Friday, July 29, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Still

My heart skips a beat. Sometimes two.

When he kisses me good morning, all fumbling hands and sleepy eyes and whiskered cheeks.

When he looks at me and shakes his head as if to say “you’re crazy, but you’re mine.”

When he takes my hand for no other reason than to be close to me.

When he forcefully pulls me near despite my angered attempts to pull away.

When he lets me go on and on about things he does not care to know, because he understands that's what I need from him.

When he kisses me good night, his arms wrapped tightly around my waist, his face nuzzled into the crook of my neck.

Ten years in, and my heart still skips a beat when he's near.

Sometimes two.

This post was written as part of Five Minute Friday, a weekly writing workshop one of my friends does. Looked kind of fun, so I thought I'd give it a try. (I think I need some practice.) Anyway, click here to learn more or link up with us!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Little boys aren't so bad.

Can you tell I'm gearing up for the news that I'm having another boy? August 19, please come soon! I'm getting the shopping itch...and it would be nice to know for sure before I start loading up on the blue and green.

And stripes. Gosh, I love stripes.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Athletic pursuits.

Golf is the sport of choice at our house. Not my choice, of course — my choice would be no sports — but so long as neither of my kids want to play hockey, I'll be happy. I mean, 5am ice time seven days a week? Yeah, no. I'll gladly resort to bribery (i.e. Here's $50 to never mention hockey to me again) before I let that happen.

Because Nate is an avid golfer — and a very good one, at that — he has always looked forward to taking Calvin golfing. Since Cal's not quite old enough for a day on the course, they do a lot of backyard practicing with a set of plastic toy clubs. From the looks of things, there's hope for Calvin following in Nate's footsteps. He hits that little plastic ball effortlessly.

Last night I made the mistake of coming out to watch them. Calvin brought me his club and told me it was my turn to golf. I laughed and said "Oh, I'm not a golfer. This is a fun game for you and Daddy." But Calvin insisted, so I took the plastic set out into the yard, got into prime golfing position, and swung.

I missed the ball.

Nate laughed.

Calvin, encouraging me from the sidelines: "Almost!"

I squinted my eyes, got back into position, and swung once more.

I missed it again.

Nate laughed harder.

Calvin, shaking his head as he came to take the club away: "You're not a golfer."

No kidding, kid. What did you expect? The closest I ever came to a team sport was yearbook.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Secret shame.

Being a working mom is really hard.

And so is being a stay at home mom. Don't think this is going to be one of those pointless posts where someone tries to make the case for one over the other. I've read my share of those and I seriously can't believe people keep trying to win that argument. Ain't gonna happen, folks. We're all moms and we're all working our tails off. Let. It. Go.

While I fully admit there are big perks to having a full-time job outside the home — uninterrupted computer time, daily interaction with other adults, extra income, and eight hours of freedom from the hands of another human being — there are a few things about my schedule that make life challenging. The most important one, of course, is missing out on time with my son. That's heartbreaking, and I totally get why people say they stay home because their kids are only little for so long. I do feel sadness and guilt over missing out on large chunks of my son's childhood. But this is what works for our family, and it is what it is.

The second is lack of time. I don't have enough time to do anything. And I mean ANYTHING. I follow the same exact schedule Monday through Friday:

6:30am: Drag myself out of bed.
6:30am to 8am: Get ready. Drop Calvin off. Drive to work.
8am to 5pm: Work. Eat. Work some more.
5pm to 6pm: Leave work, pick Calvin up from school, get home.
6pm to 7pm: Figure out dinner, play with Calvin, eat dinner.
7pm to 8pm: Bath, books, put Calvin to bed.
8pm to 10pm: Clean kitchen, do laundry, collapse on couch.
10pm: Drag myself into bed.

Rinse and repeat. Except for Tuesdays, when my in-laws come over to give me a break at night.

I literally have two hours (three if you count my lunch break, which is typically utilized for errand running) a day to get things done. Unfortunately, by that point in the day my son is in bed, my husband is probably at work, and I'm exhausted. Truly, there aren't enough hours in the day to tackle my "should dos" or even my "need to dos" after checking off the "must dos" — which are currently limited to working and tending to the basic needs of my family. And on the weekends my priority is spending time with Calvin and Nate, not mopping my floors and going to the post office.

I think the thing that appeals most to me about staying home — besides the obvious benefit of caring for your children — is the flexibility. The ability to run errands. Make a decent dinner. Throw in a load of laundry. Pick up the house. Use nap time to accomplish something. Of course I realize being home is equally (if not more) exhausting, that you can't spend all your time cleaning and running errands when you're home with your kids, and that doing those things with kids in tow is no easy task (plus cleaning with kids is pretty much pointless because it will just be messy again two minutes later), but having the option to do those things during the day would be nice. I can't do any of that from work, and yet it still needs to get done at some point.

Basically, I'm romanticizing life at home and using work as a big, fat excuse for my lack of productivity. And now you'll see why.

The Abby who started this blog back in 2008 had a house that looked like this:

And the Abby you know today has a house that looks like this:

You know that whole "clean kitchen" line on my little schedule? Yeah. That's on a good night. So is the laundry. More often than not, I put Calvin to bed, take a shower (because it gives me five extra minutes of sleep in the morning), put my pjs on, and sink into the couch. I might shove everything in the sink or load the dishwasher, but I rarely have the energy to clean the entire kitchen. And right now I wait until I'm almost out of clean underwear to do laundry.

Oh, and my bathroom? Yeah, don't even ask. I used to be completely militant about cleaning it from top to bottom before anyone came over, lest there be a stray piece of hair on the floor or vanity. Now my in-laws come over weekly and kneel on the floor to give my son a bath and I don't even remember to put a hand towel up before they arrive...much less vacuum or mop the floor. Full disclosure: Half the time Nate and I dry our hands on the shower curtain.

Three years ago I never would have admitted these shortcomings to a soul, much less the entire blogosphere. I worked really hard to maintain the illusion that housekeeping comes naturally to me. It doesn't. Obviously. I am a slob of the highest order. Yet for the longest time I knocked myself out trying to keep my house clean, because I thought an orderly house equaled a happy home.

You know what? It doesn't.

I discovered this important truth once I accepted the fact that I no longer have the time, energy, or desire to maintain my previous housekeeping standards. While my home may be a complete disaster 90% of the time, it's happier than it's ever been. And so am I.

Though I'm not sure happiness is a good enough excuse for failing to hang up a hand towel. I'll try to squeeze that in somewhere.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Golf widow.

1. I'm on my own for the first half of the week. Nate's on his annual golf trip — aka four days of golf, sun, beer, steak, gambling and general male debauchery with a group of really good, decent, trustworthy, attractive and well-behaved guys who likely don't read my blog so I should probably quit threatening them via thinly veiled compliments.

Y'all better behave yourselves. And wear sunblock.

2. I made chocolate chip cookies last night with Crisco because I was out of butter (When do I ever run out of butter? Never, that's when.). I tell you what — Crisco is about to become a cookie making staple in our house. Soft, chewy perfection. I don't think I've ever made a thing with Crisco in my life, and I wouldn't have even had it on hand except I was making a recipe a while back that called for Oleo and I had no idea what that was so I bought Crisco. Turns out everyone but me knows about Oleo. How?

3. I started playing Words With Friends at the urging of my friend Lisa, who was in town visiting for the weekend. Two days in, and I'm just a little obsessed. I'm also playing two games with people I thought were my mother and aren't, which makes the messages I sent them a little awkward. Look me up if you're playing (Katie, Emily): absadabs79. I'm not very good.

4. Things that also happened during Lisa's visit: a pedicure, dinner, and a trip to Crate and Barrel. I got a cute dishtowel (A dishtowel? Me? Weird, I know. One of these days I'll have to do a post dedicated to my dishtowel collection.) and a set of popsicle molds. Apparently the molds were selling like crazy all day on Saturday. I'm not sure whether it was the nostalgia factor (didn't everyone have the Tupperware set growing up?) or the 100+ temps, but I just had to have them. And at $12.95, they were quite the deal. I threw some strawberry yogurt and raspberries in one yesterday afternoon and gave it to Calvin after dinner. Genius, really. He thinks something we would have given him for dinner anyways is dessert. Haha! This must be how people who cook out of that Jessica Seinfeld book feel. I actually have that cookbook, but I can't even find the time to make regular non-deceptive recipes for my family right now,

5. Nate told me the other day that things are about to get funny at our house. And he was right.

"Where are the dirty diapers? Where are they?" "They're in the garbage, Cal." "No, they're not! They're right here, on my body!" (Pats rear end) "I've got a dirty diaper right here!"

"Where's my Lightning McQueen? I need it, please! It's in the car. You will have to go get it outside in the car. And you will have to go downstairs and put your shoes on and go get it in the car."

"That was a big yawn. A real big yawn. Where'd it go, Mama?" "What, your yawn? I don't know, Calvin." "I do! It ran away in my mouth!"

6. Sad news: Hot Mama is phasing out their maternity line. Lucky for me this is my last (planned) pregnancy, and I've been able to get some really cute things for some very good deals. Of course I use the phrase "good deals" loosely, as the first time I shopped at Hot Mama (back when I was pregnant with Calvin) I went in with a $100 gift card and came out with three shirts and a receipt for $250. Yikes. The damage was nowhere near that bad this time (thanks to another $100 giftcard from Nate), but it easily could have been. My self control continues to get better with time...kind of.

7. Also on the maternity shopping front: Motherhood's selection has improved significantly. Just in case you were wondering.

8. We find out the sex of this baby on August 19. I can't wait. Mainly because I'm pretty sure it's a boy and yet I can't stop looking at girl bedding, girl names, girl clothes. I need someone to snap me out of this dreamy phase and bring me back down to earth because I soooo doubt that's going to happen and I need to get serious about decorating and naming this more than likely male child. Naming the second kid is going to be much harder, I think. We may have to go with my mom's suggestion of Hobbes.

9. Rizzoli and Isles is back on. Or Fazoli and Breadstick, as Nate calls it. I love that show. Actually, I think I just love Angie Harmon. Either way, add that to my list of mindless summer entertainment along with SYTYCD and Project Runway (Thursday, hooray!). We're also watching Mad Men, which is not at all mindless but is very very entertaining. Especially if you, like me, work in the advertising industry, wax romantic about eras gone by, and have the major hots for Jon Hamm. And, less obviously, John Slattery.

10. Speaking of eras gone by: Midnight in Paris. Loved it. And now I'm thinking I need to have myself a little Woody Allen movie marathon.

11. Also, I'm mad that I haven't gotten to Harry Potter yet. This is the first time I have ever wanted to go to a midnight premiere and I'm too old, too pregnant, and too employed to stay up that late on a weeknight. Boo. Nate and I have an AMC giftcard burning a hole in our pockets and that sucker is getting used up. SOON.

12. Finally, I am 16 weeks today. Time for a belly picture. Since Nate's away and the first belly shot I posted of me pregnant with Calvin was also at 16 weeks, I slipped into the supply closet at work and took this beauty in the full-length mirror. They aren't kidding about that whole showing a lot earlier with the second baby business. Which probably explains my boss' reaction to the news: "Yeah, I thought so."

See what happens when Nate's away, even for a night? I have a lot to say and no one to listen and so I write really random and long-winded blog posts. Lucky you. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Baby, you're a firework.

No, wait. I think a more fitting title for this post would be "You're a baby, and your dad let you hold a firework."


Three days later and I'm still a little freaked out. Good thing Nate got it on video so I can relive my horror.

I was taking a nap. See, this is why moms never rest. We can't, for fear our children might burn their faces off while under the supervision of their fathers. Their ADULT fathers who are NURSES and spent 10 YEARS working in the emergency room.

Luckily, he survived. This time. And I'm talking about Nate, not Calvin. Although he survived, too. Which is a good thing, because I wouldn't have wanted him to miss out on the weekend's main event:


Yes, we took a barely two-year-old to a movie. And stuffed him with popcorn and gummy bears. At 10:45am. He loved it and sat still for the entire film. Thumbs up!

I'd like to publicly apologize to Nate for posting that last photo, because he's making a really goofy face. But sometimes we have to make sacrifices for our kids, and that picture of Calvin is necessary to the thumbs up series. And also, HE GAVE OUR SMALL CHILD A FIREWORK.

I've always been a big proponent of reading the book before the movie. Luckily, Aunt Jill and Uncle Kyle were up to the task, because I was too tired and probably lying down somewhere.

The rest of the weekend was spent running around my mom and dad's backyard — and the backyards of their neighbors, who have swing sets and playhouses and spinny flowers.

Sunday night we watched fireworks from the park by my parents' house where Nate and I got engaged. Calvin loved them, and really loved staying up so late. He kept yelling "IT'S SO PRETTY" way too loudly.

Those sad little fireworks pictures and the cute but blurry shots of Calvin were included solely to make the case to my husband that my point-and-shoot camera with the broken zoom is no longer cutting it. Our camera situation has become dire, and we are now officially in the market for a DSLR. Recommendations? Donations?

Oh, and finally, my latest and greatest wreath. Remember those stars? I think this one turned out pretty cute, and it's by far the least amount of effort I've put into one of these. My yarn wreath has found a new home in my living room.

Happy Fourth!
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