Thursday, May 16, 2013

A lovely way to waste an afternoon

I've had a post in 'draft' mode since the beginning of the month. It consists of a mile-long "May Makeover" list of all the things I wanted to get done around the house this month, including but not limited to: painting many walls, revamping the kitchen, rearranging rooms, moving & painting massive pieces of furniture, and lots of other ambitious things. I even posted about it on Facebook as a teaser. High hopes here, people.

Life being what it is, I've managed to accomplish laundry, cooking, working out, worship, photography stuff, and other everyday tasks. But I'm bummed that nothing that I've wanted to do this month has happened yet. So much for 'making over' this house in May.

However, I did tackle the garage yesterday (which interestingly enough was not on the to-do list; I simply went crazy), and the other day I DIY'd the daylights out of a pillow ... which is what I'm going to write about today, since I haven't done any of the other big, awesome projects I'd intended this month!

DIY Anniversary Date Pillow

I found this super cute pillow on Pinterest:

I can never resist anything with text or numbers on it, meaningful or not. I knew I could make something similar, but the likelihood of me actually sewing a new pillow is not good (for one, my sewing machine isn't working, and considering all the other things I "should" be doing around here, getting the machine fixed and then purchasing all needed supplies to make a pillow is out of the question). So I pinned it to my craft board for a Someday project.

But, the other day, I was shopping my house to "style" our bed (always a work in progress) and came across this pillow:

Its been many places all over the house, and finally shoved into the reject pile currently unused pillow stash. Its not really my style anymore, but the biggest downfall is, its totally impractical to have around, because the cover doesn't come off, so how is one supposed to wash away the inevitable kid splatters?

Remind me to tell you about the time I found poop on my white fur throw pillow. *gag*

Anyway, I turned the pillow over and looked at the back .. contemplating ..

Blank canvas! This could be the perfect anniversary date pillow! Or it could be a giant fail, in which case I'll trash it. Nothing to lose, other than time I could have spent mopping. {yeah, right.}

I pulled up Word on the computer and typed out our anniversary, changing the font until I found one I liked that would fit the space. I wound up choosing Book Antiqua. Printed out the numbers as big as I could (high quality copies here, only the best for me!) ...

.. and cut around them to make stencils.

Laid them on the pillow, got most of it positioned to my liking (eyeballed it) ..

After positioning most of the numbers, I moved the dash and the 2 to the next spots, since we have two of those in our anniversary. I guess I could have printed duplicates, but I was in a hurry. Mom mode, you know.

And started tracing!


Then, grabbed my black fabric paint and a little brush (borrowed from the boys' watercolors!).

And started painting!

I had to take about 64 breaks to do mom/housewife stuff, take Dax to swim lessons, etc. (thus the reason there are no more 'in progress' photos), but by the end of the afternoon, my pillow was done!

There were a few accidental paint dribbles which I just smeared around, hoping it would look "antiqued." Overall, I'm happy with the result! Looking back, I wish I'd not used so much paint and let the numbers look more stamped/worn. But I like it.


Ah, if only that's how my bed looked all the time. Here's how the new pillow really looks in the bedroom:

At least its not thrown face down on the floor! Real life, peeps. Would you expect anything less from your friend here at Momthentic? Bottom line, all that matters about our bedroom is that the boys find it comfy and welcoming enough to hunker down on the floor with Angry Birds and a bag of chips. The truly important stuff, right?

So, at least I've gotten one crafty/décor-ish thing done around here. Maybe I'll manage to squeeze in a few more projects before the month is out! I'll be sure to share them here if I do! I have an absolutely insane idea for the laundry room ....... {evil laugh} ...

Linking up at:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Barf: a reality of mom life.

March and April were crazy months up in here. I volunteered to spend a combined total of 80 hours in the door to door ministry during those months. I cut it super close and wound up getting my last hours in yesterday afternoon. I breathed a sigh of relief and thought, tonight I want to watch The Hobbit with Juston and have a glass of wine. It sounded like absolute bliss. I told myself, starting tomorrow I'll get back on my old routine, the house will be clean(ish) again, laundry will be done, and I can start on all the house projects I've been dreaming of for months. But tonight I just want to relax!!

Many hours later, the kids were in bed; we opened our $6.99 Malbec and popped some popcorn. Cozied up in bed, started the movie ... and less than thirty minutes later we both were nodding off. Decided to call it a night and had lights out by 11:15 (that's early for us). Fell asleep holding my hubby's hand, feeling happy and content, and pleased with myself for having two great months, and looking forward to May.

And in what seemed like two seconds later, my mom self was propelling down the hall, spurred on by cries of "MOMMY!" coming from the boys' room. You know how as a mom you can jump out of bed and run without even being awake? And then you wake up at some point and marvel at how your mom abilities kicked in and your brain heard your kid even though you technically didn't!

Well, the smell of puke woke me fully when I got to the boys' room, and I saw my poor baby had barfed (thankfully this kid is on the lower bunk, so no puke sliding down the wall this time). "Mommy, I barfed all over my bed! Its slimy! Its yucky!!"

Nighttime barf is one of those parental duties you just cannot be prepared for. Anyone who thinks they want to have a baby (because most people never think about having KIDS; people want sweet soft lil' BABIES, but babies grow into kids who create real, stinky, human puke) should have to spend a night the way I spent mine, in order to make sure you really, truly want to be a parent.
  1. Have a really long, exhausting day, then try to have a relaxing evening with your spouse but wind up falling asleep like old people.
  2. Sleep like a log for two hours.
  3. Jump out of bed and run into a room reeking of puke.
  4. Strip a kid and a bed covered in barf; clean it all up.
  5. Waddle all over the house looking for clean blankets to make a bed on the floor for the kid. Note to self: try to keep clean folded blankets in ONE SPOT for this very reason.
  6. Spend the rest of the night alternating between dozing off and jumping out of bed to hold a bowl under kid's face so barf doesn't get all over your bedroom carpet. Very important: during the times you're dozing off, be sure to remember all the things you've completely forgotten to do in the last week. That makes it extra fun.
  7. Stagger out of bed in the morning to get the older kid off to school. Younger kid who was up sick all night is finally sleeping good and you have to wake him up to load him into the car for the (thankfully short) drive to school. Older kid is freaking out because "if he barfs in the car, I'm going to barf too!!!!!! I don't want him in here sitting next to me!!!" Et cetera.
  8. Come home and tuck Sick Kid back into his makeshift floor bed. Hop back into bed yourself, and wake up at 11am with a stiff neck and a headache. Spend rest of the day eating Cheetos, drinking Diet Coke, blogging, and browsing Pinterest to make yourself feel better, but just wind up feeling guilty because Cheetos and Diet Coke are not very fun or fit and now I'm just a hypocrite.
Barf creates a terrible conundrum for me. The responsible mom part of me just wants to clean it up efficiently; sanitize everything, and go back to bed as quickly as possible. The other part of me desperately wants to inspect the barf to see what it is. Why is it that color? Why does it smell like that? I guess the mom part of my brain needs to know that too. What made him barf? Is it the flu, or was it the half a bag of Sour Patch Kids I let him eat at 4:30? Why did he barf up something he ate hours ago? Where is all the stuff he ate after that? If I really look closely, will I barf too? Is the other kid going to wake up sick tonight too? And here's a good one: why can't barfy bedding go into the washing machine? Why do I have to rinse it all off in the tub and then somehow carry sopping wet stinky bedding down to the laundry room at 1:30am? Can't I just run like four rinse cycles to get the barf off? [Juston says NO. Barf cannot go into the washing machine.]

The barf gets cleaned up, and life goes on. The only good thing about having a sick kid is getting to stay home and be lazy, watching movies in our PJ's. I always love an excuse to sit around all day. But then the kid starts feeling better, and starts talking at their regular amount of words per minute, and the day becomes like any other, except I'm extra tired and look extra haggard.

"Can I go ride my scooter?" "Mommy, watch this part. Hey Mommy, watch this part. Mommy, LOOK! Mommy, you missed the best part!" And my personal favorite: "Hey Mommy, I just ate a toenail."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

10 Things I'd Love To Never Do Again

Obviously I haven't written for a while. Honestly, after what happened at Sandy Hook, I found myself with no inspiration! How could I be sarcastic or crabby about mommying while my sweet kids are alive and kickin'?

Being a mom can be SUPER aggravating at times. A lot of the time, in fact. But ever since that terrible day, I have found myself much more patient, tolerant, and grateful. Not to say I don't still go bonkers at times and freak out over stupid stuff. I totally do! But its happening less often. I find fewer things to complain about and more things to be happy about.

Having said that ...writing is my therapy! And I've been thinking lately about a few things I'd love to NEVER do again. That doesn't mean I wish my kids would grow up super fast and move out (they are seriously at the funnest ages right now, I don't want them to grow another inch). I just really do not think I'll miss any of these things when this phase of our lives has passed:

1) Touching anything with pee on it.
Sheets, tiny underpants, jeans .... having to deal with pee'd-up fabric is the WORST. Especially when nobody tells you that they laughed so hard they wet their pants and left them on the floor, and you go around the house picking up dirty laundry when suddenly, without warning, you grab wet pee'd-up denim - and of course the jeans are inside out, with the underpants entwined up in the legs, so you have to get your hands all pee'd-up to turn them around the right way and disentangle the underpants. Or you put someone to bed at night and realize the sheets are STILL WET from the night before, because they didn't tell you they'd accidentally wet the bed. So now where the heck do they sleep, since their bed is all pee'd up? I have put people to bed on dry pee sheets on occasion, I'm not gonna lie. Changing bunk bed sheets is never fun (see item #9 below), especially not at night when you are finally putting the kiddos to bed and looking forward to going to bed yourself. But when the pee sheets are still wet, off to the couch the kid goes.

Also, I am tired of scrubbing pee from toilet seats & bases, floors, and nearby walls. Being female, I obviously have no idea what its like to aim. But to look at our toilet areas, it must be impossible. I've spent hours teaching people how to simply grab a wad of TP and wipe the seat down. "If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie!"  "That's silly, Mommy." Apparently Silly Rhymes About Peeing go in one ear and out the other.

2) Making dinner.
I seriously hate making dinner. I hate thinking of what to make. I hate talking people into eating. I hate being told "I don't like this" or "I'm a vegetarian." A vegetarian who eats nuggets, burgers, and bacon? Well that's a new one. Or being asked "is this all we're having?" or "where did you find this recipe?" or "what's in this?" The kids and I would be happy having 'dang kay-sa-dillas' or cereal for dinner. But when you are trying to raise your kids to be normal people who function properly and feel like they have some semblance of a regular routine, dinner is a necessary evil. Especially when I'm on a 'program' which requires certain amounts of food at certain times, ugh! And when I have a husband who likes to come home to dinner after being gone for 12 hours. What's up with that!? ;)

3) Doing anything that requires use of a baby wipe.
My boys are obviously both potty trained. But we keep wipes around. And the only time you really need a baby wipe means its something gross. Which brings me to:

4) Cleaning Mystery Stickies from between the couch cushions.
Its the worst to sit down on a leather sofa and hear a peeling, sticky noise as the cushions separate. What is it, and why is it making that noise? How long has it been there? Do I really HAVE to put my hand (or worse, my nose) down there and investigate? Did someone sleep here recently and pee (see item #1 regarding pee sheets requiring a night on the couch)? Will this Mystery Sticky require a baby wipe, or will a damp paper towel do??

5) Stepping on Legos.
No description needed.

6) Dealing with puke.
Not sure why I saved this for #6. Barf is the worst! One time my kid who sleeps in the top bunk sat up and puked popcorn all over the wall in the middle of the night. It slid down to the floor. Behind the bunk bed and onto the lower bunk, where Brother slept, oblivous to puke on his bedding. Nothing like cleaning an entire wall and floor, and dismantling a bunk bed in the middle of the night. For a moment I had a feeling of despair: "I think we might have to move." The mess was so bad, I didn't know where to start. Another time I was changing my kid's shirt when he projectile barfed all over me. After he'd had three giant dill pickles. All over my chest and down my shirt. Rotten relish in my bra, people. Unforgettable. But I think the absolute worst is when kids are still nursing, and they get sick and barf. Rotten breast milk cottage cheese. Nothing compares.

7) Arguing & Reasoning.
Oh my word. The arguing!! Why do things need to be explained? Why can't you just listen BECAUSEISAIDSO?! Obviously I have a reason for what I am telling you. I am not being mean for the fun of it, or because I want to make your life boring. "I am trying to help you grow up to be a good person."  "But I don't wanna be a PERSON!!" Granted, a lot of the arguing is my fault. I'm sure there are better ways to explain things. But I am not one of those patient moms who gets down at eye level and quietly explains things in simple, kid-friendly language. For some dumb reason I just expect to be listened to the first time, because I am the Mom and I said so! if you have a question about what I am telling you, ask me later, or at least after you've done what I told you to do! [Listening The First Time is actually a sticker-earner on one of my boys' chore charts. I'll share the charts another time.]

The other day I was at Trader Joe's and there was a very granola mom with a little kid in her cart and an older kid pushing one of the kid-size carts. The mom one of those happy, oblivious people who has no clue what her kids are doing, and doesn't seem to care. She was actually singing loudly while she shopped. Anyway, she and her kid with the little cart were blocking the whole aisle. I needed to grab something on the shelf right behind them. The mom spent a really, really long time gently explaining to her kid that he needed to scoot along because there were people trying to get through. He was in his own world and didn't seem to hear a word she said. She made no effort to physically move him, but just kept explaining. I could have finished all my shopping in the amount of time it took her to quietly, mildly, nicely instruct her kid on grocery store etiquette. But I was so transfixed by her insane amounts of patience that I just stood there staring. My boys did too - they probably thought she was such a nice, smart mommy. Moms like that amaze me; I don't get how they can be so patient! I just TELL MY KIDS WHAT TO DO. And if they need to be physically (gently!) moved, I do it. I would NEVER hold up someone shopping because I wanted to spend three minutes explaining to my kid how to move and why. I would say "whoopsies, watch out Buddy, someone needs to get through" and if my kid didn't move promptly, I would gently move them out of the way. I'm not trying to be my kid's friend. I don't worry about crushing their spirit by telling them what to do when needed - isn't that our job as parents to teach them what is expected, especially out in public where we need to be Christian and put others first? Maybe that makes me a bad mom, and maybe that's why I feel like I am constantly arguing and explaining - because I don't spend the time to patiently, quietly, nicely teach life lessons as they come up.

8) Disagreeing about house rules.
Does anyone else do this too? I guess it comes with the territory of having a different background and childhood than your spouse. Here's an example: I'm cool with food and drinks around the house, within reason of course. I want to have a home where people don't feel like they have to use a coaster or can't put their feet up; this includes my kids and their friends. Juston is super hospitable when it comes to grown-ups, but he has different ideas of what the kids can have, and where. This causes constant conversations and sometimes a bit of bickering. I figure if something doesn't stain or eventually become rancid, it can be eaten anywhere! Crumbs can be vacuumed. Mystery Stickies can be wiped from leather (see item #4, above - it may not be fun, but it doesn't technically RUIN anything). That's why we have hardwood floors and leather furniture, right? Yes, you can have a Popsicle on Mommy's bed, but not on the carpet. Bedding = washable. Carpet = not so much. Yes, you can have pizza or veggies & dip in the rec room, but you have to eat on a blanket like a picnic. Blanket = washable. Carpet = not. Yes, you can eat in the car. Car = wipeable and vacuumable. Gum is the only thing I'm not cool with.

Juston doesn't particularly love that I allow the kids to do this kind of stuff. But I figure, I'm the one who is home all day to enforce the rules. I'm the one who cleans up the messes. If I felt our house/vehicle was so disgusting I was embarrassed to have people see it, I would change the rules for sure. So why can't my way of doing things apply in this area? But I'm sure he feels, I work hard all day to pay for this house and the cleaning supplies and the electricity to constantly run the vacuum, and I'd like it not to look like a bag of rice cakes exploded in here. I do see his point. So I think I just really need to work on my wifely submission in this area. Are we the only family who has this problem with house rules?

9) Bunk beds - UGH!
Changing sheets on the bunk bed is probably my least favorite chore of all time. When people go to buy bunk beds, a prerequisite to purchasing should be changing the sheets on the top bunk. And a 25% discount for changing pee'd-up ones! But first you must have a tummy full of a spicy dinner, or a horrible headache, or be exhausted from a day of mommying/service/volunteering at school/chores/pee laundry, etc., or be completely gimped from killing it at the gym. And THEN change the sheets on the TOP bunk. With stickers on the ceiling to get your hair caught in - don't forget that part. If changing top bunk bedding was a prerequisite to purchasing, nobody would ever buy a stupid bunk bed again, I guarantee it. That's why they never tell you what a PAIN it is when you buy a bunk bed. My mom tried to warn me. But I didn't listen, of course. "Oh, the boys are going to share a room, we're getting a bunk bed, its gonna be so CUTE and FUN! Little boys in bunk beds, I've always dreamed of it!" WRONG. Bunk beds create annoyance, numerous times per week. See item #1 regarding pee'd up sheets, and item #6 regarding a 7-foot-long trail of hot puke sliding down the wall.

10) Feeling like other moms are doing a better job than I am.
I think comparing yourself to other moms and families is a normal aspect of parenting. And lots of times I do feel pretty good about how we're doing. My kids are friendly, they like to read the Bible, and they love vegetables, for goodness sake!! What more could I ask for?!

But most of the time, I feel like a giant failure, a jerk, and a terrible person. I will get a stomach ache or be up crying at night due to some perceived failing on my part as a mother. And you really have no way of knowing how you're doing until all the kids are grown up and by then the damage is done, and its fairly obvious who had bad parents and who had good ones. And even then, everyone will turn out the way they're gonna turn out - some kids rise above and some are just losers no matter what, so why even bother worrying or comparing? Just do your best and commend other moms for doing the same. And if your kids seem to be happy and functioning properly, then just tell yourself you are doing a great job and waste no more time comparing.

So, what would you love to NEVER do again??