Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Surgery Day

So today is Gideon's surgery day. I don't know what time it will be, as we won't get that info until the day before, and I am writing this before I go on my internet hiatus. But PLEASE pray for us today! I'm really nervous about the whole thing. Dave will be taking him since I will need to stay home with the girls. I'm sure it will be fine, it's just a day surgery, and Dave will handle it much better than I would, and he has had surgery himself so he can relate. I hope Gideon recovers well. He's a big baby when it comes to pain. So the next few days could be rough. But hopefully it will mean less pain for him in the long run.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I've never participated in lent before, but that is about to change.

I've been thinking about stepping away from the internet for a while. I was thinking maybe just a week. I've done it before, for a week at a time, or even a month once. It wasn't too bad. It's always nice to get my head out of the computer and back into real life. Emilie mentioned on her blog that she is giving up the internet for lent, and it hit me, THAT is what I need to do too. It will be my longest internet-fast ever. I'm not saying that I won't become an internet-addict again after lent, but I think having this super-extended time away will be good for me and my family.

As sad as it sounds, this is going to be so incredibly hard! I spend several hours a day online, Usually in small increments; while I'm nursing Ruthie, while I'm having lunch, if I notice I have a new email (I just leave my email up all day, so even though I'm not physically on the computer all day, I'm logged in, and get anything new right away), after I put the kids to bed, etc. But it's literally on my mind ALL DAY.

I feel like I have too many "commitments" online. It seems silly, but when I'm online, it isn't really the "down time" I need anymore. I am forever trying to keep up with facebook and all the blogs I read. I'm only part of one forum these days, but even that is a lot. Then there's all the great articles I come across via facebook, blogs, and the forum that take a while to read. I do love and cherish all of the friends I have online, and everything I am constantly learning, but it's getting overwhelming. I'm actually getting stressed because I keep "falling behind" on everything. But does it really matter? Am I really at a loss if I don't know EVERYTHING everyone I know posts, all the time? I don't even know how I accumulated so many friends online. It's flattering, but can I really have a meaningful relationship with that many people? In the last year I've finally developed a few good relationships with friends in real life, so maybe it would be better to focus my energy there for now. It's just hard when all of my "best" friends and family live so far away.

So anyway, I'm not going to give up the internet forever. I do need the connections, the access to information, and the outlet for myself. Blogging has been such a wonderful thing for me. I express myself the best in writing, when I get a chance to actually think about what I'm saying. But I think this long break WILL be good for me. It's going to be HARD. I will probably have to start keeping a paper journal. I just have to write to get my thoughts straightened out so I can deal with life. But it will be weird knowing that no one will be reading it. I wonder if that will be good or bad? Maybe I will be able to go much deeper than I'm used to without fear of any judgment and it will be enlightening. It will also be difficult to keep all of the awesome and funny things that happen, or that the kids do, to myself. I think I also turn to facebook for validation. I love to post the fabulous things the kids say, and my pictures, so I can share my life with the world and get positive feedback and encouragement. I don't think it's totally a bad thing, and I love to keep up with others and encourage them, but I need to learn to validate myself first. Then let everyone else just be gravy. Or icing. Gravy is so gross, blah. Mmmm... icing. As bad as it is, I am so in love with the Betty Crocker rainbow chip icing in the tub. I could seriously polish off a whole tub by myself in one sitting. Or at least I could in college. Now I have to share with the kids... But yeah, the internet is not a bad thing. In fact, it is a wonderful and essential part of my life right now. So it will be a true fast. I am expecting a lot from this fast too.

I have a list of things I want to accomplish in my time away:

~Listen to the entire audio Bible.

~Read all of my required books for the DONA doula certification (I'm taking the birth doula course April 30 - May 2).

~Organize all of the clothing in our house and do a big purge.

~Go through all of the overwhelming amount of toys and books and purge those as well.

~Go through the 75 000 or so photos on our computer, organize them and delete the duplicates.

~Try the massive list of recipes I have, that are collecting dust since I never "have time" to try them.

~Start watching my Pilates videos and exercising regularly again (my gym membership resumes March 9).

~Plan my garden for the summer.

~Sew more cloth baby wipes since I am always running out before laundry day.

~Perhaps try sewing something else, take up knitting again, make some jewelry, play the guitar, write a book or just do SOMETHING creative that's higher than a 4 year-old level.

~Work on potty-training Gideon.

I've been pretty good at keeping up with my house chores lately, and I want to keep at that as well. Dave was injured at work last week (the Dr thinks it's a hernia) and has been home ever since, throwing off our routine a bit. I want to focus on what I've established, and make these routines habits.

Gideon is going for surgery Feb. 24. Please keep him, and us, in your thoughts and prayers that day. It's just a day surgery for a hernia (yeah, we are the hernia family, I still have 2 myself from this past pregnancy, but the Dr said we might as well wait until I'm done having babies before we do surgery), but I'm still very nervous, I hope it goes well.

My mom is coming for a week-long visit March 2! So that will keep us busy too. Judith has a dentist appointment that week, and then we will find out what all needs to be done. She has some extensive cavities, and no matter what happens it won't be fun for her.

I also really want to take some time for myself. I know even without the internet I'm going to be SO busy, but I have to try. I just really need to think about so many things and examine my life and my goals right now. With Dave being off work, maybe indefinitely, some changes might be coming and I will need to have my head on straight to help make decisions.

Most of all, however, I want to be more present at home with Dave and the kids. I want to be happy just where I am. I want to take delight in the little things, and not just so I can go post about them online. Hopefully the weather will get nicer, so we can go out and have some fun, and I can enjoy the moment rather than trying to capture it and document it in my head to share with the world later. It may sound silly, but that is going to be HARD for me!

I will be back to the land of the interwebs April 4 (Gideon's birthday!). I do kind of hope everyone misses me, haha, but I'm also learning to accept that it's not the end of the world if you don't. My life exists here, with my family and friends, in my home and the world around me, not in this machine in front of me. I will probably still check my email occasionally, in case I get something about the doula course or from my homeschool group about some of the upcoming outings, and because I get grocery fliers that way. But 90% of my emails these days are from facebook anyway, so once that stops I won't be getting much. I definitely won't check it more than once a day, or even two days. I'll still go on Skype too, because it is more like a "real" interaction (call or text me if you want to Skype). But definitely no facebook or blogs, surfing or even looking things up. If I need some info I will get Dave to do it, and he can pay the bills online too.

If you are a local friend of mine, please feel free to call me, and we can hang out!

So, here I am starting out on this journey. I actually wrote this earlier and post-dated it, today is my first net-free day. I also post-dated one post a week for while I'm gone, just so this blog isn't completely dead. See you on the flip side!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Singing for Sanity

Being a mom can be a bit of a trial sometimes. Shocking, I know. In the midst of all the unconditional love and laughing until I almost pee myself, there is a woman on the verge of losing her mind. Daily.

I've found something that helps me make it through, though. I inherited it from my dad. Growing up, my dad was always kind of shy in public (much like I am), but at home he kept the laughs coming. Only a few of our close friends got to witness this phenomenon. My dad was very talented at coming up with the most random songs and ditties, out of nowhere. He wasn't a fabulous singer, but it didn't matter in the least. Any tune would do; a popular song, a jingle from an ad, an old children's melody, even a hymn! He would transform it into his own chorus about some random thing. It was hilarious! Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my dad's crazy songs (and him playing air trombone to accompany himself!).

I guess that's why it comes naturally to me. I have a handful of little songs that I sing to the kids, mostly about how cute they are or how much I love them. I sing to the tune of random songs, just like my dad did. I even have little ditties to accompany all of my ringtones on my phone, haha. And the kids know them too, and I catch them singing them sometimes! I'm not sure whether to be proud or embarrassed, but it sure is cute. I'd like to think that I'm imparting the same wonderful memories into my kids that my dad gave to me. The only problem is when I accidentally start singing in public, like at the grocery store or gym. Singing is definitely not my talent, I feel bad for those that accidentally have to be subjected to it! Especially when I don't have the kids with me, it must sound so random. Whoops! Oh well, I know my dad did it too. =) It's also embarrassing when I'm at the mall with Judith and we hear the song "Poker Face" in a store and Judith loudly exclaims "MOMMY!!! It's your SONG!!!!" Although, my version of the song is "Pookie Face", Pookie being my nickname for Ruthie...

In doing this instinctively, I've discovered that it isn't just a silly creative outlet for me, and fun entertainment for the kids. It also helps me keep my sanity. It doesn't really make sense when I think about it, but oh well. It's definitely a coping mechanism for me. I find that singing one of my songs when I'm frustrated, angry, tired, overwhelmed etc helps my mood so much. It helps me endure and do what I need to do without having a complete mental breakdown, or anxiety attack, which I am prone to. It helps me take myself less seriously, and get over petty little unimportant things, like not having the chance to eat or sleep. =P

Being silly and singing about how much I love my kids gets me through the day. I'm so thankful that my dad modeled this for me. And I hope that my kids grow up with the same hilariously fond memories of me, that I have of him.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Simple Woman's Day Book - Week 7

Outside my window... It will hopefully warm up soon and turn to spring, I'm so done with this!

I am thinking... That there must be something I've been eating recently that's upsetting Ruthie's tummy.

I am thankful for... My cousins who live close by.

I am wearing... Jeans, gray nursing tank and brown hoodie.

I am remembering... How Dave proposed to me 7 years ago. <3

I am going... To be giving up the internet for lent. Feb. 17 - April 3. Don't miss me too much!

I am currently reading... Discipline Without Distress bu Judy Arnall (still slowly plugging away) AND Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn by Simkin, Whalley, and Keppler. I also just finished Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin.

I am hoping... That my time away from the internet is refreshing and productive.

On my mind... All of the things I need to do while I'm "away".

Noticing that... I get a lot more done and am in a better mood when I'm NOT online all day.

Pondering these words... Psalm 91:1 "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

From the kitchen... We will be making pizza with Ashley this evening!

Around the house... It's a mess! I need to clean up asap!

One of my favorite things... Getting a massage this afternoon!

From my picture journal... Dave, the great multi-tasker. Playing video games online AND parenting.

Happy Engagiversary to Us!

Dave and I met at Bible college in September 2002. We first made contact at the retreat at the beginning of the year. We ended up hanging out and talking about music instead of playing soccer with everyone (if anyone knows my history with soccer, you will understand, it's where the whole "pylon" thing started). My honest first impression of him was "oh God, don't let him like me!" But I was hoping to find someone that would be interested in going to shows with me, and he seemed to be into that kind of thing too. I was dating someone else back home anyway, so I could keep my guard up around boys (Bible college is awful for that, people go just to find a wife/ husband, so annoying!).

So we were kind of friends in September, and then in October we started hanging out a lot, with our friend Jared too. The three of us did everything together and stayed out all night every night (I still pulled off 80's and 90's in my classes, wahahaha! I wish I could say the same for them...). In November Jared and I went to Dave's parents place for the weekend. At one point Jared was not there and Dave and I were kind of playing around on the couch, and out of nowhere he kissed me. It was great, and it was totally what I wanted, but I also knew in that moment that everything had to change. I had to dump my boyfriend (who was super-pissed of course, and even though he lived 7 hours away, he showed up at my college the next day, talk about freaky!). But after all that drama was over I continued to have heaps of fun with Dave.

That was seriously the best time of my life. A lot of our passions and life goals and perspectives lined up, so we got talking marriage. God actually told Dave that he was to marry me (but he was smart and didn't tell me until after we were married).

My mom used to run a winter camp every year on the Valentine's Day weekend for a bunch of local youth groups, and I went to it throughout highschool. That year Dave, Jared, his girlfriend Katie, and I went and lead the worship. My dad stopped by one night to see how we were doing (the snomobile trail went right by the camp), and Dave caught him alone at one point to ask if he could marry me (all together now, "aww"), and my dad said yes. So later that night, on Feb. 15, 2003, Dave asked me to marry him. He did it during the talent show, while my brother was playing guitar up front. So it was very exciting.

We spent the next 6 months planning a cheap but beautiful wedding, and we got married at my parent's cottage August 24, 2003. After our honeymoon was over (we got a tent as a wedding gift so we went camping!), we had officially known each other for 1 year.

It's crazy because I didn't want to get married until I was at least 25, and I didn't want kids till my 30's, but there I was, just barely 20 years old, happily married, and I wouldn't want it any other way! I hate being a Bible college bride, but what can I do? Now I am 26, still VERY happily married, and have been blessed with 3 incredible children. My life is nothing like I envisioned it, but it's better than I ever imagined.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Oh Lasagna. It used to be this great mystery to me, only attainable in a frozen state from the grocery store. No one ever let me in on its secrets! Then one day, I took it upon myself to find out who it really is. To get to know what makes it tick. And I'm so glad I did! It's been such a wonderful relationship!

First, I sauteed up a medium chopped onion and a handful of crushed and chopped garlic cloves in some olive oil over medium heat in my trusty cast iron pan. I added some parsley, rosemary and oregano and let that sizzle for a bit. Oh yeah.

While I had that happenin, I soaked the (9) lasagna noodles in fresh, exhilarating cold water. No need to boil. Theyz too chill.

I chopped up whatever veggies I had on hand. Carrots and mushrooms for shizzle. This day I also had green peppers, zucchini, and cauliflower. Broccoli and spinach would have been nice as well, but they had prior engagements.

I added the veggies to the pan, and let them leisurely mingle. Ok, so I forced them to at wooden-spoon-point.

The party went on for about 5 minutes. Then I added a can of organic crushed tomatoes (saving a little bit for later), kosher salt, garlic salt, and black pepper to taste. They really bonded with everyone.

I let them mingle a while longer, to get to know each other well before hittin the pan. Speaking of which, I put that last little bit of crushed tomatoes on the bottom of rectangular glass oven dish (aka: the pan). Then the real party got started!

It went a little like this:

Crushed tomatoes.

3 lasagna noodles, shoulder to shoulder.

A layer of cottage cheese, half a small tub.

Half of the tomato veggie mixture.

Sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.


3 lasagna noodles, shoulder to shoulder.

A layer of cottage cheese, the other half of the small tub.

The other half of the tomato veggie mixture.

Sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.

Then, I added the final 3 lasagna noodles, topped with as much mozzarella and cheddar cheese as my heart desired.

I covered the pan loosely with tin foil, and moved the party to a 375F oven for 45 minutes.

Then I blew the top off, and let that sucker sizzle in the oven for 15 more minutes, uncovered baby.

I had to give it a few minutes to cool, then my moment of glory had finally arrived. Our relationship came to a climax, the mystery had been undone, as I was able to consume and enjoy the wonder that was, and always will be, Lasagna.

(Yes, yes, I am a total dork. As if you didn't know that already.)

***This is also the strategy I use to make spaghetti sauce. I just add some sort of ground meat or soy to the mix after the garlic, onions and herbs have sauteed for a few minutes, and then I add the rest of the veggies after the meat has been cooked. Give that another few minutes and then add the crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper. I let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes, then spread over cooked spaghetti noodles and voila! Spaghetti!***

Thursday, February 11, 2010

1000 Gifts: 171 - 190

171 - Chocolate chips. Sometimes I just need a handful of them to help me get through the day.

172 - Night time. When it's quiet and I can think. That's my favourite time.

173 - Judith insisting on wearing Lambie in the mei tai (she took this photo herself, using the timer on the camera).

174 - Judith learning to spell her name! Thanks to her interest in the computer (her name is her password for her account, it was a great way for her to lean to spell it!).

175 - Playing Hide-and-Seek with Gideon.

176 - Judith's enthusiasm to learn and create every morning.

177 - The baby sleep factory. I think I've used the hammock as one of my gifts already, but seriously this thing is awesome! She slept for 8 straight hours the other night (Gideon made sure I didn't though)! And she will usually have one big 2-3 hour nap in there in the afternoon too (plus lots of cat naps on my lap/chest).

178 - Free pizza and root beer! Almost as wonderful as the dear friends we shared them with. =)


180 - Having friends over almost every day last week. Since Ruthie was born I've realized that I have some really wonderful friends, that care enough to come visit me when I'm still not up for going out with all 3.

181 - How cute Gideon is, even when he's pouty.

182 - New underwear! For both Dave and I. It was very much needed.

183 - Gideon finally made peace with socks. He figured out that socks = warm, so now he doesn't bug me as much about being cold.

184 - Judith decided she likes seaweed. Yay iodine!

185 - My little Ruthie bear.

186 - A girls day out shopping with my favourite two little girls!

187 - Judith's new dress and shoes that she is so proud of!

188 - Running into an old friend while out shopping.

189 - Seeing Ruthie in little clothes I wore as a baby, as did her big sister.

190 - Finding yummy juice on sale and indulging ALL WEEK!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to Make Smoothie Window Art

Step 1: Enjoy 3/4 of a fruit and yogurt smoothie for breakfast.

Step 2: Spill remaining smoothie on the kitchen floor. Convince sister not to clean it up before Mommy sees, but rather get hands covered in sticky goodness.

Step 3: Run with great focus, purpose, and intention, hands full of smoothie.

Step 4: Let the creative juices take over.

Step 5: Look cute, as to not get in trouble.

Step 6: Allow sister to join the fun and reach those high places.

The End.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Dream Come True

Last week I had a dream. I dreamed that I was with a group of people, and we were all being chased by a tiger. It was set in a place that I dream of often, and it always represents the fear in my life. So we were all running from this tiger. Dave had Gideon and Ruthie, and I have no idea who the other people were, it was just a mass of chaotic strangers running for their lives. I felt intense fear. It was one of those dreams where it was really hard to run, like you're wading through jello.

At one point I looked back at the tiger, who wasn't really that big, just about the size of Judith (but it wasn't a baby, it had the proportions of a full-grown tiger). Then I realized that Judith was at the back of the crowd, and the tiger was right at her heels. Without thinking I turned around and ran back towards them. Suddenly I could run fast! I knew that I would probably die, but there was NO WAY that tiger was going to touch my daughter! I was going to take it on with my bare hands. I suddenly felt powerful, like I could tear it apart. The mama bear instinct was so strong. I wasn't afraid anymore. It gave me such an adrenaline rush that I woke up. My heart was racing, and I was ready to kick. some. ass. When I realized it was a dream I was kind of disappointed, I wonder what would have happened if I had made it to the tiger?

I had that dream just before I wrote my last Hidden Valley post, about the facebook thing (by the way, I had already been planning on writing about how much motherhood has changed my life, but then I read the article and kind of incorporated that into my plans. I'm not super happy with how that post turned out, I didn't have time to edit it, but oh well. It basically said what I wanted it to). While I was writing that post, my dream suddenly made sense. I cried.

I've had self-esteem issues since grade 4. I've never been able to stand up for myself. I've always been so afraid of what other people think of me, and I try really hard to make sure that no one disagrees with me or is upset at me for any reason. Kind of an impossible task though.

One thing motherhood has taught me, slowly but surely, is that it doesn't matter. I can't, and don't have to, please everyone. It's ok for me to make my own decisions, and stand by them, even if someone disagrees with me. I generally take an alternative stance on everything, that's just how I am. I don't really like anything main stream. The alternative just makes more sense to me. I'm just one of "those" I guess. It's a hard thing to be, when I've also always been a people-pleaser! But I'm starting to get over it. I'm starting to learn to be ok with offending people, that it's not the end of the world. I don't think I'm going to go out looking for a fight, I'm still a very peaceful person. I'd never intentionally hurt or offend someone, but I will defend myself now, and some people seem to be offended by that. But I'm learning that it's their problem, not mine. And I will now willingly discus things with people of opposing views (without crying or stewing about it for days after), and sometimes even enjoy it. This is who I am, what I do, and what I believe. You can take it or leave it, that's ok with me. I'm also learning that even if people disagree with me on something, they may actually still like me overall. This is a relatively new concept for me.

The last 4 years has taught me a lot. I've hit some incredible lows, been through some hard struggles, and was stretched beyond measure. But I'm climbing back up, with more strength and confidence than I've ever had. I can't remember the last time I cried myself to sleep, that's so huge for me! I definitely feel like I have turned a corner, and I am ready to take on the tigers in my life.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Simple Woman's Day Book - Week 6

Outside my window... It's cold, and the trees are covered in ice and snow. It's pretty, but that's it. I need spring to come soon!

I am thinking... About giving up the internet for lent (I've never participated in lent before, but this is something I've been thinking about for a while).

I am thankful for... How well vinegar cleans smoothies off of windows.

I am wearing... Brown yoga pants, turquoise tshirt and green zip-up hoodie.

I am remembering... How exhausting it was taking the girls out shopping on Saturday. Judith did not stop talking the entire time, I carried Ruthie in the mei tai everywhere (she only cried at one store, but that bit was rough), and I can't believe just how loooong everything takes with kids. All in all it was a good, successful outing, but I was so tired when we got home!

I am going... To go through the closet and pull out some of Ruthie's bigger clothes and diapers for her. She's starting to outgrow things already. =(

I am currently reading... Discipline Without Distress by Judy Arnall. I also started reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (I read it when I was pregnant with Gideon, but it's part of the DONA required reading, so I thought I'd refresh my memory. I find it far more interesting right now than the discipline book for some reason...).

I am hoping... That someone will come and visit us this week!

On my mind... All of the things I want to do during lent when I don't have the computer to distract me.

Noticing that... I feel better when I'm not online all day.

Pondering these words... "Learn the unforced rhythms of grace."

From the kitchen... The smell of chicken stock being made on the stove.

Around the house... It's actually pretty tidy, for now. The children are working on changing that as I type...

One of my favorite things... Having pizza and root beer with a friend!

From my picture journal... Judith taking after her mama. Although she learned to spell her name recently, thanks to Dave making that her password for her account on the computer!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Kids, My Identity

I just finished reading this article about moms who put photos of their children on facebook. It was a really odd experience for me. Some parts I agreed with, some parts really made me smile (as I took some of the things she intended to be negative as a wonderful, positive thing), and other parts made me realize that she is a bit off in some of her logic.

I found that article through this blog entry. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Go read it. Actually read them both. Now. I will wait, don't worry.

So, what did you think? Well, since this is my blog, I will tell you what I think (please feel free to tell me your side of the story too!!! That's what comments are for). I will try and edit the swearing out before I publish it.

First of all, I have to tell you that, coincidentally my current facebook profile pic is one of my children. All 3 of them, magically smiling and looking at the camera simultaneously, a rare and wonderful catch. I don't post pictures of my children as my profile regularly, but this one was just too good. I even remember when I posted it, thinking, "Yeah, it's not me, but it is SO much me at the same time."

I can and do see so much of myself in my children, the good and the bad. My children are also definitely shaping who I am. Is that a bad thing? Am I, indeed, "losing" myself? No way! Except maybe in the way that, in losing myself I have truly found myself. Jesus talks about a similar thing in the book of Matthew (10:39); "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." The sentiment is repeated in Matt. 16:25. I think I'm beginning to realize what this passage is saying. The journey has been hard and I do find myself at times wondering what I have become. But life soon enough answers that for me. I may have lost what I thought I was, but now I know who I truly am.

In order to say what I want about all this, first I have to take you for a walk down memory lane. Come with me now.

I never dreamed of being a mother when I was a child or teen. I figured it would happen, but like Katie Roiphe advises, my children would have to stay on the back burner and not interfere with MY life. I wanted to go to university and BE something, and save the world while I was at it. But then I couldn't decide what to do, there was too much I wanted to do. So I decided to go to Bible college for a year, to figure things out, hopefully. My experience there is a story in itself, but the amazing thing was that I did figure things out. Not everything, but the next step. I got married at the ripe old age of 20. I was a Bible college bride (shut up!). Two things I NEVER wanted! But it was perfect. I gave up the university dream, at least for the time being, but for something much better. I still didn't want children too soon though. I still had no idea how they would fit into my life, I was very much afraid at the prospect of being a mother. I never liked, or had any experience with babies.

So I "accidentally" got pregnant at 21. I was scared, and excited, but mostly scared. Especially since we were planning on going to Australia. That ended up being a huge blessing though. Maternity care in Australia is much better than here, and I felt like being so far from home allowed me to do everything the way I wanted to, without anyone else trying to influence me. I got knocked down big time though. Judith's birth didn't go the way I had envisioned (although it still went way better than it would have here), and breastfeeding was way harder than I had ever imagined. So of course I ended up very depressed. And that depression lasted 18 months before I finally sought help. I struggled with undiagnosed depression all through my teenage years, so I was used to coping with it, and hiding it, but finally I realized that it was not right, and it was up to me to do something about it. As soon as I was finally feeling better, I got pregnant again, which threw me back down into depression. A few weeks before Gideon was born God told me that He was going to free me from depression. But He forgot to tell me that it would get worse before it got better. Gideon's birth was alright. There was a last-minute ambulance ride to the hospital, but everything ended up being fine and the birth was 100% natural. But then there were a few minor breastfeeding difficulties and a labial hematoma that took 10 weeks to go away. I was doing ok mentally though, until about 3 or so months postpartum, when my thyroid crashed and took me down with it. I saw my naturopath right away that time, and got myself back on my feet.

Then something amazing happened. When I got pregnant with Ruthie, I felt that cloud of depression lift for good. I was loving life, and was very busy. Ruthie's birth was incredibly empowering. And everything has been wonderful ever since!

So that brings me up to today, where I am sitting in front of this big screen, reading the above articles and then writing to you.

I love my life. I seriously do. I've been thinking about that a lot lately. I've come a long way since becoming a mom, and I feel like I am finally on top of my game. Motherhood is one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. It's not for everyone, but it is for me. Sure, it has also been the hardest, most painful thing
I've ever done, but that makes it even more worthwhile. It's the reason I get up in the morning (literally). My kids fill my life with joy. They are my greatest investment and contribution to the world. They have taught me about life, and about myself. In having them I have learned who I truly am.

I have learned that I am weak. That I am powerful. That I'm not as patient as I thought. That I can do anything. That I am capable of enduring so much pain. That I am loved. That I can fail. That I can learn. That I can make a fucking good lasagna. That I need my alone time. That I can rise above my feelings. That everyone deserves love. I could go on and on. Becoming a mother made me "get it".

My kids are my life right now. Why wouldn't they be? Sure, I also love to talk about God and food and justice and women's rights, etc. Wait a minute, women's rights? I'm a stay-at-home-mom and housewife and I care about women's rights? Why yes, yes I do. I made the choice to stay home with my kids. I'm glad I have that choice. It's a very respectable choice. You can make your own choice, and that choice is fine with me. I don't have to work outside of the house in order to have my own identity. And yeah, my kids are a big part of my identity, what's it to you? Why not proudly post their faces on my facebook? It's MY facebook! I can post a picture of a celebrity, and that's fine, but not my kids? My kids are some of the coolest people I know. They don't totally define me, but they sure add a lot to my life, and they ARE my "flesh and blood". Yes, I would be lost without them! That doesn't mean I'm not my own person, we are just profoundly intertwined, and I think that's wonderful. I will always be Judith's mama (And Gideon's and Ruthie's and our future children's). It's fricken awesome. They aren't my identity, but they helped me find it.

The women who post pics of their kids are not gone. Sure, lots of women do go through an identity crisis when they have kids, it's normal with any big life change. Just give them time and they will figure it out. They will see that our culture has done them a disservice in telling them that they need to maintain a superficial "identity" on trite social networking sites like facebook. They will see that their children can teach them more about real life than university can. They know, for them, their kids bring them more fulfillment than their degree. They know that raising their kids is more important than their job or book club. Perhaps they are, indeed, still feminists, but they aren't going to take that crap about supposedly needing to put their kids on the back burner of their lives in order to still "be" someone. Maybe they want to wear their pjs all day. They know there's more to life than having a pretty picture.

Posting my kids photo as my profile does not mean I think that I don't matter anymore. Of course I matter, without me, these kids wouldn't be here to smile so beautifully for the camera. To these kids, I matter THE MOST in the world. And they matter the most to me. I've hardly vanished. If anything I go unappreciated for the true weight of importance I carry in my family, and in the world. I matter a lot.

You know what else? I post about my kids in my statuses all the time too! Ooooooh, look at me taking it a step farther! Yeah, I bet all of my 545 friends don't care how many times the toddler pooped today, the baby was up to feed in the night, or the preschooler said something fabulously awkward. But that's my life, so that's what I'm going to share, and I love it!

Katie said "The answer seems clear: because with all good intentions we have over-devoted ourselves to our children’s education and entertainment and general formation. Because we have chipped away at the idea of independent adult life, of letting children dream up a place for themselves, in their rooms, on the carpets, in our gardens, on their own."

FAIL. She obviously hasn't met the children I know. I'm sure there are a lot of uber controlling parents out there, but most of us invest our time and lives into our kids, to encourage them to dream and have a secure independent adulthood. We don't hover over them 24/7, and hey, they have lots of time to play by themselves in their rooms and gardens while we spend hours talking about parenting on facebook! Duh.

Anyway, I know this swerved off topic a bit, and was a little choppy, but I just want to tell the world that I am happier, right now, and more satisfied with life, and with who I am, than I have ever been in my life. Having children, and being bowled off the path that our culture would have for me as a smart, young woman, by giving up my so called "individuality" and self-absorbed life in order to be a wife and mother, was the BEST thing to ever happen to me. It's my story. It's who I am. When I look at that photo of my 3 beautiful children, I do see myself. What I am and what I have done. And maybe this is what I want to show the world.

P.S. I hate those squeaky shoes too. My kids will never have them.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2 Months

Yesterday Ruthie turned 2 months old!

So, as you'd expect, let's compare!




What do you think?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Simple Woman's Day Book - Week 5

Outside my window... It's still white.

I am thinking... Yeast and I don't seem to get along well. Yesterday the cinnamon bun dough wouldn't rise, and today my pizza dough. D'oh! (I tried different yeast too)

I am thankful for... How cute my babies are. I think God gave me cute babies so I don't kill them when they cry incessantly (just kidding, of course).

I am wearing... Gray yoga pants, gray nursing tank and a navy Roxy hoodie.

I am remembering... How wonderful it was getting 6 straight hours of sleep the other night! The baby hammock rocks.

I am going... To become a doula! For realz!

I am currently reading... Discipline Without Distress by Judy Arnall. I read ONE chapter this week!

I am hoping... continues to occupy my kids this evening so they will stay out of my hair as I attempt to get this pizza made!

On my mind... The future, like where our family is headed. Or where I'd like to be headed.

Noticing that... Skype is such a great way for the kids to keep in touch with Grandma! So much better than the phone.

Pondering these words... "No. A glimpse is not a vision. But to a man on a mountain road at night, a glimpse of the next 3 feet of road may matter more than a vision of the horizon." - C.S. Lewis

From the kitchen... FAIL.

Around the house... Puzzle pieces, crayons, and random bits from making Valentines this morning. Oh, and flour.

One of my favorite things... Having friends over!

From my picture journal... Ashley rocking the sling.