Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We are 5 days into Easter vacation and only making each other slightly crazy. We have been pretty busy. Saturday we did stuff around the house. Sunday was church, which we woke up way too late for the 9 am service so we ended up going to the 11 am service. The only problem with that is that by the time we got home (after stopping at Kroger for some groceries) I was starving and grumpy! Not a good combo. It was rainy all Sunday afternoon so we didn't do anything too exciting.

Monday came and we were going a bit stir crazy so we ran out to Home Depot to get some flowers and tomato plants. We are going to freshen up the yard so it looks good when it goes on the market in a couple weeks. Yup, we are officially starting the whole selling and moving process. It will probably be another year before we head up to Ft. Lee, but we want to give our house time to sell and (hopefully) get a good price for it. It will be sad to let it go but it's time to move on. We had a company FRG meeting at Cici's Pizza. Bad turn out but a good time talking to those who did come. Only another 2 months and I am DONE with being an FRG leader. Which will be nice so that I can concentrate on being a Mommy to a newborn and a 4 year old! After dinner we walked over to Bed Bath and Beyond, got some more coffee and got back massages in the tester chairs. Then we walked over to Toys R Us and walked around a bit, got a cute outfit for Henry, some socks and Wesley got a Zhu Zhu pet. It's a hampster that rolls around and make noise. They are evidently all the rage. I just though it was better than a ready one since it doesn't need it's cage cleaned out and you can turn it off! Wesley loves it, the cats are still leery but I am waiting for them to try to attack/catch it.

Tuesday we went to Target and did some shopping. There was a big sale on baby clothes so we got some cute outfits for Henry and a couple things for Wesley. We also picked up "Uno Moo" because it was on sale. Wesley is still learning the rules and cheats horribly but we have had fun playing. He will get it eventually.

We got the phone call on Tuesday that our pottery was ready so we drove over to Midnight Star Pottery and picked it up. I forgot to take a picture of Wesley's dolphin, I will have to add that later but here is the rest:

Today we went to-wait for it-Panera! No surprise there! :) Great lunch then we got a dozen bagels with cream cheese for breakfast tomorrow. Then we went  to Kroger to get some last minute food items, flowers and gas in our car so we are ready when Mom, Matt, Brad and Lauren arrive. It should be a fun weekend, we have lots of great stuff planned. We came home and did some cleaning and baking. We have home made BBQ sauce ready for the pork BBQ in the crock pot tomorrow, pasta salad, Chex Mix and Basil Lime shortbread cookies. Because these are so awesome (and will be fantastic with some iced tea out on our deck tomorrow afternoon) here is the recipe, you have got to try them!

Basil Lime Shortbread:

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp fresh lime zest

1. In a medium bowl and using an electric mixer at medium speed cream the butter and confectioners' sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract and salt. 
2. In a small bowl toss together the flour, basil, and lime zest. With the mixer at low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until the dough just comes together and forms a ball. Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours. 
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. LIne 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness, and using a 2 inch round fluted cutter cut cookies (ok, you can use any 2 inch shaped cutter you want). Place on prepared baking sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes (I actually find I have to leave them in there for almost 15 minutes) or until edges begin to brown. Cool on wire racks before serving. 


Now the Fam is on their way down and Wesley is making me absolutely crazy asking we when they are going to get here. I can't wait for him to go to bed! It's almost worse than "Are we there yet?" in the car.

To leave you with a smile: Smokey in a bag. Stupid cat did this to himself.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Good Mothering vs Bad Mothering

These are not my words. Someone sent this to me a couple years ago when Wesley was small. I agree with all of it. I know i have posted about being worried about being able to take care of two little boys. It's  a scary thought, but this puts it into perspective. I know my boys will be fed, clothed, washed, and most importantly loved. Even if I don't get it all "right" I know I will be doing a good job because it's the best I can do. I might not be able to buy them everything under the sun, but I am able to give them lots of hugs and kisses and (home made!) cookies (and sometimes store bought ones), and all my love. I can give them the confidence they need to become good loving men one day. And that is something that can be done whether they are breast fed or cloth diapered or bottle fed or if I don't buy "Your Baby Can Read" and do what "they" say I should do.

These are not my words but I totally agree with this!
Good Vs. Bad Mothering 
I have been thinking a lot lately about this whole mothering thing. This somehow sacred ideal that there is a perfect way to mother, and that women who deviate from this method are somehow inferior.

No matter what your taste, you can read a study or a book by a self-proclaimed expert who will back you up. Want to Attachment Parent? Read this book! Want to CIO? Read this book! Want to use cloth diapers? Read this study! Want to use a bottle? Here's what this doctor says!

The Latest Studies show. Talk about a phrase that should be removed from all languages. 30 years ago The Latest Studies showed that bottle-feeding and starting solids at 3 weeks and using disposable diapers was the best way to raise your child. Today, The Latest Studies show that breastfeeding and starting solids after 9 months and using cloth diapers are the best way to raise your child. The Latest Studies don't ever agree with each other, because if they did, there would be no more money given out to actually do studies, and there would be no money made in writing books.

Most of us survive childhood intact. Sure, we b@#ch. Sure we trot out our parents' mistakes and brandish them with a vengeance as proof of our suffering. Sure we rant and rave, promising ourselves and anyone else that listens that we will be different, that we will never be the same kind of mother as our own second-rate one.

And yes, there is such a thing as bad mothering.


Bad mothering is not using disposable diapers. Bad mothering is not using bottles and formula. Bad mothering is not putting a baby into a crib and letting the baby cry until she learns to sleep on her own. Bad mothering is not giving the baby a cookie to just shut up her whining, already.

Nor is bad mothering using cloth diapers. Or breastfeeding until the baby is 4. Or letting the baby sleep in bed with her parents, even while they make love. Or feeding the baby a vegetarian diet.

There are women out there who are bad mothers. There are mothers shooting up while their children die of starvation and neglect in the next room. There are mothers out there who stuff a pillow over their heads so they don't have to listen to the whimpers from their 8 year olds while their fathers sodomize them. There are mothers out there who abandon their children on the street because they no longer wish to care for them. There are women who slowly twist their children's limbs until they snap while their children cry and beg, promising to be good.

Bad mothers.


But most of us are not.

At some point along the line, women in the Western world stopped trusting their instincts. We began to listen to doctors. We eagerly read studies and books that would confirm to us that yes, we were good mothers!

And worse, we began to betray each other. We began to gather in camps, and we set up rules for what constituted good mothering. And any mother who strayed outside those rules was a bad mother. We'd sit together over tea and discuss in outraged tones the ignorant woman down the street who bottle-fed her child from birth, smugly asserting our superiority in breastfeeding our own children for years. We'd converse over a power lunch about the poor deluded woman who quit her high-profile job so she could stay home and finger-paint, rolling our eyes and congratulating ourselves on our excellent luck in nannies. We'd snipe over email and on message boards, on blogs and over the phone.

Look at me! I am a better mother! And I can prove it to you by surrounding myself with other mothers who think just like me! I can prove it by shoving these books in your face! I can prove it by demeaning other mothers who have made different choices than mine!

Why are we doing this?

Why can't we feel confident in our own mothering choices? Why do we feel such a need to prove ourselves through book after book and scorn directed towards other mothers?

Ask yourself, and be honest. When was the last time you criticized another mother in your mind? Was it today? Was it yesterday?

The next time you hear yourself making a nasty comment about another mother…stop. Just stop. And ask yourself – is she really a bad mother? Does she abuse her child? Does she neglect her child? Co-sleeping is not abuse. Bottle-feeding is not neglect. Think about what is coming out of your mouth.

Do not diminish the pain of a child who sleeps chained in a closet, ribs cracked from her latest beating by equating her to a child who has learned to sleep by crying it out for a few nights in her crib. Do not diminish the pain of a child who has been sexually abused by equating her to a child that sleeps peacefully between her loving parents. Do not diminish the pain of a child who has not eaten for days by equating her to a child who is not fed meat or who drinks formula.

We are the none of us perfect. None of us are. And we will all make mistakes. We will learn, we will revise our thinking; we will throw up our hands and let go of a long cherished ideal because we have just got to do it or collapse.

So how about instead of attacking other mothers, we start feeling confident about ourselves? How about we look to our own children instead of spending time self-righteously judging everyone else's? Throw away your parenting books. Think about what your doctor tells you and evaluate what it means. When other mothers criticize you, shake it off and ignore the temptation to turn around and attack back.

Let's try supporting each other for a change. I think it would make all of us better mothers to do so.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, Monday...

We needed to get out of the house today but the weather was overcast and chilly so we went to Midnight Star Pottery to get creative. It is such a great place to go for a morning or afternoon of fun. And as long as your child doesn't break the pottery they have sitting around, they are more than happy to welcome your kids in there. :) They even have a little play area with toys so the kids can go play while Mom finishes up her pottery pieces. We made two Easter Eggs (which will be interesting since Wesley picked out  "outer space"- black/yellow paint combo to paint them. He also painted a dolphin (purple and green) and I painted a tray for eggs to go in (very excited, I can use it for Easter and for deviled eggs later on). Oh and Wesley did a shamrock also. We plan on going back next month with some friends. I want to do letters for Henry's room and have Wesley do plant pots for his teachers at school for their end of the year gifts. Hopefully we will get some friends to join us next time. I will post more photos of the finished products (after they have been fired in the kiln) when we bring them home.

After we finished we went to Panera for lunch. We are starting to recognized there. When we went up the counter to order the girl there said "Wow! You guys are in here later than usual!" No sure if it's a good thing or not. Anyway, it was a great lunch and I got a super goofy pic of Wesley. 

Kid cracks me up. I was trying to get him to smile or say cheese and he says "Just take the picture." So like his father. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Festival!

Today Wesley and I went to the Spring Festival at the Bamboo Gardens. The weather was gorgeous, it was a great day for the festival. It was just too bad the strawberries were not ready yet ( because of the cold winter) but we still had a great time (and will just have to go at a later date to pick strawberries!). We met up with some friends, Sabrina, Sydney and Sofia and Wesley and Sydney had a great time running back between the bounce house and the fish pond.

 Eventually we wandered back through the tables and I I found the cutest AIO diaper with little monkeys on it. I can't wait to put it on Henry when he arrives. Maybe this will even the our "coming home" diaper.

It was a great day, but one of those when we miss Christopher the most. When we got home Wesley even said Mommy I wish Daddy was here with us." I told him me too. Four years ago Christopher and I took Wesley to the Spring Festival for the first time. He was about 2 months old and we carried him in the Snugglie while we picked strawberries that we later turned into all kinds of good treats.
 I hate it when it is a great day and we do something fun and he is not there. I can't wait until he his home again and we get to do all the fun stuff together. With our two boys. :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

TGIF! 3/19/2010

It's another beautiful day here in Savannah! I love this weather, I wish it would stay like this! I hope it is this nice for Easter weekend so we can enjoy one last holiday on our deck. I am really looking forward to being able to sit outside with the fam and have fun in two weeks.

I spent the morning at the library returning and getting more to read. Then I picked up Wesley from school, and we wen to Panera for lunch (grilled cheese and a yogurt for him, garden salad and tomato soup for me) and we picked up some bagels on our way out for breakfast in the morning! Yummy. Then we walked down the shopping center stopping at Homegoods (they had outdoor cushions I liked but I couldn't remember what colors were in my umbrella or what size I needed so I will have to go back), Ulta (great deals on their line of make up-and I need it since I don't have that pregnancy glow going on) and then to Michael's for some Easter crafty stuff (Grandma is in for a surprise) yarn (going to attempt to knit a baby hat for Henry to wear at the hospital) and some really cute baskets for Henry's room (white wicker with white liners with blue and brown polka dots). Oh, and about 5 million little fuzzy Easter chicks. I believe they will be joining Wesley's legions of army guys and Storm Troopers.

The one down side of the day was Wesley having an accident on our way back to the car. I had no wipes or change of clothes with me as we have not had an accident in well, forever. So now I think I am going to make a little case (like my diapers and wipes case) for my emergency toddler clothes kit for the car. Something that can fit in the glove compartment or in the little mesh pocket behind the passenger seat. Pictures to follow. Especially of Wesley's dinosaur art project he has going on!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Luck of the Irish!

Today is St. Patrick's Day, which, if you live in Savannah, you know is a big deal. Huge parade, over a million people downtown (literally) weeklong festivities. We went our first year here and while we had a good time, I really have had no desire to go back and brave the crowds (and drunk college guys). I realized that this is probably going to be last year we are here to celebrate downtown. Of course we might come back to visit one day, but it is sad to think that we will be slowly saying good bye to all the special parts of Savannah that we love. We still have yet to go on a carriage ride or ghost tour downtown, eat at Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House (or the Pink House for that matter-but we have eaten at Paula Deen's restaurant). At the same time it is nice to look ahead to new adventures we will have in a new town. 

Anyway, we (Wesley and I) had a great day, we went to the commissary to go grocery shopping, then I made Shepheard's Pie for dinner (not with lamb, but oh well) with Chocolate Mousse Pie for dessert. Yummy. Now if I can just get my hands on some Chicken Cashel Blue with garlic cream sauce....mmmmmm. 

Oh, and since this day is celebrated by a lot of green...why not go a little green today and do something good for the environment? Even if it's just recycling your beer bottles? I ordered some more cloth diapers for Baby Henry. Every little bit helps. :) BumGenius All-in-One cloth diaper