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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I've Become My Mother...

And it doesn't bother me one bit.

My mom used to clean the house like company was coming every time we'd leave for vacation. I remember being baffled as to why you'd bother cleaning a house you were about to bust out of.

...I now understand that when a mom travels with her kids it's not entirely a's rather more like a business trip. The last thing you want to come home to is a sink full of dirty dishes in addition to the mounds of laundry you've accumulated on your trip. We're heading off for a mini-vacation this weekend and today I'm scrubbing and cleaning like there's an open house tomorrow.

My mom used to take every piece of rearranged furniture as an opportunity to tidy up. If my dad were flipping a mattress, she'd ask him to hold it mid-air while she pulled out the vacuum and duster. I remember giving my mom some serious 13 year old attitude when this happened and asking if she really couldn't find a better time to clean.

...Having recently rearranged almost every piece of furniture in this home, I find myself wiping down baseboards and asking B Daddy to hold that piece just right there on its side so I can dust the back before we re-position it.

I used to roll my eyes at my mother's cleaning antics. Now I realize it's just plain common sense.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Picture of the Week: 3

My sister and I decided last year that a perfect Christmas gift for my parents would be to have some family pictures made. I'm pretty sure the last time a professional got the four of us together it was inside an Olan Mills it was definitely time.

Coordinating the schedules of 3 families and waiting for a certain someone to have a baby, for the baby to grow to appropriate picture taking size and then waiting for yours truly to get ginormously pregnant apparently takes 10 months however. So a few weeks back we finally went and had family pictures taken of all 9 of us by the amazingly talented Alea Moore.

Here's one of my favorites and you can check out some of the rest on Alea's blog. Merry Christmas 2009 Mom and Dad!

Oh yeah and #12 on the 30 Before 30 list? Gotcha!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Random Quiz on Thursday

To my excitement and surprise a friend "tagged" me in her blog "O-Baby!" a few days ago with this quiz. According to blog world rules, I am supposed to fill it out and tag my own bloggie friends with a quiz of my own...enjoy the random insights!

1) What is your favorite 80's song?

Come on Eileen!

2) If you had $1000 to spend in one day (frivolously!) what would you buy/do?

Buy some beautiful new boots and a plane ticket to Utah to catch up with an old friend.

3) If you had to rename your spouse, what name would you pick?
Wow. Tough question. It's hard to imagine being married to someone not named B Daddy. I really love the name Isaac. Maybe Benjamin Isaac, but he'd go by Isaac. On second thought, I think I'll name my next son that...

4) What piece of advice would you give to your younger self, if you could?

Be nicer to your sister, she will be your best friend in a few years.

5) What is the best NON-wedding/delivery moment of your life thus far?
The afternoon B Daddy told me he, "thought maybe he loved me." I will never stop giving him grief over that one. 

6) If you could pick any (outside the home) career in the whole world what would it be?
I'd be a rock star. A folk-rock star to be precise. Selling out indie venues with my acoustic guitar and killer pipes. 

7) What is the BEST laugh you have had lately?
Watching the Squirt and his cousin "dance" together this morning. Toddlers are so gloriously uncoordinated!

So now it's my turn to do the tagging:

1. Ashleigh - The Keizer Family
4. Ree - The Pioneer Woman (ha!)
5. Caitlin - My Own Best Audience
6. Becca - What's Cooking?
7. Candace - The Perry's World

Here are your questions:

1. What is your favorite book and why?

2. If you had a day all to yourself, how would you spend it?

3. Who was your best friend in 1st grade and why?

4. What 3 things can't you live without on a daily basis? (Dogs, children and spouses excluded...)

5. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

6. Favorite restaurant?

7. And finally...would you rather have your grandfather's name or his hairstyle?

Looking forward to reading all about it friends!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Boy and His Dog

A Boy and His Dog
Edgar Guest

A boy and his dog make a glorious pair
No better friendship is found anywhere
For they talk and they walk and they run and they play
And they have their deep secrets for many a day
And that boy has a comrade who thinks and who feels
Who walks down the road with a dog at his heels
He may go where he will and his dog will be there,
May revel in mud and his dog will not care;
Faithful he'll stay for the slightest command
And bark with delight at the touch of his hand;
Oh, he owns a treasure which nobody steals,
Who walks down the road with a dog at his heels.

No other can lure him away from his side;
He's proof against riches and station and pride;
Fine dress does not charm him, and flattery's breath
Is lost on the dog, for he's faithful to death;
He sees the great soul which the body conceals--
Oh, it's great to be young with a dog at your heels!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Baby Name Survey

B Daddy and I are at a crossroads when it comes to names for #2. Lucky for us, we happened to stumble across a few gems on the Atlanta-Journal Constitution's website.

Real names folks. Real names.

We've narrowed the list to just our favorites for each letter of the alphabet...if you would let us know your vote, we'd be oh-so-grateful.

A - Abcde, Apple Skyy
B - Basin Butt, Blessin, Blue, Baby, Brillient (we really like the letter B)
C - Chemo, Christmas, Casey Casey
D - Destinymonet, Denzel Washington
E - Emoney, Energy
F - FaithCharity, Foxy Brown
G - Genesis, Governor, Glory Essence
H - Heavenleigh, Heiress
I - Indiana
J - Jnaishatriyah
K - Kanyon, Kapril, Kentucky Outlaw
L - Lilmarshall, Lovemonae
M - McDivine, Millionaire, Mylove
N - Nature
O- Oddity
P - Peaches, Poncedeleon
Q - Quest
R - Rayzun, Royalty, Reign
S - Shadrach (we do LOVE a biblical name), Shardonney, Sincerious, Success, Surprise
T - Te-Ara, Terriyakki, Tru Faith
U - Urheiness
V - Vnylla
W - Widdie
X - Xzaviaire
Y - Yamajesty
Z - Zymphony

Monday, October 11, 2010

Am I Glad I Quit My Day Job?

Warning to Readers: I am extremely fortunate to have a husband whose job provides for our needs and then some. I recognize what an awesome privilege it is to stay at home. I realize not every family can have a mother at home to raise the kiddos for many reasons. That said - I think more could. For many of us it is a choice. This is the why behind my choice.

A friend and loyal reader (thanks Erin!) asked me the subject question the other day. She also asked if I missed filling out spreadsheets and doing something called WEEMOS. And while I have always loved rocking out a spreadsheet - full of hidden columns and complicated formulas - I've never heard of a WEEMO.

I have an answer for her...but as with most things, I feel an explanation is in order. So grab a cup of coffee and hang out for a minute. : )

Growing up I was not one of those girls who always knew they wanted to be a mom. While I knew I would have children one day, I thought to myself, "having kids is something all women are equipped to do. It's biological. Of course I'll BE a mom - but I want to be MORE than a mom." Clearly first I'd get an education, a job, a life, a purpose, etc. (Oh yeah and a husband. Check.)

To be honest I wondered why girls who "just" wanted to be moms didn't have more ambition. Didn't they know that anyone could be a mom but not just anyone could be an archaeologist?

Fast forward to May 2009 -

The Squirt is born. I take 10 weeks off and then dive back into the corporate world, feeling totally super-womanesque. Making cold calls, nursing a baby, pretty much kicking a#& and taking names.

And it sucked.


I was working from home, part-time, making good money and it still sucked.

The kiddo never stayed asleep while I was having very very important conversations about which theme Hallmark was going to go with for their 2010 Halloween candy order. I couldn't buh-lieve the Squirt did not want to be Baby Bjorned (yup, just made that a verb) around a warehouse while I inventoried and packed up HomeGoods' monstrosity of a Christmas program for shipment.

I slowly began to see my oh-so posh employment for what it was - a J.O.B.

There were moments of glamour - Hey that's my product! In a Fifth Avenue window!!

But there were plenty of moments of drudgery as well.

The time I worked alone in the un-air conditioned warehouse until 2am counting cases of cookies (over three thousand of them) to be sure we had a complete order? Drudgery.

The (many) times I'd get a West Coast client request at 5pm and have to fight rush hour traffic to the office, print off labels and get samples to FedEx before 7pm? Drudgery.

Not glamorous. At least, no more so than changing a dirty diaper.
Not fulfilling. Definitely no more so than warming a bottle for a screaming child.

I began to question the priorities I'd set for myself and the assumptions I made about working vs. mothering.
  • Did working really use more of my brain than mothering?
  • Was my magna cum laude graduating with honors college education wasted if I chose to "just" stay home?
  • Would I lose all sense of self-worth if I couldn't point to some job and say, "I'm a ..."
That last one was my biggest hurdle. Intrinsically I knew that being a mom was important and a task that would benefit greatly from both intelligence and ambition. But the issue of not having a job...of being "just" a mom....would people think I couldn't hack it in the real world? Would people no longer recognize my exceptionalism as an individual?

(You may be laughing to yourself...but these are the things my vain and prideful self worries over. What "other people" who may or may not actually exist think of my personal life and decisions.)

In the end I decided the answers to those questions mattered less than fully focusing on the task of raising this one little man.

I struggled for quite a few months when I first bid adeiu to the bosses. When people asked whether I was still working I would hem and haw, trying to make staying at home sound like something it was not. I was quick to tell anyone interested what I used to do, to reassure them that I had a brain and once upon a time put it to use quite frequently.

I've now come to terms with the fact that I'm a stay at home mom. I no longer care what "other people" think that says about my ambition in life or my intelligence. I value my own opinion pretty highly (ahh the pride issue once again...) and personally think this choice is a better one than working outside the home.

That doesn't mean I always enjoy it. In fact, I was in tears last week over the fact that my baby wouldn't nap and my pregnant belly was in the way of EVERYTHING and our health insurance premiums were going up by 30%. Last week I would have gladly punted this mom gig and taken hold of spreadsheets and WEEMOMS with reckless abandon. Pay me?! For having a little cubicle all to myself or socializing with adults ALL DAY?! Yes please.

But I found encouragement in the words of a husband with impeccable timing; "our desire is to be a close-knit family and to raise emotionally healthy children who are passionate in the pursuit of their God-given talents. You are the cornerstone of that."


It was what I needed last week and what I try to carry with me most days. I fully believe this is a job with an enduring impact. If I perform well, my legacy will positively impact future generations. If I fail to give it my best, I will at the very least be missing out on that insanely cool opportunity...and at the worst, severely damaging a precious human being or two.

So upon a moment's reflection...yes Erin, I am glad I quit the day job.

But I do occasionally miss those spreadsheets.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Picture of the Week: 1

You can generally tell how my week is going by how many blog posts you see from me. Hectic/particularly pregnant feeling weeks get 0-1 posts. Fabulous/I have had lots of me time weeks get 3 or more posts.

In an effort to regulate the highs and lows and make sure you never have to go a WHOLE WEEK without knowing what I ate for breakfast or how many eggs the girls gave up, I'm instituting Picture of the Week every Friday.

It'll make me whip out my camera more.

It'll ensure gems like this one are seen by a wider interweb audience.

I love this man.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Big Boy Room for The Squirt

Here's the inspiration for the room:

(image courtesy of Land of Nod)

Instead of orange walls we're going with this slightly calmer green.

I love the bright colors and the slightly older look - but the Squirt is still going to be in a crib, so we can't make use of the comforter and they don't offer curtains in this design. So... my pioneer skills are coming into play once again. I made a curtain that looks like the comforter...and I think it turned out decently. Not perfectly...but it was made during naptime, so decent is really what we were shooting for.

This chair?

Getting a bright fresh coat of paint. (But what color? Turquoise, yellow, orange or stripes?)

This little table used to be B Daddy's bedside table, but it's the perfect size to turn into an arts & crafts center. (You know...for all the crafting we do around here.) I also want to paint it, but again...I need a color suggestion!

This lampshade from Target is supposedly going to be a new hanging light fixture...I'll keep you posted on how that turns out. : )

And this is the start to the Squirt's climbing wall! It should be finished by the end of the weekend. Woo hoo!! (B Daddy and I really want to give it a spin.)

My goal is to show off an "after" picture before you get to see one of the kitchen. I'm ambitious like that.

I'll check back in later this week(end) with a progress report...happy hump day!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Hold Out

The very first day we ever got an egg from our girls, we got not one - but two. We were so thrilled that both the ladies decided to pony up on the same day we didn't question how similar the eggs were in color and size. (Backyard chicken eggs are very specific to the breed - some lay dark brown eggs, some lay speckled eggs, some even lay blue or green eggs...)

But about two weeks ago we began to question whether both the girls were actually laying. We only ever caught Hester in the act and our eggs all looked remarkably similar.

Then on Monday we got our first "albino egg" (as B Daddy called it.) Then yesterday and today we got two more albino eggs, this time nestled right next to our usual dark brown speckled eggs.

Turns out Charlotte has indeed been holding out on us. I expect egg production to rapidly increase from here on out. : )
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