Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hug it Out

How do you know when someone is a hugger or not?  Do you hug anyway?  Is there a hugging etiquette out there? 

I'm a hugger.  I love to hug.  I like to hug hello, goodbye, sorry to hear about that, yay for you and yours, etc.  Any occasion is a good time for a hug.

BUT there is always a little voice in my head that questions whether or not the recipient is happy to get hugged or not.  If you're hugging good-bye, do you have to hug EVERYONE or just a select few?  And how long is too long?  There's always that almost imperceptible shift when either the hugger or the huggee decide that it's been long enough and try to extricate themselves from the embrace. 

We had friends in Denver who were actually kissers.  Like smack dab on the mouth when they saw you.  They were from NYC, so maybe that's the way things are done out there, ehhh??  (Imagine Buddy Valastro saying that with an East Coast accent - not so much the Fonz). 

I have a friend who is most definitely NOT a hugger.  She looks completely uncomfortable when you make the move to hug her and just kind of gives you a pat on the back as she's searching for the exits with her eyes.  I've got other friends who hold on for dear life and you're considering gnawing off their arms to get them to let go.

My boys love hugs.  And I am taking advantage of it while I still can.  I know that eventually they will stop running for hugs from mom.  But for now...I will hug on them as much as possible!  Gotta get my fix somehow!  (J-bird ran up to me tonight for a quick hug after he hadn't seen me for a couple hours and I couldn't stop thinking about how sweet it was.  Had to write a post). :) 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Traditional Roles

I struggle with my feelings about the "traditional" roles that we all fall into.  I want to think I'm progressive, I've grown up with great role models and strong women to look up to.  But, I still feel myself falling into the "mom guilt" area beyond just wanting to make sure everyone is happy and healthy.  

How is it that I have turned into someone who needs to hear appreciation for meals?  I sit and hold my breath while the DH and kids try it out until I hear the sounds of enjoyment.  WTH?   On the one hand, I feel that I should make something and they should eat it and everything is fine.  But on the other hand....I need that feedback.  And it kills me when DH says "it's fine" - I need more than fine.  I need to hear if I should make it again, if it needs something more, if it's too spicy or too bland.  BUT if he is too critical, I can't help but feel bad.  UGH!   For the most part, he's just happy to sit and eat in peace. 

This worry extends beyond the kitchen.   Am I the only mom who feels guilty when DH gives the boys their baths?  I should ENJOY the fact that he will do it, instead of feeling guilty that he's doing it while I am tending to other things in the house. 

Sometimes, I feel that I need to know TOO much information about what happens when I'm not here.  If I happen to go to happy hour or wine club, when I get home, I drill DH about what the boys had for supper, if they were in good moods, how and when did they go to bed.  Sure, I love to hear the cute funny stories too but I want details about how the night went.  Why?  Why can't I just trust that they were fed, happy and healthy and peacefully sleeping?  I never question DH's parenting ability, but I *need* those details.  I can tell that it irritates him but he still will indulge me and tell me. Sometimes I don't get enough details but I try to let it go.   

Even with how households have advanced I think that a lot of moms still feel the need to take care of the household, while the husband goes out to work and brings home the bacon.  How do you balance it out when you're ALSO going to work and bringing home that same bacon?? 

I've tried to get over the feeling that I've got to do it all and know it all.  Do you know how hard it is to ask DH to make a dentist appointment for one of the boys?  He has no problem doing it, but he needs to be asked.  It doesn't register with him to just take care of it.  So then in my mind, why don't I just take care of it myself? 

I should just relax, lay off the worrying and enjoy my family and house.  I should let DH do his thing and appreciate how awesomely we work together.  I realize this.  I do.  But it's so easy to fall into the guilt.  Grr. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

*dirty* little secret

So with DH's impending departure to far off lands, and the fact that three boys are insanely messy and I like to delegate...we've got help at our house.

In the form of a cleaning lady.  She comes to our house every third week and cleans up our messes.   And I L.O.V.E. her.  Bathrooms - check!  Kitchen - check!  Floors - check!  Check, check check!  Yay!

It has been such a relief to know that someone will come and help me.  And it has caused me to want to KEEP this place clean.  Yes, there's the everyday messes still, but I've become a lot more organized knowing that she's coming. 

I never thought I would have a cleaning lady.  With that, I have no idea how my mom kept our house up, with working all day and three kids making messes.  Though, I would prefer NEVER to hear "we don't need a dishwasher, that's why we had kids" again in my life.  Just sayin.

But for less than a tank of gas, she shows up every three weeks and cleans top to bottom.  Woo to the freaking hoo. 

Jay-bird is downstairs and says to me "Someone vacuumed our house!"  Yes, she sure did.   So he asks "why do we have a cleaning lady?" and I just look at him and say that I just can't keep up.  He nods sagely and looks me square in the eye.   "Me either mom.  Me either." 

Ha!  :)

*Mom, if you're reading this, I just want to let you know that YES, I did purposely keep this from you for months on end.  It's been about 3 months now since she started and I can't go back now.  How do you think the house was so clean for T's birthday?  I mean really!  I just didn't want to hear it from Dad for admitting this.  That's all.  But dang, it's nice to come home to a clean house.  For less than a tank of gas on a mid-size vehicle.  Seriously, wooo to the hooo.  :)  Ultimately, I blame Rikka for giving me her info and Travis for providing the excuse. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Well, crap.

Lately, I've been doing a lot of research.

I dislike research.

I also dislike what I'm having to research.  Which makes it all the worse.


How do I prepare three little boys for their father going overseas?  How do I put on a brave face and smile through it and say that it will be ok when I can't quite believe that myself yet?  Here's the selfish part of the story - I am not worried about him being there.  I'm worried about me being here.  With three boys under the age of 7.  With last winter having record amounts of snow and getting stuck in our driveway.  With all the little house stuff that he takes care of (I have yet to change a light bulb in this place).

With the technology that we have, we can talk and see each other online.  The boys will still see their dad hopefully every day.  Or at least a few times a week.  But 6 months is a long time in the life of a little kid.  He'll miss a couple birthdays and a kindergarten graduation.

So far, he's been very matter of fact about it.  I'm sure it's got to be hard on him as well.  He knows he's going to miss these things.  He knows he's not going to get to come home to them running to the door screaming "Daddy!" at the end of the day. 

But again, I can't get past yet my own selfishness.  I just don't want to have to be a single mom, even just for 6 months.  189 days, starting immediately after Christmas.  UGH.  

So yeah, I'm researching.  I'm looking at books and websites to help us talk to the boys about this.  So.  Not.  Fun.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I'm not sure when I turned into a "keeper" - as in, I want to keep EVERYTHING.  I'm not to the point where my family needs to intervene because there are animals living under piles of "stuff" all over my house and I have a path that I strategically use to get into certain rooms - oh no, it's not THAT bad.  But ... I do want to keep momentos, projects, school-related things, etc for the boys.  For me to remember how sweet and little they once were. 

In May, I took part in a challenge from iHeartOrganizing to declutter the house.  For four weeks, I cleaned out certain areas of the house.  Started with the entry way and living room, then the kitchen, bedroom and bathrooms.  I managed to get rid of a LOT of stuff.   Some is still in the garage, waiting for its destiny but a lot has already been donated to the ARC

As part of this challenge, I determined that the office may take a month in an of itself. We've got an office in the basement.  It's got a big desk, filing cabinets, a table destined for greatness, an armoire and a queen-sized bed.  Sounds like a lot of stuff in there.  Now imagine if all that desktop, table top and bed are covered with stuff.  And tubs and bags of stuff on the floor.  It's overwhelming.  I can honestly say I know exactly what is in the office.  Exactly where to find things.  DH can't find a darn thing.  And so it's not working out in it's current condition.  I need to organize. I've been dumping stuff in there for the last 2 years. 

I know it will get worse before it gets better.  But when it already starts as this:

 (yes, that's where the boys and I camped out when the tornado warnings were going off OVER MEMORIAL DAY)

It's hard to see it getting much worse.  Yikes.  Wish me luck!! 

*STUFF: clothes, shoes, toaster, smores maker, walker, baby baths, hats, coats, boots, movies, wii games, pictures, scrapbook tools, scrapbook paper, filing to do, wall art, candles, pillows, wrapping paper, cd's, guard stuff, birthday cards, old phones, old cameras, office supplies, Christmas decorations, kids crafts and projects, glue gun, my crafty stuff, SHRM books, photo albums, last minute hostess gifts, foam for DH's poker table build, mugs, bowls, decorations, buckets, I'm finding it hard to breathe.  YIKES.