Friday, January 29, 2010

The First Step Is Admiting

Disclaimer: Please know that this post is meant to be humorous and an outlet to make fun of myself (and others who want to join me). I understand that OCD is a serious problem for some people and I am in no way making light of this disease. Please hear my heart, join the fun, and laugh at me and maybe yourself too.

So a few post ago I mentioned one of my OCDs and from the responses I received I found I am not alone. Which of course made me feel better (and also gave me more to laugh at). And I thought to myself, "If there are more people like me and finding this out makes me feel better, maybe there's someone out there who would be helped by hearing about all my other 'quirks'."

So I've compiled a list of all my OCD tendencies that I could think of because I'm sure that someone somewhere needs this.

  • I already mentioned my need for dials to be set to a multiple of five. You can read about that here if you need to catch up.
  • I unload the dishwasher the same way all the time. I unload the bottom rack first and pile everything in the proper categories on the counter and close to the cupboards they belong in. And then I unload the top rack. To me my process saves time and energy. To my husband it's weird.
  • When I'm singing or humming and someone asks me a question I have to finish the line I'm singing before answering. If I don't it's like the song is skipping in that spot in my head. I've worked at getting better about this since having kids.
  • When I load the laundry into the washing machine I always follow the same order: sort clothes, start the water, soap, color safe bleach, fabric softener, load clothes.
  • When I fold the laundry I fold my towels to face the same direction with the tags tucked in and on the same side. If someone else does laundry for me I don't let it bother me. Anymore. I used to fix it. Before I had kids.
  • When I take a shower, like with the laundry, I have an order: face, body, hair, shave. I know that you really wanted to know this one didn't you! In my defense this one is so that I don't forget to wash my hair. If I mess with the routine I forget what I have and haven't washed.
  • When I read a book I always start at the very beginning. It's a very good place to start... (You just started singing Do, Re Mi didn't you. I'm powerfully suggestive like that.) Anyways, I have to read it from intro to postlude. And I have to finish it. Even if it takes years. I have to finish the book. I started War and Peace a year ago and it's killing me that it's not finished yet. But I will finish it. I fought through Great Expectations and I won't let War and Peace get me down either! I also just finished The Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers. I started that one two years ago. And I'm not a slow reader. That one was just waaaaaaay to convicting to read in a few weeks. Or maybe I'm just waaaaaaay to lazy. I'm going with the first one.
  • Even though I'm not perfect at it myself proper punctuation, spelling, and grammar are a big deal to me. I've been known to disown people because of their lack of using capital letters. Not really. But close. I can't really get into text speak either. Some of it is cute. And I get the easy part but I still can't bring myself to do it.
  • I have this thing with cotton balls. They make noise when you rub them and feel funny to me. I avoid them as often as possible. As for the aspirin bottles with cotton in them, I don't buy them or I have someone else take it out.
  • I don't like things pointing at my eyes (ie. fingers, pencils, knifes, forks, straws). When I have a drink with a straw the straw has to point away from me or I feel like it's going to poke my eye out. Even if it is five feet away. Nathan of course takes advantage of this and tortures me by holding his finger by my eye. My dad used to do it too. Actually he still does.
  • As odd as it may sound, especially after this post, I have an eclectic collection of coffee mugs. I love variety. And to me there are definitely boy mugs and girl mugs. Well, it's more like girl mugs and girl mugs that work for guys too. When I make coffee for me and Nathan I always make sure he gets the more masculine mug. Sometimes that means he gets a bird instead of a lady. But sometimes I get the bird mug and he gets an elephant mug.
So, for now, this is my list. I'm sure if Nathan were here he could add a few for me. But he's not so I get away with it for now. Now I want to hear from you. What are some of your OCD tendencies? Leave a comment below!

The Letter We Never Want To Write

To My Life-long Companion and Dear Friend Sugar,

Let me begin by telling you how much I adore and love you. Your sweet kisses and sugary hugs have always been a ray of sunshine to me. And though I've missed you terribly these last few weeks, as our 30 days apart comes to an end I've decided that we can't and shouldn't see so much of each other anymore. At least not as much as we used to.

Though our daily, and sometimes twice to three times daily, encounters were lovely they always left me feeling tired, lazy and round. Please don't get me wrong. I'm not banishing you from my life completely. I would never do that to you, dear friend. I've just realized that when we see each other all the time you become controlling and I become needy. And we both know that's not what we want for our relationship.

I look forward to seeing you after the 1st of February. But please be kind to us both and make this easier by not coming around so often. And I will do my part by not inviting you over when we pass in the market or at gatherings with our friends.

Until February,


Thursday, January 28, 2010

My First Giveaway!

Welcome to my 61st post and my first giveaway! I know most people do first time giveaways at post 50 or 100 but I thought I'd change things up a bit. Plus it really helps me to face my OCD tendencies head on.

I know. You're thinking, "Her? OCD? REALLY?" Just ask Nathan. I have this "need" for numbers to be "my kind" of even. Like when I'm listening to the radio in the car the volume has to be set to a multiple of five. That's why I call it "my kind" of even. I know five isn't an even number but it is evenly between zero and ten. Which makes it even in my head.

Please don't try to make sense of this. It's all "hockey puck-rattle snake-monkey monkey-underpants" up there if you know what I mean.

So anyways, the GIVEAWAY! Yay!

I'm creating a Valentine's Gift box with some of my favorite things. The contents are a surprise. Mostly because I haven't purchased them yet. But I have lots of ideas including: pedicure kits, chocolates, coffee and other Valentine's sweets.

To enter you just need to leave a comment below telling me how wonderful I am.

Just kidding. Just leave a comment below and you'll be entered!

For three extra chances to win do the following:

  • Facebook or Twitter about this giveaway (including the link always helps!)
  • Follow me! Just click on the Follow button on the left side of this page. If you already follow me let me know.
  • Post about this giveaway on your blog with a link back here.
And when your done come back here and leave a comment for each. I will be accepting names until Sunday the 7th when I'll have one of my kiddos pull a name from a hat. Real formal, I know. Good luck!

Monday, January 25, 2010

To Amelia, On Her First Birthday

My Darling Squishy Amelia Girl,

You are such a sweet addition to our little family. I am so blessed to be the one that everyone turns to, after seeing your smile, to ask if you are always such a happy girl. I love to watch the impact that your little one year old life has on complete strangers. You, my dear, are a light in this dim world. You brighten everyday for me.

You wake every morning with smiles, laughter, and bouncing. Your daddy and I both love to come get you out of your crib because we love being greeted by you and your bouncing. You love to bounce in your crib with your pudgy fingers wrapped around the side rail. You are eager to give us a morning kiss or two or five and then you point to the stairs to let us know where you want to go.

We enjoy watching you play with Abiah and Hazel. You guys play Legos together almost every day. And you do a good job at trying to get those pieces to stick together. As I watch you rock your dollies I see your tender little heart taking care of them. Even if they are upside down and bent in half as you rock them. When I do phonics with Hazel or Abiah you are quick to get in your "b", "p", and "t" sounds.

You just started walking in the last month or so and to watch your chubby legs waddle across the floor only increases my need to pick you up to squeeze and kiss. You are climbing the stairs and learning, or demanding rather, to feed yourself. You've got four teeth with two more really close to coming in. And although you've not slept well the last three nights (which means Mommy and Daddy haven't slept well either) you still have a cheerful greeting for us in the morning.

Since today was your birthday we got to turn your car seat around to face the front of the car. You were so excited when we put you in the car to go on an adventure with a brand new view.

One of your birthday presents was our friend Hannah coming home FINALLY from her three month trip to Uganda, Africa. We missed her a lot. Hannah was at the hospital with me last year and got to see you be born. She has also been one of your favorite people. When she was in Africa we were talking to her online and when you saw her you got so excited you started yelling and dancing. What a treat to greet her at the airport on your birthday!

After we left the airport we went with Maga, Aunti Nana (Edna), Abiah and Hazel to a home decorating store to find a rocking chair for your birthday present. Daddy and I bought Hazel one for her birthday this last October and you LOVE it! You rock by yourself or with your dollies all the time.

You also like to stand in it backwards and lean over really far. That makes Mommy's heart beat a little faster. A lot faster.

When we first got to the store we found the exact chair that Hazel has. I put it in my cart because it looked like the only one in the store. I really wanted to get you one that was similar in color but not the same pattern. But I figured it would be okay if they matched and maybe if you both had the same chair you wouldn't fight over them so much.

After walking around the store for awhile we saw another lady with a chair in her cart that was similar in colors but a different pattern. We liked it better. When Maga went to ask her where she found it the lady showed her and said, "This is the last one they have in this pattern. But I wanted the one that lady has."

Well, "that" lady was me! We quickly traded chairs and we're both so happy to have found what we wanted. I know it may seem silly, Amelia, but I think God had something to do with that. I know we don't need these chairs. But I believe God knows we wanted to bless you with this gift and so he made a way for us to get it.

So after we left that store we drove over to IKEA. My beautiful girl, let me just say that the day had been a long one for you up to this point and you were handling it very well. I had been trying to keep you from being to hungry by giving you snacks (animal cracker, cheese sticks, jelly sandwiches, candy from Auntie Nana) and sips of water from your cup. But, my oh my, you have changed IKEA for me for a long time or maybe forever.

We went to the food court first. We were all hungry and wanted to fuel up for our big trip through IKEA. After carefully selecting food that I knew you, Hazel and Abiah would eat we navigated our way to a table and set up camp at a big round table. I had you on one side and Hazel on the other. Auntie Edna was next to Hazel and then came Abiah with Maga between him and you.

I quickly dished Abiah's bowl of food and got him eating and then went to work with you and Hazel. Spoon of mac-n-cheese to Hazel. Spoon of mac-n-cheese to Amelia. Back and forth, back and forth. I would take a quick break to feed myself and then start again. At one point I gave you both your cups of water and you chugged like you were drinking pure gold. Maga, knowing of your's and your sister's love of veggies, asked if she could give you a slice of steamed carrot. And this is where it got reeeeealy bad.

Just as the couple across from us got settled into their seats and began eating you choked. And then you blew. As in projectile vomit. As in so projectile that it went across the cart you were sitting in, over my leg, and half way under the table almost to Auntie Edna's feet. It was on the table. On my leg. On your leg. And ALL over the floor and the base of the table. I felt so bad for you but couldn't help laughing about the reaction of the people around us whether intentional or not.

Right after "the incident" I heard all these chairs around us scrape the floor as those who had been using them quickly stood up. It seemed as though it was synchronized. The couple that had just sat down next to our table tried to act as if they hadn't seen what had just happened and weren't seeing was now covering the floor of the place they were eating and the people and the table next to them. When the staff came over to see what needed to be cleaned up I wanted to cry and laugh hysterically at the same time when I heard the lady say, "puke" in a "and now we have to clean up this mess" tone of voice.

After they swept most of it into a dust pan and then rubbed the rest of it into a bigger area of the floor with a mop (Ew, gross! I don't know why they think that helps.) they hurried away to whatever else they could find, I'm sure. I would have.

As we changed plans from a stroll through IKEA into a quick trip to pick a few things up you got really tired. And even though you smelled like puke I couldn't resist when you reached to me with your soft little hands and begged me with those blue eyes all droopy with sleep to hold you. And holding you brought that little ray of sunshine back into my moment of grey.

And even though I pray that you please, PLEASE sleep through the night tonight, I can't wait to see your smile and hold your chubby little self next to me while I drink in the smells of your soft baby skin. And as we chatter together I'll pray that this next year doesn't goes by so quickly.

Happy 1st Birthday Amelia!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Good, The Bad &The Ugly, And More Good

The Good:

Hazel had taken her pajamas off (again!) and was trying to zip them up. She got frustrated with the zipper and said, "Toopid fing!"


When Hazel rocks Dolly to sleep she sings, "Hazo Gace, Hazo Gace Bess my baby fo ehbo."
Just like her momma sings to her.


When Hazel was going potty today she told me she'd gone potty and then said, "It on my bottom. No touth it. Derms down der." At least I know she's listening!

The Bad & The Ugly:

Hazel realized she's two. This week. She's been two for about three months. But she must not have realized what that entailed. Until this week.

She and I had our first "Say, 'yes, Momma'" fight the other night. FOR 20 MINUTES! I would almost give in to her blood curdling, ear piercing scream when she'd stop abruptly and say, "I want fisy caka."

And when she would wail, "I don't want to say yes Momma" I knew she was just being defiant. And I know I have to deal with that now. Instead of waiting until she's thirteen and has a larger vocabulary to be sassy with.

I was so relieved when she finally and suddenly fell into my arms in a heap of sweat, tears, snot and the most intoxicating smell of baby's breath and said, "Yes Momma!"

I almost cried.

And More Good:

Since Hazel is potty training her doll named Dolly is potty training too, of course. Today she announced that Dolly needed to go potty. Not wanting her to bring her doll anywhere near the bathroom (ew gross!) I told her that Dolly can pretend to use the potty in the corner of the coat closet. After propping Dolly up in the corner and giving her a good 15 seconds to do her business, Hazel exclaimed, "Dolly go potty!" I clapped and cheered and congratulated Dolly on her success.

Later on when it was Hazel's turn to use the real potty and we were waiting for business to happen she reminded me that Dolly went potty toilet. I tried to encourage Hazel to follow in Dolly's footsteps. She reminded me that she gets candy for going potty on the toilet and then, with big brown eyes peeping through scraggly curls she asked, "Dowy cany too?"

I told her that Dolly can have a piece of pretend candy and "gave" her a piece from my pocket. She held it in her upturned right hand for a few seconds. Then switched it to her left.

She looked at me very seriously and said, "I not eat Dowy cany." I told her that I thought that was very nice and that she could just hold it for Dolly until we were done in the bathroom.

Within a few seconds of me saying that she looked at me slyly, giggled and said, "I wan eat Dowy cany!" Right as I started to say she should save it for dolly, she popped the imaginary candy right in her mouth and gobbled it up. Then she threw back her curly head and laughed the laugh that makes me want to wrap her in my arms and cover her in kisses.

To Tell The World

We all have bad days. Bad moments. Bad phases. Bad weeks. It's so easy for me to get on here or on Facebook and let you all know that I'm having a bad day. Somethings wrong. I don't like it. And I want the world to know! And I think that it is, in some ways, a nice release for all the frustration or confusion. But what about the good days?

I have those too. But I forget to talk about them. Because they sometimes don't feel all that great when I have a bad day and realize all there is left to do and accomplish. And the things to do and accomplish can range from the dishes to my kids attitude. From my kids schooling progress to my attitude. Potty training, bills, unfinished projects, extra weight that won't just go away. It all stays. And jumps up and down on my parade of projects accomplished and milestones reached until they are smashed into more dirt on the kitchen floor that still needs to be swept.

But today was a good day. Not perfect by any means. But the kind of day I want to have more of. I didn't overachieve. And yet I didn't laze around waiting for my checklist to magically be finished. I enjoyed.

The greatest accomplishments didn't even seem to be mine at first. Until a friend helped me see how my previous days, months and the last few years have been paying off.

Abiah is in first grade this year and I am homeschooling him. He is such a bright little man. He loves to learn and to understand the reason for everything. Math has been so simple for him. But reading? It's taken awhile. Mostly because of my apprehension to face the battle.

I know he can get it. I just don't know of any other way to explain things to him. He can sound out a word like m-i-d-d-l-e and say the sounds perfectly for 15 minutes and not realize what he's saying. I would like to believe that he just needs to concentrate better and maybe that's what it is but I get so frustrated with myself for not knowing how to explain things better that I want to give up and let someone else teach him. I don't want him to hate learning and school and reading because I know he'll love it if he's taught right.

And of course it's when I'm in that place that he sits down and reads a book to his sister. Running back and forth from the living room to the kitchen to exclaim to me, "Mom! I just read 'one day'!" He's doing so well and that means I am too!

Also, Hazel's been potty training on and off since November. I was very diligent at first (read a day or two). And then I'd forget or get busy. Or just not want to deal with it. But in the last few months she's become more aware of what's going on (ie. the need to pee).

And in the last few weeks she started telling me she had to pee. Usually after she had just gone. But that's progress.

And then today she almost exclusively went in the toilet! I'm so proud of her. In in turn, proud of myself.

We are not done with this journey. But we are achieving something. Something big. And, for me, it's something to tell the world.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Barbaric Hubby

Nathan has a four day weekend this week. We are taking the first two days to be together, sleep in, and finish painting our living room. We shipped the kids off to their Noni and Poppi's house yesterday and actually got 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. It was beautiful. When we got up this morning we decided to have brunch at the local cafe.

Now, we live in a small town. A small hick town. Small like no stop lights. Just a yellow blinky one. I would love to say that the cafe is as cute as Luke's from Gilmore Girls. But it's not. It is definitely a decent place to eat and the owners are sweet and wonderful. But it fits the town it's in.

When we went to breakfast there were only a few people there. At the table across from us were four guys. One was old enough to be the other three's dad. They were the type of guys you totally expect to see in a small backwoods town. Cut of chew in the bottom lip, dirty baseball hat and all.

When they went to leave they almost forgot their caps/hats and two of the guys came back to grab them. The younger one asked the older man, "Why are we leaving all our stuff here?" As they passed our table the man replied, "Because we're civilized and take our hats off when we're in the house."

I, of course, started to giggle. One: They looked like they could be related to Larry the Cable Guy! And two: we were in a restaurant not a house.

After they left I looked at Nathan to give him that "did you hear that?" smile and I realize he's wearing a hat! The guy was talking about Nathan! We both had a good laugh about it.

I know I'm prejudice because he's my hubby, but he's more civilized than I am most of the time. And he's hot!


I told Nathan this was definitely blogging material even though he doesn't like me to talk about him on here. I also think it's a perfect time for some of my favorite pics of him.

Swimming with the kids.

Singing in the car.

Fishing with Abiah. Note the hat. But he's outside so it's okay.

Rocking the babies.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

When Jesus Helps With The Laundry

The other night Nathan and I watched a movie called Conversations With God. It's the story based on Neale Walsch's journey to writing a book with the same title as the movie. I'm no good at recapping stories so I'll tell you what I got out of it.

God is everywhere and in everything. We are constantly conversing with Him. Most of the time we don't realize it though. I have often hoped, as a SAHM with minimal adult interaction, that when my mind is taken over by an army of random thoughts, frustrations and concerns that hopefully God was listening to that insanity and would see it as a prayer. As jumbled and crazy as it is. And after watching this movie I wanted to be aware of how much God was in the everyday tiny-to-me details of my life.

So today I'm sorting dirty laundry and thinking about this when I picked some clothes up to sort through and a few items fall down on the pile of dirty dark clothes. I looked down and realize that the clothes that fell belonged in that pile anyways and the clothes in my hands all belonged in the pile of light clothes.

I laughed to myself and thought, "Thanks Jesus for helping me with the laundry!" While I was debating about whether people would think I am crazy for thinking Jesus helps me sort dirty laundry I grabbed more clothes to sort. A small white sock fell on top of the dark clothes pile and I laughed once again and said, "Jesus, that's the wrong pile."

After moving the sock to the correct pile I wondered if people would think it was disrespectful of me to talk to God that way. There are those who say God has a sense of humor though so maybe this would fit into that category. I continued sorting as I debated this with myself.

After a few minutes I looked down and saw that I had placed some dark clothes on the light clothes pile.

I just had to laughed out loud.

Another Reason Mommy Doesn't Go Out Much

Last Friday I was given a day off. Well, I took the day off, but my friend gave it to me since she came and watched my kids. For free! (This is a huge miracle since there were only two people who would watch me for my mom when I was Hazel's age. My poor Mother.)

So I went to lunch and did some returning of Christmas presents and shopping of little items I needed or wanted. And I used gift cards so the day was way cheap. Anyways, lunch was nice except for the people who stared at me the WHOLE time I was eating because I was eating alone. Or maybe I had a booger hanging out my nose and didn't know it...we'll say it was the alone thing.

After lunch I went over to Target to return and shop. After browsing for about 45 minutes I stopped to pick up a new tube of lip stick. Mine was at that "gonna have to dig it out with your nail" stage. Since I don't know what brand or color I wear by heart I had to pull my old one out of my purse and check.

I pick out the new tube and place it in the basket I was carrying and put my old one back in my purse. The thought came to my mind that someone was gonna see me and think that I was stealing. And that would be embarrassing. But I checked out without a problem and headed out the door.

And then the door alarm went off.

I stopped a no one came to check me or my stuff so I slowly walked to my car. While in my car I pull my new lip stick out to try some on. It looked good. I made sure to place to wrapper in my ash tray/garbage pile. I then headed over to the mall across the street.

When I finally found a parking spot I had to take an outside escalator to the Barnes & Noble I was headed to. But there was a mall cop at the top of the stairs. I think, "Oh great. Something bad happened." No. The escalator had stopped working. Thankfully they has just restarted it. I have to admit though, the thought that went through my head was, "Yup. That's what mall cops are good for."

I learned my lesson two minutes later. I was on my way to B&N and I hear someone yell, "Get down! Get down! Right now!" I looked around and there were three or four mall cops running through the court yard I was passing to stop four guys who were coming out of the Macy's store.

After gawking for an impolite amount of time I continue on my way and think, "That could have been me at Target!" Then I walk through the doors at B&N and the alarm goes off. I threw my hands up in the air and said, "I just got here!"

Once again, no one came to check me out so I went on my way. I had to stop at the lady's room first. No one was in there so I went to the large stall. 'Cause the small ones make me claustrophobic. A few seconds later someone enters the bathroom and quietly walks up to the stall I'm in, of course, and shakes the handle.

And then does nothing.

I'm thinking, "Crap. They followed me up here to check me out because there are two stalls open still and if they really had to go they would use one of those." But no. That lady is apparently scared of small bathroom stalls too. I don't feel so alone in the world now.

Anyways. I browse B&N and find a book. I purchase said book with said gift cards and go to leave. And wouldn't'cha know it? Those darned alarms went off. AGAIN!

Again I throw my hands into the air. But this time a sales clerk comes and re-scans my book for me. And yet when I went to leave the alarms went off yet again. I told the clerk that they went off when I came in and have no idea what the deal is. He says I'm fine and remarked that if I was wearing Old Navy or GAP clothing I could still have one of their alarms tags on me.

I pictured one of those white plastic alarms that are on clothing and was like, "I think I would know if I had one of those on me." I was indeed wearing Old Navy. But it was a shirt bought at a second hand store and given to me by a friend. So home I went.

And then it hit me...about 45 minutes later. Call me slow. I blame it on motherhood.

I had new pants on. From Old Navy. And Old Navy puts these irritating little square tags in the hip of their jeans that you have to cut out so it doesn't cut into your hip. And apparently so you can get in and out of stores without the possibility of a strip search. Because that's what it would have taken to figure out what was setting those stupid alarms off!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Funny, Funny, Funny

Today Hazel was playing with me on the couch and saw a journal of mine sitting behind me. "Nanna gib you, Momma?" (Did Edna give that to you, Momma?)
"No. Maga gave that to me."
"Maga gib you? ...Maga seye gooth!" (Maga's a silly goose!)


Abiah has known for sometime now that Nathan had a doll when he was a little boy. However, it confuses Abiah that Nathan tells him not to play with dolls because they are for girls. So he decided he was going to get even with his dad.

Abiah came into the kitchen dressed up in his sister's fairy wings, skirt and head dress holding the fairy wand and announced to me that he's gonna just dress like a fairy since daddy won't let him play with dolls.


Tonight we were praying for a family who has the chicken pox and Abiah prayed, "I know your going to heal them....reeeeeally slow. 'Cause you've got too much to do in one day."

And I had just been thinking, "Ah, to have faith like a child."