Monday, July 26, 2010

Getting my craft-on... or not

I've never been particularly crafty. I once tried to sew shorts, one leg ended up longer than the other. Then there was my watermelon pillow, it looked like someone had taken "bites" out of it. There was the doll I made for my mother that she threw away because she mistook it for trash. Nobody ever wants to be on my team when we play Pictionary.

It never really bothered me before. Okay, so I didn't have an ounce of craftiness in me, that's what Hobby Lobby is for, right? But then I got married and started having kids. And my friends got married and started having kids. Suddenly I realized how crafty my friends are - I didn't even know Whitney crocheted until she made a blanket for my son! Shouldn't surprise me really, she always was the "artsy" one.

Then my Mom started in, "look at these cute curtains you can sew for your baby's room," "those pants are really too long on your son, why don't you hem them up?" "You bought this sign when you could have made it using the Cricut..." Then my friends started getting together for "scrapbook nights" and "craft nights." It was just getting worst. I mean, going over to my friends houses and seeing their cute decor or reading about there latest project on their blogs was one thing, but now it were infiltrating my social life!

And so I started having an identity crisis. I was avoiding the craft nights, crying over the picture that my husband hung too high on the wall, stressing over how blank my walls look because I don't have an eye for placement of pictures, and worrying that my bookshelf didn't look "balanced" because all it had on it was books.

I just always thought that I would magically become crafty, talented and clean when my children entered this world, but the truth is, I'm still same old me. My house has a slight disorganized feel to it with stacks of books, magazines, and papers that get dropped wherever I was reading it last. There's always clothes on the floor, toys scattered throughout the hall, and some new cooking project spread on kitchen countertops. I've embraced my bookshelves that only have books on it (I love my books) and my blank walls. I go to craft night to socialize and then drop by Hobby Lobby to buy a professionally made and really cute wreath to hang on my door.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Swagger Wagon

While watching the "Dad Life" video from Church on the Move, I came across this video, and well, it was too funny not to share. Hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Need a Reminder

Blame it on the heat, the close age of my kids, the constant barrage of company, blame it on whatever you want; but things have been a bit rough. When things get a bit rough, I remind myself all that is good and well with the world, or in this case, motherhood. So here goes:

*The smiles and hugs first thing in the morning. The excitement of discovering their surroundings. The thrill (and terror) on their face the first time they roll over. The sound of their laughter. Pausing in my rush to examine a beetle, splash in a puddle, and chase a bird. Listening to the babble and squeals of delight of my children playing together. Rediscovering favorite childhood past times such as playing in the rain and PBJ sandwiches. Watching their faces light up when you come home, or walk into a room after being absent for a few seconds. Seeing the love in their eyes when they see their Daddy. Reading them books. Playing trains. Holding them in my arms. Walking hand-in-hand. Watching them sleep. Feeling like my heart is going to burst from too much love.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Things I wish I had Known

A few of my friends are getting ready to welcome their first child into their homes and join the elite club that is otherwise known as Motherhood. It's made me think about what kind of advice I can give them, so I've compiled a list of things I wish I had known. Some of this stuff you can find in books (but if you're anything like me, you didn't know what to take to heart and what to ignore).

1. Things to bring to the hospital (besides the obvious change of clothing): nursing pads, nursing bra, feminine napkins, comfortable panties (especially if you're having a c-section, you don't want anything resting on your incision), and socks. Some things like feminine napkins and funny looking underwear will be provided to you by the hospital, take advantage of these and don't be afraid to ask for extra ones to take home with you.
2. Speaking of things to bring home with you: ask for extra diapers, changing pads, pacifiers, shirts for baby.
3. Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself in the hospital: if you're in pain ask for medicine, if you're hungry ask for food. Most nurses try to make sure you're well taken care of, but they are human and can't read your mind.
4. Wear your nursing bra at ALL TIMES! At night, at home, at the store, you get the point. Only take it off during showers, obviously. In fact, buy multiple nursing bras because the engorgement period can really make you run through them.
5. Set up a nursing station as well as a diaper changing station. Keep extra nursing pads, Lanolin, a bottle of water (you get really dehydrated while nursing), and crackers close at hand. You might even need washcloths and an extra bra.
6. Diaper changing station should include diapers, wipes, diaper cream (like Desitin or Butt Paste), and an absorbent changing pad. It's amazing what little babies can do.
7. Those first few weeks I would keep a basket for nursing and a basket for changing by my bedside for the midnight feedings. I kept an extra change of clothing for baby too, so I wouldn't have to rummage around trying to find some pajamas while bleary-eyed.
8. It's perfectly normal to not have a clue how to nurse - talk to the Lactation consultant before you leave the hospital to make sure the baby is attaching correctly. (Warning: they (lactation consultants) are very in your business and touchy, just to give you a heads-up in case you are a more private person).
9. Newborn babies make lots of funny, almost scary noises. Especially as they are trying to clear out their lungs of fluids. Remember if your baby is coughing and making NOISE then that means they are getting air, it's when they go all silent and purply-blue on you that it's time to panic.
10. Remember you're not alone. There are plenty of forums, blogs (like this one), and friends who are doing this too. Don't ever feel dumb asking a question or calling your pediatrician. OH and that's one more thing - if your baby is acting funny, and it's obviously not an emergency, and you're not sure if it warrants a doctor's appointment, just call the pediatrician and ask to speak to a nurse. A lot of times they can answer your questions over the phone and let you know if it is even worth coming in to the office.

So, those are just a few things I came up with. Let's hear it ladies - what kind of advice can you pass on to all those first time Moms.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Message From My Father

My father sent me this video this morning. It was a much-needed reminder that even when the world doesn't recognize and appreciate the importance of motherhood and the hard work that goes into it...that our Heavenly Father appreciates it. That He sees us and loves us, especially on the rough days. That He wants to help us raise up their sweet little souls to Him, He wants to help us find the patience to last the day, we just have to ask Him for that help.

So often the world gives us a line about "being a mother is hard work," but it's just another platitude to make us feel like they're recognizing us...but they don't. They dismiss what we do, insisting that we should do and be more, that mothering is something we could just as easily pay other people to do for us, that we're not doing enough or that we're doing too much for our children. But, our Father in Heaven really does recognize us.

I guess that's what this video meant to me. That He sees me and recognizes the work I do. That when no one else is up with me during the 2am feeding...He is. Even if it doesn't seem to matter to anyone else that the floor is dirty 2 seconds after I clean it and the kids don't listen when I try to teach them...that He sees that I tried in the first place.

Thanks for the reminder, Dad...both my Heavenly and Earthly one.

ps-I know, I know, I posted this on my personal blog too. I don't ever double-post like this, but after having thought about it for an hour or so, I decided that this was too important of a message not to share with everyone.