Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Life on TV

Daily Specs:

Attainable Goal: Get Big Love to come to the Y with me. This may not be attainable, but a goal nonetheless!
Grievance: I am very inspired to make more jewelry, but have run out funds to get supplies :(
Celebration: I got to hang out with Big Love last night and watch House. Nothing like Gregory House to bring two people together.

I am at home a lot during the day, and am therefore more likely to subject myself to truly AWFUL television. One show in particular that I have seen a couple episodes of is "Wife Swap". Now I had heard about this rather disgusting piece of daytime television in the past, and was particularly pleased that I had never seen it. And now that I have seen it, I am saddened. Premise of show: Two families, completely opposite from each other. For example, I saw an episode where one family revolved around their 13 year old motocross loving son, whose champion titles pay all the family's bills and for their extremely expensive way of life, and the other family worshiped fairies. These two families switch mothers for two weeks. In the first week, the swapped wives have to live in the other wife's shoes exactly. The second week, they can change whatever they want and the family has to follow their rules. The producers try to make as much drama as possible in these shows, but this one is really over the top. I feel so terrible for the families.

I suppose every daytime television show has a silver lining. After being subjected to this torture for an hour (and by "subjected", we all know that I am subjecting myself. Like the whole watching a train wreck thing), I walk away thinking about my own family and home. While the show is on, I can make fun of the people in it all I want. I can think they are idiots for doing the things they do, I can mock them for their petty arguments, and I can shake my head at their ridiculous ways of life. But then I stop. What would happen if we were on one of those shows? What would people think about us?

Looking at yourself from a third eye is really hard! I would like to think of myself as an amazing person, with talent and competence that oozes out of my pores. I would like to think that I am the perfect cook, the perfect cleaner, and the perfect mother and wife. I look at the toilet that Big Love and I installed and the chair that I fixed and I think Ha! I am a superb piece of woman and home-maker! When I make a batch of cookies without burning them, I feel like I should have my own cooking show call Super Mom! Amazing Meals in the Time it Takes Your Child to Watch Blue's Clues! But at the end of the day, I have to be able to see what I am really like. Delusions of grandeur never made anyone a better person.

So I begin to look around my home. It is somewhat picked up, the dishes are in almost all in the dishwasher, and there are probably three loads of laundry that needed to be done. My bed is not made, and my jewelry making supplies are out and mid-project. Okay, so I am not the best house cleaner. My cupboards and fridge are full of food, but it is mostly food-out-of-a-box and some basic staples, like baking supplies, potatoes, onions, and chicken. Okay, so I am not the best cook. There is a patch on my wall that my father fixed when he was here and left me to sand and paint. It is sanded, but not painted. Okay, so maybe I am not the best handy-woman. But then I look at my children, who are smiling, running about, and imagining that their spoon is a rocket-ship blasting off into space. They have full tummies, clothes on their backs, and clean pants. I can see Baby Love smiling every time he sees me or Big, and Boy Love has learned how to put on his own shoes, diapers and shirts. Okay, so maybe I am a decent mother.

If there was a film crew in my house for two weeks, what would they see in me? Would they see me as loving? Would they see me as moody? Would they see me as needy or high maintenance? Would they see me as an adequate home-maker? I don't know. I don't know who I would be paired with in Wife Swap, and I don't know what people watching me would make fun of me for. But, really, does it even matter? I know that I love my family, even though I tend to get frustrated. I know that I try to pick up my house, even though I can never seem to keep up. I know that my children are learning every day because I try to teach them. Why should I have to be subjected to scrutiny from the world? I don't need that. I try, and I have succeeded in the world of motherhood far more than I ever thought I would. Shouldn't that be enough?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

From Childhood to Childhood...

Daily Specs:

Attainable Goal: Figure out what kind of yarn my scarf is made of. And GO TO THE Y!!
Grievance: None yet!
Celebration: Lots of sleep last night for me.

I often reminisce about my childhood. It was a pretty amazing one, as far as childhoods go, I guess. If I were to have a shrink he would probably find something wrong with it, but since I am an pinnacle of psychological perfection, I live with the firm belief that my life has been pretty awesome. I lived with parents who loved each other, loved their children, and loved God. Whenever they worked, I got to spend time with my beloved Great Grandparents, and those years with them have been priceless beyond words. I was geographically close to almost every extended family member, which meant that we were all pretty close.

Cheetah and I almost constantly find things in our adult lives that remind us of our lives as children, which we immediately text/facebook to each other. Example: One night a couple weeks ago I made lamb chops for dinner. That, in turn, reminded me of a little movie we used to watch, "Lambchops Play-A-Long", with a really annoying theme song. So, if the annoying theme song was going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the evening, it stands to reason that Cheetah had to join me in my misery. The two of us have a set of movies, our version of "classics", that we watch together whenever we are feeing sentimental and nostalgic, which is more often than not. Titles in this movie list include Goofy Movie, Muppet Treasure Island, White Squall, and other MORE embarrassing (believe it or not) movies that I shall not list.

We were not like other children we knew, and even in hindsight I think our family was a rarity. Our young years resembled those of Pleasantville, with the little suburban house, tiny conservative church, and role-model "citizen-of-the-year" type parents. We never had much money, but we always had each other, and that was the most important thing of all. Our parents never fought, we spent all of grade school in a private school, and we took our one vacation per year in the same spot in Sunriver. I remember other children talking about their parents, and how they were divorced, or never at home, or generally sporting a cold demeanour. I recall wondering what it was like to have a dysfunctional family, and sometimes even fantasizing about having a home that struggled with big issues. Not to say that I did not struggle. We were quite poor for a while, and it was apparent how much toll this took on my Mom and Dad, but they never stopped loving and making the best of it.

As an adult, there are so few people that I come into contact with that had a great childhood like mine. There are even some that think that my 50's life seems, as they say, "functionally dysfuntional", referring to the idea that my black and white existence somehow lacked any sort of colour. I cannot say that they are entirely in the wrong. I was always very sheltered, and very excited to live life outside my tiny town. I have never done any sort of illegal drug, never had terrible experiences drinking alcohol, and have never broken the law (unless you count speed limit laws). When I hear my friends or husband tell me of their life experiments, and all the things they got to experience and learn from, I feel like maybe I have been a little bit "functionally dysfunctional". My life has lacked the color that theirs has had. Or, perhaps, we just color our worlds differently...

This brings me to today, and the raising of my children. When one gets married, there is always the difficult task of combining "things", getting rid of sentimentalitites to make room for a new life with a new person. What proves to be the most difficult thing about combining lives, however, is combining our pasts. Big Love and I have grown up two completely different ways, and we are trying to bring both of our upbringings together to create a family environment for our children. So then comes the big dicussions. Do we spank our children? Do we want to approach life like something to be experienced on your own, or with the parental controls contantly weeding out anything not rated G? How long do we make them attend church before we let them discover their own spirituality? How do we approach drug use and drinking? These are all big decisions that will become more difficult as the kids will get older. I am not looking forward to this at all. Fortunately, my children are small, and the biggest decisions we have had to make for them is what kind of clothes they will and will not be seen in. So the thought/question of the day do I know what parts of my childhood should be passed on to my children, and what parts should be avoided? I loved my childhood, even though I was antsy to grow up and experience the world. Is that the kind of experience I want my children to have?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Back from the Hiatus

Daily Specs:

Attainable Goal: Finish this blog before Boy Love awakes
Grievance: Have been too busy to go to the Y in a week and a half or blog in 2 and a half weeks.
Celebration: I have a new business!

Hello, again! Wow it has been a long time since I blogged. I am on the computer frequently, but have had no opportunity to make a post, due to my NEW BUSINESS VENTURE! I have an online shop on Etsy!

As many of you know, I am inflicted with a hobby addiction. In my opinion there is absolutely nothing wrong with any hobby, except for the distinct possibility that you will become addicted. And, really, is that so terrible? I have made the decision to take my addiction to the streets, selling my wares, hoping to turn my new creative outlet into something that can potentially help my family. If you are interested in seeing what I have done so far, check out my site!

or follow my business on Twitter:

Okay. Blatant business plug? Check. Moving on.

Many very exciting things have happened in my life over the last few weeks. First of all, Cheetah returns home from the middle east on her leave of absence TODAY! As a matter of fact, she will be arriving at any moment. I am not there to greet her, but, thanks to my awesome insurance company, I will be able to see her off! Quick, painless back story... I was the instigator of a terribly minute accident over three years ago, where I bumped someone's bumper at 5 mph. I hit the wrong guy, for he and his passenger each sued me for ridiculous amounts of money. My insurance company refuses to settle their cases (because they are ridiculous allegations), and so I have to fly back home to partake in a trial. Now, because my insurance rocks, they are paying me to fly home at the same time that Cheetah is home! Hooray! I get to see her on her leave! So that is the exciting things that have happened to me. I am in a very happy place. I have a quasi-business to keep my hands from sitting idly by, and I have a trip home to look forward to!

Over the last few weeks, I have seen been inspired to blog about SO many things. I am surprised daily at the multi-faceted life of a SAHM and wife. How could there possibly be so much richness to such a life? To the layman's eye, the existence of a stay-at-home mother seems somewhat ho-hum, and...dare I say it...bleak? I remember looking at SAHMs and thinking what many people think: Why did they go to college? Why are they wasting their intelligence? What could possibly be rewarding about cleaning all day? Well let me tell you how wrong I was. I find myself using my schooling every day, making decision for the house that require intellect and finesse, and I am able to play with my children, watch their milestones blossom before my eyes, and greet my exhausted husband when he gets home each day.

When I was living at home with Boy Love and my parents, I was a full time student and a night time bartender. I would spend about half of each day with my son, and it broke my heart every single day to take him to whoever was watching him. I did not witness many of his "firsts". I very distinctly recall coming home from work one day to hear my parents had helped Boy take his first steps. I know that their intentions were good, they wanted him to work on it so he could do it for me as a surprise. Even though their intentions were good, I was SO upset that I was not there to see his first steps. I remember crying myself to sleep that night, just holding him next to me. Since then, I have told myself that I want to be there more often. And now that I am married to a man whose job provides for us, I am able to see everything. I can see the laughs, the smiles, teach the songs, and learn the patience that comes with being solely a mother.

I am happy where I am. I still sometimes wonder if I should be working, helping out with the family finances. But now that I am at least trying to make money, I am feeling much better about it. I feel like I am helping. And I am still at home for every moment and every step. What could be better?