Saturday, August 24, 2013

Growing the family

Once upon a time, there was a Prince and a Princess. They met, fell in love, and married. Not too terribly long after that, this Prince and Princess welcomed their own little Princess, followed soon after by a young Prince. Many years later, when the little Princess and young Prince were "big kids," the Prince and Princess pondered about adopting and adding to their family. They always knew that they would adopt someday, and now they were wondering if it were the right time. The little Princess and young Prince approached their parents and said "Mother, Father, we have been talking about this rationally, and we would like you to consider adopting a brother or sister for us." Well, maybe that's not exactly how they said it. There was, in fact, a ritualistic sort of chant..."We wanna adopt! We wanna adopt! We wanna adopt!" The little Princess said "I want a little sister!" The young Prince said "I want a little brother!" They discussed argued for several moments, before stating "Let's adopt twins! One of each! Yay!!!" After that announcement, the ritualistic chanting began again, only this time it was "We're adopting twins! We're adopting twins!" The Prince and Princess wondered when, exactly, did they lose control over this conversation? Several weeks later, the Prince and Princess handed over a sheet of paper that read "We would like to initiate the process to adopt." Now we wait...and see what the future holds for the young family.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

All things kids

Watch the fingers!
Make it nice and smooth!
Success! Two months of saving paid off!
Sanding, sawing, mowing, and Lego building - all what a good vacation should have! Throw in the BB gun shooting, tractor repair, and cousin time, and you have the perfect vacation! Operation Nashville vacation = success!

The car rides there and back were alright. Nothing major, no kid drama...for 12 hours there and 12 hours back, the kids got along! It was amazing, considering we drive a small SUV with no 3rd row seating to split them up.

First time using the mower!
Sure is fun hanging out with cousin B!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Good Enough

Saw this on Facebook. It's worth the read.

 Dear Moms, I've seen you around. I've seen you screaming at your kids in public, I've seen you ignoring them at the playground, I've seen you unshowered and wearing last night's pajama pants at preschool drop-off. I've seen you begging your children, bribing them, threatening them. I've seen you shouting back and forth with your husband, with your mom, with the police officer at the crosswalk. I've seen you running around with your kids, getting dirty and occasionally swearing audibly when you bang a knee. I've seen you sharing a milkshake with a manic four year old. I've seen you wiping your kids' boogers with your bare palm, and then smear them on the back of your jeans. I've seen you carry your toddler flopped over the crook of your arm while chasing a runaway ball. I've also seen you gritting your teeth while your kid screamed at you for making him practice piano, or soccer, or basket weaving, or whatever it was. I've seen you close your eyes and breathe slowly after finding a gallon of milk dumped into your trunk. I've seen you crying into the sink while you desperately scrub crayon off you best designer purse. I've seen you pacing in front of the house. I've seen you at the hospital waiting room. I've seen you at the pharmacy counter. I've seen you looking tired, and frightened. I've seen a lot of you, actually. I see you every single day.

 I don't know if you planned to be a parent or not. If you always knew from your earliest years that you wanted to bring children into the world, to tend to them, or if motherhood was thrust upon you unexpectedly. I don't know if it meets your expectations, or if you spent your first days as a mom terrified that you would never feel what you imagined "motherly love" would feel like for your child. I don't know if you struggled with infertility, or with pregnancy loss, or with a traumatic birth. I don't know if you created you child with your body, or created your family by welcoming your child into it.

 But I know a lot about you. I know that you didn't get everything that you wanted. I know that you got a wealth of things you never knew you wanted until they were there in front of you. I know that you don't believe that you're doing your best, that you think you can do better. I know you are doing better than you think. I know that when you look at your child, your children, you see yourself. And I know that you don't, that you see a stranger who can't understand why the small details of childhood that were so important to you are a bother to this small person who resembles you. I know that you want to throw a lamp at your teenager's head sometimes. I know you want to toss your three year old out the window once in a while. I know that some nights, once it's finally quiet, you curl up in bed and cry. I know that sometimes, you don't, even though you wanted to. I know that some days are so hard that all you want is for them to end, and then at bedtime your children hug you and kiss you and tell you how much they love you and want to be like you, and you wish the day could last forever. But it never does. The day always ends, and the next day brings new challenges. Fevers, heartbreak, art projects, new friends, new pets, new fights. And every day you do what you need to do. You take care of things, because that's your job. You go to work, or you fill up the crock pot, or you climb into the garden, or strap the baby to your back and pull out the vacuum cleaner. You drop everything you're doing to moderate an argument over who's turn it is to use a specifically colored marker, or to kiss a boo-boo, or to have a conversation about what kind of lipstick Pinocchio's mommy wears. I know that you have tickle fights in blanket forts, and that you have the words to at least eight different picture books memorized. I've heard that you dance like a wild woman when it's just you and them. That you have no shame about farting or belching in their presence, that you make up goofy songs about peas and potatoes and cheese. I know that an hour past bedtime, you drop what you're doing and trim the fingernail that your three year old insists is keeping her up. I know that you stop cleaning dishes because your kids insist you need to join their tea party. I know you fed your kids PB&J for four days straight when you had the flu. I know that you eat leftover crusts over the sink while your kids watch Super Why. I know you didn't expect most of this. I know you didn't anticipate loving somebody so intensely, or loathing your post-baby body so much, or being so tired, or being the mom you've turned out to be. You thought you had it figured out. Or you were blind and terrified. You hired the perfect nanny. Or you quit your job and learned to assemble flat packed baby furniture. You get confused by the conflict of feeling like nothing has changed since you were free and unfettered by children, and looking back on the choices you made as though an impostor was wearing your skin.

You're not a perfect mom. No matter how you try, no matter what you do. You will never be a perfect mom. And maybe that haunts you. Or maybe you've made peace with it. Or maybe it was never a problem to begin with. No matter how much you do, there is always more. No matter how little you do, when the day is over your children are still loved. They still smile at you, believing you have magical powers to fix almost anything. No matter what happened at work, or at school, or in play group, you have still done everything in your power to ensure that the next morning will dawn and your children will be as happy, healthy, and wise as could possibly be hoped.

 There's an old Yiddish saying, "There is one perfect child in the world, and every mother has it." Unfortunately, there are no perfect parents. Your kids will grow up determined to be different than you. They will grow up certain that they won't make their kids take piano lessons, or they'll be more lenient, or more strict, or have more kids, or have fewer, or have none at all. No matter how far from perfect you are, you are better than you think. Someday your kids will be running around like crazy people at church and concuss themselves on a hand rail, and somebody will still walk up to you and tell you what a beautiful family you have. You'll be at the park and your kids will be covered in mud and jam up to the elbows, smearing your car with sugary cement, and a pregnant lady will stop and smile at you wistfully. No matter how many doubts you might have, you never need doubt this one thing: You are not perfect. And that's good. Because really, neither is your child. And that means nobody can care for them the way you can, with the wealth of your understanding and your experience. Nobody knows what your child's squall means, or what their jokes mean, or why they are crying, better than you do. And since no mother is perfect, chances are you are caught in a two billion way tie for Best Mom in the World. Congratulations, Best Mom in the World. You're not perfect. You're as good as anybody can get.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Why I Don't Do Yard Sales

After the past two days, I remember why, exactly, I don't like having yard sales. The getting up early to put everything out is one of those reasons. Even though the signs and Craigslist say 7:00, you know people drive by earlier than that. So, I was out by 6:15 yesterday and today. I love like barely tolerate that hour of the morning. But, I was determined, so up and out I went. Another reason I dislike them is the heat and humidity. This may sound vain, but I don't like to sweat, and being out in the humidity makes my hair look like a giant poof ball. Thank goodness for scrunchies. Yesterday was alright. People started coming by around 6:45. Today, nobody showed up until after 8:00. If I had slept in an extra hour, though, someone would have been at the door wondering why all the stuff wasn't out. All in all, I think we had 10 people stop by today. But it was just a couple of people at a time, with a long (30-40 minute) wait in between. All of that being said, if I say anything about a yard sale, and it's in reference to me having one rather than me buying things from one, please stop me. It's not worth it. Today it did cover what the kids earned in their jobs the past two weeks, plus leave a little extra, but all the leftovers are now going to the thrift store.