Lindy’s Blog: Where Mom is Always Right

January 26, 2011

So, what am I doing this morning?

Filed under: Family — by lindyborer @ 12:19 pm

I’m baking cookies this morning. I had no intention of doing this today.

Five or six years ago, mom bought me this huge, ridiculous, 3-compartment cow cookie jar from a garage sale. It is precisely the type of item that everyone agrees is “just adorable” but that no one wants to own themselves. It is the type of item that, for reasons unexplained, often ends up in my home. (Apparently, my house has that “final resting place for odd pieces of kitsch” kind of look. I bitterly note how the cow jar didn’t end up on mom’s kitchen counter.)

In a fit of January household purging, I decided that the cookie jar had sat in my topmost cupboard for long enough, and so I took out the cumbersome bovine and put it into the consignment basket. Eliza discovered it almost immediately, fell in love with it, and begged ceaselessly to bake cookies to put into it.

I can be a weakling, especially when hit with a barrage of plaintive 4 year old wheedling.

So that’s how I find myself baking cookies that I don’t want to eat, while putting them into a cow cookie jar that I don’t want to own, which is sitting on my counter that doesn’t have enough space for it.

Eliza sure is happy.

Update: The “cowkie jar” fits in nicely with another item that has inexplicably made its way into our home, the “cowp” or “moog”:

May 25, 2010

they just don’t make Cliff Huxtables anymore

Filed under: Family — by lindyborer @ 10:48 am

I’ve obviously been neglecting the blog since Amelia’s birth, for myriad obvious reasons.  I’ve discovered that, due to my type A personality and my inability to cope with chaos and disorganization, sitting down to type a post is on the bottom of the to-do list.  But I do miss it; as much as I need stability (and the family needs their laundry done and a meal on the table) I also need the release that venting via writing provides. 

cosby-show-by-ginavivinetto-files-wordpressdotcom

Lately we’ve been getting DVDs of The Cosby Show from Netflix.  The kids love it, and as we now longer have any TV channels, before bed we’ll all sit down and watch an episode or two.   I grew up with the show but love it for different reasons now.  I really haven’t found a current sitcom that is family-friendly without being cheesy or funny without resorting to crude, sexual humor.  It is, in fact, possible.  Let me know if I’m missing any, but even if there is a truly family-friendly show on tv these days, the commercials sometimes make up for it.  That’s why I’m not feeling the sudden loss of our three channels too keenly. 

(Plus, there’s great entertainment value in Cliff’s sweaters and Vanessa’s hair…)

One of my all-time favorite Cosby clips is from Independence Day, when Theo gets an earring

Just a great show.

February 7, 2010

The babe arrived…

Filed under: Family — by lindyborer @ 9:18 am
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Baby Amelia made her grand debut in the wee hours of February 2nd.  We are home and well and all adjusting to Life With Baby (some of us better than others.) 

(Cue Meat Loaf’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” please.)

There’s something about the toxic mix of hormones, being up at very strange hours, absolutely no schedule or routine, visitors, nursing, diapers, and February snow/darkness that creates a very surreal, heady, and otherworldly feeling.  To go from understanding–with perfect clarity–how murder/suicides happen to being awash in complete and total contentedness from one moment to the next is something that only new mothers experience.  I could be wrong, of course, but don’t you dare tell me that to my face right now; the “baby blues” manifest themselves in a terrible, sudden, deadly and quite irrational way for me.   

My heart is bursting and breaking all at once.  Welcome to motherhood!

January 12, 2010

On “nesting”

Filed under: childbirth,Family,This and that... — by lindyborer @ 4:45 pm
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I’ve talked it over with other moms, and many of us have come to the conclusion that we hate–actually even loathe–the term “nesting.”   For those who might not have heard the term, it is used to describe the actions of late-in-pregnancy women who are are suddenly stricken with the urge to clean the entire house top-to-bottom or engage in other tasks such as updating existing childrens’ baby books, putting photos in the album, washing the drapery, etc…The term suggests a purely biological, instinctual set of behaviors that overcomes a woman about to give birth with no actual conscious thought on her part.  In other words, we’re blindly preparing the nest for the new offspring.  A bumbling mother hen always comes to mind when I hear the term. 

I humbly assert that there’s nothing unconscious about it.  I like to think of it as “thinking ahead,” “being practical,” or “preparing for total life disruption.”   

I’m not sure if this is a universal thing or not, but I’ll just say that when I casually mention to a person that I’m going to prepare a few casseroles to freeze for when the baby comes, and that person immediately assumes that smug, knowing, and slightly condescending look before stating smarmily that, “Someone’s NESTING!” I have to exercise superhuman restraint in not shouting back at them, “ACTUALLY, I REALIZE THAT IN JUST A FEW WEEKS I’LL BE COMPLETELY RESPONSIBLE FOR MEETING ANOTHER HUMAN BEING’S EVERY WHIM, DAY AND NIGHT, IN ADDITION  TO THOSE OF THE TWO CHILDREN I ALREADY HAVE.  I AM PREPARING SOME SIMPLE MEALS TO MAKE LIFE A LITTLE EASIER.  I’M NOT NESTING, I’M EXERCISING SOME GRAY MATTER.”  

Thank you, I feel much better now.

September 28, 2009

Confessions of one who has dared entertain the idea of homeschooling…

Filed under: Family,This and that... — by lindyborer @ 2:56 pm
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..and lived to tell about it.

I just read this Salon article, Confessions of a Home-Schooler, by Andrew O’Hehir, and I come away from it nodding my head and shrugging my shoulders in a “Yeah, I can identify” sort of way. 

No, our children aren’t school-aged yet, and yes, we have a great Catholic school in our community that we plan on sending them to once they’re there. 

But I will admit that the thought of homeschooling has crossed my mind a number of times, and–like O’Hehir mentions–it’s not because I’m some sort of denim-jumper wearing, Bible-thumping Christian (not that there’s anything wrong with that.)  And it’s not even due to recent news stories like this and this (although they’re certainly up there on the list.) 

It’s a whole number of different things, from the seemingly minute (“I don’t want to surrender my kids for so long at so young”) to the arguably more important (“I can’t believe some of the stuff they’re teaching my kindergartner!”) 

I also know a lot of people who either homeschool their children, have been homeschooled themselves and still somehow manage to be normal, socialized human beings (note the sarcasm, please), or who, like me, dare to entertain the mere thought in the dark corners of their minds, and who find themselves pilloried for even mentioning it in certain sectors.  So, yes, I identified a lot with the Salon writer’s thoughts.  As someone who wasn’t homeschooled and isn’t currently homeschooling, I sometimes ironically find myself in conversations where I feel as though I am a defender of the Homeschooling Unclean.

I can also remember the 13 long years of mind-numbing boredom I suffered during my schooling years, and I retroactively realize the amount of everyone’s most precious commodity–TIME– that could have been saved and savored had it just been me learning at home, by myself.  (Which brings to mind #14 in the bitter homeschooler’s wish list, linked below:  “Stop assuming that because the word ‘school’ is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we’re into the ‘school’ side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don’t have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.”

If you’re reading this and find the usual “Yeah, buts” popping into your brain, I highly suggest reading the article.  Just the stats on what kind of and how many people in this country choose this for their families is staggering–and probably underreported.  If you’re still not convinced (and no one said you have to be) at least read “The Bitter Homeschooler’s Wish List” by Deborah Markus so that you don’t accidentally fall into any of the annoying habits of non-homeschooling Concerned People.  I read it, and nearly fell off my chair laughing. 

For the sake of total clarity and transparency, I have by no means been a life-long advocate of homeschooling, and at this point, we’re sending our kids to our local Catholic school.  Homeschooling was never an idea that would have made sway in my brain even five years ago.  But parenthood is a surprising enterprise, and it sometimes takes us places we would have never before imagined.

And I would still never be caught dead in a denim jumper.

April 16, 2009

Feng shui in the bedroom, with the sleeping police

I’ve been at it again…redecorating.  This time, it’s the only remaining bedroom that I haven’t touched since moving here in ’04.  To be honest, I’m quite pleased with the results.  I appear to be in some sort of shabby-chic, French country type mood.  The walls in the soon-to-be spare room are a pale, creamy yellow, with light-colored accents, flowers, and yes, doilies.  It’s very feminine.  Perhaps Eliza will claim it one day.  For now, I finally have fulfilled my dream of having a guest room with a title:  The Yellow Room.  It’s very silly, but I’ve always fantasized about saying to…whomever…as guests arrive, “Put them in the Yellow Room, please, Jeeves.”  Anyway, I’ll post pictures when I’m completely finished with it.

Of course, this is the room that David and I have occupied.  (Okay, correction.  It’s the room where our clothes hang.)  I’m now in the process of switching all our things over to the “master” bedroom, i.e., the big bedroom at the back of the house.  This is turning out to be somewhat of a process.  The feng shui is a little off. 

Linus and Eliza are slowly making the transition to their own beds in their own rooms.  And, rant-alert here, slowly is the way it should be!  I never was the type of mother to let a baby or toddler or child “cry it out,” and the truth is that David isn’t that type of father.  I’ve always been of the opinion that it’s better to sleep with the baby and put in a solid eight hours of sleep, than try to push independence on an entirely dependent being, and subsequently wake up every hour or two during the night.  The argument that a parent shouldn’t pick up a small baby every time he cries for fear of him “becoming dependent on you” makes me want to shout, “It’s a BABY!  They’re pretty much, by definition, dependent!”  

Sleep deprivation has never been an issue in the Borer household.  I feel like I’ve stumbled upon some sort of top-secret thing, but make no mistake, a whole lot of parents are in on it.  Some of us just admit it.  And, really, it just feels so much more natural.  I highly doubt that our Neanderthal ancestors awoke five times a night to go check on Junior in his room at the back of the cave.  (Of course, breastfeeding makes a difference, too.  No bottle making during the night.)

 Of course, every family is different, so whatever works best for you is fine with me.

What is startling to me, though, is the interest that others have shown in our private family sleeping decisions.  And it seems that these people are tsking, not over the “dependence” issue, but for more, um, private reasons.  The fact that no night sleeping arrangement is the same and usually begins and ends with each parent with a child causes some hearers no end of consternation and horror. 

Listen, while I’m completely flattered (and not a little bit weirded out) that you have such an abject concern for our sex life, don’t you think that you’re being a little bit skewed?  Let’s put it this way.  I can’t remember where I read this, but another mom fed up with this phenomenon reasoned, “If unlimited sexual access to your wife/husband is your foremost concern, you might consider cat ownership as a sensible alternative to parenting.”  Amen.  

Now onto a seemingly unrelated subject that has been on my mind lately, that struck me as being TOTALLY the same:  The sharing of the good news of pregnancy.

I was pregnant with Linus two months after our wedding.  I recall sharing the news, and nearly half of all people said something like, “So soon?”  “Weren’t you just married?”  or, my favorite, “Aren’t you on birth control?!?”  Someone is expecting a baby (not me, by the way), and I won’t reveal who right now, but several responses to the good news were the same or variations.  Excuse me, but where I come from, babies are good things, and they’re pretty much the natural result of sex.  The default position is, “Babies Good!” 

It seems to be becoming the opposite in our society.  The default position is now, “Babies bad, unless each and every little thing is in place and the appropriate amount of time has passed since the wedding, then they’re acceptable.”**  Kind of a shame, really. 

But my little exegeses are completely related;  In many minds, marriage is for nothing more than sex.  The natural result of sex–they’re called “babies”– is totally divorced from it.  Hence,  married people are “surprised” by pregnancy, and people are horrified if you don’t always sleep in the same bed as your husband.  Welcome to Bizarro World.

**I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with waiting to have a baby.  Everyone’s different.  I’m just pointing out the ridiculousness of taking a condemnatory tone in response to those who decide to have a baby sooner.

March 12, 2009

cabin fever

Filed under: Family,This and that... — by lindyborer @ 9:30 am
Tags: , ,

Every once in awhile I feel the need to “lighten it up” around here.  I generally talk politics, but sometimes I fear people who don’t know me envision me walking about the house like a lunatic, raving and ranting about policy issues and such.  Trust me, it ain’t so.  I’m in the thick of raising two rambunctious little people; I don’t have time to let politics take over every segment of my life.  (Thank the Good Lord!)

Of course, as Fr. Andrews pointed out last night at ICF, “democracy is a participation sport.”  If you care about something, it’s not enough to think about doing something, or to talk about it, or to blog about it.  One’s got to get their representatives on speed-dial, put their email addresses on your contact lists, and give them feedback frequently.  It’s a balancing act, just like anything.

Think about the recently averted Connecticut fiasco, where the CT legislature was actually putting forth a bill that would dictate the actions of the Catholic Church (and only the Catholic Church).  An estimated 4-5,000 Catholics showed up in front of the CT state capitol in protest, and the bill was rapidly laid to rest.  Just think for a moment if all of us did this–especially when it came to things like abortion.  Democracy works, when tried. 

Anyway, it’s another cold morning—well beyond “crisp” but just short of “frigid.”  David has finished the “chicken coop” out in the shed, and the kids are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the baby chicks on Monday.  It takes five months for the chicks to start producing eggs.  I’m looking forward to it.  The heifers are finished calving, and the cows should start any day now.  I can’t wait for that!  I keep telling myself that this cold snap is the “last one” before spring starts asserting herself in earnest.  The other day I did notice some tulips and daffodils poking through the ground, and it gave me hope. 

This hardly seems possible, but it’s only a month away!

dsc02019

March 9, 2009

raising chickens

Filed under: Family,This and that... — by lindyborer @ 7:53 am
Tags: , , ,

Greetings and happy Monday to all.  Every spring I’m startled and somewhat annoyed by the time change, and having it come this early does nothing for kids who stay up late already.  What a difference an hour makes, I guess.  We took an impromptu trip to the Big City on Friday to see my brother and his wife, as well as to meet up with my parents.  A fun time was had by all, but by the time the day came to a close, David and I fled back to our rural domain in the sticks with joy.  Yes, we’re turning into Those People.  And, by the way, we’re getting chickens.  So our hickdom is manifesting itself by leaps and bounds each passing day.  (But have you ever tasted a farm-fresh egg?  They’re delicious.)

So, after deciding on purchasing some day-old baby chicks, David and I have been online trying to figure out how to take care of the things.  With minimal work, of course.  Having a variety of vacant outbuildings available, we’ve got the shelter for them.  Yesterday David built some nesting boxes–this is where they’ll lay their eggs–complete with a flip-top lid that is located on the outside of the coop.  This is handy because chickens move their bowels frequently and profusely, I’m told, and I’m not keen on having to step in it if I don’t absolutely have to.  There will also be an outside pen for them, and no, they won’t be free range chickens.  I like my poop-free lawn and flowers too much for that. 

We’re discovering that, like everything, there’s a lot about raising chickens that we didn’t know.  For instance, will these hens automatically know where to lay their egg?  The no-nonsense lady from Bomgaars (the place from which the chicks will come in a week) and apparent chicken connoisseur, informed David to put a golf ball in the nest if they’re not getting the idea at first.  Chickens aren’t smart, but even they can take a hint. 

There’s just all sorts of things we had no clue about.  For instance, what’s a “straight run”?  Answer–a batch of 100 day-old chicks, both male and female.  What’s a “pullet”?  Why, it’s a female chicken under one year of age–sort of like a heifer.  (Pullets, by the way, are what we’re after.  We’re not doing broilers–which are chicks you buy in the spring, feed, and then butcher at the end of the summer for meat.)  

And then David and I ventured into the realm of egg production and the role of the rooster.  Chicken sex-ed, if you will.  Those of you who know about chickens will laugh at our ignorance, here.  We weren’t initially sure if the chickens would even lay eggs without a rooster around.  What happens if you want baby chicks?  Obviously, the rooster is necessary at some point.  Well, we’ve discovered that hens will lay eggs no matter what.  If there’s not a rooster around, they’ll just lay an unfertilized egg–the eating kind.  If a rooster is around, and has shown, er–amorous advances–toward the hen, she will lay a fertilized egg.  This is stuff that makes perfect sense, but I had never stopped to think about it.   

I won’t go into brooding or roosting.  All very interesting, though.  No doubt I’ll post more as we obtain the chicks and begin our fowl-raising adventure.  The kids are excited to see the chicks, though, and it will be fun for that reason alone.

February 18, 2009

Mattress wrestling.

No, no, it’s not what you think or feared…

We’re gearing up to go travel two hours south tomorrow for a pro-life conference featuring Alan Keyes.  I’m excited.  I will take pictures and post them after the event. 

I’m really not able to focus this morning.  I have no business blogging.  But that’s never stopped me before, so what the hey?  Yesterday I took the kids shopping.  And I don’t often splurge, but yesterday I did.  I bought one of those memory foam mattress toppers.  The verdict?  Wowza.  Awesome.  If you’re not satisfied with your mattress but don’t want to spend an exorbitant amount of moolah on a new bed, I’d consider one of these.  You’ve no doubt seen the commercials for the Tempurpedic beds (you know, the one that was developed by NASA?  “?”)  Well, this is the same type of deal, only it’s two inches thick and probably $1000 cheaper.  I did sleep well last night, but I’m one of those people who has been blessed with the ability to get some shut-eye.  I’ve never been prone to insomnia.

If you do follow through with my advice and purchase a topper, be warned that the difficulty is in getting it out, unrolled, and into the antimicrobial pillow-case-like envelope.  They’re not light, and it took me about twenty minutes, several swear words, and probably 300 calories to finally wrestle the thing into position.  That’s probably another reason I slept so well.  Anyone who was downstairs while I was doing this had to wonder WHAT was going on up there…it probably sounded like two elephants wrestling or some such thing.

I foresee the end of our kitchen renovation as of about next Friday.  So, I’ll post some “in progress” pictures.  All that’s left is to tear out the linoleum and sand the oak floors underneath, stain them, fill them, and finish them.  I’m downright giddy!  David and I swear that this will be the last home improvement project for the foreseeable future.  (Except we’re already eyeing the upstairs bathroom…)

PS:  Do read the articles posted today on the Too Good page.

demolition

demolition

tiling

tiling

February 14, 2009

movie night

Filed under: Family,This and that... — by lindyborer @ 10:47 am
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Well, the stimulus passed with not a single Republican House vote, and only 3 Rep. votes in the Senate.  (By the way, Snowe, Collins, and Specter sold out their constituents in return for earmarks.  I’ll bet they’re so proud.)  I’ve said about all I can say on the subject.  As Newsweek put it on their cover:  “We are all socialists now.”  Speak for yourselves.  It will be interesting to see how gleeful people are as time passes and big brother starts managing ever-increasing aspects of our lives.  I  for one can’t wait to have the government making all my healthcare decisions.

The kids went to bed early last night, and David and I watched a movie.  This is blogworthy simply because it’s a rarity for us.  As some of you may know, I love Jane Austeny type movies, historical movies, etc… Keira Knightley seems to have a monopoly on these types of period pieces lately, but she’s a good actress, so I thought I’d rent her latest “The Duchess” which is based on a true story.  What a depressing movie!  But I’d probably still recommend it.  If you do watch it, be prepared for a lot of infidelity and screwed-upedness.  But it makes you wonder what choices you’d make if you were in Knightley’s position.  The point in the movie that was poignant for me was when Georgiana (Knightley’s character) is forced to give away her newborn daughter (whose name is Eliza) to her lover’s family.  She kisses the baby one last time before handing her to the nurse, and the baby begins crying as the carriage pulls away.  Anyone reading this who is a mom knows why this is heart-wrenching. 

The movie puts on display the inequity of marital situations in England during the late 18th century.  The Duke, played by Ralph Fiennes, is an a-rate a-hole, and there’s not a thing Georgina can do about it, because he yields the power to do just about anything, including taking away her children. 

Of course, David was resisting to the movie at first…he always is when he sees what I rent.  But somehow he always ends up liking them (though he would never admit it.)  I endured plenty from him though., especially a lot of “Ah, the good old days,” regarding the Duke’s taking of mistresses and such.  It’s amazing, too, how prim David can become, pursing his lips in disapproval like an old lady when Georgiana does the same.   

But it’s Saturday now, and we’re heading into the home stretch of the kitchen renovation.  Phase II is complete (and has been for over a week).  Phase III, the floor, is in progress.  I could almost cry.

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