7 Quick Takes

Joining Jen and alllll the other takers.

  1. Potty training. I should probably just stop right there, but I’m not gonna. Although everyone is well-meaning, I have felt semi-pressured to potty train Malachi from multiple sources and I just…. I just not ready. Well, this week he decided he was ready. He wanted to run around naked and sit on the potty alllllllll day. So the first day I let him and when I came back to check on him, lo and behold – there was a “parcel” in the receptacle. Hooray! The second day he was semi-successful once but still quite interested so we went out and bought underwear and he pranced around the house all day either nakey or looking way too much like a little boy.

    But I should have known something was up when he went upstairs alone and wouldn’t come when I called. Something was definitely up, but I’ll spare you. Today he would only sit on the potty while watching TV and then I realized that as soon as he actually had to go he would get up and go in places other than the potty. AND after the 73rd meltdown of the day when he was crying because I wouldn’t let him eat a cookie out of the trash, I slapped a diaper on that butt and gave myself an A for effort.
  2. Probably a good idea since we all have bronchitis. Potty training whilst coughing, blowing snot bubbles, and in general feeling unwell is not the best idea. Poor Naomi is a wreck. Malachi is getting better but it seems the incessant whining/crying/tantruming/screaming is the first symptom to arrive and the last to go. And don’t think I’m just talking about Malachi here. (Kidding! Sort of.)
  3. So my dreams of having a potty-trained baby by next weekend when we go camping are probably not going to come true. Weather and health-permitting we are all four going camping and I am ex. ci. ted! We’ll see how long the excitement lasts after the first 50-degree night all in a room together trying to keep the children away from the campfire but I am at least determined to enjoy the anticipation even if the actualization has us racing home to our oven, baby gates, sound machine, and diaper genie.

  4. Why do I always get writer’s block on number 4?
  5. When I was younger I had this obsession with Anne Geddes. I loved all manner of children dressed as bees or flowers or covered in vegetables or whatever. I’m not as into it now, but the other day I was making bierocks (so good!) and got a wee bit inspired:
    cabbage collageI realize that I am incredibly weird, but I really thought it was hilarious.
  6. So, have you seen this video? One of my friends who works in the school system said that all the kids are watching it and “At least they keep it weird.” I’m really not sure what this says about this generation. When I was growing up Youtube wasn’t the mega-sensation that it is now so I don’t really remember what kind of weird, obscure things we got into but I think I’m gonna go out on a limb and say we were never this bad. Right?

  7. So I had always heard how boys were easier as babies. I know girls are more difficult in general – the DRAMA. The hair. The makeup. The hormones. But holy crazy cow, is Naomi into EVERYTHING. Malachi never chewed stuff and was pretty content to play with his toys. Naomi’s favorite chew toy is any type of cord she can get her hands on and she will play with a baby toy for approximately 2 seconds before she has moved on to more exciting things like her brother’s favorite stuffed animal, her brother’s disgusting spit-soaked lovey, my shoes, the dog’s brushes, magazines, and any other number of things she shouldn’t play with. I didn’t really have to baby-proof with Malachi but I have a feeling Naomi is going to be the kid that breaks bones, jumps off ledges, and shoves marbles up her nose. I literally cannot keep up with her. She is already faster than me. Lord help us.

7QT – 7 Things I Learned About Myself on Pinterest

Linking with Jen, like I do.

So originally this was gonna be kind of a cop-out post.  I wasn’t feeling terribly inspired to blog, but then I realized I wasn’t feeling terribly inspired to fold laundry, either, and if I was just gonna sit on the couch and waste time I ought to post something and this seemed easy. But the more I thought about it, the more introspective I got. Dangerous.

So without further ado – 7 things I learned about myself on Pinterest.

  1. I’m not as servant-hearted as I thought.

    This is sooooo me. Here I am thinking I’m gonna serve others by opening the door for them or letting them over in traffic but I get no head nod or acknowledgmental wave or “thanks” and then I turn all, “You’re WELcome! Geesh!” After I pinned this I realized how pathetic that was. But then I wonder… am I really not servant-hearted, or is it something else? In spiritual gifts tests I always test really high in the justice/judgment category, which basically means I have a very strong and clear sense of right and wrong. So if I do the right thing for someone and it’s not met with the “right” response it seriously ruffles my feathers. But if they do thank me, it gives me a mini and quick emotional high. Still, though, I’d rather just be glad to serve regardless of the response.
  2. I’m getting over the goo-goo-gah-gah-everything-baby-is-so-cute stage.

    See that goooorgeous bag up there? That’s my next diaper bag. I’ve been through four different diaper bags so far and the one I have now is by far my favorite. It’s convenient, smart, easy to carry, and UGLY. If it could talk all it would say all day long is, “Look! I’m a diaper bag! I hold diapers! The woman carrying me is a MOM because I’m a DIAPER BAG!” and I’m just over it. Convenient as it may be, I’m ready for a cute bag that can house my purse essentials (i.e. everything) and the diaper bag essentials for two kids and not be such an ugly piece of ugly. So PLEASE help me choose, because I am super torn: this or this?
  3. I’ve been lying about the birthday party thing. To myself and others.

    For Malachi’s first and second birthdays we just had small affairs. A few balloons, family, one friend, a cake. It was WONDERFUL and he was happy. Little kids don’t need huge parties – they won’t remember them, it’s a waste of money, they are happy just to be with the people they love. It’s all true. Except…I want to have a theme party for my kids! With a ridiculous cake! And favors! And coordinated games! And other kids! I do. I admit it. It’s out there now. I feel better?
  4. I’m too busy.

    This is a really hard one. I realize it when I scroll through my pins and see project after project after project that I want to do that I haven’t had time for. The gallery wall. The once-a-month-cooking. The memento organization. I know that having two kids under three is HARD and that some days I will get nothing done and that’s ok. But I still feel like I can’t JUST do the homemaker thing. I need to stay involved in something else, right? Like my ESL program, directing missions at our church, hosting a small group, attending Bible study, mentoring girls from our church… I don’t know what or how to cut out. But if I use my free time to hang out on Pinterest and Facebook, it’s not because I’m a bad prioritizer – it’s because I’m too tired to do anything else. I’m gonna have to mull this over for a while, I think. (<— Case in point: I started this post yesterday.)
  5. I am less bohemian than I think I am.

    I had a ten-dollar Kohl’s gift certificate come in the mail this week and I got really excited because I’ve been wanting to buy these harem pants ever since I saw how cute they looked on Grace. Apparently I am a whooooooole lot taller than she is because harems that scrunch at the ankles = cute but harems that don’t even touch your ankles = story of my life. I was in speed-shop mode because my kids were with me but guess what I came out of the store with instead? A coral-colored striped baseball tee. It’s cute and comfy and soft and it has thin, horizontal stripes just like roughly 50% of my shirts do. And it’s coral, like roughly 30% of my clothes are. I like to think I’m all cute and bohemian but when it comes right down to it I think my style is more “comfy, stripey stuff.” Which is actually kind of annoying.
  6. I still have some pretty big questions that I need to work through.

    Take a look at my books to read board or my spiritual growth board and there are some big, big topics there. Homosexuality. Violence and pacifism. The atrocities of the Old Testament. I’ve been reading this book since before Naomi was born and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It has helped me immensely in sorting out some questions about God and in understanding some of His complexities. Having questions at first can be terrifying – it shakes you to your core. But the coolest part about the quest to answer them is realizing that God is not waiting at the end of your search – He is in the journey.
  7. I should maybe cut back on the boob-talk.

    We can just chalk that one up to the family I was raised in.

Now tell me: What can you learn about yourself by taking an objective look at your Pinterest?

Let’s blog now and clean the house later tonight! Best idea ever!

Not really.  But as long as I’m procrastinating let’s at least make it productive procrastination, shall we?  My next post was going to be about something more serious but since I’m sitting here in the worst Mom outfit known to man (baggy sweats, baggy t-shirt, they don’t match, nottomentionnomakeupI’mdone) since my first two outfits of the day were puked on, eating pepperoni and crackers and peanut butter because I forgot about lunch, and waiting for a call from a stranger who is going to come buy some stuff from me (hopefully) and I don’t even give a twit how messy my house and person are….. I’m just not feeling so serious at the moment.

SO! Let’s talk about weird people. That sounds totally ungracious and it probably is, but I think if you are buying a used vacuum off Craig’s list for your son’s dorm room and it’s only 15 dollars, taking the entire thing apart and sniffing the filters qualifies as weird.  And then asking for a discount because it smells like dog.  Whatever, dude, you entertained me enough to earn yourself a five-dollar discount.  I guess.  Or I just hate haggling and want you off my front porch because it is ten zillion degrees and past my son’s nap-time and you’ve been sniffing and inspecting and vacuuming my porch for TEN MINUTES.  Take your pick.

Let’s move on to your FAVORITE subject: bodily fluids!  Naomi has a stomach bug and even though I will probably punch myself later for typing this out loud Malachi has NEVER had one yet so this is new territory for me.  So far we’ve each been through three outfits and the casualties include the couch, the bathroom rug, and my watch.  My poor baby – I hate it for her.  But on the bright side I got two long naps out of her today as a result and aren’t you proud of me for using them so responsibly? (Don’t answer that.)

I’m running out of blogging steam.  That was short-lived.  But can we all just take a moment to reflect on the awesomeness that is three posts in five days?  Because mediocre is my name and above-average is my game!  So there you go.

I hope you have an above-average, mildly productive afternoon.

I Can’t Believe I’m Doing This.

Twice a year my church does a 30-day fast.  I know that traditionally people fast from food or a type of food but it seems like I’m always either nursing or pregnant and those are really bad times to fast from food for me.  Not to mention my turbo-speed metabolism and low blood sugar.  At some point I really want to do a food fast again, but now is not the time.  Anyway, about a year ago I was praying about what to fast for one of these times and the word “make-up” (two words?) jumped into my mind.  I quickly laughed the most nervous laugh I could muster (maybe something like this), and said, “That’s funny! But not, that can’t be it…” and I moved on.  I think God extended me grace and let it go – a concept that I think is really cool about God and something I’ve been learning about lately, but that’s another subject.

Anyways, my church’s fast started on Thursday (it’s Saturday now) and I was again CLUELESS about what to let go of.  I went through several possibilities but none really seemed right or hit home.  And again, make-up came to mind.  And again, I panicked.

I didn’t even start wearing makeup until my senior year of college.  I went through my entire adolescence and most of college feeling like it was annoying and not a big deal.  I’d put it on for special occasions, but that’s about it.  Then when I got engaged the summer of junior year I felt like I had become more of an adult and I decided I really wanted to be more feminine and put-together and and tiptoed onto that slippery slope.

Once when Jeremy and I were engaged he unexpectedly dropped by my house (which he owned, but did not live in) to show it to some friends.  It was 1 in the afternoon, but he was unannounced and I was…. not dressed for guests.  It was embarrassing and let’s just say he and I were REAL happy with each other when they left.  A few months later I went to Wal-mart in the next town over in sweats and no make-up thinking, who will I see? and we ran into the SAME couple from our church.  It’s happened again since then.  Anyways, I was pretty red-faced and I wondered, What happened to the girl I used to be who didn’t care?

Now that I have a daughter I think about it a lot.  I don’t want her to grow up thinking she needs make-up to look pretty or put-together or even to look professional.  I think it’s hilarious that Malachi likes to “do his make-up” with me but I want to show my kids some balance.  So Wednesday night at small group I mentioned that I had “considered” fasting from make-up but dot dot dot.  Then the next day I saw one of my friends say that’s what she chose and how hard and easy it was at the same time and this girl – let me tell you, she challenges me in every way and it hit home.

So this morning I got ready.  Looked at the calendar for the month to see if anything important was coming up (shameful).  Fixed my hair.  Curled my eyelashes.  Prayed.  And then looked in the mirror and said “What’s even the point of having a good hair day if my face is gonna look that ugly?  UUUGGHHH!!!” and I put make-up on.  And you know what?  I felt spiritually and emotionally crappy all day.  All. day.

I get it, God.  I know what you are asking and I hate it but I’m going to do it anyways.  And some of you reading this are probably rolling your eyes thinking I am the most melodramatic and shallow girl in the world and….maybe you are right.  But this is HARD for me.

Originally I decided to post about this for the selfish reason of EXPLAINING myself so that when people saw me in public they would remember, Oh yeah, she’s FASTING.  But then I realized that blogging about this is the cruelest and best kind of accountability because there ain’t no going back now.

Prayers (and comments) appreciated.

7 Not-So-Quick Takes

Let’s just re-name this one “Seven separate blogs in one” because that would be more honest.  Joining Jen and the masses (<—unintentional pun that most people won’t get but I still think is funny.)

  1. Wherrrrrrrre tooooo beginnnnn…… Ah. Let’s talk about the “Cups” song. You know that song “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone” which is actually called Cups? When I first saw Pitch Perfect I Googled the song for my Dad and came up with the original-ish version by LuLu and the Lampshades and felt all cool and indie because I Facebook-followed some UK band no one ever heard of. (Holy run-on sentence.) And then whatshername from Twilight did her own too-fast and too-much version and it became a huge hit. But lu-HONG before the song or even before I knew anything about Full House my sister and I and our sister-best-friends were doing the cup thing in a round while singing Knick Knack Paddy Whack Give a Dog a Bone. All that to say that I can now sing and perform “Cups” and I feel awesome but really my most enraptured audience is my son who likes to smack and throw a cup around with me while I sing. And for the record, this is by far the coolest version I’ve stumbled across:

  2. Let’s talk pre-school. My worstest fears came true and Malachi cried for over an hour straight on his first day before the nice teachers finally just called me to come get him. The second day I stayed for an hour and then left. He bawled his eyeballs out for about five minutes and then did fine. The third day I stayed for five minutes and he was calm by the time I left the room. The fourth day he got mad at me because I put his juice in the wrong place and he kept asking if his friend “Jalkdjl” (best translation I can muster) could come with us. He’s only gone four days so far and he already says “yewo” instead of “ye-yee” and has started stringing words. He’s also much more cuddly with me than before because I think he misses me. Heart = mush.
    ImageIt’s also been really nice to have some time with just Naomi.  She sleeps most of the time he is gone but when she’s awake I realize what a HUGE difference it makes to have a baby to yourself with no one else around.  I forget how easily distracted I can be just by having Malachi around, even if he is behaving. It’s nice to be able to make her giggle or play with her without constantly answering questions or checking to make sure Malachi hasn’t gotten into anything he’s not supposed to.
  3. A while ago I wrote a post about finding unity between Catholicism and Evangelicalism and this past week Jen (who hosts 7 quick takes every week so you know you love her!) commented on my post and told me it was great food for thought. I was so excited on the more serious side because the post was all about building bridges and it felt like maybe God had used my post to build one. And I was so excited on the less serious side because OH MY WORD JEN FROM CONVERSION DIARY COMMENTED ON MY BLOG!!!!!!
  4. I am an avid couponer and I have saved us tons of money on our grocery/toiletry/medicine/diaper bill over the last couple years but the truth is that money saved does not always equal money in hand. This month I’ve successfully sold something on Craig’s List and participated in a local consignment sale that’s made us a little extra money as well.  I have to say that it’s really rewarding to feel like I’m contributing something to the budget again, small though it may be.
  5. Labor Day weekend we went to visit one of my closest friends and her family. We had so much fun – it really made me realize how much I miss having her here. Our kids are really close in age and they love each other. She and I stayed up waaaay too late talking and really could have kept on. Our husbands are friends, too. It was great. We even got our kids to pose really well for some group shots:
    crouteausOne thing I noticed while were there was A) how ADORABLE their cottage-style house is and B) how uncluttered and simple it was. Erin had just enough decorations in just the right places to feel homey and welcoming but not like you had just walked into the middle of a hobby shop like someone else I know’s house….ahem. Anyways, we came home and I immediately started weeding. I took stuff off my kitchen walls and counters, spread stuff out, and put things in a yard sale pile but now the problem is the laundry basket of decorations that I DO want to keep but don’t have anywhere to put. I did decide to hang one picture in the laundry room but other than that I don’t know how to use my stuff without going back to my clutterful ways. So I’m kind of stuck.
  6. Naomi continues to eat like a 20-year-old college boy home on break. This morning for breakfast after nursing she ate an ENTIRE pear. The other night for dinner she had half an avocado AND half a mango. Malachi has an uncanny and definitely NOT genetic sense of rhythm so it wouldn’t surprise me if he becomes a dancer or drummer or something but I’m wondering if Naomi’s first extracurricular activity should be competitive eating. That or competitive pooping because…..for real.

    Poop, there it is.
  7. Well, I think I’ve succeeded once again in stunting my readership growth rate by discussing super-exciting things like de-cluttering and poop. I think I’ve done my duty for the day. Be sure to tune in tomorrow as I delve into the entrancing subject of the best dish soap ever or maybe I’ll go hard core and tell you what I dreamed about the night before. It’s gonna be epic.

Well, I guess that’s a record, then.

It’s apparently been 10 days since the last time I wrote anything. I’m pretty sure that’s a record, but I’m too tired to go check. I’m also to tired to add, it seems, because I had to stare at the calendar and figure out how many days had passed since the 30th and it’s the tenth. Guess how many? Ten. (<—- That’s not even addition, it just counting.)

I have 4 or 5 things I want to write out because they are seriously clogging my brain and I want to get them OUT and into the void that is the internet because I guess it makes me feel better to know that a few people will read and then forget my thoughts. But I don’t really have time tonight so I’m writing a post about why I don’t have enough time to write a post. Be amazed at my complexity. Be. amazed.

Here’s hoping tomorrow brings more free time and better reading material.