Friday, July 17, 2009

Seven Quick Takes

1. Chris has started calling us by our first names. I'm sure there are those who would frown upon this, but I think it is just the cutest thing ever. The other night I came downstairs before leaving for my Youth Ministry meeting to find Christopher strapped into Jake's booster seat, calling to me, "Annie! Help me down! Help me, Annie!" And then. Then! Last night he had a nightmare in the middle of the night. Instead of calling for Mommy, I was awakened by the sound of my own name being shouted repeatedly from the next room. It sounds so much cuter when it comes from that tiny little voice.

2. I finally set some dates to go visit my mom and dad in Reno. Don't know if I've mentioned this here before, but it truly pains me to say that they live in Reno. The summer that I got married, they sold the house where I grew up and built a new one (a big and beautiful new one) just over Mount Rose as you approach Reno. So, technically, they don't live in "Reno" Reno....even though their address says that they do. It still makes me sad to drive through Incline on my way to their house and I think I'm in denial over the whole thing, as is evidenced by the fact that I still tell people they live in Tahoe. And, no Reno, just because you've started calling yourself "Reno-Tahoe" doesn't make it true. You're still just plain old Reno.

3. I'm totally addicted to Whale Wars. Have you seen this show? I just can't stop watching it. And I'm totally not a green-peace, lay down your life for the whales, hug a tree type of person. But it's really quite fascinating and I am impressed by these people who devote their time, energy, and safety to a cause that they feel so passionately about. That being said, I'm going to open up the controversy a little bit to say this - when I watch things like this and hear people talking about the importance of the whales and how "everyone here knows that there is the potential that they will be asked to lay down their lives to save the great whale," I can't help but wonder if these same people place the same value on human life, specifically the lives of the unborn. The idea that some of them probably do not saddens me deeply.

4. Today, as I do every Friday, I took the boys to Adoration. Usually when I have the little people with me, my time with Our Lord is very brief. And, to be honest, I have to focus really hard on not paying any mind to the reactions of other people to the cuteness that is my kids - especially Christopher standing in front of the Monstrance saying, "Hi Deedah! I (love) you, Deedah!" Or last week, telling Jesus about the booboo that he got when he tripped while walking into the church. On most days, my heart swells and my eyes water when I watch this, and my pride has to be kept in check because I know that the other people there are seeing it too. But today? TODAY! They weren't even being unruly - just a little squirmy - but I was SO SELF CONSCIOUS. I could see a woman out of the corner of my eye who kept turning her head to watch the boys and in my mind she was COMPLETELY. UNIMPRESSED. I felt so awful that we were being distracting to other people, and (to be honest) that she was looking down on me for not being able to control my kids, that I couldn't focus on anything else. Clearly I have lessons to learn. Neither pride nor embarrassment should be what's on the forefront of my mind while in Adoration of Our Lord. Someone needs to get her priorities straight.

5. Yesterday morning I was awakened by a flying sippy cup to the face. It hurt so bad, and caught me so off guard, that all coping strategies went to pot and I did the Ugly Cry. Then, about five minutes later during some shifting around to accomodate the sippy thrower into our very early morning bed, Tim kneed me in the thigh. It hurt so bad (again), and caught me so off guard (again), that all coping strategies went to pot (again) and I did the Ugly Cry. Again. It wasn't even 7am. Later that day when everyone else was taking naps, I watched "The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2" (which, Shelby? Did I read the second book? I can't remember.) It was a cute little movie. Certainly won't win any academy awards or anything (the very thing that is probably what makes it good, in my own opinion). Something about the story just touched me on what was clearly an emotional day...and I did the Ugly Cry. For nearly the entire two hours that I was watching. The day goes on and on...but I think that, in all, I probably Ugly Cried upwards of 7-10 separate times. Quite unfortunate. Today was a better day.

6. We have settled on a name for New Baby, or as Christopher calls him now, New Baby Boy Nate. Nathaniel. Naming our first two boys was no problem at all - but we've really struggled with this one. The middle name is going to be the kicker. We're at an impasse, it seems. Good thing we've got until I'm 31 to figure it out.

7. Tonight, although he was exhausted, Jake was not ready to go to sleep when I brought him in his room. Over the last few nights, he's gotten very sensitive to the idea that I'm taking him away from Dad and Chris and into his room to be by himself. It's gotten to the point where I have to take him downstairs and pace back and forth with him until he falls asleep. Tonight, though, I put him in his crib and walked out. When I went in a few minutes later to check on him, he was sitting there playing with Peter, happy as a clam. When I went in again? SOUND ASLEEP. It's a big boy who can occupy himself until sleepy time. Sigh. When did he get to be such a big boy?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I Had No Idea I Could Be So Linky.

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about blogs and bloggers, Twitter and tweeters, about those who take them seriously and about those who write them off as wasted time by narcissistic people. I've been meaning to poll my Twitter Friends on this very topic, especially when it comes to their husbands. Do your husbands tweet? If no, then what do they think about the amount of time you spend on that website or sending in updates from your phone throughout the course of a day? Because you know it's a lot of time. Especially for those of us who are stay at home moms.

Tim, for one, has been very supportive of my blog reading and twittering about, I think mostly because he sees what a support system I've tapped into in the world of Mommy Blogs. I don't think this was his intention when he originally urged me to "check out some blogs." Back then (and still) he was reading a series of Catholic blogs (many of which are linked to on the right side of my page), finance blogs, news blogs. These are the things that hold his interest, the things that encourage him to keep reading. Keep learning. Educate himself. So I hopped onto the computer and started looking for information on what I was interested in at the time: pregnancy. You see, I was in my seventh month of carrying Christopher, plagued with pregnancy insomnia and just looking around for others who were enduring the same joyful, yet challenging stage of life.

Not surprisingly, I found exactly what I was looking for...and what I didn't even realize I was craving.

First, I found Emily. Actually, Emily popped up when my darling ex-roommate, Shelby, sent me a link to one post in particular which I ended up reading out loud to Tim with tears streaming down both of our faces as we HOWLED through the whole thing. (I started to look for a link to it but let's be honest, I'm just too lazy.) A little more reading revealed that she was pregnant too, and due to deliver only a few weeks after me. Next came Maggie. Also pregnant, also with her first, and Hey Look At That! She's Catholic too. Then Rachel. Then Kate.

The more I read, the more connected I felt. The more I realized that, even though I didn't know these women, they were experiencing the same things that I was in pregnancy or child-rearing or marriage or just LIFE. These blogs that I started reading regularly (and commenting on faithfully) quickly became more than leisure reading material. Over the past three years, some of these women have become my own bloggy friends. I've never joined a mommy group here in our little town, but the Mommy Blogosphere has become a support group of its own. And this, my friends, is what I was not expecting.

From there came Twitter...much more convenient for uncommitted bloggers like myself who are still trying to figure out When To Find The Time. And out of the Sacramento Group I've gotten the opportunity to know Manda, and Lizzie, and Sheila. And, to put it lightly, it's been lovely. Example? Well, sure...

The last couple of nights have been particularly challenging around here. Tim, only two weeks into his new job (two weeks including two separate trips to LA, which have taken a toll on him AND on us) has been sick. Nothing we can't handle, nothing we haven't dealt with before, but worrisome. This is a huge challenge for him, of course. It's awful being sick. But it's also a huge challenge for me. Being Mommy. Being Nurse. Being Worried Wife. Or, as Manda reminded me on Twitter last night, being The One Who Everyone Needs. It's such an insecure feeling, worry. Isn't it? And, honestly, such a waste of time. But we'll deal with that in another post. Anyway, I digress. When Tim is sick the best thing for him is to rest. To sleep. To Get Better. And I know this. But having two babies who have no interest in sleeping OR DOING ANYTHING ELSE ASIDE FROM CLIMBING ALL OVER MOM when Dad is home but just out of commission? It's those times that it's Just. Hard.

So after I finally got everyone to bed last night, I came downstairs and left a brief Woe Is Me on Twitter. Do you know what? The outpouring of support was amazing to me. One lovely Twittersation with Manda, some comments from others, and a handful of private messages later my world was suddenly SO MUCH SMALLER. Instead of sitting downstairs in the dark, spending my evening in worry, I had a support group of dear friends encouraging me, making me laugh, and lifting our family up in prayer. It was exactly what I needed - but what I never expected.

You know, no one knows about this little blog. No one in my family, anyway. (It's nice to just have your own private little outlet, you know?) Beyond that, though, very few people in my real world know about the blogs that I read. Certainly no one knows about how much time I spend on Twitter each day, and while I don't think I'll change that, I feel more confident now. Last night confirmed for me what I've known for some time now - that these blogs offer community. Support. Friendship. A helping hand and a hearty laugh from people who are in the same boat. It's not narcissistic, it's realistic. It's smart. It's brave. It's humbling to put yourself out there and invite everyone in, knowing that you're quite possibly inviting as much criticism as support. And yet, it's gratifying and encouraging because, through it, you see that you're not alone.