An irreverent look at motherhood and family life in a new state of normal.

Monday, February 7, 2011


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A Helping Hand

Now that I'm not in a service job I'm going through withdraw from helping. I have talked about this before. I'm really struggling these days because I don't know how to help people. I feel like I see them everywhere but what should I do?

What would you do in any of the following situations:

Sitting in the movies. Not very crowded. Suddenly, a guy in the front starts yelling at the girl sitting next to him. He throws his drink on her and gets up and stalks out. I sit there, frozen. She has another friend with her. Should I get up and see if she needs help? What if she was there with him and now they have no way to get home? What if he's still out there waiting for her to come out so he can abuse her again? I do nothing.

Driving home with my family. There are two women out on the street. They are dressed normally but it's cold outside. They have suitcases. One is talking on the phone but they look lost and annoyed. It is raining and dreary. I go around the block a couple of times. They are still there and no longer on the phone. They are huddled under the eaves of a business... waiting. But for what? Should I ask them if they need something? There is no room in my car. What could I possibly do anyway? I do nothing.

My neighbor is standing outside his house. He lives there with his aunt. He's been there for a long time. I know because when I got up to exercise, he was out there, dry heaving into the snow. It's freezing. He's knocking on the door... again. He's been trying to get in for hours now. It's snowing. I'm sure he's drunk and he looks like a gangster in his droopy pants and bandanna. Should I let him in? I'm here with my kids. Should I ask him if he needs help? I'm sure his aunt is there but why isn't she letting him in? Is it because she's angry? Finally, we decide not to let this one go. Andy goes out and asks him what's wrong. They get our car and drive away. After a while (and me freaking out), Andy calls and says the kid was drunk and spent the whole night outside in that freezing weather. My amazing husband took the kid to the mall where he could be warm and maybe get some coffee and sober up.

A Vegan Superbowl

My name is Callie and I'm a cheesaholic. It's been one day since my last cheese-out.

We were invited to a Superbowl party and I was ecstatic because my friends were all vegan's. That was going to make staying on track on one of the hardest days in the year easy, right? (My philosophy of veganism was that I was going to eat whatever I wanted on certain days of the year like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, birthday parties, 4th of July but I am fast realizing that American's will find a way to make every day one of those days so I have had to shave back on my "whatever" days and the Superbowl was one of those days that didn't make the cut.)

Well, I bought all kinds of yummy vegan food for the party. I took Izzy soda, couscous, fresh guac, humus, pita, veggies and a fruit salad. I was totally going to be the best vegan there. I walked up to the food line and my VEGAN friend had made the yummiest looking CHEESY enchiladas! What the heck?! Here I was trying to be good and we were all supposed to be vegan (except Andy and one other guy.) We were all standing around pretending like we were not eyeing the cheesy goodness but in the end, the girls demolished the CHEESY enchiladas. So much for being good but boy were they yummy. Now I have to do P90X for the whole month to make up for it but it was WORTH IT! They were AWESOME! Valentine's Day was just stricken from the eat-whatever-you-want-day list in favor of yesterday's fiesta. I'm going to have to wait for the girl's birthday party to eat FROSTING! Get ready for that post. I'm sure it will be epic.

For now... bring it on Horton! I'm back on the wagon.

The Little Things

Sometimes, at night, when I'm awake after someone has been crying and I have been soothing, stuff goes through my head. I start to remember all the little things that I have done that annoy me. Little things I may have said in a moment of weakness that maybe the other person has forgotten all about but I still remember how hurt they were. Moments of immaturity where I did something that I regret. Missteps that caused pain. All these little things are putting my burden over the limit. They are things I stress over for no good reason accept that I feel the need to torture myself. I don't know why...

What is it about human nature that makes us feel like we need to be in purgatory over our sins and mistakes? What can we possibly do that will make up for it all?

I always here that you need to release your burden to Christ but how do you do that? I literally think about putting it down and not worrying anymore but still, when there is nothing but silence, those little things come back to my mind and I wonder if I will ever be a peace.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cate doesn't get much press. That's because she's the second child. There aren't many firsts with her. So I have taken some pictures of her but I noticed as I was uploading that Abby is still in some of those pictures. It's interesting that there was life for Abby without Cate but there will never be life for Cate without Abby. I guess that's where Mommy and Daddy have to just make a special effort to help her feel like she has just as much of us as Abby does. What a balancing act parenting is...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting

Now that I'm not on an academy campus with abundant babysitters and friends all living on the same street, I have had to break down and hire a babysitter (and pay her). I had to hire someone I don't know. That's the hard part. I have always known the people who were watching my kid. Either they were students or fellow teachers or wives of staff from the school. Now we are out of the bubble an unless I want to drive an hour and back from a relatives home, I'm stuck with the kids all the time. Andy and I both have stuff going on Thursday nights and we needed a babysitter. The fear is, people who relate well to children are either nuts (and on the same emotional level as your child) or they are parents and can't get away from their own kids to babysit yours. I know there are competent non-scary sitters out there but how do you find them?

I found one. She is the daughter of a lady I know from a Bible study I attend. So she's not someone I just found online or something but... it was still hard because I don't know the lady very well but at least there was some connection. I texted the girl several times to set up her arrival and get the details ironed out. (She never did quote me a price so I just leave $10 or so on the table and it's gone when she leaves...)

From her texts, she seemed nice. When she walked in the door, I saw she was pretty. Very pretty. She proudly announced that she had been a cheerleader and my inner self rolled my eyes and wondered if I would find her making out with a football player when I came home.

I have never been more wrong. My kids love her. The morning after her first visit I awoke and realized that my kids had slept through the entire night without waking up! I almost died. It happened again the next week and every week thereafter. She is a genius! I'm thinking about setting up a nanny cam just to find out what it is that she does that keeps them in their beds and happily sleeping all night long. Every morning when Abby wakes up after B has been here, she asks for her special girl and wanders the small apartment looking for her. She gets excited when she knows B is coming and I think, I just think, God sent us someone who is totally awesome AND pretty. How lucky are we? If you are local and looking for a babysitter, I'm happy to give you her number and she has asserted that she would be happy to babysit anyone's kids that I know. She also has roommates that are presumably just as awesome as she is. I think we have hit the jackpot here, people.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Over Education of Callie Adams

Today Andy came home and handed me a freebie for Starbucks and sent me off for some much needed Mommy time. I went to the library and picked up a easy read James Patterson novel and Dr. Jenn Berman's book SuperBaby. After picking up the books, I headed to Starbucks and used my freebie for a decaf soy latte (mine as well be drinking water...) and perused the 12 steps to making my kids perfect. I hate to say it but there is alot of stuff in there that we are already doing and somethings we should be doing that we are not but... there are some things in there that are just plain nuts. The amount of information she has about how you house and everything in this country is toxic to your child just amazes me. I think there is such a thing as over education. I have read studies and blogs and books and I'm sure that there is a study that will prove that anything I touch is toxic. If I believed everything the "studies" say, I'd be living in a bubble. Or at least my babies would be.

I'm not saying that SuperBaby or books of this genre are not good to read. In fact, I would recommend this book although I don't subscribe to everything she advocates in it. I loved Parenting with Love and Logic. I also loved Belly Laughs when I was pregnant. I really liked having What to Expect at my fingertips when I was pregnant and as I parent as a reference. I also think there is a time to put the books down and go with your motherly instincts and just live and love and pray that you get it mostly right.
It may be difficult to see as a scan but this is Abby's first family portrait and I'm so proud I have to blog about it and show it to everyone. In the upper left hand corner is Cate. Then to her right is Abby. The big "person" is Mommy and under her is Daddy. You can tell it's Daddy because he has glasses. That's right folks. My daughter is 2 (almost 3) and she drew glasses on her daddy. I'm especially impressed with the fact that she "wrote" The Adams Family at the top. There are mouths, arms, legs, eyes, noses... many details that I wasn't sure she was up to doing. Yep this is a brag blog!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Back in the Groove

Andy has been back in school for a week and a half and we are starting to get back in the groove. It's hard sometimes to be home all day with kids and housework that never seems to get done. But that's my life. I'm trying to get into some habits that make it easier but they are coming slow. I try and add one thing every week that makes the routine a little less mundane and keeps the TV off just a little longer.

That's my real battle. I crave the sound of grown-ups talking and I watch TV on or Netflix or something just to make my life a little less "baby." But there is nothing that I really want the girls to see so I end up with the computer on my lap and the headphones in and then... I'm totally cut off from them. They are totally on their own for entertainment and learning. I try and sit down and read to them every day. I try and go over colors and letters and numbers and play at least a little but I get so tired of it all so fast. I feel like I'm the one with the short attention span. I hate to admit it but I'm really not that great at the stay at home mom thing.

So, I will continue to try and add a few things to the routine that keep the TV off and the kids more entertained and maybe I will be a better mom.

What do you do every day that makes your routine better and keeps you sane?

What Have We Been Doing?

So we finally have our computer back after many days of torture! Here are some pictures of what we have been doing all this time.

Painted Abby's face for a Griz game. I always have to stay home with Cate on late nights. I like it. I get to watch whatever I want on TV and just veg with my baby Cate (who always falls asleep right away).

The game was almost to loud for her and she covered her ears the whole time.
And they got free t-shirts. Abby's was more of a tent.

Then we got her all done up as a Missoula Mauler for the hockey game.

Where they had a great time with Uncle Kevin and Auntie Karen.