Baby Bronson

First we had a lovely baby shower. Since Claire decorated her nursery with John Deere items we had to make all the food green and yellow. and of course some brownies which are brown. I can't tell you how upset the food ladies were to see the brown food. You can't blame me though- I wanted it to be all green and yellow! Some people claim that color doesn't matter but they are clearly not in touch with what a baby shower should be. Claire's was pretty informal and I liked it- especially the happy Poms that she was going to go home with but are still living on the ceiling in my living room- because her baby, like a delightful child, came before his due date.
what a good baby.

My friend Claire had a baby and he is darling.
Bronson Bruce Mills Born August 12, 2010 9:39 pm 8 lbs 5 oz 19 1/2 in.
i got to go see him when he was a little over a week old. He was that fantastic age when they just curl up in a little ball. For a second I wanted a baby. He was just so warm and loving.
Then I realized I was crazy and tried to get some photos of that baby. I want to get better at photographing children. I even borrowed a book about it from Sara.

I thought it would be fun to get one of those knitted things you put the baby in a ball and take a photo of. The baby didn't really like it. Maybe those things are better for sleeping babies. It just kept covering his eyes and I gave up after two photos.

Bronson is super cute. He told us he was hungry shortly after I arrived.

Remember when baby mark was this small? I do. Claire looked fantastic for just having a baby. And she had a c-section! I hope she was still on pain killers which could explain her looking so chipper. She had makeup on.

Claire's mom was nice enough to hold a blanket up in the background. What a cute little family.

Bronson with mommy and daddy separately and together.

well I am loving my trial of lightroom but soon it will end and I might cry.
thanks for letting me visit your cute baby, Claire.


to John

Well John wanted me to Post about young Adult vampire novels I read. that's not all I read though. I also read urban fantasy and other crappy novels.
When I was in London there was someone that was into Auras. She said my aura was indigo and my secondary color as lavender. I guess lavender people like fantasy.
I've always wondered why I like fantasy novels. It's my aura! I really like lavender and indigo- they are great colors.

Melissa De La Cruz wrote a series. Vampires are fallen angels that followed Satan in the war in heaven. I think it has interesting ideas.

I've read all of Patricia Brigg's books. They are in the tri cities for the most part. She writes mostly about wearwolves. not for young adults.

I've read this whole series so far. I'm losing interest. Five books of her liking the same person and trying to drag out them getting together or not. boring.

House of Night Series- This series is interesting and fun but has some more inappropriate parts for young people and everyone wants one girl. I could see how young adults who haven't moved past the self involved stage of life would think this is the ultimate dream. There are two types of vampires, which I think is an interesting idea.

Vampire Diaries is a show I watched about three episodes of. It is based on a series of novels that is one of my least favorite. I think it's just written for a younger audience than I can appreciate.

and we can look at the four or five other series I've read later.
Ok it's way more than that...


what I did today

Well today I worked on getting John a desk space. and I put in some of the under cabinet lighting. I also put several toys in time out and played with my kiddos, including one super grouchy baby. I put the bowls from Brooke up on the shelf on his side, and the drawers are still full of my things. Overall I think it looks good.
just imagine how it would look with a happy little Jonathan adler fox and a pencil holder. I know- it's overwhelmingly exciting.


Sunday Thoughts: Sunday Activities.

I really hate it in church when people have extensive debates about what is appropriate on the Sabbath. I don't want my daughter to watch any TV on Sunday but in the end that just makes the day less restful for me. And the people who are the most militant about not cleaning on Sunday have dirty homes all week. I think if someone came over and cleaned my house and then made me dinner they are doing service and then I wouldn't be breaking the sabbath and neither would they.
So hopefully someone else will come over and paint my kitchen next Sunday.

Sunday is also a wonderful time for reflection.
Let's reflect on this week.

This week was a little bit melodramatic I think. But I really did think I was dying/friendless/never going to get our house fixed. Maybe on Sunday we can do a little activity: get a sheet of paper and make three columns: normal, melodramatic, and ignored. You can write down when you overreacted and when you let yourself get walked all over. Like when that "friend" told you she knew you were a large when you are actually a small.
Of course I am not a small so that would never make my list. But that is a Sunday activity- thinking about what I maybe overreacted to. Like setting a list of goals- Goal: don't yell at my mom for asking if I need something to eat but do yell at the girl who criticizes my cooking even though she's never cooked for me.
I find myself either ignoring things or being completely unreasonable. I also find myself wanting to landscape and clean my house on Sunday. If I find it calming to have it done than doing it is resting, right?
The other solution is to do lots of baking on Sunday, and writing letters. I used to write letters in church, which would also help me not get bothered by crazy things that some people say. Since now I primarily entertain myself with caring for children in church I don't leave quite as rested. Last week I thought for a long time about how we could build a kid pen in the chapel- just a section of chairs where people could sit and they could still hear but the children couldn't run up to the stand. I think the biting and hitting children shouldn't be allowed in the box, with a one strike and week and you are out. Or I could use some of those good kids that just sit and color rather than trying to climb on top of my head and color on their friends.

Good thing I'm still getting in that spiritual help to get me through the week, right? I didn't actually go to church today because I pulled my skirt out of my bag and it turned out to be pants and then Mark fell asleep so I stayed home. Then he screamed at me a lot while John was gone. On the plus side I also didn't clean anything because we are staying with Mark and Sara and their house is quite clean.

My week Goals:
Finish the Downstairs Bathroom Tile
Put up two shelves in the basement and organize a bit down there
Put all my laundry away. Not that I have a big pile I haven't put away yet because that would never happen...
Work out three times.
Take Danielle to her Dance class.
Sign Danielle up for gymnastics.
Do my visiting teaching.


Quality Time

I've noticed that I hate never seeing John since he is in school. He has only been back in school for one week. I'm not good at the adjustment period. All the nervousness about how stressful last year was is hard to remember so I'm trying to set simple goals and just get them done.
I know lots of women who never see their husbands. They see them less than I see John and their husbands are done with school.
These are the women who have no sympathy for me when I feel like I should mow the lawn myself and wish I could find someone who would do it for 25 dollars. or weed. They tell me I should just mow the lawn. Or put all the laundry away. Or take my children to many classes and organize my basement.
One of my friends has a husband in PA school. they have class almost 12 hours a day- she is pregnant and has a son.
One of the girls has a husband doing his residency. and four kids.
One of them has a husband that works nights- two kids
Another has a husband working to start up a company- four kids
Many of the others simply have husbands that seem to enjoy being at work more than at home.
I don't really feel like the women hang out with each other- they seem happy to be on their own. I am amazed at how much they get done. For some of them there is an end in sight- PA school only lasts two years. But I wonder about the women who will always have this. Does that make them sad? What do they talk to their husbands about? Some of them seem to not really like their husbands.
How much time do you need to feel connected to the person you are with? It's strange to me how part of having a family is how you divide your tasks. You can't do all the chores and work together- especially if you have children and you want to sleep.
I wonder how many people are truly happy and how many of them don't really care either way. I don't know if it comes down to an issue of how much quality time you need with the other person or how many interests you should have in common or what helps people be happy, but I think it's really important to feel like your family is succeeding.


Did I mention?

So I've been trying to update my etsy shop blog more faithfully. apparently people are more interested in my etsy dealings than my real life since it has more followers than this blog.
oh well! Matt and Carlie visited us. It was really fun. the less fun part was Danielle staying up almost all night screaming about seeing bugs. Until I realized what she was talking about- you know when you close your eyes and you have some after movement from light- do you know what I am talking about? She thought they were bugs.
I can imagine that would be horrifying. After she stayed up all night I was probably slightly less fun.
I get so anxious about John starting school- I have a whole page of summer house projects left!

It makes me want to cry.
Matt and Carlie have a cute little family. Eli pulls faces and it probably the cutest ever. I didn't get any shirts together for my etsy shop for him to model though, which totally bummed me out.

I was nervous to take their pictures but it was fun to go shopping with Carlie- she looks good in totally different stuff than I would pick out. At first I was like- really? But she can wear really "romantic" looking clothes. and she borrowed my awesome hair thing from Threadrare and my momma necklace from J Jill.


I got a little crazy with my month long trial of lightroom that I downloaded to edit their photos. What do you think?

Today (well actually I switched this with an earlier day but these things happen) I made some dish cloths in custom fabric for my sister in law Carlie. We made them together when she visited. She also used her made sewing skills to sew baby wipes for her cloth diapered baby. But we didn't take pictures of our projects together.
I still have the family pictures I took for them though. Their baby is terribly sweet. He plays peekaboo! He is so outgoing and has adorable big eyes. I have never met another baby that pulls faces like he does. It is fun to see how different he is than my little scowling baby- they are two days apart. I decided to post some of my favorite photos- who knows if they will be matt and Carlie's favorite. I am not a professional photographer but I did save all the money I made on Etsy until I could buy a nice camera. I switched from Cannon to Nikon because it was a little cheaper and I just can't get used to them. I want to go back.
I am not a professional photographer. I get scared that people won't like the pictures i take of them because I never like the ones of me. Except my sister Rachelle, who has significantly more experience and skill than I do, took some pictures of me where I look thinner and better than I normally do.
love that. I got a picture of Matt and Carlie kissing because they have pictures of them kissing like all over the world but I am too embarrassed to put it on my blog.


Murder: Sunday Thoughts

Does anyone else feel like a house is a black hole? I like doing home improvement projects but really sometimes it's too much. I got discouraged this weekend when Rose came over to help me with one of my flower beds and there were termites in it (it is over 30 feet from the house but I'm terrified here). So we bought lots of bug killer. I forgot to get one of those massive tanks to mix the poison in. and then it rained all day...
Tomorrow is bug Armageddon at my house. I bought rose plants online and there is no way some stupid ants are going to eat them all.


Dear Friend,

Dear Friend,
I just thought you should know that those shoes you wore today are hideous. They are the color of dirty feet. Like a grey brown dirty. Why can't we spell gray with an "e" anymore. I really feel like part of the joy in life was taken away with that change.
Also the shoes with toes on them represent everything disgusting about footwear. One of my friends really hated what she called "toe cleavage," which is when your little digits have a crack showing on your shoes. This is of course different if the whole digit is revealed like with sandals. Can you get any more disgusting than the sweatiness of a running shoe with exposes toes? My husband claims they are good for running and I told him as soon as he was able to run fast enough to need performance shoes he was welcome to get them. I mean serious performance needs, like my friend who got sponsored by montrail.
also if your heels are cracking stop wearing open shoes- really you could get diseases and no one likes to see your open wounds, contrary to what some of my family members seem to think.
High heels, always a good choice.


What I made Today: Month Challenge Day Twenty

Did I mention I have been away from the computer for a while? Family in town and some home emergencies... I can't really get the photos posted! Now I have to get it in the Etsy shop... But first to catch up a few more days tonight...


Marriage Excellence: Compromise

Every great relationship is based on compromise. One of my favorite examples of compromise is from one of my sisters. She wanted to live on the east coast. He wanted to live in Utah. They compromised and they live in Idaho.
and that is what compromise is all about- if you are both miserable at least you have something in common, right?
Husband and I have compromised a lot in life. I like to think of a few examples from recent history. I really wanted a barbecue- a great big shiny one with multiple burners and a smoking rack. Do I want a gas one? Maybe. I tell John. We compromised. We spend 8 dollars on a beautiful little unit at Target. The green one was a little prettier but it was 11 dollars. The disadvantage of this table beauty? If you put the cover on the coals go out.

Our other wonderful recent compromise involved getting a new car. Last summer he was going to work in a different state all week so we decided maybe we needed two cars. I wanted a mini van or SUV. I know I can fit my family in a smaller car but sometimes I want to be able to go somewhere with my friends with children and drive. It is nice to be able to drive and not take a separate car. In my husband's family it seems like once you have three children you have "earned" a larger car. At that time I had one child and was pregnant. Clearly, I wasn't meeting the quota. But someday I would have a bigger car.
We compromised and got a Prius. He tells me that we talked about it beforehand. This is how our conversations went.
Me: I want a big car. Maybe mini-van. I hear the Honda Odyssey is Good.
Him: I want a Prius.
Me: What about an SUV?
Him: I called about a Prius.
Me: A highlander?
Him: As long as it is as new as you want and costs as much as a Prius.
Me: How did you come up with this budget number?
Him: what about an electric car?
Me: I want a leather interior.
Him: I called about test driving a Prius.
We bought that Prius. No leather interior. My car stopped working shortly after that. John fixed it himself but it still didn't work reliably almost a year later. and the AC doesn't work.
The Prius is mine now.
Now that is real marital compromise. Even though I didn't want it I am taking it.

Some of the things that help us with our excellent compromises are these: What is the cheapest? That is probably going to win so don't even worry about it.
If that cheapest option fails then you can work up to what you would really want. But first you should spend a long time trying to make that cheaper option work. For example the 8 dollar grill doesn't actually work but John plans to drill some holes in the top so it doesn't extinguish. I am thinking about buying another broiler pan since when the grill goes out we broil things in the oven. Our subaru may have a non functioning alternator but if you only drive it a short distance in the winter that's OK- or after 8 or nine months of making that work you can take it in.

THE JOHN and Janae marriage program advocates keeping a Compromise Journal- draw a line down the middle of a regular journal and put one name in each column. When you feel like you have compromised in favor of your spouse write it in the journal on their name. For example if you hate the ugly man couch your husband got you at DI when you said you wanted a couch you can write it in his column. If you wanted to save 100 dollars a month for each child and it happens you can write it in your column.
The compromise tracker can help with lots of things. Maybe you didn't realize you were making a compromise- maybe you didn't really want that kitchen table so you won't get it, thus getting a costly tally. Or maybe you will have a day of evening the scores.

I am still waiting for that day. John hasn't been keeping score so I am way ahead.
I can't be responsible for his log entries after all...

What is your favorite compromise?


Dear Sister

Remember when you lost my flutter pony when we were growing up? I do.

Here is one you could get

or actually this one is the one you lost. It took a little finding.

I don't blame you for leaving my pony at preschool- it's just that I still want it back after all these years. I want all my ponies back. Probably mom gave them to one of the younger siblings. Where is the blue pony family that I played with? We all know most of the ponies were mine, and I only had three barbies. One of which one of my sisters ruined.

Do you still remember lost toys?


The Invisible Woman

Has anyone else seen this video? I have. I actually found it on the blog of some really cheesy person I knew in high school. She was one of my best "church" friends until I realized how to use Party line. Remember the high school scandals of party line? well she said this story really helped her on a bad day. So watch, then come back for a chat. I always had a hard time with the really churchy girls- I didn't really think people could be that sweet. I think I've met some people who are genuinely good and sweet now but it certainly wasn't the case then.
But I guess people are often a little shaky in high school.
OK this post did not make me feel better the first time I saw it. It made me want to throw up. a lot. I feel like this is like the people who say that they have a job being a mom. You know, some moms do have to work at a job with a W2 form and everything. That is a separate issue though.
Being a stay at home mom can be thankless drudgery, but that doesn't mean you have to pretend it is something other than that. Today Danielle came to tell me she peed all over the floor right after I went upstairs to get screaming Mark- I put on a show so I could feed the baby. I had to decide if I should get the baby and feed him or clean up the urine first. Because I got to do both.
The last thing on my mind was cathedrals.
If my husband and kids ignored me like this blessed saint I would be pissed. I would probably do something about it instead of retreating to some fantasy world where I can imagine my problems away.
This also made me think of the gargoyles on the cathedrals- do you know that some of the faces on the cathedrals are pretty accurate depictions of how people looked at the time? The sculptors would work in pairs and sculpt the person working next to them. Some of those sculptures can help you understand what type of nutritional deficiencies common laborers had at the time. So next time you look just remember, not all of them are invisible, and some of them are just not very pretty.
Just like moms.
It makes me furious sometimes being a mom. There are lots of people who pat themselves on the back no matter what they do, but this is a group with very few real guidelines for success. They have found that people who go to schools with no grade system have less motivation to learn- I think being a parent can be like that. For the most part you are on your own trying to find others you can relate to.
Maybe you can find them in books about manual laborers and artists in past centuries.
I can't, and I don't want to be able to.

may your struggles as a mother never be trivialized by trite comparisons.


Sunday Thoughts

I want more blog comments. and to be famous. and to be on survivor.
How was your Sunday?

The kiddos are lots of fun lately. They came to Enrichment with me on Saturday. Well, half of it. We made a garland for the baby shower next Saturday.
Little baby mark was grouchy.
He is getting new teeth. So he doesn't sleep as much.
Remember that one week where he slept through the night? That was nice.
and fleeting.
He likes to bite my arm. and he likes to stick things in my mouth so I make a biting noise.
a lot.
so much that it gets really old for me but he keep doing it.
You know when keds are annoying and cute at the same time? Like them they have to stick their hands in your mouth and you keep saying no and then they just never give up and finally it's funny so you are probably reinforcing what they did?