Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Chore Schedule

Thanks for all the advice from folks to my SAHM Guilt post. My aunt recommended, and I believe a few others seconded, making a chore schedule. I've been told by many a mother that they are invaluable, but I just couldn't get around to organising one.

Well, I finally did it, and wouldn't you know, it's made a world of difference! I started it on Monday, and I already feel so much more organised. Because I know I only have certain things I must do each day, I feel compelled to do them fully without worrying about the rest of the house. Pretty much I was just doing a half-assed job of all the chores rather than properly doing any of them.

So today I tidied the bedrooms and cleaned the bathroom. It felt good. I was able to put Fifi in her old cradle, which has not yet been dismantled, with a toy and get down to business organising her stuff. I put away clothes she's outgrown, pulled out clothes she might now fit in and put her books in the shelf. I still need to hoover her room, but I figure I can do that tomorrow on Hoover Day.

Yesterday was Tidy the Living Room day. I didn't quite get it to the level of tidy I'd have liked, but it's getting closer. The main reason is because I have my art stuff all spread out on the coffee table and don't want to put it away since I'm still using it. The clay models I'm making for Lorna and Justin's wedding are very much in-progress, and I'm working on them a little nearly every day, so putting that stuff away would just be frustrating. Once they are completed, I'll be able to get the living room looking better. And it felt good yesterday to get my hands in some dishwater and get some pans and casserole dishes scrubbed and put away. Ahh. Organisation. And Fifi is at a lovely stage where she is happy to entertain herself with toys for a good amount of time, but she can't yet crawl and get away. Soon this stage will be replaced with Mobile Baby stage, but I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

She's sleeping right now, and my chores are done. Maybe this will even mean more future blogging!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dedication Ceremony

Dedication of Fiona Esther from superlori on Vimeo

Fifi's dedication took place Sunday night. Scott called it her 'fake christening', which perhaps it is. But considering the differences in beliefs between me and Scott, and our church for that matter, on the subject, a dedication ceremony was a very happy medium. It wasn't anything we felt Biblically obliged to do (as it is not prescribed in Scripture), but rather something we thought would be a special experience for us and an opportunity for others to witness us commit to raising Fifi in the Lord.

Basically, it was nothing like a baptism, and I'm glad it wasn't. It didn't end up being a christening-minus-water, which I think probably most dedication ceremonies are. But then again, I've never paid much attention to most of the dedications I've been to, so I don't know. It was simply a public acknowledgement, and a declaration that we ought to be held to, that we intend to raise Fi in a godly home by the grace of God and with the love of Christ.

We were asked to respond to five questions. They went like this:

1. God has entrusted this precious little life to your care. Do you promise to be faithful to that trust as her parents?
2. God has blessed you with His precious word. Will you as parents faithfully and constantly pass it on to Fi in a way she can understand?
3. God has entrusted you with His glorious gospel. Will you help her to understand and appreciate the love of Jesus who died for us?
4. God has blessed you with the joy of celebrating her birth. Will you constantly pray that she will one day be born again by receiving the the Lord Jesus as her personal Saviour?
5. God has given His children a mandate regarding our life-style. Will you as Fi's parents endeavour to live consistent Christian lives so that she will grow up in a godly, God-fearing home?

He then went on to speak on behalf of the church that it will also help us and Fifi by providing a godly environment for us to take refuge in.

He also explained for visitors why there was not a baptism taking place. I won't get into what I or my husband believe about infant baptism versus believer's baptism. I feel a bit like I have to justify having a dedication instead of a christening, for the sake of my paedobaptist friends (you know who you are!), but this isn't the post for that. The evening was really nice, and it was a special time for us, surrounded by friends and family who support us and love us. Fifi is lucky to have so many people who really care about her. Scott and I are really lucky to have people who care about us too.

I only wish my family could have been there.

Pictures here.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Praying For A Baby

An old friend commented on my blog. I followed the link to her site and read this:

'Please join us in praying for Keylor again. She has Lyme Disease and it looks as though it is already progressing into her nuerological system. This thing is bad and can cause positively horrid things, including -but not limited to- paralysis, palsy & heart problems. Thing is, those usually only show up in the final stages of the disease, but because of the location of the tick bite (on the back of her shoulder, close to her spine) it is affecting those areas first. The doc put her on one antibiotic and thought it would kill the disease right off, but it hasn't. Apparently once it hits the nerves, only one drug will do it. Unfortunately, the needed drug is very risky and should NEVER be prescribed for children under 8 (she's 2), unless the risks of the disease outweigh the problems caused by the meds. This is rediculous. Our God saves and is a Healer. He adores her and cherishes my baby girl far more than I can imagine. Please pray for complete healing and no drug-induced side effects. THANK YOU!'

Please join us all in prayer if you pray.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

SAHM Guilt

This is an unofficial poll: Do any of you other SAHMs experience this non-income-bringing-in guilt that I am constantly plagued with? Does it go away?

I can theorise the reasons for it in all different ways. Maybe I feel guilt because I'm used to being independent and don't like having others take care of me. Maybe it's because I feel bad that Scott has to work twice as hard in boring jobs while I get to enjoy our daughter all day long. Maybe it's because the house isn't always spotless and the dishes often get piled up in the sink and some nights I make tuna sandwiches for dinner because I can't be bothered cooking a proper meal. Maybe it's because I haven't gotten my business up and running already, and I feel I'm not contributing anything, and yet I spend money on things we don't need like chocolate sauce for the ice cream - heck, even the ice cream.

But for all these reasons, I can't help but feel guilty for staying at home while Scott goes off to work.

I know, I know, mothering IS a full-time job. Trust me, I believe this whole-heartedly. Believe me, I know how hard it is to even get to the toilet some days for a nice, relaxing pee break. Fifi is literally a 24-hour job.

I know that when I take Fifi out for walks, it's good for us. It's also planting good seeds for life, you know, like the importance of excercise and fresh air and not becoming a couch potato. I know when we go swimming or out for coffee with a friend, these are good for her, getting her out, seeing new things, becoming social. Yet I still feel like it's all mostly for me. I get to enjoy life, while Scott has to work his socks off in a job that doesn't acknowledge hard work.

So I try to make up for all the fun time by trying to keep the housework up and making nutritious meals. So when I get half an hour while Fifi naps, I try to spend it throwing clothes in the wash or tidying up the living room. And when she's awake, I try to run all our errands - getting groceries, taking the car in for its MOT, running by the bank or post office. And if there are no errands to do, or I really want a break from housework, I might spend a couple hours watching box sets with Fifi attached to my breast. The whole while, of course, feeling guilty that the bathroom hasn't been cleaned in a week (or two) and there are still clothes in the wash that need to be hung up to dry.

Tell me, am I alone in this? Am I supposed to feel this way? Is this how God intended me to feel? I believe God would have me stay home and raise my children. I believe that entails spending quality time with them from infancy. I believe that means raising them to adopt healthy lifestyles and healthy relationships. I believe that Scott and I are a team in this family thing, and his job and my job are different. Scott believes all this too. And he doesn't put the guilt on me. I put it on myself. I assume things about how Scott feels and let that build my guilt further. When I see him stressed out, I believe it's because I'm not doing my share. I believe I need to somehow bring in more money, somehow get my business started NOW, somehow earn my keep.

Even after writing all this, I don't feel like what I'm saying is stupid. Usually writing things out puts it all in perspective for me... but I still feel as lousy as I did before I started. Why do I feel this way? And why am I still typing when there really ARE clothes in the wash that need to be hung up?

Feeling this way sucks.

Monday, May 21, 2007

TV, Discipline, Nappies and More

I've got loads of useless, unimportant stuff to tell you about!

I have become unashamedly addicted to Lost. As I mocked my mom for watching religiously each week while I was visiting, I accidently became addicted myself. I mean, what IS the Dharma Initiative all about? So Scott and I rented Season 1 Part 1 on Saturday... and were finished with the first 12 episodes by Sunday. I went back (on Sunday) to rent Part 2, but it was checked out! I called again today, but it's still checked out. And they don't carry it at the Blockbuster in Gourock. So I bought it. I ordered the Complete first season on Amazon. It should be here in 1-2 days. I honestly cannot wait.

This is the reason we don't buy a TV license. We'd end up doing nothing but watch TV.

NUMERO ... TWO (How do you spell 'dos'?)
I've been reading The Discipline Book by Dr Sears. I'm finding it really interesting and helpful. Not that disciplining Fifi is where we are just yet, but it's helpful to start thinking ahead about how we will deal with situations and what kind of consequences are appropriate for different behaviours. It's also interesting the way it separates simply annoying but harmless behaviours from bad behaviours. It helps put things in perspective. It's also motivating me to start limiting myself and put away bad habits. After all, little monkeys see, little monkeys do. (No more second helping of ice cream... maybe no more ice cream? No, that's taking things too far.)

Since Fifi outgrew her cloth nappies (at three months!) which were supposed to last her about six months, we've had to order new ones. Thanks, by the way, to all the people back home who helped us towards our 'Nappy Fund'. We were able to order all the nappies we'll need for a while (I hope). Last time I went totally Tots Bots, but this time I experimented a bit; I ordered five Tots Bots Bamboozles, two P'tits Dessous nappies, six Wonderoos by Hip Hip Baby and six Fuzzi Bunz. It's kinda exciting. And they have all arrived now, so as soon as we finish off this last pack of disposables (I think there are about three left), we'll get started on the new cloth. Which reminds me, I need to hang the ones in the wash up to dry.

Today I met with one of the art teachers at the school to get some tips on using modeling clay. I'm going to make a wedding cake topper for my friend Lorna's wedding. I bought a granite tabletop to work on and a rolling pin. I plan to start on it this week. I kinda meant to start tonight, but it's 8.15 already... don't think that'll happen. But I'm looking forward to it now. If it turns out well, I'm going to include that option as a part of my business.

Fifi is taking part in a study. It's a study trying to determine how much energy an exclusively breastfed baby gets from breast milk and if it's enough still at six months. If anyone in Scotland has a baby under three months who intends to breastfeed exclusively to six months, you might consider taking part. The researcher is having trouble finding people who intend to exclusively breastfeed for that long, which is a shame. It's only six months! But none of my Cage Stage preaching for now.

Okay, well, I think that's about all I've got for now. Fifi is making mega-cute noises right now, and she's begging to be picked up (kicking her legs, squealing and frowning), so I'm going to go oblige her and give her the added bonus of oogles of hugs and kisses!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Reading Lessons

I was filling out a baby questionnaire, and it asked lots of questions about how long my baby will look at pictures in books, and even though Fifi is only three months old, I got to feeling guilty that she only looks at books for a couple of minutes before losing interest, so I've been reading at least one book a day to her since.

[Awesome completely grammatically-correct non-run-on sentence above.]

She's actually really enjoying her cloth books, but the problem is she can't hold onto it long enough. Then she gets upset when she drops it. So today I used the velcro to rig it to her swing.

It's working.

I like seeing Fifi turn pages in her books. I like seeing her eyes light up when she sees new pictures on the different pages. I like seeing her try to eat her books.

By the way, and totally off the subject, it's National Breastfeeding Week. I'll maybe talk about that later on. (I just needed a way to end this post without waxing 'poetic' about reading to children... blah blah.)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Home and Away

Important Notice:
We have arrived back home all in one piece and with all our luggage. We almost didn't make it home with Fifi when I lost her plane ticket... but that's too stressful to talk about right now so I'll save that story for later.

Fifi and I slept for several hours yesterday afternoon which screwed her up for nighttime... I think she managed to drop off around 1 or 2 last night. Luckily Scott slept through it, as he had to be at work this morning. She's slept a bit today during the day, but I'm hoping she'll be a bit more on schedule by tonight. The late-setting-early-rising sun isn't helping much though.

This morning I noticed Scott's wedding ring on the sink. He always takes it off to do his hair, and I always tease him about losing it or not loving me. I considered this morning hiding it and seeing if he panics, but then I remembered an episode of I Love Lucy that I just watched and decided against it, lest it get mixed in with concrete or hamburgers.

I miss Arkansas, but I'm glad to be home. I really do love Scotland. If I could have my family and friends here in Scotland, it would be perfect. But I can't so I have to accept the bittersweet mixed feelings of being whichever place I am.

I'm really glad to have the river back.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cinco de Mayo...

Let me first say this: Driving in America is taking your life into your hands each time you get out on the roads. I've had so many near collisions due to morons pulling out in front of me or talking on their cell phones. And I can't find the horn on the rental car fast enough to alert/express my rage to the irresponsible drivers which dominate the roads.

Gah. Now that I've gotten that off my chest.

We are safely in Arkansas. We have been for a while actually. No thanks to other drivers, by the way.

So, good story:
What's one of the worst things that can happen to you on the beginning of a journey? Leaving your laptop unattended at the airport? Is that kinda up there with forgetting your passport? Let me tell you, I've never felt so much pure panic in my life.

We got to the airport with three carry-ons, three suitcases and a baby. I found some empty seats to sit all of our things on to get out our tickets to check the flight number. Our check-in desk wasn't listed on the monitors so we decided to go for a coffee in Starbucks. We piled all of our belongings (we thought) onto a trolley and walked the other side of the airport for a coffee. We settled down with frappucinos and teas and a blueberry muffin and chatted away with Scott's dad while we waited. After finishing his tea, Scott decided to check the monitors. He left to find one while I stayed back with Andy and Fifi. When Scott returned, he informed us our check-in desk was available. We gathered our belongings and got up to leave.

"You got the laptop?" Scott asked.

"Ye--" I turned to look behind my chair for the laptop. It wasn't there. "But I'm sure I--!" I began to panic. I searched all around the table and the trolley. No laptop.

"Scott!! RUN BACK TO THOSE CHAIRS TO SEE IF I LEFT IT!" Scott, knowing it was no time to argue, bolted off to the seats across the airport. I was so panicked I could barely breathe. "Please please please" was all I could pray. I was certain my laptop would be gone - either stolen or picked up by security as unattended luggage. It seemed Scott was gone for ages. Finally he returned - laptop in hand. I burst into tears. Turns out it was close to a bunch of guards so it kinda looked like it belonged to them. I've never felt so relieved and so angry at myself at the same time.


In other news, Scott and I are uncle and aunt! Pete and Rebekkah welcomed Audrey into the world on Sunday night (I think it was Sunday- we found out on Monday morning which I think was still Sunday in Texas). Congratulations to the new parents!

Also, I took Scott for a haircut on Thursday and came home with this:

I flipped a coin. I cut my hair. I'm still not sure how I feel about this. I miss my long hair...

I'll share more interesting stories later. Fifi's crying.