Monday, August 31, 2009

Who Are YOU?

Let me preface this post with a disclaimer. I am not in this to make any enemies, offend anyone, or tick anyone off. Sorry. I'm just sayin'....

So, it's been a while, as you can see. Perhaps the Beatles said it best: "Oh blah dee, oh blah dah, life goes on, rah! La, la, la, la, life goes on." (Such an erudite bunch of young chaps they were...)

Do not let my lack of posts fool you, though. I have been here. Lurking in the shadows of others' blogs. I've been reading...and even, at times, commenting. (Feel free to "ooooh" and "aaaaah" at will.)

Tonight, for instance, I read this post. The title must have struck my interest, because this is not a blog I've regularly read. It did turn out to be a thought-provoking post. Particularly, towards the end.

"...I've been with my husband for ten years. I work full time from a home office. (Yes, I've upgraded from the couch.) I have two sons. One kid is three, the other is almost ten months-old. I cloth diaper the little one...."

Now, Ms. Blogger, let me reiterate that I do not mean to offend you in anyway. This is really nothing personal; yours just happened to be the blog that I read tonight. Forgive me for making you my guinea pig, and thank you for playing along. But, I find it quite interesting that you chose to include the fact that you cloth diaper your child in a paragraph describing who you are. This really spoke to me because I've noticed you are, by far, NOT the only mother on the blogosphere that seems to feel this is behavior is a part of their identity in some way. In fact, I have visited blogs (probably many) in which the author finds that this detail of their life is so important it merits inclusion in their mini-bio on their sidebar!

I hope the blogosphere as a whole will forgive me when I say, as honestly and candidly as I can, that I just don't get that, folks. Not the cloth diapering part...the broadcasting it to the world part.

I, as you know (if you've visited before) am the mother of two young drama queens. I nursed my daughters and made a lot of my own baby food (especially with Big Girl). No, I did not choose to use cloth diapers...but, is it really that big of a deal? My mother used cloth diapers for her three children, myself included. (And, yes, they did have disposable diapers then. This was a choice she made.) My question is, since when does the type of diaper you use make such an impact on your identity?


Would you find it equally as important when defining WHO YOU ARE to include that you use low flow shower heads? Or low watt bulbs? Or, perhaps you use a wash cloth to wipe your child's bum instead of disposable wipes???

I ask you, mothers of the blogosphere, what's up with this? What will you say when your children are potty trained? Will this status line fall to the wayside, or simply revert to past tense? ("Hello. My name is Jenny. I used to cloth diaper my baby.")

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sweet Dreams

Baby Girl tearfully tip-toed into my room tonight with her precious Pinkie [baby blanket]. She had a bad dream.

My life has been plagued by dreams, both good and bad. Perhaps this goes back to a post I started (and abandoned) earlier this evening on imagination; perhaps it's something different, I don't know. But I live in awe - and fear - of my dreams.

My dreams are as real as they come, and they always have been. For as long as I can remember, after I ate my breakfast (once it was deemed "safe" to tell them by my mother) retellings of my night life have been met with remarks about their details and lengths. More times than not, if I remember anything of what I've dreamed, I remember it as clearly as day. I can tell you what I was wearing, describe the setting "to a t", replay conversations verbatim, and - the emotions. That's the most powerful of all. The emotions are raw. Pure. Intense. Consuming.

Perhaps this is why I have also have so many memories of tip-toeing into my parents bedroom at night.

My own little teary person would tenderly, slowly step into my parents room; stalling at the threshold to listen to their breathing (or snoring, whatever the case may be). My heart cried for them to please, please wake up. Most times they would continue sleeping soundly as I crept to Daddy's side of the bed. I can remember sitting on the spare pillow that lay by his bed. My, surely snotty, little nose sniffing as I sat silently near his sleeping body...staring. Intently. Willing him to wake up and save me from my sadness and fear.

I never spoke. I never said his name. I just...waited.

He always woke up. He always knew it was me. He always knew why I was there.

And he always let me climb into the middle of their bed, be comforted by their familiar scents and sounds, and safely fall back to sleep.

I remember the way my mother's speech sounded different in the night - with her mouthguard in. (We suffer from bruxism...add that to my list...) Their voices were quiet and broken by sleep. Their heavy heads never lifted far from their pillows. Daddy's hand softly rubbed my head, a habit he had perfected in my infancy. I welcomed those familiar things.

Now, as an adult, there are nights I would still do it all over again, were they near enough. My dreams continue to disturb me. Sadly, my Littlest Princess seems to be touched in this way, too. While I cannot change her dreams or take them away - and in many ways, I would never want to - I hope one day she will have memories like mine. Because, in the end, it's not the dreams I remember most, it's being saved.

**Author's Note: I considered providing examples of my dreams in this post, to help you understand. But, I decided that' s another post entirely...

Monday, August 3, 2009

My One Regret

Summer is such a wonderful time of year for me. I love how relaxed, how carefree, how stagnant I become.

Now, you might be wondering, if I was so relaxed, carefree and stagnant, why wasn't I blogging more this summer?

Um, hello? When I said I was stagnant I was not referring to my rear end...well, too much. What I was referring to was my BRAIN.

I remember, as a child, going back to school each year after seemingly everlasting summer vacations and realizing that I had lost all dexterity in my hands. My muscles actually forgot how to write. The simple act of holding a pencil in my hand felt oddly foreign to me. It was a feeling much like trying to write a word that you're sure you know how to spell, but for some reason, at that moment, you stare at the letters like they're Greek until, finally, you turn to a neighbor and ask, "Does that look right to you?" At which time they nod and look at you with suspicion, wondering what person in their right mind forgets how to spell their own name...

Try as I might, I have not been able to figure out a way to function in the world as an adult without picking up a pen or pencil for two months. At the very least, those pesky sales people demand I sign the credit card slip. This may be the reason I've developed the tradition of offering other body parts an opportunity to atrophy during the summer months.

While I am not a person who has experienced much success at truly relaxing (I'm neurotic, remember?), I do enjoy rotting my brain. I have to admit that I have many fond memories of summers spent camping out in front of the predictable agenda of daytime television; sitting Indian style* at my coffee table, enjoying a homemade spinach, tomato and mushroom personal pizza for lunch, watching Starting Over; rocking sleeping babies all the way from Regis & Kelly to the end of Martha Stewart. For a few months of every year, I take pleasure in watching General Hospital. I even enjoy the initial stage of momentary confusion (and it is truly only momentary) while I try to fill in the blanks of a year's worth of storyline.

I'm sorry to say that I did not wallow in my summer this year as I have in years past. Perhaps it was the presence of my little shadows. Perhaps it was their own strong opinions about what channel we should be watching. Perhaps it was the absence of any sleepy little babies requiring multiple daily naps. Perhaps it was the growing workload accompanying my growing family, or my growing sense of responsibility to the world around me (a.k.a. screaming children, barking dogs, and my ever-expanding behind) compelling me to get up and do something.

I strive to live a life that will allow me, in the end, to look back and say, "I have no regrets." This summer, I failed. I regret that I did not spend more days in my pajamas, watching mind-numbing, slightly entertaining, daytime television this summer...because I love that.

I suppose there's always next year.

*I know this term is, apparently, politically incorrect now. However, this is what we called it when I grew up and it is what I THINK when I think of sitting cross-legged on the floor. In my classroom I call it "criss-cross", or when I taught 1st grade, "criss-cross applesauce". But this is my blog and I can call it what I want, so there.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

One of My Newest Faves

I remember being a child and going with my grandmother to this really eclectic little store in town where you could get things like white restaurant dishes and papazan chairs and cheap glassware and floor pillows and neat little oriental boxes. You may have heard of the store, I think it was called "Pier 1".

Yeppers...the cheap Pier 1 of my childhood is now extinct. R.I.P., baby. Don't get me wrong, Pier 1 still has great stuff to drool over; over the years, they've expanded their merchandise to include upholstered pieces and extremely overpriced...well, everything. I love to window shop there - but rarely ever make a purchase anymore.

However, this summer I've fallen in love with, what I consider to be, today's version of yesterday's Pier One -- WORLD MARKET. That's not to say that they don't have some hijacked prices from time to time, but they still have an awful lot of sweet deals that I just LOVE to snatch up!

For instance, I just love my new pot holders. (Oh my goodness, I've resorted to blogging about pot holders...what does this say about me?) They're cute and, as I described them to Big Girl, happy.

I also have become addicted to my pumice sponge. It's just like the ones the girls at the nail salon use when I get a pedicure! Now I can give myself a not-nearly-as-relaxing-or-graceful shower pedicure!

World Market also sells one of my favorite wines. This is the only place I've seen this label...but that doesn't really mean THAT much, considering I don't shop for wine in very many places. (If it isn't on my beaten path, chances are I won't get there.) The first bottle of this wine I bought was a very thoughtful decision, like all that I make. I liked the bottle. It was purty. And it comes
in a variety of different designs! Fortunately, the wine inside has lived up to the bottle's reputation.

I also adore the refreshing lemon and sage kitchen soap and lotion set I scored. (Really, Jenny? This post might be an all-time low -- adoring soap?) Its light, fresh scent is a perfect match for the clean, soft feel it leaves on my hands after I wash my hands 500 times (a little compulsively, I admit) throughout the course of preparing a meal for my family. I've also, at times, found myself walking past the sink in the guest bathroom to wash my hands in the kitchen because I prefer this soap! (Which really is not as unsanitary as it seems, folks. I leave the door open when there's no company at home, don't you?)

And, I have to be honest, I'm not the only one who loves World Market in this house. Big Girl has developed a passion for this shopping wonderland, also. Her favorite item? Fruit Stripe gum. Which I find especially amusing since this was one of my childhood favorites, too.

I could go on to tell you lots of other reasons for my newest love affair - like the great tote bag I got for FREE (no purchase necessary) to celebrate the start of "Discovery Days", or the FREE Fandango movie ticket I got with my purchase this week...but I think I've said enough.

This is getting embarrassing.

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