Tuesday, January 31, 2012

gotta romance that man!


So I decided to romance the crap outta my husband for the month of February. Sounds fun, no? :) It is, after all, the month that houses Valentine's Day, my second favorite holiday of the year- first being Christmas, third is the 4th of July, and 4th is Fall Day!

I was thinking about what I wanted to do that was special for Jerr this V-day and then I realized that he is tremendously stressed in life right now. There is a ton on his plate at work because he is an overachiever who needs to do everything well, he is taking college classes full time and maintaining a 4.0 GPA, and on top of that takes time to love on two boys and a wife in an admirable way. So I decided that I could thank him by loving on him in a purposeful way every day.

I want to do a little something extra each day. Sometimes I see this being a little something that means "I was thinking about you" but other times-most times- it will be something free. Like a back massage without explanation. You can appreciate the creativity this will necessitate because I just had a baby and am still "on hold" from certain activities in life...like working out and *cough* other things, for two more weeks.

And I want to do this extra lovin' without announcing it to him because that will just make him want to do it for me, too. He's a good guy. And the idea is not to add yet another thing to his plate but to help make the things that are on his plate more doable and less stressful.

So I'm going to put this into action and you're welcome to join! If you do, let me know so I can check in and steal your ideas. Wait, no..I mean BE INSPIRED BY YOU. ;)

Friday, January 27, 2012

confession




My confession: I made it halfway through the third day without makeup before I broke down and put some on. Break over.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

come have coffee with me

If you were to come to my house right now I'd welcome you in- it's nap time and both boys are sleeping. This part of the day is my haven. It's necessary to my survival.

We would sit down at my table, I'd offer you cream and sugar, we'd smile at each other, and just chat. At some point you might ask, "So, Lauren, how is it being a mother of two?" To which I'd say, "It's easier than I thought it would be. It's HARD. WORK. It's fun work. I love it. I feel super accomplished. I'm so frazzled. I have no down time. It feel so nice to know what I'm doing...sort of? I can't remember what I just did with Roman when he was a baby and it hasn't been long. I'm exhausted. I've totally got this. Where did I just put my shoes? Wait, what was I doing? I need more coffee."

And that would sum up life right now.

I was so nervous for Liam to come because the recurring feedback I heard from everyone is "Two close together are a huge gift...after the first year. For the first year, it's really hard." And while I never changed my mind about wanting the boys close together, it totally spooked me. Could I handle it? Would I regret it? I didn't have the grace one deserved some days so how would I ever have enough for two? And while my work load has increased, I don't find it harder to do life with two. Granted we're only a month in (By the way, I find it UNBELIEVABLE that this weekend he will be one month old. Impossible.), and of that month I've only been on my own for four days, but in my first week I've managed to figure it out and laundry/cleaning/groceries/errands/naps/playtime somehow managed to get done.

If we were, indeed, sitting around my table (a secret: it's not nap time any more. It's almost 6:00 and dinner is almost done in the oven, Liam is asleep, and Jerry and Roman are playing outside. I now blog in chunks. And the reason I'm still blogging is because it feels good to me. Plus, I think it will be fun to re-read in a few years.) I'd tell you that Monday was fun, Tuesday was totally doable, Wednesday was hard, and Thursday is smoothest of all. I'm learning.

This is where you'd see me laugh and look down into my coffee cup while sheepishly admitting that by the time Jerry got home from work yesterday I was so overwhelmed with life/chaos that when he asked if I could call to make a vet appointment for Sophie I started crying and said, "Can we just not talk about anything else that has to be on my to-do list for one minute??"

And then I went to get the tilapia from the freezer so I could make dinner.

I'd be lying if I said it's been easy.

But I'd be lying if I said I hated it. The truth is that I LOVE being a mom of two. I feel like I'm better at what I do because there is more TO do and I always perform better under pressure. I am much more organized and manage my time more wisely when I have a jam-packed day that requires me to be on my game. And now I definitely need to be at the top of my game. :)

I have decided that I love it. Some days will be like Wednesday and others will be like today. But it's been a blast being a family of four. It feels like a real family. And we were absolutely a family when we were a family of three, but now it feels less like we're a married couple with a kid and more like a family that will vacation together and send out Christmas cards. It's pretty awesome.


And sadly, this is when I find some polite way to make you feel loved yet get you to leave my house. Because...not to be rude or anything...but my dinner is done.

Time to eat. :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"and that's wednesday"

Wednesday
6:00am- feed Liam and go back to sleep
7:30am- Roman is awake. Snuggle on the couch watching Sesame Street while we both wake up.
7:45am- make us both oatmeal with raisins and sliced bananas, along with french press coffee for the mama.
8:00am- feed Liam again
8:30am- load Liam into the stroller, put the leash on Sophie, and throw sneakers on Roman. All walk to the basketball court for a rousing morning game.
8:40am- tired of basketball already. Move on to the playground.
9:35am- walk back down to the house.
9:45am- give Sophie a bath
10:00am- feed Liam again
10:15am- finger painting outside
10:30am- lunch for Roman
10:45am- Roman's alone play time while I wash dishes from breakfast, make the bed, pick up
11:30am- lunch for me
noon- Liam eats
12:15pm- read together
12:30pm- Roman nap

Let's be clear: it's only 12:30.

Now I know why they say kids add meaning to your life. It has nothing to do with their impact on your life and everything to do with the fact that, if left to my own devices, I would have spend my morning like this:
sleep until 9am
9-10am: drink coffee while watching The View
10-11am: watch Nate Berkus
11-12pm: watch the Food Network
noon: eat lunch

Not much to remember about life there!

Of course I'm just kidding. Kids add meaning to your life because they have a TREMENDOUS impact on our days. I was joking before.

But seriously, maybe 5% of the meaning they add is because you actually DO something with your days??

Just a theory, of course. ;)

its been 3 days

SINCE I'VE WORN MAKEUP.

Unbelievable.

In college, two of my friends made me a bet that I couldn't wear sweats and no makeup for a whole week. It was my pride that forced me to accept. Screw pride. I gave up halfway through the second day.

Shocker- it is not a bet that finds me with a makeup-less face today. It's understanding.

No, I have not become all "granola"- you won't see me walking around in my toe-shoes while making my homemade bread that I made from the flour I ground myself. I was just sitting here on my couch during naptime, eating lunch and watching Nate Berkus, and wondering whether I was going to put on any makeup for the day. Guilty admission: I've already been out in public getting groceries and making a Target run.

If you are a regular in the "bare face world," I'm sure this doesn't seem like a big deal. But maybe I should have prefaced this entire story by explaining that even in middle and high school when I was in the barn milking cows (I'm a farm girl, baby!), I was wearing a full face of makeup. It made me feel dressed for the day. It wasn't really a self-esteem thing...I just didn't feel presentable until I had 1)brushed my teeth 2)gotten dressed and 3)applied the foundation. It's just what I do to get ready for the day. I even have a problem with the concept of wearing sweatpants outside of your house because I feel like you should be presentable when you're in public. That kind of changed a little bit with the creation of the Victoria's Secret PINK line of sweats. They're pretty cute and if it's a quick run to grab a carton of milk at 8pm I may, on very rare occasions, be seen in my sweatpants and Uggs. Maybe.

But today when I found myself even considering whether I was going to put on my makeup today....oh there was panic. "Oh Em Gee, am I becoming the frumpy Mom who doesn't care about herself?!?! Am I going to wear mom jeans now and cut my hair up to my ears?!?!" Upon realizing that my nails and toenails were nicely painted, my legs are newly shaved, and my outfit is "workout chic" but still appropriate for the public, I relaxed a little bit.

No, I don't think I'm falling apart. At least not today.

What is it that makes me okay with no makeup today? I blame it on childbirth. Not the screaming "push 'em out" part, but the grace that comes with acceptance of who I am.

It's amazing to me to discover that I carry almost none of the self-consciousnesses that accompanied my younger self. I was so critical.... my thighs were too wide, my stomach wasn't flat or tight enough, my skin was blotchy, my big toes were weird, my nose was crooked, I smiled with only half of my mouth, my chin stuck out too far. And the list continued.

But now I have seen what my body can do. I grew two beautiful, amazing children. My husband is attracted to me, thank God!, and who is really going to be close enough to me to judge me by the small sun spot on my left cheek anyway?

Sure, I have plans to make my upper arms less-flab-and-more-fab. I cannot wait to get back to the gym and run. And I will be giving my core muscles one heck of a workout after I've gotten the "thumbs up/game on" at my 6 week doctor appointment. But wasting time in front of the mirror spewing hate mail at my nose isn't going to get me anywhere.

After all, I've got two boys who need to be taught what a quality woman is so they know what they're looking for in a wife.

Game on.

Monday, January 23, 2012

dear facebook...my kid pooped


...and other things moms say.

For starters, let's look at my current facebook status:
Funny how two little people sleeping at the same time makes me feel as accomplished as if I had just performed a successful brain surgery.
Yes, I recognize it. There has been an influx of facebook status updates on my page that refer to my kids or to the life of motherhood....naps, snuggles, NICU updates, and of course the pictures to capture the moments that words wouldn't do justice. This change started with Roman's pregnancy, but the "mom Lauren" updates have increased exponentially with the birth of Liam. And lately, I have been asking myself whether those without kids- heck, even those with kids- are rolling their eyes yet. You never know when your statuses are being hidden from news feeds! And after reading a fellow mom's status the other day that celebrated a potty training moment while apologizing for the boring news to those without kids, I smiled. It's not just me who thinks to herself, "This news can only be important to me....but it's a victory that I need to dance about so I'm saying it anyway!"

In fact, I keep trying to defend me to myself by saying, "Yeah, but if they don't have kids, they don't understand. I definitely didn't understand the brilliance of a perfectly synchronized nap until today, when I got my fellas to take their naps at the same time. I mean, come on! You better believe that was a facebook status! I won't tell you about the pilot I hired to paint the news in those white, puffy letters across the sky...but he wasn't cheap.

Still, my former, pre-kid self was taunting me. "When did you become this person?" I am, after all, wearing my fourth shirt of the day. Let's discuss:
Shirt 1- remove because of spit up all over the chest.
Shirt 2- remove because of failure to notice poop leakage when certain toddler "went" while playing in the sprinklers. Did you know a diaper quickly becomes saturated by water and no longer retains necessary fluids/solids? Picking said child up at this point is not advised.
Shirt 3- remove because successful showering occurred (granted, at 2pm, but still!) and a fresh, clean outfit was necessary to be a happy mother.
Shirt 4- so far, so good.....fingers are crossed.

And then. That's when I thought about the things my former, pre-kid posted about on facebook. Things like what my husband and I were doing, who I was hanging out with, what my job was like that day. And before I had a job or was married I wrote about how horrible the homework load was that night or the horribleimeanamazing dining hall food at Gordenier, or how I aced that certain test. (wait, I don't think I ever aced a test?....I take that back for the sake of my reporter's integrity.)

I wrote about the things important to me and the things that made me feel successful about my day.

And, at this stage in life, that means I talk about the dinner I just cooked my family or the personal style I continue to re-define as my life changes its appearance. It means I talk about the riveting "one-on-one basketball game" my husband and oldest son just played or the heart-filling snuggle session I just had with the youngest, or even the poll I took of fellow mom friends about how to get Roman to eat better.

Because those things ARE my life. And they make me feel fulfilled and more successful than anything else I do. Or have ever done.

And for now, they might as well be brain surgery.

Friday, January 20, 2012

low and behold

What's this?? A blog entry?! Surely not... I haven't written anything in what? 37 years?

Man. So much to say.

Next week I'll write the obvious post about our week in the NICU with Mr. Liam, but for now I'll show you a glimpse of life around here:

Life is pretty awesome in a toddler's eyes when the morning starts with a trip to the basketball court in the morning.


We're obsessed with basketballs right now.

And then there's this guy who sleeps through it all. Hop on, Liam- you were born into a moving family. Come along on our adventures! (I have decided this is one of the huge differences between having one child and having two children. When Roman was born, life stopped and centered around him. With Liam...well, he went to the zoo when he was 2 weeks old. LOL)

And then there's mama. I'm keeping it real with a cup o' joe and the camera. Someone's gotta supervise all the action. ;)

(Notice how I am brilliantly hiding my make-up-less face with my coffee cup. I thought that was genius.)

To my dear friends who have tried to call to no avail, I apologize. Life returns to the "new normal" on Monday- though I have no idea what that looks like yet. Until then I am treasuring time with my mom and my husband (and two boys!) because they're not always here.

And one of my goals in this new chapter is to [continue to?] be present. I don't want to be the mom who sits on her phone talking while her husband and son play basketball in the morning sun. I want to be the cheerleader on the sidelines. Now there's a visual... Heck, I don't even want to be the mom who is too busy taking pictures of the moment and, in so doing, misses time to revel in the treasure that it is.

I've been really aware of the special moments that life holds right now.

And I'm holding on tight.