Monday, September 24, 2012

Click fil a

This, this and this.

Just trying to elevate the conversation.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

2 Years of Awesome

2 years ago today, about 39 minutes from now, to be precise, I became a mother on the outside.

My sweet Joseph, how you have filled our lives with joy. And sleeplessness. Oh, the sleeplessness. From the day of your birth until this present moment, you have never been a good sleeper, nor have you ever hesitated to let us know exactly how you feel about anything. You don't exactly play your cards close to your vest, son. And you certainly don't waste precious moments of your busy life with something so mundane as the recommended 10-12 hours of sleep for a guy your size.

This year with you has been my favorite; watching you love your baby brother, learn how to speak and communicate with us, and seeing your eyes light up when a train goes thundering down the tracks near our house ... it's all good son.

And even though I am literally sick from lack of sleep, I love you, and I wouldn't trade a minute of it. Unless you're willing to start staying in your bed longer in the mornings. In which case, yes please.

Here's hoping today is a magical, choo-choo train filled and chocolate-saturated glut of happiness and carbohydrates to fuel your childhood memories.

We love you sweet boy.

Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Anthro bookshelf hack

Oh, who am I kidding, probably more closely akin to Target's dorm-room chic RE line...but a girl can dream.

Armed with a roll of hideously expensive Hallmark wrapping paper, a can of Elmer's spray adhesive, and a willing victim in the form of a freshly-stained former bachelor bookshelf, I set out to make DIY history on my back porch during naptime yesterday.

A few lessons learned:

1. Measure things. Oh, you do measure when you make things?

Well you're awesome, and I'm not.

2. Spray adhesive will be sticky once applied to the surface you're looking to adhere stuff to. Along with your forearm hairs, cell phone screen, and unsuspecting lurking jogging stroller. Ahem.

3. Wrapping paper was a brilliant and yet oh so stupid pick for covering the back of my bookshelf. It looks awesome...except from certain angles where it looks like...wrapping paper. So perhaps a matte rather than high gloss finish next time? Does wrapping paper come in a matte finish? Do I have too much time on my hands? Probably, maybe, and definitely.

Without further ado, I present to you, my new 'home office.'

I started with some scissors, the above-mentioned luxury wrapping paper, and some spray glue.

I measured one space between shelves (should have measured each individually), cut 3 more against the template of the first, pressed each cutout into the intended shelf space folded the excess edges over to cut off

And then went at the thing with aerosol Elmer's like you wouldn't believe.

I like (but don't love) the way it turned out, and it certainly makes use of a dead space in our dining area that was formerly a tangle of cell phone chargers and computer cords.
mood lighting. Ooh la la.

I'm calling it my little home office. Because honestly, it has just about everything I need at arm's reach during a typical weekday, from the boring basics like laptop, pens, and paper to the exciting personalized touches of a mobile baby changing station and some Jillian Michael's-approved hand weights. And a basket filled with current cans of spray paint. Because you honestly can't say when the mood will strike, so it's best to be prepared.

Clearly I missed my calling as a design blogger. Clearly.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Growing pains

I believe no single member of our family has enjoyed more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep on any given day in the past week.


While furtively smoking half a cigarette (leftover from last month's girl's night out) on my back patio in.broad.daylight. and texting smokesignals to a friend begging for a loaner copy of Babywise to refresh my meaniemommy skills, I realized that I am still very much in the newborn tunnel. (Let the record show, I did not smoke half a used cigarette, but rather, half of a perfectly good cigarette before disposing of the remainder. My name is Jenny and I occasionally smoke half cigarettes.)

The newborn tunnel, not to be confused with the better known and all-encompassing tunnel of parenthood, is defined primarily by three trademark characteristics:

1. Yoga pants. Any time of day, any day of the week. May or may not correspond with physical activity. More likely, correspondent with marathon nursing sessions and embarrassing public excursions to grocery stores.

2. Lack of showering. Why get all lathered up when tomorrow's another opportunity to wear some little person's bodily fluid in your hair? I have had actual interior debates measuring the cost of my shampoo/conditioner against the likely number of hours my hair will stay clean. And let me tell you, usually, the odds are not in my mane's favor.

3. Any excuse for drinks with dinner. Ahem. For example: 'Oh, it's Tuesday. Taco Tuesday. Let's have margaritas!' Or perhaps 'Did you see it was St. so-and-so the lesser of Lithuania's feast today according to the 1942 reformed Scottish Catholic calendar? Yeah, we should pop open a bottle of red wine. I have always harbored a strong, unspoken devotion to him/her that I've never mentioned aloud before today.

Now that I've flaunted my holy all over the www, I think I may just go slip into a fresh pair of poly-spandex blend and start counting the hours until daddy's quitting time.

It is Taco Tuesday, after all...

A lot of really confusing images came up when I googled 'yoga pants.' Surprisingly, this was the least disturbing.

Monday, September 17, 2012

If they really cared about the good of the mother...

So often the pro-abortion movement claims to operate from a place of concern for the life, mental well-being, 'rights' of the woman, etc.

Ignoring the biologic reality that removing a human life from within the mother's body is a vile and treacherous attack on not only that fetus but on his or her mother, they advocate abortion as a kind of sacrament which purports to guarantee a woman's freedom in our sick, sad culture.

Much like those aid organizations who pass out condoms instead of cornmeal and counsel for better birth control for a people without wells for clean drinking water, pro-abortion activists insist that the child is always either a symptom of the problem, or the problem itself.

Forget that mom might need a scrip for Prozac or a few hours a week of housekeeping help or even intensive outpatient therapy. It's much easier to prescribe infanticide or sterilization.

And yet, so few women protest, at least externally. So many simply nod their heads and swallow the lie, that something is wrong with the way they've been created, that their female bodies betray them at every turn, and that doctors and mental health professionals don't have to take them OR their conditions seriously because it can surely be fixed with a pill, a patch or a quick 'procedure.'

May God give strength to women who are resisting this lie, and may He give light to a culture so steeped in darkness that many more accept without question.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Women for Obama?

I think not.

Lately I've been seeing more and more evidence that election season is indeed upon us, and on our cute little block of suburbia, a curious phenomenon is occurring. In every 5th window or so up and down our block, a little blue placard proclaiming 'Women for Obama' has popped up, and I'm just a leeetle bit confused and a lot concerned.

You see, I find the whole idea of being labelled a constituent of that oh-so-desirable demographic 'the women's vote' a bit offensive. Yes, I'm a woman. But I'm also a unique and complex human person, and my chromosomal makeup sure doesn't determine the way my politics swing. As if having breasts confines me to membership in a voting block that will or won't cast a ballot dependent upon receiving freebies from Uncle Sam in the shape of little pink pill packs?


I find it deeply offensive that 1. the entire spectrum of women's 'health' has been reduced down to two fundamental issues: abortion and contraception, and 2. that women are somehow perceived as being primarily concerned with their vaginas and related areas over, say, the economy, foreign policy, school quality, the poverty level, excruciating tax rates and other such worrisome issues of the day.

Are we to assume that those stuffy old issues are best dealt with by the menfolk, and we ought not to worry our pretty little heads about such big, serious matters, but just keep filling our prescriptions for birth control and the federal government will foot the bill? (Pat, pat, there, there, little lady.)

Hi, I'm a 21st century woman and I am offended.

And my sexual behavior? That's my own responsibility, not the government's, thank God. (For now, at least.) I don't need the contraceptive equivalent of food stamps every month to help me 'get by,' and it sure as hell isn't going to sway my vote this November if I can count on a federal kickback for toxic chemical ingestion.

Even for women who lean leftward in their politics and ideals, I cannot fathom how such an approach can be anything but deeply offensive to them on a primal level. Can't they see the ironic, blatant anti-feminism behind such tired rhetoric?

Can't they see that keeping women carefully, consistently sterilized and thereby 'freed' for economic contribution is so much of the same tired old system of repression and degradation that we are supposedly evolved beyond?

And don't they expect more from a president than the condescending promise of free pills and continued government-funded access to the woman-hating mega-business Planned Parenthood?

I suppose if they are indeed members of that mythic 'women's vote,' whose only apparent common thread is an ugly, rose-colored shade of apparent self-loathing, they don't mind much at all.

I, for one, prefer to be seen as more than a sexually-active baby-maker. Because those are things that I do, they don't solely define who I am.

Think I'm totally crazy? Remember this excerpt from Obama's Planned Parenthood promo tour last time around. How's that for a vote of confidence for the fairer sex?

I'm totally making a new sign for our front window this weekend:

Grown Ups for Romney.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A truth sandwich stuffed with shredded reality

If you do nothing else today, including reading my previous sad entry, please do yourself a favor and give this a look. Or two. Or three.

I'll be re-reading it for the rest naptime, if anyone needs me.

Sleep training is a four-letter word

So my kids are apparently 19-month apart twins (yes, I am already explaining to strangers that a skinny toddler + a fatty 4 month old does not equal womb-mates.) Come on people, the (slightly) larger one speaks in complete sentences, while the shorter fatty dabbles in projectile vomiting and gummy smiles. So yes, anyway, clearly twins.

As I sit here contemplating whether or not to air their dirty, sleep-deprived laundry on the internet, the slightly smaller one is moaning at me from his impeccably decorated nursery (maybe it's too pretty for him to sleep?) while the bigger fellow utters plaintive cries from the basement. Which is now his bedroom. Which I can only hear because they drift up through the floorboards and slowly erode what was left of my sane mind.

Ironically, the last two nights have been our best ever. Ever. In nearly 2 years of exterior parenting. And tonight, by golly, we will try our damndest to painstakingly re-create the magical elixir of ambient sounds and circumstance to try for a hat trick. So, here's hoping.

The thing about these two precious boys is, they were both born without the desire to sleep. One prefers falling asleep briefly and popping up every, oh, 20 minutes or so to say heeeeeeeey, and the other prefers to scream/talk/whine it out for about an hour until he surrenders to a slumber so light, we brush our teeth slowly so as to make less noise. And forget about flossing. What if he hears the box click shut? Oh the horror.

We've read our way through the gamut of sleep-training handbooks, everything from the mildly sadistic Babywise to the straight up commune-style Dr. Sears manifesto. And a few in-betweeners like the Baby Whisperer, Healthy Sleep Happy Child, and, while I've yet to crack open my own copy, I've heard good things about 'Go the *$(% to Sleep.' So maybe we'll try that next.

Anyway, last night was awesome, naptime today is crashing and burning, and I just ripped 'Bun Bun,' Joey's beloved stuffed rabbit gifted to him at birth by grandma, from his clutches. And now he is softly weeping himself towards what I hope is dreamland and not the psych ward.

Time will tell.

Any hints, mamas? And not to get all judgy, but we just got the small fatty out of our bed and it would take a home invasion of vigilante tigers with machetes and napalm to get me to take him back under our covers, so ... yeah. We're not into co-sleeping.