Friday, October 31, 2008

Picture of the Day: Happy Halloween

Fancy Nancy demonstrating her best curtsy.

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Supportive Husband

Men and women are so different, as we all know. Last night was a prime example.

I started talking (more like babbling on and on) about something that had been on my mind for awhile. I've been debating if I want to try to lose a few more pounds or not. I'm at a healthy weight for my height already, but after three kids, there is a jiggly, gushy area around my middle that didn't use to be there. For months, I've been going back and forth, one week deciding that this gushiness is normal and I'm okay with it and I just have to get used to the new me, and the next week deciding that something really needs to be done about this situation and it's high time I lost these last 5-10 baby pounds. I'm really getting tired of this mental yo-yoing, and since I can't seem to make a decision and stick with it, I decided to appeal to my husband for some advice and perspective.

If I had chosen to talk to some girlfriends about this dilemma, I can imagine some of the feedback I would get.

"You look great just the way you are!"

"Give yourself a break, you've bore three children and your body has changed. It's perfectly normal."

"If you want to lose a few more pounds, go for it! But, only do it because it is what is best for you."

What Eric said was a classic example of the difference between men and women. He said:

"Well, you don't look bad."

Poor Eric. He knew right away that that didn't come out the way he intended, but he didn't know how to fix it. So, he followed that up with:

"It's not like I'm embarrassed to take you out in public or anything."

I couldn't help but laugh! I know my husband well enough to know that what he said, what he meant, and the way a female would interpret what he said are all very different things. For example...

What he said: You don't look bad.
What a female hears: But, you don't look that good either.
What he meant: You look beautiful just the way you are.

What he said: It's not like I'm embarrassed to take you out in public or anything.
What a female hears: But, if you pack on another pound or two, I may have to keep you locked away at home.
What he meant: I'm proud to show off my beautiful wife in public.

So, for the next half hour or so we came up with more examples of backhanded sort of compliments that then men in our lives use to try to be supportive.

"It's not like you're obese or anything."

"You don't jiggle that much."

"It's okay, you can buy new clothes in a larger size if you want to."

"If you didn't eat so much, you'd lose those extra pounds in no time!"

"Just don't look in the mirror any more."

I think I lost a pound or two just from all the laughing!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Picture of the Day: Slave labor

He spilled all of the water out of the dog's water bowl (again!), so I gave him a towel and told him to clean it up. He did!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I have a little secret...

It's something about my children that most people don't know. You see, my kids are most extraordinary. I know what you are thinking. All mothers think that their children are the most extraordinary in the world. But, I assure you that mine are truly exceptional. They are, in fact, superheros. And, I have the pictures to prove it. Jonathan and Elizabeth have the amazing gift of being able to run at supersonic speeds. Just the other night I had the camera out and was able to capture the proof of their amazing abilities. If you don't believe me, just see for yourself.

But, shhhh, don't tell anyone. We wouldn't want any unscrupulous individuals to find out about their abilities and then try to take advantage of them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Not-So-Fabulous Mom

We just got back from Elizabeth's gymnastics class and now we're home in a somewhat darkened house listening to the rain come down outside. I love days like these. Rainy days encourage me to slow down, to breathe, and to read and snuggle more with my kids.

As I said in my last post, these gymnastics classes are wonderful for my little girl. She's rather timid, not just socially, but physically as well. She will never be a dare devil! Gymnastics is encouraging her to speak up a little more as well as take some risks that she normally never would have done. It is so fun to watch her blossom.

During her hour long class, I try to keep Gustin contained and I can't help but to observe the other moms. Some watch their kids intently, some seem to be very busy with papers and planners, others make one call on their cell phone after another and some sit and chat with each other. They are all so different, except for one thing, they are all fabulous.

By fabulous I just mean that they are everything that I am not, namely perfectly put together. A Fabulous Mom's clothing is unwrinkled and fashionable, her toes are pedicured, her hair is perfectly cut, colored and styled, her makeup is impeccable and her accessories coordinate. Please don't think that I am saying that there is anything wrong with that, it's just that it's not me. Today I had my freely graying, slightly-damp-from-my-shower hair pulled back in a quick ponytail. I used wrinkle remover spray on my shirt to quickly try to smooth it out before I went out the door. I was wearing $5 flip flops though I did actually get a light application of makeup on before we left. I don't think there was anything wrong with that either. The way I was dressed suits my personality and aligns with my priorities.

So how come when I'm around Fabulous Moms, I start to feel insecure about my looks and my priorities?

Why do we mother's feel threatened just because someone else is doing something differently than us? It could be the way we discipline our children or how we show love for our spouse or the way we feed our families. We make choices that we think are best for us and our families, but then as soon as we see someone else doing it differently, we immediately question our decisions.

Maybe this tendency is a good thing. It makes us constantly reevaluate our choices and make sure that they do align with our priorities. But, it can also create anxiety, lack of confidence or can even pressure us into making choices that do not align with our priorities.

I guess these feelings are common when you live a counter cultural lifestyle. Being a practicing, orthodox Catholic stay-at-home mom is certainly not a lifestyle seen on TV or in the movies or even on my street in my neighborhood.

I don't know if there is a point to this long and rambling post. But, one thing I have realized as I have been writing it is that I am so thankful for blogging. Through blogging I don't feel so isolated as I struggle on a daily basis to be counter-cultural. On any given day I can connect with moms (both Fabulous and Not-So-Fabulous) all over the country and the world who live their faith. What a blessing.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My blogging has been a little light lately...

I don't know why, exactly. I guess we've been busy around here? We've entered the world of extracurricular activities and I'm having a bit of a hard time keeping up. But, I know that it will all just feel like it's normal soon. But, in the mean time we have a cub scout camp out this weekend that I need to make about four dozen cookies for.

Elizabeth started gymnastics classes once a week and it's been awesome for her! She actually speaks to her coaches! My shy girl is coming out of her shell!

Eric started his new job last week. I could go on and on about that. It's really been a dream come true for him and the most amazing gift from God, but the transition is also a little stressful. I'm not a big fan of change and now we changed employers & health insurance providers, we're now having to manage our own retirement funds, etc, etc.

This weekend I also have a baby shower for my first niece on my side of the family. And, I get to be the godmother! I can't express how excited I am about that!

Oh, I've really gotta run. School lunches need to be made. But, hopefully I'll be posting more around here again soon!

God bless you,

Saturday, October 4, 2008

One step back

Elizabeth: Mommy, I had a little accident. Not a big one, only as big as a germ.