Thursday, July 29, 2010

I can't quite remember....

So cute, the loss of my mind is worth it.
I don't like to define myself by cliches about motherhood or being a stay at home mom. I even call myself a homemaker, to differentiate myself from the image I get when I say stay at home mom - which latter phrase makes me sound like I'm a frumpy woman old for her time, who stays in stretch clothes all day and stays at home, never leaving the house, and stares at her walls for hours on end, while her children roam the house as wild packs, intent on the hunt (of destruction). Now, homemaker make bring to mind a 1950s housewife, who applies liberal red lipstick and carefully coiffures her hair, wears a small waisted dress with an apron and vacuumes her already immaculate house while waiting for her husband to come home and sample her cooking.

The truth of the matter is that I do stay at home almost all the time as a mom, but I get dressed (usually in skirts) every day - although I leave off the make-up, and the hairdo, and the apron. But at least I don't stare at the walls for hours - I leave my staring for books.

Regardless, another cliche I like to avoid is the "mommy brain."

Early this morning, at 4:40 am, I woke up convinced that we had never been mailed our water bill, and it would be late in two days. I'd had a vague nagging feeling for weeks that we should have another bill to pay, and had been waiting impatiently to receive it, convinced it must have been lost in the mail. We only pay our water ever three months or so, so it's easy for me to lose track periodically when the next bill is due. I knew that I had paid the last water bill in March, so I felt very overdue for another payment. I tried telling myself that I could pay it in the morning, and that it wouldn't be late a mere four hours later, but to no avail. I tossed and turned, and finally went downstairs, dug through our file box, and found the phone number for our automatic pay utilities. Unfortunately, although you can pay your bill over the phone, they don't tell you how much you owe. So I got on the computer, got into my account, and discovered that I had paid a bill in June, and the next one wasn't due until September. That's great for our budget, but sadly, I don't remember paying a bill in June. And due to the antiquated Columbus Water Facilities, I always mail in our water bill physically, because they charge fees to pay online or over the phone - which means that this wasn't a simple automatic deduction, or a simple click of the mouse I forgot. I forgot writing checks, and mailing letters.

Combine this with the fact that yesterday I twice told people that I was going to a Ladies Luncheon that someone in my ward organizes for stay at home moms (homemakers? Ladies of the Day?) today, when really in my day planner it was scheduled for next week. Understandable mistake, but less understandable when you realize that I had forgotten about the luncheon, and only remembered it yesterday when I checked my day planner. Apparently I can't remember to look at the number of the day, and July 29 doesn't really look anything like August 5th anyway.

All I can conclude is I'm losing, or have already lost, my short and long term memory. It galls me (mostly just because I love to use the word gall in a sentence) that I'm falling prey to this disease of motherhood. I'm one of those people that used to, in a firmer and younger reincarnation, remember every date and number, every social occasion and responsibility in firmly engraved tablets on my brain. I never forgot them, even when I would rather have so I could skip out on something, and then claim I merely forgot. It turns out when you don't get to selectively choose what to forget, it's a lot less useful. I already mix up my children's names, so the only step left is dementia.

Well, in case I forget I have a blog next - it's been a good life, world. Even if I can't remember it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

She of the Golden Locks

Shortly after Guinevere was born, Lydia would talk to Guinevere, and then lean in real close as Guinevere whispered (so Lydia told us) in her ear. One time while doing this, I asked Lydia what Guinevere was telling her.

Lydia, "Guinevere is telling me about my baby brother!"

Me, "Oh, what's his name?" - Thinking maybe that children really do have a connection to the other side - maybe we'll have a boy next.

Lydia, after consulting with Guinevere, "Sharon."

On second thought, maybe not.
Lydia dressed up as a Fairy Princess - her favorite pretend, next to being Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender. She's going to go as Toph for Halloween.

Also, twice in the last week Lydia has introduced herself to little girls at the park as "Goldilocks." She thinks Avram and I are Papa and Mama Bear, Elisheva is Baby Bear, and Guinevere is Curly Bear (this name derives from a character on modern Sesame Street - Guinevere's hair isn't curly at all). She's told us before that her real parents moved to Utah for forever, and so she's come to live with us, the Bear family.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I would have rather had nice pictures than a blog post.

A while ago I lamented about my boring Dining wall. I appreciated your comments, particularly the idea to paint my own picture (thanks Sarah - I do want to do that sometime!), but I ended up going in a slightly different direction. I've also for a while wanted to have more pictures of our family up and about, that date from more recently than my wedding day, seeing as we've added three members to our family since then. Also, I like to pretend that I take half-way decent point-and-shoot pictures, and wanted to display them in more areas than the hard drive of my computer.

I came up with a design for a collage of photographs - eleven in total, that will hang on the empty wall. I have the mats bought, and now just need to buy the frames and pick the pictures. The frames will be from thrift stores, which I'll then paint green. I knew I wanted to include Guinevere with the pictures, though, and so wanted to wait and take some cute pictures after she was born. Months ago I decided that the last day my Mom would be here and visiting would be the best time, since Guinevere would be the oldest then, and my Mom could help corral the kids. Avram doesn't enjoy doing photo shoots, so this would let him get out of it as well.

There seems to be some weird glitch in me, so that I can't abide the thought of taking my kids to a store and paying for someone to take their pictures. It's not the money, per se, since I can imagine paying my sister who does pictures to do the same thing. Regardless, the last real formal pictures taken of my kids was when I only had one kid, and she was a year old (by that same sister. Number of times we've been to 'professionals' equals zero.) So to me, because I'm weird, these pictures are the official newborn pictures of Guinevere, and the girls yearly four and two year old photos all rolled into one.

I've spent months thinking about, in the spare corners of my life, how great these pictures would be. I knew we'd got to a local garden park here in Columbus, where there are always a nice picture background. I knew what I would dress the girls in, and how I would do their hair. This last Monday dawned cloudy and not too hot - perfect for picture taking (although it was massively humid, but you can't have everything.) We spent the morning leisurely getting ready with clothing and hair, and finally headed out there close to lunch time.

First, there were gnats everywhere, who seemed to be particularly attracted to Elisheva. As well ants were running amok on the stone wall the girls were sitting on, and the girls were back-lit and appeared in shadow.

The black dot underneath Elisheva's eye is no beauty mark.

As well, there was the usual assortment of "huh?" expression from the girls.
So then we moved to a bench, where the girls wouldn't settle down from weird expressions.

Then, only ten minutes into the photo shoot, when we hadn't even pulled out Guinevere's clothes yet, nor dressed her (she was feeling rather urpy that morning, and we didn't want spit up all over the pictures), the heavens opened, and the rain came pouring down.
I only managed three photos of Guinevere, and they all about looked like this one
(The nice black section is my camera's lens cover, which got stuck from the rain, and couldn't open all the way on its own. Thankfully once it dried out, all was good again). Guinevere never did even make it into her outfits planned for the photo shoot. After the rain had stopped, we gave up and went home. The girls were starving, and although we'd brought sandwiches for lunch, all of the benches were soaked, and so there was no real place to eat.

I guess some things just weren't meant to be - like classy photos of my family. So, if you're ever wondering what to get me for Christmas, please, give me some pictures of my kids. But, don't just give me money, or a coupon or whatnot. I think you'll have to secretly kidnap them, cutify them yourself, and then go and get a professional to take their pictures. Otherwise, we're going to have photos like this one our wall the rest of our lives.