Friday, April 29, 2011

Little Progress

The biggest perk of setting your own work schedule is...Setting your own work schedule! Every once in a while census will be low and I will get called off. Trust me, I don't mind. It's like adding a whole new day to the week. I've got enough projects to keep me busy through the rest of the year. I've figured out how to add hours to the week, but not moolah to the bank account.

Yesterday, on my new "day off", I worked on some of the projects that I feel like are looming. Really important stuff like a rustic sign for over my kitchen cabinets- the ones I haven't shown pictures of yet. I'm in a race with the landscapers. I want to finish a certain number of my inside projects before they finish the outside. Once they are done I plan on planting my boo-tay in a swing for the summer and keeping the Kindle fully charged. That is, after I plant my tomatoes. Holy guacamole! and salsa! and spaghetti sauce! and BLTs with cream of tomato soup! All of my seeds sprouted and I have twenty four tomato plants. Trust me. No one is more surprised than me! I took pictures as proof and one of a diapered Buddha because he's good luck. Rub his belly on a regular basis and my seedlings sprout. I'm tellin' ya! I never had a green thumb before. The pics are in no particular order because all the time off is tiring! And I'm not lucky enough to get called off for the weekend.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On the Docket

Within my genome you will find a genetic mutation that prevents me from letting the paint dry on one project before I start another one (or fourteen).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hoppy Easter!

With all my whining, wailing, and gnashing of teeth the Easter Bunny still managed to fit our house into his busy schedule. It wasn't easy, I'm tellin' ya.

"Scrunch, don't you think you should go on a walk with Papa?"


Oh, for the love!!!! "Why???" That three letter word makes me think four letter words lately.


"Because, why?"

"Because the Easter Bunny can't come if you're still here."

"Well, it's okay. I'll just hide."

"No. He'll know."

"I can't go. He'll be soooo sad if I'm not here."

"No. You're going. Really fast. Now go!"

Papa, my great helper, took "fast" a little too literally. The ink on the letter wasn't even dry before they came up the driveway. It was still in my hand.

"Oh, look! The Easter Bunny left you a note."

Dang, those Easter Bunnies are fast.

It's not like we wouldn't have had any fun had he not shown up. We might be thirty minutes from Tar-jay and in the middle of nowhere, but the neighborhood makes up for it in other ways. We're less than five minutes to the great Easter Hunt. Scrunch could take or leave the eggs, but the baby piggies she definitely wanted to take.

Hoppy Easter!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Emma Smith and Easter

Easter Sunday is not going as planned. Admittedly, I haven't planned this Holiday very well. My timing and the Easter Bunny's is completely off. He showed up at Grami's last week and those adorable chicks I had planned to knit are still on the needles. At 5:45a.m. I had a mini melt down in the shower.

My kids are not going to wake up to the Easter Bunny!


I cried. Lame. Whatever. But I did.

My kids were not going to wake up to Easter Bunny!

Lots of kids are not going to wake up to the Easter Bunny. ('s not what Easter is about...Their Easter Bunny is serving in our Armed our troops!!...they have no parents...poor kids starving in third world countries....blah, blah, blah...I know.)

But my kids could have! And they won't because I want Husband to be here for it and he won't be because he has to go his dumb Church calling meetings at 6:00a.m.

I get bent out of joint when my husband has to attend some, o.k. most of these meetings. Every frappen' Sunday! I will wrestle the curlers into Scrunches hair by myself. If I don't cuss before getting there (it's forty minutes away) Sunday will be on an upswing. I know I'm not the only mom. I "get" it. Trust me I do. But I don't like it and my thought process proves it. "...Support the Brethren... Honor your Priesthood holder... These men need to learn to lead the Church....Isn't there someone else?....What the? were they thinking?... We are suckers and easy targets..... Think of Emma..... Think of Emma.... Think of Emma...."

And think of her I did. Oh, how I love Emma Smith!

But when my husband insinuated that he had responsibilities he needed to fulfill and we were not the only ones to sacrifice...Oh, no. You did not just go there!!! Oh, he did. And all hell broke loose and I unleashed a rant.

"That's right! They paid the sacrifice! They PAID the Sacrifice!!! And God love them for it!!! Every woman who had her husband ripped from her home by mobs. Every child who wondered when their Father would return home!!"

Oh, I am good.

Oh. so. good! at these righteous rants.

"They paid so that WE didn't have to!!!"

As I got more and more worked up my righteous indignation, I realized "I was right!!!" But for all the wrong reasons.

It took me a minute and Husband was long gone to his meetings. I was warming a sippy cup of milk in the microwave when I realized it.

He paid so that we didn't have to.

That's what it's really about.

The Easter Bunny will have been here when we get home from Church.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Learn something new every day.

Blogging use to be my therapy. There's a lot to therapize (new word?) in the infertility to adoption to new motherhood to new fertilityhood with a baby with a couple of extras. Add that life is just sometimes a bit wonky in the hood and there's ample fodder for blog posting. But lately I don't find I need it as much. Tread carefully. For if I had a dollar for every crazy who stopped stopped their meds because they got better... I am the Mayor of Crazytown, afterall.

I don't know if it's the weather, with its signs of Spring and promises of Summer, groovin' to Dr. Dog's Heart it Races, or the fact that I feel like I've been liberated! I have. Didn't you know? I am no longer pumping! Haven't I mentioned that? Oh well. In case you missed it. I'm no longer pumping! I didn't have to haul the damn black Madela bag a single time over the last two weeks and I feel like my life has been changed. It is the little things. Little things and a mental shift made easier by the quelling of hormonal tides.

I am destined to eat all of my words. Sometimes twice. And two weeks ago, the same day I posted that homeschooling wasn't for me, I ran into a woman at the park whose opinion on teaching I respect. She shared with me some information that I quickly ran home and began to study. Among the many things I read (and liked) was a simple idea... If you want your children to love learning, they need to see you learning.

I liked it. The notion of the martyr mother who does everything for and because of her children was blasted out of the park. It didn't sit well with me anyway. Who wants to say that wiping butt all the live long day makes you feel productive and valued? It makes you a liar. When I do and learn things that make me a better person, I am a better mother. As I've slowly let it sink in, I've been rejuvenated. There's energy in learning. I am not a writer, a photographer, a decorator, a horsewoman, a woodworker, a spinning wheel restorer, a gardener, and I don't appreciate good poetry the way I'd like, but I could be, and I will be, and maybe I am.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

You Spin me right round.

How do I tell you this story so I don't sound like a Goomba? I don't think I can. I'm too excited. My words and thoughts are all slumble jumbled.

The moral of this story is that I got a spinning a wheel!

Most of the chicas in my knitting group spin. It is a hobby that I've wanted to take up for a long time. I just couldn't justify it before. But now! Now that I've reclaimed a whole two hours in my day by no longer pumping, I think I can make it happen. I started looking into the craft and started slowly and craftily working on my Husband. Then, like Disney princess magic, a spinning wheel literally fell in my lap!

How it went down...

Mom works with Debbie. Debbie knits. Mom showed Debbie pics of my knitting from my blog. I saw Debbie when I met Mom for lunch. Debbie complimented my knitting. I said 'thanks' and somehow the conversation turned to goats and me mentioning that I'd like to spin. We leave for lunch. A few hours later Mom gets a message on her cell from Debbie. "Hey, I've got this antique spinning wheel of my grandmother's that is just collecting dust, do you want it?" Um, yes.

There are a few pieces that are broken and missing but she's in beautiful condition. Knitters are nice so there are a few women from my knitting group doing some spinning sleuthing to find out as much as we can about her. I hope to have her up and running soon.

It is as they say, the real McCoy. An antique spinning wheel from the late 1800's. Her name is Aurora. Wut? People name their cars. I named her after the dawn for she filled my life with sunshine. Not really, but she is named for the spinning wheel on Sleeping Beauty. Touch it and you die!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Merry Go Round

When I set out to paint the kitchen and it's cabinets I didn't intend on triggering the cascade of Spring cleaning that would follow.

I probably wouldn't have started.

Um, I definitely wouldn't have started.

If you're going to take all the cupboard doors off as well as their hardware, you might as well wipe out and organize their contents.You're perched across the ladder and notice the top of the microwave, it needs wiping. You can't wipe the top of the microwave and the oven and then not do the top of the fridge. If you do the top of the fridge you have to do behind and underneath it. Might as well hit the inside while you're there. I thought I was a relatively adequate housekeeper, but what is up with the goop underneath the fridge? While you're sitting on the floors cursing not being born with the adequate number of appendages (like eight)  to re-attach the cupboards so they're level, you start to notice that not much of the grout is it's original color. Most grout isn't gray? The kids love the Home Depot lighting department and I love anything labeled Zep. Their grout cleaner is nothing short of magic. Real MAGIC. You experiment with their new bathroom cleaner while the kids splash in the tub. Wowzas! I love this stuff. What else can I spray? Anything else that gets sprayed needs to get wiped. And round and round. For two, almost three days.

The very last protective coat was applied to the last three cupboards. It dried and I went to re-hang them, but had to pull the fridge out again. For the love! What IS this crap? Wasn't I just here less than forty-eight hours ago? I want off this ride!!!!! So I did the only thing I knew how to make it stop. I packed up and left to a place where there is no laundry, no cooking, no cleaning. And we've been at Grami and Gramps' ever since.

Tomorrow we head home, but I feel a lot better equipped to face the goop under the fridge again. Whatever it is.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Let them Be

Parenting is such an ego trip.

Your baby sleeps through the night at six weeks? Well. Then. You've clearly done something right. They crawl at six months and walk at ten, and you've got enough gross movement stimulation to motivate and raise an Olympian. They eat their vegetables and wipe their mouth with a napkin when they are done and you're practically Emily Post. If they read Grapes of Wrath before reaching Pre-k, well, congratulations, you're a genius raising a mini-genius. All that Bach and Mozart in the womb paid off and maybe they can explain that book to me.

And if they don't do any of these things we take it as a personal hit to our abilities as a parent or say it's because.

It's because they are the oldest.
It's because they are the youngest.
It's because they were born under a full moon.
It's because, because, because..but always because of something.

Maybe it's because it is just them.

One of the unique perspectives of having adopted a child is that you don't expect to see yourself reflected back at you each and every time you look their direction. Purely through circumstance you are required to acknowledge that there is so much that makes up these little beings. They have interests, personalities, even goals and aspirations that you might, just might have to recognize did not come from you. So many choices, so many experiences, so much that is just them.

I think half the stress of parenting would dissipate if we could remember that, even a quarter of the time.


Scrunch and I had one of the very first talks where I think she is actually starting to "get" it. Maybe.
We were lying in bed. She put her hand on my cheek and said, "Mommy. Your eyes are brown."
"Yep. My eyes are brown."
"They're pretty."
"Thanks. You have pretty brown eyes, too."
"Yeah, they're cute. Papa has blue eyes. What color are Erick's eyes?"
"Erick's eyes are green. Sometimes brown. Do you know who else has pretty brown eyes?"
"C has pretty brown eyes."
"Yeah, she does."
"Do you know who C is? She grew you in her tummy."
"Yeah, she did. But not anymore! I'm out now!!"

That made me laugh and then she proceeded to "Shhhh, shhh, shhh!" me because she couldn't hear the music. The kid is totally diggin David Gray right now. Funny bug.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Bulleted Blogging

If I sit down for more than three minutes I want to fall asleep. And if I'm not sitting I'm painting. Painting. Painting. And more painting. In my brilliance I decided to bust out the paint while my husband visits the Holy Land. I don't know what I was thinking. I blame my mother. My dad travels for work. A LOT. And during High School it seemed like my mom would paint every time he left town. I don't exaggerate. The living room walls in their house used to be textured, now they are smooth. My kitchen used to be green with craptastic oak cabinets, now they are not.

There is a myth perpetuated among women that there are few things worse than labor. I disagree. To illustrate my point I can name three things off the top of my head I would never want to do again. 1) Jelly Belly factory with four three and an under, 2) IKEA on a Friday afternoon with four three and under, and 3) Re-finish kitchen cabinets. See? there's lots worse. Childbirth I'd do again.

"We need to buy wings for our car so it can clap them and we can fly and find Papa."

Props to the military wives. I am a total wuss. I am ready for Him to come home and it's only been five days.

B+!?!?!!  B+?!?!?! After all of that, I get a B+ in exclusively pumping. 325/365 = 89.04 % I stopped pumping last Thursday. I don't miss it. Neither does Porkchop. In fact, that's why I stopped. The blessed boy cut his mother some slack and said, "Thanks, but no thanks." Well, he didn't actually say it, but it was implied. I give myself an A for effort.

If you had been asked to knit a hat as a gift for a very good friend's daughter who is graduating Valedictorian of her department would you go with A)Cabled Chapeau, B) Rikke Hat, or C) Gwen Slouch? No, really. When I'm done painting I'm going to sit down and knit. For a loooooong time.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Random Friday

I jumped from Woot Worthy Wednesdays to Random Fridays. Has all the creativity in blogging been sucked out out of me? Pretty much. But not just blogging. Cooking, cleaning and dinner time have also gone the way of the Dodo. How creative do you have to be to come up with In n Out for dinner?

The nice camera, that I don't know how to use properly (yet), was sent halfway around the world this morning. Less than twelve hours later I'm seriously regretting it because I would have liked to capture Porkchop eating his very first In n Out burger. He ate almost the whole thing. Porker. Oh, and on the very same day he signed "more" consistently. Funny porker.

I don't know where we store the cat food. Problem? Not for me. I'm still really, really, really ticked off at that stupid piece of feline crap. And PETA? Go ahead. Report me. They can kiss my lily white too, if what they say is true. Apparently, according to my sources, I am A #1 in their book. At least on a really, really bad Mother of the Year Award Day where I sit in the parking lot of McDonalds at 10:26am pleading for the next four minutes to be sucked out of life in a time warp so I can get some blasted chicken nuggets, I will always have that I have done my part. I mean it really was so,so, so nice of us adopt a child. We have done our part to "curb our reproductive habits". They are giving away a free vasectomy in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week. When it was pointed out to them that maybe, just maybe, it might be at least a less than awesome idea their response was..."While we recognize that infertility is a difficult issue for many people, we continue to support adoption of human children and companion animals alike. With nearly 7 billion people on the planet, and a crisis of vanishing resources, it is crucial-- for humans and animals -- that we curb our reproductive habits." PETA insensitive? Well, knock me over with a feather!

And only because my husband might read this, and he's got enough on his mind at the moment, the cat is fine. I know he's got a lot on his mind because I get all the e-mails from Amazon and the Kindle downloads. The list was eclectic to say the least and made me laugh.

"Mom. It's a problem."
"What's the problem?"
"Cheepies come from eggs. And eggs come from cheepies."
The age old question has been asked by my Scrunch at a very young age.

Because I try to sometimes practice what I preach, I sat down tonight to compare my bill from the hospital to my insurance recap. Health literacy! Bwahaha! I sat through an entire training on breaking down barriers to people taking control of their healthcare this week. Funny idea! I have one solid solution....Don't print hospital bills or insurance recaps in Latin. Or whatever dead language that was. I didn't take an advanced degree in Aeronautics Design Engineering to realize that our insurance premiums that we've paid for the last eight years, even when we had nothing and were working our way through as a wait staff in a restaurant, has been totally worth it! Holy Crap-a-dilly! If some little punk punches my Porkchop in the nose during a Church Ball brawl I'm going to have to rip his arms off! My little dudes face will be worth more than my house. Rising healthcare costs?! Bwahaha! There's another one!

"Mom, can you play hide and seek with me?"
"In a few minutes. Mommy needs to pump and then we'll play."
"I need Papa to buy me a pink pump so I can pump pink milk from my body."

Another Mother of the Year Award moment. My daughter knows what "pink" milk is. Is this where I confess to my love Strawberry Milk that incorporates itself into every one of my celebrations or to a few too many viewings of Pinkalicious on the Ipad?

Happy Friday! At least I think it's Friday. All the days kind of start running together when there is no open and close of the garage door to mark the beginning and end of your day. Oh, yes. We've all noticed that Papa is not home yet.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Woot! Woot!

I see this ("Woot! woot!) written all over blogs and Facebook.

But psssssst!

I have a secret.

I have no idea what it means.

I think it is a positive exclamation. Like a "Hurrah!" A "Yay!" "Yipee Skippy!" Even a "Huzzah!" But I'm not totally sure. When does an event qualify for a 'woot'?

What is 'woot' worthy I ask?

Tomorrow (Wednesday) I think might qualify.

Woot Worthy Wednesdays.

I think this could work.

- Porkchop will be officially freed from the no-nos and the syringe! Woot! Woot! I say officially because I ditched them this morning. Holy crap! Is this what it's like to have my happy easy going dude back? We ran into a mama walking her puppy this weekend and she said, "Hey little buddy! You're wearing No-nos." Me- "You must have personal experience or you work in pediatrics."  Her- "My son was in them for the worst 24 hours of my life. It is emblazoned on my brain!!" Me- "Yeah, they're not so fun. He's going on two weeks." She practically bowed down and kissed my feet. I felt special. Mom's who know, know these little buggas belong in the "To Burn" Bin.

-I have to go to a training for a couple of hours. (Not Woot worthy.) But my very favorite local yarn shop is on the way home. I am picking up the supplies for these little Chickadees. How cute are they? Woot worthy cute? Um. Yes.

-For the first time with a non-relation and only the second time with even a relation, we have hired a babysitter and we are going out. Grown-ups only! And we are not allowed to talk about the kids. All-you-can-eat Sushi! Woot! Woot! It might be our last supper since Husband leaves for Jerusalem early Thursday morning.

-So long as the concrete truck does not break down two days in a row en route to my house, they will be pouring the new back patio tomorrow. Woot! Woot! Summer= Porch monkeys. We will eat, sleep, play, and eat some more in the backyard this summer. So help me!

-If I can squeeze it in, my date will include a trip to Home Deal-o. Is it lame-o that Home Deal-o could be considered a date? Don't care. I think I've settled on a dining room color. Woot! Woot! I've got plans. Big plans. Did I mention my Husband is leaving me completely unattended for ten days? He might not recognize the place when he gets back. He already knows about most of them. The big surprise will be if I'm able to accomplish anything while he's gone.

Tomorrow should be a very good day.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Can I take it at my house?

I am soooo the wrong person to ask. I say 'yes' to things like that.

 Porkchop thinks 'new' babies are lamer than the dumb No-nos he's been sporting for two weeks.

But he's over it since Papa put the kibosh on the lamby.

I wish I could say yes. 

How 'bout a cone instead?

They only said syringe and no bottle. Cone wasn't mentioned once in the discharge orders.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fan. Tas. Tic.

I rarely feel "Mom Guilt" when I leave my children for my paid gig as a nurse. Every once in a while I will feel bad when Scrunch asks if she can come with me, but she quickly forgets when she realizes my temporary replacement. They are with their Papa and he's lots more fun. Even if her bows don't match. Or her pants to her shirt. Or the pants to the socks. He's taught her to put her shoes on the right (and left) feet, so that makes up for things like that. Porkchop is easier to dress, but he doesn't speak English yet so it complicates things a little. He handles them just fine without me and with even more patience, I think.

I had to make a quick stop by the office on Thursday to review some new changes that will affect charting, billing, and reimbursement. I wore heels, got to talk with other adults, and to visit with co-workers who have become my friends.  I loved it. I felt like a productive member of society. Amazing what a blow dryer and some gloss will do to the psyche. While I was there I was informed that there were two new positions available that would not involve direct patient care, and I might be eligible to apply. When another nurse who has usually only ever seen me in scrubs saw me dressed up she asked if I was there to apply for the job. My supervisor overheard the conversation and quickly piped up. "No. She doesn't want the job. She wants to stay home to raise her kids. And who can blame her!?"

I felt validated in that maybe had I wanted it I would have been a competitive candidate, but I would be lying to say I wasn't bummed. What if I had wanted it? Do I want it? I even called Husband on the way home to make sure we really didn't want this. It would more than double our household income and bust open doors professionally for me. I hemmed and hawed all day long about it. When Porkchop had a blow out I thought about it. When I was dragging dripping laundry over the side of the washer into the dryer I thought about. When I spent two whole days feeling like I was going round in circles and getting nowhere in the housework, I thought A LOT about it.

Thank goodness I remembered what it was like to be on the fast track in a different path. Not like I was an attorney or Senator or anything, but at twenty two I was offered and took my first nursing management position. I hated it. I tried it again a year later and when I gave my notice that time I was offered an Assistant Director of Nursing position. But I left anyway because I really didn't like that either. I had a really good job, was literally making a difference, and making good money, but it just wasn't cutting it.

One of the hardest things to accept and balance for me since becoming a mom is falling into the lie that it has to be one or the other. If you choose to raise a family then everything you aspire to doing and becoming needs to be placed on hold. Lame. Why would anyone choose scraping diapers over anything? But if you choose not to then you are rejecting what was inherit to our nature and you'll screw up an entire generation. Great! Who wants that on their conscience? You can't win for losing. Do I want to be a feminist ready to rock the world or is barefoot and pregnant the goal? It's frustrating, and it occupies my thoughts.

Thank goodness I'm not the only one. I stumbled across one of THE best essays on the subject. You should read it too. It is my latest gift from the Internet.

Steel to Gold: Feminism vs. Stateswomanship

Post edit:

Oh, and the role of a woman or mother is not exclusive to having a husband and popping out babies. It is so much more than that. I'm telling you if you don't read this, you'll have missed out. It's really, really good stuff.

"For me, a mother is any adult woman who mentors youth, who helps them grow into contributing, happy adults. There are as many ways to get involved as there are women, but all of us must do it. And the marital or maternal status of a woman has nothing to do with her fully participating in this mission."

"Much to the dismay of the die-hard Modern Feminists, Reactionary Feminism and Anti-Feminism are growing. Conservatives are thrilled with the trend as more and more young women choose to have families, but in reality there is a big problem with this trend.
The truth is that many Reactionary and Anti-Feminists, who tend not to rant against men and who really like being mothers, are still conflicted. The competing voices have left them doubting, frustrated, wondering if they missed “what could have been . . . .” And this is the big lie, the real tragedy of Modern Feminism.
By defining a controversy between being a fulfilled career woman contributing to society on the one side, and an unfulfilled, barefoot and pregnant house wife on the other, Modern Feminism has convinced our generation that women must choose between home, hearth and family and societal leadership. The result is that as young women choose home making, they stoically turn inward, focus on their own family, work on the side or stay home, and wistfully watch the world move on without them."

Friday, April 1, 2011

Always an Adventure


-Scrunch helping me in the backyard yelling over the roar of the neighbors construction work.

She does not pause for breath. "Prolly", cuz she's also a mermaid who asked me to teach her to read last week and used the cat litter on Wednesday. When I asked her not to, "It's okay mom. We can share." Sure, she'll share but she "Can't stand all this whining!!" when her brother gets frustrated with the No-nos.

Oh, that Scrunch of mine.

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