Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Working on our logic.

Mommy, while Ansley is playing outside: "Ansley, let's go in to take a bath."

Ansley, very convinced: "NO!"

Mommy, trying to seize this opportunity for a learning point: "Ansley, are you supposed to tell Mommy 'no?'"

Ansley, obviously understanding the question, and subsequently confused: "No?"

Monday, March 28, 2011

It finally happened.

Today, I was one of those moms.

You know what I'm talking about. The one with the screaming toddler in Walmart that wants to do everything and grab everything and push the cart with the handle and open the bag of mini donuts while yelling "DONUT" at the top of her lungs (the toddler does this stuff. Not the mom.)

That was me. And I tried everything. Put her in the cart basket. Cart seat. Hold her. Let her push. Give her something to carry and tell her to follow. Get down on her level and calmly explain to her that she is not making Mommy proud right now and there were going to be serious consequences to her actions if she did not behave while we were grocery shopping. I think she got a little hung up on the "consequence" word. Or maybe you just can't reason with an 18-month-old. I'm not entirely sure which.

But I was so embarrassed. I didn't want her screaming, but it was physically impossible for me to carry her AND push the cart. At least, push the cart in a controlled manner. And I wanted to give in. I wanted to give her what she wanted rather than discipline her for not obeying. And it suddenly became so easy to understand why some parents needed the help of "Super Nanny."

And Super Nanny would not have approved of my methods today. Because instead of a time out chair, Ansley got a spanking. ::gasp::

And then, that made me feel like even more of one of those moms. Because I heard myself saying "Ansley, do  you want a spanking?"  And people were looking at me. I'm not entirely sure if it was because I was threatening a spanking, or because I had about 5 pounds of cheese in my cart.

Either way, it was an ordeal. But I didn't want to leave her with someone while I went shopping. She is with the sitter for two hours on Monday afternoon, and I felt that it wasn't fair to pick her up and drop her off with someone else while I went out. So, I took her.

I don't regret it. I just wish she understood bribery  positive reinforcement.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Here's Your Sign

I can remember being in high school, and there was this really popular comedy skit that would play on the radio called "Here's Your Sign."

It was typically mocking stupid things people do, or things stupid people do (take your pick).

Not that I pride myself in being a fan of country music now, but I tried desperately to get away from it then. But not only could I not escape that skit, I couldn't escape the fact that people do in fact do stupid things.

And things have not changed. Except now, churches think it is fun and totally awesome to come up with clever catchphrases for their signs. And several in the past few days have left me wanting to say "Here's your sign."

The first one that I passed every day on the way to a neighboring county last week.

"I'm too blessed to be depressed."
I kid you not. I became furious. Not necessarily for me, though I would be lying if I didn't admit that I was personally offended.

But I thought about all the people that struggle with depression. And it isn't because they don't feel "blessed."

And, I think that is a problem with the church.

I've struggled with anxiety. Though I don't think I've ever seriously struggled with depression, I know some very good friends that have. And we have faced common obstacles.

I remember driving home from the doctor's office after my first appointment regarding the anxiety attacks. I was talking with my mother-in-law on the phone, and I just started crying. Because to me, I felt like I wasn't a "good enough Christian" because I often let anxiety get the best of me. I felt that by taking medicine, I wasn't completely trusting the Lord and His provision.

And then, just a few weeks later, while visiting the in-laws, there was a sermon in church about that very thing. About anxiety being a result of a lack of faith.

And it added to my condition. And it breaks my heart that some people still believe that depression is just an emotional problem.

"Oh, you're depressed? Well, just think about everything you have to be thankful for."

I'm sorry. It isn't that easy. And just when I feel like all the stupid people that think that depression or even PPD is an emotional issue finally learned to keep quiet (ahem. Tom Cruise), someone else comes out of the woodwork, making it be someone's "fault" that they are depressed.


That same day, a little closer to my destination, I saw a church sign that read "When in doubt, let Jesus lead."  And it made me angry. Just about as angry as the "God is my copilot" bumper stickers that were so common in years past.

This church, obviously looking to gain some new attendees, actually had a digital church sign that offered several slogans. "Body piercing saved my life." I'm not even going to touch that one.

The thing that struck me about this is that it seemed to contradict all I had been taught, and recently come to accept. Isn't God always supposed to lead? And, if we are in doubt, isn't it because we're the ones that were trying to lead in the first place?

I know the sentiment they were aiming for. But they were way off.

Finally, that same day, while headed to my sister's house for our weekly American Idol date, I passed a church sign that came as a warm sense of relief in comparison to the signs of before.

"Forgive your enemies. It messes with their head."

And I laughed. Out loud. For a few minutes. Because that's it. That's what being human is. Sure, it means a lot to love and forgive as Jesus also forgave us. But there is something about needing to feel justified. And, maybe I'm wrong in this, but if by forgiving someone you make them say "huh?" and spend a few minutes trying to figure out what just happened, that's justification. By turning the other cheek.

I'm not normally a sign reader. I don't typically drive slow enough to read an entire sign. But after a recent trip to the eye doctor revealed that I should probably wear glasses while driving, I've been able to read more signs. Turns out it wasn't that I drove too fast. I just couldn't see.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I love my mom dearly. However, her fingers seem to have a mind of their own. Especially on Facebook.

So today, I'm checking status updates, and I notice one from my mom. And I seriously almost peed my pants from laughing.

"not sure how much i will be able to do here today Ansley is in my lap and she had 4 boob shots today so bear with us..."

Ansley went to the doctor today and had 4 shots. 4 BOO BOOS.

But, no. To my mother? Boob shots.

Could you ask for anything else?

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Speed of Life

Dear Ansley,
     You are 18 months old today! And though you've already nearly grown out of 24 month clothing, it's hard for me to see you as anything other than my little girl.

     These last 18 months have been full of their ups and downs. Mostly up, but some pretty deep downs. But despite the fact that I feel inadequate, you seem to think I'm enough.

     I'm enough to wipe away your tears when Da-Da leaves for work. I'm enough to clean your first really scraped knee.  I'm enough to guard Bear while you take off on an adventure in the yard or at the park. I'm enough to make you laugh. And I'm enough for you to share kisses with before you go "bye-bye," even if that means you are just taking your toy keys to try and open my car door.

     I cannot believe how fast you are growing. It is literally happening before my eyes. It seems like every day, you add a new word to your ever increasing vocabulary. You call the dogs by name, you ask for certain people and you certainly know the meaning of "more!" You can follow instructions, though, most of the time you choose not to.

     As I pulled out your spring clothes, I remember what I felt as I first stored them, thinking "These are so big. It will be years before she can wear this!" But it hasn't been years. For some things, it hasn't even been a year. I remember so vividly this time last year. Finally sitting up. Still not a fan of crawling. And now, you are running. Full speed ahead.

     Ansley, please don't run too fast. I feel like the time of me being enough is quickly slipping away. Before we know it, playing peek-a-boo with Mommy will be stupid. Having me give you a bath will be weird. Those words that you are so ready to share now will become yours. Part of your story that I'm not enough for, and will be too much for me.

     Scraped knees will be the least of your worries, and Bear will become an embarrassing story you think I tell only when boys are around. You will probably still lose sleep at night, but it won't be because of teeth. It will be projects and games and dates.

     But don't go too fast, little girl. Don't fight a hug from Mommy or Daddy. Because to us, you are more than we could have ever imagined. I never could have dreamed what my life is like now. I never could have dreamed the ways you have changed me.

     I don't want you to think that it is all puppies and rainbows, Kiddo. We have our moments. Like today, when you did not want to leave the babysitter's because of the cool "toos" and "boos." In my head, I knew that you only wanted to stay and play longer, but in my heart, I already felt that I wasn't enough. And it made me want to freeze time. And keep you as my little girl.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Eating Words

Before I became a mother, there were certain things I said I would never do:

Go to the bathroom with a random nurse in the room.
Let my kiddo nap on her tummy.
Consider mac and cheese a meal for my child.
Keep a binkie after a year old.
Catch puke with my hands.
Catch poop with my hands.
Send the kiddo to bed with a cup.
Consider pink and purple as acceptable clothing and paint options.
Let my child go barefoot in public.
Take my child out in pajamas.
Let my child out of the house with messy hair.
Enjoy open mouth, slobbery baby kisses.
Enjoy shopping for her more than shopping for me.
Wear a shirt that has some baby pee on it because I was running too late to change.
Look forward to going to bed at 9 (myself)
Consider cereal or pop tarts an acceptable dinner for me.
Cry when I left the baby with a sitter for the first time.
Leave without make-up on and my hair fixed.
Wear jeans twice without washing in between.
Be too tired for ice cream.
Give my child medicine if she doesn't meet the age requirement.
Consider being a stay at home Mom.

Does this make me feel like a failure? Nope. It makes me feel like "Mommy."

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Snowball Effect

I'm not talking about a cold nose or a sore face from catching one in the kisser (though, if that is a concern of yours as your children age, I recently came across a "safe snowball maker." So when your kids play in the snow, rather than making those dangerously deadly hand-packed snowballs, you can use this hand snowball maker to make soft, safe snowballs).

I'm talking about how when you get behind on one thing, you can't seem to catch up. And you get more and more and more behind, till eventually you decide it isn't even worth trying to get back in the swing of things.

I have not read any blogs in about a month. And I keep telling myself I'll get caught up, but even though I haven't been posting as frequently, I know my reads have been, and at this point, I wonder if I should go back and read the old posts, or simply pick up where they are. Or just not worry about it.

And, my daily document project. Yeah, that lasted almost a month. Maybe. But I love taking photos and showing off my kiddo. But really, it's just one more thing that I start and don't finish.  Like knitting. I have about 6 projects currently going. And, when I'm out and I find a really nice yarn, I buy it, because I would like something in that color, or I have a pattern that totally screams "Your sister would love this!" And now, I have a plethora of yarn, and haven't picked up knitting needles in about 6 months.

Or cleaning my house. When I'm so far behind on the dishes, what difference does it make to just add one more to the sink instead of washing it?

But, I have to keep telling myself that the slack I leave behind is picked up by the hubs. And he has so much on his plate, it isn't fair for me to keep piling dirty plates on.

So, my house isn't as clean as I like it. I have a bunch of unfinished projects. I don't know how any of my reads are doing. My camera hasn't been taken out of my bag in ages. But, tonight, I snuggled with Ansley. We rocked. We exchanged nose kisses. We laughed. We snuggled some more. And as I stood there cradling her ever growing body, and her eyelids got heavier and heavier, I can honestly say I wasn't thinking about everything that needed to be done. Because in that moment, I was doing exactly what I needed to do.