About 4 times a year, Erik falls asleep the same time as the kids. Tonight was one of those special (and rare) nights. It was 8:30 p.m. and I found myself sitting on the stairs in a completely quiet house.
Lately I have felt this urge to become more domesticated. I've struggled with that a lot in the past. I don't scrapbook, make headbands, decorate my house, or cook exceptionally well. Sometimes I feel like I have no common interest or skill to offer my friends. In an effort to be more interesting, I once asked for a sewing machine for Christmas. Tonight, two years later, I finally used it for the first time.
I'm not sure yet how I feel about sewing in general. My first project is a blanket that I have intended to make for Charlie since he was in the womb. It's a little monotonous and easy to mess up. Every time I sew a stitch, I panic that the bobbin is going to come undone and I'll have to make a new one. I'll be glad when the blanket is finished.
Letting my new sewing machine sit in the closet for over 2 years has taught me that I need to do more things for me. Not in a narcissistic and selfish kind of way, but rather in a way that will help me learn, grow, and become more well rounded. I really want to stop being the person who avoids doing hard things.
I know what you are all wondering. The answer is no, I am not selling this blanket on Etsy when I am done. Instead, depending on how this project goes, I may sell the sewing machine.
Posted by Cristin at 10:10 PM
Everyone has fears. I have a lot. There are so many of them that I need to classify them.
For example, my personal fears include dogs, heights, more dogs, and crashing in a private airplane that Erik is flying. My fears as a mother include losing my children or having them attacked by a wild animal or dog. I don't care if you think my fears are silly. They are very legitimate to me.
I have a friend who has a fear of driving over water. She actually used to carry a long rope in the car just in case her car drove off a bridge. The plan was that when the car landed in the water she would tie all her kids together and swim to safety. I didn't exactly understand how she was going to tie all the kids together so quickly. Nor did I understand how she would keep her kids afloat. For some reason though, that rope made her feel more confident. (Her plan reminded me of the part in the Incredibles when the mom has her two kids hold on to her and they swim to the island to save Mr. Incredible.)
Two years ago I read this horrible article about a 21 month old living with his single mother. When his mother died of natural causes, no one found the toddler for weeks. He apparently died a week later. There was evidence that he had been hunting for food. This really stuck with me, because Luke, at the time, was about the same age as this boy.
Any time that Erik is out of town I worry about the kids in case I die in the middle of the night. I have gone as far as to tell people that if I don't show up to appointments or answer the phone, to come break my door down. I even leave a little food accessible to the kids in the kitchen. (Although I doubt they would know how to ration it correctly.)
Well, good news. Luke woke up this morning and poured his own glass of milk. He even dished up some yogurt for himself. AMAZING! I'm not so afraid anymore. The fact that Luke poured his own glass of milk is comforting to me like my friend found comfort in that rope. If they don't kill each other, they might last a little while without me. Maybe. Who knew a simple glass of milk could signify so much?
Posted by Cristin at 1:25 PM
Erik told me I better blog or people are going to think I'm dead. So, hello, people. I'm alive.
Last Monday morning I woke up and decided to go to Arizona for the week. It was the first time I had been with all of my sisters in over a year. I stayed with my sister, Caitlin. 4 kids, ages 3 and under, in one house, makes for a lot of craziness. Fun times, though.
The big news this week is that I think I have mastered the art of the road trip with small children. This morning I left at 6:30 a.m. and arrived home at 12:30 p.m. Not bad, eh? I didn't even have to use the portable DVD player. My secret - STAKE CENTERS!!
I mapped out a few stake centers when I drove to my parents house alone with Luke when he was a baby. They are usually open, a clean place to go to the bathroom and have nice comfortable spots to nurse. Today was especially nice because I only had to stop at one. I love the Stake Center across from the Redlands Temple because it is so close to the freeway. No one questioned why I was changing my kids out of their pajamas and letting them run around like crazy. Win-win.
So, now that my mental health vacation is over, it's on to real life, piles of laundry, an upcoming Relief Society activity to plan, and.... Charlie escaped from his crib this afternoon! Oh no. I wonder how much it will be to overnight a new crib tent to our house?
Posted by Cristin at 3:47 PM
It's still January, which means I can still make New Year's Resolutions. I am going to dramatically alter my television viewing habits. Not having cable has definitely made me more selective about what I watch.
Glee is my guilty pleasure. It's the one show my husband and I enjoy watching together. I don't care if the story lines always focused on someone leaving the Glee Club (oh no!) or the bad white rapping. Maybe I like it because Mr. Schuester has an uncomfortably close relationship with his students, reminiscent of my own high school drama teacher. Their version of "Endless Love" and the "Acafellas" are two of the funniest things I have ever seen. Plus, any show with a character like Sue Sylvester can not be bad.
Every year I say I'm not going to watch American Idol and then every year I get sucked into it. Then the next thing I know I've just wasted 2 hours of my life voting for some kid (60-40). I just don't want to do that any more. I would rather get sucked into shows about smoke monsters and clinically insane cheer coaches. You know, real life stuff.
So, I like Captain Hammer. Nathan Fillion is a really funny guy. I would like to watch Castle, but I am so irritated, I can't do it. Remember that guy I dated briefly in college who is now a D List celebrity? He got a part on Castle. Whoop-te-doo. Last year, I tried to add him as a friend on Facebook and he sent me to his "fan" page, you know, like he's famous. (We even have mutual friends!!) When I asked him why he did that, he said he didn't remember me. When I refreshed his memory about how I dumped him, he never wrote me back. The guy irritates me. He sent me to his fan page??????!!
Posted by Cristin at 1:25 PM
Besides all the wild dogs, the other thing that really caught my attention while we were in Tonga last year was that no kids used sippy cups. The owners of our resort had a child about the same age as Charlie who drank everything out of a glass (GASP!!!). When was the last time you saw a 20 month old carrying a glass around? For that matter, when was the last time you saw even a 3 year old carrying a glass around?!
So, this is my goal this week. No more sippy cups for Luke. I'm tired of buying and cleaning them. I'm constantly losing lids and inserts. I have to use a bottle brush to clean them correctly. I can handle one kid using them, but not two. I feel like this is going to be worse than weaning Luke from breastfeeding. Wish me luck.
Posted by Cristin at 9:22 PM
It's been an interesting experience visiting the library with my kids. Our local library is pretty humble, just a store front with a small children's section. However, they do have a weekly story time. Sometimes it's not very entertaining, which I don't mind because it's a good way to prepare the kids to be reverent during boring things (i.e., church). Other times it is very good and the kids get really into it. Afterward, we always check out about 5 or 6 books for the week. Lately, I've been trying to check out the children's classics and guess what, I have discovered that most of them are very strange. In fact, I don't get why a lot of them are so classic.
It was disappointing to discover that the original Curious George is actually really boring and wordy. If it wasn't for the television show and movie, the kids would have had no interest in the book. The illustrations did not entertain them and the story was kind of convoluted.
Horton Hears a Who has got to be the longest "children's" book I have ever read. The kids enjoyed it, but after reading it twice in one day, I nearly lost my voice. The moral of the story confuses me. "A person's a person, no matter how small," makes sense. Although, if we all tried not to harm communities of ticks floating on dandelions, that would make for a very strange existence. Can you really blame those monkeys for thinking Horton needed to be locked up?
This week I checked out Babar. Turns out that Babar is the strangest book of them all. The writing is very listless. The bizarre story follows Babar's journey from the jungle to the city. He learns about wearing clothes and how to drive a car. In the end of the story, he marries his cousin. She is also an elephant that wears clothes. My problem with animals that wear clothes is that once you start covering up selected parts of their bodies, it seems strange not to do it anymore, or to only cover up certain parts (aka "Donald Ducking" it). After seeing Babar in so many fancy outfits, I feel embarrassed seeing him naked on the cover.
I have only mentioned the strange classics. On the bright side, Eloise, Clifford, and Cat in the Hat are still really good books.
Posted by Cristin at 10:00 AM
2009 will be remembered as the year I visited Disneyland eight times.
So, what did I learn?
No matter how many times you consider purchasing a $5 apple, that price never seems normal. There are at least 6 different female and male actors who play "Casey" in the Playhouse Disney show. Some of the best things at Disneyland are things you can find at city parks (Redwood Challenge) or in your own backyard (sprinklers in the Bug's Life area). Parking passes are an excellent investment. Most Disney rides follow a very simple formula of cardboard cut-outs and a bumpy, yet un-intimidating, "car" ride. The tram really is faster than walking to the park entrance from the parking structure.
I actually liked Disneyland more than I thought I would. Luke told me he wants to live there. So, why am I not renewing my pass for at least another 3 years?
It's this guy's fault -
There really is no reason to bring a baby to Disneyland. That is why their admission is free. Get the hint? If it was worthwhile to bring a child under the age of 3, you would have to pay something. I actually think Disneyland should offer a discount to anyone associated with a baby, this includes pregnant people and doting grandparents. There is a direct correlation between the number of babies in your Disneyland group and the amount of fun had during your visit. Babies are Disneyland fun suckers. They show no emotion when riding the coin operated rides in front of the grocery store, so what makes anyone think they will care about Pirates of the Caribbean? They poop while waiting in long lines and always fall asleep right when you need to take them out of their strollers.
Many will argue that Disneyland's Baby Centers do a lot for babies. Boo. Try harder! For those of us who can't afford a nanny stationed at the Grand Californian, I suggest drop-in babysitting at Downtown Disney. For $15 an hour, CPR/First Aid Certified babysitters could watch babies and let them nap. Parents could grab their babies for quick photo-ops and then return them quickly before they became too aggravating. It would be expensive, but everything at Disneyland is expensive, and, really, can you put a price on fun?
I should get paid for these good ideas!
Posted by Cristin at 10:37 PM
It was excruciating. The plot was boring. I felt like I was trapped in some nerd's Second Life fantasy. I could care less about their tails plugging into everything. I could never figure out if the female Blue Things had breasts they were trying to cover up or not. As far as I was concerned, the destruction of the Blue Things' Hometree was just life in the big city. Get over it, already. I looked at my watch an hour into the movie and thought it could go one of two ways - either the technology cost so much that the movie would be over quickly or James Cameron made another really long movie. It was the latter. Just when I thought that movie was over, there would be another, and another, and ANOTHER ending! The only positive part about watching it through till the end was that I got to see Ana Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez) die.
So, I go home. I tell Erik it was awful and that he missed nothing. Then I go on the computer and discover that it is one of the highest grossing films of all time. I learn that I am only 1 of about 10 people in the whole universe that hate it. I wonder if people's opinions of movies are heavily influenced by reviews or if I am a weirdo. The answer is probably a little of both.
Posted by Cristin at 11:53 AM
I was originally planning on writing something funny about my New Year's resolutions, but after this week, I don't feel like being funny right now.
Today I walked into my garage and decided to do something unusual for me. Like someone who was possessed, I filled up my entire truck with garbage in 10 minutes. When I finished, I looked at the load and couldn't believe how we had been living with so much junk for so long. Since our washer and dryer are in the garage, I had literally been walking through piles of trash every time I had to do a load of laundry. Then, I drove it to the local landfill, backed it up to the big pile of trash, got into the bed of the truck and just started throwing the trash as far as I could. It felt wonderful. I loved it so much that I didn't even mind the flies, smell, or view. I was sad that I only had one truckload. I wish I could have thrown more trash.
So, this is my New Year's Resolution: I want to throw away trash - in every sense of the word. I want to go through closets and get rid of stuff. I want to stop being a consumer of crap. I want to "throw away" my unrealistic expectations, bad habits, and anger towards things I can't control. I'm sure as the year goes on I will find more stuff to throw away, but for now this list seems like a pretty good start.
It's a new decade which makes me incredibly sentimental. I welcomed this last decade as a missionary in Chambery, France. It was against the rules to stay up until midnight, but I still remember being woken up by the sound of furniture flying out of windows. Evidently, our French neighbors liked to celebrate the new year by throwing things away, albeit violently. I thought they were crazy, but now I get it.
My neighbors better watch out.
Posted by Cristin at 10:07 PM