Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fashion and Frumpiness

Things that I seem to be bombarded with daily. Things that I think about often. There are many blogs that talk about Fighting the Frump! and how to be a stylish stay at home mom. I aspire to be that. It all goes back to my ideal, June Cleaver wife/mom attitude. I read those posts and think, I can do that, I can wear clothes like that. And I can. But, that doesn't mean that I do everyday.

There are reasons why I think about fashion and frumpiness. My husband. I want him to always be attracted to me. I don't want to give him any reason to need or want to look around because I want him to have all he can handle at home. ME. And I mean, all he can handle in a good way. Like, all he wants to look at, because I dress in a way that he wants to look at me. I don't mean slutty. I mean attractively. There are other things these statements can lead to, but I don't think I want to write about those here. So, let's just leave it at that, m'kay.

So, when I think about the things that I do everyday. I don't always think that wearing attractive clothes is necessary. Some days, I don't leave the house. So, what is the harm in wearing sweats and a ponytail? Well, the harm is that it can easily become a habit. And, my husband actually leaves the house. And he is around, women. Women who showered that day and thought about the clothes they were wearing. So, when he comes home in the evening and I am in the sweatpants, and he has had opportunities to view other attractive women, what message am I sending him? Am I saying, hi sweetie, welcome home, here I am! Or am I saying, oh, you, again?

For me, it is a lot about how I think about Drew and his arrival home. Am I thinking that he is home to relieve me or am I going to serve him? When I am thinking about serving him, I am more apt to want to look nice, smile, and say hello to him. Instead of seeing him as someone to take the kids away!

Bottom line. I want Drew to be attracted to me now and always. So, there are things that I need to do. I need to eat better, exercise more and dress attractively.

I know those are the three hardest things for me to do. But, I can slowly start. I can start running again. I can eat more vegetables and fruits and I can get dressed everyday, whether I stay home or leave the house.

And, please know that when I say get dressed, I mean, something like I am wearing today. Gray, 3/4 sleeve turtleneck, and dark trouser jeans. I don't mean something like sweats or yoga pants, t-shirt and sweatshirt. It makes me feel better too!

I'm not just thinking about which house to buy

Houses are on my mind a lot lately. I am planning to start a list of things that are musts and things that would be nice. Notice that I said planning. It is hard to think about what I want in a house because, um, I have only lived in 3 houses. One was my parents, one was a rental with 4 girlfriends in college, and one was with the family that I nannied for during college. You could say those three houses were a tad different. And when I say tad, I really mean, very different.

The first was my home. The home that I came home to as a newborn. The home that I could walk around in in the dark and not run into anything. (As long as the path was clear, ahem) The home that I knew which stair squeaked. The home that I cried when I left for college.

The second was a rental with four girlfriends. We hung stuff on walls, or somebody did, because I do remember there being stuff on the walls. And it was a comfortable house, but it wasn't really home. Nor did it have many amenities. We were thrilled that it had two full bathrooms. And sometimes that wasn't enough for 5 low maintenance girls. I remember the fridge was, um, not full sized, which sometimes created a problem because yes, I did need to keep all 12 Diet Cokes cold at the same time.

The third was, how do I say, huge, large, like 3 of my growing up homes in one big house. It was comfortable, I enjoyed living there. Did I mention that I was in charge of cleaning that bad boy. All but the master bedroom and bathroom. It is a beautiful house, but I don't want something that big.

So, looking back at what I know through experience, this is what I want in a house. 4 bedrooms. A large fridge. 2.5 bathrooms. A master bath would be nice, but it won't rule a house out. One story would be nice, but again, wouldn't rule a house out. A backyard. And there is where I am stuck.

Any suggestions? What else should I be looking for?

Oh, and Houston is having a cold snap, it is 45 degrees there today.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I'm Ready to Move

Not that long ago, I was talking to God telling him that if I just know where we are moving in 5, now almost 4 months, I would be satisfied.

I was wrong.

When we get ready to leave the house, I think about how nice it will be to not have to put coats, hats and mittens on my children. When I am cold in the afternoon, I think about how nice it will be to live in weather that is cold at 50 degrees. When we are stuck in the house for many days in a row, due to colds, I think how nice it will be for my children to not get colds. And how nice it will be to go play outside. In our backyard. When I think about going to church and how I only know the kids' teachers and I don't really want to go, I think about how nice it will be to have a bounty of churches to attend, and pick a church for our family and then really get involved and get to know people.

I know it won't all be roses. Thorns will be involved. There will be difficult times of adjustment. I am not looking forward to boxing up our apartment, loading it on a truck and then driving for 5 days. And unpack everything.

But the reality is, we have to move somewhere. So, I'm going to make the best of what we are given. And, I am really excited to move to Texas. We have some friends that live there and they told us they will send us a bumper sticker that says "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could."

But first, my prayer is changing to "Lord, help me to enjoy the time that we have left here, help me to enjoy the time with friends and doing fun things with my kids."

It's all about contentment.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

First Bloody Nose

Kolby is the first to get a bloody nose at our house. And how appropriate since he climbs on everything.

He was in the living room with the fire truck, Sage was running up and down the hallway and I was doing something very important. I heard a strange noise and then a little cry and then nothing. I walked out to the living room to see Kolby standing there with the beginning of a wail on his face and blood flowing from both nostrils. I scooped him up and ran to the kitchen for a towel. I wasn't quick enough and he got it on his shirt and pants. He calmed down pretty quickly but wasn't a fan of me holding a wet towel under his nose waiting for the blood to stop flowing.

Later, I found two spots of blood on the fire truck front seat.

I couldn't get a clear story from Sage of what he saw but he said, he didn't push him. I have watched both of them crawl through, over and stand up on that fire truck so I believe him. He probably fell but maybe he had help!

I am not going to write that we are still waiting for our first injury induced ER visit!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Do you ever...

let your kid eat marshmellows and watch a movie because he has a runny nose?

I do!

Houston or Bust

So, it's done, decided, signed on the dotted line. Well, kind of. Mostly. Enough that I can say with full confidence, we are moving to Houston!

It has been many months of flying around the country, interviewing, and figuring out which option is best for our family. All along, our prayer has been, "Lord, make it extremely clear, leave us with no other options. Take us where you want our family." Up until yesterday, we thought we had two great options. Minneapolis or Houston. Mineapolis would easily look like the no brainer. Family would be close. But the cost of living would be high. But family would be close. The job wasn't totally ideal, but family would be close. Houston looked great. The job is exactly what Drew has been going to school for the last 9 years. (And no, he isn't a doctor.) But, it was farther from family. We wrote out a pro/con list and Houston won in every category except family.

And then we got a call from the Minneapolis offer. They weren't going back on their word, a promise is a promise. But, work has really slowed down. The economy is going into a recession. They are having a hard time finding work for the guys that they have full time right now.

And there it was. The clear cut answer. The only option left. Houston, Texas.

I have never imagined myself living in Houston. Or Texas. But, I had never imagined myself living in Connecticut either and here I am!

We are excited for the possibilities, the excitement of the journey, finding a new church, meeting new friends, finding my way around a new city (with a little help from my friend Gregory, the GPS), and everything else that comes with living in a new city.

So, if any of you out there, live in Houston, I'm coming your way, June 2008!

A Validated Mom

I am a stay at home mom. That is how I categorize what I do.

What is a work at home mom? Does that mean they make money while working at home? Or do some moms say they are work at home moms because all moms work and they just happen to stay at home, therefor making them a stay at home mom? Does that question make sense? And, really, yes, I am serious.

My friend, Rach has some good thoughts in her post and in the comments section about being a stay at home mom and the need to feel validated. One of the commenters, a male, made the comparison that a man can't be lazy at work and fly by the seat of his pants and that he has to accomplish certain things everday. While I agree with his point, there are certain things that I have to accomplish everyday, but they aren't all things that can be written down in a complete schedule or list format. These are things like feeding the kids and changing diapers. Then there are things that would be good if I accomplished that day, maybe baking something, laundry, cleaning, the possibilities are endless. But when I look at it, the only have to's are meeting the needs of my children. I can't have a perfect day everyday. Somedays, the needs of my kids are to sit and read books with them or watch shows because they are sick, somedays, they feel great and play well on their own and I can "accomplish" more.

Part of being a stay at home mom is being flexible. I have to be flexible everyday to be able to meet the needs of my children, for that day. Sometimes that means that we order a pizza or the dirt stays on the floor. But, it will still be there tomorrow! That is another thing about a stay at home mom, I always have tomorrow to do things, but I might not always have tomorrow to do things with my kids.

I guess it is a lot about balance too. Balance of time for me, time to do work around the house that I need to do, time to spend playing and talking with the kids, time to spend with my husband and the kids, and time to spend with my husband.

In all that I do, how do I feel validated as a mom? How do I know that how I am raising my kids, feeding them, playing with them, is right? I compare myself to other mothers. And I have this ideal in my head.

My ideal stay at home mom/wife looks a lot like someone named June Cleaver. My hair would be perfect, I would wear dresses everyday with heels, my house would be shiny and spotless, my children would learn daily life changing lessons while I talk to them about their day, dinner is on the table when my husband arrives home, etc. Pretty much perfection. But I don't measure up. I am not on tv! I live real life. I live in an apartment where our living room is the toy room so having it all picked up when dad gets home? Probably not going to happen! Dinner on the table, happens most of the time. But, I have those afternoons when I call Drew and say, lets order pizza or lets go out. And sometimes I call sandwiches dinner.

What is my point in all this rambling? I don't know! Just that, in my mind, I am not a perfect stay at home mom. But I do the best that I can and pray that my best is good enough!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

So much to say

And yet, nothing to say all at the same time.

We are closer to knowing where we are moving. Everyday gets us a little closer to our answer.

I am so excited to have a decision made. To start imagining what it will be like. And it wil be all in my imagination since I have never been there! I've been to the state, just not the specific city. This week, we should know for sure. And then I might not ever post again because I will be browsing all the houses for sale! Wait, I have already started doing that.

I am so excited to have a house. With a washer and dryer in it. A washer and dryer in the same living space. No going down to the scary basement, leaving the kids alone in the apartment. No hearing people walk or jump or whatever it is that they do. No hearing the front door to the building open and thinking someone is coming into our apartment. Our own house. With a yard. And, can I hope for a dishwasher that works? A playroom?

A HOUSE! Right, this minute, it doesn't matter where the house is, just that it will be a house. And I will get to make it a home.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I was expressing my disdain for the phrase LOL! to Drew the other day. I can't stand it when authors use LOL! It bothers me to no end. It makes me not want to return to the blog.

Here are my reasons why:

1. When I am reading a paragraph and see LOL!, I automatically think, laugh out loud!. And then when I realize that I haven't even cracked a smile, I wonder, what is this person laughing at?

2. So, then I start thinking that this person has made a joke and I missed it. I go back and reread. And get back to LOL! and am still not smiling nor laughing out loud!.

3. I have decided that people who use the term LOL! must think that either, there joke is so funny, people will actually laugh out loud! or that the joke is not obvious enough (nor funny enough) so people will think that it was serious and not a joke so they have to tell people to laugh out loud!.

Maybe the joke is on me.

Drew came up with his own, POY!, pooh on you! LOL!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Over Christmas, we travelled to visit relatives. Lots of people do it. We weren't abnormal.

We decided to try it with no double stroller this year. Sage (3) walked and Kolby (1) rode in the Ergo. I wore Kolby on my front, wore the diaper bag messenger style on my back, held Sage's hand and pulled a suitcase behind me.

Drew had his backpack and two more suitcases.

Sage also had a backpack of things that were supposed to keep them busy in the plane. We didn't use many of those things. A computer with a dvd player, a splitter for two pairs of headphones works wonders!

We left very early in the morning, took a taxi to the train station, took the train to Grand Central, took a bus to JFK Airport and finally flew. The days of travelling are long, like 12 hours, but not as long as it would take to drive!

On the way home, we added two more suitcases to our walking circus. Drew had four rolling suitcases, two that were actually rolled with a suitcase attached to each one. I kept Kolby on me, Sage in my hand, the diaper bag, and had two rolling suitcases, one attached to the rolling one.

We were stopped and our carry-ons searched because of Kolby's nebulizer. They said the motor looked suspicious. Funny, on the way there, we weren't stopped to inspect the motor but on the way home, we were. Different airports let you through with different things. I also realized later that both airports let through my hand sanitizer in the diaper bag and on the way home, two sippy cups of juice for the boys. So much for no liquids!

It was a lot of work to get there and back, but totally worth it to see (most of) the cousins!

Sage, 3, Caleb, 3, Kolby, 1, Chase, 3, Danny, 5 and Tate, 5

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Drew Has All the Answers

Drew: "What if we only have our two boys?"

Me: "I. want. another. baby."

Drew: "Become a nanny."

Me: "I want to carry another baby."

Drew: "Become a surrogate."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hi, I'm Selfish.

Hi Selfish!

I am feeling the poor me's pretty strong these days. It might have something to do with a certain 28 day cycle, but I'm not pointing fingers. Or maybe it is January. Although, blaming the weather doesn't work because we have had highs of 50 all week. And, I have actually exercised twice this week, which I thought would snap me out of the funk, but the funk is like the energizer bunny, it just keeps going and going.

I can't even pinpoint what is making me so crabby. I just don't want to do anything, except something for myself, like eat. But I would prefer not to make myself something to eat, isn't there someone else here who can do that?

Maybe it is because we are still trying to get into a routine after being on vacation for 2 weeks. We're home and I am the only maid, cook, butt-wiper, dishwasher, and laundry doer.

I think I will go take a nap.

Surely, someone will come tomorrow to take down the Christmas decorations?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


We will only be living here for 5 more months. And that includes January. 5 months. That is not a long time.

And now, the countdown has begun. The countdown to Drew being done with school for the first time in our six years of marriage, the countdown to having an income for more than three months at a time (except the first two years when I worked), the countdown to moving, the countdown to (maybe) buying our first house, the countdown to adding to our family, the countdown to what we have always called "normal" life, the countdown to no more homework!

We are excited for the possibilities that are in front of us. And, maybe I am a little scared. Scared because we will be moving again. Meeting new friends again. Finding a new church again. Learning my way around a new city. Enrolling Sage in preschool for the first time and all that comes with that. The possibility of a mortgagae.

Excited, scared, and content. We have so many unknowns. Drew is still in the interview process, we are still waiting to hear from some companies. All our friends who are graduating with Drew? They know. They have jobs lined up, one couple has already bought a house, they know what city they will live in. They can picture themselves there. They can start researching things like parks, grocery stores, preschools and churches.

My prayer for myself and Drew is that we will be content in the now. Content to not know, content because we know that God has a plan for us. He will take care of us. And really, who needs to know where they are going to live or grocery shop in 5 months?! There is plenty of time!

For now, I will be content to look forward to all the unknowns, the possibilities.

Maybe, I will start looking for jobs in Hawaii!