Thursday, October 25

motherhood

Humor is a communication tool for me. Obviously, it's what I use when I want to make people laugh or cheer someone up. But I also use it when I'm trying to cope with nerves, impress someone, or simply fill an awkward silence. Trying to be funny leads to a lot of "crash and burn" moments, because a) not everyone thinks you're funny and b) sometimes people don't realize you're trying to be funny. But it's still my go-to method of speaking of people.

The other day at the grocery store the cashier asked me how my day was going. I looked over at my two girls, noisily showing their boredom as they sat in the grocery cart. I then looked back at the cashier and said, "Oh, pretty good. Just running errands and caring for these two. You know, just living the dream." The end was said super sarcastically. It wasn't sincere at all, but I just meant to make him laugh and think, "Oh, she laughs about motherhood. Isn't she witty."

But he took it as, "I hate my life." He said something comforting and serious about being a parent, and when I asked about his day he said it hadn't been anything special but it'd been a fantastic day. We chit chatted a bit more while we wrapped up the transaction, but my mind was racing. I felt almost sick to my stomach as I walked out the store, because I'd given him the impression that I didn't love being a mom. As I drove away, I thought about running back to him, grabbing him by the shirt, and screaming in his face, "I ABUSE THE ART OF SARCASM! I LOVE MY LIFE! I LOVE BEING A MOM! I'M SERIOUSLY LIVING MY DREAM AND IT ROCKS!"

Instead I just drove down Cornelius Pass and felt weirdness. I've since thought about how much I really do love being a mother to my sweet little girls. They can be stinky and difficult and unpredictable, but I feel so friggin' lucky that I get to be home with them all day. There are parts of my pre-baby life that I miss--spontaneaity, flexibility, independence, showering without interruption. But really, I wake up excited to see their chubby cheeks. I love how I start my day with Grace kicking like a crazy lady as I walk into her room. And I love that as I open Addy's door she says things like, "I woke up! Wow, it's a wonderful day, Mom! I dreamed about dinosaurs AGAIN!" And even as the day goes on and potty training sucks and somebody doesn't nap enough and excrement is my constant companion, I still feel spoiled that I get to be with my babies right now. They're beautiful and precious and an absolute joy.

And I wish I communicated that more often. Saying motherhood is awesome isn't exactly a "funny" thing to say, and it's hard for me to be serious sometimes (especially to a 20-something guy at the grocery store). But I hope at least the people that still read this blog know that as much as I complain and laugh about my life as a mom, it's exactly what I signed up for. And more. 

And I'm pretty much over-the-moon because of it.


Wednesday, October 24

pumpkined

On Saturday we took advantage of a few "dry" hours and hit up a pumpkin patch where our nephew works. Things to love: boats, trains, doughnuts, face painting, and mud. Lots and lots of mud.
Jeff working at the boat ramp
Addy loved the paddle boat ride (there was also a shark and a sea monster in the water but we got away unscathed)
Beautiful place, right?
We ran for the caboose and had a heck of a ride
She requested a flower but I overruled
It got really wet at the end, but we loved it. The Fall rocks.

Saturday, October 20

here comes the rain

The rain has started. Not so good if you ride your bike to work.

But he's smiling. Perhaps that's the sign of a true Pacific Northwesterner?

Wednesday, October 17

children's books, yo

I have a very hard time reading stories to my girls that I think are stupid. Kids' books don't have to be fine literature, but at LEAST make them funny, charming, or clever (preferably all three). If they meet all of the above, I'm even okay with them not making sense.

That being said, I've compiled the "Top 5 Books I Don't Mind Reading to Addy Again and Again (and Again)":
Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
(I love the hidden story of the balloon, banana, and neighbors at the window.)


Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton
(We've even choreographed a dance for this. For real.)



Gossie by Olivier Dunrea
("Great boots," said Gertie. Gossie smiled.) (Best page EVER.)


Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel, illustrated by David Catrow
(David Catrow is a rockstar illustrator.)


I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by David Catrow
(This oozes self esteem.)

Thursday, October 11

grandpa & grandma time

Last week I braved a trip to Bama with just me and the girls. It was tricky, but SO worth it to go see my parents.

Grace and Addy both did great flying, except for when they didn't. It's possible that at one of our layovers, I had a minute where Grace was freaking out due to exhaustion and Addy was laying on the middle of the floor sucking her thumb. We worked through it, though.

Once we got to Grandma and Grandpa's, the vacation began. We played, we rested, and the girls did whatever they wanted! It's safe to say grandparents are WAY more fun than parents.

Addy called this bucket full of water her swimming pool... ha!
Giant baby!
Watching movies in the master bedroom


We also scored and got to be there to celebrate Grandma's birthday. We love that lady!



My Dad's sister was in Atlanta visiting my cousin, so we met half-way at a restaurant in exotic Oxford, Alabama. We loved catching up.



We also loved checking out Oxford, because my Mom actually has some ancestors from there. We even tried to do a bit of family history at a library there to see if we could learn more about them. Very cool!

And it wouldn't be a trip to AL without helping out with the flowers at the Birmingham Temple. Addy was especially helpful, watering flowers and running amuck.




We really had a fabulous time. It was great to just visit and get spoiled by my parents!

Sunday, October 7

so... where are you from?

I've often found this to be a tricky question: where are you from? I'm not sure if they're asking where I grew up, where I just moved from, what my roots are, or what. I'm constantly accessing "Are they being polite or do they want my life story?" but I usually guess wrong.

Part of the problem is that I'm not from one place. My Dad's job took us all over the country when I was growing up. I lived in 5 different states before I was 12, and even since I moved out my parents have moved twice more. As an adult I've lived in 4 states, and there's potential for more.

The other night my parents and I were discussing how each of us says we're from another state. My Mom tells people she's from Rhode Island because they lived there just before they moved down to Alabama and there's NO WAY she's saying she's from Alabama. I say I'm from Pennsylvania because we moved there when I was 11 and I graduated high school there... it's the longest I've ever consecutively lived anywhere, but I still haven't lived there since the year 2000. If I'm feeling specific, I say "I grew up mostly in Pennsylvania." Mostly. Yeah, that's clear-ish, right?

Even Doug who was born and raised in Washington had to start answering that question with more precision when we moved to Virginia. He'd tell people "Washington" and they'd say, "Oh, just up in D.C., eh?" Oh. So now he says Washington state, just to save himself the extra explanation.

Since I know people are never going to stop asking that question, I think I'm just going to start handing out a brief autobiography to anyone that's interested. They can toss it if they'd like, or they can walk away really knowing where I'm coming from. Shoot, maybe I'll even throw in some insights into my hopes and dreams too, just to be thorough.