Thursday, November 29, 2007

So, the home repairs are NOT over...

Curiously enough, there seems to be no end to the amount of money it takes to maintain our house. I thought we'd sort of reached the end, but it managed to find something else to break which would interrupt our lives and demand to be fixed.

The Garage Door Opener.

I realize that people lived for centuries, nay... millennia, with no automatic garage door openers. (Can you imagine the medieval stable boy's reaction to such a thing?) But, I've grown up with them. I find that it is a necessity in life, which is why God made sure I was born in the USA during these modern times. Hair dryers, air conditioning, high speed internet access, HBO, and garage door openers. There is a reason that my peace corps application was not accepted (besides the fact that emergent third world countries probably need more help building bridges and water purification than being taught arts and crafts). I need modern conveniences. I rely on modern conveniences. I am no pioneer.

New Genie Garage Door Opener: $377 (installed)
Not having to park in the driveway because I am too lazy to open my garage door manually: priceless.

(I know, the above has been done to death... but I thought it was funny! And? It's my blog.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

The baby has a birthday

My youngest child turns 5 on Friday.

I’m of two minds on this milestone.

One: It is implausible for me that this is happening. She’s my baby, my youngest child. It cannot possibly be time for her to be a little girl instead of a baby. She’s old enough to start kindergarten. (Well, not till next school year… but I’m indulging myself in my own little pity party – bare with me.) How can it be that she isn’t two anymore? With that toothy smile that was hilarious, her baby talk, her needing me so much. I will never again have a baby. Every month now she needs me a tiny bit less. It’s time for her to become a person separate from her mommy – and it is heartbreaking for me.

Which brings me to my second mind: It’s kind of freeing at the same time, her growing up. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve suffered from depression (postpartum and clinical) on and off (mostly on) since the birth of my first child. Maybe it’s unrelated, her growing up and leaving the baby stage and my feeling my depression subside, but I have to wonder because suddenly, in the last 3 or 4 months, I’ve begun to feel like “me” again. Not that I have my “old life” back or anything like that – I wouldn’t want to trade what I have now for my old life. I remember telling my OB/Gyn that I just wanted to feel like myself again when DD1 was about 6 months old. He told me I’d never feel like that person again… and I had stopped hoping that someday I ever would. I let that hope go years ago. But, since sometime in July I started feeling… I don’t know… more free. Free of shadows that were making me not so much myself. (“Shadows” is as close as I can get to the word I’m looking for. Murky vague darkness, suffocating but not. See? Writing is not ever going to be my strongest creative outlet!) Suddenly, I’m glimpsing and feeling me again.

You won’t see much of a difference outwardly. I worked really hard at appearing like everything was OK, and except for a few stumbles I think I did a pretty good job of being OK. It was exhausting pretending to be someone who didn’t really exist. I’m not as emotionally drained anymore, which in itself is freeing. I think I’m a becoming a better wife and mom now, and I can truly appreciate the blessings in my life. My life is good.

I don’t think I’m unchanged. Being a mom changes you. Depression changes you. But maybe coming out of a depression changes you too?

She’s turning five.

I’m sad.
I’m happy.
I’m torn.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A conversation

(A conversation between me and DD1 the other day... the boy's name has been changed because she'd kill me if she knew I'd blabbed to the world!)

DD1: I can't help it, whenever I look at Joe I can't help smiling.

Me: Maybe you think he's cute? He's a pretty cute little kid.

DD1: I don't know. Do you think I'm crushing on him?

Me: Do YOU think you're crushing on him?

DD1: No. I can't be crushing on him. He's a first grader.

Me: ...and it's not OK to crush on a first grader?

DD1: (giving me her first "you SO don't get it" eye-roll) Mom! He still has all his BABY TEETH!"

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Book Review

Last week I read "The Year of Living Biblically", a memoir by A.J. Jacobs. The premise is that Jacobs will spend one year living his life according to the literal word of the Bible. (Old and New testaments.) He assembles a group of spiritual advisors, since he is a secular, agnostic New Yorker without much in his history regarding biblical law and customs.

What could have been a completely blasphemous (if not hilarious) book is actually a well written, very funny, sincere, non judgmental account of Jacobs trying as hard as he can to try to live a truly Biblical life. He immerses himself to make it as genuine and earnest as possible – taking it all very seriously. His self-deprecating humor lets us laugh at his attempts to follow the laws and codes of the bible, and his take on following the purity codes of Leviticus had me rolling. (His wife, Julie, was not on this journey with him – although they remained living under the same roof. Her actions of sitting on each chair, bed, and sofa in the apartment during her “time of the month” just so he couldn’t did provide me with a good laugh.) The dietary restrictions he followed were also amusing in this day and age.

Jacobs visits all sorts of people during his year. Conservative orthodox Jews, Creationists, Evolutionists, several types of fundamentalist Christians, even a Snake handler in Virginia are all a part of his journey. He worships with gay Christians, hangs out with real Samaritans, gets to know an Amish gentleman, and has a bit of an epiphany coming to understand that they all have the heartfelt belief that they are guided by the true words of God through the Bible.

He is a seeker himself, and embraces things such as tithing, charity, truthfulness, and even learns to appreciate keeping holy on the Sabbath – which is something he really ends up looking forward to each week. He naturally doesn’t perform animal sacrifice, but does try to mentally put himself in to the shoes of those who performed those types of rituals. (Actually, I take that back. He does sacrifice a chicken with some Hasidic Jews now that I think about it.) He performs acts and follows commandments that I didn’t even realize were in the Bible – and I have to again fess up in regards to my ignorance of the Bible. I’m familiar with most of the big stories, and have read more of the New Testament than the Old… but a lot of what Jacobs went through was news to me.

I liked this book. I really liked this book. I would highly recommend this book to just about anyone. I have a copy if you want to borrow it. If religions interest you at all, I think you’d enjoy reading this memoir. I laughed many times, and his journey did change his life a little in the end.

His genuineness is noble, and his memoir of this journey is really worth the read.

Scrapbooking? It's a little like crack...

...VERY addicting! Here is yet another one...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Fall Break is over

I always hate it when the school breaks come to an end. A week just doesn't seem long enough. At least we're at the beginning of all the great break time for the holidays. Conferences, Thanksgiving, and 2 weeks at Christmas! Yea!!

So, I digi-scrapped some pictures from our break trip. Not all of them, you won't see the pandas or other animals from the zoo. What you will mostly see is my kids having fun. I've posted them at flickr... HERE to be exact. You can click to see them if you wish. (I hate to force you to look at my vacation photos - otherwise I'd plan a playgroup and borrow my father's slide projector!)

Ahhh, it's good to be home. Between the east coast / mountain time zone switch and the end of daylight saving time I have no idea what time it is anymore. I know it's only a perceived spell of sleep deprivation, but it's making me so yawny.

Time to sleep. (I think it's 11:30pm. Could be 10:30pm, or might be 12:30am... I've no idea.) Sleep tight!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

So glad we came...

Dr. J, Princess Moose, DD1 and DD2... ready for Trick or Treat!
Cousins ready to go... bags up!
My sister and I at the after treating wind down / candy sample.
(I did find a way to post... there is a computer in the room where we are all staying!) We had beautiful weather for trick or treating, and the houses were decorated so cute. I have lots of pictures to post when we get back this weekend. Today we are off to see MM!!