Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom

Do you sit in meetings and wish for a boss who demands unfettered access your boobs, sleeps while you are at work and screams until you pay attention to them every time you try to eat your lunch? Do you already have a boss like that, but you’d like to enjoy all of these benefits from the comfort of your own home where you cry from happiness if you get to take a shower before 2pm? Then Stay-at-Home Mom is the job for you! Perks include a seemingly bi-polar little blob of cute that will melt your heart by smiling and cooing at you and, literally 0.5 seconds later, will scream at a decibel so loud and high pitched that your ears ring and your vision blurs. You may also suddenly find yourself free to stop by Bacon and Beer night at your neighborhood pub at the unheard-of hour of 4pm before all the bacon runs out, baby and husband in-tow so you can enjoy a half-pint of the beer (you’ll feel like a Hobbit) with the lowest alcohol content because you are still paranoid that your baby will want to eat again before your obligatory 2 hours after a drink are up.

Blogging in my favorite pub with my baby in my lap. And it’s MY JOB. (The baby part, not the blogging part.) Stay-at-home mom is the coolest job I’ve had so far!

I recently turned in my notice and then my laptop and keys at my old job so I am now officially a stay-at-home mom. The transition from working non-parent to stay-at-home mom technically started once we brought Samuel home, I guess. Still, making it official is definitely kind of trippy. This little guy got here and I just couldn’t imagine being away from him all day 5 days a week if I could help it. I’m so blessed to have a husband who agrees that it’s more important for Samuel to be at home than for us to have the extras that two incomes provide so we are now rocking one income, 1950’s style. Except, instead of vacuuming in heels and pearls, I watch JJ Abrams shows on Netflix when Samuel nurses. I’m a totally cheap-o-rama and we haven’t always had two incomes anyway, so that helps it not be too freaky of a transition in that respect.

Who could resist this face, anyway? Best looking boss I’ve ever had, for sure.

Stay-at-home mom's boss

Father’s Day 2013

We Love Daddy Close UpYes, we sure do! We Heart Daddy so much that I finally got around to making celebration bunting like I say I’m going to do for every holiday but never do.

Daniel's GiftsSamuel photo collage for Daddy’s desk (once we get his home office space set up), card with a special gift (3 month subscription to Daniel’s online Lord of the Rings game: he usually plays the free version) and a new bib for Samuel made by Mama. “My Daddy outgeeks your Daddy by a Yottabyte.”  Apparently that’s a lot. If that is even a real unit of measurement. I’m not certain it wasn’t just made up by other geeks.

Samuel and Daddy

My guys at Vintage Fellowship on Father’s Day.

I was so proud to share my birthday with Daniel’s very first Father’s Day this year! What better birthday present could I ask for than these handsome fellows making up my little family? But I’ll still take the gift certificate for a massage that they gave me and the many many crab legs I got to eat for my birthday dinner 🙂  I am so blessed.

NaBloPoMo Fail

And I was doing so well! Twenty days in a row is the longest into November I’ve gone for National Blog Posting Month so I’d say I didn’t do too terribly.  I should have scheduled some posts for the week of Thanksgiving. We were so beat by the time we got to Memphis on Wednesday night that I completely forgot about a post for the day. After that it was just easy to give up for the week and visit with Daniel’s family.

On Thanksgiving Day I got up early with my little cooking schedule and cooked Thanksgiving dinner with the help of Daniel’s Aunt Jan (not to mention her brother who sent up TWO trays of homemade dressing). We planned to eat at noon and the ten of us were digging in at 12:25. Success!

Daniel climbed up in the attic and pulled down the toy box that his grandad made for him when he was little.  It needs a little bit of love to fix a few things and I had to spend some quality time with it and a bottle of Goo Gone to peel off a sticker, but we are so thrilled to be able to have such a meaningful piece in the baby’s room!

Daniel’s childhood toy box. Ready to come home to our nursery.
Goo Gone vs a 25 year old sticker
Scrub Scrub Scrub
I give up. Time to resort to the fingernails.
Success! The leftover rectangle is even kind of a sweet reminder of Tiny Daniel.
What better toy for a kid than the best dog on the planet?

Now we just need to find someone to fix the joints and the bottom.  The toy box isn’t put together with nails, it has something like tongue and groove joints on the edges holding it together, which it neat, but a few are pulling apart. There is a missing brace on the bottom as well so it doesn’t sit evenly right now, but once we get those fixed it is going to be the perfect addition to the nursery. The room is still the guest bedroom full of junk right now but that will be changing next week in Week 2 of our Simplicity Experiment.  Can’t wait!

 

Simplifying our stuff…the journey begins

Tonight we met with our Simplicity Experimental Collective to share our decisions on what excesses we will be eliminating from our lives over the next 4 weeks. Some are cutting back on excess stuff. Some are cutting back on stress by getting more sleep or carving out more open time during the day. Some are pointing their aim at food. It was clear that a lot of thought went into everyone’s decision making process over the last week. I am enjoying this chance to get to know friends on new levels and to begin to get to know new friends through this experience. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Experimental Collectives are the way to go for me. This format reaches me in a way that church small groups never have.

Our homework between now and next Tuesday is to work up written plans on how we will execute our experiments   For some it will be a simple (not easy, just simple) plan: don’t go on Facebook or drink coffee.  For others it will require a lot of research and planning ahead; choosing how to radically pair down foods in a healthy and impactful way and planning menus in advance. For Daniel and me it means deciding how we want to go about getting rid of our extra stuff.  Will we go by genre of stuff? One room each week? Number of items per day? Will we sell things on Craigslist? Donate to thrift stores? Hold items back to possibly use in a Vintage Fellowship sale or thrift store booth to raise money for a cause? What measures will we use to decide if we are being successful along the way? I do know that we are both extremely motivated to make this move. We will have some hard decisions to make in the next several weeks and I wouldn’t be surprised if some tears were shed. This is a tiny house and the two of use have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years living on our own. I’m sure we will probably be learning a lot about which attachments to objects are healthy and which need to be broken. It’s a lofty goal and Daniel doesn’t think it’s possible, but I want to get this house feeling empty before we start adding lots of baby furniture and items. That may not happen in the next six weeks. It may take a few rounds of purging before we get there, but I’m determined. It might mean some sacrifices, some of them painful, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.

Wish us luck and stay tuned!

Brings A Whole New Meaning to “Hotter than a whore in church”

For several weeks our pastor Robb has mentioned every Sunday that maybe it would be cool if everyone dressed like Bible characters or just anyone from church history on Halloween. At first it was “Wouldn’t it be LAME if we did that?” And then “Wouldn’t it be FUNNY if we did that?” And it finally ended up the week before Halloween with “OK, I can pretty much guarantee you a few extra jewels in your crown up in Heaven if you dress up next Sunday.” Which is basically a dare. And I’m defenseless against a good dare.

So Daniel and I hemmed and hawed at the last minute trying to think up some funny costumes.

Daniel suggested I be a double rainbow, all the way.

Cause a rainbow is a Bible character.

But I didn’t have anything to make a rainbow costume. Instead Daniel used an old tunic costume he had and I used a big pretty piece of fabric from Thailand, some Mardi Gras beads and the walking stick I bought for Daniel at my family reunion year before last and a pillow for a fake baby belly.

You see, we’ve been moving through Genesis this year in church. A few months ago we came to the the story of Judah and Tamar. Quick recap–Tamar marries Judah’s son and he is struck down by God. So she marries her brother-in-law. He doesn’t want to father a child with her like he’s supposed to because it would be considered his dead brother’s kid. When he is remiss in his duties, God also strikes him down. Judah sends Tamar away and promises she can marry the other brother when he grows up. But he breaks his promise. And Tamar pretends to be a prostitute and Judah helps her get into a family way when Judah comes to town. She hangs on to his staff (family reunion walking stick) and cord (Mardi Gras beads) to prove who her Baby Daddy is when she gets a big belly and everyone in town wants to do away with her what with her no-husband-having, person-growing situation. But she busts out Judah’s belongings and he’s all “Oh yah, my bad.” The end.

Nice story, lots of lessons to be learned. By grown ups. In the sermon. For my part, it’s my responsibility to write the Kids Church lesson plans. Riiiiiiiight. So Robb attempted to tell me right before this lesson came up how important it was for me to be planning my lessons on EXACTLY what we were studying in church each week. But he couldn’t even keep a straight face through the first sentence. And the kids sang Father Abraham and glued macaroni to construction paper. Not really.

Anyway. In closing, the scenario Sunday morning went like this.

We were totally late for church and walked in the door in our super costumes just as Robb was saying that he really thought more people would come dressed up but no one did. Except for my friend Wendy who dressed up as Michelle Duggar and I didn’t even get to see her. Boo. Enter us:

And cue the laughter. Someone asked if we were Mary and Joseph and, instead of answering, I glared around, shook my stick and beads, pointed to my belly and glared at Daniel. After a beat Robb yelled out “You’re Judah and Tamar?!?!?” It was awesome.

And then all my Sunday school kids thought I was actually pregnant and kept asking me if I was having a boy baby or a girl baby. Less awesome.

But we ended the morning with my new favorite quote of all time coming from Robb.

“Nobody dresses up like a fake prostitute like you, Erin.”

It’s true.

Nobody does.

Did somebody throw a bucket of soapy water on me? Because I’m melting.

You know it’s been hot when you comment about it not being so bad out because it’s cooler than the day before.  And it’s still 100 degrees.

Because I am a crazy person I got up and went yard-saleing this morning and ended up with a couple of dandy items.  Last night over pizza and Dogma I asked Daniel if he wanted to get up early and go with me.  He just stared at me.  I think he was waiting for the punch line.  Because he was SLEEPY and planned on sleeping as long as humanly possible on Saturday morning.  Both of us probably got about 4 or 5 non-consecutive hours of sleep Thursday night due to our exciting meteor shower adventures.  We actually DID make it out at 3am to watch!  I was impressed with us.  It was quite an adventure.  We just hopped in the car and drove East looking for a field or open spot to pull into away from the city lights.  We finally ended up in the driveway to a field with just enough space between the gate and the road for the car.  I spread a blanket on the hood of the car and leaned back to enjoy.

Then Daniel heard a noise and saw a flash of white in the field about 3 feet in front of the car.  I saw a flash of black.  (Does black actually *flash*?) I’ll give you a moment to imagine we might be seeing lumbering through the weeds.

Daniel started flashing his phone in the direction of the disturbance trying to catch a glimpse of what he thought was a cute little bunny.  I on the other hand was grasping at every ounce of willpower I could muster to NOT scurry up onto the tippity top of the car. Because bunnies don’t  lumber.  You know what’s black and white and lumbers?  Stumped?  Here is a little hint….

imageBingo.

When I was pretty sure I could concentrate on anything other than being totally, completely still, I begged Daniel to stop flashing his phone at the dangerous little critter and to please.stop.talking.  I just knew I was going to have to have to call in “Stanky” the next day.  I don’t actually get any personal or vacation days until October when I’ve been there 6 months but I’m pretty sure I could have gotten a free pass on that one.

Thankfully, Pepe Le Pew kept going on his/her merry jaunt through the pasture and I was able to go to work the next morning.  Sleep-deprived but not in need of a tomato bath.