Thursday, February 24, 2011


I was at the grocery store this morning, buying (amongst other things) newborn diapers and formula and I really had to suppress the urge to cry.  I had the same urge after my doctor appointment on Tuesday.  It's a combo of excitement, anxiety and anticipation - for all the joy, stress, fatigue, love and uncertainty heading our way.

Aggie has been in to giving hugs recently, mainly after she's fallen down or conked her head (never really hard, just tiny bumps).  It is heaven to just sit there and hold her.  Now I'm going to start crying for reals.  I can't believe we get a second opportunity to go through this with another child.  I feel so blessed.

I am hopeful that this time around, during the newborn stage, I will be more relaxed and able to enjoy it more.  Not just because I've done it before, but because I have no job to think about going back to, no worries over child care, and a whole summer to look forward to.

Another wonderful picture by Aunty Ruu:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


So, I had a Zen moment while driving to Grocery Outlet yesterday.  I was thinking about losing my job ten months ago and losing out on another job last summer and the resentment I held towards two people in particular about those lost opportunities.  I realized had they not thwarted my efforts, I would not be where I am today - having grown a lot as a person and in the process of growing another person.  I was able to let go of some of my anger towards them, which felt good, since it made more room for my growing excitement.

Later, I told this to Jason and he said he'd rather think that I took two awful situations and rose above them and made my life better.  I like this perspective as well.

One perspective need not negate the other.  People give you gifts all the time and sometimes they just sit on the shelf collecting dust.  And sometimes you pick them up and use them in ways intended and not intended.  I suspect neither person, by firing/not hiring me, were intending to give me a gift, but they nonetheless did.  And good on me for using it.

I guess I'm following Aggie's example and crowing about it:

Thanks, Aunty Ruu!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Aggie's New Room

Thanks to the incredible Ms. Amanda, who offered and followed-up on taking Aggie over night, I was able to get the last two tiny projects done on Ag's new room and take photos.

She really likes her new room and is sleeping on the new bed like a champ.  We've had a lot fewer nap/bed time struggles since the new bed.

Most of the new stuff we already had, but we did get the table, chairs and lamp at Ikea.  The shelf under the window was made by my grandmother - it's not only gorgeous but also a wonderful heirloom.  Jason installed the wall heater - so handy!  And the boxes that hold her stuffed animals?  Diaper boxes covered in wood-grain printed contact paper - so crafty!

You are What You Love

Things I Love:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Check it out!

My mother-in-law and I have opened an Etsy shop to sell some of her fabulous creations:

Showcase Sheila

Look to the right for some samples of the items we have for sale.

Please, if you don't mind, take a moment to check the full store out.  And then provide some feedback, on the prices, descriptions, etc.  And, if you want to be runner-up in the 2011 Friend of the Year Award*, buy something!  Yes, I can be bought.

*First place has already been awarded to the wonderful Amanda.  You could take away her title by giving birth to my daughter for me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Yesterday, a friend of mine emailed that he had taken on a task that was way outside his comfort zone and did I have any advice for him.  I gave him some practical advice to help him get through the task, but then I was zapped by a lightening bolt and told him: while the task might be outside your comfort zone, it's not outside your capabilities.

I was very pleased with myself.

And then I realized that it totally applies to my situation.

Being an FTP to two under the age of two is totally outside my comfort zone, but not my capabilities.


A few months ago, I was talking with a friend who is a mom to two tweens.  She was lamenting her ability to be a "good mom."  I stopped her and said, "you don't need to be a 'good' mom, just a mom."  And later realized how that also applies to me.

Not just to me, but anyone striving to be a "good" anything.

For a while, I thought my advice was a bit foolish - that being a mom was like being human.  And biologically speaking, that's true - just something you are and can't change.  But not emotionally.  I'm a mom when I show up every day and take care of that child by feeding her, playing with her, kissing her, etc.  Some days might go more smoothly and more happily than others, but I'm still a mom, every day.  Just like I'm a wife every day.  And I used to be an employee every day.

Sometimes, showing up and going through the motions, that's enough because you're at least present.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Baby Steps

So, I had a little success today that I wanted to share with all of you.  Remember how yesterday I said I got tired of hearing myself tell Aggie "no"?  Well, today it dawned on me that instead of telling her what I didn't want her to do, I could tell her what I wanted her to do.  For example, when she started crawling in the bathroom, I said "please come back out to the living room to play or let's go into your room; the bathroom isn't a place to play."  And it worked (for the most part).  Duh - her little baby brain can't come up with alternatives to what she wants to do, it's so focused on the present.  I am very proud of myself for figuring this out and it felt a lot better to do, even when she didn't listen so well, because I didn't feel ignored or like a broken record.

For those of you sans children (and with, even), I think this can also apply to how we treat ourselves - instead of focusing on what we don't want to do ("Don't eat that brownie!"), we could focus on what we want ourselves to do ("Let's eat an apple.").  My examples are trite, but I think the main message has significance.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


That's a good sigh.  32 weeks today!  Getting really excited about meeting Amelia and welcoming her to Team D.  Got the iron ons in the mail yesterday, washed the clothing today, should be crafting soon!

Team D (minus the cats) had a great weekend - we took an impromptu-ish road trip!  Jason needed to do some site visits for work, so we joined him.  We made stops in Hermiston, Redmond, Bend (overnighted), Springfield, Eugene, Woodburn (overnighted) (all in Oregon) and White Salmon and Wishram, WA.  I was smart and booked us two room suites, so Aggie could go to bed and we (okay, I) could stay up and watch cable - how I love HDTV!  My friend, Miranda, graciously loaned us her portable DVD player, which was a life saver.  Before kids, we swore we'd never use one.  Now, we're pondering making an investment in one and Shawn the Sheep DVDs.

Aggie's going through some changes right now.  She's becoming more clingy, which is totally normal for a kid her age.  I'm trying to roll with it - comfort and stay with her when I can, give her a kiss and walk away quickly when I can't.  Sometimes it's hard, sometimes annoying.  She also doesn't listen too well lately; I should rephrase that - she's testing boundaries.  Another totally age appropriate thing, but I got very tired of hearing myself say yesterday, "No, Aggie!"  When I can, I try to let go of those things that aren't a big deal and just go with the flow (like her wanting to go upstairs when I'd prefer to stay down), and being consistent with other things (like playing in the pets' water dish).  I try to say 'no' a few times before physically removing her from the situation, so she has a chance to make a better choice (something she used to do - and I'm sure (hope, pray) she'll do again one day).

And speaking of behaviors you wish your children would not engage in, I read a great post on Pacing the Panic Room about toddlers brains being like sponges and soaking up both good and bad influences.  This part really hit home:

  • Will I accept the credit for the bad qualities that she takes on from all of this sponging? If our kids grow up a little and they haul off and smack someone in the teeth, or they choose to bully weaker kids, will we say: "they learned that one from me?" Most parents immediately get all defensive and surprised and say: "Where on earth did you learn that from? Not from us!" Never thinking for a second it could be from them.

This reminded me of a struggle Aggie and I had during the road trip (over the DVD player of all things) and Jason asked if I could, essentially, tone the drama down.  I do engage in power struggles with Aggie more than I'd like.  Part of the reason we continue to do so is because I set that example.  So, continuing to work on dialing down the drama.  Perhaps that can be a code phrase or something - time to triple D this situation.

Aside from parenting topics, I can also discuss what's happening in Egypt, the state of forensic pathology in America and how you get no sick days on unemployment.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


Yesterday, I rediscovered a wonderful blog, Superhero Journal.  Her recent posts are particularly relevant for me because 1) she's a mom of an infant and a preschooler; and 2) she's written some great things about loving ourselves as we are right now (my NYR).  Here are some highlights:

I started wondering: What if 2011 was simply about being enough? Our bodies, our work, our lives? What if we chucked our insatiable drive to self-improve and simply created from a space of enoughness? What then? What if instead of designing our year from a place of lack, of trying to fix what’s broken (my list is long on this one) we created a solid foundation for ourselves? A place from which to create that was full and rich and a-okay?

But I also learn over and over again, that to appear to have it all together when you don't, (Who does?) leaves little room for others to connect deeply with you. It is a gift of connection we all miss out on.

We'd rather not risk being vulnerable because it feels scary... but often what we need is really simple. Like yesterday. I didn't need much. I didn't need a babysitter or a therapist or anyone to fix anything for me. I just needed company... I needed to know I wasn't alone. And it turns out my friend did too. For me, life is just sweeter when we're in it together.

I had been worried about posting about my struggles with parenting Aggie and being an FTP because I didn't want to seem like I was complaining or taking my life for granted or that I don't love Aggie.  The first two of on that list are true and that's okay.  But it has also allowed space for others to open up about their struggles.  For me, the more I can open up and release the struggle, the better I feel and do.  So thanks for reading and commenting.