Friday, March 28, 2008

Assuming custodial responsibility

A while ago it seemed like everyone was talking about the book "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilberts. So, lemming that I am, I bought the book and read it to see what all the hype was about. For those of you who haven't read it. the basic premise is Elizabeth Gilbert's search for meaning and happiness by traveling to and living in Italy, India, and Indonesia. I totally recommend reading it; I don't necessarily agree with everything she says or does, but I think some of her conclusions about life and spirituality are really eye-opening and accurate.
Anyways, the reason I brought this up is because I was scanning my bookshelf for a quick pick to read while blowdrying my hair and I grabbed "Eat, Pray, Love". I just flipped it open to somewhere in the middle and started reading. Over the last few days I have read some here and there and I came across this section about prayer and it really stood out to me. It's kind of a big chunk, so I apologize in advance for the length.
"My prayers are becoming more deliberate and specific. It has occured to me that it's not much use to send prayers out to the universe that are lazy. Tired, confused and bored, my prayers sounded the same. I remember kneeling down one morning, touching my forehead to the floor and muttering to my creator, 'Oh, I dunno what I need . . . but you must have some ideas . . . so just do something about it, would you?'
And I'm sorry, but that's a little lame. You can imagine God regarding that prayer with an arched eyebrow, and sending back this message: 'Call me again when you decide to get serious about this.'
Of course God knows what I need. The question is - do I know? Casting yourself at God's feet in desperation is all well and good - heaven knows, I've done it plenty of times myself - but ultimately you are likely to get more out of the experience if you can take some action on your end.
Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I'm aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don't have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift. So now I take the time every morning to search myself for specificity about what I am truly asking for. What worked yesterday doesn't always work today. Prayers can become stale and drone into the boring and familiar if you let your attention stagnate. In making an effort to stay alert, I am assuming custodial responsibility for the maintenance of my own soul."
WOW! I think she hit the nail right on the head when it comes to prayer and the type of relationship we ought to have with God. I know I have been guilty of doing the same prayer morning, noon and night; "thanks for this day, thanks for our family, bless the food, etc." But the most meaningful prayers are those when I take the time to think it out and to speak to God as though He were right next to me. One of the strongest impressions I have from growing up is kneeling as a family for prayer at the table or at night. My dad would always call on someone to pray and we kids would always groan LOUDLY when he called on my mom because she always said the LONGEST prayers. But the reason her prayers were so long is because she was having a conversation with God; she talked to Him like she talked to us. She prayed for each member of our family individually and specifically. It drove me crazy then, but it is one of my most precious memories now. I hope that I can continue to cultivate my personal relationship with God and "assume cutodial responsibility for the maintenance of my own soul".

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A clean freak is born

Today I got in the mood to clean. I don't know why, but once I started I just kept on going and couldn't stop. And it wasn't just surface cleaning either; I wiped out cupboards, reorganized closets and did serious de-junking. I filled two garbage bags of junk. It amazed me how much stuff accumulates over time. I was going through my drawers and closet and realized how many clothes I have held on to, not because I am really ever going to wear them again, but for sentimental reasons. Like my old high school cheerleading sweatshirt. It's not like I'm going to throw it on and go out for the day, but for some reason I just couldn't get rid of it. But today I bit the bullet and threw it in the DI pile. I also finally got rid of my last pairs of size 2 jeans. I have accepted that I will more than likely never be that size again and if by some miracle I ever do, those clothes will probably be years out of style! The only clothes I am holding onto are my high-school dance dresses. I just can't get rid of those, there are so many memories and I can't just DI something that my mom put so much work into. I am trying to figure out a way to store them so they aren't just hanging in my closet. Any suggestions?
In this whole process I have discovered that I am becoming an organization freak. I get really happy when everything has a place and is in its place. I am enamored with clear plastic tubs that I can organize everything into and see all stacked up in a closet or on a shelf. I have found a new store that I can't wait to visit (it's a little out of the way so I can't just go a whim); The Container Store. It is clear plastic storage heaven! All of this organization excitement is really quite weird for me; especially if you knew me in high school and ever saw my room. Well, "saw" isn't the best word, there wasn't much to see besides the layers of clothes, books and everything else that was possible to throw on the floor. How much time changes things!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Family Fun

We got into the spirit of Easter today and did some egg dying (which Jeremy and I hadn't done for YEARS, so we were pretty excited). I gave Kadin 3 or 4 eggs to do himself and showed him how to dip them in the colors and how they would turn the color of the water, etc. Then he took over and decided that they all needed to go on the pink bowl. So he had some pretty gross colored eggs. They didn't make it to the final photo shoot because he wasn't too big on the "gentle" part of dealing with eggs.

After Kadin was done, Jeremy and I did some more "advanced" eggs. We tried to do some two tone dips and I put some stickers on mine to make designs. Jeremy put rubber bands on one and tried to make stripes, but they kept slipping off. All in all, it was pretty fun to do

After the egg dying, Kadin and Jeremy had some manly bonding with the toy light sabers that Kadin found in our study closet the other day. It was pretty funny watching the two of them duel! However, I have to say the funniest part was when Kadin lifted up his arms to give Jeremy a mighty whack and I realized that his pants were slowly sliding down to his knees. Apparently a moist diaper and serious exertion aren't a good match! Serious plumber's crack!

Friday, March 21, 2008

sore bums and strange sensations

Poor Kadin has had a rough couple of days. About Wednesday he started to have a runny nose and it has gotten worse over the past few days and he's gotten a cough from the drainage from his nose to his throat. Because of the constant sniffing and coughing he m hoasn't really slept well (which means we haven't slept well), either at night or at nap time. Then today when I went to get him up from his nap he was sitting in his crib looking quite forlorn. I asked him how he was doing and he pointed to his diaper and said "Owie." When I put him on the changing table to change his diaper, I could see the "owie" without even having to take his diaper off. He had BAD diaper rash all over his "ha-ha" and bottom and creeping down his legs. Poor little man; he screamed all through me wiping him off and rightfully so. I think I would scream if my tender parts were that raw. I had one old diaper from before we changed over to Pull-ups, so I put that on him because the leg portions are softer than the Pull-ups. Life was great for the next couple hours and then Kadin came over and sat on my lap. Strangely, when he got up to run around again, there was a huge wet spot on my leg. Either the old diaper is not quite as absorbent as the new Pull-ups or the inch thick layer of diaper cream I put on his bottom impeded it's pee-pee holding power. Either way, he was running around with an incredibly soggy diaper (and left a huge wet spot on our comforter, which I literally just got our of the washer this afternoon). Thank goodness for Bob the Builder and 8 o'clock bedtime!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Things that make you go "grrrrrr"

Kadin and I were at the park today enjoying one of the few semi-sunny days we have had lately when another mother showed up with her mom and four kids. They set their kids loose to play, sat down at the picnic table, and pulled out their cigarettes and beer. While their kids ran around crazy (and one tried several times to crash into Kadin as she went down the slide), they sat there drinking and smoking and having a good old time. I was SO ANGRY! This was like the third or fourth time that we have had to leave that park because of someone smoking there. People who smoke around kids make me want to SCREAM! I mean if you want to mess up your own body with all of that; fine, that is your choice. But give your kids a chance! ARGH!!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

A love that cannot be . . .

So there is this house that I always see on my way to run errands or go to my mom's house. It has been for sale for the longest time and every time Jeremy and I drive past we wonder when it will be sold. I love the way the house looks from the outside and one day I stopped on a whim and grabbed one of the flyers to see what the features were and I fell even more in love with it. It has just about everything Jeremy and I have been talking about that we want in a house (minus a yard) and it just looks like the kind of house we could be in for a while. Of course this is all without looking inside (we saw some houses that looked great in photos and not so great in person), and the location is really lousy (right on a semi-busy road with no real privacy). Plus we aren't looking for a new house right now and even if we were this one is out of our price range. But I can look and dream, right?

Pictures of the house and some of the rooms that I really like in it:
Cute, right?
I love that it has a living room AND a family room
Great dining room with lots of windows!
I really like this upstairs nook: perfect for scrapbooking! :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Out of the mouth of babes

Just when you thought life couldn't get any better . . . your brutally honest and blissfully uncensored two year old catches sight of your stomach, exposed during a rousing pillow fight, pokes it, and prononuces "squishy!" If they weren't so cute, I don't know that kids would make it very far in this world!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A little less help . . .

I hate to fold laundry. Hate it with a passion! I have no problem doing the laundry, but I somehow can't get it from the clean clothes basket to the drawers. So tonight I made myself sit down and fold some of the mountain of clothes in the corner of our room. It was right before Kadin's bedtime and he was sitting on the bed watching one of his shows. As I was just about to wrap it up for the night, he noticed that I had piles of clothes folded around me and started saying "help, help". He has been really good lately about following instructions so I gave him a couple towels and told him to go put them in his bathroom. He starts that way, then spies the empty clothes basket and dumps the towels in there. He then proceeds to run around and pick up clothes that I had JUST folded, by the corners nonetheless so that they are no longer folded, and put them in the basket. I tried to run faster than him and get the clothes put away in the drawer, but not before the basket got full of clothes . . . .AGAIN. Exasperating as it was, I couldn't get mad at his enthusiasm to help, even if it wasn't really helping.

By the way, I've got life back in perspective and am dealing a lot better with everything. It's amazing what a good night's sleep can do.

Monday, March 10, 2008

ranting and raving

Disclaimer: This post is mostly just me whining, so if you don't feel like listening to my pity party, then feel free to skip this one!

CSS SUCKS! I am so angry tonight with this whole disease and everything that comes with it. I am tired of being tired; I am frustrated with the limitations it puts on me; I am overwhelmed looking at a lifetime of this. Most days I can keep my perspective in check and I deal alright with everything, but today it just got to be too much. I am not sick enough to stop life, but I don't feel good enough to go on with life as usual. I drag through the day, and I don't want to be that way. I want to enjoy playing with Kadin, I don't want to lay on the floor and watch him play. I want to have the energy to spend time with Jeremy at the end of the day instead of collapsing in bed.
I feel nasty, but I feel like I don't have anywhere to go to fix it. The last few times I have been to the doctor and I tell them about some new thing that is going on and they just look at me like "I have no idea what to do for you". Even my doctors have no idea what this disease entails. I am trying to educate myself, but I wish I had more guidance and more confidence that someone knew what was going on.
Anyway, I probably shouldn't post when I am so emotional, but I just needed to get this out and scream out into the void that this sucks and I am tired of dealing with it. I'm sure I will be dealing better tomorrow and have things back in better perspective. If you did brave past the disclaimer, thanks for listening to my ranting.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

All I can say is . . .


Last night my parents, Jeremy's parents, Jason and Andi (Jeremy's brother and his wife), Jeremy and I had the opportunity to go to "Corteo" the newest Cirque du Soleil show. It was unbelievable! I don't even think I have words to come close to describing how amazing it was, but I will give it a shot.
They have the show in this big blue and yellow tent downtown and I was expecting this huge arena, but when we got in the tent, I was really surprised at how small it was. The stage is in the center and the audience is all around so you can see everything that is going on. They opened with some cast members coming out into the audience and doing a little skit that I couldn't really hear or see, because of people still coming in to sit down, but then it really got going. The story line was about this clown who had died and was looking back on his life and seeing his funeral. They had angels that would come down from the ceiling and across the stage on wires, it was so cool to watch them float or drop down suddenly.
I would love to give you all a play-by-play of the whole show, but that would take forever and you would probably be bored to tears. So I'll try to highlight my favorites. I think my favorite act of all was the chandeliers. They had three big chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and four girls came out and as they held onto these chandeliers, they rose into the air and the girls started to do all these acrobatic tricks from them. They would hang in these amazing poses and twist all around them and one girl even hung from the back of her neck! Not only was it amazing in the physical aspect (I can't even do one pull-up let alone hold my body in those contortions while dangling in the air), but it was just so visually amazing to watch. The way that they moved and the way the music moved with them . . . again, no words!
The other highlight was an act they call "paradise" It's basically these buff guys throwing girls between them. The guys are suspended on these small stands in the air with room to bend down and swing the girls between their legs so they can really chuck them with "oomph". I guess it looks like trapezes, but instead of the trapeze, the girls have these guys. I'm not doing such a great job of explaining, but it was incredible.
Anyway, after all this rambling, all I really wanted to say was that it was an AWESOME experience!

P.S. You should all listen to their music; it is AMAZING too!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Kind of a letdown

I had kind of a disappointment tonight. Because I don't have a ton of time to just sit down and scrapbook, I have been putting together a page in pieces. I found a picture of a really cute page that I wanted to copy. I knew exactly what picture from my files I was going to use on the pages and how I was going to change things from the original to match my theme and colors and everything. So I did all the little pieces slowly in whatever five minutes I could find. It was a page for my high school book so I had all these red, silver and blue stars that I had punched out and inked the edges and then when I put them all together, I was expecting the result to be like "WOW" that turned out really good, but instead it was like "huh . . . that looks ok, I guess". Not horrible, but not as good as I hoped for the work that went into it.
Not a very exciting or earth-shattering post and most of you are probably reading this going, "and she's upset because?????" I know it's like the smallest thing in the world to get my feathers ruffled about and I probably won't even care in the morning, but for this minute, I'm disappointed. :(

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bee-bee update

Just wanted to let you all know that life without the bee-bee is going well. He's asked for it a couple times, but every time I remind him that we said bye-bye to them and don't have bee-bees anymore. He whined a little bit the first couple times, but now it doesn't even phase him one bit. I am pleasantly amazed. I honestly had been expecting major meltdowns when he realized that he was never going to have them again, but he has handled it much better than I ever thought. I am so proud of my monkey!
Lesson for the day: never underestimate kids! They'll surprise you every time.

P.S. I think I am still having a harder time letting go of the bee-bees than Kadin is. There have been times when I have wished sorely to have something to calm the storms of toddlerhood. But if he can be ok without them, then I can too!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

bye-bye to the bee-bee

We did it! After putting it off and procrastinating as long as I could (to many eye-rolls and exasperated sighs from Jeremy), Kadin and I took the plunge. On our way outside to go for a walk this afternoon, we stopped by the garbage can and threw in all our binkys. Kadin was very enthusiastic about the first two, but hesitant when he had to take the one out of his mouth and throw it away. The walk helped get his mind off of it and he has only asked for it once since then. We haven't hit bedtime, which I am still a little apprehensive about, but we did pray earlier that this whole process would go smoothly so I'm trying to be positive and have faith (does it sound silly to have faith about something like throwing away bee-bees? Well, we are taught to pray about EVERYTHING . . .). I think you all were right about having Kadin throw them away and that this whole thing would be easier for him than for me. We'll see if I still have that opinion tomorrow when I'm on my own without Jeremy!