Friday, February 22, 2008

Right now...

...I have baskets of laundry that need to be folded.

I have emails I need to return.

I have phone calls I need to make.

I have a dishwasher with dishes that need to be unloaded.

I have a sink with dishes that need to be loaded.

I have an appointment I need to schedule.

I have some paperwork to finish that's long overdue.

I have taxes to gather before Monday.

I have orders that need to be filled.

I have work that I need to finish.

I have clothes on the bottom of my closet floor that needs to be washed.

I have a shower that needs to be cleaned. Bad.

I have two girls in their rooms, not because they need rest, but because I do. (Truthfully, because I didn't want to be around them in my grouchy mood.)

Make that ONE girl. Grrr.

I have a headache.

I'm way behind on my Bible Study.

I have closets filled with clothes too small for their owners.

I have returns to make leftover from Christmas.


...I wasn't showered and ready for the day until almost 11.

I let my girls watch TV because I didn't feel like "engaging." Bad mom.

I'm feeling guilty because I never exercise. Ever.

I don't have any meals planned past tonight. Wait, I don't even know what's for dinner.

I yelled at my girls.

I lost my patience with my girls.

I spanked my girls.

I turned the ringer off on my phone so no one would have to talk to me. I'm too grumpy.

Do you ever have one of these days? I'm feeling just so overwhelmed with life, I guess. I just feel incompetent as a wife, as a mom, as a friend... I never feel like I'm "on top" of anything, but always a few steps behind. I want to feel like I'm good at something. It's not cooking, it's not cleaning, it's not parenting, it's not crafty stuff, it's not correspondence, it's not planning, it's not... shall I go on? I compare myself to others and feel small and worthless. "She's more organized than me." "She's got cuter clothes than me." "She's so diligent with her quiet times." "She's so much more creative than me." "She's such a great blogger." "Her kids are so well behaved." Do you know that girl? (And no, I've got no particular person in mind. Surely I'm not the only one who does this!)

Today was not a good day on the mom front. I'm at my wit's end with some behavior issues here. It's humbling to admit it, so brace yourself, but my family is not perfect. My girls... are. not. perfect. If you were in Kohl's today, you'd agree. Or if you were at the post office. Or in my car. Or my house. I don't feel like a doormat, but somehow they walk all over me. I talk, and I feel invisible. At 2 and 4, they have their own agendas and they seem unaffected by any discipline. I have to persevere and I can't let them get me down. But how?

Wow. This post has been brought to you by Downer McWhineyton.

Okay. I don't want any comments that tell me that I'm a good mom or that I am good at something or anything nice. Maybe I just needed to vent. If you choose to comment, I want you to tell me what works for you to get your kids to behave and act like human beings who may contribute positively to society someday -or- just tell me I'm not alone and that you have cruddy days too.

I realized years ago that I'm not called to be perfect in any way. I gave up my perfectionist tendencies long ago, because not only can it never be achieved, it's just so freeing to be ME, and rest in the freedom I have through God's grace. I don't want perfection today, I just want to feel like I can keep my head above the water. I woke up suddenly this morning in a panic because I dreamed Addie drowned. I won't go into the details of the bizarre dream, but I feel like it's ME drowning. I just have to remember to go to the one and only lifeguard who can offer me true rest and safety.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

"He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young."
Isaiah 40:11

Lead me, Lord. Lead me!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ketchup time

I had a teacher in elementary school who would always put out a giant bottle of ketchup when we had some spare time. We could work on whatever we wanted to and get caught up. It was "catch-up" time. So... welcome to Ketchup Time here at my blog.

I've been feeling uninspired lately. I think reminiscing about my first days of womanhood just exhausted me to the point where nothing else is blog-worthy. Ha! We know that can't be true, right? No, I've just been reading more blogs lately than keeping up with my own. Speaking of reading blogs, if you enjoyed my last post and would like to further peek into the mind of two geeky junior high girls, read this post immediately. It's a true story, as much as we hate to admit it. I've decided that in addition to owning my own kitchen blunders blog, Kathleen and I could easily fill a year's worth of blog posts with stories of our cool school days. We were SO AWESOME. You all would've been dying to be our friends. (Back me up here, Kath.) Anyway, go read that post, it's laugh-out-loud funny.

So to play a little ketchup, I thought I'd share some pictures from the last week or so. Besides, I know a lot of you out there only look for pictures and won't read my witty words, so I'll rope you in while I can.

Gary was off all last week, which was wonderful. WONDERFUL. He had some work stuff to do anyway, and had to study for school, but we still got to hang out with him a ton and he was home almost every night. We felt so spoiled. On the first day of his vacation, we went down to the Children's Museum in Denver. That place is so great.

There's nothing like making a choo-choo train with recycled materials using dull tools.

The girls loved dressing like animals and running around in a "woodsy" exhibit where they could climb in nests and crawl around "underground." Very fun.

- - - - -

Valentine's Day was a nice, quiet family day. It was nice to lay low and just be together. Grandpa and Grandma stopped by with the traditional roses for Grandpa's girls, so of course I pulled out my camera. My girls CANNOT take normal pictures. What is it with Emma's cheesy smile? She later explained that this is her smile that touches her ears. Hmm.
We made sugar cookies and decorated them in the afternoon and they LOVED it. I meant to take pictures, but I think I was too busy trying to keep the mess to a minimum. That's another post for another day. I need to let them make messes!

The day ended with a FANCY Valentine's dinner. The girls thought it was so amazing to have such fancy placemats (paper doilies) and candles. We had "pink chicken" (most people call this "salmon" but Emma insists it's pink chicken), salad and pink mashed potatoes. The girls loved the pink mashed potatoes, naturally.

- - - - -

Also in ketchup news, my niece turned ONE! You have to see the darling invitations my sister made for the party. So adorable. The party was fun, and we were pleased that Kenzie made a mess of her cake. Good job on the party, Amy. Everything looked perfect! (I wish I had a picture of the food table - the big cake was so cute, and all the food was colorful and sooo good.)

Oh, we also got a few cute pictures of our family out of the deal.

See? That's my cute husband. One time he asked how come I never talk about him on my blog. I tricked him into confessing something to me the other day that was just downright hilarious, but I think it would embarrass him if I shared it with the whole internet. Rest assured that it was funny. Love ya, Gary!

- - - - -

Finally, we went to the doctor today and Addie has croup. Poor little thing. She's a trooper, and after one dose of meds she's already much better, but her little hoarse voice is the cutest thing. She could barely whisper this afternoon, but now she's just raspy and squeaky. Emma on the other hand, is perfectly healthy and doing all she can for our attention. OH MY. She's been a handful today.

So that concludes this edition of Ketchup Time! I'll be a better blogger. I promise.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Happy 17th Anniversary to ME!

I told a friend this morning that today is my 17th anniversary, and with eyes wide, she said, "Really?! Congratulations!" But I had to laugh when I admitted that it wasn't what she thought.

It's not my wedding anniversary. No, that's in September. And I wasn't married at the tender age of 13.

It is... {I can't believe I'm even blogging about this} ... the 17th anniversary of me entering womanhood. There. I said it.

If you are a guy reading this, and you even made it to this sentence after reading the last one, I'm asking you nicely to just click out of my blog now. For your sake. I've no shame.

A few months ago, I made a mental note to write a celebratory post in honor of my BFF -since-3rd-grade's anniversary of womanhood, but forgot. It was January 7th, lest you forget, friend. I was hoping that posting about it on the world wide web might get you back for plastering my locker with pads over the years on my anniversary. That was so SUPER! sweet of you.

I won't give away all the details of the moment I first discovered that womanhood had arrived. I mean, probably my story isn't all that different than most girls'. Besides, my description would be merely words and wouldn't include the rosy color and sweet music that accompanies that memory in my mind. (Not.)

What I will tell you is that my parents gave me roses and a sweet card to congratulate me. Some people find it strange, but I guess looking back it's sweet. At the time, it was very embarrassing. And I don't embarrass easily.

What I'll also tell you, is that Kathleen (the aforementioned BFF who is clearly a month more womanly than myself) and I had a whole "code" for our periods and anything period related. We had watched a very innocent video hosted by "Annie" about puberty in our 4-H club. You know, red-curly-afro Annie. Even as naive and innocent as we were, we thought it was SO cheesy. She started out by belting, "The sun'll come out... tomorrow!" and transitioned awkwardly into talking about our bodies and our periods. The movie Annie has never been quite the same, let me tell you. From there began years of metaphors that only we had the key to understanding.

The sun = our periods
Clouds = premenstrual cramps
Ozone = pads (protection from the sun)
Pollution = tampons (because at 13, those seem like deadly, life-sucking things you don't want anywhere near you)
Atmosphere = undies
Forgive me, Kath, for giving up this guarded code! What am I missing?

Okay. So let me invite you into our world. Here's a typical conversation from our Jr. High days:

Sunny (this is the nickname she earned on that fateful day 17 years ago): Hmm. I think the sun's about to come out.
Me: Really? Why?
Sunny: It's just really cloudy today.
Me: Well, do you have ozone? You need to protect the atmosphere, you know.
Sunny: No, only pollution!
Me: Oh no! Let's hope it stays overcast until tomorrow.

Is it any wonder we were so POPULAR in jr. high? Don't all junior high girls love talking about meteorology?

So here's to me, to Kathleen, and to every woman out there. Happy Anniversary, whenever it might be.

And I'm glad that despite living in Colorado, I do not have 300 days of sunshine a year. *shudder*

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Doctor and the Drama Queen

When you fall and bite your lip, and mommy and gives you nothing more than a second glance, who better to go to for sympathy than your big sister?

And when the big sister is wearing a ballerina costume to begin with, it's only logical that in such an emergency you'd just throw on the doctor hat and get your medical equipment.

And you'd find a nice, cozy spot on the big chair for you patient to lay, while you check her blood pressure, take her temp, give her shot and cover it with a band-aid.

And then when Daddy gets home, it's always best to show him the injury, looking as cute as possible. It's good for that sympathy factor.

And then for good measure and a possible extra-dose of sympathy, you might as well go for the dramatic reenactment.

"See? Addie... did... that." (Addie takes a breath or pause between words.)

And then, of course, Mommy will blog about it.

The end.


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