Let Us Not Forget the Cool Shit About Being an Adult

As grown ups, we often make snarky remarks about how we wish our kids realized how lucky they have it. We bathe them, cook for them, feed them, clothe them, play with them, push them around in shopping carts and strollers. Hell, we even wipe their asses. And more often than not, they just don’t seem to get how awesome that is of us.

But, seriously, they’re kids. They don’t know it any other way. I consider myself lucky that my three year old is an all around happy girl, and I hear her say “thank you” all the time without being prompted. Makes my heart swell with pride every time I hear it. She bounces with excitement any time she receives a gift, and seems genuinely grateful, no matter what it is.

But, anytime we do have a frustrating day, I try and make myself think about how hard kids really can have it. They have next to no control over their daily lives. How confusing it must be to them when we encourage every new milestone, every new word, every first step, when they are babies, only to be met with “don’t run!”, “don’t touch that!”, “not so loud!” as soon as they reach toddlerhood.
I try to keep all this in mind, and give my girl as many choices as I can. Within reason, of course.

 I also try to make sure she has an outlet for things. Now that she has a seven month old sister, she hears me telling her on a daily basis that we have to be quiet so that we don’t wake up Stella. No doubt she gets tired of hearing it. Sometimes as soon as Stella is up, I ask Sofia to give me the biggest dinosaur roar she can muster.

A big grin will spread across her face as she yawps out a mighty “RRRrroooaaaaarrrrrrrRRR!!!!”

If it’s bedtime and I can’t seem to get her pajamas on because she has so much nervous energy she may as well be tapping out a Fred Astaire routine, sometimes I’ll just stop, take a deep breath, and give her a minute. I’ll tell her I need her to wiggle as much as she can. Hubs and I will clap and yell “wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle!” as she shimmies around. When she’s finally done we give getting dressed another go. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it doesn’t. 

And, while keeping an empathetic mind on the frustrations of our children, let us also keep in check our attitudes toward adulthood.

I know. I know. Waking up to an alarm every day to go to a frustrating job, or to deal with all the ups and downs of being a homemaker, can be a real killjoy sometimes. Paying bills sucks. Dealing with traffic sucks. Hell, just having to be a responsible adult is often quite a downer. We worry about our present. We worry about our future. Sometimes we worry about our past.

And, it’s all valid. There’s a lot of shit to worry about, stress about, and obsess about as a grown up.

To soften the blow of that reality, here’s a couple of things that make adulthood not so shitty.

1. Wine. Or beer. Or rum. Whatever your flavor. Having a nice, relaxing drink. Damn, it’s good.

2. Sex. Doesnt really seem like that needs more explanation.

3. You can eat what you want. And, you don’t have to eat what you don’t want to. Generally, there’s no one haggling over how many bites of broccoli you’ve taken. If you’re feeling particularly sassy, you can even have dessert for dinner. Or breakfast! 

4. You can drive. Sure. Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass. But, you can do it. You don’t have to negotiate with your mom over chores so that she’ll give you a ride to hang out with your friends. 

5. You can watch (and read) whatever the hell you want. (Granted, you often have to wait until the nuggets are asleep.) You can have a Rambo marathon, or watch twenty hours of Battlestar Galactica, or watch Showgirls. You can spend weeks doing nothing but reading your favorite trade paperbacks. No one gives a shit. You don’t need anyone’s permission.

6. You pick what you wear. Most days I’ll let Sofia pick from two things to wear. If she gets no choice, she may complain and try to refuse to get dressed. If she has too many options she can’t focus or make up her mind. Then when Mommy decides on an outfit it will inevitably be the one thing she refuses to wear.

Within the unavoidable limit of budget, grown ups dress themselves however the hell they want to. I get in a rut sometimes and don’t think about that. When you’re a grown up, every day can be dress up day. I can wear a fancy dress, or live in yoga pants for days on end.

Now I just need to figure out who to talk to about making some of the kids clothes I find in adult sizes;)

7. In addition to what you wear, you’re In charge of you’re own appearance. I can wear red lipstick if I’m feeling sassy. I can highlight my hair. I can pierce my nose. I can get a tattoo. I can shave my head, or dye my hair green. I can wear flip flops in January, or knee high boots in June. I can do whatever the hell I want. It’s pretty sweet.

The list could go on and on. But, in short, grown ups can do what they want, eat what they want, drink what they want, wear what they want, have a dog if they want, take a vacation to Paris, or ComicCon. Whatever the hell they want. Not too shabby. 

Of course, this is not to minimize the frustrations we feel. Or the circumstances that can limit us. But, we should all try and remember the good stuff on the days when we’re being little bitches, and take it all in stride;)

  

  

A Quote For Today

Time to read is about as rare as snowfall in central Texas these days. Also, I’m a fairly slow reader. As much as I adore to delve into a good book, the journey tends to take me a while. But, I still try and devote time to it whenever I can find a minute. 

  

I recently picked up a copy of Bohemian Paris by Dan Franck. As I snuggled up in bed and opened the book to the preface, I was met with this beautiful beginning:

“A world without art would be blind to itself. It would be confined within the boundaries imposed by simplistic rules. This is why totalitarian regimes, when they rise to power, set out to censor, prohibit and burn. This is how they destroy ideas, dreams, memory, and the expression of differences, which are the fertile soil from which artists spring.”

Love it.

Not only does it remind me to be so incredibly grateful for the freedoms I have, but it is a lovely reminder that art can gift a wonderful reflection of life, and change of perspective. 

It makes me itch to pick up a paintbrush again. But, for now I will be patient and cuddle my snuggly Squeaker.

  

A Great Day

I had a great day with my girls.

As a stay at home mom, I freely admit that I have an incredibly hard time balancing my responsibilities. I feel like I don’t really have to expound on that. Y’all feel me.

But, this morning I decided. I just wanted to hang out with my girls. After breakfast we watched some cartoons while we ever-so-slowly got dressed for the day. Halfway through, my five month old nugget fell asleep in my lap. Instead of freaking out about the time, or worrying about how much I need to get her used to sleeping in her crib, I just chilled while she slept. In hindsight, I don’t really think it made a damn bit of difference that we watched one more Paw Patrol. Except, that I got some exceptional cuddles, and my three year old was pretty stoked about her cartoon.

After somehow managing to put eyeliner on with a wiggly baby in my lap, we loaded up into the car and drove to our neighborhood park. Doodlebug was super stoked that there was another little girl to play with. The little one’s grandma made a passing comment that I resembled Snow White, and my head swelled to three times its normal size.

While Squeaker snuggled up in her car seat where I could keep an eye on her, I climbed the playscape and roared down the curly slide with Doodlebug a few times. After getting Sofia going nice and high on her swing, I hopped onto the one next to her.

If adults spent a bit more time playing at playgrounds too, I think the world may be a better place.

After playing we had leftovers for lunch, and then Quiet Time. This daily ritual in our house came about when Doodlebug started striking against naps, and we realized that without some downtime our evenings were incredibly grumpy and trying. So, she plays in her room for a while every day. No tv. No distractions. Just her, and her imagination.

After that, I decided on popcorn and a movie. We usually reserve popcorn for those rarest occasions when Sofia actually does, by some miracle, take a nap. But today, I thought, what the hell. I want popcorn.

We made a pillow pile in the middle of the living room. While Stella gurgled and rolled around, Sofia and I watched ParaNorman.

There’s a reason that watching that particular movie was especially awesome today. Sofia fell in love with it when she was about two years old. For the longest time we would watch it almost every day. And honestly, I never got tired of it. Around the time she turned three it seemed like out of nowhere she was suddenly terrified of so many things. ParaNorman included. I missed it.

Our pediatrician insists that having sudden fear of so many things is a completely normal phase. But what makes me so proud of Sofia is how we can tell that when she does become frightened of something, she tries to find a way to work through it.

I could tell she was nervous when we first started the movie. She even suggested a couple of times that we watch it later instead. But, I kept it playing. Afterward she told me how much she loved it, and that she wants to watch it all the time now.

It made me so happy.

Then we went on a walk and I pushed Stella in her stroller while Sofia trailed behind us on her bike. We got back to the house around the same time as hubs and went inside for dinner.

Despite my promise to myself that I wouldn’t worry about the house or chores today, I definitely got frazzled this evening when it was time to get ready for bed and all I could see around me was things that needed to be picked up or cleaned. But, tomorrow I can worry again about the laundry, and the floors. 

I’m really glad I had today.

   
 

Dear Blog, I Didn’t Forget About You

What’s been up:

Not much time available to sit in front of my computer to ponder the meaning of life these days. No need. My five month old, three and a half year old, and husband remind me of it on a daily basis. Even on our roughest days my last thoughts before slipping off to a restless sleep next to my nursing babe is how much I love my family.

The last few months have passed in a blink of the eye. I feel like I work hard every day to end it with a bigger to do list than I began with. But, it’s ok. Sure, I get frustrated that it takes a full week sometimes to put away a load of laundry. But, I’m happy.

The first couple of months following my Stella’s birth were the normal rounds of beautiful chaos comprised of visitors, doctor’s appointments, and adjusting to adding a new squeaky addition to our family. Poor nugget suffered from some pretty severe GERD. Thanks to our patient and attentive pediatrician, we found a dosage of medicine to keep her out of pain. A complete difference of night and day! This baby easily spends the majority of her wakeful hours with a gigantic grin on her face:) (Pitter-patter my heart!)

12189177_10208123464313589_2305270692937326439_n

I’m constantly baffled by how grown up Number 1 is these days. She is an absolutely fabulous big sister. She deals with the frustration of sharing mine and her daddy’s attention, as any kid does. But, she dotes on Squeaker in such a fantastic way. She’s a bit scared to hold her, but she goes out of her way every day to try ad make her smile. These two will be unstoppable when they’re older!

12065843_10208098027637688_4004629511441074178_n

Halloween is a big event for the Pippin family each year. And, I think this year was our most amazing yet. For months and months before Halloween Sofia had been asking to be the cat bus from Totoro. I honestly have no idea how I managed it with a newborn, but she got her wish. It was worth every tired, frustrated, and determined stitch to see her glow with happiness when she finally got to wear her costume on Halloween:) The whole family joined in on the Totoro fun, and we had a splendid night.

12193751_10208073656148416_4892547897184575023_n

12187761_10208073354740881_2994677205406153110_n

11231321_10208074268803732_6251538257211460648_n

With Halloween passed, and Thanksgiving over in a flash, we are in full Christmas mode. Sofia’s newest obsession is The Nightmare Before Christmas. I, obviously, approve. I dusted off my old glass ornaments and handed them down to her this year, and made a Jack Skellington tree topper with a bit of paint and an old ornament. Our days are whizzing by as we bake holiday cookies and await Christmas.

12278992_10208166675073831_9206412600748779984_n

Writing makes me chill, so I will be making an extra effort to giving a bit more attention to it. Hopefully my blog will not go on so neglected.

Cheers.

Sometimes I Just Get Pissed Off

No. This is not a rant about my kids. Trust me. My week has had its ups and downs, but I have no complaints. I love my life.

Sometimes I just get pissed off. I get angry about things around me. Mostly things I can’t control. Sometimes it just feels like the world is filled up with a bunch of fucked up.

All the stuff that gets me riled up is most evident online. It saturates the news feeds. It hides in the veiled racism. It screams from the open misogyny. It blares from the blatant self righteousness that seems to ooze out of every corner of the internet. It makes me want to scream.

But, I won’t.

Today I’ve decided that I’m going to do something else instead. I’m going to light a candle. I am not a religious person. But, I believe in the human spirit. And, I believe in the positive effect of meditation, even if it’s just for me.

Today I light my candle for so many things:

For anyone who has a good heart, and is earnestly trying to be a servant of the public, I light this candle for you.

For anyone who has ever been a victim of the abuse of power, I light this candle for you.

For anyone who has ever been mistreated because of their race (whatever race), I light this candle for you.

For anyone who has been mistreated because of their sexual orientation, I light this candle for you.

For anyone who is told that they are “less than” because they are a woman, you are not. And, I light this candle for you.

For anyone who has been tormented because of their beliefs that bring no harm to others, I light this candle for you.

For anyone who has lost their lives or loved ones trying to fight for a better world for their children, I light this candle for you.

For those who are hardened with self righteousness, may your heart soften instead with love. I light this candle for you.

For those who would bring harm to others because they are “different”, may your heart fill with peace and acceptance. I light this candle for you.

For those who are soured with prejudice, may your heart sweeten instead with love. I light this candle for you.

For those who burn with hate, may your heart cool with overwhelming peace. I light this candle for you.

For everyone being a better version of themselves.

For peace.

For love.

For hope.

May this world be a better place for our children.

May we be better people for our children.

IMG_8102

Birthing Babies and Such…

The last couple of months have been a complete whirlwind. On June 22nd we welcomed nugget number 2 into the world. Stella Ann was born after only four and a half hours of labor.

10426142_10207171179187056_4097652453919439289_n

Although my labor was relatively short, it was still pretty intense. I was induced at 38 weeks to avoid any complications due to gestational diabetes. I developed gestational diabetes in my third trimester with both of my pregnancies. However, with my first pregnancy I was able to manage my blood sugar with a strict diet and medicine. Much to my dismay, this time around no amount of cutting carbs was able to keep my sugars under control. And, the medicine I was prescribed did squat.

If you’ve never been hugely and uncomfortably pregnant, with raging hormones, a mad craving for a cupcake, while not being allowed to eat anything sweet, lemme tell you…. well, you can imagine.

For some reason, the hormones were just too damn strong for the meds this time around and I had to spend the last two months or so of my pregnancy giving myself insulin shots, four times a day. To some people this may seem like no big thing. But, I’m a big wuss. So, to me, it was colossal. Both of my thighs were bruised from top to bottom from the shots. I shed a lot of tears. In all sincerity, my heart goes out to anyone who has to deal with diabetes on a daily basis.

But, I’d crawl through hell and back for either of my girls, so….

Number 1 stayed at home with Nana while hubs and I checked into the hospital. Because of the diabetes the nurses had to check my blood sugar every hour during labor. At one point it fell into the forties. For anyone not familiar, that is pretty damn low. It took two rounds of a glucose drip to bring it back up. Once that was sorted I was able to get my epidural. As the epidural kicked in my blood pressure dropped and I had to be given a shot of epinephrine. Oi. But thanks to my fab nurses I was well taken care of.

I remember after everything settled one of the nurses telling me that it should be a couple of more hours before I should expect to be ready to push, and everyone except hubs left the room. As I laid back, ready to relax and catch a few z’s, a searing pain came out of nowhere. Jason called the nurses, and in a flash everyone was in my room again, and Stella popped out with one push. My labor moved along so fast that the epidural wasn’t able to keep up with the pain. I felt the whole damn thing. Hats off to anyone who manages to go through labor without an epidural and spend hours pushing. I seriously don’t know if I could do it. Cheers.

The first night was a long one. Despite being militant with my diet and completely diligent with my insulin shots, my baby’s blood sugar fell slightly low after she was born. She had to be given formula, despite my desperate wish to breastfeed only, and her blood sugar had to be checked every couple of hours. So, I had a night full of nurses coming in every hour or two, pricking Stella’s heel, and telling me that if her blood sugar didn’t stay above 50, she’d have to be moved to the NICU and put on a glucose drip. No pressure. Thankfully, we made it through, and the little booger’s sugar levels came up enough to be in the clear.

Needless to say, I immediately fell completely in love with this new little person. She is sweet, cuddly, gorgeous, and totally badass. The most amazing moment of my hospital stay was undoubtedly when Number 1 came to visit and met Number 2 for the first time. Sofia’s face washed over with a look of pure love.

11159958_10207172350816346_2670163132293266659_n

The last six weeks have been filled with the excitement of having all three sets of grandparents visit. Number 1 has been incredibly patient with having a newborn in the house, and has been over the moon with the playtime she’s had with our visitors. And, thanks to my husband’s kickass employer, he gets to spend the first 8 weeks at home with us.

10426604_10207269179276997_8420951825562243797_n11401513_10207312965291620_7755866605136576217_n

1506678_594184384055817_2610858004129129706_n11703311_10207466605332525_2170559424315243208_n

Even though my pregnancy had its tough moments, and even though we’ve had our share of sleepless nights the last several weeks, it has been amazing. I already can’t imagine the world without Stella. I can already tell that she will be just as kind, and smart, and fierce as Sofia.

11223584_10207245722290587_3985572817409414581_n11737982_10207328247353662_760565846956433150_n11141224_10207359586817129_2228841460160216303_n

My little family now feels complete.