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Archive for the ‘musings’ Category

Some things you know intellectually, but you do not know until you are neck deep in it. Parenting is like that. Before you have kids, you hear stories and you think you know, but you have absolutely no idea. None.

Before you have a baby, people tell you all kinds of things about how much you will love them and think they are perfect, wonderful, intelligent human beings even when all they do is blow spit bubbles all day. You think you know.

But then you hold them and your whole world explodes. You finally know what it is to love something in a visceral way. You know that you would do absolutely anything to give the moon to this tiny person. Anything.

Eventually, you realize that being a parent is a whole series of not really knowing things. It is a thousand moments of your world exploding: when they take their first step, when they reach for you after being separated, when they hug you for the first time, when they say “I love you” in that tiny voice, when they pick you flowers, or draw you a picture. ¬†Every time you come to know something new, your heart crumples.

As they get older, you start to know different things, things that make you crazy, make you pull your hair out, or make you wish it was acceptable to drink at 10am. It is still not OK to do that, right?

Before I became a mom of two, I knew there would be extra whining, fighting, and mess. But I did not know.

There are days that I know I am crazy, when the laundry never gets folded, there are matchbox cars literally everywhere, when I have wiped each bum in this house multiple times, the dishes are overflowing from the sink, I manage to write some words, and dinner only gets made by some miracle.

Even on those days, at the end we will be snuggling into bed to read and sing and I will feel little arms around my neck and small lips meet mine. Then, my world explodes and I know how blessed I am to be the mom of two small, wonderful, amazing, and intelligent boys and I would do anything to give them the moon.

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Now that we have two children, the times when I can choose to do something uninterrupted is virtually non-existent. It does happen every other week or so, for about 20 minutes. Mostly, I have to catch small moments during nap times, when one of the boys is asleep. At this stage, having them both asleep is like the Holy Grail of parenting and we have not achieved that yet.

That being said, this past weekend, Ries went out of town (on a boys weekend to Colorado, jerk) and I sent Gideon to his Oma and Papa’s for the weekend. I felt like I was alone, with only the Wee Wash to look after. Well, and the huge slobbery dogs. Saturday, Wash took a long nap and I was able to sit down and write over 3600 in my new writing project, the most I have done in one sitting, I think, so far. It felt great and I was very happy.

It was quiet here, without Gideon, and I was happy to go pick him up yesterday night. When I arrived, he was playing with some wrenches from Papa’s tool box. I walked up to him, holding a Sonic LemonBerry slush. He took one look at me and said, not “Hi, Mom!” or “Mommy!” or “I missed you.” with a huge. No, he said, “Hey, did you bring me one of those drinks?”

So, on the grand scheme of things, I rank somewhere lower than a Sonic LemonBerry Slush.

Ries on the other hand, ranks higher than both the slush and me because today at lunch, Gideon and I had the following conversation:

Gideon: Our family is missing something.

Me: Oh? What?

Gideon: Daddy.

*eyeroll* Moms are never appreciated. Perhaps it is because we do not come with that fabulous Sonic ice. ūüôā

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I find myself in a quiet house with everyone sleeping but me so I am using my time, perhaps unwisely, to write this. As opposed to doing something actually useful, for instance, like housework.

At least twice recently, I have had the same conversation, which I open up with some version of this: “You choose your spouse, you do not choose your kids.”

Think about this. You pick the person you marry, Lord help you because you will need it, so when they start bothering you, you have no one to blame but yourself. You got yourself into this mess and now only you, God, and your spouse can deal with it. Your kids choose you, in a way, but you still have to live with them. God gives you those little bundles of joy. Eventually, those bundles become annoying 3 year olds.

Now, you all know I adore my sons, but Gideon is at times a loud, demanding, bossy, argumentative boy who Never. Shuts. Up. In a word, annoying. What is worse is that he is my personality trapped in a little three-year-old-boy body so I am really just getting irritated with a tiny version of ME.

Fortunately, I know how to deal with me, trapped in a little body, and I handle it well about 70%of the time. About 30% of the time, I am crazy mom lady, but he has to have something to tell his future psychologist.

The thing I like and hate most about this age is that he is so rational and has this huge imagination at the same time. He is amazing, like a sponge. Sometimes, he just stops what he is doing and says, “I love you, Mom.” After that I am a puddle on the floor and I know without qualification that I have the best life filled with three boys, one big and two small, that I adore.

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(For an explanation of this post, see the first post in this series for Ries.)

Today was a much better day. After a small chat this morning, immediately following Gideon trying to start an argument with me, things went along fine.

It rained almost all day. Good rain too. The grass will definitely be 2 feet before you get home.

We went to Grammy and Papa’s for dinner. It was nice to get out of the house. Gideon was a bit ornery but ok. Grammy trimmed my hair after dinner and cut Gideon’s as well. Now I will not look so raggedy for my conference

Blessedly, the boys both fell asleep on the way home.

I have not packed a thing for NOLA and I have a ton of stuff to do tomorrow. I am a little anxious about balancing everything tomorrow, but I think we will muddle through.

I took this picture yesterday.

They are sweet boys. We are so blessed. I hope the well digging went well. I know that tomorrow is the day of the ceremony for the well, so I pray that the digging went well. Well. haha.

The Aggies lost to South Carolina.

I found this hilarious post, PR from the Death Star.

Also, I have a really bad joke for you: Mr. T’s keyboard does not have a control key. Mr. T is always in control.

Bwahahahaaaaa.

Saint Arnold is releasing some Christmas Ale after the first of July and Boondoggles will have a cask of DR11 on tap Tuesday, July 12th for $1 a pint, which goes to charity. I put it on our calender.

Since it rained all day, the sunset was amazing. The weather cooled off enough for it not to be blazing. All I was missing was you to sit by me and share a drink after the day.

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I just wrote something in an email to a first time mom, I thought I would share because it pretty much sums up the first few weeks.

Being a parent is wonderful. It really is. Just keep telling that to yourself the first few weeks when you wonder what the hell you were thinking. Once you find a groove, everything is fabulous!

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On Friday, I learned something important about boys that I did not know. I thought that other women might benefit from the insight I have gained.

We were outside by the pond and Gideon picked up a big stick, which he promptly put in the water and said, “Mommy, I’m doing something. I am doing something with the fish.” Then he moved on to the grass and said, “Mommy, I’m hitting the grass. I’m hitting the grass. Gideon then went on to hitting trees, logs, and anything else within the reach of his stick.

I thought this was very funny. When I asked Ries why boys always need to hit something with a stick he informed me that ALL boys want to hit things with sticks. Always. Anytime there is a stick around with which to do the hitting. He said he still feels like hitting things with sticks, but as an adult, he has self control and does not.

Hitting things with sticks must be some crazy ingrained behavior. Perhaps it has to do with our hunter/gatherer roots. Perhaps the cave men whacked each other on the head when they had altercations over the most available lass in the cave.

I suppose we will never know.

So moms of boys and wives of men, do not be concerned if your man suddenly grabs a stick and starts hitting the nearest tree or fence. They can not help it. They are made that way.

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My Retirement Plan

For those of you who are not aware, Michelle is writing a book.¬† It is a short non-fiction book on… well, I’m not sure I can tell you.¬† Sorry Sweety.¬† Something about technology in conferences.¬† I know it is not specific to libraries so I think it has to do with using today’s social networking and teleconference¬†technology to hold conferences.¬† Anyways, not the point of this post.

I have decided that these non-fiction books aren’t going to fit into my retirement plan.¬† And by retirement plan, you have to realize that I am hoping to just keep my family floating for long enough for my wife to hit it rich and I can leech off her immense wealth.¬† I’ll even settle for mild to moderate wealth, as long as I don’t have to work.¬† So here is where I need to steer my wife in a new direction.¬† These non-fiction books require a lot of research, and believe it or not you can’t just make stuff up.¬† You have to write about facts.¬† Then, after all that, it doesn’t pay great.¬† I mean, don’t get me wrong it pays, but remember I am looking for break the bank type of retire now kind of pay.

Here is what I think Michelle should do.¬† Drop the non-fiction and move into fiction.¬† In fiction books she just gets to make up whatever she wants.¬† I say she goes into the YA field.¬† They sell big right now and readers are more forgiving to¬†all kinds of things because they can just say, “Ah well, it’s just a children’s book.”¬† High reward, low risk.¬† But to make things even easier, she doesn’t even have to be original.¬† Have you seen the top sellers these days?¬† Vampires and werewolves, superheroes, fantasy, greek mythology.¬† None of these are new or original concept.¬† She can just recycle old ideas into a new story.¬† She doesn’t even have to get the mythology correct, she can change it to her whim because it is her universe.

Now, I understand that I have to play my role.  So I am currently thinking of a basis for her story or universe.  Here is what I know.

  • The main character (I prefer ensemble casts so I think I would push her towards a small group of people, 3 or 4) has to be a young teenager with some real life problems.¬† That helps the audience to relate.¬† Don’t worry they can be shallow problems.
  • There has to be some love interest.¬† Could be a love triangle.¬† Could be a love destined to be together from the beginning of time.
  • Character development is the most important thing.¬† In all seriousness, this is what makes books good.¬† You need a good plot / environment but what makes stories shine is always the characters.
  • The main character(s) need something that isolates them.¬† Most likely as both a gift and a curse.
  • Needs some kind of supernatural, superhuman, magical, fantasy, futuristic, etc. theme.¬† Something to take the reader out of this universe and into another one while still saying something about our own world.

So far I am thinking something along the lines of angels and demons but even that is a little played right now.  I need the new old thing.

I kind of went off on my views on how to write a book.¬† That’s a little odd coming from me since I am neither a good writer or a reader.¬† But I am allowed to have opinions right?¬† Right?¬† Maybe I shouldn’t.

–Ries, unicorns.¬† How about unicorns.¬† Girls like unicorns!

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