Almost One… And Where Did I Go?

Hey! I bet you were all super worried that I disappeared for good. No? Hmmmm. Well, apparently I didn’t. I’m still here. Still alive. I’ve just been… uninspired. I don’t know what to write. And then I do know what to write, but I don’t know when to write it. And then I do know when to write it and I just don’t remember how. Does that sound weird? It is. Like I said in my About section; I’ll write when I want, if I want, when I have something to say. I never said I had important things to say. Anyway…

Rose turns one on Saturday. ONE! For those of you that aren’t parents, let me explain what this means; it means she is totally grown up. She is a big girl. She is no longer my baby. She talks (well, says a few words), she walks (a few feet), and she knows what she wants, when she wants it, and how to get it. The last few days I’ve been reflecting on the past year. I’ve shed a few tears over the passage of time, as I remember the early days when she couldn’t say ‘that,’ when I had no idea what she wanted, but had to figure it out. I think about the days when I had a huge belly. The mornings I woke, had contractions for an hour, and wondered if that would be the day. And then I remember the nights I fell asleep, realizing that day wasn’t her day. And then neither was the next day. Or the day after that. And then, suddenly, if was her day. And it was my day. It was our day. My belly, though far from flat, was no longer her home. My arms were where she belonged. I no longer wondered what her eyes would look like. I didn’t have to question whether she would look like me (she didn’t- to this day she’s her Daddy’s finest work). That day. The day she became mine, she made me something I thought I understood, but really, I had no idea; she made me a Mom. She changed my life. I look at her in awe these days; she’s becoming an individual. I no longer see a baby when I see her. I see my independent, beautiful, silly, willful daughter. I see those same big brown eyes that stared up at me the evening of March 2, 2012. The eyes I looked into that night, the eyes of the baby that I told; “I don’t know what I’m doing, but we’ll figure it out together.” Truer words have never been exchanged between us. Everyday we wake up, everyday is different, and everyday I have no idea what I’m doing, but we figure it out together.

And now… now it is time for us to go. To do laundry. To clean the bathrooms. To read books. To dance. To play with her baby doll. To find things in the carpet. To kiss. To screech. To laugh. To cry. Whatever we do these days, we do together. And we figure it all out.

 

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On Chores and Housework

Growing up in my family, children were expected to do their chores. Rinse dishes and put them into the dishwasher. Make a bed. Put away toys. As we got older, we were responsible for cleaning bathrooms, or whole spaces of the house. Sometimes we were paid, sometimes not. Sometimes we actually did them, sometimes not (I’m not sure if that was related to being paid). While we were expected to do chores, it wasn’t a major point of stress for us. I think because my Mom was pretty laid back about it; if we got them done, great, if not, well, the bathroom might stay dirty if she didn’t have time to clean it (and, once we were teenagers, we really did want a clean bathroom). There was no staying home to do chores. No missing out on birthday parties or spontaneous play dates (the only kind we had in the ‘old days’). I had friends that did have mothers that enforced chores this way. I felt sorry for them. I really think that my mom valued time spent outside or in creative play or wrapped up in a good book over a perfectly clean house. I have to say, I agree. I mean, there is something to be said for a clean house. Obviously. And our house was never filthy. Because we did clean. Because we fit it into our schedules. We weren’t forced to spot clean every inch of the house. Often my mom would make up games for us, to encourage the cleaning. She had a laid-back, kid friendly approach to cleaning. She didn’t do it all for us.

I didn’t always appreciate that we had to clean up our own messes (obviously, very few people enjoy cleaning). One time, I told my mom that the only reason she had four kids was so that we could do all the housework for her. THAT WAS THE STUPIDEST STATEMENT I HAVE EVER MADE. Yes, my mom had kids to clean up all her stuffed animals, American Girl doll stuff, and books that SHE had thrown all over the house. She had kids to clean up after HER rousing games of “Mess the Room.” Pause. I must explain “Mess the Room.” Mess the Room is a game that we would play where we would go into the family room,  chanting “mess the room, mess the room, mess the rooooommmmmm,” while throwing every single Barbie, stuffed animal, lego, Playmobile piece, block, doll, and any other object that had the misfortune of being in the room at the time. The worst part? We usually did this right after she had painstakingly cleaned the entire family room, taking an entire evening that she could have spent watching 90210 or Friends. I have some serious guilt about this game, which has only gotten worse since I’ve become a mom. I honestly don’t remember my mom yelling at us after playing “Mess the Room.” I don’t remember tears or anger. I think my mother might be a saint. If my children EVER do something like this, you can bet there will be a whole lot of tears, followed by an afternoon of time-outs, while I eat every piece of chocolate in the house, while crying on the phone to my mom. The point? NO PARENT HAS CHILDREN TO DO CHORES FOR THEM. It is much cheaper and easier to hire someone, and without said children, the house would not be a mess.

In closing, I would like to say Rose (and any other children I may have) will be expected to clean. But, just like I was as a child, they will be allowed to play, and play will always come first. Unless it is “Mess the Room,” in which case, they will be sentenced to a lifetime of cleaning the grime out of the bathroom tiles for ever even thinking of that damn game. But, seriously, children really have so little time to be children. To be creative and play, and read kids’ books, and not be afraid of getting dirty. They will have the rest of their lives to clean and do dishes and fold laundry. Let them be little. Let them be children. But still; teach them to clean.

My Weekend

*Update: Just to prove that I have “Monday brain” I forgot to title this post. Doh. I have now given it the most creative title I could muster. You’re most welcome. 

Good morning. I hope you all had a great weekend. I know I did. It was lazy, and we didn’t do much, so basically, it was perfect. And now. Now it is Monday. And here is how I feel about that:

Also, this:

So, what did we do this weekend? Well, if you’re a college student, or you know, anyone that doesn’t have kids, I suggest you stop reading, because you will be bored out of your skull. If you’re a Mommy or someone like me (even before I had a baby and husband), then read on:

Friday: I got a text from the husband asking if I wanted to go to Costco after he got home from work. You have to understand that going to Costco, for us, is the equivalent of  going bar hopping (is that even a thing?) on a Friday night. We freaking love Costco. It is so much fun. You never know what you’re going to find. Pretty soon I am sure that we will all be outfitted from head to toe in clothes bought at Costco, eating hundred packs of string cheese, while putting away our economy size toilet paper. Also, awesome about Costco? THE SAMPLES. But you already knew that. The best thing ever is that our Costco has gelato at the food bar. I had never seen this before at any other Costco, so my dance that I did the first time I saw this was completely justified. Anyway… we went to Costco, but only bought 36 eggs (which will be gone by this Friday; we’ve already eaten 18), spinach, potatoes, avocados, and I think that’s it? But I’m not really sure. No impulse buys. Two weeks ago we had a major impulse buy of my new camera (yes, honey, it is mine… right?), so we were trying to keep the impulse buys to a minimum. After Costco we went to Vietnamese food to get pho, because in our family pho is the cure for all. Seriously, for everything. And, since Rose was sick we had to go, right? Right.

We’re like this, except with pho.

So, yeah. That was our Friday. It was awesome.

Saturday: Rose and I actually didn’t go anywhere on Saturday. The husband went to Wal Mart and Costco, after making us breakfast. He unclogged our upstairs bath (seriously, that was probably the highlight of my weekend- that thing was driving me cray cray). Rose and I stayed home and watched football (go niners!). Oh, oh, oh!! I forgot to mention one of the most exciting things about the weekend; we had Showtime for free (I just googled if there is a ‘w’ in the channel’s name…), which meant that we watched Weeds, Californication, and Dexter all night. Twas awesome.

Sunday: Rose slept past seven (yesssss!), and I woke up all confused. I was convinced it was Monday. Once I realized it was still the weekend I was so excited I started doing shots. Okay, not really; it was coffee (wouldn’t it be funny if I did, though?). We let the husband sleep in. Rose ate cheerios out of a container while I drank a whole pot of coffee. By the time the husband woke up I was in full on song and dance mode, which, I am sure is what he loves to wake up to. He made us breakfast again (and was even considerate enough to make enough potatoes for breakfast today). I really think Sunday was my favorite day this week. We went to Trader Joe’s (my love, in store form) and Wal Mart (not so much love, but it is useful, I guess). We came home, ate lunch, and Rose went down for a nap. Tim went out to play disc golf, and I went down for a nap as well. Rose napped FOREVER, which meant that I did too. It was AWESOME. We hung out, watched football (no Golden Globes over here… although I may have tried to sneak some in while Tim was doing his fantasy NHL draft), gave Rose dinner, played a bit, and put Rose down to bed. Just in time for my favorite show; Girls. I may have been a little bit abusive to my husband at this point, because in addition to making him watch Girls with me, I told him if he talked that I would punch him in the face. He said one word and I smacked him, just to show I wasn’t kidding. I feel really bad about that. Anyway… We ended the night with the newest episode of Californication, and I had a tortilla with avocado and string cheese for dinner.

And just because it kind of fits with my night (but not really…)

And another Girls reference. Because you can never have too many and Girls was probably the highlight of my whole week. So pathetic.

So… that was our weekend. Now that I’ve written it out, I kinda feel bad for making you read through all of this. Not bad enough that I won’t post it, but bad enough that I feel like I should apologize. The weekend was awesome. The six loads of laundry that are waiting to be folded are not. Sigh. Oh, well, at least I can watch last night’s Downton Abbey (nobody ruin it for me- including those of you that are lucky enough to live in a country that has already aired this season).