Things I Used to Take for Granted before Having Children

Peeing without an audience

Finishing a meal in one sitting

Eating/drinking something at the desired temperature

Not having to take my boobs out in public

Leaving the house in under thirty minutes

Watching an “adult” movie (be it raunchy or scary) before 8pm

Staying up past midnight without being a monster the next day

Driving past McDonald’s without screams from the backseat

Uneventful and quick trips to the grocery store

Singing along with the radio without a backseat critic – who made him Simon Cowell anyway?

Shaving my legs more than once every few weeks

Keeping my glasses fingerprint free all day

Getting 5+ hours of sleep during two or more consecutive evenings

Sleeping in on Saturdays

Using an alarm clock

Being addressed by my first name

Cleaning the house and having more than two seconds to admire the handiwork

Date night

Personal hygiene (some days are better than others)

Quiet

But I still wouldn’t trade my munchkins for anything.  🙂

Lately, I very much feel on the periphery of things. I want to find something to excite me; that makes me want to participate. Most of the time, my writing makes me feel this way, but I am hesitant to being a writing session because I don’t have as much time to devote to it as I would like and interruptions are guaranteed in my house. I dislike nothing more than getting into a good writing groove and having to abandon it mid-stride. I sincerely hope that the things we are planning in the near future pan out the way we hope so I will have more “me” time; for my writing, to find hobbies I will enjoy, to make some friends.

Recently I reconnected with a friend from high school. I last saw her at the baby shower my family threw for me while I was pregnant with MJ, so it’s been over three years. We decided to get together because of any of the friends that we both still have, the only ones with kids live really far away. She just had her first child a few weeks before EM was born. Both our husbands played on the playground with MJ and Q while we chatted and played with the babies. I had a really nice time.

I feel like this post is a little disjointed. These first two paragraphs were written in an exhaustion induced semi-coma. Had to work an extra long shift last night then wake up early with the kids. It was rough, to say the least. I was so proud of Q today though. She was amazing. And I’m really looking forward to taking MJ to his preschool orientation next week. First day of school pictures to come!

This has been a difficult week for me. Last weekend, we found out that my in-laws won’t be coming to the birthday party we have planned for MJ and Q. I have been trying very hard to understand their reasoning. They want to come the following weekend so they can bring my sister-in-law’s kids as well. Goodness knows the kids only see each other when we travel there (multiple times per year versus my sister-in-law’s one visit in eight years).

Although I am trying to be understanding, they knew about this party for over one month and could have made plans to be here on the correct weekend. And why is that particular weekend so important? Not only are we celebrating MJ and Q that weekend, it is CJ’s birthday as well. He will be turning 30. How could his parents not want to be here to share that with him? He is their baby.

CJ has told me many times that this isn’t that big of a deal, but I wonder who he is trying to convince more, me or himself. My heart hurts to think that they could do this to their baby. He is the single most wonderful person I have ever met and I just don’t understand how anyone could not want to show him how important he is and celebrate the fact that he’s alive.

I love you, CJ. And at least the kids and I will be here for your birthday. We’re the best part of your family anyway. 🙂

Email

Today I started email addresses for MJ and Q. I read that it is a great way to share moments and media with your children as you give them the password once they are older.

As so much of what we do today is digital and easy, we cannot possibly print out all the pictures we take. My parents house was full of photo albums, but most of my pictures are lost in an electronic wasteland. If I send the picture to the kids while it is fresh in my head, I will not forget about its existence and be able to share these wonderful things with MJ and Q. They are supposed to have lots of pictures of their childhood; and embarrassing ones too! 🙂

I hope they appreciate everything I will be putting in to this project. I am pretty excited about it.

The Purple Paint Incident

My mother has been after me to share the story of what she refers to as the “Purple Paint Incident” ever since it happened a few weeks ago.

My extremely pregnant sister and her two girls were over to pick something up and I was rushing around to get ready to leave for work. MJ and my sister’s youngest were playing in the foyer where I had foolishly left my work stuff where they could reach it.

Normally, this would not have been too terrible as the most they could have gotten into was work bag, but on this particular day, I had an almost full gallon of purple paint with my things as I was planning on doing a project with the kids at work.

I was in my bedroom, my sister was in the living room, so there were no adults around to thwart them. There was a big boom and I ran out to see the hardwood floor, in the house I have owned for less than a year, covered in purple paint. I (quite rightly) begin making incoherent noises. To this day, I am still not quite sure who was the culprit. MJ had purple splashes down his belly, but my sister’s daughter had purple hands and feet.

They both began crying, afraid of being yelled at, and my sister’s four year old begin chanting: “I didn’t do it, Aunt Amber. It wasn’t me. I didn’t do it.”

My sister grabbed some paper towels and began wiping up the mess while I took care of the open can of paint. The four year old was still chanting when I came in the house so I had to reassure her that I knew she was not responsible for the mess.

My sister told me that she had done the best she could and went to corral the children into MJ’s playroom. I panicked. The floor was still purple and I was not OK with that. I got some warm water and we both went back to work on the spot.

From her vantage in the playroom, the four year old felt it was her duty to point out any spots she thought we were missing. My sister had to quit before the spot was completely up as the baby was making her uncomfortable and then she went to entertain the still crying children.

Somehow, the two year old ended up with some sort of whistle and would not stop blowing it. As she was part of the reason the floor was purple and her sister was not helping, still shouting out instructions, I became even more frustrated than I was. I told the two year old that if she would not stop blowing the whistle, I would shove it up her nose. In hindsight, this may have been a harsh threat to make to a two year old, but remember, my hardwood floor was PURPLE!

Needless to say, I no longer like the color purple. I was able to get all but one small spot off the floor, so there is now a piece of furniture there to cover it up 🙂

Wish There Were More Time in the Day

Perfect Scoundrels is the first book I have begun reading since MJ was born that I have been waiting a long time for. Most of these types of books, I would always finish within a day or two. However, now that is something I cannot do. It is taking me far longer to read this book than I wanted, as I have to sneak in a chapter or two here and there; most of the time before bed.

Even now, I am just wanting to read my book to find out what happens, but I am making myself work on my writing for just a little bit while I have some extra time. I understand now when I would reccomend a book for my sister and she would tell me she just did not have the time to read it. There really is not the time I used to have especially when there are more important things that I want to take care of after MJ goes to bed but before I do.

So far, my writing is going…shall we just say decent? I have some pretty detailed character bios. I have decided that since I cannot devote as much time as I would like to it, I should take notes at every opportunity so I do not lose any plot, info, etc. I am getting pretty excited about it.

Back to writing I go! Or maybe to my book 🙂

Penguins in the Morning

I work at a Child Care Center as one of the Head Teachers in the School Age room. As there is no school this week, we are graced with the presence of the children all day. In an attempt to alleviate some of our programming stress, the local library decided to pay us a visit. What a treat it turned out to be.

The librarian began with a little background information. Apparently, in Rochester, throughout the month of April, there is a Children’s Film Festival. All of these films have age-appropriate language and content. One of this year’s award winning films was titled “Lost and Found,” based upon a children’s book of the same name.

The librarian shared Oliver Jeffers’ Lost and Found with the children and then told them to pay close attention. She had brought the film version with her to share. I do not think that the children were fully aware of the opportunity we were getting, but I sure was, as the film cannot be purchased outright.

The film was short, only 24 minutes, but it was very delightful. The librarian pointed out differences that the children may not have noticed and spoke of their meanings. Also, she made sure that the children got the true importance of the story. A penguin and a boy from different sides of the ocean can be friends; it does not matter where you come from, true friendship is what is important.

I hope the children really got that message today and will take it to heart. Just like penguins who arrive at your doorstep in the morning, we oftentimes come into each other’s lives unexpectedly and these impromptu relationships have the wonderful capability of becoming strong and wonderful friendships.