Thursday, December 19, 2013

30 for 30

Today I turn 30.  I haven’t decided how I feel about it yet, but I guess it doesn’t matter.  Time marches on regardless of how we feel.

So, on this 30th anniversary of my birth, I will share with you 30 fun arbitrary random facts about me.  It’s my birthday.  I can do whatever I want.

I think belly buttons are the most disgusting, germ infested, places on earth. I clean mine with peroxide and a Q-tip on a very regular basis.
2. Even if I seem outgoing, I feel pretty anxious in most social settings.
3. I don't think I could ever punch someone. But I can definitely write a really mean letter.
4. CrossFit WODs and liquor both cause me to use expletives with great enthusiasm.
5. My mom, my sister Ber, my BFF Linds, and my dear friend Ash are my very best girlfriends. None of them live in the same town as me.
6. I probably like my dog more than you.
7. I took piano lessons for 16 years. I love to play, but not for anyone other than my immediate family.
8. Mr. B and I have been together for 11 ½ years, and have been married for 9 ½.
9. I don't find anything great about the outdoors. I like my air to be purchased

10. I stir my coffee with a fork or a butter knife; rarely a spoon.
11. If I had to select only two things to eat/drink for the rest of my life it would be Smucker’s natural creamy peanut butter and 1% milk.
12. I like things to be organize either alphabetically or in Roy G Biv order.
13. I am not friendly in the morning.
14. My preferred waking hours are 10 am – 3 am.
15. I never thought I would have human kids.
16. I would adopt every stray dog in the state if Mr. B would let me.
17. I gave birth to 
Little K 5 weeks early.  While I was waiting for the epidural to wear off, I enjoyed a Big Mac, large fries, and a Diet Coke from McDonalds (don’t judge me, I had been in labor for 2 days).
18. I expect everyone to have pure intentions.  I am still surprised when people turn out to be jerks (and I can never seem to remember that jerks typically don’t crave or appreciate honesty when requesting feedback).
19. My mom is a much better judge of character than I am – and if she gets a bad feeling from someone, I have learned to be leery.
20. I love Jesus, naps, and cheap wine (Cupcake Moscato d’Asti is my favorite).
21. I’ve been writing stories and poems for as long as I can remember.
22. I would love to have a beautifully landscaped yard.  I loathe digging in the dirt, weeding, and watering.
23. I always thought I would move to New York and be on Broadway.  I’m not nearly as talented as I thought I was.
24. My humor is often lost on other people.
25. My dad is the wisest (and wise-assiest) guy I know.  He is often my sounding board, and I am lucky to have him in my life.  It never fails to make me smile when he picks up the phone and says, “Hey Kid!”
26. I was an awful teenager.  Awful.
27. In the past 9 ½ years, Mr. B and I have lived in 2 states, 3 cities, and 4 different homes (soon to be 5).
28. It pisses me off when things don’t work properly – cars and electronics in particular.
29. While becoming a mother has certainly taught me to respect my body, I’m fairly certain I will never love it.
30. My interest in projects and hobbies is like a light switch; completely interested and focused or it’s dead to me – nowhere in between.

So cheers to the next 30, and the 30 after that.  Thank you for keeping me In Good Company.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

You are 4...

Dear Little K,

This week you turned 4 years old.
I will always remember you at this age with an ornery grin, messy hair, the longest dreamy eyelashes, the bluest eyes, mismatched jammies, and cowboy boots.

I, like every mother on Earth, simply cannot understand where time has gone.  I really feel like we just brought you home from the hospital.  Even the long nights full of colic and acid reflux seem like just a blink of an eye ago.

No longer are you a baby.  Nor are you even a toddler.  You are a full fledge little boy full of spunk and energy and ideas.  At least three times a day, you look at me, stunned, holding your forefinger up in the air, and say, “I got an idea!”  Usually it is something like, “You should go to the store and buy me a toy, mom!  Is that a good idea?”

You love your toys, particularly anything with wheels or wings.  And you are smart.  So good are you at memorizing names and details and events, that Daddy is ready to teach you how to play Black Jack right now.

You tell me you love me at least once a minute while you are awake.  You talk to me non-stop.  Non-stop.  Someday I know I will miss this, but right now we need to learn about phone etiquette.

You are an incredibly sweet little boy, but you are also a tough little guy to parent.  You are head strong, determined, and stubborn.  You do not like to be told what to do, and you have a fiery temper.  You get these qualities from your dad.  Okay fine, and me too.

You know how manipulate situations, and you have some incredibly strong leadership skills.  While this is tough now, I am proud for the future.  Because I know that you will grow to be assertive and you will not be used as a doormat.

You are also a ladies’ man.  Already.  You have a girlfriend at every place we go.  Sophia at swimming lessons, Lilly at the Y’s toddler time and Chloe at school.  I am concerned for the years when hormones drive your decisions.  I’m really considering lobbying to bring back the chastity belt as a legal birth control option.  My hope for you is to wear the steel belt until you are thirty, with your go-to pick-up line being, “would you like to meet Frisky, Snuffles and Fluffy, my cats?”

Of course, I’m kidding.  I just hope you learn to make wise decisions, and that you show respect to the women around you.  And, someday, when you fall in love, I hope it is of the forever kind.

I hope you will always be kind to animals the way you are to Daisy.  I love that you tell people she is your black and white sister.

I hope you learn to appreciate naps.  Now would be nice.  But someday seems more achievable.

I hope you always stand firm in your faith.

I hope you are never afraid to be silly.

I hope you always believe in magic.

I hope that you are always confident and carefree enough to spontaneously dance.

I hope you will karaoke (not as a profession, just on occasion).

I hope you are always free to be loud.  Your voice deserves to be heard, but give others a chance to be heard as well.

I hope that someday I will embarrass you.  Because then I’ll know that I’m doing something right.  You won’t be allowed to hang out at houses belonging to “cool moms”.  For now, though, while you are little, I’m glad that I’m still your best friend.

I hope you continue to be encouraging.  I love how you cheer me on at CrossFit, or just when I’m trying to find a lost toy.  “Come on Mommy, you can do it!” always makes me smile.  Encouraging others and giving praise will make a heart happy.

At four years old, you seem to already grasp the importance of family.  I hope you always love your family like you do now.  The enthusiasm in which you love your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins is adorable and contagious.

While I hope you are tough, I also hope that you won’t be afraid to talk about your feelings.

I hope that you, even though you hate it now, are learning something when you do chores.  Someday your wife will thank me.

I hope you will always appreciate the wisdom your grandparents have to offer.  Despite what you may think, they were young once too.

I hope you are always funny.  Laughter is truly the best medicine, and, Buddy, you are full of laughs!  You have just, in the past few days, learned to tell your first joke.  And even though the chicken always crosses the road just to get to the other side, your charisma and eye-sparkle make it worth hearing every single time.

I hope you always know that you are loved.  No matter how naughty or downright dumb you will ever be, you are loved.  Mommy and Daddy are always on your team.

I know that you are already in a hurry to grow up.  You always correct me when I call you my baby boy by demanding, “I’m NOT a baby!”  You keep asking me if you are a grown-up yet, and if you are big like Daddy yet.  Don’t hurry too fast, Little K.  Swallow up every moment of being carefree and full of wonder.  Too soon it will vanish, and the wanderlust of childhood will be evaporate into term papers and first jobs and careers and engagement rings and dirty diapers and bills.

Be little, little one, for as long as you can.

I love you more than the earth and the sky and the moon and the stars.

Love always and forever,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

100 Days of Thanks: Days 31-45

I intend to check in every so often during these 100Days of Thanks.  Giving thanks daily, even for just one small – or large – thing, is making an impact on my daily outlook.  It’s not too late to join me!

Day 31: Arriving home safely

Day 32: A helpful husband

Day 33: A wonderful realtor

Day 34: Cool crisp temperatures

Day 35: Little K's pre-school teacher, Ms. Becky: The Toddler Whisperer

Day 36: The offer on our house!!

Day 37: Hot showers – not puke showers

Day 38: I’m thankful Mr. B and Daisy are home because I caught whatever stomach bug Little K had and I am not getting out of this bed (and neither is Daisy from the looks of it)

Day 39: Honeycrisp apples and Smucker’s natural creamy peanut butter

Day 40: Our wise and caring pediatrician

Day 41: At-home breathing treatments that keep our son out of the hospital

Day 42: Our baby boy turning 4

Day 43: Festive cookies brining smiles

44: Naps

45: Songs of Christmas

Feel free to post your thanksgivings (and how Eucharisteo is changing your life) in the comment section below.  As always, thank you for keeping me In Good Company.

So I got a job...

So I got a job.

At first it didn’t feel like the timing was right.  Because I wasn’t planning on going back to work until Little K went to kindergarten.  I was really counting on having another year and a half of being a full-time mommy.

But an opportunity dropped itself in my lap.  The sort of opportunity that felt divinely orchestrated.  An opportunity to work for a dear friend, part-time, at a non-profit counseling center, where I could work from home a good percentage of the time, and can take Little K with me to the office should I ever need to.

I pondered and talked and thought and prayed and worried and thought and pondered and talked and prayed about it until I finally decided that I would not ever have this sort of opportunity drop in my lap again.

As much as I love being a stay-at-home-mom right now, I want even more to be the mom later who can go to school programs and class parties, to be able to pick Little K up from school if he gets sick, to be able to pull him out of school on a whim for a birthday lunch at his favorite restaurant.  And this opportunity, fulfills this.

We have been talking for a long time about looking for a new house, but have been resigned to the fact that we would stay in our adorable little house forever because houses in our town are priced so insanely high.  I had accepted that I would forever be sharing one tiny bathroom with two boys.

This job, if I work exactly 20 hours each week, pays exactly our current mortgage.

Two weeks after I started working, we found a home we were interested in seeing.  A home that now belongs to our old next-door neighbors.  A home with really good bones, that could use some interior paint and maybe eventually some tile, with two and a half bathrooms, in the area we want to move, for a price that isn’t scary.  We put in an offer.  The next day it was accepted.

A week later we listed our house.  In less than 48 hours we received an offer.  A few hours later we agreed on a price.

Divine orchestration.                                                                             

God is present even in the moments where we aren’t looking.  I wasn’t planning on going back to work.  But I also hadn’t realized how lost I had become in the identity of only being mommy.  This job has been so good in more ways than one.  I now have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, I feel like I am contributing, and I have a reason to put on makeup, which is nice – and Mr. B admittedly appreciates.

Adjusting to being a part-time worker, while continuing to be a full-time mom hasn’t been easy – for Little K or for me – but it has been good for both of us.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Black Saturday

I don’t shop on Black Friday.  Not in the get up at the devil’s hour and punch someone in the face for a new toaster sort of way anyway.  I firmly believe there is no sale good enough to make it worth getting out of bed that early.  After filling myself full of tryptophan and wine, the last thing I want to do is stand too close to strangers who are loaded up on gravy and caffeine.
Even Daisy was exhausted after all that Turkey!

My mother-in-law and I did a bit of shopping the day after Thanksgiving at a few of our favorite locally owned boutiques, which was decidedly crowd-free and delightful.  She found two cute pairs of shoes, I found a few sweaters, and told her I wouldn’t try on any of the jeans because my ass isn’t worth $100.
The real shop-a-pallooza happened on Saturday with my mom and sister.  We knew the huge sales were over, but we also knew we would have all of our eyes and teeth at the end of the day, so we felt good about spending a few extra dollars.  Ber got up early, my mom and I didn’t, and we headed to Joplin to shop the day away, but not before heading to my dad’s work to say hello.  Okay, we didn’t just go to say hello.  My dad had a mole removed from his cheek the week before, and let’s just say that stitches are no match for ole Fireball.  There was one lone stich stuck in his face that my sister, the nurse, had to remove.  It was starting out to be an adventurous day.
As he was seeing us off, my dad gave us this advice: “Have fun.  Be careful.  Pay attention.  Don’t get tasered.”  “DID YOU JUST SAY ‘DON’T GET TASERED?!’” I said.  I’m not even sure we gave him a chance to rebuttal before we all burst into the kind of laughter that would rival any ab workout the P90X guy could show me.  We laughed until we were wiping tears from our cheeks.

We were pretty goofy and giggly anyway because we never get out of the house without men or children (or man-children).  So beginning the day with a big belly laugh just added to our enthusiasm.

Our first stop was at large chain book store.  I was looking for an elf for my son.  But not the traditional Elf on the Shelf with his creepy murderous eyes.  I was in search for a Christopher Pop-In-Kins.  This is the conversation with a sales clerk, who, I might add, was probably voted most likely to grow illegal crops and live off of Mountain Dew and Doritos Locos Tacos.

Me: “Hi, I’m looking for a Christopher Pop-In-Kins.”
more silence
akward silence
more akward silence
me wondering if maybe she’s stoned
me wondering if maybe she’s deaf
me wondering if maybe she’s stoned and deaf
Clerk: “Um…. What?”
Me: “A Christopher Pop-In-Kins.  It’s like Elf on the Shelf but not as creepy.”
Clerk: “A what?  Um… I don’t know.”
Ber: “Here, I’ll look it up.  Maybe the knowing the author would help.”
Clerk: “Yeah, that would – WOAH!  You guys look a LOT alike.”
Me: “We’re sisters.”
Clerk: “Are you, like, twins or something?”
Me: “Nope.  Just sisters.”
Clerk: “Are you SURE you aren’t twins?”
Me: “Um, pretty sure.”
Mom: “I can attest to the fact that they are not twins.”
Clerk: “Geez… you look so much alike it’s reDICulous.”
Ber: “Well here’s what the cover looks like, but I can’t find the author.”
Clerk: “What were we looking for again?”
Ber and Me: “Christopher Pop-In-Kins.”
Clerk: “Oh.  I’ll check.”
Clerk: now on the phone “Hold on.  What?  Yeah we have that.  How much is it?  I dunno.  Prolly, like, around, $16.  Do you want it?”  Hanging up the phone “Geez.  She ordered a book but didn’t know how much it was and doesn’t know if she wants it now.  Pssssh… I’ll send it back.  I don’t even care.”
Me: “Bummer”
Clerk: “No we don’t have it.”
For the record, Ber and I do resemble each other.  But we certainly are not twin-like – although we walk, talk, and move the same so that could maybe creep someone out – like the guy at the liquor store one time that I convinced she and I were not related, but had only just met that day.

Anyway, I finally chose a stuffed elf that wasn’t creepy.  It doesn’t have pose-able arms, but I felt like it was worth the compromise -- Little K has named him Elfie (in unrelated news, I'm not at all concerned about my son's lack of creativity).

Coffee.  Extra espresso.

Our next stop was Target.  There may have been talk about landing a bird in the bathroom, and itchy butt holes.

Next was a smaller clothing store where we staged this picture to send to my Dad with the caption, "Oh shit!  Kelsey got tasered!":

And took this picture to prove to my husband that my leopard phone case is not, in fact, camouflage:

Coffee.  Lunch.  Cookies.  More shopping.  More coffee.

I made my sister try on this horrible outfit.  We decided that the jacket wasn’t really all that bad once it was off the hanger.  But it certainly wasn’t $119 cute.  Those awful pants were priced the same, they weren’t cute on or off the hanger.

Our last stop was at a sporting goods super store where I was in search of a hunting something or other for my husband.  I picked out a weight belt as one of my presents from my parents.  It’s pink, and I can’t wait to use it.  However a bitchy sales girl looked at me while I was trying it on and said, “You know that’s for lifting heavy weights, right?”  I just smiled and looked away.  Because if I would have spoken I might have told her that I was only buying it because I thought it would look cute with my new purse.

More coffee.  Delirium.

During the 30 minute drive back to my parents’ house, Ber jokingly called me a snatch basket.  So I called her a twat waffle.  I thought my mom was going to choke on her spit at this point.  But, what surprised me the most is when my, usually fairly reserved, sister said: pink velvet sausage wallet.  I think the only time I’ve ever laughed harder was earlier in the day when my dad told us not to get tasered.  I spit back something that was much too crude to post here.  But it made my mom’s face turn red.

Wrapping presents.  Cold Thanksgiving leftovers.  Laughter.  Sore stomach muscles.

Chatter.  More laughter.  Sore throats from laughter.  Aching feet from twelve hours of shopping.  Falling into bed exhausted.
Perfect day.