Friday, April 26, 2013

i would have the best reality show of them all.

i really would have the best reality show ever produced. 

first, my children are pretty funny, but aren't they all? kids really have the funniest little minds and no filter which is kind of like listening to a drunk person talk, but less obnoxious because they are actually pretty smart. and aren't trying to hit on you. 

today, as we went to the grocery store, i was bee-bopping along to the radio, the sun was shining, cora had taken a long nap, and i was loving life. i drive the .57 seconds from the house to the grocery store, and start getting the kids out.

{i need to pause here for some back story. i changed cora and 5 minutes later was in the car. i did not bring a diaper. because we live .57 seconds from the grocery store and i needed like 10 items. i also like to tempt fate every chance i get. i. am. wild. continue.......}

i grab cora and as i am putting her in the sling i feel something....wet. which is never ever a good sign when you are handling a baby. i look at my hand and there is poop everywhere

no worries. i am always prepa.....ooh snap. 

i lay her in the back and take off her pants and diaper (which, btw has never ever sprung a leak. ever.) and wipe girlfriend down. as i am wiping poop from behind her ear i realize i don't hear my other little spawn. 

the parking lot is dead empty and because it's the grocery store on our installation it's always pretty empty and people drive super slow. still, we are in a parking lot where cars drive. 

i look up and see her about 5 {empty} spaces over. mother of the year, right here. i tell her to get er hiney back over here in my most authoritative voice i can muster, and she starts running. 

let me lay this equation out for you:

3 year old + running + cobblestone-ish pavers = you guessed it, a trip and a fall. 

i am still elbow deep in slime, so i tell her to take a deep breath, stop screaming and walk over to me. i make sure she isn't really hurt, demand she stop screaming like a banshee comfort her for a second and go back to trying to clean cora, when i hear her screech even louder. i'm not sure screech is the word. girlfriend is very shrill. 


"what burns!?" i say super calmly and rationally hiss. 

"my PEEEE PEEEEEE!!!!" she screams, as she shows me the stream of pee running over her scrapes.....

finally done cleaning cora, i take her soaked undies off of her (fortunately i had the forethought to make her wear a skirt. just not bring extra clothes. since this was a quick trip) and toss them in the bag with cora's diaper, and drag a half naked baby and an undie-less 3 year old into the grocery store, running to the diaper aisle. i grab a bag of pull ups and start looking for cora's size. what size is she in? i don't even know...she hasn't been in a "real" diaper since she was about 3 weeks old. i finally figure she is a size 3 based on the size 4 diaper weight, and then quickly realize there are no size 3 diapers. none. i grab the cheapest bag of size 4's i can find and we run to the register (again, naked baby, half naked 3 year old....), buy the diapers and run to the bathroom. 

i can NOT make this stuff up. 

we continue our trip and get everything we need relatively event less after that. 

moral of the story: the quicker you think something will take, the more will go wrong. 

needing to redeem my day, i put bella to work washing dishes.

Friday, April 12, 2013

don't stress

people often ask me how i do it-keeping it all together, being so attentive to details and my kids.

just kidding. no one ever asks me that.

probably mostly because we are lucky to all be dressed fully when we leave the house. and usually i forget something really important. like deodorant.

but when people do say anything along the lines of, "good job" i instantly feel like something is up, because i do not feel like i am doing a good job at anything lately.

i think i am not alone. i think probably most mothers feel like they are failing in some area of their lives.

i see a lot of "articles" (if you can call blog posts articles) about how social media and sites like pinterest are heaping mounds of pressure on our heads. but i am not sure that is really the culprit. yes, we live in an information age, where we have a glimpse into what other parents are doing, 24/7. but i am not convinced this is inflicting the guilt that we claim it does. 

sure, we see pictures of becky at the beach with her cute little baby. any of us who have cute little babies know that it's all dreamy and glorious for about 10 minutes. then little cutie sticks a fist full of sand in his mouth and starts screaming, right as a gust of wind blows the top off of your styrofoam cooler, sending you running clumsily after it (because who can run in sand and a bathing suit holding a baby and her sun hat on? this ain't baywatch, people), only to come back and find that the sea gulls ate all your bread and your water is floating in the tide. but hey, i got a good picture, and darnit, i will instagram this bad boy so i can have proof that i am in a cool place.

we blame social media for feeling like we are not living our best life, but really, if you are spending that much time on facebook, your problem is probably staring you in the face.

i think as mothers, we judge ourselves harshly, sure, but i am rarely thinking of what that doctor who wrote that book said about how yelling at my child will permanently damage her ego, causing her to want to blow stuff up. generally, when i am harshest on myself, it's because the person i identify with is not shining. 

i am losing the 'me' i think i ought to be. honestly, that comes the moment we decided to have kids. i love them, so much so that it hurts. and having them in my life feels complete. but there are days, when my hair is a hot mess, the scale is lying (because it's a lying liar.), and i've found some weird sign that i am, in fact, no longer 18, when the house is a mess and the laundry is not done, there are days, where i jut feel like a failure.

i remember before i had kids, thinking, "when i (said with all the self righteousness a non-kidded person can muster) am an adult, my house will be clean and my kids will not look homeless all the time". and this is what i'm talking about. some weird expectation that houses are always picture perfect and kids never get chocolate all over their toes when eating m&m's (seriously, how does that happen???), which existed long before the internet started showing us pictures of people perfect houses.

this week, i am going to try to lose my unrealistic expectations. yes, i want my house to be tidy. and i want my kids to be clean. but mostly, i want to feel sane and i want my kids to be happy and free to enjoy being kids. i will not apologize when someone drops by and there are toys all over the floor. and i will not stress when "eating a strawberry" looks like a bad makeup job on a horror film. 


and also, cora is 5 months old, going on a year apparently (she is nearly 20 lbs!)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

going towards the light, and celebrating my military children

this week reminds me about what i love about being a part of a military community. and, whatdyaknow, it just so happens that it's the month of the military child. 

joel is tdy for 9 weeks. for those of you who aren't familiar with military acronyms, that would be a temporary duty. i don't really know what the y stands for, come to think of it....

i digress. 

he is in 'bama enjoying the perks of the states that we had come to miss once the excitement (ehem, warmer weather) wore off on this side of the world. fast internet, fast food....and he gets to see some friends we haven't seen in a while. that's the part i am most jealous about! 

so far, he has been gone for 2 weeks, and this has been the most challenging separation we have faced. in small part, obviously, the two girls make things more challenging. but i think the hardest thing is living in an apartment again. i miss a yard and my garage gym, which would make losing this last little bit of baby weight so much easier. 

up until yesterday, i was in a funk-my week was going badly and i contemplated hopping on a plane and heading back home. where that is, i wasn't sure, but somewhere in america where people i knew lived. my massage was cancelled (which has a more in depth story that makes it so frustrating, trust.), bella has been acting a hot fool, cora has gone on a sleep strike and it seems like each time i finally get everyone settled, duke is there, whining and scratching at the door. to ice the cake, i locked myself out of my google account, essentially losing my beloved blog! i did everything i could to get it back and i kept getting the "cannot authenticate your answers" or whatever. (and i have to admit, writing it out and reading it back, i am thinking..."get yourself together fool. that is not that bad!", but lack of sleep and lack of sun makes everything feel monumental!) 

i tend to turn inwards and not ask for help when i need it. and i try really hard not to complain, especially in a public way. so when things started weighing on me, i knew where i was heading and it had the potential to get dark. fast. and being so far away, there isn't an easy way out. 

and here is where i get back to my point. (see i can focus!)

i reached out and asked for some help with duke. i thought i might get one person who would help me out occasionally, but i had nearly 10 people offer help, or offer their children. a friend offered to take bella for an hour when we saw her last night, and by the time i walked home, cora was asleep, giving me so much time to do stuff. just stuff. dishes, organizing. things that needed to get done, but are impossible to feel motivated to do with two little monkeys hanging on my back. 

my biggest (and probably only) fear coming over here was that i would feel isolated. in that regard, i am my own worst enemy. because there are so many people around me who don't even know my name who are willing to help. we are all in this giant boat together, and we all know what it's like to be single parents for a moment. the heartache when your 3 year old asks why daddy isn't coming home from work. again. the stress when you don't get a break. the countdown that seems too overwhelming at first. 

and these babies. these wonderfully perfectly resilient children. joel and i chose this life. bella and cora did not. bella has been through a lot in her first 3 years of life. she has been away from her daddy for nearly half of it. at the end of this tdy, cora will have been, as well. bella has said goodbye to friends and family and not understood why. and yet, here she is. a normal, bright, budding 3 year old. 
my babies are making such huge sacrifices every day. they don't know what they are missing. they don't know about sunday dinners with grandparents. they don't have vacations with extended family, in the same places. they will form strong bonds quickly that will hold firm forever. their hearts will break in a hundred different pieces, but they will never be broken. they will never be grounded. they will never know the feeling of coming home. they won't grow up anywhere. they will grow up everywhere. they will be expert suitcase packers. they will grow strong roots in God, in each other and in us, hopefully. they will be strong and confident. they will know places many people only dream about. 
they will grow up in a community of people who are just like them.
and they will be fearless. which will be more than i can pretend to be. when they face adversity, i hope they face it head on. i hope they run into the waters, knowing that they will surely rise to the top. 
they remind me to be strong. to ask for help and to give it freely. to be present, because there are times when i am all they have. and i will be. sleep deprivation and all. 
and as you have probably figured out, after a week, i finally got back into my google account and my blogger! i may have scared cora for a moment with my screams of joy. 

it's good to be back.