Saturday, December 1, 2012

Balancing Life, Does it EVER WORK??

I am feeling so good lately!  I have been super busy and just keeping myself motivated to do stuff.  Awhile ago I was feeling really lethargic and tired all the time.  I got my blood tested to see if I had issues with my thyroid, I took pregnancy tests, I just thought something was off.  Turns out I think I was just a bit depressed. 

Depression really confuses me, and I've dealt with it most of my life.  Sometimes it's obvious, like I'm sad and I'll cry for no reason.  Other times I get blah and tired and it takes me awhile to realize what's going on.  I'll get these intense urges to just run away from my life and start over somewhere new.  Now that I'm a grownup and have a house, a husband and two kids, I know I can't do that, I have to face the issue and deal with it rather than run away like I used to in my 20s. 

Anyway, I realized it was a bit of depression after I had a night out with a friend.  We just sat and had a cup of coffee and caught up with each others lives.  The next day I bounced out of bed and felt so good, I didn't even take a nap with Otis, I had energy and motivation!  So now the key is to keep doing things like that so I feel like myself.  And with that comes the balance of keeping the mister happy, too, since I always feel like I'm living this great life and he's stuck at work or home with the kids while I'm out being a social butterfly.

I have no problem with him going out, mind you.  He just doesn't go that often.  He's such a dude, he complains about not having things to do, but then never calls any of his friends.  He comes home from work and crashes on the couch when the kids are in bed.  Does this mean I should stay and keep him company all the time?  I mean, I would love it if we could go out together, but at the same time I love having time with lady friends and NO KIDS!  That's the thing--I do see my girlfriends during the week when we have playdates or meet up at the community center, but then we're chasing after a gaggle of 2 year olds and you can't have a freakin' conversation to save your life.  It's better than nothing, but it's still not enough sometimes, you know?  I want to sit and talk and be able to follow a thought to the end without having to tell someone to share, stop hitting, wipe a nose, etc. 

This week I had a show, so I was gone one night.  Then today I have to help out at the shop I sell my stuff at, so I'll be gone the whole day.  I mentioned that Monday night there's a mom's night out and the mister got a bit prickly "Oh, so you'll be gone again?"  Part of me really did want to ask for permission so he wouldn't feel like I was just taking off, but then part of me wanted to get pissed like why should I ask permission??  I'm home with these kids 24/7, I don't get to leave and talk to adults or go to the bathroom by myself or eat lunch by myself.  Oh my god, I took a shower while the kids were (I thought) playing nicely together, only to find out as soon as I was in the middle of washing my hair that they had both slammed doors and couldn't get them open (old house...) and each was banging on a door begging to be let out.  I heard all this commotion and screams of "MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMA!!" and I just sighed.  I want to wash my hair, is that too much to ask?

But then he is working all day, it's not like he's relaxing.  And then he comes home to the chaos of kids.  And my life is pretty sweet I think, I get to stay home, there is no daycare, I get to sew, I get to stay in my pjs if I want, I get to take a nap with Otis sometimes, I get to be lazy and not sweep or do laundry if I don't feel like it. And yes, the whole playdate thing is not ideal but it is pretty nice to sit and drink coffee with friends even with screaming kids running around.  So I feel bad that I get this amazing stay at home life and I complain about it sometimes.  And then I expect to go out on top of all that. 

There must be a balance and I still have yet to find it.  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mother's Guilt

Today my husband and I are supposed to drop the kids off at Grandma and Grandpa's and take a little trip to Madison to see friends.  We are leaving the kids there overnight, something we've never done before.  These grandparents live five minutes away and we'll only be an hour away, it's not really that big of a deal, right? 

And yet.

Last night Otis woke up coughing and needed a little snuggle to go back to sleep.  I kept thinking afterward about what if he wakes up at a strange house and gets freaked out and I'm not there?  And he cries and they don't know how to calm him down?  I started thinking maybe Brendan could just go to Madison alone and I'd stay home with the kids.

Wait, what???

Truth is, we need to get away.  My life is so involved with kids 24/7, we need this adult time to hang out with adult friends, drink adult drinks, watch some football (did I just say that????) and not be parents for two seconds.  They will survive.  And by "they" I'm not sure if I mean the grandparents or the kids!!

When I was on bedrest with Otis I remember thinking Ingrid was going to be scarred for life from the three weeks of her not having me, when all she'd ever had was me by her side.  And guess what?  She survived.  She probably shed some tears and felt bad for awhile, but she is most definitely not scarred.  And Otis might not feel the best, and would probably really love it if I were the one to soothe him back to sleep, but he will also survive ONE NIGHT without mama by his side.  And the grandparents probably don't want to be up with a crying kid tonight, which may or may not even happen.  But they, too, will survive one freakin' night, and they can always take a nap the next day...

So, folks, let me shed this mother's guilt and go have fun today!  With my husband and our friends and NO KIDS!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


We have been so lucky with our neighborhood!  When we looked at our house before buying it, we met twin girls just a bit younger than Ingrid that lived two doors down.  When we bought the house, we found out there was a little boy Otis' age next door.  When we moved in, we met our neighbors across the street that have kids the same age.  Their neighbors have a kid Ingrid's age, and so on and so on.  It is a perfect place to raise our kids!

Yesterday was a perfect example of why I love where we live.  I looked out to see our friends on their front step.  We went outside to say hi.  The girls on our side of the street also came out to say hi.  We all went inside for the kids to play.  We then went to someone else's backyard.  We saw another neighbor with her kid, invited her over.  All the kids played and ate popsicles.  Then it was dinner time and we went home.  No elaborate play date, just kids hanging out in the neighborhood. 

Someday they will be able to do this by themselves, too--go ride bikes, play a game of baseball at the nearby park, have sleepovers.  I love it!

We were talking about the lady across the alley that has triplets, whom I've never met.  But it made me remember a new member of the mom's group I created on Facebook, so I went home to see if it might be the same person.  I messaged her "please don't think I'm insane, but I think I'm your neighbor?"  She wrote back that she'd wanted to come say hi for a long time!  Totally random meeting of another neighbor.

Oh, and let's not forget the pregnant neighbor that waddled into our backyard last week with cucumbers from her garden!  She said they had tons, and would I like some?  We chatted, they are having their first baby any day now.  I gave her tomatoes from our garden.  Neighbors, people, they are amazing!

I just feel so lucky that A) we got a really awesome house B) the house was way cheaper than we thought we'd find and C) it's in this amazing little pocket of a neighborhood with all these great people!  I could not have planned for anything better!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Growing Food

We planted a small garden at our new house.  The previous owners had a small plot of land with some asparagus and weeds, so my mom and I dug everything up and put in a raspberry bush, blueberry bush, lettuce, zucchini, green beans, and tomatoes.  Every day I have gone outside to water them in this summer of extreme heat and no rain.  Every day Ingrid and I peer into the soil, looking for seedlings, new growth, flowers, and finally produce.

One morning we found we had five zucchinis ready to go!  I have never grown anything like this before, I was so proud!  We made some zucchini bread and gave the rest to the neighbor.  Yesterday we picked four more, and found three more babies on the plant.  Oh my god, I grew food! 

Our tomatoes are getting nice and plump and red, our lettuce is growing huge and we picked some but then promptly forgot to do anything with it and it wilted and shriveled on the counter.  The berries never produced fruit, but maybe next year.  The point is--I grew food!  I live in a city but I grew food! 

I always had this little daydream of living in the boonies with my kids running around, dogs barking at birds in a field, growing a bunch of food, having goats and chickens wandering around.  I still love that idea, but I am a city girl at heart.  I love being able to get to places without having to drive.  So here I am trying to combine the two.  I would still love a goat or two, but I don't think our neighbors would enjoy that too much.  Probably not so much the chickens either.  But food, that I can handle!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's Potty Time Again

One of my least favorite parts of parenting is the whole potty learning thing.  Ingrid was pretty easy, I guess, although in retrospect she had a lot of accidents for a long time.  But I got through it.  Now I have to do it all over again with Otis!!  Yikes.

I do not think boy vs. girl is going to be any harder.  Am I naive?  Possibly.  But I do know friends that had boys in undies by age 2, and I've seen some blogs with boys in undies by age 2, so it's not abnormal.  I think ultimately if you are consistent and they start to understand what's going on, it doesn't matter what the gender. 

So someone posted a question about potty training on this mom's group I'm part of on Facebook.  She has a 21 mo. old and is just starting out on her journey, asked for some tips, ideas, stories about others' experiences.  One woman posted this article about the "dangers" of potty training too early.  I was curious, so I read it.  And then I got pissed.  No pun intended.

I am so sick of people trying to scare moms.  We already come with a boat load of guilt about every little thing, please do not use a doctor to scare us into something else.  I will be honest with you, I think this article is ridiculous.  I think the fact that people have been learning how to use a toilet before age 2 for a very long time, and in lots of different cultures and countries, should show that is is normal and okay.  I don't know, I know some kids have issues with pooping, but to use that to say no one should potty train until three or later seems a little off. 

Otis is 19mo now and he is starting to tell us when he has gone.  He will find me and point to his diaper and say "mah-bah" which I have no idea what that means, but every time he does it, he has pooped.  And I let him go diaper free all the time, like I did with Ingrid, and every time he pees, he'll come find me and say "pee" and point to where he did it.  He is learning what's going on, he is connecting the dots between a feeling and what comes after that feeling, and as we go on in the next few months, he'll understand where he's supposed to mah-bah and pee (hopefully not on the floor anymore!!)  I would hope he will learn this before he is three! 

I guess I just don't see how it is dangerous for him to be learning this right now.  He is not being "trained" to hold it and go at a certain time, he is just learning where to go when he gets that feeling.  He does not get a sticker or an M&M when he does it, he is just learning that is how you do it when you are human. 

Anyway, who knows.  Maybe he'll be really tough and never use the potty and then when someone says "he's STILL in diapers??" at age three I'll give them the link to that article and say "I was worried about the dangers."  And let me tell you, I am not judging anyone who waits--I think like with most things in parenting, you read the signs your child gives you.  If he's ready, you go for it.  If he's not, you don't.  But to say you shouldn't follow the lead of your child because it might be dangerous, that's just unneccesary.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Life in our House

Well, so much for not being neglectful.  But really, we had tons going on lately, so I am excusing myself. 

Number one thing, we bought our house!  We are the proud owners of a three bedroom, one and half bath colonial in the cutest little tree lined neighborhood.  We have gotten to know our neighbors, who all have kids the same age.  I am in love with the idea of people stopping by when we're playing in the backyard and having an impromptu playdate.  Or we get bored and go knock on the neighbor's door and see what they're up to.  Our backyard is littered with kid stuff--sandbox, little pool, slide, tball set, chalk, bubbles, tricycle, balance bike.  It drives Brendan nuts!  I think it just looks like a busy family lives there.  And really, I am not trying to impress anyone.  It's not a broken down car, it's a stroller.

Decorating has been fun.  All the walls were painted, which at first I thought was nice.  But they were definitely too Pottery Barn-y and dark and just not my style.  So...dining room went from rusty orange to light, bright pale turquoise.  I went to Ikea today to get Expedit shelves and wicker baskets, I got some white curtains, and I found a really cool midcentury buffet thing at the thrifts.  Now I just need to paint the trim and find a white, round table and some chairs my kids can get out of.  The chairs I have now have armrests that curl around, thus caging the kids in, which can be good until they start screaming because they are trapped and can't get out to go to the bathroom.

Ingrid's room is going to be so cute, if I may say so.  Right now it is GREEN.  Like yelling at you the minute you walk in-yellowy green with a darker green brush stroked over it.  Hideous.  I am going to paint it "rhino" from Behr.  It's a nice pale gray.  I got these curtains for her today at Ikea, so freakin' cute.  She has white furniture, and I have a bunch of fun stuff to hang on her walls, including some vintage dresses that have been hiding in her closet and need to see the light of day.  And then ta-da!  It's a done room! 

All the other rooms are going by the wayside right now.  I have placed some furniture in them and that is that.  Because you know what?  We have a thirty year mortgage, we're not going anywhere!  I love that feeling.

Other things we have been up to--Ingrid turned four.  She's still smart as hell.  She got into her Montessori school.  She keeps trying to put on sweatpants in the hot weather and it drives me insane.  Seriously, 95degrees, you do NOT need sweatpants on!

Otis is huge.  He is running, talking like crazy.  When I get the iPad hooked up I will upload a video or two of him.  He's hilarious, he loves the book Going on a Bear Hunt and says all the "uh oh"s and "oh no"s along with me!  So cute.

I finally had surgery to remove a cyst in my throat.  That was a doozy!  I haven't had surgery since getting my tonsils out when I was five, so it's been thirty years.  I stayed at the hospital jacked up on pain meds for a night, it was sweet.  Now I have a two inch scar across my throat, it looks pretty gnarly.  I am told it will fade, who knows. 

And that's another update on Team Liddle.  I am seriously going to try harder to be more active on here!  I don't have anything major on the horizon so this time I will have more of a chance to stay on top of things!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Much Needed Update

Well, not so much needed if you don't care what goes on in my life, but if you didn't you wouldn't read this, huh? 

Biggest news of  late--we bought a house!  We were saving up money and then Brendan got an unexpected bonus and we got a tax return and suddenly we had a down payment!  So we started looking at houses, found that we really wanted to stay in our neighborhood, no matter how amazing the houses were on the west side, we want to be by the lake.  So we narrowed our search to Bay View and found a little 3br colonial not too far from where we live now.  Our home inspection is tomorrow, we're hoping nothing major is wrong with it!!  We should be closing the end of April.

I cannot tell you how happy this makes me.  After all the effing moving we have done in the past decade, it will be nice to be settled and really make this our home, instead of wondering if we can paint, do they allow dogs, will the neighbors be too loud for our in-bed-by-7pm kids?  NO ONE WILL LIVE UPSTAIRS!  No one will be doing their laundry beneath our apartment at 3am.  No one will get drunk and be loud on a Friday night (seriously, no one.  We haven't been out in forever.)  I am so looking forward to this!

In other news, Ingrid is almost four.  She is the first on the wait list at the school we want her to go to.  Which hopefully means she'll get in because we did not choose another school for her to do a K4 program.  And I think she's ready for school again.  We have been keeping busy with playgroup at the community center and playdates with neighbors and friends.  It's been crazy nice out so we've been at the park nonstop and of course Ingrid gloms onto some poor unsuspecting kid and they play together the whole time we're there. 

Otis is one and walking and growing like mad.  He's got a ton of teeth and I have to cut his hair because he has a moptop.  He is funny and charming and as big of a ham as his sister.  He loves to flirt with people wherever we go.  He blows kisses now, the old ladies LOVE that.

Brendan is good, loving his job.  He has gotten to bike to work most days because it's been so nice out, which is unusual for March in Wisconsin...  I'm good, loving my many jobs.  Applesauce Crafts is going strong--I have two craft shows lined up for the end of April, early May.  I am doing some consigning at a local handmade shop, the Waxwing.  It's pretty great, if I can ever find time to sew.  We're outside most of the day, and when we're not I'm so damn tired I don't want to look at my sewing machine.  Toadstool Vintage is also doing well.  I haven't had a ton of time to go thrifting but hopefully will do in the near future. 

Now, hopefully I will not be so neglectful.  But with all that's coming up in the next couple months, don't hold your breath.