Monday, January 24, 2011

The Good Day

Some things are just good. How is that for an opener to a Lynn Blog Post you never thought you'd hear? I am sitting at my desk right now as Jack plays with a flashlight and Will plays with his monster trucks, and for the moment they aren't even fighting. (Note that halfway through my typing of the second paragraph, they started fighting... so it didn't last long). My jeans are wet from the knee down thanks to the slushfest outside my door, my floors are covered in muck (see slushfest previously mentioned), the downstairs bathroom smells like pee no matter how many times I clean the toilet, and my dog won't stop eating cat poop out of the litter box. But, I am typing this with a little smile, because today is just going to be a good day.

In case you are wondering, no... we didn't win the lottery, or cure cancer or discover a way to end world hunger. Oh no... this is bigger. We transitioned little Jack into a big boy bed over the weekend and you know what? It worked. It. Was. Easy. (Pause while I knock on every wooden surface in my house). We put the bed together Saturday (and by we, I mean Mark did while my mom and I took the boys shopping for bedding, a mattress and the like. For the record, my job was way harder). Jack napped in it Saturday afternoon. He slept in it Saturday night. He napped in it Sunday afternoon and he slept through the night last night and actually slept later this morning than he has in a long long time. Clearly, he just needed a full size mattress, platform bed, two cushy pillows and a warm and cozy comforter to embrace his inner sleeper. Amen for that, God. Thanks!!!

Raising kids is a funny thing, because you hit these milestones and then go careening toward a new one at a "break necking pace" (Thanks, Dr. Seuss) and yet you're never quite sure if you should embrace the change or fear it. Jack didn't sleep through the night until he was almost two. Then you hit this age (a mere 5 months later) and see his crib is starting to look a bit shabby, but the fear of "rocking the boat" almost makes you want to go buy a new baby cage, not a bed. You are excited at his growth and at the same time petrified that moving forward will actually seem like moving backward because you run the risk of ruining the "easy" that you've finally reached. He sleeps through the night, he goes to bed like a dream, but now he is moving into this huge vast space and maybe he will cry and run out of the room. Maybe he will wake up 50 times a night. Maybe we will be on the next Supernanny spending 2 hours a night trying to get our formerly easy bedtime guy into bed. Maybe it isn't worth the risk and maybe having a 14 year old still sleeping in his crib isn't such a bad idea. But this time, this one time.... we moved forward and we kept the easy.

So today, not even slushy floors or poop eating dogs are going to ruin my day. Today is just good. Now.... onto potty training....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

300 Posts... Second Verse, Same as the First

Ok, so I am writing my 300th blog post right now, and while yay for me for sticking to it that long, I am realizing that as I look back through the 299 prior to this... I haven't really gotten anywhere. I liken my life to treading water or being stuck in the snow (metaphors are apparently seasonal in my world) because there seems to be a lot of effort taking place, but I am not really getting anywhere.

Maybe it is the horrendous cold that my entire family (Tabbi excluded... apparently she has a super human immune system) is suffering from, or maybe it is the chick-lit that I just read focusing on marriage/stay home mom issues.... but I am feeling a little down. And by a little down, I mean worms are higher than I am.

I am pondering things in my life right now and I guess questioning what I am doing. Am I really supposed to be fulfilled by this life that I have chosen? Don't get me wrong all you anonymous commenters who love to spring up and tell me that I am a horrible mother and should either off myself or sell my children on Ebay, I actually do love my children. Really, I love them more than life itself. I found myself praying to God that he give me Jack's cold on top of mine just to save him the pain and discomfort that he felt for days. But, loving them an indescribable amount is not tantamount to feeling self satisfied at the end of the day. I was telling my friend Laura the Famous the other day that I measured my success as a human being on Monday by the fact that I made a pretty good meatloaf for dinner. That being said, Tuesday I was a failure because I made Mark bring in Chinese. And really? That is what I bring to my world? DINNER PLANS!?!?!?!

Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique in 1963, and it was devoted to the same questions that I am pondering now. "Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night -- she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question -- 'Is this all?'" The problem, dear Betty, is that you didn't include an instruction manual on figuring it out and then fixing the problem. Write that, my dear girl (who is deceased and therefore probably not going to answer my call), and you'll have a best seller.

And so I sit here in 2011 after a Saturday dinner of Steak and Shake, because I am too under the weather to cook, and the boys are fighting over who gets to fix the hook the cleaning toys hang on in the playroom, and the dog is whining at me to be fed, and the drum set no one is playing with is drumming away at top volume, and Mark is sitting on the floor completely tuning out Koda the dinosaur as it roars at no one in particular.... and I am wondering right along with the housewives of 1963... is this all? I love my husband (most of the time), I love the kids (all of the time), but I am finding that I don't love myself very much at all these days. And maybe that is the biggest short coming I have as a wife and a mother right now... even worse than dinner from Steak and Shake.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I'd Light a Candle...

If I were as Catholic as I probably should be, I would walk into a church today and I would light a candle. I would light a candle for the people involved in the senseless massacre in Arizona yesterday and I would pray that some time soon, the world could just make sense.

I would light a candle for the Congresswoman that was shot in the head, an attempted assassination from a man that took his politics way too far. I would light her candle and I would pray that God watches over her recovery. But, then I would move on. Sadly, you enter in the world of politics with some awareness of the danger you are opening yourself up to. You know that there will be opposition from extremes (no matter what side you are on) and you know that security and caution will be regular parts of your world. Be they Presidents, Senators, or Congress.... you make a choice to enter into that world fully knowing that sadly, you will receive death threats, and some day someone might follow through. It is a tragic commentary on our world, but it is a fact.

I would move on and I would light a candle and pray for the 9 year old little girl that died yesterday. A girl so young that she didn't even have time to choose a side in the political drama that caused her to die. A child who disappeared from this planet because some man was so driven by his politics that not only did he need to take out his opposition, he didn't even care who else went out, too. Is that what our country has become? We have transformed our country's leadership debate from an intellectual conversation into a physical fight, and we don't even look to see who or what is caught in the middle. The people who walk into the cross hairs when you might be targeting someone else.... I would light a candle for the little girl whose name I should never have known. But thanks to an act of evil, I do. I'd light a candle for Christina Taylor Green, whose life was cut short by a mad man with a gun.

I would also light a candle for the souls of the people that I blame for this occurrence. I would light a candle for the diseased man who pulled the trigger and pray that some day he understands the pain that he has inflicted. I would pray that he realize that his only success in this horror was pain. The government in all of its flaws and opposing views will continue, but the families of his innocent victims will be effected forever. Then, I would light a second candle for the people of power and influence that fed into this man's decision. I would pray that THEY understand the pain that THEY caused by pushing debate into destruction, and by changing voices into violence. I pray that they some day realize that there are better ways to effect change than to incite rage. I would pray for those people. I know who they are, and they do, too. I would pray that God has mercy on their souls, because no one who now knows the name of little Christina Green should.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Here's What I Have to Deal With...

Alternate Title: A Warning to My Single Friends.....

The following is an accurate recreation of dialog that took place in my bedroom last night. (No, don't get grossed out. The bedroom part does not come in to play). Instead of puking, please enjoy a conversation with Mark regarding new shoes he bought during his lunch hour.

Mark removes black, slip on, leather dress shoes from their box. Shoes evoke image of old man in wife beater, plaid shorts, black socks and these shoes.
Me: Wow. Old man shoes?
Mark: What do you mean? I thought they looked good.
Me: Ok. They are your shoes. But, didn't you have a pair EXACTLY like it in brown when you first started at your job, but you hate them and never wear them?
Mark: No. These are my brown shoes (fetching brown leather dress "sneakers" if those actually exist).
Me: I know that. But, you had a pair exactly like this that you HATED.
Mark: No, these are the only brown shoes I have.
Me: Ok, but I know you hated the old man brown shoes and I know you had them.
Mark: Oh yeah... but I got rid of them because they were ugly.
Crickets..... yeah.... that was kinda my point.
Me (moving past the black, old man shoes that match exactly the brown, old man shoes that he never wore and admittedly got rid of because they were ugly): I thought you said you needed brown shoes, anyway?
Mark: No, I said black.
Me: No, I swear you said brown.
Mark: Nope, black.
Me (because I hate being wrong, and am never wrong... really, it is rare): No, you said brown.
Mark: Ok, I am not going to argue with you (which is not true because he clearly is arguing with me, so why say that????), but I said black.
Me: Fine. Except you said brown, and based on what you just said 30 seconds ago, you got rid of your brown shoes.... so don't you need brown?
Mark: Oh, well I bought these, too (showing me the new brown shoes on his feet).

Nothing much was intelligible after that, as I spent the next hour slamming my head into the wall, as it is easier than discussing shoes with my husband.