. The way they nurture, the way they comfort, the way they teach, the way they dress, I torture myself with the comparisons. And it's always the same analysis: they are different than me. Sometimes this is good, but often I feel like I don't add up. Motherhood seems so effortless for them while I struggle with finding my way with the smallest things. I lose my temper. My patience runs out. I don't know what to do half of the time. And I beat myself up over these things. While other mothers are successfully shushing their newborns to sleep in church, I'm still trying to figure out how to pack a diaper bag. With snacks and a sippy cup. Who knew toddlers would want to eat and drink every so often? 

Just as I was starting to feel like a total failure as a mother, I remembered that there is no condemnation for those belonging to Christ (Romans 8:1). All of my doubts and judgments are not from above. Just to clarify, there is a difference between condemnation and conviction. Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit to rectify and restore, condemnation comes from the devil to tear down and destroy. God chose me to be Beatrice (and Penelope's) mother and He has a purpose for me in my role as their mother. I may not get everything right. I may not calm them just right in church. But I know how to kiss boo boos. And play tea party. And I know how to ask God for help.

I'm not perfect. I am a mother. A capable, loving, sometimes strong mother who doesn't always know what to do. And thankfully, my children don't compare me to others (yet). As long as I bring the snacks and sippy cups.

Lollipops = good parenting most of the time. 
Photos by the talented Sara Rose Photography.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Ladybug Named Beatrice

Beatrice loves ladybugs. Today, she met a real live one. And you're never gonna believe this, but that ladybug's name happened to be Beatrice too! Out of all the ladybugs in all the world, who would've thought the one that landed in our backyard would be named Beatrice?! Small world!

Beatrice the ladybug may be dead now...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How I Feel

Since revealing our news about moving to Los Angeles, I have repeatedly been asked how I feel about it. Which is really nice, I liked being asked how I feel about things. It's the way that I am asked that has prompted me to write this post. Most everyone asks me how I feel about leaving our town and family with a look of pity and sadness on their faces, like I am about to burst into tears and tell them that I am in agony over it and cannot possibly see how I will ever survive it. That is not the case though.

This is how I feel:

I have fears. I am afraid that I won't have friends and will be lonely. I am afraid that I won't trust anyone to babysit and will be stuck in hypothetical emergencies. I'm afraid that JD will be gone too much and I will have no one to talk to, no one to enjoy our new state with. I'm afraid of not finding a church that we love and feel shepherded in. I'm afraid that my kids will not know their cousins and aunts and uncles. I'm afraid of the cost of living. I'm afraid that my mom is going to sneak in our luggage and secretly live with us because she cannot handle the thought of me taking her grand babies away. And I'm afraid of celebrities. I have this weird star struck thing happen to me when I see a celebrity of any caliber. I gawk. I can't speak. I point and laugh maniacally. It's not cool. At all. And it scares me. So I know it scares them. Awesome.

But more than my fears, I am really, stinkin' excited. I cannot wait to move. I cannot wait to live miles from the beach and have world class shopping and restaurants at my fingertips. I can't wait to sink my teeth into a new place. I can't wait to experience the adventure of uprooting our lives and starting over somewhere new with my husband and babies. I am really excited. About all of it. And I'm starting to get the feeling that it is not okay for me to feel this way.

From the reactions I get, I'm guessing that I'm not supposed to be happy about the move. I get a lot of sad faces. Faces that wouldn't trade places with me for anything. Faces that make me feel weird, like I am weird for being excited. I'm not talking about any one person in particular. Strangers give me the faces too. The older lady that walks her dog by our place every afternoon around 5 gave me the sad face today when she asked why we're selling. I am seriously wondering if I'm going about this all wrong. Maybe I should have a sad face too?

I know I will have moments of sadness during and after the move. Everything as I know it will be different. But that's kind of what excites me. I'm not afraid of the unknown enough to make me not want to go and do it. I have not always been this way, but I really want to embrace change and make the most of it. I am proud of my husband and his ambitions to do something bigger than the local PD. But I feel like I have to defend that. Because for some reason, that is not how the majority of my people think that I should feel. And it's starting to make me feel weird. More weird than usual. 

I get that a lot of the sad faces from family is about them missing us. I will miss them too, terribly. But I suppose I don't allow myself to focus on that. Things can't stay the same if they're going to change. Does that make any kind of sense? What I mean by that extremely cryptic statement is if more opportunities (financially, professionally, etc) are to become available to us, things have to change (like our address, career, etc). To me, that trade off is worth the sadness of missing family and our familiar life here. Please don't let that sound heartless, please don't let that sound heartless! Plus, we can visit. And Skype. And blog about missing each other. So see, it's all gonna work out!

I'm not bothered by the sad faces and negative reactions I get when I tell people that we're moving 2000 miles away. Some people have different plans for their families, and that's okay. Ours happens to involve moving away from everyone we know and love. And that's okay too. But regardless of how traumatic it may be for all of us, I'm feeling okay about it. I just thought everyone should know. Commence sad faces in unison if you must. I kid. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

24 Weeks

We had a little scare on Friday. I started having contractions in the early afternoon. They continued for a few hours and became somewhat regular by 5. JD and I went to the hospital to get checked out. Of course, once we got there and the nurses started monitoring me, everything stopped. Which is good, obviously, but it made me feel kind of silly, like maybe all of those cramps and tightening in my belly were really in my head. They weren't, although I felt like I cried wolf. After 3 hours of being watched, we finally got to go home. But not before we made a mockery of disposable hospital garb.

This photo screams "mature adult."

This photo is JD's attempt to show our family via text message that I'm out of the woods, except he forgot to add the caption so everyone just got a weird photo of me with a forest in the background and a bright light coming from my head. Sadly, our family has come to accept this as normal behavior from us and no one questioned either photo.

I promise we take Penelope's and my health very seriously. But after 3 hours of solitary confinement and nothing but our cellphones to entertain us, we stooped to a new level of ridiculousness. 


Weight gain: I have no clue. I weighed once last week but it was not good news so I haven't done it again. I have my 24 week appointment tomorrow so I will have to face the music then. Dun dun dun.
Stretchies: None.
Movement: Yes! Penelope bounced my cellphone off of my belly last night. Girlfriend is working those kicks into overtime.
Cravings: Tomatoes and cheese. And brownies.
Sleep: Marvelous.
Best moment this week: Not going into preterm labor. Praise God.
Gender: Still a girl. The ultrasound this morning confirmed it.
Labor signs: Too many for my liking.
What I miss: Sleeping on my belly.
What I'm looking forward to: Hearing good news at my appointment tomorrow.
Weekly wisdom: Maybe I am overdoing some things and need to take it easy and accept the help that is offered to me. Maybe.
Milestones: We have visible belly movement.

A photo: