Saturday, January 29, 2011

"sometimes i feel really sorry for you"

said to me this week by a friend from my former life.

it was well-meant, i'm sure, & offered up in a coversation where i had just been b*tching about N's currently ridiculous work schedule, which has left me a virtual single mom of late. so i suppose it wasn't without reason, but my initial response to the comment was "WHY?"

she's a new mom of twins, lives in Chicago, & works at a law firm. she lives what my life *could* have been. she has a full-time nanny, gets to go on regular dates with her husband, eat at restaurants that don't have chicken fingers on the menu, & take fancy vacations, all paid for with the 6-figure salary we walked away from 4 years ago. i'm not knocking the lifestyle or her parenting choices-- i'd love to go to belize every year, & i think she & her husband will be fantastic parents.

that said, i CHOSE the life i live. i chose it consciously & with lots of forethought & discussion. i wanted to tuck my kids in every night, & feed them breakfast every morning. i wanted to be the one to teach them all their firsts. delegating primary childcare responsibilities to anyone, even a competant nanny, just doesn't have a place in the family we're building. i had kids so that i could be a MOM. i don't work because i wanted to be present every day to make the place where we live a true home & haven for my husband & our children. i am lucky enough to have a partner who willingly gave up the high life to marry a stay at home mom who bakes her own bread, sews quilts, disinfects the kitchen with vinegar, & rarely changes out of yoga pants.
i know that i am a happier & better human being for leaving my old life & starting a much humbler one here at home with the people i love best. i have no regrets, & i'm only sorry that she couldn't see all that i've gained by giving up a few dollars.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


ever become convinced for no particular reason that almost everyone you know is a better wife/mother/human being than you can possibly be?

today i doubt my ability as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister & a friend.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

all about em (& one blue man)

a bunch of pics of emma, just bc she's about as cute as it's possible to be. :) that's her eating peaches, playing in her little gym, & rolling around with her squid. i actually bought the stuffed squid for the dudes at a craft show last year, but they never really embraced the wonder of the pink squid. em, however, loves the thing. what can i say, but like mother like daughter!

(& one shot of val, in the process of turning himself blue. yeah, food coloring stains, but they had such a good time. & really , who cares if they're a little blue for a while? in my opinion, turning your hair funny colors is a natural part of life.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

an award!

the lovely ms. karianne at staying above the water gave me an award! i'd post the little badge, but i'm a lame blogger & don't know how. (sorry!)

but i will attempt to execute the rest of the reward, & say THANKS to karianne!!
& post 7 things about myself:
1. i am addicted to blue cheese stuffed olives. the market near out house sells them, they are delicious & if there are any in the house, they'll be gone inside a day. i cannot help myself.
2. i am a (not-so) closet soap fan. sad, but true. i totally love the ridiculous melodrama. days of our lives is my poison of choice.
3. i like my kindle so much i'm already over the mommy-guilt & i haven't even had it for 24 hrs yet. ;)
4. i don't really dig wearing socks, so when i have to wear them (like all winter) i wear really funky ones.
5. i hate spiders with a passion. they freak me out beyond words.
6. i used to love scary movies, but have completely lost my taste for them since having kids. i don't know what the connection is, but it's true & it drives N batty, since i never want to watch his creepy movies anymore.
7. i know i'm an adult now, but i still kind of want to grow up to be a jedi.

Monday, January 10, 2011

snapshots of our weekend, (alternatively titled: a peek at life with N)

friday night: emma hasn't slept more than 20 minutes at stretch in the last 24 hrs, meaning i never went to bed thursday night. after being up for over a day straight, i am totally fried. so whem em starts crying at midnight, after i've just fed her, changed her & got her to sleep for the 4th time, i roll over in bed & tell N "your turn." to which he responds "let her cry". (you all KNOW our stance on CIO, & this was a hysterical, teething, no way i can possibly comfort myself sort of cry. not to mention N KNOWS how long i've been awake & knows it is physically impossible for me to sleep when the baby is screaming.) returning to the story-- i can't even speak, i'm so mad at him, so i roll over, grab my pillow & proceed to beat him over the head with it, then hurl the pillow across the room, & calmly get up to rock emma. (who goes back to sleep like a champ & stays asleep this time.) meanwhile, N stares at me blankly for a minute, then gets up, retrieves the pillow, & puts it back in place. no one speaks of the incident again until the following afternoon, when i tell him what he *should* have done, & he acknowledges he may not have handled the situation with the sensitivity it required.

saturday afternoon: i order myself a kindle with my share of the $$ his folks gave us for christmas. usually we just throw it in savings, but this year i spent it & have been feeling ridiculously guilty ever since. (as in-- "how can i spend this money all on myself, for something no one else can use, when we have 3 kids, & a ton of pets, & so on & so forth. i know, it's just silly mommy guilt, but there it is.) i feel so bad about ordering this thing, that i actually go back online sunday to cancel the order. N catches me at it & forbids me to cancel it & insists that i get it & enjoy it. i still feel guilty, but agree, & he spends the rest of the weekend tormenting me with comments like "sorry val, you'll have to stretch that diaper out an extra hour-- mama bought a kindle." & "i don't know if you can eat dinner tonight conrad-- we may not have enough, bc mama bought a kindle." & on, & on.

sunday night: as i'm kneading bread at the counter, N sneaks up behind me, wraps his arms around my flour-covered self & whispers "you are my perfect", before heading into the living room to dance with the kids.

sometimes life is a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

boobs, blogs & sneezes (a collection of random thoughts)

BFing: to be honest, determined as i was to do it, i didn't think i'd like it. it's a huge time commintment, it involves a little critter (yeah, i know it's MY little critter, but still...) hanging off your boob for extended periods of time, it occasionally requires semi-public exposure, & it puts the entire burden of feeding a child on YOU.
need i say how wrong i was? 7 mos in with em, & i love it. ok, sure, sometimes it's annoying, but mostly it's awesome. there's no mixing formula, no bottles to wash, & as it turns out, having a little critter hanging off your boob is actually totally peaceful. it's a beautiful thing, & the look on my blissed-out baby's face make all the minor annoyances worth it.
my plan is to wean when she's approaching a year. (with hopes that we can go right from boob to whole milk & skip the formula entirely. we'll see how that goes, since with babies even the best laid plans typically go haywire.) anyways... despite my initial misgivings, BFing turns out to have been one of my favorite experiences as a mom. (can you pick a favorite experience as a mom? i'm not sure you can.... whatever. i'm not re-typing this paragraph, bc i am both too tired & too lazy to mess with it.)

crafties: i finally started piecing the quilt i'm making for one of the boys. (not sure who yet) & i'm so glad i forked over the extra $ for the nice fabric. when everything is sewn by hand, it makes a HUGE difference. i pry should have figured that out sooner, but i'm kind of cheap when it comes to my hobbies.

blogging: at night, in bed, trying to sleep, i think of all kinds of things i should write. i read other people's clever blogs, & yet.... here i am, in a rare moment of quiet, when i could actually write something of substance, writing a random post of things that likely interest me alone. go figure.

allergies: poor conrad is really suffering lately, & i hate it. it changes his entire personality. it's like he's sick all the time. i'm NOT happy with this, but i'm not sure what else to do. we're ditching the carpet this spring, as soon as we can afford it. (we want to pay outright, we're on a no-credit kick.) anyways, i think hardwood will help, but i'm thinking i may take him back to the allergist soon to see if there is anything else we can do for him. i hate that he feels so cruddy, & i know it affects his ability to do things bc everytime we get him feeling better he has these big bursts of language, development, etc. there has to be a better way, i just have to find it.