Monday, April 27, 2009

Little Reminders

I had a rough day today. There wasn't much in particular that made it a hard day. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed (after having a really weird, disturbing and "off" dream...maybe I'll blog about it later). The day just seemed to wipe me out from there. Avery woke up a little earlier than usual, and as soon as Cal got here, they started arguing. I don't know if this can be blamed on the pregnancy, or just grumpiness, but it was just a yucky day. I mean, we did some cool stuff, so it should have been a good day (lunch out, gymnastics class, Alex's spring program), but it was rainy and dreary, and I was just crabby. Then...when we got home, Avery was just demanding. She yelled about "needing a drink and a snack", and when I told her to practice her patience, she said "no...I will not practice!". I was tired, and I needed a break from kids (where no relief was in sight until Chris got home). I started feeling annoyed with Avery, which is a feeling that I rarely have. I finally told her that she was not being nice to mommy, and mommy was NOT going to get her a drink or a snack until Avery started being nicer. She turned her behavior around and was sweet as Chris took her off to bed. I, on the other hand am still grumpy and teary eyed (for no reason). I need to go to bed and start over tomorrow.

Before I go to bed, I feel the need to refocus. I need to take a second to write down the things that I love about Avery. I need to remind myself that the things that annoyed me today are also the things that usually make me proud to be her mommy. She has an opinion, and stands up for herself, and will not be ignored. Here's a list of her unique opinions the reasons why I need to suck up my issues and foster her opinions more, instead of squashing them.

She wants me to blow on her clothes, to warm them up a little before I put them on her. She wants to buckle herself in her carseat, and tighten it. She wants to go potty by herself, and tell me "I went without you." She does not want to hold my hand in a parking lot, nor does she want to be carried, but will grab on tight as soon as she sees a car. She wants me to warm up her blanket "just to warm it up a little" in the dryer. She wants one, specific story before bedtime and no other story will do...lately it's been a book of nursery rhymes. She wants to use Mommy's lips (lip gloss). She wants her crocs. She does not want to share her balloon with Cal, nor does she particularly want him to hold the bubbles or choose a movie. She does not want anyone else to fetch something for her. She wants to set the table herself. She tells you "one second" if she's not ready yet. She does not want to wear socks. She does not want help getting in the tub. She is "fimming;" she does not want to get out of the tub. She does not want to go to take a nap because the "sun is still awake". She "can do it myself." She "did it!"

She is a spitfire, and because of all of these things, and more...I love her spunk. I love her independence. I love her opinions. I love her stubbornness. I love her sassiness. I love her.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lighten things up a little.

Well, since my last post was a little on the heavy side, this post will be a little lighter. Well, I guess if you consider my "top 5 people I want to punch in the neck" as a lighter post. I find if funny that my follow up post to the "religion post" is so violent. I guess I didn't want to lose my "edge". My inspiration for this post came from a facebook thing that's been floating around, and ALSO from food network. I just came down from putting Avery down for her nap, and one of the most annoying people EVER was on TV....which leads me to the.

#1 person that I want to punch in the throat- Sandra Lee. This arrogant, snotty, patronizing woman drives me up a wall! Unfortunately, she has some pretty good, easy recipes, which makes me even more mad! I HATE that she decorates her stupid kitchen to match her stupid theme for the stupid day (who does that? Who has a kitchenaid mixer in every color? who has time to go to the craft store just to get something to match her pea risotto?). I HATE that she never does the back of her hair (does she think that she we won't notice when she turns around? If you have the time to match your outfit to the color of the kitchen, then please find the time to run a brush through your hair!). I HATE that she thinks that everything she does is "the best", or "perfect", or "brilliant". ('s peanut butter and jelly...using a cookie cutter does NOT make it "brilliant"). Finally, I HATE that her "tablescapes" all have to have a theme, and are typically butt ugly. I don't have the time or energy to make a separate table cloth to match each type of meat I make. I don't have the energy to make placecards out of seed packets each time my parents come to visit. I definitely DO NOT CARE enough to make sure that I have a centerpiece that is made from a mixture of dollar store crap, Michaels junk, and tulle. Stuff if Sandra...if I met you in an alley...I would punch you in the neck (then I would ask you how to make your famous Beer Cocktails).

#2 person that I want to punch in the throat- Ann Coultier. Enough said. I don't think I've ever heard anyone who is as hateful and condescending as her. If I weren't so afraid of her amazonian stilletos, I would totally challenge her to a cage fight.

#3 person that I want to punch in the throat- Donald Trump. I get're rich and successful...but that does not make you better than the rest of the world. He's' arrogant and rude. He makes people feel bad about themselves, and places judgement on people like his name is Judy. Of course, I watch the Apprentice when I can catch it, but I do not watch it from the kneeling position, awaiting the opportunity to kiss his feet. With all that said...I would LOVE to borrow (ie...have) about a million dollars from him.

# 4 person that I want to punch in the throat- Mariah Carey. I know that her relationship to Tommy Matolla was not good. BUT, I miss the Vision of Love Mariah. I miss her one skimpy black dress, and big curly hair. In the past few years...she's been a HOT MESS, and I'm not just talking about her "breakdown". Have you seen the crap that she has been wearing? It's getting shorter and nastier. The worst part is that she does this crazy dance (that really isn't a dance) that makes it look like she is having sex with herself. The dance screams (HELLO...I'M REALLY INSECURE WITH MYSELF, AND I NEED TO BE OGGLED IN ORDER TO FEEL IMPORTANT!)

#5 person that I want to punch in the throat- Paris Hilton. Has she made any real contribution to the world? I know that there were some sad people that wanted to be her friend on VH1, and she was so important that she could only choose one. BUT, what makes her important? I'm confused...why is she considered someone to watch? Why do people care what she wears or says, but more importantly...why do people want to be her friend? I guess I understand a little...I mean, if I were her friend, I would totally borrow her jewelry and purses (because that's the only stuff that would fit me), but other than that...I don't get it. She seems to have ZERO personality, and even less charm or worth to the world around her. At least I know that if I ran into her in an alley (and she didn't have bodyguards or Brandon Davis around to call me fire crotch), I could totally take her...all it would take is a kick to her skinny shin, and she would drop her drink and say "that's not hot"...and cry.

Now, there are a lot more people that I believe could use a nice punch in the throat, honorable mentions go to:
Sean Hannity
George W. Bush
Dennis Rodman
Heather Graham
Celine Dion

I know that this post was not nice.

The End.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Getting something off my chest...

So, there's been this "thing" rattling around in my brain for awhile. This "thing" is difficult to talk about because I'm afraid that it might hurt some feelings, or rub some people the wrong way. This "thing" is church. Now, I know that most of you that read my blog, know me. You may or may not know some or all of my history in regards to church and religion. Some of you might have attended the same church as me, or still attend the church. While, I have never been hurt or persecuted for my beliefs, I haven't always felt comfortable with the part that religion played in my life.

For instance, growing up, church was never a decision that I made for myself. For awhile, I was driven to church , because I was too young to make the decision. I liked it...I got to hang out with friends, and be a "part" of something, even if I didn't know what that "something" was. I did have a few issues and struggled with a few different teachings. Two in particular really scared me. I grew up Baptist, and my best friend attended church next door, which was Catholic. On more than one occasion, it was said that "our neighbors (insert pointing gesture to the Catholic church) may not be in heaven when we get there, because they a.)put too much emphasis on Mary, b.) don't believe in the same things that we do or c.) have not been saved". Now, to a young kid, this was hard to grapple with. So, what I am hearing is "I won't get to spend time in heaven with my best friend?" The other issue I had scared me even more. After my great-grandmother died when I was only about 10, I realized that she never really talked about going to church, so...did this mean that she wasn't "saved"? Was I really never going to see my Great-Grandma again? This was really heavy stuff for a kid to deal with.

Moving on toward high school, I remember feeling lost and left out because I went to a public school. I didn't feel like I was a "good enough" Christian, because I didn't attend the Christian school. I even begged my parents to send me to the private school for my Senior Year. (thank goodness my mom said no!). I dated boys that were not Christians, and brought them to church with me. It was always tough...I never felt like we were "welcome", nor that it was OK to date. Church still wasn't an option for me, other than something that I was either forced, or guilted into. As I look back, I don't think that attending church was ever a decision that I was able to make for myself. To this day, I still feel horribly guilty if I choose not to go to church when I stay at my parent's house. (Let me interject, that my mom was never a part of the pressure, in fact...she was just the opposite).

When I went away to college, things really started to change. I started thinking that things didn't "jive" with me. Specifically, I struggled with the pro-life/pro-choice debates and the anti-gay stance that the home church had. When I moved in with two male friends for a summer, and was told by a few people (and heard other rumors about me) that originated in the church, I knew that the church wasn't for me. I felt judged for doing nothing wrong. I felt like an outsider, and was made to feel like a bad person for living with people that made me feel safe. Seeing petitions at the back of the church, and hearing the anti-gay sentiments further confirmed my belief that I could no longer be a part of the church.

Now, being a part of the church was not all bad. I've met some really great friends, and people that I look up to. The late Mrs. Simonds, Mrs. Anderson, and Mrs. Dobbins are still some of the most caring and honest people that I have ever met. All three of these women were strong in their own ways, and regardless of their beliefs, lifted each person up. I have a lot of really fond memories of my times at church, but very few of these memories have anything to do with feeling "good" about what I heard from the pulpit, or feeling "moved" by the various testimonies. The reality is that with as many friends that I met through the church, there are just as many, if not more, people that I really struggled with. I had a really hard time with the gossip, back-talking and overall meanness and guilt.

The church that I grew up in split twice. The first time was in 1987, and while I don't remember much, I remember that there were a lot of hurt feelings and animosity around the split. When it happened again just a year ago, I couldn't believe it. I won't go into the reasons for the split, but I will say this- If you love your Christian brothers and sisters in the church as a family, then allowing another church "split" is never an option. It's the opposite of's selfish.

I've realized a lot lately. I realized how imperfect people are. I look around everyday. I read the news, and listen to the radio. I watch TV, and interact with friends, neighbors and family, and see imperfections. I see how we people have harmed our planet, and hurt each other both physically and emotionally. I see how we have interpreted the Bible for our own good, and use it against one another when convenient. I see how people judge one another to make themselves feel better, and, how mean we can be.

On the other hand, I witness God's perfection every day. Each time I look at Avery, or feel my belly move from kicks, I know that God is perfect. Or, every time that I see the rain, or my tulips pop through the ground, I know that God knows what he is doing.

It always seems to be a little arrogant to assume that imperfect people can understand a perfect God.

For the past few years, my dad has said repetitively "you and Chris need to find a church", or "Avery is really smart, she needs to be in a church" My response has been "I'm not hiding from God, but I am in hiding from the guilt, judgment and people that inflict these things." I know that my dad is doing what he thinks is right, but that doesn't mean it's right for me. I don't think he has seen or realize what I've felt or gone through. All he cared about was that I was in church. I'm a little tentative to jump with both feet back into a situation that didn't feel good before. I'm definitely going to protect my daughter from feeling the same way that I did. She will never be forced into something that she doesn't feel. Church and religion is something that I have to come to on my own terms. I will give Avery the chance to make up her own mind too. I have a lot of religious baggage to shed before I can open myself back up to people in a spiritual way. My relationship with God is still's his people that I don't always trust.

With that being said, I decided to attend church yesterday. It was the first time in a LONG time that I decided ON MY OWN to attend. I wasn't pressured into it, but walked in with my eyes wide open, and was still skeptical. I did a lot of research ahead of time, and talked to a lot of people about their experience. I had a great time. Mars Hill is HUGE, so I can disappear when I want to, and be involved when I want to. I don't have anyone looking to see what I'm wearing, or if I'm singing along. As the pastor said, they "are aggressively non-partisan", so I won't see any petitions, or watch any anti-gay skits there. The church is focussed on Love and Service to all people (not just loving and giving to other Christians). It was refreshing. I liked to look around and see everyone in jeans and dreadlocks, and piercings and tattoos. Apparently, there are about 11, 000 people that attend the three services every week, so there are LOTS of different people in attendance. I liked it. I liked it a lot. I'm not prepared to put my name on any member rosters yet, but I might go back...or I might not.

Either way, it will be MY decision this time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Whew...what a week!

So, it's Wednesday, and I'm finally getting around to writing about last week's festivities. It was a whirlwind of a Spring Break, and it's still winding...and winding...and winding. Tomorrow evening will conclude the 10 day craziness after we host a baby shower at my house.

Let me just say that Spring Break was no break. I decided to plan something fun for every day, so that it would be special for the kids, and so Chris would have a little "break" as well. He was working on the basement, and didn't need the kids or I hounding him. Plus, he got to sleep in a little, and do some "planning" for the upcoming demolition. Anyways..let's just say that this was the perfect example of "biting off more than I can chew", because now...I'm EXHAUSTED! Don't get me wrong, we had fun, but it was pretty flipping TIRING! A week full of activities...all while 6 months pregnant was not my best idea.

Here's how the week went down:
Monday- Movie day. I let the kids each pick out a movie. Alex chose a Holly Hobby fashion movie. Avery chose a Dora sing-a-long. Cal picked Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The first two movies went well. TMNT...not so great. After a few minutes, Alex came out to inform that she didn't think that "this movie is appropriate for children". Then, she asked me if "this" (insert middle finger here) is a swear word. Arghh...apparently, TMNT was not the sweet early 90's cartoon that I remember. The cowabunga was there, but with a few more swords. Monday=flop.

Tuesday- We planned to go to the children's museum, but went to a playdate with my nieces and nephews instead. The kids were good, and had a lot of fun. It was also a nice little break for me. It was nice to have a task force to care for the kids.

Wednesday- Fredrick Meijer Gardens was lots of fun, but CRAZY busy! I've never seen it so packed. We had to wait in a long line just to get in. I was glad that 2 sister in laws joined us (thanks Jen and Julie!) with their kids, so it made it seem more special for the kids. They liked the butterflies, and the children's garden, but I think their favorite part of the day was the big hill by the DaVinci Horse. They could have rolled down that for HOURS!

Thursday- Took the kids to see Despereaux. It was a cute movie and the kids seemed to like it. We had some very adult conversations about bravery and being different. The kids were good, and were VERY excited, because they got 2 lunches that day. (We stopped at BK for them to share chicken and fries before the movie, then they got popcorn, THEN we had hot dogs and fruit when we got home). I don't know why, but they thought it was really cool..who knew.

Friday- Art Day....or Mess day! Some friends from across the street came over and we painted...and made HUGE messes. We painted on canvases with acrylic paint, and I talked with the kids about mixing colors (which they mixed all together to make brown), and texture with forks, knives, and different brushes (which they mostly used their hands). We followed up artfest with design your own pizzas, then had a fun dinner with our neighbors and new friends from across the street and called it a exhausting but fun day.

Saturday- Woke up early to drive to hang out with Dad, Grandma, Sean and Stephanie. We got to stop by IKEA, and color eggs...LOTS OF FUN!

Sunday- EASTER! We woke up, went to church, and came home to get cooking! I always knew it was a lot of work, but doing it myself was a big undertaking. We had turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, salad, rolls, pie and caramel brownies. Take all this cooking with the random egg hunt, basket opening, and 2 year old hug, and we had a busy day! We didn't leave until after 9:30 and didn't get home until after midnight. HOLY tired!

We had dinner with friends on Monday night, met my dad 1/2 way (a 3 hour round trip) on Tuesday night, Dad is leaving tomorrow (Thursday) morning, then we have the baby shower planned for tomorrow night!

I'm really looking forward to Friday. My mother in law is taking Avery, we are making dinner for our neighbor, then we have a grown up night planned...hopefully it will involve going to bed early, and sleeping in late!

Whew...what a week!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Upcoming Posts

This one is going to be boring and a complete tease. I am exhausted and still haven't had the chance to catch up on some much needed rest since last week. I have a fun post in mind that will chronicle all of the fun stuff from Spring Break and Easter. While I wait for the pictures to be uploaded, and for my brain to regain consciousness, you'll have to settle with this.

We're all still here....funny stuff is still happening.....but we're too tired from living life to write about it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Our Spring Break Itinerary...

Well folks, it's Spring Break around here, and there is going to be a lot going on! First, I have a houseful of kids...well...three, but three can be a lot, especially when the house is (finally) clean, and it's going to be cold and snowy outside for the first part of the week. On top of that, Chris is going to be working on the basement, so sending the kids downstairs to play is out! The answer...make plans! I wanted to plan one fun thing for each day, AND use my resources so that it wouldn't break the bank. We also had to work around lunchtime (unless we pack) and work around the Avery's nap schedule. Here's our itinerary for the week. We would LOVE company and visitors!

Monday- Movie Day/ I'll be taking the kids to Family Video to choose movies. Movies start at 11am and 3:30pm. (it's going to be 36 and snowy)

Tuesday- Children's Museum/We have a membership available. We could also bring 2 more people for free if you want to tag along. We'll be leaving around 10am and plan to return by 12:30 for lunch. (35 and snowy)

Wednesday-Frederick Meijer Gardens-/Butterfly Exhibit and Children's Gardens. We also have a membership and could bring 2 more adults for free. We're leaving at 10:30 and be coming home by 1pm. (47 and partly cloudy)

Thursday-Movies at the Mall/Despereax is for kids/$2.50 for adults. We have a few coupons for snacks too. Movie time is 11:30. (49 and partly cloudy)

Friday-Art at home/play outside! We are getting a few big canvases and paint and plan to have the kids make some really fun paintings to potentially hang in our basement. All day fun! (51 and partly cloudy)

So, if you want to be a part of some or all of the events, give me a call. We would love the company! me...I could use a little adult interaction!