Friday, June 7, 2013

I miss blogging.

I really do.
But every day I am just coasting through my days.
There's nothing interesting to share.
I've become boringly disengaged.
I'm really struggling to find joy in life right now.
It's so strange. I'm not happy, I'm not depressed, I just am.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Shopping Edition!

Confession: I don't usually shop for myself. When I go shopping, I might LOOK for myself, but I usually wind up buying something for the kids instead. I'm a plain Jane. I'm not frumpy, but I'll opt for comfy over cute any day. Lately, though, I've been wearing jeans to work daily, and not feeling so great about that. I received a few gift cards to Kohl's, so I took myself shopping and found some GREAT things! So I just had to share the fruits of my labor.

--- 1 ---
This sweater is awesome and runs true-to-size (I am an M and got an M). It is medium-weight, which will be perfect for the office in the spring and summer (it tends to be a bit chilly at my work). It does look a bit bunchy with a long-sleeve shirt under it, so I'd probably only wear a tank beneath.

--- 2 ---
I got this shirt in white, and the scroll on the front is a beautiful purple/maroon mix. The pictures of this shirt do the detail no justice. I was worried about the length and the banded bottom, but it fit me perfectly. I have a tea-length maroon skirt that I just can't WAIT to pair it with!

--- 3 ---
I almost didn't buy this shirt because I was afraid it would look too old-ladyish. But for $6 and 30% off, I couldn't resist. I bought a large because I wasn't sure what size would fit me better. A large IS rather flowy, but the material leads me to believe it's going to shrink up a bit. The colors are VERY pretty, though!

--- 4 ---
I also bought this top in a L instead of an M. The material also seems like it will shrink a bit. I love that this top is longer in the back: I am SO self-conscious of when I'm wearing a shirt and my back shows when I move. That seems to happen a lot!

--- 5 ---
I've entered the world of maxis. I wasn't too sure of the skirt on the hanger, but when I got it on I was like, "WOW! I need to get MORE!" I may get another 1 or 2 soon, I love it THAT much. The skirt is made of a thick jersey, and it moves freely. I got A LOT of compliments on it on Monday.

--- 6 ---
I also scooped up this dress. Let me tell you, it's going to be THE DRESS for me this summer. It is SO comfortable, it doesn't even feel like I'm wearing a dress! I'm considering getting another of the same style but have no idea what stripe or print I would choose.

--- 7 ---
This 3/4 sleeve shirt hung out in my cart for the entire shopping trip. I contemplated putting it back no less than 6 times. I have weird issues with 3/4 shirts. I feel the urge to either pull the sleeves down or push them up, and usually neither option works. In the end, I got it, and I'm glad I did. The arm bands aren't tight, so I don't feel too uncomfortable in it.

All in all, it was a GREAT shopping adventure. Between gift cards and Kohl's Cash I only spent $30 on all this awesome stuff! Not bad!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

When Loving Them Isn't Enough (Part II)

On Saturday night I wanted to scurry to the computer and post a RAVING blog post about how well things were going. But then I sat and said, no, wait, give it time. ;)

On Friday while discussing the issues at hand with the kids, especially Julia, D and I came up with a course of action:
  • Discuss with Bebe our concerns, and help her to be a part of the solution.
  • Structure our Saturdays to meet everyone's needs.
  • Whatever we do or say, follow through.
Saturday after lunch we talked about how everywhere you go there are rules. We discussed rules in different places. Then we talked about what rules there were in our house, and it was no surprise to us that Bebe said, "None?" Yep, there was our answer. Together she helped us brainstorm some rules, and this is what we came up with:

Most of these rules are positive, but those that begin with "NO" are ones we want to be especially careful about (hitting for Dois, complaining/whining and watching TV before being ready for Bebe).

After brainstorming those rules, we decided to follow what will be our new Saturday pattern:
  • Bebe does 30 minutes of chores (whatever we give her to do: this weekend it involved sorting laundry, picking up the living room, and helping unload the dishwasher).
  • Since she did 30 minutes of chores (therefore saving us 30 minutes of housework), she earns 30 minutes of one-on-one time with us while Dois is napping. We played Apples to Apples Jr. this week, but she can choose any activity we can do while he naps.
  • After that hour of chores and 1-on-1 time, she has 45 minutes of quiet time. That's where she has to either rest or read or something. This weekend she used her 45 minutes of quiet time to start research for a school project.
When those time periods were up, Bebe and I went to Confession and when we came home, we took a walk with Dois. We spent over an hour walking and playing at the park. It was AWESOME! We came home, ate dinner, the kids took baths, etc. It seriously was THE PERFECT DAY.

Sunday went smoother than usual although the end was a bit harrowing due to bored, overtired children.

So far, so good, when it comes to enforcing and following the rules. Whining hasn't been eradicated, but it has lessened. One of the challenges we are still facing, though, is getting Bebe to bed on time and having to poke and prod her every morning to get moving. It's tough. :( Any suggestions for that one? We start waking her at 6:30-6:45 and need to leave by 7:40. It's always a struggle.

Little by little I'm confident we'll get there... 

Setting aside dreams for motherhood?


I should preface this by saying that these are thoughts running through my mind, not necessarily whines/vents...

We all know that motherhood involves sacrifices, but how many dreams have you set aside when faced with just how much motherhood has changed your life?

When I got pregnant with Bebe, I had only become a youth minister a year and a half earlier. When I got pregnant with her, I had only been at the parish I was at for six months. If you remember, Bebe is a honeymoon baby. It didn't take long after D and I got married for the rumor mill to start that I was pregnant and leaving, and they were right (sort of). I was determined to remain a youth minister after having Bebe. Since my job was only 20 hours/week (probably 16-18 in the office and the rest with the teens) I figured, "It's doable." I asked if I could bring her with me when I worked in the office, and that request was granted. I set up a Pack N Play and a bouncer in my office (which was like a giant living room), hung a privacy sign on the door when I was nursing, and ATTEMPTED to work.Only, the problem was, most days I wasn't getting work done. I was torn between my child and my job. I had to schedule our youth nights when D wasn't working or had school. I felt like I was giving neither 100%. At about the time when Bebe got mobile, a new priest took over the parish where I worked. He walked into my office and said, "Is this a daycare?" I knew then my days were numbered. They decided to create a full-time position, and I was welcome to apply for it, but it was not automatically mine. I applied and interviewed, but left knowing that it wasn't for me. I had nothing to show for the year I'd been there, so I gracefully bowed out. It was hard, leaving youth ministry behind. I was juggling so much on my plate (a small, refluxy child, a husband who worked odd hours between working FT and being in school FT, we only had one car until Bebe was 5 months old, etc.) I know I NEEDED to, but I still often think back on it. How could I