Jan 27, 2013

It's Sunday Night

It is 8:55pm and I am just now sitting down to breathe. Which is okay, because it was a productive weekend and so this exhaustion I feel somehow feels rewarding. It's different than my usual, every-day exhaustion, you know? All those days I'm too tired to do anything more productive than fold one load of laundry or wash one sink of dishes or even just nothing aside from keep the kids fed and well until the evening. That is the exhaustion that is frustrating and annoying and leaves me feeling even more blah than I already started. When I have exhaustion followed by a day (or weekend) of productivity, it's almost welcomed exhaustion. I don't know, maybe I can't explain it.

So we rearranged the girls' room this weekend. There was some contemplation about taking down the sides on Paige's crib, after an incident or two of her climbing out, but after moving her makeshift ladder (the toybox) away from her bed, we managed to avoid the necessary evil a few more days/weeks/months.

And, we're getting some snow today, which I suppose is a good thing for January in Minnesota. I decided that I don't mind the snow so much as the cold. Today felt fairly mild compared to the frigid air earlier this week, which makes the snow not so bad. (I'm still pretty thrilled to be going to San Diego this spring though.)

In other news, my husband is aching for me to write a post about our project from last year now that is pretty much done (but even still has VERY minor finishing touches), so you can look forward to that later this week.

Anyway, the weekend is over, I am taking a deep breath, contemplating an early bedtime, and gearing up for the week. Pretty much what I do every Sunday night.


Jan 22, 2013

An Important Man... And the Bathroom

Yesterday was MLK Jr. Day, and I decided to give my children a basic explanation as to why this day (and in particular this man) is such an important part of history.

We talked about how we're all the same and yet we're all different (noting differences between family members and friends); how there used to be rules making people with brown skin use different restaurants, schools, and bathrooms; how not nice and unfair that was; how Martin Luther King Jr. (and many other men and women) worked hard to change that so that now we can all be together.

**I don't claim that we were particularly eloquent, or even that we gave the correct amount of information to a newly five-year-old and two-and-a-half-year-old, but we tried.**

My husband went on to mention Barrack Obama and what a big step it is to (finally) have an African-American as the president of our country. And then my sweet, little two-year-old, with her wide eyes and serious tone said, "And Barracka Bama can't use the baffroom."

Pretty sure she missed the point of our discussion. [No, Paige, Barrack Obama can use the bathroom now.]

Hope you all enjoyed a long weekend, and took a moment (or many moments) to think about the man who fought to make this country a greater place to live.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Jan 19, 2013

A Little Bit Going On

Our toilet is broken. Which isn't that big of a deal, except that it's the only toilet in the house. Really, it's still workable, or usable, we just have to remember to turn the water off then on again or something or other, but I inevitably forget. Makes for some weirdness when going to flush the toilet and the toilet not actually flushing.

All this to say, there's always something going on (especially in home ownership), yes?

And Hope is on her first non-family overnight tonight. Except, the mom of her friend is pretty much family to me, so it's not really a non-family overnight. Maybe she's not a relative by blood, but she is most definitely my soul-sister. (You know the kind, right? You meet her and you two almost immediately hit it off. It's like a connection on a spiritual level. Like your souls were destined from the beginning.)

Anyway, Hope was pretty thrilled, even when I left. And I am thrilled to see her so excited and happy about it all. What a special Big Girl event for her.

We're getting into the deep freeze of winter in the Midwest, and I'm less than looking forward to it all. Yes, I'm a whiner, and a fair-weather lover. Not too hot and not too cold. Juuuuust right. (Just call me Goldilocks.)

Speaking of fair weather, we're going to San Diego this spring and I am already prepared to fall madly in love and make immediate plans to move there. It's true, I haven't been since...gee, I was probably in third grade, and I really don't remember much of the trip (a pink bouncy ball with a monkey on it, that's the only thing I remember, my souvenir from the San Diego Zoo), but I am pretty sure it's right up my alley. Not too hot and not too cold, and all that.

Well, it should be bedtime, but I'm going to attempt to convince my husband for a late-night viewing of Blue Bloods from last night.

Isn't she the cutest little thing ever?

Happy Weekend!


Jan 14, 2013

Keeping the Mom Guilt at Bay

Some times when I've had less than stellar days or weeks, I'm okay with it, and manage go easy on the MomGuilt. But other times, even with the excuse of a migraine one day, the MomGuilt brings me down. And last week, with a friend out of commission and an exhaustion that felt like it came from nowhere, was one of those weeks.

Today was better. In fact, I would even go so far as to say it was great. We enjoyed a quiet and quick morning together, and I even had enough time to drive through and get a coffee before taking the girls to school (preschool and ECFE class). That right there is a drop in my Bucket of Awesome!

The MomGuilt is hard because some days I can see it coming, like a car's headlights in the distance and I manage to turn down another road, swerve, or even speed on by. But other days that MomGuilt knocks me right out, with no warning, and I'm left with just the vibrations in the head of repeated ways I'm failing at this Mom-gig. And the self-doubt and questioning, why didn't they cover that at the birthing classes at the hospital? Babies: Guaranteed to make you question your ability to make the right decisions every step of the way.

Don't get me wrong, I think we're doing a pretty good job over here. But the fear. Oh the fear is amazing. Am I doing the right thing? Should I go to my baby or let her cry herself to sleep? And then three years later: Is my daughter's tough adjustment to preschool because I let her cry herself to sleep when she was nine-months-old? Is it because I coddled her too much by letting her sleep with me until she was three-years-old?

Either way you do it there will be questions, doubts, and fear. That's a guarantee with kids.

But, I guess, as with life, that's kind of how it goes. We're all doing this thing the best way that we can, each and every day. We do what we think is best, with whatever background, whatever research, whatever Instinct we have, and hope that it's enough. That if we give what we can (and sometimes what we can give is much less than on other days -- and that's okay!), that if we give what we can, if we love, if we share, if we support, we are doing enough.

Really, when I think about raising my girls, I just want to know that it all revolved around love. From love comes compassion, hope, joy, satisfaction, the need to do good.

So what does it matter how many hours of television they watched the week I felt exhausted. Or what kinds of snacks they got the day we ran out of fruits and I wasn't up for a two-child trip to the grocery store. I am doing the best that I can. And so are you.

Give yourself a pat on the back. Take a deep breath. Push away that MomGuilt. We are enough for our children. We are all they need.


Jan 12, 2013

Maybe I Should Eat a Big Juicy Steak

I have been Dragging. Yes, with a capital D. I find it miraculous that we made it out of the house at all, let alone to preschool drop off on time this week. The few times I was out without the girls I was able to find some energy, but as soon as I stepped back into our house, as soon as I sat down, I felt completely and utterly drained.

I have been struggling. Not with emotions, not really, just with not being able to feel anything other than limp and lifeless. My body feels heavy, my limbs weak, my head is permanently on snooze. I'm not in any rush to find answers because I'm sure the mystery lies in my monthly 'friend' making a bi-monthly appearance lately. Somehow for a non meat eating woman, losing twice the amount of blood per month just seems like a recipe for low hemoglobin. Cue the iron supplements.

I know I'll start feeling like my old tired, but not quite so-iron-deficient-exhausted, self soon. But, in the mean time, I should probably work on getting more sleep. Or getting to bed earlier. Or getting to bed earlier, sleeping later, and taking many many naps. (I know, I know, my husband might argue that this does not sound that different than my "usual" self. And to that I have nothing to say. *sticking tongue out*)

Anyway, I'm using this as an excuse as to why I've been a little more quiet than usual. I'm too weak to type. (But certainly not to weak to check Facebook. Which, by the way, if I haven't mentioned before you can follow And it is Love on Facebook. Shameless, I know.)

I'm off to pop some ferrous sulfate.


Jan 8, 2013

Battle of the Hippie vs. Conventional

Decision making is not my greatest trait. (That may be the understatement of the year, right there.) There's something about the possibility of making the wrong choice that makes my throat swell up, my stomach flip-flop, and my head basically spin circles (think "The Exorcist" with a little less of the "possessed" factor).

You see, I am terrified of failing. I know, not a very good trait to have considering life is pretty much guaranteed to be filled with big decisions and even some ::gasp:: failures. It's my perfectionism at its finest.

So, you can imagine how making a choice of what school to send my oldest daughter gives me a heart attack to the Nth degree. Logically, my dear brain reminds me that she will get a good education wherever we send her. Emotionally? I am FREAKING out. I mean, what if I make the wrong choice? This decision doesn't just affect me, it's my daughter. It's her LIFE.

The wanna-be free spirit in me is intrigued by the Artful Learning and wants my daughter's creativity to be overly nourished and encouraged. The straight-laced rule follower in me doesn't want to risk something "different" and thinks that traditional school worked just fine for my husband and I, so it'll be just fine for my daughter.

Ultimately, I know that whatever we decide, wherever she goes, it will all work out. And, if we really dislike her Kindergarten year, we can always try a different school the next year. But oh, the pressure I'm putting on myself. I almost can't breathe.

So, excuse me while I go curl up in the corner and rock back and forth. But first I'll go treat myself to a hazelnut mocha. That's a decision I can always make just fine.


Jan 1, 2013

A Whole Hand

Today she is five. A whole hand old. My beautiful and sweet first-born. The first of January will forever be first and foremost Hope's birthday, secondly the New Year. And Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper will always be a little special to me, as they were the New Year's Eve show we watched that night before heading to the hospital those five years ago.


She is growing up. She is getting so big. Every day she becomes more and more her own person, her own self. I love it. And I am terrified. Not that I would ever want to decide who she is, but I worry so much for her hardships and difficulties. She is so much like her Mama, and while I think I've turned out pretty well, it hasn't been without a fair amount of struggles, and I just don't want her to have those struggles I had. But maybe they won't feel like struggles for her... I constantly remind myself that my issues are not her issues.

But oh, my daughter, she is a miracle. She is a Gift, a Joy, a Blessing. Her heart is so sweet, I see it when she kisses her sister and when she offers a toy to keep a friend from being upset. I see it when she snuggles up next to me, wrapping my arms around her. When she asks me to lay in bed next to her.

She is reserved, to be sure. She holds back with unfamiliar people, hiding behind my leg when she's uncomfortable, shushing me when she hears me talk about her. And on that playdate, as desperate as she is for that snack, she will not make the request herself if there's a chance I will do it for her.

But with her mommy and daddy and sister, she can be so boisterous and silly too. I wake in the morning to giggles from the sisters. She dances around the room with pants on her head. Her energy explodes while she yips and yells and chases imaginary monsters from room to room.

Today she is five and I am filled with Joy. With MotherLove. My heart it beats for her (and her sister). I am proud and teary-eyed and overwhelmed and in love. I smile when I think back to our trip to the hospital, those hours of anticipation before the reality of parenthood was placed on my chest. The fear and excitement of her arrival. The child I never could have imagined but is exactly what she was meant to be.

My dear, sweet Hopey Margaret is five-years-old today. And, I wish for her the joy of another New Year ahead.