Guilt Trip

A little while ago, Craig got into a "discussion" online in which he stated a fact and was then accused of being unhelpful, making someone feel bad, and not considering other's feelings. The funny thing is, he said one thing, was told he was wrong, then put up a link illustrating that he wasn't - that's all. He didn't tell anyone what to do or not do, he didn't say anything "judgmental" or even say anything about anyone. In fact, he didn't even use very many of his own words at all. And there was no reason to believe that anyone was "made" to feel bad. So why the big reaction?

We talked about it and basically came to the same conclusion and it all has to do with mothers and guilt. This is by no means the only example of that and funnily enough, because I'm trying to stay "on topic" and not get back into the specifics of that situation, it is actually ending up a non-example so I'll give another, less personal one.

We see the guilt thing come up all the time has to do with the "mommy wars" and the comments on this post illustrate that. The anonymous 19-year-old who wrote it was participating in a series that is supposed to reflect the various writers' personal stories - their experiences and theirs alone. She writes about how her mom used to stay at home and now works outside the home and how she thinks it has negatively impacted their family. She ends by encouraging stay-at-home mothers. And unlike most women in the whole mommy wars debate, she doesn't really have "a dog in the fight.*" She isn't trying to justify her working outside the home or justify her staying at home. She's just telling her story, that's the whole point of the series. But many of the comments accused her of being selfish, whiny and judgmental. My guess it is because they felt she was trying to make them feel guilty for their decisions.

A few more examples:

  • It's mean to say breastmilk is nutritionally superior to formula because some mothers can't breastfeed and that could make them feel guilty.
  • It's hurtful to say that babies and toddlers do better when cared for by their parents and not daycare workers because some mothers can't afford to stay at home and that could make them feel guilty.
  • It's judgemental to say that c-sections are more risky than vaginal births because some mothers can't deliver naturally and that could make them feel guilty.

  • It's not just the "bigger" issues either. I've heard women complain about how they are made to feel guilty by home decor magazines (because her house isn't as clean and tidy as those - although it might be if she knew magazine photographers were about to come over :-) blogs that talk about fun things to do with your kids (because not everyone has time to finger paint everyday) and cooking blogs (I don't have the time/energy/money to cook healthy homemade food). I've even read a children's book review that didn't like a book about a dad coming home, greeting his son then eating dinner and reading him a bedtime story because in her family, her husband wasn't able to do that every night and it made her feel...wait for it...GUILTY!

    Basically, we're told over and over again that we aren't supposed to say anything that might possibly make a mother feel guilty. There are two major problems with that concept.

    The first is that I can't make anyone feel guilty. Eleanor Roosevelt said "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." I would say the same concept applies to guilt. In fact, I can't make anyone feel anything, at least not without their letting me. You are responsible for your emotions, including guilt. I think that concept is so critical for everyone to understand, but especially women since we tend to be more emotionally driven, and it is one I will be working hard to instill in Lucy.

    I'm not saying we should go around being cruel to one another. Heck, I wrote a whole post about how I don't like confrontation. Perhaps that is why this guilt thing gets under my skin so much. I don't want to be mean but if you look at the those first three statements, none of those things were harsh judgments, they weren't even judgments, they were just facts.

    The second issue? Why should mothers be exempt from guilt? Guilt doesn't have to be a bad thing. It can be and often is (and I'll be getting to that soon) but sometimes, people should feel guilty and sometimes, those people are mothers. I think guilt is a normal, healthy part of life if people are willing to deal with it. If you are feeling guilty over a situation, stop and ask yourself - is it legitimate guilt?

    If so, make a change! Feeling guilty because now you're spending too much time on the internet while your house needs cleaning or your baby is sitting in bouncy seat or your toddler is watching another hour of Caillou? Get offline! Do you feel guilty for snapping at your toddler? (Not that this has ever happened to me of course :-) Walk away, count to 10, pray for patience, go back and start again. Don't just sit there feeling guilty, do something about it. And yes, I most definitely count praying as "doing something."

    Guilt is also a normal part of grieving. I know I've felt guilt occasionally when dealing with the sickness and death of my mother. It is legitimate? No - and yes. No, in the sense that I obviously didn't do anything to cause my mother's cancer and I don't really have any regrets when I look back on our relationship, no issues left unresolved, nothing left unsaid. But it is also legitimate in the sense that I think guilt is a normal, healthy feeling that comes with grief. I didn't push it away or try to hide from it, I faced it, thought about it, prayed about it and eventually (not overnight) was able to move on. Will I never face any more guilt issues when I think about my mom? I don't know, but I'll keep addressing them if I do.

    And I would guess that almost any mom that has experienced a miscarriage has at one point or another, felt at least a twinge of guilt. Did I lift a heavy box, was it because I fell down the stairs, should I have done this, should I not have done that, etc. I know I did. Do I blame myself? No. And I shouldn't. But did I have to admit that I felt those guilty feelings to move past it? Yes. That's normal. And I think the same type of "grief guilt" applies not only to grieving the loss of people but the loss of experiences, opportunities and choices as well, especially when those come up unexpectedly. Wondering "what if" isn't necessarily wrong, but it can easily get out of control if not addressed. You shouldn't let yourself keep feeling guilty over a choice you didn't have.

    Sometimes women feel guilty because they lack purposefulness. The way to counteract that is to be intentional. Do what you do for a reason. If you know why you are making the decisions you're making and you're confident in them, then you aren't going to feel guilty because of a blog post or a Facebook comment or what a lady in the grocery store says or what your mother's third cousin twice removed thinks because as soon as that guilt even tries to enter you're mind, you can stop it. It's easy to tell yourself "Who cares" when you really are sure that you don't.

    In all three of those situations, the problem with guilt comes if we aren't willing to process it. Ironically, for all the heming and hawing I hear about guilt and how mothers should shake off the shackles of guilt, I still think there is an underlying "love" of guilt. Mothers don't really want to give up their guilt. It reminds me of school. It isn't "cool" to be too smart. And it isn't "cool" to be a guilt-free mom. Sit around enough mommy groups and after a while you begin to get the feeling that everyone else is secretly glad they harbor some guilty. Good moms feel guilty. It's a sign they care. Except it isn't. It's a sign they care enough to feel something but not enough to do something about it.

    You may doubt me but what if I make a confession? I rarely feel guilty about mom stuff, at least not for long.

    Be truthful, was your first reaction, that's great, we need more moms to be unafraid to be guilt free or did you just think that I'm obnoxious and arrogant while muttering something to yourself about how I must think I'm a perfect parent. I'm not a perfect mom and I'm not a perfect person. But I don't feel guilty over either of those facts. I'm doing the best I can while being grateful to have a God that loves me anyway and is walking this parenting journey with me.

    We've just come out of a particularly rough few months because of my morning sickness. Lucy watched more videos and ate less homemade food that I would have liked. Was I frustrated by this? Yes, I like cooking nutritious food for my family and playing with my child. Do I feel guilty? No, I did what I had to do to get through. Cold cereal is hardly my idea of an ideal breakfast food but a couple months of Cheerios didn't kill any of us.

    Last year I was torn between being at home or being with my mom. I hated being away from Craig and I hated taking Lucy away from him even more, but I knew my time with my mom was limited, although it was a guessing game as to how limited. Do I feel guilty over our decisions? No, we did the best we could in a lose-lose situation.

    We definitely took the road less travel when we had Lucy at home. And several friends/family members actually tried to talk me out of it. I took their concerns as a sign that they cared about me and "Nigel,"  but told them that we were confident in our decision and that was that.  I didn't get offended, I didn't get my feelings hurt, and I certainly didn't feel guilty over my decision.

    Please tell me I'm wrong and I'm not the one mom out there who refuses to allow guilt a comfy spot on my couch. It can rest a second on my front porch but then it's got to go. I want to be wrong, I really do. Maybe there are a lot of us but it really is like school and we are just afraid to admit it. Any other moms out there like me?

    *Do people know this expression? My mom used to use it but I don't think I've ever heard any else do so.


    20 Weeks - Half way there!

    Wow. This pregnancy seems to be flying by. Of course, if you had asked me how fast it was going 6-8 weeks ago, I would have said slow as molasses but that was the morning sickness talking. I really can't believe we are halfway to meeting our little "Dewey." We saw the midwife today and everything is looking good.

    Cravings - Serious cravings now, but luckily mostly good stuff. I'm wanting to put lots of salads on menu which is unusual for me but its fun to search for fancy (and high protein) salads. My favorite "meal salads" lately have been a cobb-like salad (I made way to many changes for it to be official a cobb salad :-), and asian grilled chicken salad.  And I have been eating up cucumber salad like it is going out of style, so much so that I have to make a double batch if I want it to be a side dish for dinner because I kept eating it all before dinner came. I'm still loving avocados which is good and kix which is not as good. (oh, and since someone asked and I never answered last time - kix is a corn cereal with really no flavor at all, not really sure why I like it :-)

    Growth - I'm gaining quite well thank you very much :-) Actually, I was a little worried I wasn't gaining that much until I weighed myself last week. I think it just doesn't feel like it because it has been more gradual that with Lucy. With her I lost 10-12 lbs before I started gaining and still managed to end up 45 lbs over my starting weight (for a total swing of over 55lbs from lowest to highest)  by the end so when I did start gaining, I really started gaining! But I'm not worried because my biggest problem at the beginning of my postpartum time was eating enough and trying to slow down my weight loss so my body obviously knew that it needed that weight (aka fat, and it was fat, not water weight. I wasn't very swollen at all before and I can still wear my wedding right now which is nice).

    The negatives - Still getting sick occasionally. Now that I think back, I'm pretty sure that never totally went away last time either. Its much much better than it was and I rarely feel nauseous for long, I just get it over with and move on so I can deal, but it is annoying just on principle. Also, the joint pain. I did not have joint pain like this last time, especially on my hips. It was so bad I was lying in bed crying one night. I knew if I could just stand up and walk around, it might stretch out and feel better, but I couldn't move. I don't really feel the need to practice labor techniques before the big event but I was anyway. I saw a chiropractor on Monday and that helped a lot, as did learning a few stretches for my hips. Luckily she works out of her house and has a kid friendly area right there so while Craig tagged along this time, it should be pretty easy for me to take Lucy by myself for regular maintenance. Also, I've started having Braxton-hicks. I know they bother some women but they don't really annoy me most of the time. The exception is the ones I've been having lately that are brought on by my coughing fits. I've been fighting a horrible cold for about a week now and the coughs hurt so much but then I cough so much I have a b-h and I can't catch my breath at all. But I blame the cold not the baby. I've also been extremely moody lately so I've been looking into natural remedies for that. Haven't done anything long enough to see a change but for Craig's sake, let's hope that changes soon :-)

    The positives - Feeling kicks now! I was pretty sure I felt them 4-5 weeks ago but they have been really inconsistent until this past week and it wasn't uncommon for me to go 5-6 days between feeling anything which of course, made me nervous. But now I've been feeling little nudges at least once a day for the past week and even a little back/butt bump that I pushed back in. I always rub it back and then start thinking if poor baby is wondering why mommy can't just leave me alone. Lucy still feels that way when I insist on double checking her toothbrushing, detangling her hair or putting daddy's boo-boo cream* on her face so Dewey had better just get used to it.

     I was also getting my energy back before this cold kicked me down again. And here is where I confess, I am a huge natural birth fan with my "I don't need no sticking drugs" attitude but when I get sick during pregnancy, I want drugs. Really strong drugs. Not a neti pot, not one of the few baby safe cough drops, not some homemade garlic onion syrup or a little bit of vapor rub - drugs! I'm not saying I take any, I just really really want them. I think Craig has had to listen to me complain about "not being able to do this" and "isn't there something I can take to make it go away" much more this past week than he did during labor. I'm a cold wuss. But as soon as I kick this cold, I'm starting up an exercise program that hopefully energies me even more. Due to our new location, I can't really walk the way I did when I was pregnant with Lucy but that made a huge difference in how I felt so hopefully this works that way too.

    I'm going to take a second to brag on my husband here. Craig is awesome during my pregnancies. He pretty much takes over everything during the first trimester (+ a few weeks). Laundry, grocery shopping and cookie, dishes, everything falls on his plate. He is so good about making sure I know that I'm doing good by just doing whatever I can - even if that is pretty much nothing. And I know he isn't just saying that so I don't punch him. I think we both know that our family is our top priority so if I'm not doing something, it is because I can't and he doesn't mind stepping in, even if that means working on house stuff after a long day at the office. That's how it should be but it doesn't mean it is easy for him and he never really complains. Even now that I'm feeling a little more peppy, he still gets up with Lucy in the morning and lets me have a bit more sleep. And today when I could only keep my eyes open long enough to cough up a lung then had to sleep more, he took a couple hours of sick leave to hang out with Lucy until I could take over again - see awesomeness.

    That's about it. 20 weeks down, ~20 to go!

    *"dada boo-boo team" = scar cream, "mama boo-boo team" = wild weed salve I put on her cuts and scraps. Not sure why she has differentiated them that way though since I'm often the one that does both


    Toddler Tuesday: Clean Sticky Fun

    Sorry if Toddler Tuesdays are a bit art heavy lately but that has been my focus this spring. With the pregnancy, I knew I'd have to be selective about what I could accomplish so I picked one thing that I wanted to improve on and art was it. It is pretty easy to improve on just playdough so I knew I could succeed.

    I saw a variation of this project on No Time For Flashcards and knew it would be a hit since she loves stickers. This is basically a reverse sticker project. Its so easy too - one of those crafts that seems so obvious you can't believe you never thought of it before. 

    I already had contact paper and a brand new stack of construction paper just screaming to be opened so I cut out a butterfly and stuck in on a square of clear contact paper then trimmed the edges, letting her play with the extra contact paper I cut off. I didn't have ribbons but that worked out well since Lucy had just gotten her first pair of toddler scissors. I cut a strip of construction paper and helped her cut squares. Once she had a few, I gave her the butterfly and let her at it while I cut more squares, trying to keep up with her. 

    When she was done, I added another layer of contact paper to seal it up. 

    Normally when we finish a project,  I'll save it to to show to daddy and/or mail them to grandparents but she doesn't really care about the end result. This is the first project she really showed pride in.We hung it in our bay window but she kept taking it down to hug. And I know it is all about the process not the product but I she did an awesome job and I love how it looks in our window -  we did this several weeks ago and it is still hanging up. She had so much fun she even asked to do another one so I did the outline of a tulip. 

    (And yes, she is wearing a stained pajama shirt - I'm keeping it real people!) 

    And this picture is not at all related to the above craft but I don't have many pictures on the blog of her fully clothed, hair done, in an outfit that actual matches, especially now that she is in charge of selecting what she wants to wear, so I had to throw in this picture of her last Tuesday morning before we left for storytime as proof that she doesn't always look like a character from a dickens novel. 


    Using what you got

    Of all the things on "the list," the room I most want to tackle is the master bedroom. I promised myself that I would never let it become the leftover room, the one I never get to, the one filled with laundry baskets but since moving here, it has become that and I'll confess that I'm sitting on my bed looking at a laundry basket of junk on the dresser that very soon will need to become a changing table - so very sad. So it is on the agenda but until the kitchen is official done, I'm not letting myself get sucked into any projects.

    But then I kept seeing plant project everywhere so I decided a little green boost might be just what the master bedroom needed to keep my hopes of a lovely retreat alive.

    I started with this vintage milk glass container I found at a local thrift store for $2. I love the look and how I can easily move it to another room in the house if I find I need to. Lucy liked it too, everytime I turned my back, she tried to steal it for her rock collection.

    I knew I was going to use succulents because 1) I love them and 2) We have a bunch in our backyard, all along our rock wall. I don't know if the previous owners planted them or they just naturally grow but they are one of my favorite (non-edible) parts of the yard.

    We have two types so I pulled some of both. And because I thought three types would look better, I picked up one more kind when I was buying some succulent potting mix. I have no idea what any of these succulents are called.

    It actually took me a while to find an arrangement I liked. The store bought succulent was easy to plant but the ones I picked didn't have any dirt around the roots so they didn't stay in place as well. But I saved money so I think it was worth the effort to use them - plus if they die, I can easily replace them :-)

    Here is it almost finished. This is pre-dusting, I had to wait until Lucy was asleep to dust it off since I needed to use one of her paintbrushes and she isn't a fan of improvising. Such a little stickler.

    It actually looks a lot better once you dust it off. It's not perfect but for my first try with plant arranging. I'm hoping it doesn't die. Succulents are supposed to be hard plants to kill but if you've been reading this blog for a while, you might remember that I killed clive, my red cactus. But I'm hopeful. I really like it in our room, I would show you a picture of it in place but I don't think the duct tape and show box full of jewelry would add anything - but as soon as I start working on the master bedroom, you'll can see it in all its glory.

    Be sure to check out the Nesting Place's plant party and get inspired if you are wanting to add some plants to your life.

    Update: I couldn't stand the lack of good pictures so I distracted Lucy with some raising so I could clear off the dressed a bit and take pictures. Yes, I am the mom who ignores her sick feverish child for her blog. But don't me, she had raisins, she was happy :-)


    Good Reads for Little People

    I love children's book lists. That shouldn't be surprising since I really love children's literature but its also that they are so very practical. Lucy loves going to the library with me but from the second we get into the children's section, she grabs a book and says "weed" and in between books I've got about 30 seconds to "browse." This is not conducive to finding high quality literature.

    Since I want to encourage her to select books herself and involved in the process, I normally let her pick 2 or 3 books herself then pick up my holds which are pre-selected non-twaddle books. Every once in a while she picks a good one herself but my selections tend to be the favorites for both of us. But in order for that to work, I have to think up books to put on hold and book lists are a great source. Often I'll see a book on there that I know of and love but just completely forgot about.

    Two of my favorite sources are Ambleside Year 0 (be sure to check out the advisory favorites link near the bottom of the page too) and the Before 5 in a Row Book List but I also have several blogs that talk about what they are currently reading and I frequently check in on the chinaberry catalog.

    But I thought it would be fun to share my book list with you. I even got all fancy and made it as its own special page (I don't have a button or main page link yet but one will be coming eventually). These are our favorites so far and I'll try to keep it up dated. It's not super inventive because most of the books are either old classics or fairly popular newer books but I can tell you that I know at least one little girl who has liked every single book on that list.

    And if you have any books (or books lists) that you think we would enjoy, please let me know! We're always up for more good reads.


    You and me Rex, we got a lot in common.

    I hate confrontation. Almost any sort of confrontation in real life makes me jittery. My palms get sweaty and frankly, my whole day is ruined with the stress of it all. One of my favorite quotes is the T-Rex from Toy Story yells out "I don't like confrontations!"

    But I also love to talk. And I love to talk about silly things and deep things and controversial things and basically anything I've been thinking about if there is someone else around that wants to talk about it too. And I tend to be fairly passionate about some subjects. See the dilemma brewing here?

    That's why I love my blog. It's my outlet. I read articles about how to have a successful blog and laugh when they get to the part about having a focus and staying on topic - ha. Its a good thing I'm not really trying to have a "successful blog" because my part of this blog doesn't have a topic other than - my brain. Sometimes my brain is all about Lucy and how adorable she is and what fun things we've been doing. Sometimes it's about what completely weird things I'm trying to incorporate into my life (sip of my fermented fruit drink, anyone?).  And sometimes I'm all about what is wrong with the world and how I know how to fix it :-) You never know what you're gonna get. And yes, it's my brain so I've been there and I sympathize with you.

    It truly is a brain dump, but sometimes I think that gets misunderstood. Or maybe I worry that it does because I do often post things that have to do with the experiences/conversations/situations of myself and those around me for the simply fact that there is normally a reason I start thinking about something. So sometimes I censor myself. Then I get mad at myself for doing so because this is my outlet and I can't "outlet."

    I'm bring this up because I wrote a post last night but am sitting on it for now because while not directed at anyone at all, I think it might be taken that way (and oh, if you only knew the topic because there is some serious irony going on between this post and that one).

    I know that  I don't sit down and think about what I believe needs to be said  to anyone and then try to say it, I just write about what I've been thinking about, but does everyone else know that? But I never write to convince anyone they are wrong. I never write to "get back" at someone. I just write.

    So if you happen to know me IRL, and you find yourself wondering, "Is she writing this about me? Or to me?"  The answer is no. Unless your name is Mary Jane and I've said "Mary Jane shared with me this awesome recipe for banana nutella crepes and I want to pass it on to" then I am not writing about you. Except nobody named Mary Jane or anything else has shared a recipe for banana nutella crepes and that makes me sad because those sound good.

    Islands in the Stream

    We have a kitchen update for you - I bet you thought those were done. This weekend we installed the counter top on our island. But first, we realized that we did not discuss the island installation process, and thought that we should cover that.

    Our island is constructed of two base cabinets screwed together; one cabinet is 24" wide, and the other is 15". The base cabinets we use come with legs, which are adjustable to account for uneven floors. They also bring the cabinets up to normal height. But in order to secure the island, we would have had to either forgo the legs, which would leave the island a few inches shorter than usual, or we had to put something underneath the cabinets to attach them to. We opted for the latter, and I made this:

    It consists, as I recall, of a stack of three boards; 2 2x4s and a 1x4. I screwed the bottom board to the floor, then screwed the 2nd board to the first one, and the 3rd to the second. I added the short pieces in between as braces. I placed the island on top of this, and screwed through the bottom of the cabinets into the wood.

    Here is the island after I installed the toe kick boards. Now on to the counter top.

    We selected the Ikea Numerar oak counter top in size 73" x 39". The width allowed for about 14" overhang, so we can have a two-person seating area at the island. But we had to cut the counter down to a length of 41". Using advice from the Ikeafans website, I bought a new 40-tooth carbide-tipped blade for my circular saw and went to work. I made a practice cut at the end of the counter before making my real cut (of course, the first cut was better). The saw cut through the counter quite easily - I was surprised. I sanded down the edges of the cut, then brought the counter inside to acclimate to the indoor temp and humidity for two days before installing it. Here it is attached to the island:

    After three coats of mineral oil and some light sanding, this counter will be ready to use today. The leftover melamine board we had been using as a temporary counter top for 3 months has been converted into a closet shelf.

    Update: the mineral oil by itself was drying out pretty quickly, so we bought this butcher block conditioner. It contains mineral oil, beeswax, and carnauba wax. It seems to be doing the trick, but MacKenzie is still on the lookout for something not petroleum based (even though Craig says this stuff is just fine).


    Catching up

    This weekend went by too fast, especially considering the fact that it was, for us at least, a three day weekend. Friday was spent running around to garage sales and home depot then trying to get a few projects done before my dad arrived Friday night.

    Saturday Lucy woke up super excited to see Grandpa. We all had pancakes then went to a local home and garden show, where I happened to run into a friend manning a chiropractic table. Not sure what chiropractic care has to do with homes or gardening but I'm glad it was there. They were offering free massages and I'm normally too introverted to do that sort of thing but since I was standing there talking to my friend anyway, she encouraged me to let  the chiropractor do her thing. It was a very nice experience for this pregnant mama whose hips have been killing her - and not at all dampened by the fact that Lucy was 15 feet away loudly repeating "All done." I've been wanting to get adjusted for a while and after those 10 minutes, I think I'll be getting off my bum to make it happen. We also went to a library book sale but it was picked over and I left disappointed with the one children's book we bought (Little Toot).

    Last week Craig finished the few remaining cabinets and with my dad's help we installed a counter top. But island counters or not, I'm really enjoying cooking and baking in my almost finished kitchen this week now that my energy is starting to return. Earlier in the week I made a big batch of yogurt cheese and whey then used the whey to make a fermented raspberry drink recipe. It was pretty good but like most of Nourishing Traditions fermentation recipes, I found it a tad too salty. I'm not sure how much I can adjust it since I don't want us all dying of botulism but I might take the chance and try. Then I tried my hand at another Nourishing Traditions recipe - a completely-soaked whole grain, natural-sweetener-only carrot cake with a yogurt cheese frosting. It was actually really good unlike the few other soaked recipes I've dared to try. Lucy loved the cake but not the frosting which is funny since she loves yogurt, butter and honey which are the only three ingredients in that frosting.

    We're also on a homemade "lara" bar/ball kick and this week I tried leaving my recipes behind and inventing my own version using dates, apricots, almonds and coconut. It had a good flavor but was pretty sticky and a pain to form into balls. Luckily once I formed and refrigerated them they weren't so sticky. "Balls" as Lucy calls them, are one of her favorite snack but since they are still sweet, I limit her to one at a time. Knowing this she has started asking for "1 yu-yu (Lucy) and 1 a-yo (Eeyore)." I tell her she can share but each time she asks again, maybe she thinks one of these days I'll fall for it.

    My dad had to leave fairly early on Sunday so we weren't able to make it to church but just hung out and relaxed the whole day, playing with play-dough, watching our new pet frog swim around with his fish roommates, finding worms and caterpillers in the yard and feeding the caterpillers leaves, whether they want any or not :-) In fact, it was such a lazy day that Lucy didn't take off her pajama shirt until it was time for her to put on her new pajama shirt and get ready for bed. But it was a nice day for all of us and since she has a slight fever and stuffy nose today, I'm glad we took it easy.


    Where have you been all my life?!

    I think it has been fairly well documented on this blog that Lucy is not the best sleeper in the world. But her sleeping, both at nighttime and nap time had actually been fairly good lately. Ever since she went to one nap (14-15 months, I think - how could I forget already, it wasn't that long ago?) she was pretty consistent. Lunch, potty, two stories, nurse for 2 minutes, out for 2 hours. It was grand. I could get up and do stuff but she was more likely to wake early and honestly, I liked having the excuse to nap/read/surf on the kindle snuggled next to her anyway.

    Bedtime took longer as she takes a while to wind down, about 20-30 minutes once the lights are off she was still consistent and was only waking up once or sometimes twice and was fine starting on her own bed and eventually in her own room.

    Until daylight savings that is...I knew it was coming and we struggled last year as well so I tried to preemptively adjust her and hoped for the best. But it started taking longer and longer to put her to bed. We are talking 75-90 minutes to fall asleep and that isn't counting prep time (stories, prayer, etc). Then her naps began to be effected as well. She was so sleepy from staying up late the night before that she would start to fall asleep between 10-11 but only take a short nap or would be overly tired by her real nap time and still not take a good nap. In both situations I was left dealing with a tired cranky toddler all afternoon - who still wouldn't go to bed easily!

    My supply decreased quite a bit around 7-8 weeks but last week, and what I had left pretty much up and left me this past week. I know that is common in the 4th-5th month of pregnancy and was expecting it but Lucy was not. Her nap is the one of the two times she really still consistently wants to nurse during the day (the other being first thing in the morning; she only nurses about 75% of bedtimes for 2-3 minutes before asking for a song or a backrub and maybe once or twice sporadically throughout the day if she gets hurt or scared or something like that). Between the schedule wonkiness and the lack of milk, she just decided she was done with the whole nap thing. I could fight her for 1.5 hours and she might sleep for 20 minutes - or she might not. It was a long week.

    So I finally got off my bum and did something we've been meaning to do for a while - put up black out curtains. Actually, I was so desperate that I didn't want to wait to go buy anything so I found two dark navy curtains we weren't using and double hung them over her old curtains. Low and behold, the nap she took later that day went so much better. As in, she took one! And it only took her about 15 minutes to fall asleep. She nursed for a few minutes first but then slept, with no back rub, no songs, no help from me at all (I was already pretending to be asleep*).

    That night, it only took her 30 minutes to fall asleep. And the last two days have been pretty similar, but yesterday's nap was back to around the 2-5 minutes to fall asleep mark! Of course, it could be a coincidence, but I'm not willing to take down these suckers down. At least not until I have a acceptable alternative. And I am looking since this is not really the look I am going for in my attempt to finish her room decor.

    And it is pretty precarious and leaves me unable to open it and let in the nice sunshine when we are playing in there.

    Now how to remedy that look. I have several options:

    1) We were already planning on replacing the mini-blinds with plantation shutters slowly so I might bump her room to the top of the list and see how much that works. It it does, I could keep her cute valence (seen here)

    2) Find a new fabric that I love as much as that red print to make a curtain that fully covers her window and line it with blackout fabric. In this case, I would have enough leftover red fabric to make a matching valence and could use the two valences in the kitchen .(I think they would work but they might seem to "Mary Englebreit-ish" in that space. Not that I dislike M.E., I'm just not sure that is the look I'm going for there)

    3) Use the small amount of red fabric I have left to embellish solid colored store bought curtains that I add blackout fabric to.

    But the real question is, why the heck do curtains have to be so complicated?!

    *Pretending to be asleep is my mechanism when she refused to sleep. I rest next to her while she tosses around for an hour then I allow her to sit up and read quietly for a few more minutes. I don't get any sleep but at least I can lay down for a while. It doesn't work in the morning though because someone (I'm glaring at you, Craig) thought it would be cute to teach her to say "Up" and tap your shoulder to wake you up. It is cute at 4pm when you are pretend sleeping on the living room floor. It is not cute at 6am when you are really sleeping. But now she knows she has to play "quietly" until daddy's phone goes "Beep, beep." If only her idea of quiet and my idea of quiet were the same.


    Prayer Request

    Please be praying for Craig's grandmother today. She fell yesterday and broke her hip and will be having surgery this afternoon.


    Easter Weekend Photo Dump

    For once, I'm not going to talk on and on about what we did, but I did want to share some pictures with the grandparents:

    Making Matza

    Let's pause for a second, how can this be the same "baby" who made Matza with me last year?

    They grow too fast. Good thing I've got another cookin' or my uterus would be aching for a baby right now. 

    Saturday was the Easter Egg hunt and resurrection presentation at church:

    Trying to get a picture of her with her friend Benjamin (aka - one of the 3 kids in the world she isn't scared of):

    Ben: I've got an egg!

    Lucy: Me too!

    Easter morning: I told her to look for her basket near something that swims (the fish/froggy tank).

    I wouldn't let her eat her chocolate bunny, but I made her a bunny pancake and despite the weird face she's making, she loved it.

    All dressed up for church:

    Side note: This is the first time we've made it though the entire church service without having to step outside for a few minutes for a "quiet time" reminder! She did amazing. It's hard work having her in the service sometimes but all  that work is being to pay off and I love having her worship with us!


    No good excuse - except hormones :-)

    I think its fair to official call it nesting when you move to the insane category like I did yesterday. I've been wanting a rain gutter book shelf in Lucy's room for a while now but Craig hadn't gotten around to it. That is not at all his fault, I kept adding things to the top of his honey-do list and saying they were more important that the shelf. But Tuesday night, after tripping over a big stack of books in Lucy's room for the one millionth time, I decided I would do it myself.

    And Wednesday I had the car so I actually could, as long as I did it early enough that I could drop the car off to be repaired. So Lucy and I went to Home Depot at 7:45am to buy the supplies. And in case you are wondering, 7:45am is actually a really good time to go to Home Depot if you might be needing assistance because the only other people there are contractors and they don't generally need a lot of help finding things.

    I got my supplies, found someone to cut my gutter for me and we headed to the car repair place. It happens to be right next door to our house which is very convenient for a one car household like us but you have to either jump our fence or climb down and then up a semi-steep ditch to get there. I would normally jump the fence but my jumping days are over for a while. And of course I forgot to drop of the shelf supplies before driving over there like I planned so there I was, pregnant and clumsy, trying to carry a 24 lb toddler, a purse stuffed with screws and plastic brackets and two 5 foot rain gutters down this still dew covered and slippery grassy ditch. Oh, and did I mention that Lucy just had to wear her favorite new shoes which are still slightly too big and fall off her feet every two seconds. Half way down, I started to slip. I dropped the gutters so I could grab onto our fence but somehow they got caught around my arm and came along with me anyway. I  finally managed to get everything safe and secure in our yard only to have her start screaming "shoe shoe" until I retraced my steps to find her one orange shoe hiding in the grass back where we started. Somehow I managed to get everything and everyone home intact but I now have a big circular bruise on my upper arm that looks exactly how I would expect a bruise would look if someone had violently grabbed my arm. I probably should wear a longer sleeved shirt unless I want to try explain that the only abusive member of our household is a book shelf and truthfullly, it was acting in self defense.

    At this point you might be wondering this couldn't have waited one more day, especially since it had already waited several months. Good question, I have no idea other than to say that it couldn't. It absolutely positively had to be done right then. I blame the hormones.

    The actual installation was a piece of cake compared to getting the supplies home. I followed Raising Olives's tutorial. It took me less than an hour (or precisely four 9 minute Winnie the Pooh youtube segments put on to get Lucy to stop shoving Winnie the Pooh in my face while loudly saying "Winnie Pooh Read" over and over again) and here is the result.

    I love them. What did Lucy think? She hated them. She was in the room with me while I hung them and didn't seem to object but as soon as I loaded them up and asked her what she thought, she started yelling "No" and grabbing the books off the shelf. By the time I grabbed the video camera, she had calmed down a tad but still wasn't happy with them. (Ignore my annoying voice and inability to put together a coherent sentence please :-)

     I then distracted her with the previously promised chapter of Winnie-the-Pooh and afterwards she seemed to accept them. She even got all excited about having her books neat and was dancing around and laughing as she put them away but then I made the mistake of asking her if she liked the shelf now and she stopped laughing, glared at me and said "no." I'm confidently she'll come around though.


    The List

    Right now, I feel like I have a million things I want to do. So I made a list. Its what I do. I think there are two types of people in the world: list lovers and list haters. List lovers, like myself, feel like a weight had been lifted when the put things down on a list. If its on the list, its safe, it will happen (someday) so I can stop fretting over it and just start slowly working away. List haters see a long list, or in my case, a sub-divided list with several levels of bullet points, and freak out. Sadly, I think I'm turning Craig into a list hater.

    I'm not sure I'm nesting or its just a matter of my finally have (a little bit of ) time/energy to work on the things I've been wanting to do (now that the kitchen is almost done, our traveling has mostly ceased and I'm no longer nauseous all day) but I am a woman on a mission when it comes to all those little house things I've been thinking up for the past year, and I'm dragging Craig with me. I'll go with the former because it makes me feel motherly, even though pretty much none of the things on this list really have to do with Dewey. Sadly, I don't really need to do or buy anything for him/her other than a new car seat. And I think we'll get the same one we have for Lucy so I don't even have anything to research. But at least I can say I'm nesting, right?

    Kitchen: SOOOO Close!

    - Last trip to Ikea
    - Install remaining drawers/cabinet door
    - Install remaining drawer pulls
    - Replace temporary island countertop with butcher block
    - Install backsplash
    - Decide on and order stools for island
    - Buy and install blinds


    - Order baskets for closet
    - Reorganize closet
    - Order one more basket because apparently I can't count :-)
    - Add "green"
    - Hooks at Lucy height

    General Area Closets:

    - Paint
    - Shuffle
    - Order baskets for cat supplies, hats/gloves, etc
    - Find new home for brooms so Lucy can get hers without seeing paint and getting distracted
    - Find new home for board games since Tray/Art supplies are taking over

    Lucy's room:
    - New bedding
    - Finish tot wardrobe (Craig and I finished assembling this last night, just needs sanding and staining now!)
    - Rain gutter bookshelf  (Started and finished this yesterday, pics coming soon)
    - Decide if new bedding matches embroidery hoop wall fabric; if so, finally hang fabric hoops
    - Blackout blinds

    Living Room:
    - Frames for Art Gallery
    - Reading nook (darn you Ikea for being out of spice racks last weekend or this would be done!)
    - Unroll rug as soon as latest potty training crisis is over
    - Watch Craigslist for the perfect brown leather sofa for a really good price (hey, miracles can happen!)

    Master bedroom:
    - Make room for Craig's non-closet clothes
    - Find a small bench/chair so Craig has an acceptable "used but not yet dirty clothes spot" before WWIII breaks out
    - Pare down trinkets/memory items so dusting is possible
    - Repaint nightstands
    - Spray paint lamps
    - New lampshades
    - Art for above baby dresser
    - Art for above headboard
    - Make jewelry holder for wall
    - Put together succulent terrarium/arrangement

    That's it - for now at least. I've got about 5 months, think we can do it all?