Thursday, September 20, 2012


It's 2:51 in the morning. I should be sleeping. Not only because, believe it or not, moms need sleep too. But, because I can hear my sick toddler fussing and moving over the monitor, threatening to wake up and officially rob me of the rest of a good night's sleep. It's its own breed of desperation when you lose sleep over the thought of losing sleep. *sigh* And the fact that it is going to be a long day with him not feeling well anyway doesn't help me fall asleep any faster. What woke me up? Allergies had a part in it; waking up to your tongue attempting to scratch the back of your throat is never pleasant. Also having to use the bathroom like I do in the middle of the night, every night, woke me up. I never did regain bladder capacity after pregnancy; so not fair. More importantly, what is keeping me up, besides the intense growling my stomach is doing (why am I ALWAYS hungry?)?

It starts with checking the time when I don't immediately fall back to sleep. It's now 3:00am. If I fall asleep now I will get to sleep for four more hours. Then it turns into a mental checklist of what I have to accomplish the next day. The list includes the usual suspects: do laundry, workout, pay bills, etc. Tomorrow I have to pack to go to Chicago for two weeks and that provides its own list of things I must get done in the next 24 hours. Nothing all that thrilling, so why am I awake? My stomach growls again. Should I just go eat some cereal to shut it up? No, surely I'll slip off into slumber soon enough. Right? I blow my nose for the thousandth time; I hate allergies.

3:05. My eyes don't even feel tired. My husband is breathing heavily. *jealous* I can hear Damien's sound machine whooshing the beach tide back and forth. Kendan's humidifier is gurgling over the monitor. Even with my family snug as bugs and all the noises of a sleeping household to comfort me, I cannot sleep. Kendan fusses again, adjusts his laying position, poor kid. I just want to pick him up and rock him! But, I won't because I know he really needs his sleep.

It's now 3:15am and my thoughts have graduated from to do lists and a bowl of Apple Jacks to our impending move and the ice cream in the freezer (ugh, stop it!). Unpacking boxes in our new house and the overwhelming stress it'll surely bring. Leaving this house behind, all the work we did to it and memories we made in it. I hope the new owners equally appreciate the remodeled bath, redone hardwoods, and every nail hole that held a family picture. I think about leaving our friends here. Especially Kendan leaving his best friend across the street, a thought that is never far from my mind these days. I think about the amazing Fall weather and changing leaves that have begun to show in Kansas City and how moving to Dallas will probably feel like moving back into Summer. *cringe* Will I have a chance to decorate for Halloween in the new house; will I even be able to FIND my decorations? I think about it all. Not with enough energy to force me out of bed to begin tackling things that need to be done (I've attempted that before, I changed a load of laundry and immediately returned to bed). And I don't think about these things with enough detail to write a full blog on any one subject either. I apologize to you, the reader, I should have warned you this post has no point. I think about everything just enough to keep me awake.

It's 3:53am. I've been awake, in the middle of the night, for over an hour now fighting an allergy attack and contemplating way too many things. The joke of it is, Kendan hasn't actually woken up once; but, I bet he will as soon as I finally pass out! I've accomplished nothing but I have ensured tomorrow will be difficult because I'll be exhausted. I should have just eaten that bowl of cereal; I'd probably be asleep by now.

.....and now Kendan is awake.

Friday, September 14, 2012


My sister-in-law recently got very interested in photography. One day she was taking pictures with a point and shoot camera and the next day she was one of the most talented photographers I've ever met. I know it didn't really happen like that. I, first, attributed her new found interest to her wedding being over. No longer completely inundated with wedding details she found herself married and in need of something, a hobby, to fill the time that was once dedicated to all things white and wedding-y. Inspired by her own wedding photographer (who wouldn't be? The man is a genius), she picked up a camera. She took a class. She read books. She developed a real hobby. And she was good, no great, at it. It wasn't until later that I found out she had a clear plan for making it a profession for herself (what luck in life, to be able to do what you love as a job).

What she doesn't know is the effect all of this had on me. At first, it only raised a simple question: do I have a hobby? What do I do regularly in my leisure time for pleasure? I do a lot of things regularly. Is washing bottles a hobby? I love when my house is clean; does that qualify as pleasure? Cleaning cannot be my hobby! *Sad* Not to mention I hate the act of cleaning and only admitted to liking when the house is already clean. Laundry? Is that a hobby? Ok, honestly, the only consistent thing I do, in my leisure time, for pleasure, is eat and watch television. *Seething embarrassment* It's true, folks. Are eating and watching TV considered hobbies? I've always considered them to be addictions, the dark relative of the hobby. But, I am very good at those particular activities. And they don't have to go together either. When asked what I want to do when company is in town, or for a date night, I immediately rattle off restaurant names like an auctioneer (who is speaking my language!). As if eating is the only activity I can even think of to do. Craig has actually said to me before "Ok, that'll take care of lunch but what do you want to DO today?" My only reply to him being a confused look. No, eating and television CANNOT be my (only) hobbies.

I walk a lot! Ok, maybe we're onto something. But, I mostly do it as a low impact form of exercise and a way to kill some time with two kids who hate being inside all day (we've already established that I'd prefer to sit on my butt with a bag of chips). I wouldn't say I love to walk. Some days I have to force myself to walk so I don't hate myself later (when I'm watching TV and eating). But, I don't dislike it either... unless it's hot, or cold, or humid, or raining, or I'm tired, or it's hilly, or... ok.... maybe walking isn't my hobby.
Why won't these kids just push ME in the stroller?

I like to read. Let's be honest though, I've barely read a whole book since I had children (soul crushers). When my full day of catering to two kids, a husband, and a household ends I make my way up to bed, pick up my iPhone, frantically scroll through endless social media apps and blog sites, and before I know it 30 minutes have passed and I can't keep my eyes open. I do miss reading and I've attempted to rekindle our love numerous times in the last couple of years. It just hasn't stuck. Try harder? Move on? Moving on...

Arts and crafts. I even have a bin in our guest room closet labeled just that: "arts and crafts". But, the fact that it was written on a piece of computer paper with one color, dried-out, Crayola marker pretty much sums up my "arts and crafts" abilities. I blame Pinterest for my complete discouragement in this category. Any confidence I had in myself to decorate for my kid's birthday, dress myself, paint a bird house, or repurpose toilet paper rolls was shattered when I signed up for Pinterest. Sure, I did a handful of crafts from the site and they turned out great; but, every time I would log on I'd feel pressured to be less like me and more like Martha Stewart. That's not a hobby, that's stress!
Besides, my kid is already way better at art than I'll ever be.

Blogging? Remains to be seen if I can consider it a real hobby. This blog is exactly four posts old. I do enjoy it though. Maybe it'll have a fighting chance. As long as there isn't anything good on TV or food to be eaten.

Aside from asking myself if I have a hobby I found myself asking a scarier question: Am I a boring person? My sister-in-law wasn't married a month before she knew she needed a hobby to keep things interesting. For herself? For her husband? I say both! My husband comes home to a wife who mostly talks about kids, cleans the house, watches TV, eats, looks at her phone, and goes to bed. Repeat 7 days a week. *Again, embarassing* To be fair, he hasn't done much in the way of getting us active in a hobby himself. And he's really good at staring at the tube too. We recently cancelled cable. This... is gonna be interesting. But, he has golf and music and other things that qualify as hobbies. What did we do together before we had kids? Oh yea... go out, see friends, drink, talk about work, and just generally enjoy each other's company. I do, still, enjoy my husband's company; even if we're doing nothing. But, we are "bored" a lot. So, am I a boring person? Man, I sure hope not.

On the path to find something she is passionate about, my sister-in-law opened my eyes. I am painfully aware of my lack of hobby. I am left seeking to ensure that I am not a bore in this life! Once I am happily settled in with my pleasure-filled leisure activity I will be sure to thank her, more than she knows.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I often wonder at what age my boys will start remembering things long-term. Yes, Kendan already remembers things; I'll ask him what we did today and he'll list the events from two days prior (uhh, good job?). I am more curious as to when our daily events will become his life-long childhood memories. Sometimes the thought comes to me as a worry, usually after I've been particularly hard on my two year old for one reason or another (in my defense, he was probably being a butt head). Will my getting frustrated because he simply won't wear anything except his Batman shirt (the audacity, am I right?) be something he remembers about his childhood? My heart sinks. God, I hope not. Especially since I do actually indulge him and wash his Batman apparel non-stop! *Caution: Too few hours of sleep and no coffee for Mom may lead to emotional scarring.* Mostly I wonder when my children will remember the good things. At what age will running through the yard, blowing bubbles, singing along to "Barbara Ann", and taking daily walks be forever cemented in their memories as their "childhood"?

The thought first crept into my brain when I became pregnant with Damien. I had spent fourteen months as a mother to just Kendan. But, it wasn't going to be just Kendan and I any more. We were about to add another life to our daily life. The memories I have of just Kendan and I are absolutely irreplaceable. Over a year of teaching him things (everything!), making him laugh, cuddling him, singing to him, taking him places .... and he'll never remember any of it. One of the best times of my life, simply because he was a part of it, and he will have no memory from before his brother came along, when it was just us. Never have I cuddled and hugged and babied so much as I did during my pregnancy with Damien. As if my time with Kendan was ending. Of course, it wasn't, and I still get to make memories with him every day. I try to video and take pictures as much as possible. But, when will he begin to remember?

Now, there's Damien. I know he doesn't remember anything to date in his life, he's only seven months old. But, I'm just so aware of that fact now it hurts. He'll never remember his brother at age two. He'll never remember my rocking him or singing to him. Gritting my teeth together so hard to keep from squeezing while holding him because I'm bursting inside. He'll never remember this house (hell, Kendan will never remember this house). Or his first bedroom; Craig worked so hard to refinish that nursery. I found myself rocking Damien the other evening, looking around his room by the glow of the night light, and saying out loud "I wish you could remember your first room. I wish you could remember this moment".

I have also burdened myself with the thought that my boys will never get to experience how I feel about them because they'll never be mothers. That is not to diminish a father's love for his children; I believe it is equal but drastically different. There really isn't anything quite like a mother's love. It's just a little sad to me that my sons will never get the full scope of my feelings for them, as much as I would like them to. It's like a type of longing that will never be fulfilled. Hopefully, they will be lucky enough to have wives who are beyond in love with their children so they may witness it. But, I think this longing plays into why I am so desperate for them to remember all of the good from their childhoods, even at the youngest possible age. I want them to remember their mom as a new mom, a mom to an infant, as a fun mom, a mom who meant business, and even a mom who could break down into tears at just how overwhelming, in the best possible way, it felt to be their mother.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


We move a lot. About every two years or so for Craig's job. It's not all bad. In fact, I've looked forward to every new adventure that's been thrown our way so far! Illinois to Dallas to Indiana to Kansas City. We get to, not only travel to, but live in and experience places we've never been to (or even heard of) before. Exact conversations regarding our past relocations went as follows: "Fort Wayne, Indiana? What's that? Do they have a Chick Fil A? Google it" and "Kansas City? Do they even have a professional football team? How about a Chick Fil A? Google it". Clearly, we enjoy Chick Fil A. ....and Googling things.

Craig and I love finding new favorite restaurants and meeting new people. We're always appreciative of different city-wide festivals and events, being new residents. It's amazing what the city you live in has to offer when you take a tourist's point of view. And we've become fans of a wide variety of football teams (Go Bears, Go Cowboys, Go Colts, Go Chiefs, phew!). Kansas City does have a professional football team, as it turns out, and the games are probably the best time I've ever had at a sporting event in my life (I think. I'm mostly hammered while I'm there).

Along with a long list of new "favorites" and memories we get new neighbors. We were only 20 when we moved to Texas. Our neighbors were 40-ish year old, legitimate alcoholics. Bad news, right? Not to a pair of underage college kids! We now had a guaranteed supply of alcohol; just had to get past the hair from the 15 cats they owned (not exaggerating) and slurred conversation about broken hopes and dreams (I think. I was mostly hammered while there). *Good times* Our neighbors in Indiana were better. Again in their 40's, with school-age kids, friendly, and were happy to have us over to their basement when there was a tornado warning. That was pretty much the extent of our relationship. We did have that anesthesiologist with the, impossible to understand, Asian mail order bride... err, wife. Anyway... Needless to say we hadn't met any life-long friends or anything.

Then we moved to Kansas City. I would have to say, for all intents and purposes, we hit the "neighbor jack pot"! It fits on paper, same age, same number of kids who are also the same age and same gender, hard-working husbands, stay-at-home moms, etc. Thankfully, they're more than their resume boasts.

My definition of the perfect neighbor...

•It's completely normal to borrow everything from each other including, but not limited to: clothing, steam mops, coffee makers (for months on end), children's toys (and shoes, and hats), standing mixers, cookbooks, yard equipment, washing machines, tools, and general help from each other's husbands.

•My neighbor and I grocery shop as if we share a brain. We buy items with no plan to use them and the other person ends up needing it for dinner that week. It's strange.

•If one of us wants to stay inside all day with our kids the other one is the motivation to take a walk. If one of us wants a latte and the other refuses, it's motivation enough to skip it and save the calories. And on the days where we both want to skip the walk and drink the latte, we're very supportive of one another.

•We showed up on our neighbors' doorstep late one Sunday morning and explained that we couldn't go home for six hours because of house showings. "Yes, come in. Yes, we're in the middle of stuff. Yes, we'll go to lunch with you. Yes, your boys can nap here." No.questions.asked.

•Have a doctor's appointment? Need a night out with your spouse? Just don't want to take one or both of your kids to run errands? Just call your neighbor. 24/7. No advance notice required.

•Invitations to your neighbors' family gatherings are always open. And when your in-laws come in town it's not questioned when your neighbors come along for a photo session.

•We share very similar religious and political views, thoughts, questions... But, mostly we agree that these things need only be discussed in limited quantities.

•We share a lot of common interests being parents, same age, same city, similar backgrounds (you get the picture). What's more interesting is how our differences challenge us to do and try new things. From fashion (or lack thereof, in my case), to parenting techniques, to lifestyle choices, and our relationships with other people, my neighbor's perspective has helped me to be more open minded; and mine for her.

•Our kids are best friends. Two years of Kendan memories have largely included his best buddy. That's a whole other blog for another time.

To say our experience living in Kansas City was enhanced by our neighbors would be an under-statement. My neighbor invited me into the playgroup that has been an integral part of my sanity since moving to a strange city two years ago as a new mom. That alone would have been enough for me to be forever in her debt. But, as you have read, it didn't stop there. They say that once you have kids their friends determine your friends. The parents of the kids inevitably hang out so their kids can play. Fortunately for me, my son's favorite friend has an awesome mom.

Moving is always bittersweet. But, I have looked forward to every move we've made thus far. This time is different. I'm excited for our new house in Dallas and to reconnect with old friends there. But, the thought of leaving this neighborhood and our neighbors is actually devastating. If we had to take our neighbors living across the street into consideration when pricing our home for sale no one would be able to afford it. It would literally be priceless.

This picture will serve as a reminder that I don't have any pictures of me and my neighbor.  Must remedy that.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Starting a blog. Hmmm. There are days where I start one simple task and it takes me an hour. I start in the kitchen doing dishes. It is inevitably interrupted by Kendan trying to sit on the dishwasher door, I remind him (always in a pleasant manner) not to do that, AGAIN. He asks for milk. I pour him a sippy cup and march him out to the living room to settle in with an episode of "Mike the Knight" so he'll let me clean up the kitchen. I see several of his toys sitting on the floor, gather them, and bring them to his room. Once in Kendan's room I grab his dirty laundry basket to start a load. Might as well run upstairs and get Damien's too to make a full load. I'll make our bed while I'm up there and grab our bathroom garbage to empty, then sneak into Damien's room while he naps and get his laundry. Get back downstairs and empty the trashes into the kitchen garbage. Now it's full; I bring the trash and recycling outside to the cans. On my way back in I grab the mail. Even if I'm outside for only one second I am greeted at the front door by Kendan who is now begging to play in the smoldering heat (insert "frigid cold" depending on the season, he doesn't discriminate).
I think it was only 99 degrees this day....
I explain to him that I just need to finish getting the kitchen cleaned up so we can play. I head back to the kitchen, must replace the garbage bag, and I begin sorting the mail. Bills, junk, invitation, grocery sales ad. I start making a grocery list since the sale this week is so good (I lead an exciting life)! This forces me to dig through our pantry and fridge to see what we have and to discard what is old which makes more dishes (isn't that where I started?). I complete the grocery list and remember to start the boys' laundry. I head to the basement, start the load, and fold the hang-dry clothes from the previous day. I bring the clothes upstairs with me where I'm greeted by Kendan who is now begging to play in our disgusting basement. I explain to him that we'll play as soon as I'm done cleaning the kitchen. Head back in there just in time for Damien to wake up from his morning nap. Shoot! I don't have his frozen breast milk heated up yet or a bottle clean because that was what I was going to do once I finished the dishes! Which I started an hour ago.... See what I mean? 
Sure, he looks sweet.  But do NOT keep him waiting on his bottle.
So, putting "start a blog" on the to-do list seemed too big of a big task.... and it still does.... but, I'll try.

*Disclaimer: This may be my one and only post!*

So, why am I starting a blog and why now? I wish I had a more poetic answer for that question. Something like, "as a gift to my children", or "to discuss religious and political issues". Or, even if the reason was "because all the other moms do it". Nah.

I've come to terms with my extreme inability to document my children's lives. Filling out the baby book is a joke. IF I remember to write in it I've usually already forgotten the important dates I'm supposed to fill in! Basically, Kendan got some teeth between birth and one year and his first words were either "Guy" or "Mama". Whoops! I take pictures more often but mostly on my iPhone. I learned last October the major risk I take in doing that when I lost six months worth of Kendan's life in pictures with one phone update. *Kill me now* I recently learned a little about how to use my good camera (pathetic, I don't even know what kind of camera it is... Canon something). I've been more interested in that lately; however, my interest ends at the picture-taking level. Any editing on the computer is lost on me. 

Now, if I could just find the cord to upload these pics to the computer.
What I'm sayin' is, I highly doubt blogging will be the answer to my lack of documenting K and D's childhoods! Although, I'm sure my kids will be the main focus of my blog posts. I am a SAHM, after all.

Religious and political issues?.... Not hardly. I couldn't even come up with a paragraph about those things let alone an entire blog dedicated to them. Moving on....

And, I want to steer as far away from comparing myself to other moms as possible. That's a dangerous game. Every mom is guilt-ridden over one thing or another, myself included (Kendan once drank shampoo.... Mom of the year)! There are a lot of things a lot of other moms do better than I do (*See: documenting their children's lives); I don't need to add "blogging" to my mom guilt stock pile. Truth is, I'm inspired by all of my mom friends who blog. Not only for their writing abilities and great pictures but for the time they find to do it! Ha! If anything, other moms' blogs have kept me from blogging in the past because the time I could have spent writing was being used to fervently catch up on other people's lives!

So, again, why start now? I suppose it's more of a gift to myself (in the least selfish way possible). It's a way to organize my thoughts. Meh. "Organize" is the wrong word. Nothing in my life is organized any more. More like a way to prove I have some thoughts running through my exhausted brain! And not just feeding schedules, nap times, ounces of breast milk, proper time-out procedure, teaching toddler etiquette, grocery lists, and endless children's songs and games racing through my head all day, every day. I'm hoping to write about, you know, other thoughts too. 'Cuz I have 'em.

I'll blog again when they show up.

So, stay tuned!!