Tuesday, May 22, 2012

in another life

Do you ever consider all the different "what ifs" in life? What if you'd made this decision...dated that person, took that job, gone on a trip...

I tend to think about this a lot. But in one certain context. Jobs/careers, etc. I think this is the case because of the extreme importance that was put on working and self-sufficiency as a kid. way more than anything else like who you date, education, whatever. Yet mom also said "do what you love"

The problem for me is that I love a lot of things. I consider myself a bit of a "jack of all trades, master of none". Could also be that I'm too lazy to put too much work into any one thing.

I love helping people, nature, art, geography, adventure, faith, activity, kids, animals, and the list goes on.

Last year when Bill and I travelled to AZ we visited a few state and national parks and hiked. I LOVED it. I loved being there, hiking, and watching the park rangers in the educational component, the manual labor, etc. Even Bill said that he could see me being a park ranger. However the midwest doesn't lend itself to many national parks. In another life.

I was in youth ministry for a while. Literally in another life. I used to always want to do missions trips. Summer long like many people I knew. To western Europe, Haiti, Africa, Asia.  However the expense seemed insurmountable (how do people afford it?) and asking people to sponsor me was unthinkable. I can't even bring myself to ask someone for an Asprin, much less hundreds of dollars for a trip. Funds have kept me from lots of adventure. Of course now I have the funds and there are other tethers right now.

And you know how much I love animals. In high school I wanted nothing more than to be a veterinarian. Senior year I even did an internship with a large animal vet. Through that I learned that while I loved the work, it took an awful lot of years of schooling and thus money. Also it takes a lot of memorization and attention to detail, neither of which I am any good at.

I have thought at various times that in another life I could have been a weatherman, a bakery shop owner, a fitness instructor, an adventure guide, a stewardess, a photographer, a musician, a horse trainer, a soldier, and the list goes on.

And yet where I am is nowhere I had ever dreamed. A professional counselor. A mom. A wife. And I am happy and satisfied in each of these roles. I love the purpose, the inspiration and the challenge in each. And yet they allow me to continue to dream of what else could be. Who will my son be and do with his life (ball player, father, doctor, teacher, farmer, president...?). What goals and places will my husband and I still pursue together. What else can I do in my professional life. Will I get to use things I love in professional practice to help people one day...music therapy, equine assisted therapy, activity as therapy, volunteer to counsel missionaries...limitless the possibilities.

I don't get another life. Just this one. in different phases. And I intend to make the best of it and allow it to lead me to further places I never imagined.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Of Kitty and Baby

Several people have asked me lately..."How has the kitty taken to the baby?"
Especially since whether or not we would be keeping kitty was up in the air (if you ask Bill, it still is, if you ask me, keeping her was my birthday present :)). Also you never quite know how pets will be. I mean, kitty was our baby, literally, since 2 weeks old.

here they are, about as close as they ever get :

First thing, yes our kitty's name is "Annie". Yet somehow we have just started calling her "Kitty" and that is actually what she responds to. So perhaps that may become her official name. Maybe it already is. So "kitty" is how I shall be referring to her out of habit.

I was actually concerned at first. Especially since for a while before Ben was born, she would literally lay on half of my face in the morning. While its kind of cute and I can tolerate it as an adult. I was scared to death that she would do that to baby. Also, we probably play a little rough with kitty. No one gets hurt, well maybe more Bill and I since she'd got some serious claws (and was not declawed since her status in the house was undertermined). We had some serious scratches. We certainly don't want that to happen to baby.

Sorry pet lovers (while I am too)...baby trumps kitty. So if kitty does anything to jeopardize baby, she jeopardizes her status in this house.

However Kitty has somewhat changed since we brought baby home. Its interesting. She has done nothing that I have feared.

Kitty keeps her distance from baby. She understands that baby comes first and is fragile. She has clearly noticed that the attention has shifted to baby. So she also is somewhat starved for attention. While I was afraid she might regress in her potty habits, she hasn't. She does other little things to gain attention. Shes a clever and naughty little kitty in her own ways.

now, to make her presence known she has a few tricks. She will purposely knock small items off of tables, countertops, etc. anything from pens to greeting cards, cell phones, whatever she can get her paws on. She also gets right under your feet when you have a free second away from baby and results in accidental "step-ons". She will also just come in a room and sit in the middle and watch everyone. Sometimes will come up to me or hubby and bat at our feet.

Play time with Kitty has gotten more amusing, making the most out of the little play time she gets. She has her favorite toy...these little ropes that I used to use to tie back curtains. She now takes them down and drags them around the house. Also if we pick it up and drag it she will chase it and even go so far as to "play fetch " with it, I throw the rope, she runs after it and brings it back to me. several times.

Kitty and I also have a thing that when I am in a certain chair with baby, usually nursing, she sits on the back of it and leans up against me (shes never been a lap cat...so this is significant)and will let me pet her and half-cuddle. It is all on her terms though.

But she never interacts with the baby or touches him. She looks at him. But thats it. It doesn't even seem in a jealous way. Whatever that would look like in a cat.

And I'm glad of it. I have become quite smitten with the kitty and life she brings to the house. Perhaps she and baby will be playmates someday. And maybe she will just tolerate him. Either way is ok. As long as there is no harm from Kitty to baby.

Who knows, when baby starts crawling/pulling/grabbing. Kitty may have to be the one we have to protect!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

And the diaper madness begins...

Well here I am, sitting in my driveway attempting to be a part of the neighborhood garage sale. its probably a good thing that I live way in the farthest back corner of the neighborhood and get little
'rummaging" traffic cause: a. I was running late  b. am trying to manage a garage sale with a little baby c. I really don't have much good stuff to sell and d. I'm nursing. just what everyone loves to see (although I ALWAYS use my cover when others are around)

Anyway, thats not what this blog is about. I wanted to comment on my part time efforts of cloth diapering so far. I really only started getting my orders last weekend and had to wash them a million times before I used them. But I have started using them a bit. Including today.

For starters, I've bought many different brands, trying to focus on the "all in ones" cause I'm lazy, but have a few pocket ones so I could see what those are all about. So even before I "used them" the washing and drying work was interesting. seeing how long it took some of them to dry. Some took waaaayyy longer than others.

For actual use...well, I have a 9 pound baby with tiny thighs. so some leak cause they're not tight enough on his legs. One diaper I was super impressed with the absorbancy. I felt the fabric touching his skin and it was dry. when i checked the layer farthest away from him it was wet. that has to make it more comfy for him! who wants to sit in wetness? I wish I remembered which one it was. oops.

I have to say that these are kind of cute. I like the colors and designs, etc. I don;t like how poofy they are under his onesies. Perhaps thats where having him wear more "shirts" and those baby legs are a decent option (oh I love the baby legs. I could do a whole blog on those!). Or just clothes that are a little big, which everything seems to be a little big on him anyway. At least he's finally starting to outgrow his "newborn" size.

Bill says that he doesn't like that he can't tell if he's wet and needs to be changed. I say just change him every few hours and your good. Doesn't it seem that babies wet the diaper right after you change them anyway? He likes the "swaddlers" disposable diapers cause they have the yellow line that goes blue when wet and checks diaper "puffiness". I haven;t completely forced him to get used to the cloth yet. not my babysitter. This is my experiment and I'm with him most of the time anyway.

I also found a local natural baby store in Racine. THeir selection of cloth diapers and knowledge and other products was highly impressive. If you are local, just check them out.  http://www.rgnaturalbabies.com/

Also, I just ordered some "biodegradable" disposable diapers. I'm super curious about how those work too. and if they are really a viable option.

This is it abut a week in. I have ordered a few more too that are coming. excited to try them too. Especially having a full contigient of sort through and maybe try full time at some point. maybe

This poor kid is one big experiment it seems.. But aren't most first borns?