Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday Night BBQ

Every Tuesday night for the past several weeks, we have had "plans" with our neighbors.  Laura even asks "Mom, it's the middle day of school - do we have plans tonight?"  I love it!  I love the friendship and camaraderie we have found in our new neighborhood.  This, this Tuesday night routine, is a huge reason why we moved.  Tuesday nights means hamburger or hot dogs on the grill, a potluck of salads, running in sprinklers, and getting covered in melted Popsicle - all on a weeknight!

Yesterday, we weren't supposed to have "plans."  The other mom and I hadn't discussed anything, and I thought I'd take my kids to the pool.  Well, it was too chilly (!) for the pool, so I asked my friend (!!) if she'd like to bring the kids over for Popsicles after dinner. 

"I don't know how soon we can get over there, I have to wait for the husband to bring home buns."
"Well, I have tons of buns but not enough burgers - shall we pool our resources?"
"Yes! Your yard or mine?"

We wound up at our yard, which ended up being a silly choice as I was completely out of propane!  So we cooked the burgers inside and made do.  It was probably even better that way, adding to the spontaneity of our Tuesday Night BBQ.  All seven kids broke down in tired tantrums at the same time, so I helped my friend scoop her kids into the car while Nate wrangled our own kids into the house for bedtime.

I need to go buy more Popsicles and propane.  We'll probably have to skip our BBQ next week (my brother is getting married!!!), but I can't wait to start back up again after that.  It feels so nice having friends!

Monday, July 28, 2014


Before I was a mom, I wondered how it would handle "parenting" other people's kids.  Like, say I had a friend's kid at my house and I needed to put a stop to some sort of behavior. Would I turn a blind eye because I was too afraid to parent someone else's kid? Would I offend that parent by stepping in? Would I feel weird?

As it turns out, like most everything else parenting related, speaking to other peoples kids comes fairly naturally.  You see something happen, you react to it.  And rather than feeling weird... I actually feel boastful. 

Like "I just told our kids what's what. Didn't I handle that nicely?! I said xyz and told them zyx and I think they really got it!  I spoke to them and they understood and now they're playing so nicely! High five me!"

This is not the reaction I expected of myself.  But maybe I shouldn't be surprised. I really like to brag.  Even when it's over something like getting three little girls to play nicely.

Sidenote: wow. That mean girls crap starts so young!  And don't get me wrong, I was upset with my daughter for excluding someone... But I was also pretty upset with the excluded girl for being so damn whiney! I mean, no wonder the others didn't want to play with you, you expected to be included by whining to grown ups that you weren't being included! As if the girls could read your mind that you wanted to play too?  There is a lot to be said of simply saying "hey, can I play too?" 

So yeah, I reprimanded all three girls.  Laura, you have felt excluded and it sucks. Be nice and include this little girl.  But also, friend? You can't just whine your way into an invitation to play! Include yourself and please stop tattling!  Humph!

I avoided the whiney girl's mom... She seemed rather whiney herself. But I was delighted by the high-five I got from the third girl's mom!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Scenes from this week

Four and a half with an attitude

Mini golf

Mr. Handsome

Literary dog

Monday, July 14, 2014

Baptisms, Cake and Baby-led Weaning

Doctors will tell you that babies can start having solid foods around four months old.  But they caveat that by adding that babies shouldn't have solid foods until they begin showing interest in foods.

Paul was baptized on Sunday, 10 days after his four month birthday.  I baked a little cake to serve as dessert at his reception after the baptism. And when I asked to get a picture of him with the cake, he DOVE in!  I have seen one-year-olds less interested in their first birthday cakes!  
We had not yet given Paul any solid foods to eat. In part because I simply hadn't remembered to buy any infant cereal at the store on any of my grocery runs!  However, I think we can safely assume that Paul in definitely interested in food, and ready for cereal!

I also just love that my son's first food was cake... I have had a deep love of cake since I was a baby. My first word was cake - maybe it will be Paul's, too!
Paul's second food: rice cereal on 7/14/14

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Asking for help

I tend to believe I can do everything.  I can be a mom and a wife and a coworker!  I can get all the laundry washed, folded and put away!  I can do all the dishes!  I can feed everyone all the meals!  Healthy meals, too!  I can get all my work (both at home and at work) done!  I can vacuum, too!  Groceries!  Planning!  Play dates!  Let's go to the pool - Daddy will Birthday parties, showers, baptisms - all the parties!

And I don't need help!

But oh yes, I do need help.

Lately, everything has been slipping a little.  The house isn't as tidy.  I can't figure out what the hell to cook for dinner on any given night.  We've been getting more take-out than I believe is healthy or wallet-friendly.  I took the kids to the pool once by myself and it was... a challenge.  Work has been frustrating to say the least, and confusing and difficult and self-esteem wrenching.

I know I'm no saint.  I'm not perfect, nor should I strive to be so.  But it's been really hard for me to step back and say "No I can't do this. Not by myself."  And so I've had to ask for help.  I need Nate to meet me at the pool - if only to help me carry the kids kicking and screaming back to the car when it's time to go home.  I need help with the laundry - even if it's just carrying the folded baskets upstairs to their designated bedroom.  I need help with dinner - even if that means another night of take-out that Nate brings home.  He's part of the marriage too, so why don't I let myself depend on him more?

And I need help at work.  This has been the hardest help to ask for.  Asking for help at work means I have to admit that I am struggling and that I should have asked for help months ago.  Weeks ago.  Even days ago.  Every day I let pass without asking for help only mires me further and only beats down my usually cheerful and positive demeanor.  (Side note: while I can be extremely mopey at home, I tend to be the complete opposite at work.  At work, I'm the cheerful optimistic cheerleader,  keeping everyone else peppy. Strange, isn't it?)

Today I asked for helped.  I sat with my boss, apologized for getting a little weepy, and told her all the horrible things I've been feeling inside for waiting so long to ask for help.  I told her all the things that are confusing me and challenging me and keeping me from moving forward with projects.  I asked for help.  And she gave it freely and without hesitation.  Because that's what she's there for - to oversee and assist and lead and help.

Why did I wait so long?