20 February 2012

Technology

Good evening fellow bloggers!

I am writing this post from my hubby's new ASUS Eeee . .  something or other. It's really neat. It's a combination between a laptop and an Apple notebook. While I have been having fun with it, I am by no means ready to go out and purchas one for myself.

I love it's small size. I love that you just touch the screen to do what you want instead of using a mouse or a mousepad. I love that the screen is detachable, that's pretty neat. And it has apps on it, just like a phone. Did I mention that it's super light? And small?

The negatives? I don't like using it to read books. Mike has a book on it and I was using the night reading function and when I was finished reading, I was still seeing lines in front of my eyes for quite a while. Not good when you need to see something important. Like your nursing baby next you.

Anyway, I figured I would take this opportunity to test out the keyboard. So far I'm making a lot more typos that unusual - I guess because I'm not used to the size of the keyboard yet. Although it could also be my posture . . . Either way.

And now I will go to my book-list post and update it. :) (Yes, I have read more than one book this year). :)

Good night all. For now. :)

Writing

I really like to write.  You may have noticed by the number of years I have been blogging . . . I admit I am not a prolific blogger, but I am in the middle of life, so to speak . . . what with the kids and all.

Actually, as I write this, Daphne, who is now six months old, is following me across the floor trying to get to the keyboard keys . . .

Life, like I said. Anyway, back to writing. I feel like I always have things roaming around in my head that I want to write down. Story ideas that may or may not pan out, blog posts, essays on political reform, articles for magazines, reflections on my spiritual life, thoughts on the beauty of motherhood . . . the list goes on. The problem is, I have a hard time getting any peace and quiet. Okay, I don't really need peace and quiet to write. I just need time when there aren't 30 little fingers trying to help me write. It was 20 little fingers, but now that Daphne is literally following me around to get to the keyboard, it's 30 fingers.

Have I mentioned that my "escape" key on my keyboard is permanently jarred into the keyboard on one side? Yep, that was Edward, trying to remove the key. (Scooting over again.)

The other problem is that I like to read. Reading might outweigh writing . .. maybe. So when I do have a time when there are 30 little fingers vying for computer time, I find myself reading. Currently I'm reading seven books right now. No wonder I feel a little scattered!

Speaking of scattered, I get side tracked a lot. I turn on the computer and find myself scrolling down my FB page instead of, oh, paying bills, or writing a blog post. I used to not be scattered. I think. I used to have a vision and drive and discipline. I think the babies sucked all that out of me when they were in the womb . . .

I'm putting all of this out there for maybe a little accountability. I want to start putting those story ideas down on paper. I want to jot down notes for an article, and who knows maybe send that article somewhere. I want to convey my thoughts of motherhood as I go through each stage so one day I can look back on those thoughts and relive these days (the beautiful, poetic, philosophical part of these days anyway. Not necessarily the constant diaper changing and refereeing part of these days.)

And I would really like to get published. But first I have to actually write something of substance. (She can't even crawl yet and she's following me across the floor!!) I have to have the courage to put it all out there and hope for the best. And not take it personally when I get turned down. Again and again. Because I'm sure I will.

Perhaps for now I will stick to my Musings, which is what writing this blog is all about. When I can. Between potty training and changing diapers and fixing meals and doing loads of laundry and trying to save what little sanity I can and get some sleep while I'm at it. Yeah. :)

14 February 2012

The sound of music

Sophie has really taken off with her talking. And singing. Our little Sophie-bug loves to sing.

She bursts into song pretty regularly and she doesn't sound bad (she must have gotten that from Mike and his Mom, Ruth.) I love to hear Sophie sing and I hope that Edward and Daphne will join her as they get older.

I'm really surprised when she knows almost all the words to a lot of songs that we sing together. I guess I shouldn't really be surprised, since we sing the same five or six songs almost every day.

You know the ones, "Jesus Loves Me", "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", "This Little Light of Mine", etc. We do a lot of the signs to.

My singing on the other hand, is terrible. I love to sing, but love does not equate to talent. My singing is rather a form of torture to some people.

When my brother, Thomas, and I drove up to Kansas City together when he got re-called by the Marines, I wanted to talk to Thomas (knowing he'd be leaving fairly soon) and Thomas wanted to read (I was driving). He insisted on reading, so I put in a CD of Cher and starting singing.

A few notes in and Thomas threw his book down and exclaimed, "All right! All right! I'll talk!"

See - form of torture. Used to get prisons brothers in vehicles to communicate against their will.

This has also worked on men in my life in former (and present) relationships and my parents.

I recall my parents shouting up the stairs at me to "Stop singing! Play quietly!".

Luckily for me, our society has unspoken rules and no one has asked me to stop singing next to them at church or PWOC. :)

I hope that Sophie will not have my voice. I certainly intend to let her sing, even if she does get my voice talent, to her hearts' content as long as no one is trying to sleep or concentrate on a task at hand (like driving in heavy traffic or taking a test).

Humor of being a Mom

My kids make me laugh. A lot. Maybe I just have silly kids, but they do.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about.

This morning Sophie, Edward and I were sitting down at the table having breakfast. I had Daphne sitting on my lap so she could be in on the conversation. Towards the end of breakfast, Daphne made it known that she needed her diaper changed. I finished my last two bites of cereal and then laid her down on the pack-n-play changing table behind my chair and started changing her diaper.

My back was facing Sophie and Edward.

Daphne was a bit fussy when I was changing her diaper. When this happens, I like to make funny faces or sounds to try and distract her. Today was no exception.  So I'm changing Daphne's diaper and I'm saying "Mee-eennhh." Sort of like "Ni" in Monty Pythons Quest for the Holy Grail, but with an "m" sound.

Suddenly from behind me come two echos "Mee-eennhh" "mee-eennhh". Like little birds chirping, Sophie and Edward were repeating my silly sound to Daphne.

It just struck me as hilarious. Here I was changing my daughter's diaper, and my other children are hanging on my every word, or in this case, sound.

Of course, a lot of days, I have a little copier following me around. Sophie is at that age where she copies everything that Mike and I say and do. (Now is not the time to let a bad word slip, if you know what I mean.)

From the copier has reported, I apparently say or do the following a lot:
"Goodness!"
"Oh my gosh!"
Sigh dramatically while wiping up messes.
Throw things over the banister at the top of the stairs (like laundry).
"Good grief!"
Reads a lot.

You really find out a lot about how you really act when you have a toddler/preschooler in your home. This can be good or bad. I think I'm somewhere in the middle . . .

Do your kids make you laugh? :)


Parenting

I think there is this unspoken standard amongst mothers and it has a pass or fail bar.

You might know what I'm referring to.

You're a good mother (pass) if your child is drinking from a sippy and not a bottle by the time they are twelve months old.

You're a bad mother (fail) if your child is still in diapers by the time they are three.

You're a good mother (pass) if your children listen to you in public and act respectively.

You're a bad mother (fail) if you don't [at least try to] breastfeed your children.

The list goes on and on. Anyone out there relate?

Most of the time I feel like I fail this invisible standard among mothers. I feel like I fail my own standards that I have for myself so often. I know this line of thinking isn't really healthy, but sometimes I can't help it.

I'm attempting to potty train both Sophie and Edward right now and some days are good and some not so good and some just downright bad. Edward is nice and content to sit on the potty, and pee on the potty, and then run around and play. He actually gets that part better than Sophie does. Sophie on the other hand knows when she has to go potty, but holds it. And holds it. And holds it. I finally got her to pee in the potty today after about a week of trying. I knew she had to go because she had been asking for a diaper change for about two hours. So I had her sitting on the potty and I started tickling her. Sure enough, it worked.

Sophie earned her two Cars stickers.

This potty training thing is not as easy as it looks in the Help.

I'm not sure where I was going with the whole invisible yardstick of society thing, except that I feel like one exists. I've read other blogs where some moms feel the same way. Especially when it comes to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is really hard. Most of us out there need help at some time or another. I know I need a lot of help.

Anyway, so what aspects of parenting do you struggle with?

Here it comes . . .

In the past month, I have learned that Mike has an extended TDY coming up fairly soon to a remote location (but not a hot, sandy remote location). It's called an extended TDY because he'll be gone for a few months. Not really sure what the difference is between this TDY and a deployment, except perhaps the place.

There is a slight chance that he won't have to go, but I'm not counting on it.

My usual attitude towards any TDY's and deployments, not that he's been on an actual deployment yet, is that he's gone when the plane is off the ground. With him in it. There are so many times when things get canceled or changed at the last minute that I have learned that there is just no point in doing some major stressing until after the fact.

Of course, I am human who happens to be in love with this man who is leaving on a jet plane. So the thought of him being gone for so long is almost always in my mind somewhere. Sometimes in the forefront of my mind, other times the thought it just sitting on the back burner, stewing. Either way, I do think about it. A lot.

I've been trying to think about it in a positive light though. First, there's the place that he's going. It's a once in a life time opportunity (I admit it, I am very envious). I'm also trying to be happy for him.

Second, I've been setting some goals. I really want to get our finances in order. Read: stick to the budget. Every month that he is gone. AND pay down my student loans as much as I can. I plan on applying all unused funds, such as gas for the truck that we won't be driving, insurance on the truck that we won't be paying, lunch money Mike won't be spending, etc, towards said student loans.

Third, (also a goal), I want to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy while he is gone. I figure I'll get lots of reading time after the kids are in bed before I pass out exhausted, mildly tired.

Fourth, I want to borrow from Sarah Smiley's idea and have over a different guest/guest family every week. I'm thinking Thursday or Friday nights.

I think I have a few other wish items that I may or may not turn into goals. Such as keeping the house clean, starting and keeping up with the garden, having Daphne sleeping either in the room with Sophie and Edward, or in her own bed, and having Sophie completely potty trained (and hopefully Edward too).

Lofty aspirations, I know. But hey, it will keep me busy, right?

When I first found out that Mike was going to be gone for so long, I had planned to circumnavigate the middle and eastern part of the United States visiting friends and family. By myself. With a three year old, a two year old and an almost one year old. I came to my senses though and realized not only would that be a tad dangerous, but probably really stressful. So that plan got nixed.

I am hoping to make it up to South Dakota, but it is a two day drive from here and again there's the three children so young . . . who don't always listen . . . and like to occasionally run away from me . . .yeah . . . we'll see.

I also thought about flying to Florida, but after I thought that one through, that is definitely not happening. Three young children on an airplane, and we won't all be able to sit together either, yeah. Completely not happening. At all. Not by myself anyway. I'd rather drive.

So I'll be posting updates eventually when all of this comes about. It's not for a while. Who knows what can happen in the meantime?

13 February 2012

Prayer Request

I found out from BlogHer that the author of the book The Magic Room (that I reviewed for BlogHer) was tragically killed in a car accident over the weekend. Please keep his family, especially his wife and daughters, in your prayers as they go through very tough time.