Feb 26, 2010

can mommies have fun? are they even allowed to?

I am following a blog about marriage..... ready, set, wife ....... check it out!!  It is co-written by Cathleen Carr and Robin Okrant (author of the fabulous Living Oprah .... check that out too!).  They posted recently about marriages and babies, and city artsy folks vs suburban mommies.  With one foot firmly planted in each camp, I felt I may have a unique perspective on this dichotomy.

To say that these are two separate worlds is truly an understatement.  As much as I would love to blend them together, it never really fits.  It is more like that pair of really cute shoes that you buy even though they pinch.....  The thing is, you can never be quite free and uninhibited for the non-parent crowd, and you can never be quite super-mom enough for the suburban mommy set.

I live in a community of Stepford Wife Super Moms.  If you want to feel inadequate about your parenting, move here.  Maybe it is just my insecurities speaking, but I feel surrounded to the point of choking by stay-at-home moms who do nothing other than run their over-scheduled toddlers from activity to activity.  Of course there are exceptions, but for most of them it seems that their very lives have been reduced to nothing else.

On the other end of the spectrum, are my free-spirited childless friends.  They are generally this way by choice and are happy with that.  To them, I am the old-fuddy duddy who can't go out on a school night or doesn't fathom whisking off to Vegas for the weekend.  I am the one who needs notice to make it out on a Saturday night.

Somewhere in the middle is me.  But the thing is, it is just where I belong.  I am not sure I would ever be content to be squarely in either category.  We had kids young, young enough I suppose to not truly appreciate how exhausted and inexperienced we were at the time.  We made mistakes, learned from them, and grew into an indestructible unit.  Now my carefree side needs to have crazy nights out with wine and dancing, and the other side loves my children deeply and infinitely and cherishes quiet nights reading stories and playing board games by the fire.  The women who gave me the most pressure to go out to the club when I was a young mom who spent Saturday nights home with my baby, are the same ones who look down on me now when I choose to trust a family member to watch my not-so-little ones while I enjoy an evening out.

I think the key to this balance for me lies in the fact that I have such a supportive husband who is an active parent.  He does NOT call caring for his children "babysitting."  He trusts me inherently and knows that at some point in even the wildest nights out, all I want to do is get home and lie in his arms.  We both know that being parents does not mean surrendering your entire former self to the job.  It also requires knowing when to stay home and nurture those babies and squeeze every ounce out of those fleeting childhood moments.

Everyone lives the life they choose, and for me, it lies somewhere in the middle of these two opposite worlds.  It is where I belong.  We live in a stable, quiet community where our children can thrive, and we have a network of friends who like to have fun.  I have happy, well-adjusted kids, and I have amazing friends.  I would never be truly happy giving up one for the other.  And at the same time, I respect the lives that others have chosen to live as well.  I would just ask that they do the same and not judge me.  And more than that, I wish the gap wasn't so large between the various camps.

To answer the question posed in the article, how does having children affect a marriage?  The answer is Profoundly.  And forever.  And as much as you allow it to.  And hopefully, if you are as lucky as I, you will be able to be who you are, and have a partner for the journey who makes the experience as incredible and amazing as my husband has.

Feb 18, 2010

thunks by teens

Welcome to the February 18th version of Thursday Thunks!

This week we will answer some crazy questions brought to you by Berleen's demon spawns (teenagers), the color of snowflakes, and the number 7200.

They are 15 and 13... that is your warning.

1. Why are computer mouses called mouses?
Well, I call them computer mice.  Because it is grammatically correct.
But if I am to reveal my inner computer geek, I would suggest asking Douglas Engelbart, who would probably tell you it had something to do with how the cord looked like a tail..... or something like that.

2. If a guy has no money and he goes into a bar does he get kicked out?
I wouldn't know.  I do know that this this is not a problem for a girl though.  :)

3. Why does Taryn hate rat terrier puppies?
I don't understand the question.  Is this because I am old?

4. Why do polar bears not moo?
If polar bears mooed, what would cows do?

5. Why do people let doves fly at their weddings?
People like to spend lots of money to show off.  Nothing about doves does anything to solidify a marriage.

6. Why are no two snowflakes alike?
How do we know for sure that their not?

7. Why do people want things that don't work? (ads in newspapers - like junk batteries wanted)
I have watched hours and hours of that show Hoarders, and I still couldn't tell you.  I do know that cleaning up their house doesn't fix what's broken there though.  This is more of a refusing to throw out what breaks situation.  I truly have no idea what compels a person to get in their car and drive to where the junk is and bring it home.  Let's assume that have a really good idea for repurposing the item.

8. Why do we have to wear shoes at school?
There is no dollar amount that would be high enough to compel me to walk around barefoot on the floors of a school.  Ick.

9. Why do people wear socks with sandals?
Ummmm...... because all the cool kids are doing it?

10. Why do we always want bear hugs?
I don't.  Hugs shouldn't hurt.  I do like regular hugs though.  May I have one, please?

11. Why do dogs lick people's toes? And why do they like to lick lotion?

12. Why do people get this little thing pierced - as she points to the little thing on her ear.
You see, dear sweet teen, some people like to go all out of their way to make a statement.  Even at the risk of personal injury and pain.

13. Why do dogs like to eat out of litterboxes?
Ok, seriously???  What is wrong with your dog???
Make this reason #437 why I will never own a dog.

14. Have you ever eaten a sandwhich that had really weird things in it?
I think weird is subjective.  To me, tomatoes are weird.

15. Why isn't snow purple?
When are the adults getting home to write the questions?

16. When the earth was made why was the sky made blue?
Please see answer above.

17. Why do cats like laser lights?
I don't know why, but I do know that they are compelled, to the point of exhaustion, to chase them.  Just be careful not to give yours a seizure, k?

18. When someone invented Santa Clause, why did they make him fat?
There are a lot of WHY questions this week.  Reminds me of toddlers.
Oh, and because he is a right jolly old elf, and we all know that only fat people are happy.  Skinny people are hungry.  And angry.

19. What do you think Santa does when he's not making toys?
Adorable.  Really.  We all know that the elves make the toys.  Not Santa.

20. Why is it that suddenly I don't care anymore?
Because this was waaaaaaayyyy  a lot of questions compared to most weeks.  Don't overthink.

21. Why are the healthiest things for you most expensive?
Beauty is pain.  And expensive.

They did warn us.....

Feb 4, 2010


I really don't like to be scared.  I don't read Steven King, and I don't watch Final Destination.  Silence of the Lambs made me scared of the dark to this day.  I always assume there is a man standing in the corner that I can't see wearing night vision goggles.  When I go to the bathroom at night, I always half think there is some killer standing in the shower waiting to get me.  I can't tell you for sure if there is or not - I'm too scared to peak.  :)

I am always much more terrified of the realistic.  Serial killer on the loose?  Possible.  Someone standing outside my window watching me?  Possible.  Freddie and Jason?  Not so much.

One of my favorite shows is Criminal Minds.  Except every now and then an episode is so terrifying that I have to take a break from it for a while.  In the meantime, it builds up on my tivo, until there is practically an entire season on there.  Lately I have been filling my insomnia ridden nights with episodes.  So far, so good.  I just hope I don't run into an episode like those kidnapped soccer girls, or the guy watching people through their webcams.  Cuz that episode made me scared of my laptop for weeks!

Feb 3, 2010

simple woman's daybook - 2010.02.02

FOR TODAY... from My Daybook

Outside my window...  a groundhog who saw his shadow, and letting us know that this winter will be continuing on and on and.....

I am thinking...  I need to get away.

I am thankful for... the time I spend each day with my beautiful children and getting to witness their creative imaginations and growing senses of humor.

I am wearing...  yoga pants and a t-shirt.  My standard uniform.

I am remembering... a time when things made sense.

I am going... to start planning some vacations.

I am currently reading... A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  Amazing so far.

I am hoping... for some warmer weather.  Winter is not my thing.

On my mind... what do I want to be when I grow up?

Noticing that... The days are running together.  I can go quite a long time without leaving the house or having anyone check in on me.

Pondering these words... "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

From the kitchen... DH made some delish chocolate peanut butter squares.  Yum-O!!

Around the house... laundry, laundry, and more laundry.

One of my favorite things~ laughter.  There is never enough.

From my picture journal...

Feb 2, 2010


The problem with doctors is that they never have enough information.  The problem with the internet is that it has too much.  I am forever self-diagnosing myself with things.  Extreme things.  Unlikely things.  I think the most recent is Lupus.  (haha!!)

I think this self-diagnosis, for me at least, is that I can explore several opinions all at once.  I can see which things match my symptoms, and I can see which symptoms are typical of different diseases.  I don't know about you, but for the past decade or so, every time I have gotten desperate enough to take my ailments to a medical professional, I am looked over, hear "Uh huh, uh huh," and am prescribed an antibiotic or physical therapy to fix that UNKNOWN ailment right up.  NO DIAGNOSIS.

And don't even get me started on the whole "You want to see your DR???  Uh no.  You can see a PA or nurse practitioner, who is 5 minutes out of college and has less of a  freakin' clue what's wrong with you than even the doctor does."  And oh, don't forget to write your copay check on your way out the door, thankyouverymuch.

One of my personal frustrations with this tireless process is that I tend not to have typical reactions to things.  For example, I normally have a low blood pressure, so by the time a doctor decides it is high, my heart has practically beaten right out of my chest.  And EVERY SINGLE TIME I am seen by a doctor for any reason, they ask me if I have had my thyroid checked.  And then they send me for the bloodwork, and later tell me my results are "normal."  For whom??  If my symptoms are enough to flag every doctor to the problem, then perhaps my baseline is not in the normal range!  But when I suggest such a thing, I am summarily dismissed.

My last visit to the ER was on Thanksgiving, and was only at the insistence of my entire extended family.  After enough pressure, I went.  An exam by a PA, a chest x-ray, an EKG, blood test for Lyme Disease and some other unknown ailments, and an exam by a doctor who never let me finish an answer to his rapid fire questions and refusal to look me in the eye later........  I left with a prescription for an antibiotic and no diagnosis.  Somewhere after all the exams and waiting to be discharged, I began to unleash my fury at the inept medical system on my husband, mother, and sister.  My sister who will hopefully become my doctor once she completes medical school, and was able to obtain me a diagnosis with two second opinions via text message as she sat and watched the debacle unfold in front of her.

And I guess I am not dying from anything, since they never called me with any blood work results.  (*insert eyeroll here*)

So as I sit here in wait of doctors to yet again interpret what is not within normal levels (for whom???) and avoid self-diagnosing and mapping every possible scenario, there is nothing I can do but trust my body to do what I know it can do, and trust God to provide as only he can, and continue to have faith.