Uncategorized

Thanksgiving Days-My Own Challenge

My friends on Facebook are starting up with the “{insert number here} Days of Thankfulness.”  Which is nice.  It’s sweet.  It’s great to give thanks.

(Of course, a very, very few of these Thanks-giving Posters give thanks in November, but the rest of the year almost every post chews out a stranger or acquaintance for doing something they found inconvenient.   I think they remembered that Santa only starts watching people in November, and are working the elfish system.)

I digress.  I do like the idea of giving thanks for a month, just to get in the habit.  Kind of like giving something up for Lent to get in better spiritual habits, only this is to get into the habit of being thankful.  Because seriously, Americans celebrating Thanksgiving have a whole dam’ lot to be thankful for.

We’re not being bombed.

Our kids aren’t living in a war zone.

We’re allowed to worship who we want, how we want.  (Even if other people sometimes give us crap for it.  But that comes with the territory.)

There’s not a caste system here.

People get to pick their spouses.

People get to vote between crappy people to run the country.  (Maybe not a plus, but hey, it’s ‘Murican Freedum, right?)

So I figure, this November, I’ll hop on the Giving Thanks train.  I’ll even attempt to do it daily.  Starting today, so I’ll say two things I’m thankful for today, and keep doing one per day until Thanksgiving.

And I invite you to join me.  Be thankful for one thing every day.  You don’t have to post it on Facebook if you don’t want, though that and Twitter are both good options.  It doesn’t have to be a monologue.  I encourage you to not monologue unless you’re an amusing, accomplished writer. Be genuine, short, and sweet.

Write your thanks somewhere.  Thankful for a family member?  Write them a note to tell them.  One line can mean a lot.  Shout out on Facebook.  Tweet.  Comment on this post so I know someone actually reads this thing and likes this idea.

Here is what I’m thankful for, for yesterday and today.

November 1: I’m thankful for a husband who listens to me and advises me when I have bad days, and is encouraging when I can’t find a good moment.  

November 2: I’m thankful for a happy, healthy, little boy who is able to use his brain, body, and voice and curious about everything in his little world.  

And since you patiently read through a long-ish post for a very short list of two things, here’s a pic of our little family from last Thanksgiving.

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Our little turkey fell asleep after dinner.

Thanks for reading my blog!  It’s nice to have a place to jot my thoughts down.

I’m trying to come up with some new post topics, so if you have any ideas for me, whether it’s Disney, an every-day-life topic, or nerdy, or whatever, leave a note in the comments!  I love to hear what readers like!

Marriage, Uncategorized

Valentine’s Day

I have to take a moment and brag on my husband.

A couple of months ago, he started working long night shifts.  I know this isn’t easy in any marriage, since it had happened once before for a couple of weeks when we were first married, and it was tough being on opposing schedules.  But that was temporary, and this is his regular schedule now.  Toss in that we had an 8 week old baby when this shift started, and you can imagine that life has been a little hectic.

But recently, we finally started getting into our routine.  He gets home rather tired, goes to bed, wakes up in the afternoon to spend some time with me and the baby, eats dinner and goes to work.  It’s not ideal, but we’ve been making it work.

Since we’ve been working hard to save and pay off debt,  we agreed to have a simple Valentine’s Day.  No going out, no fuss, just enjoying spending time together when he got off of work.

My husband usually calls me on his way home from work early in the morning.  Usually he’s too tired to talk for long, and goes to bed shortly after arriving home.  But that morning, he stayed on the phone with me, talking about normal day-to-day things.  Finally he said “I’m home, be inside in a minute.”  The baby had woken up not long before, so I carried him with me to the door, and was met with a grinning husband carrying a rose, a heart-shaped box of chocolate, and two Valentines (one from him, and another from my son and our “first baby,” the dog)!  I had a huge smile on my face, and told him I loved it all, but that I didn’t have anything for him.  He just laughed, said that he was happy he could surprise me, and said that he didn’t want to break his streak of getting me roses every year on Valentine’s Day.

I was so surprised!  My husband had been awake for eighteen hours, worked his butt off all night and just wanted to get home to rest, but he stopped on his way home just to make sure that I had something for Valentine’s Day.  It reminded me that sure I had  a keeper!   But more than that, it made me realize that I must be doing a decent job of making sure my husband is happy he married me.

Marriage is hard work.  We work hard to be a team, to parent together, and to make each other happy.  Though our life has been crazy lately, we each have our frustrated moments (most of mine still pregnancy/postpartum hormone induced, yay!), we each have the end goal of making the other person happy.  I know my husband hits that goal every day, and I’m pretty sure I do the same.  Valentine’s Day was a pretty good proof for that.

Happy after-Valentine’s Day, hubby. Thank you for making me feel so special and loved.  :*

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My rose! 
Family, Husband, Moving, Pregnancy

Permission to rest? Granted.

I’m not good at giving myself a break.

When attacking a task or project, I’ve always preferred to tackle the entire thing, beginning-to-end, in one go.  Even if it’s a fun painting project, having to wait for layers of paint to dry frustrates me to no end!

Tackling a project before I was pregnant did not include taking breaks, unless it was for a quick meal or snack, or using the restroom, or getting some water, something fast before I would get back to work.

And now that I’m almost ready to pop, what is everyone reminding me to do?

“Take it easy, make sure you’re not doing too much since you’re super pregnant!”

“Don’t forget to take a break!”

“Rest a lot, both you and the baby need it!”

I’ve read a lot of mommy-blogs about “Things pregnant mommies want to hear.”  Apparently, “Rest up” is something all of those other mamas want someone to tell them.

Not me.

“Rest” is the one thing people keep telling me that keeps really ticking me off.

I want to yell back “You think I have time to sit before this baby comes?!  I need to unpack, get baby’s room ready, clean baby’s clothes, keep up with everyday house maintenance, take care of my dog, grocery shop, cook, and do laundry.  Oh, and I just freaking moved across the country to where I know almost no one, so I can’t phone a friend to come over to help in exchange for coffee and food.  So how about you fly over here and help clean and unpack if my resting is so important to you!?”

Of course, I don’t yell that, because I know everyone means well and wants what is best for me and the baby, and to yell all of that back would be rather unkind and unloving of me!

I have been trying to be good.  In between tasks, I make sure to take a break and sit for a little while, something Netflix and Game of Thrones books has made a little less annoying. But every time I’m resting, even when I can tell I need to take a break from unpacking, organizing, and cleaning, I find myself feeling guilty.

Can you believe it?  Guilty.  Like I’m doing something wrong.  Like I should be able to handle accomplishing ten tasks in a row, all of which require a lot of bending, picking up, moving, and being on my feet, despite carrying around an almost-full-term baby in my belly.  Even resting with my Hubby in the evenings after dinner, watching one of our favorite shows, I feel like I’m doing something wrong for not still cleaning, even if I’ve had a productive day and I’m having a good time relaxing with the love of my life!

My only explanation is that it’s nesting instinct gone into overdrive.  I was starting to think that the “Nesting Instinct” was just a rumor, but it is very real!  And for me, I’m pretty sure that instinct is being pushed along by the desire to not have anything left to do once the baby is here except heal, nurse, and give snuggles.  So until all of my nesting tasks are done, I feel guilty about leaving an important, pre-baby task undone!  How could I dare to bring that child here without every little thing in its proper place?!  (Yes, that’s the unreasonable pregnancy hormones talking.)

Hubby has been really diligent about helping me, and really trying to help me relax.  And I think he figured out the secret: on his days off, we get a TON of housework, unpacking, and projects done around the house, with me being project manager and him being muscle; me doing smaller, mostly-sitting tasks and him doing the lift-and-moving tasks.  And it’s been helping!  Our house is more open, cleaner, and more organized than it has been since we moved in, and it’s largely thanks to him telling me “Here’s what we’re getting done, and you’re going to do it while sitting.

But two straight weeks of “nesting, nesting, NESTING” finally pooped me out.

So after a weekend of tackling projects around the house, I was tired.  So tired that even after a full 9 hours of sleep (making a human bean makes you extra sleepy), I woke up tired.

So yesterday, after yet another OB appointment was finished and Hubby was safely off to work, do you know what I did?

I gave myself permission to have a day off.  It took some debating with myself, but I was pooped.  I had no motivation to get anything around the house done.

So I rested.  And it was good.

I made easy meals.  I cleaned up after them.  I took care of my puppy and played with her, let her in and out of the house so she could run around outside.  I did do one load of laundry, but only because we were completely out of socks.  (Oops.)  I unpacked nothing, all afternoon.

The rest of my day was made up of Netflix, a couch, crocheting, some research about baby things around the internet, and this blog.

And it was good.

I finally think my Hubby and family are right: mommies-to-be need to rest.  My not-vacuuming didn’t result in the house falling apart.  Everyone had the clothes they needed, even though the laundry wasn’t all sorted out in perfect piles.  And the few organizing tasks that are half-done aren’t any worse off for being ignored for one day; they’re still there, and I can tackle them later today.  Or maybe tackle part of it today, and part of it tomorrow, since I now know that little elves won’t come along in the middle of the night and un-do all of my half-done projects while I sleep.

So this mama-to-be learned her lesson: Resting is good, and even necessary sometimes.  Every day doesn’t have to be a full-on couch potato day, but I’m now okay with taking an hour or two to myself to recharge and relax, especially as I get really close to the due date.  (I have a feeling an hour or two may grow longer as the date gets closer!)

I’m giving myself permission to take breaks.  And it will be good.