Monday, November 26, 2007

This Post is part of an initiative to Post More Frequently. Thank you!

Oh, we are home; we got home at 1 in the morning, and I am Tired and Discombobulated and needing a Nap (or maybe more coffee.) And a million things to do (unpack, call pediatrician about insurance, etc etc) but so far all I've accomplished is catching up on blog-reading and eating waffles and coffee. And a couple of diaper changes.

My life is SO TERRIBLY EXCITING. I can see you trembling with the exhileration. ;-)

These days, I am loving my Goodreads. It is like Facebook With an Actual Purpose. SO happy. And with birthday monies from Mama and Daddy, I shall buy more books and read them and add them to the list. Joy!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Hope yours was just as lovely.

I'm 28 now. I'm almost 30. I think in my head I'm still 22.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving through the years, Continued

Okay, baby napping in Nate's sling for the moment. Continuing:

Thanksgiving 2004

An absolutely horrific picture of me in my pajamas! But here we are, one big happy family:

My birthday cake appears in the lower right-hand corner. Are you thinking I'm looking a little large-and-in-charge here? I was; after some Thyroid Failure months and Zoloft-induced-happiness-eating, I was at my heaviest non-pregnant weight at this point (same thing I weighed about a month before Madelaine was born.) Two months later I got a stomach virus and lost 10 lbs (long-term!)

Also, I was working on my second quilt:

Thanksgiving 2005

On THIS birthday, I was the joy of my parents' lives!

Here you see fairly short hair (though not as short as at the moment!) and my graduate school thumb ring.

Also: Chris and Jordana had a BABY! :-)

And, for good measure, here's a picture from Christmas 2005:
Are you appreciating Nate's peach shirt in a sea of shades of red?? I sure am!!

Thanksgiving 2006

On this birthday, I was back to being an angel!!

Here, I have Good Hair AND I've lost 10 lbs due to Graduate School Mania:

This is just a few weeks before I got pregnant with The Chicken!!

And just so you don't think I'm TOO narcissistic with the pictures of myself, here's a great one I found of my brother and sister. Check out the monotone hottness!! And they claim they're not "Emo" (whatever that means.) Heh!
Okay, my husband has informed me that our little Gobbler has pooped, so off to diaper-change land. Thanks for sharing these little gems off my parents' hard drive.

Later! Love,

My Little Butterball

Guess what I'm thankful for this year. ;-)


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving through the years: A Trip Through Memory Lane!

Hey, happy turkey world.

I'm here at my parents' house, and cruising through their "My Pictures" files I've dug up many scenes of Thanksgivings past- through good hair and bad, odd and wonderful fashion stages... and I'm here to share the goods!


1) My mom thought I was an angel on my BD:

2) I worked REALLY hard to finish this crosstitch project

as a gift for Chris and Jordana, who came over to our house to play;

3) I had good, but long, hair, and OH MY GOODNESS THOSE PANTS FIT ME BACK THEN...???

4) We got A Lot Of Snow!!

*Baby crying; To Be Continued Tomorrow*

Friday, November 16, 2007

Why, Yes! Yes they DO make something for this!

This has been added to my Wish List. :-)

Just a thought...

Whoever came up with "Cover edges of pie with aluminum foil to keep from browning?"

Do they actually think this task is achievable by mortal humans with burnable flesh? I mean, how exactly DO you go about getting strips of aluminum foil to wrap tightly enough to stay around the edges of a pie that's been in the oven for 45 minutes?

Any thoughts here, those of you who are actually competent in the kitchen...?

And: do they make a Kitchen Gadget for this? If not, they should.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

I Have Now Solved All My Problems!! (Ha ha)

Hey, gang. Well, after the mini-organizational-meltdown in my last post, I sat down with a good pen and a pad of paper and made A Plan.

Forming this Plan is basically an acknowledgment of the fact that I've been craving more structure in my life, and that my original attempts to better organize my time and activities as a SAHM had gradually fallen apart.

So here's how it works: borrowing the idea from FlyLady of having a morning "routine," (I prefer the term "checklist," as that makes it clear that this is NOT a schedule), I created sort of an outline of what I spend my time doing, and then made a list of things that need to get done every morning. It goes like this:

1) Make coffee (none of you are surprised that that one's first, are you...?), eat breakfast
2) Read devotions online (I'm doing the Bible-In-A-Year program on, spend some time in prayer; assuming the baby wakes up during this process, sing some hymns with her and read her a story out of her Bible story book.
3) Change, bathe (if necessary), dress, nurse the baby (interspersed with #2, if necessary)
4) Exercise (I'm trying to go for a walk 3 times a week ("cardiovascular fitness." yeah, right) and lift weights/ do stomach exercises twice a week, with maybe "something fun" on the weekends (like hiking or ice skating.) ("Something fun" in the arena of physical activity is challenging for me, as there isn't much I enjoy. I have always wished that I could swim laps or play tennis or soccer. Maybe in Heaven...?) Anyway, when the weather is really bitterly cold I don't know how I'll handle the walking part- after Christmas I can go to the mall 3 min. away, but before Christmas, forget it!
5) Shower, get dressed in real clothes, brush teeth, etc.
6) Wash dishes/clean countertops/ sweep kitchen; tidy up the living room/bedroom. (I used to try to do this at night, but I finally realized it's really useless to plan to do anything right before bed; when I want to go to bed, I want to go to bed!)
7) Housework task of the day, which is:

Monday- Dust and vacuum (probably not dusting every week...)
Tuesday- Mop the kitchen floor/ clean kitchen more thoroughly
Wednesday- Clean the bathroom
Thursday- Pay bills (or other personal business like scheduling appointments or writing thank-you notes)
Friday- Laundry
Saturday- Groceries

Once I get through the checklist each day, then I'm FREE to do fun stuff (the stuff that I always end up doing anyway without making an effort)- reading (books and blogs), writing, hanging out with friends, phone time, emailing, random web surfing, contemplating (and, very rarely, actually carrying out) various craft projects, attempting to keep up with processing the photographs of our adorable child (over 70 pictures during her third month!! Is that too many...?), VERY vaguely contemplating that I'd like to learn to cook more things/ have an organized recipe book, and very VERY vaguely contemplating Gardening. There may be Dead Plants on my balcony, friends, but there is a Garden in my head. And all of you know it.

So, this is all not JUST about consistently getting things like housework done (although that's part of it), or even feeling more organized and not driving myself crazy (which is a BIG part of it). It's also about looking down the long road of parenting, thinking about what I want to teach Madelaine about using time intentionally and purposely, instead of aimlessly and wastefully. I would love it if she were one of those people who can master the art of getting work done with reasonable degrees of quality and speed and then enjoying play time guilt-free, instead of one of those people (like me) who procrastinate and stress and struggle. And I have a hunch that most kids don't learn the art of good time management out of the blue- that having a parent who can LIVE this way (instead of just preaching it) would make a big difference.

It's awesome how having kids makes you tackle the things in your own life that have always plagued you.

Love, NEB

PS Are you wondering how long it takes me to get through the morning checklist? Well, the baby and I spend about 12 hours in bed every night anyway (waking up to nurse frequently, so the total time has to be quite long for me to feel well-rested); so our days are already short. With interruptions to nurse and change diapers and comfort and entertain the baby, plus the phone ringing and my self-distractions (which I try to minimize), it's usually dark outside by the time I get through the "morning" checklist. But really, so far I've been happy with it, because I know I've accomplished a good amount each day and I can do other things guilt-free.

PPS Can someone ask me in a month if I'm still doing this...? :-)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Overwhelmed by the Unbearable Wonder of Being

Get dressed, put in contacts, brush teeth
Coffee, breakfast
Change, bathe, dress baby
Read the Bible online

get distracted
CBE/CBMW: look up all the references? study?
Topical Bible study?
Prayer life?
Exercise? Go to the mall and walk? Situps? Buy an exercise bike? Used? Craisglist? Freecycle? When we have a job again?

Fold the laundry
Pay bills

Make more coffee

Learn to cook- healthy? Cheap? Tasty? Organize recipes? Learn to plan a grocery list on a budget with a menu in mind? Wash dishes. Clean the kitchen.

Catch up on photos. Find an efficient way to upload to Snapfish and get prints. Photo Christmas cards? Christmas newsletter? e-letters save postage, lack charm. Photo gifts for grandparents? 3-month blog post with pictures.

Reading. CS Lewis. Set Reading Goals. Write about what you're reading in blog. Abandoned Perelandra entry; entry about Perelandra entry. Resume? Or just keep moving?

Spend some time with Nate. Without the baby?

Call some friends. Make plans to get together.

Ministry? Resume nursery? Or something a little more gutsy. Outreach? Witnessing?

Crafts. Sewing things for the baby. Christmas quilt?

Celtic Christmas music. Fireplaces. Learn to sing better? Learn the words to more hymns.

Figure out some activities with a 3-month-old.

Resume study of maths? Begin where we always begin again: at the end of the Calculus book.

These, and many more things, are on my mind. These are why I haven't been blogging.

Life overwhelms me with its choices sometimes. And because I cannot engage in 5 activities all at once, at time I become paralysed, doing little or nothing.

I am like a five year old, released in a giant room with 1,000,000 toys. There are so many to play with that I just stand there, unable to choose.

I'm not unhappy; on the contrary, I am joyful and peaceful and thankful for everything that I have. My brain just seems to me fundamentally wired in such a way that I struggle with deciding what to do on a daily basis. And because I cannot seem to make decisions about what is most important- because I cannot prioritize- I often have the sensation of living my life randomly, of filling my time randomly instead of purposefully and intentionally. I give myself an F for time management skills. I crave more structure, an ability to make decisions about time in some capacity beyond Randomness.

Today I feel like the main character in "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time," so overwhelmed by the millions of possibilities of life that I cannot function like a normal person.

I have so many options for what to do that I have nothing to do.

Don't worry. Again, I'm not unhappy. The sensation has come before and it will, no doubt, pass.