Daily Archives: 4:13 pm

Feast or Famine.

So apparently all those posts I haven’t been writing are now just bursting to get out.  I’m inundating all your Google Reader inboxes with post after post.  But this one was too great to hold on to for another day.

Yesterday afternoon, about the time I was trying to get everybody ready for church and in the car, the kids begged to hold Asa.  And then Lydia proceeded to cry until I got out the camera(yes, I know…she’s a diva).  Needless to say, I was pleased with the results and it was worth being late to church.

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BlackBerry, Dear Sweet BlackBerry

I, like thousands of other Americans, am enamored with my BlackBerry.  I get e-mails and texts instantly.  I can browse the web while waiting for the kids to get out of school.  I can look up an address or phone number should I get lost.  I get Facebook status updates regularly.  And, in my world of little adult contact, these things make me feel connected to other people.

Barak Obama is also, like thousands of other Americans, enamored with his BlackBerry.  Months ago he was told that he would have to surrender his beloved mobile device once he took the oath of office.  There are too many security risks, he was told.  But like any other BlackBerry lover he responded by saying, “They’re going to have to pry it from my hands.”  I know exactly how he feels!

But today I’ve been reading multiple reports that he will indeed get to keep his BlackBerry(or some similar device that has been cleared by his security people).  This probably isn’t a big deal to those of you who don’t really get the texting-emailing thing…but for those of you who eat, sleep and live with your phone by your side, you understand.  It’s a small victory for Obama, but an important one.  His situation is very different than mine, but we’re both in a way cut off from other people.  Without that mode of contact, he’d be stranded in a very lonely oval office-stuck only with staff members and his closest family members.  I’m sure those peole are great, but sometimes you just want to read for yourself the latest celebrity gossip(me) or check the latest basketball scores(Obama) without having to ask someone else. 

Good luck, Mr. President.  I hope they really do let you keep your phone.  Just don’t do anything stupid like leave it in the bathroom!  🙂

Just a spoonful of sugar…

Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.  -Mary Poppins

When I was a nanny, I was often described as a “real-life Mary Poppins”.  I’m not saying that to brag on myself.  As a matter of fact, this post is about how I tend get compliments and  marginalize them.  What I should have said in response to something like that was simply, “Thanks.  I love what I do!”  What I’d do instead is bumble on about how great “my girls” were, and how they make it easy, and it’s not really a big deal and blah blah blah…

Twice yesterday I got complements about not even looking like I’ve just had a baby.  (Just for the record, I disagree…but if I could wear that blue sweater everyday of my life, I probably would.  Apparently it works for me!  :-))  One person asked me what I was doing to “get so skinny so fast”.  In my head I was thinking, “Really?? I sure don’t feel skinny.  And those numbers on the scale aren’t dropping quite like I’d like them to.  And you surely haven’t seen me naked!”  What I actually said was something about chasing around 3 kids under four.  It wasn’t a bad response…but I still should have just said “Thanks” and left it at that.

Something else I keep hearing is how “together” I seem to have it, even with three small children.  Once again, I should probably just smile and say thanks…but I don’t.  I blabber on about how great it is to have Marshall around more to help this time, or how great a baby Asa is.  My gut response to those people who seem to think I have it all together is, “You didn’t just hear me screaming at them in the car.”

What I’m saying in all of this is that I appreciate the compliments.  I really do!  But I have a hard time accepting them.  I feel like a fraud when I just smile and say thanks.  While none of my so-called rebuttals are bad things, I feel like I’m just talking to talk, talking to fill the air.  What I’m actually doing is either trying to cover up all the negative things going on in my head, or trying to hide my embarrassment.  I know I don’t take compliments very well, and that’s something I’ve been trying to work on.  And, just like with pretty much anything else I “research”, I did a little Google search on how to accept a compliment.   Obviously I’m not the only person who has this same problem because there were thousands of websites that popped up.  And the overwhelming theme is don’t brush off a compliment.  Don’t say, “oh, it’s no big deal”.  Enjoy the mini-moment in the spotlight.  Remember that a compliment is someone else’s opinion, and they are sharing it with you.  There’s no reason to negate their opinion.

So…my plan is to come up with and practice a response to any complement.  Smile and say, “Thanks!  That’s very sweet of you to say.”  But in order to try and head off any of the negative responses that are probably running through my head, I’m going to write them down here and go ahead and get them out of the way.  Since you’ll all see this and know what I’m probably thinking, I won’t need to say it.  You’ll already know it!  🙂  I know that kind of defeats the whole accept compliments graciously thing, but it’ll make me feel better when I do just say “Thanks”.  So here it goes:

I’m glad you think I’m skinny, and I wish that my self-image was as great as your perception of me.

Do you really think my hair looks good like this?  It feels a little big.  And don’t you think I look like a poodle when I put it behind my ears?

The only reason it seems like I have things together is because of the moments you don’t see.  The ones where I scream at my children for miniscule things that don’t deserve screaming.  And not proud to say that I frequently lie to my kids in order to get out of doing things I don’t want to do.  More than once I’ve left Lydia in the bed waiting for me to return after I told her “I have to go to the bathroom…I’ll be right back.” (She’s almost always asleep by the time I get back from the “bathroom”.)  And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told Carter that the TV was broken and so we couldn’t watch the Cars movie.  I’m not proud of it, and they’re eventually going to catch on.  But it’s all I can do sometimes.

I’m glad it looks like I’ve had a lot of sleep and that I have plenty of energy.  It’s because I stay up at insane hours getting things done, and then nap while my kids watch TV.  I chose doing craft projects over laundry or dishes.  And I haven’t cleaned my toilet in months.  I just pour a bunch of bleach in the bowl and let it sit awhile.  When I come back, the ring is gone and I guess that’s good enough.

Hail to the chief and other thoughts

I’ve been posting updates and pictures and random stuff, but I haven’t really been blogging lately.  It’s the same problem I see on other blogs: facebook killed the blogging star(a lame musical reference for those of you who missed that).  Facebook is quick and easy.  The comments are abundant and frequent.  You feel like people are actually reading what you say, even if it’s only one sentence at a time.  Plus facebook is on my cell phone.  It’s not very easy to blog from a Blackberry.

But with so much going on, I find myself not only preparing facebook statuses in my head but also crafty witty blog posts.  Ones that will make you all smile and laugh and cry and leave lots of yummy comments.  (As much as I love getting comments, you’d think I’d be better at leaving them on other blogs.  I love Google Reader, but when I don’t actually visit the webpage I find myself not commenting when I otherwise would.  It’s pure laziness…or the screaming children that are also vying for my attention.  I’m not sure which.)  But most of those statuses and posts will never be written.  It’s just a matter of logistics and time.  I moved the computer upstairs so I wouldn’t be on it all the time.  It worked…almost too well!  Now I just wait for Marshall to get home and plop the laptop down on the breakfast table.  It obviously makes much more sense to sit in an uncomfortable chair in a cold, tile-floored room and look at a tiny laptop screen rather than haul my lazy butt up the stairs where there’s carpet, a big computer screen, and a very comfortable(and ergonomic!) chair.  Obviously.

So now here I sit, at the breakfast table in a dark and quiet house…holding my littlest angel and listening to the sound of him sucking on a paci.  It’s hard to believe he’s almost a month old, and that he’s already changed so much.  I love that he’s awake so much more these days.  He has beautiful eyes.  He’s sleeping through the night already(most of the time).  He doesn’t fuss when the “big kids” want to hold him and end up smothering him.  He seems so laid back that it’s easy to be laid back with him.  I feel like I handled my first child well.  I never even slowed down.  Then came Lydia.  I love her to death, and her kisses are the best ever, but she was a challenge as a baby.  She would scream and scream and scream.  I would cry and scream and start doubting myself and get frustrated with her.  She, in turn and probably sensing my aprehension and frustration, would scream some more.  I would dread going to the store because I knew she’d scream.  I hated to get in the car for more than a few minutes because the screaming would overwhelm me in the enclosed space.   I took her to church because at least there I could leave her in the nursery for an hour and not feel guilty.(I know, I know…I was horrible to pawn her off onto those poor nursery workers!)  To her credit, she had colic and it wasn’t her fault.  But the ongoing crying was unnerving.  I didn’t handle it well.  I had a nasty case of the “baby blues” that descended much deeper than that in the months after she was born.  I’m a fairly good actress, though(I guess)…and I seemed to hide it all pretty well until the Lexapro kicked in.  For a moment or two after Asa arrived, I felt those feelings start to resurface.  I think the biggest part of it was the fear that it was going to happen again.  But a lot of things are different this time:  Marshall’s not a med student or a resident.  Even if he is on call, he’s at least at home.  He leaves later in the mornings now and gets home much earlier.  He’s almost always here for bedtime, and usually dinner too.  He can manipulate his schedule to help me out when I’m in a bind.  It’s only now that I realize just how much of a single-parent life I did lead during residency.  I don’t know how other single-parents do it all the time.

Another major thing that helps is that we’re close to my parents now.  I try not to abuse the fact that they’re here(I don’t want them to get tired of us!), but it’s nice to have help getting them in and out of the car at church.  It’s great to go to a restaurant and not have to go to the bathroom every single time somebody announces that he or she needs to go potty right now.  And it’s nice to be able to leave 2 kids with my mom so that I can have a special “date” with one child.  When you have 3 kids so close together, it’s sometimes hard to see them as individuals.  It takes special alone time to really appreciate some of the nuances of their little personalities.  It’s something I’m working very hard to do.

I’ve veered pretty far from where I thought this post would go.  I was originally going to talk about the inauguration and my thoughts on it all.  But as I read all my regular blogs, I noticed that pretty much everybody has already given their two cents worth.  I’m behind the times.  The inauguration is old news now…eventhough I just finished watching all that I’d recorded from yesterday.  I guess there’s not really that much to say.  I voted for Obama.  I guess you’d say I’m an “Obama Mama” (insert rolling eyes here…it’s late, forgive me).  I thought the ceremony was okay, and the speech was pretty good.  I was kind of disappointed in the music.  The John Williams piece was nice, as expected.  And the California Children’s Chorus was amazing.  But I could have done without Aretha Franklin.  And the Navy Band “Sea Chanters” did an alright version of the national anthem, but I wasn’t blown away.  I didn’t care for the poem that was read.  I agree with a friend who(probably sarcastically) said, “If ever there was a perfect moment for Maya Angelou, and they give us this lady”.  Actually, the poem itself wasn’t so bad, but she wasn’t the best public speaker.  I thought the bobbled words by the Chief Justice that caused Obama to stumble made the whole thing much more real and human.  (Although I’m seeing now that they did a do-over, just to make double-sure that there aren’t any legal issues raised.)  And I liked what the new president said, and how he said it.  He’s always been charismatic, yet calm and cool; never more so than at that moment.  OH!  And I loved the benediction.  I wish more people would pray in rhyme! 🙂

I was very happy for my DVR on Tuesday.  I’d promised Carter we would go to Macon and get him his new booster seat.  I’d initially planned to get on up and out the door early enough to get back before the ceremony started.  After all, Target does open at 8…I’d have plenty of time.  But Asa chose to throw a kink in our morning schedule, as did Lydia who slept uncharacteristically late.  I tried to put off our trip until later in the day, but quickly came to realize that I would get to hear much more of what was being said if I would give into the please to “please can we go get my booster now?”.  “How ’bout now?”  “Can we go to Macon yet?  I really want to go to Target.  I love Target just like you do, Mommy.”  So I hit record and we were out the door.  I bored my kids on the drive because I forced them to listen to the goings-on via radio.  I’m sure they felt much like I did when my dad would make us listen to sports on the radio.  (Oh wait…Marshall still does that to me now! 🙂 )

Once we got home and got Lydia down for a nap, I was able to curl up with baby Asa and his bottle by the warm fire.  I hit play and Carter was drawn in by the children’s choir.  He stuck around while I fast forward through the footage of everyone filing into their seats.  I lost him during Rick Warren’s prayer.  But then, just before the swearing in occurred, I called Carter back into the room.  I paused it and we looked at our new president.  We talked about who he is and what kind of job he has.  He sat there with me for the oath, and seemed to be taking it all in.  I doubt he’ll actually remember this, but I hope so.  He has an extraordinary memory anyway, and still remember watching the Challenger explosionon TV as a child and I was only six then.  So who knows.  Regardless…he knows now that Barak Obama is our president, and it’s his job to lead our country.  And he knows that we should pray for him and the choices he has to make.  (We’ve been talking a lot about choices around here.  Carter’s been making some poor ones lately which have gotten him in trouble at home and at school.)

The quote that stuck out most to me was:

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

And it’s what I hope will be a theme of this administration.  Regardless of whether or not you voted for Obama or like him or agree with him or not, the most important thing is that we dochose hope and unity.  Our country has been in an actual war for the past few years, but the war between parties has been going on much longer.  I know it’s unrealistic and Utopian-sounded to say, “Why can’t we all get along?”  But my hope is that we will still have our differences(that’s what America’s all about!),while still celebrating those differences, and respecting those ideas that differ from our own.  It’s not easy.  It never will be.  But I think its a good goal for our country, and for each of us as individuals.

Well, it’s taken me well over an hour to write this post because, at some point or other, each of the kiddos have woken up needing a little TLC.  (It’s rare for Carter or Lydia to wake up at night, so I’m not sure what’s up with that.)  I get frustrated sometimes because I feel like I can’t get anything accomplished around here.  I feel ridiculous for going all day and not getting  a single dish washed or one piece of laundry folded.  But then I realize that my day was spent snuggled up with Lydia watching “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, and playing with Carter’s new car track, and holding baby Asa and gazing into his eyes…and then the dishes and the laundry and the disgustingly dirty toilets , the blog I didn’t get to write, or the emails I didn’t return don’t really matter at all.  I stopped to smell the roses.  I seized the day.  What more could I ask for?