Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I've always been one to balance several activities at once.  In high school, I did Debate, Forensics, Theater, Orchestra, Choir, and Scholar's Bowl.*  All in the same year.  And once I graduated, I continued that lifestyle.  I worked full time, took a full load of college classes, and participated in whatever struck my fancy.  While I was student teaching, I took it easy, and balanced life as a newly-wed with all of the planning, teaching, and homework that goes with student teaching.  Once that was over, I searched until I found the Festival, which immediately consumed every waking hour of my life.  I had always been good at juggling, and Festival was no different.

When I was pregnant, I expected that adding a child to our crazy lives would add another 5-6 balls to the dozen or so I was already juggling - a difficult task, sure, but one that I would master in no time.  I was confident that before long, I would be able to balance Miles with the rest of my life.  To extend the metaphor, I imagined the cheers and applause as I seamlessly continued to juggle, no matter what life threw my way.

And then Miles was born.

Juggling ceased.  I dropped every ball except for Miles, and still, I couldn't keep up.  I could feel the balls pelting me in the head as one by one they came crashing down.  And then PPA decided to toss in a few bowling balls, just for giggles.  I huddled protectively over my baby, tried my best to pick up the pieces, and hid from everything else.

It took over 15 months, and some strong medications, to get rid of the bowling balls.  Since then, I have slowly, slowly, started to pick up the balls, one by one, and begun to juggle yet again.  The balance isn't perfect.  And I drop the ball far more than I once did.  But, I'm juggling.  Slowly, and with much effort and help, but I'm juggling.

And this time, I am cheering myself on.

*Yes, I'm a nerd.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Must. . .Find. . .Time. . .to Blog. . .

<imagine this entire post as read by William Shatner circa Star Trek: Original Series>

Have. . .so. . .much to. . .write about.

No. . .time.

Festival is. . .eating all . . .of my time.

Must. . .try. . .to blog. . .soon.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mommy's Little Bookworm

Bedtime tonight was a rather sweet sight.

Picture Miles, naked from head to toe, standing on the toilet brushing his teeth (after his bath).  See how grown up he looks brushing his front teeth, just like Mommy and Daddy?

Picture that tiny nude butt running, giggling, into his room.  Throwing himself on his bed, covering himself with pillows, so he could not be dressed.  Pretending to sleep, though his eyes were wide open.

Picture a freshly-cloth-diapered (but otherwise still naked) toddler, asking for "ook!"*

See him reaching for two of his favorites, clapping excitedly at his favorite parts.

Watch as he opens one, and begins trying to read it to me.  Fairly well, considering he's not even two.

And then, as I sang him lullabies, he drifted off to sleep, one book tucked under each arm.

*Yes, my child speaks Librarian.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Miles Update

I know I haven't been updating very often lately, and when I have, it has mostly been about me.  So, here is an update all about Miles!

Some things he has been up to:

  • Hanging out with Linda while Mommy is at work.  They have been to various libraries, museums, and so many other places that Mommy can hardly keep up.
  • Hanging out with Mommy at home.  We're doing a whole lot of nothing around here.  Some TV, lots of playtime, even some reading cuddles.  Oh, and tons of dancing silliness.
  • Showing off for Grandpa Troy, Great-Grandpa, Aunt Tami, and Uncle Russ.
New things he can do:

  • Pratfall.  He pretends to fall down, in hilarious ways, and then over-dramatically shakes it off, with a "Whoa!"
  • Navigate the touch screen on my smart phone.  He knows how to turn it on, pull up the menu, and select a game to play.
  • Drink out of an open cup.  Occasionally, he makes a mess, but that's part of being not-quite-two.
  • Ride his push toys.  He's finally tall enough to make all of them go.  :)
  • Go to bed without a fuss, even for naps.  We still have our difficulties from time to time, but for the most part, Miles is finally sleeping well.
  • Take off his pants.  And then his diaper.  Not exactly a milestone I am celebrating.
Is it any wonder I've been too busy to write? :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

30 by 30

Today is my birthday.  If I've done the math correctly, I am 28.  No longer in my 'mid-twenties', I am realizing that thirty is coming up faster than I thought it would.  And it keeps going faster, so I thought I'd better get on this before I forget.  Again.

I have reached most of my 'ten years after graduation' goals.  I am happily married.  I have a wonderful child.  I have a bachelor's degree, and even taught for awhile.  I've been on vacation to the Caribbean (granted, it was our honeymoon, but it counts).  All in all, I am more or less where I planned to be.  That being said, it's time for some new goals.  So, here goes.  Thirty things I want to accomplish before I turn thirty.

  1. Read thirty books off of the list of top 100 banned books.
  2. Make thirty crafts I have not tried before.  Bonus points if each serves a practical purpose.
  3. Choreograph a dance for my children's group.  All by myself.
  4. Take 30,000 pictures. (Considering I've taken well over 3,000 since I got my camera in May, this is not necessarily an impractical goal.)
  5. Cook or bake 30 dishes I have never made before.
  6. Watch 30 classic movies I've never seen.
  7. Learn to knit or crochet.
  8. Take a dance lesson, or preferably, a dance class.
  9. Take Miles to a new museum/event/activity/experience at least once a month.
  10. Simplify my life by getting rid of things I do not need.
  11. Organize all of our household paperwork, and keep up on it.
  12. Start my own business.  Even if it's just selling a few craft items online from time to time.
  13. Finish illustrating the children's book I wrote in college.
  14. Open a savings account for Miles.
  15. Send birthday cards to everyone in my immediate circle of family/friends for at least one year.
  16. Take Dominic through obedience classes.
  17. Decide if/when I'm going to go back for my Master's degree, and what I'm going to study.
  18. Audition for a musical.
  19. Quit my Festival job and become a full-time stay-at-home mom.
  20. Compile my music collection into one place.
  21. Get a digital copy of every important photograph I have, and store them in a safe place.
  22. Finish my digital family tree.
  23. Exercise every single day for at least 30 days.
  24. Learn at least 30 new signs for use at Special Olympics.
  25. Learn to play at least ten new games.
  26. Become more involved in the financial planning of our household.
  27. Set up our wills, and arrange for custody of Miles, should anything unfortunate happen.
  28. Find a church where my family is comfortable, and become an active member.
  29. Participate in a flash mob.
  30. Contact at least ten of my teachers from elementary, middle, high school, and college, and tell them how they have influenced my life.
What about you?  What things do you want to accomplish in the next two years?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Never. That's When.

Alright, Folks.  Be prepared.  I am about to step up on my soap box.

Never ask someone when they're going to meet someone.  Or get married.  Or have a kid.  Or another kid.  It's just not nice.  I get that you're excited, and that you want them to be happy.  I understand that you can't wait to meet their perfect little bundle of joy.  I get that babies are fun.  And cute.  And precious.  I also get that they are even more fun, and cute, and precious when you can send them home.  I get it.  Really.  But, please don't ask.  Because while you are saying, "When do I get to celebrate Life's next milestone with you?", what you're also saying is, "Because your life is incomplete as it is."

This isn't a response to any one comment, or even any group of comments.  Just an overall perception that we are constantly (subconsciously) telling others how to live their lives.  Some examples that illustrate my point:

Stacey is probably one of the closest female friends I have ever had.  She is smart, funny, silly, compassionate, and generous to a fault.  She is also an integral part of our family.  She is that third person we can call on to watch Miles for a moment when there is a household job that requires two people.  She is the person who supports whatever decision I make, no matter what.  And from what I've seen, she's fairly happy in this life.  Does she want to get married and settle down?  Sure.  But she's also content with what she has right now.  And yet, her own mother continually encourages her to 'lower her standards' and 'just get married already'.  Why?  Why would someone make their own daughter feel like the life she lives isn't good enough?

Example two:
My cousin has two amazing children; an eight-year-old daughter, and a five-year-old son.  Both are well-mannered, cute as buttons, and darn near as close to perfect as any kids I've ever seen.  She is happily married, and they both have good jobs, and a comfortable home.  Yet, at Christmas last year, her mother asked when they are planning to have another.  My cousin began with, "We're not, Mom," but my aunt continued.  Finally, after a particularly long line of questioning, my cousin retorted, "Perhaps when I've grown all of my hair back and paid off my medical bills."  Yes, this mom was pressuring her daughter to have more children, mere months after she had gone into remission from cancer.

And finally, the reason this is a personal pet peeve: Miles is an only child.  He will probably remain so.  Why? Because we do not feel the need, the desire, or even the slightest inclination to have another.  So please, please, stop asking when we're going to have another.

Never.  That's when.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I Have a New Nephew!

Jonathan was born at 6:13pm.  I can't wait to meet him.  I'm sure he's absolutely amazing.

But, his Mama had a long, hard day, so I'm going to let them both rest for tonight.  As excited as I am to meet him, he will still be just as cute tomorrow.

Welcome to the world, little man.  You have some awesome parents to help you navigate it. :)

Lessons of Mommyhood

Ah, the things you learn as a Mommy. . .

  1. Bedtime cannot occur without a sippy cup of water to cuddle.  Yes, I have a strange son.
  2. Stroller sitting in the living room = toddler-sized recliner/jungle gym.
  3. Toys will take over your life.  Resistance is futile.
  4. People with young children should never - ever - move into a place with brand new carpeting.  You won't be able to tell after a week, anyway.
  5. Mommy friends are awesome.  Mommy friends who are willing to trade baby-sitting are even better.
  6. Don't look away from your child when he's in the bathtub.  The second you do, you will find him trying to climb out.
  7. No matter how young, in-shape, and healthy you are, chasing a toddler will wear you out.
  8. I am not in shape.
  9. The one day that your toddler chooses to sleep in will be the day that he also set your alarm to wake you at the crack of dawn.
  10. Nothing in the world is cuter than a toddler clad only in a brightly-colored cloth diaper.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Re-Discovering Me

It's early.  All is quiet.  Everyone is still sleeping soundly.

Except me.

Way back, a million years ago, before Miles was born and my life became a crazy carnival ride, I used to be a morning person.  From a very young age, I remember popping out of bed with the rising of the sun, tiptoeing through the silent hallway, and reveling in the blissful serenity of the morning.  Something about the peace of those hours drew me out of bed, even if I'd had little sleep.

And then Miles was born.  And that pull, that desire to jump out of bed and greet the day, was replaced by an incessant exhaustion.  Life overwhelmed me to the point that all I wanted to do was lay in bed, covers tucked safely under my chin, and sleep.  Given the opportunity, I would have slept for days.  I had lost the desire to get out of bed at all.  When Miles would begin to fuss, I would reluctantly drag my butt out of bed, staring longingly at my pillow, and make myself face the day.

At the time, I didn't even realize what was going on.  I told myself that I was just tired.  That I wasn't getting enough sleep.  I somehow managed to ignore the fact that I could sleep for twelve hours and still not feel refreshed.  I had lost a small part of me, and I didn't even know it.

Yesterday morning - and today, I awoke at 6:30, long before my alarm was set to go off.  I lay there, in the quiet of the morning, and suddenly knew that I could not stay in bed.  I silently got up, and tiptoed down the stairs, to enjoy the solitude of the morning.  I sipped on coffee, and read my book, and felt at peace with the world.

I had forgotten how much I love this.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Not to beat a dead horse or anything . . .

But geez, it is hot outside.

Record breaking temperatures all week.

Record breaking heat indices* all week.

During the day, the heat is bad enough to cause power outages because the air conditioners just can't keep up.

And at night?  Usually the place of blessed relief?

It is nearly midnight, and it is still 88 degrees.  And humid enough to feel sticky just by poking your head out the door.  Add in the massive numbers of bugs and it is murderous.

Who do I contact about getting a cold wave through here?

*Grammatical note: indices is the plural form of 'index'.  I hate that the rule for any word ending in x is to change it to a c and add es.  It takes away a lot of the cool factor when you remove the x.  I vote we change this rule.  The rule should be to simply add 'es' to the end.  Way easier to remember, and we get to keep the 'x'.  From now on, you should say 'heat indexes' or refer to the 'appendixes' of a book.**

**Never mind.  Now that I see that written out, it looks dumb.  Let's stick with the old rule.

*Dusting Off the Old Blog*

Oh!  There is a blog under all that dust.  It was hard to tell under all that not-writing that was going on. . .

It's August.  Which means we are now one month from opening day of our Festival.*  Paperwork is finally coming in.  Final preparations are being made.  And to use a colloquialism my Grandma Joy would have used: I'm up to my ass in alligators.

Needless to say, I've had little time for blogging.  And it will only get worse as we get closer to opening day.  I will try to pop on at least once a week with an update, but for now, that's the best I can hope for.  Because that roller coaster I talked about all those months ago?

We're heading through the crazy-fast loop-the-loops and hairpin turns before we screech in to the station in one month.

I'm going to have whip lash. . .

*Quiet panic attack in the corner as this hits home.