Friday, May 29, 2009


Two months, two kids. Happy Birthday, Paul Joseph. We're not only surviving, we're having a great time.

Update: We WERE having a great time, until this afternoon, when Paul Joseph got three shots in his little legs and then started crying non-stop three hours later. The poor thing is in so much pain and it breaks my heart to hear him crying and be unable to console him.

Also, if you're looking Polly-Wally-Doodle's photo and are wondering about the red spot on his abdomen, it's a hemangioma, and will most likely grow bigger while Paul grows, then hopefully fade and go away. Learn something new everday, huh? ;)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Six pounds down, Nineteen to go. So far, so good.

After a weekend of back-breaking yard work/gardening, I'm ready to take on a new challenge. Mark and I are doing this one together, inspired by my mom, who, I have to admit, can do more pushups than me.

The challenge is on. I did 27 this morning ;)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Everything to Everyone

The other day while folding laundry during naptime I turned on the television show, The Doctors. After the episode I was further convicted that turning on the television is an absolute waste of brain cells, even if I was just droning out the silent monotony of folding laundry at 3pm.

The episode featured a professional reality TV star. In addition to making a living on TV, the woman is a model, actor, author, wife, and mother of three; one of whom is blind and disabled. Her hair was long and gorgeous, her nails were manicured, she was thin, fit, and beautiful. All of this was fine and dandy until one of the doctors, a female, made a comment to the effect of "It's so great today that women can do everything. They can have it all...etc."

It got me fuming.

These types of comments are so frequent and politically correct that I think regardless of how we actually feel, it's just used as a conversation filler without really understanding the ideology it is upholding.

Yes, yes, yes, women can do everything, I know, and yes, I believe it. Both men and women can do practically anything they want, and I think that the opportunities are endless, especially in America. My beef is with glorifying women, often celebrities, that have so much on their plate it makes your head spin wondering how they have time to brush their teeth in the morning. Our society has turned the ideal woman into someone who is everything to everyone, a mother who does it all; has perfect hair, a dazzling career, talents beyond the ordinary. A woman who fits into her jeans a week after having a baby, who looks good all the time, and is living a life of adventure, all while making sure to comment that she gets her "me time."

What about me? I stay at home and some days don't shower until noon. Even then, it doesn't guarantee that I'll get dressed out of jammie pants. Ninety-eighty percent of the time my hair is in a ponytail, my shirt is streaked with breastmilk and boogers, and my nails are never polished, let alone manicured. I have interests and talents, but nothing remarkable, and I'm no where near being famed for a book I authored, an exercise video or reality show. Is my life lacking because of it, am I not doing enough, do I not do it all?

What about the mother who gets up at the crack of dawn, gets her kids and herself dressed, fed and in the car, drops kids off at daycare, punches in and out, picks kids up, gets home and has just enough energy to feed, bathe and put her kids to bed before she crashes to do it all again the next day? Is she not doing enough because she doesn't exercise everyday, cook organic from scratch, or read to her children precisely twenty minutes each night?

I going to be pretty bold here and say that yes, women can do everything, but those who are are everything can't be doing any of it very well.

I'm so tired of the Hollywood ideal of motherhood, all with nannies, assistants, and personal trainers, all marketing females in perfect packages of domestic bliss, with no obstacle getting in the way of their figures or aspirations. Meanwhile, there's a mom at work feeling bad because dinner is frozen pizza again, and the mom at home is feeling bad because she's just trying to get through a day without peanut butter in her hair.

Why can't what we're already doing be enough? It feels enough to me, and yet, the praise is always going to someone doing more. I can't change the way the world thinks, but whether at home or working, we're doing enough, even if it means there is little to show for it. We don't have to be everything to everyone, just everything to someone.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Child of Mine

Today is Mary Cassatt's birthday. I'm not an art scholar, but I know enough to find her paintings lovely and want to plaster them all over my house. Here's a nice preview...just beautiful.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I'm a little discouraged this week because I haven't made much progress in the baby weight department. When Luke was baby Paul's age I was at least five pounds lighter, and I feel stuck despite running around our house constantly, eating healthy foods, and exercising when I can.

My little progress was this morning when I was able to button, albeit tightly, a pair of capris that I couldn't get zipped last week. So, I know things are working, but it is just taking its time.

My goal for this week is to get more exercise by working out in our yard. The bleakness of our property has to go, and already Mark and I (mostly Mark...) dug out flower beds, pulled weeds, and have laid black dirt in preparation for planting. Hopefully the tending of a modest garden will help to keep me in check for baby-weight progress.

What's that? Yes, the Hesitant Mama is going to attempt a garden. And, as usual, I have no idea what I'm doing. But have no fear, Google is here. I'm relying on wikipedia and youtube to show me how it's done. No kidding.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Nothing screams EMERGENCY in our house like a blog post about Mr. Darcy get pushed for another day, and the stack of books on the end table tossed aside and immediately replaced with The Strong-Willed Child, Dare to Discipline, and Bringing Up Boys.

We're having some problems, but we're looking for solutions. If you have one, let me know. Otherwise, we're on fruit snack and Playhouse Disney lockdown until we can figure out what to do with our boundary-testing buddy. It's a stage, I realize, we just need a refresher with how to make sure the stage isn't chronic.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Last week Mark and I were watching the American Idol results show when the musical guest came on to perform.

"Who's that?" asked Mark.

"Um, I think it's Katy Perry," I answered.

"Oh," replied Mark, "Is she famous for anything?"

"She's a singer. She sings that 'I Kissed A Girl' song."

"Okay. Is she the same as Lady GaGa?"

"I don't know. I don't think so...maybe?"

We're getting so old.

Constant Craving

While living in St. Paul I stumbled across these pretzels. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a thing about pretzel sticks. Pretzel sticks and a Diet Coke is quite possibly the best snack combination in my world, and I've been told, by more than one friend, that when they think of me from across the miles, it is with me twirling a pretzel stick in one hand, and a Diet Coke in the other.
Now, Salty Stix aren't just your average Rold Gold. They are teeny-tiny pretzel sticks, short, thin and buttery. They are also extremely difficult to find now that we're out of the Twin Cities. Salty Stix are only sold at Rainbow foods, and the nearest Rainbow is nearly two hours from our house. My sister-in-law recently gave me the idea to look on Amazon, where they are sold in packs of twelve. But, ho-hum, they are not available at this time.
So friends, since I never get out of the house because I have a newborn and hellion of an almost-three-year old, and you have a giant, thrilling social life that brings you to places outside Northern Minnesota that have exciting new grocers, pick me up a pack of Salty Stix...or twelve.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Live and Learn

Yesterday, I was feeling a little frisky and decided to play some extra jumpy music for Luke during baby Paul's nap. It was rainy and cold, and we needed to take a break and dance around. Luke, not entertained by the Mandy Moore I was playing (I like to dance to the song 'Candy', I mean, come on, don't you?), started asking for different music.

All of sudden an idea came to me that, looking back, should have stayed an idea. I ran down to our office (aka, dumping ground) and pulled out Mark and my CD's, covered in dust and thrown in a pile ever since the birth of our sacred iPod. I shuffled through the CD's and laughed at the ones that didn't make the iPod cut, not worthy of a slice of my 80 gigabytes. Of these CD's was the one I was looking for, Jock Jams, my very first cd.

From there things went from bad to worse. I put on track 11, Luke grinned and started spinning in circle like a crazyman while screaming "Africa! Madagascar Song!" at the top of his lungs. The song was none other than "I like to move it, move it," which, I came to realize after Luke started singing the lyrics"shake that body nice and sweet and sexy," wasn't appropriate beyond the edited version played in the Madagascar movie.

After a gasp and beeline for the stop button, I remembered a different song on my classic cd that I thought Luke would enjoy. As soon as Luke heard the "Choo Choo," he was sold. He grabbed his Thomas the Train off the floor and "Chugga Chugga-ed," through the house and had me repeat "C'mon Ride the Train," for the next hour. Nothing like some Quad City DJ's to give you a migraine on a Thursday morning.

With anther nippy day we're braving the indoors again, with a full dose of Jock Jams to keep us energized. While it's a break from "Wheels on the Bus," I can't help but think I'm back in the seventh grade again.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


One of my new favorite time-killers.

Gotta love the Old School.


For the past week I have cleaned, prepared, and put our grind-and-brew on a timer every afternoon. When the baby wakes me up in the morning, I cannot tell you the enormity of my excitement knowing that the coffee downstairs is all ready a-brewin'. It's a small thing, a simple thing, and yet, pretty amazing. Add a little Coffee Mate and a "Thank you, Jesus," and I can't think of a better way to begin the day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I missed my post last week about baby weight, but I'm back at it today.

Goal #1: Breakfast. I'm trying, but it is still hard. I drink so much stinkin' coffee that the first time I feel hunger is usually around 11, and then I just want to make an early lunch. This wouldn't be a problem, but as I explained in my first baby weight post, if I wait that long to eat I spend the rest of the day feeling famished and eating non-stop.

Goal #2: Get outside. Last week we made it outside everyday. The weather was beautiful and even if we didn't get out on a walk, I pushed a swing or chased Luke around. Unfortunately, the weather this week has been more cold and rainy, but today looks promising. Sometimes twenty minutes with sidewalk chalk can make all the difference in the day.

Goal #3: Water. I drink a lot of water. I'm always thirsty anyway, but add nursing a newborn to the mix and I can't seem to go ten minutes without drinking something. Because I seem to be running around like crazy whether I'm inside the house or out and about, I find that while I still manage to drink water like a crazy person, I still get thirsty and need to drink more. My goal this week is to anticipate my thirst and make sure that I am drinking enough water, even if it means cutting out a Dt. Coke in the afternoon to compensate.

I'm happy to report that the 23 can now be lowered to 20. WHOO HOO!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Heart to Heart

I can't believe that my sweet boy, Paul Joseph, is already six weeks old. The past six weeks have flown by, and yet his birth is still fresh in my head like it was yesterday. All my worries, anxieties and anticipations seem to hold no merit now as we adjust to two boys as if Paul has been here all along. Although his first moments in this world were frightening and chaotic, I nevertheless fell in love with him with the same intensity that I did when I first became a mother.

Now, while life is easier than I ever expected it to be with with two little ones, it isn't a piece of cake, and I find challenges everyday as I try to get things done with altered efficiency and in fragments at a time. Still, I wouldn't have it any other way and I'm overwhelmed at the way my love and happiness grows with every hug, kiss and smile.

One phrase that is commonly heard amongst moms of young children is "You've got your hands full." I've heard this countless times as I'm trying to maneuver through a doorway, talk a two-year old out of a tantrum at the grocery store, or while nursing on a park bench while yelling at Luke to come back after he runs off. Some moms I know get offended and annoyed at this phrase, and I don't blame them, but yet, it's the truth, isn't it? I mean, I do have my hands full. Everyday tasks like calling a repairman, picking up a prescription or grocery shopping turn into an obstacle course when you add children to the mix. Everything takes at least twice as long, and it's definitely twice as hard.

Yes, life is harder and more complicated. Yes, my hands are full. As I hold my my sleeping newborn close and hug my two-year old, not only my hands are full, my arms are full. These boys fill me. They not only fill my arms, they fill my life. Yes, my time is filled with nursing, changing diapers, Thomas the Train and macaroni with hot dogs, but my life is filled with wonder while I watch these boys change and grow, all the while loving them more not because of what they do, but because of who they are.

My hands are full, my arms are full, my life is full. My whole world fits in my arms, and I love it. I never thought it would be so easy.

A Big Break

Last week got too crazy, and blogging just wasn't possible. Today I'm back to the grind with a full list of things to get accomplished this week, among them planning the beginnings of a garden in our barren yard.

Another step I'm taking this week is cloth diapering. Baby Paul is wearing cloth diapers today, and Luke was so jealous that Paul got pretty, blue new diapers that he insisted on wearing them, too. Can't complain about that! I'm also going to try a very simple, but more structured approach to Luke and language. He can identify all the letters and their sounds, but doesn't know what to do with that information. I'm going to try and put something together for him this week that might help him with the connection between letter sounds and words.

Let the week begin :)

Update: So, I'm really tired. Like, really tired. New Baby x Six Weeks = Totally and Exponentially Exhausted. I was just about to put up a new post but after ten minutes of staring at the computer trying to keep my eyes open I'm giving up the fight. Maybe after naptime...or maybe tomorrow.

Friday, May 1, 2009

This is why...

Flylady Follow-Up

After some brainstorming and calculated thought I've got a start to my home-organizing/cleaning schedule.

Every weekday has assigned tasks that are apart from everyday mandatory tasks, which is why dishes, cleaning the kitchen, and laundry are not on my schedule, because they are done everyday without me needing a reminder.

Also, I'm going to try and do this without having to assign tasks on the weekend (with the exception of the kitchen and laundry). My theory is that if I put in my working hours during the week, just like a regular job, than I shouldn't need to work on the weekend.

Monday: Mop floor
Tuesday: Vacuum upstairs/downstairs family rooms
Wednesday: Dust, clean downstairs bathroom
Thursday: Clean upstairs bathroom, empty wastebaskets
Friday: Ironing

I'm still working on a bi-weekly list, which is more deep cleaning, meal-planning and organization, but I really want to get it right, because if it doesn't work I won't do it. I've kept up with my weekly list thus week, but I'm sure it will take some getting used to, but I'm hoping it will give some structure and peace to a lifestyle that is sure to get chaotic at times.

Happy Friday!!!