Thursday, June 11, 2009

Today I put on a shirt that makes me look pregnant, thanks in part to the five pounds I've gained (all stomach fat, apparently) since quitting our gym membership a few months ago and the fact that I'm a stress eater. Thank you bad economy!

This shirt plays up the deception though. It has the tight fit through the chest and the loose spread around the stomach. A classic maternity look. But it was $5 at Target and it was white. Need I say more?

Anyway, normally when this happens I take off the offending garment at once and scrounge in my closet for something else. Nothing is worse than having someone wonder, "Is she . . .?" when she decidely isn't. But today the you-look-pregnant look was working for me. I decided to blame this odd phenomenon on my two pregnant sisters--one of which is currently dilated to an EIGHT and huffing and puffing through labor pains as I type. I know she is huffing and puffing because we had a lengthy conversation yesterday about the merits of active breathing during hard labor. None of this "go-to-your-happy-place-and-relax-breathing." No way. Not for that job.

So here I sit in my fairly comfortable chair, wishing I could be there with her, but the thirteen-hour drive and responsibilities with my own children (whom I could also blame for the bulge around my middle) keep me here.

Love you Em. Happy Huffing. Soon you will be skinnier than me. ;)

Monday, June 8, 2009


Yesterday I needed a nap.

Annie didn't.

When my eyes were drooping she was busily making necklaces and bracelets from the leftover green and brown pipecleaners from her Tropical Rain Forest project. Not the most popular colors for personal jewelry, I know, but she was making do with what she had, I suppose.

On the rare occasion I do get a nap, it is my custom to make sure the kiddos are set up with something quiet to do. The older kids were on the computer. Annie was, as I said, making "jewelry."

A lot of jewelry. Some part of this nagged at me since it seemed like she was "wasting" the pipecleaners. I mustered a feeble "don't make too many," but there was no punch to it. I realized it didn't matter and I would probably have "saved" the pipecleaners for another project but never remembered I had them, or if I did, they would still be the wrong color, etc.

"Well, maybe you could "give" them away to your friends tomorrow at school."

"No Mom. I want to sell them for charity."

Okay. Hands rubbing temples. I couldn't deny that this was an incredibly noble idea. I loved her tender heart for it. But I also couldn't help but think . . . "She's my daughter, and I think these necklaces are . . . well . . . less than pretty. Nobody will want to buy these." Granted--I would buy one or two. I would even wear them (around the house), but I had a hard time thinking anyone else would want to buy them. However, this was a problem that was too difficult for my sleep-deprived brain to concentrate on. I needed a delay. Then I would figure out a pleasant compromise. Maybe I could help her make some jewelry . . . you know . . . with colors (and product for that matter) that people might actually use.

She unwittingly gave me my next move when she said, "I was going to go door-to-door to sell them." Oh No! That would never do. Too dangerous for her and too embarrassing for me to go along with her. Sorry. But that's the glaring reality of my lack of perfection as a mother.

The nap was still calling. "No, that's not safe for you to do alone, and I need a nap." Then, knowing Annie, I added--"You need to stay home while I'm sleeping."

"Okay Mom." I knew the wheels in her head were turning. She had a determined attitude I could tell, but I literally couldn't do anymore. I had not had enough sleep the previous week--mostly due to being a single mom while Howard had been out of town. My body was shutting down. My brain had already initiated the "shes-finally-going-to-let-us-sleep" process, and my body wasn't going to let me back out now. Annie's disobedient preparations were just a foggy sensation that, like Scarlet O'Hara, I was going to worry about "tomorrow"--or at least after my nap.

I awoke about an hour later to Mae's giggles sounding from the front door. Annie had already earned close to $10 from her "jewelry" sales. She had set up a table at the end of our driveway and solicited sales to passersby. Mae was laughing because some teenage boys from next door had just come to purchase some jewelry. They were quite enthusiastic in their delight. I'm not sure which of my daughters "delighted" them more--the quiet teenage beauty, or the outgoing, never-to-be-stopped-or-intimidated eight-year-old.

I've got to learn to stop TRYING to stop Annie.

Any good ideas for a charity?