Monday, May 23, 2011

Like Grammy Said...

There are different ways to do everything in life; especially, it seems, raising children. Surprise, surprise. One of those topics that has been rearing its head in my life recently involves germs: to sanitize or not to sanitize?

I am learning that I am on the far left of this non-political decision. Yes, I'm saying that in the world of cleanliness, I am a liberal. Not so much in the way I keep things tidy and organized (I'm still Monica from FRIENDS and my label maker is still one of my most favorite tools...some things never change.) but in the way I see dirt. Perhaps because I'm raising a boy. Maybe because I was raised on a farm.

I find it interesting to read studies that prove that the more antibacterial products you use around the house, the more you and the members of your household are at risk because you create lowered immune systems. It makes sense- if you kill the germs that keep your fighters strong, they get wimpy and don't have the biceps to fight off even the more mild of attacks. Now, having said that, don't be frightened to sit on my toilet seat because I use Clorox and Lysol where they're needed. My toilets are so clean you could, you probably shouldn't eat off of them. Even though they are cleaned regularly. And I actually even use the alcohol wipes to scrub down the cart at Target before I put Roman in it. I will admit, though, that I only do that because he usually ends up chewing on the cart. Gross. And if he didn't chew on it I wouldn't think twice about putting him in it without being wiped down- even without a trendy cart cover. GASP. See what I mean?

Examples of my liberal-ness: Roman crawls around outside and I let him play in the dirt...I just try to remember to rinse off his hands before he sticks his thumb in his mouth at naptime. Key word being try. Sophie licks his face on a tri-daily basis, at minimum. (pretty sure I made that word up) If a rice puff falls on the floor at church I give it back to him to eat. When we're eating out at a restaurant, I don't wipe off the table top or put a disposable cover over it like some do- he can eat off the table if I can. (Yes, that means if my carrot falls off my plate, I put it right back on. No harm, no foul.) And I know some of these are bound to be making a few Mommas shudder in horror because most I know are far more protective about these things than I. Having said all this, the proof is in the pudding. Roman has yet to be sick once. (knock on wood.) So isn't that saying something? Isn't it interesting that those I know who are obsessive about germs, antibacterial everythings, and Lysol are the ones who get sick all the time?

My confession: I draw the line at sucking on flip flops. I can't stomach watching that, knowing all I've walked through. And no matter how cool the squeaky things in them are, there is no chewing on dog toys.

I mean no offense to those who are protective of the germs their children are around. This is a friendly conversation. To each his/her own and we each raise our children the way we believe is best. Personally, I would rather spend my time reading to Roman and trying to crawl under the chairs in the dining room with him than cleaning my floors every day so that he doesn't crawl on dried Sophie drool. (Pause. I clean my house from top to bottom once a week so don't think we live like crazies.) And I don't want to teach my children to live in fear of anything- including germs. It just seems so needlessly restricting to me to say, "No, you can't crawl around outside because who knows what animals could have _____ed here." or to say they can't eat a rice puff because it dropped on the floor. Whatever happened to the five second rule? I want to raise kids- boys AND girls who aren't afraid to get dirty. Some of the best memories I have of my childhood involve poop from some animal covering some part of my body! And there ARE germs that are worth protecting them from- cover your mouth when you sneeze, wash your hands after using the toilet or blowing your nose, etc. And I am not what you would call a liberal mother. There are many rules and boundaries in their lives that my children will obey with no option to the contrary. But when you can, be fearless. Go on an adventure without asking for antibacterial hand gel to hook on your knapsack. Go ahead and crawl around outside today in your white pants, Ro- Momma's got some magic stain remover. Just explore. Be a boy. (Who puts boys in white pants anyway?? lol)

In the meantime I'll be here, cleaning my house every Monday and enjoying the space in between, Tuesday through Sunday.

It's like my Grammy told me right after I got married: "Keep your house clean enough to be happy and dirty enough to be healthy." Thanks, Gram. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sippy Cups Only Look Innocent

Here I am, innocently minding my own business...putting away the dishes in the dishwasher....and then I see it. The thing that makes my stomach churn and causes me to stop in my tracks. The thing that makes my breath catch in my chest and causes panic to streak through my brain for .093 of a second. The sippy cup in my hand. WHEN DID I BECOME A MOM!?!??

You'd think I'd have a handle on it since Roman is almost 10 months old now. (Pause. 10 months? Holy cow.)And most days I go about my business of Mommyhood with the greatest of ease. I love it! I find it way cooler than I ever thought it would be. (Okay, not necessarily including the moments as of late that find me scooping poop out of the bathtub, but it can't be glamorous all the time, right?!?!) But there are these random moments that catch me off guard- going to choir rehearsal as a free woman, reach into the purse to get a pencil, and hello snack puffs- when I think "How the heck did this happen!?!"

I don't feel old enough to be a parent, let alone wise enough/capable enough/brave enough. But here I am.

It's not that parents are's that I always imagined I'd feel mature and accomplished by the time I had kids. I thought I would just feel like an adult. But I still feel like me! I'm not saying that I feel like I'm 17 again, but I'm saying I'm still the same girl who was 17 a decade ago and I still feel as awkward as I did then! I guess I just had this idea in my head of what it would feel like when I was married and had children and it's not at all that feeling! It's still weird to think that I sleep with a man at night! (HA!) So you can see why it's a little crazy to accept that I am now a PARENT on top of it. "Parent." Does that really describe me!?

Whoa. Slow down, life train! Slow down.

Friday, May 13, 2011

An Update

Here's the update for our family:

Roman is 9.5 months old, has 4 teeth (2 on bottom are "fully grown" haha and 2 on top have just poked through the gums), is crawling and determined to walk very soon. He's a little guy- in the 15% percentile for height and weight at 18lbs and 27". He is drinking out of a sippy cup with a straw because straws are his happy place. Straws and cups of any kind. Oh... and he is the coolest person I know.

Jerr is still enjoying work, will have his Associates Degree as soon as these two classes he's taking are over, and is hoping to have his Bachelors Degree by the time we leave here/are out of the military: Dec, 2012. We are praying for him to find a job in Charlottesville, VA, and move back to the East Coast to stay FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :):):)

I am enjoying being a stay at home momma and have been singing with the Honolulu Chamber Choir this past spring season. I LOVE singing again, I love the challenge of the music, and I love having to think academically again. I have also started selling Scentsy Wickless Candles and am amazed at the blessing God has placed on it and the success I am having, even at this baby stage. It doesn't feel like selling- it feels like TEACHING about something that I personally think is really awesome and have all over my house even before I started my business....whoa, crazy. I suppose it's my Crider roots...almost all Criders have their own business in some way. It's in the genes.

And we are on a 2-4 months waiting list to move to a nicer, bigger house in Radford. For those of you in Hawaii, yes it's the amazing housing off of Salt Lake. For those of you not in Hawaii, it's only a mile or two from where we currently live now. Just an upgrade. :)

And that's the news!!!

Get ready for profound-iosity.

You know the deal- you walk into a friend's house and the first thing you do is look to see if it's a "shoe house" or a "no shoe house." Alright, maybe that's the second thing you do- the first thing is hug the hostess. I'M A HUGGER!

And the culture here in Hawaii is to remove them at the door. It just makes sense! The dirt here is red and sandy and stains easily.

The thing is, though, shoes make the outfit!!!!! If you know me, you know I don't just throw on a pair of flip flops and's often a pair of heels or boots. I was also born and raised in PA and most homes there were "shoes on" houses. So I have to admit that this "no shoes house" phenomenon is killing me- no, it's killing my outfits!!!! lol See!! The profound-iosity is overwhelming, isn't it?

And I totally DO see the beauty of having visitors remove their shoes at the door because there is less clean up- especially for homes having multiple children coming in and out and don't know the whole "wipe your feet on the mat" trick. And no, I don't send daggers to the homeowners for making me destroy "the fit," as my students in Cali would refer to my choice of attire. But on the Today show this morning they were talking about women's fascination with shoes, heels especially, and I was mourning the loss of my personal shoe greatness. I have actually stopped buying cute shoes because 1)how often to i really get to "dress up" any more and 2)shoes have to be kicked off at the doorway, so why waste money? (defending reason #1, I still dress in clothes other than sweats, even when I spend the day at home, but I rarely get to throw on a funky necklace, a cute pair of heels, and strut! lol)

In fact, it was a sad moment in Lauren world when I was pulling out all of my shoe boxes under the bed on a search for a lost item and discovered a COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN pair of leopard-print Michael Kors shoes with a gorgeous red heel!!!!!!! Tragic. That has never happened to me. This means two things to me, at this point.

I must have a bigger closet where all of my shoes can be properly displayed.

I must now create an outfit to showcase these bad boys.

Game on.

New [Tentative] Beginnings....

There once was a blog about the Beckers abroad,
written for all to see.
Many enjoyed posts about the new little one,
and life and make-up and me!
Some, though, decided to write down their minds
without being gentle and kind.
So the blog went away to guard tender hearts
and re-think the purpose behind.
But since then there are those who request to bring back
the blog about Beckers and such.
So here we go, cautiously writing, again
to allow loved ones to stay in touch.
If you like what you read that's fantastic- I'm glad!
And if not please just keep to yourself.
It is not meant to offend, just a place to surmise,
It's my OPINION- not a weapon with stealth.
(yeah...that last line was pretty rough but I needed something to rhyme with "yourself!" It was "stealth" or "health" or "wealth," people!)