Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Inconvenience of Literacy

Here is something I wasn't expecting. At the age of 38 I have discovered a fondness of reading. This is pretty strange considering I have been completely opposed to reading for most of my life. A fact that was made evident by my super low English grades in Middle, Jr., and Sr. High as well as during my 5 (ahem) years in college. It's cool. I eventually graduated all the necessary grades to be a functioning adult. Anyway....

I wouldn't say it's a fully developed love of the written word, but it's on the way. In other words, we have been on a couple dates and are getting very close to having the important DTR conversation. The attractive thing about reading that I recently discovered is that when you get to read something you find interesting it can actually be fun. (Mind blown. Right?!?)

What I find interesting is people and their lives. This led to the reading of mom blogs. Oddly enough, Blog reading came AFTER I started writing a blog of my own. (I'm sure that most people don't start writing a blog before actually reading blogs or anything really, but that is just who I am. I like to do things the hard way.) Reading about all of those moms and their familiar lives led to reading memoirs. I had no idea the memoir genre existed and I certainly had no idea that they would be something that would interest me. The word suggests sappy sad stories about old people who have passed their prime, but it turns out anyone can write a memoir including young, interesting, and (most importantly) funny people.

Now you are speaking my entertainment love language.

So any way now I'm reading all the memoirs and all the blogs and listening to all the podcasts. My introverted self just wants to hang out in my room all day and read all the things. Sure the kids need dinner and baths, but Mama's got a super important Presidential podcast to listen to and books about what it's like to be Lauren Graham and How NOT to raise entitled kids to read. Here's some frozen pizza and some baby wipes.... I may need an intervention... eventually.

People who know me, I know what you are thinking.... "Who are you?!?"

It's super weird, right? I don't even recognize myself anymore. But it's cool because my new obsession means I can do what I love while wearing leggings and my favorite Ugg slippers and that makes me very very happy.

Here's a few things I'm enjoying and looking forward to enjoying...

I mentioned last time that I just finished reading Bossy Pants by Tina Fey. And you know I loved it.

I finished Sophie Hudson's Giddy Up, Eunice right before reading Bossy Pants. I love Sophie and I genuinely believe we could be best friends. Except for the fact that we don't actually know each other. Anyway Eunice is a great book on the importance of generational friendships, something I've had on my heart recently.

Ok so this book isn't necessarily funny, but I am really enjoying it. I am a child of the 80s and 90s and so Kimberly Williams-Paisley is one of my Romantic Comedy idols. The Father of the Bride movies are among the most watched of my comfort movies. I love the inside look into her life and career and marriage to cutie Brad Paisley. But it's the story of her mom's battle with dementia that really tugs at your heart. This disease hits pretty close to home for me so I have to read this one in spurts when I'm in a good mood and able to handle the seriousness of the subject.

 Home Is Where My People Are is the next Sophie Hudson book I am diving into. I have been obsessed with Boo Mama and her buddy Big Mama (Melanie Shankle) for a while thanks to their blogs and podcast and I won't stop until l have read all the words they have to say.

 So, This one is not a shocker. Loralei Gilmore wrote a book and I must read it. And I love the title.

I found Melanie Dale on twitter this summer and immediately wanted to be a fly on the wall of what ever room she is in. She is hilarious and real and has a great blog and podcast as well.

These last two books look interesting and life affirming which is always good.

And then there are the podcasts. Where have these been all my life? Here are the 3 I am totally into at this moment....

Do yourself a favor and get to know The Popcast with Knox and Jamie. You're Welcome.

I love Jamie Ivey. She is so bubbly and charming and is great at interviewing some awesome women.
And BONUS the word on the street is she is writing a book!

This Presidential podcast was suggested by Jamie Golden of the Popcast. I started listening to it on Friday (Inauguration Day) as kind of a "let's remember where we have been and how far we have come, America" in order to be a little less stressed out by the current political climate. 

I started with the Bushes (but have since listened to others and they are all so good) because as I have mentioned before, I love me some George Bush. It is what is, y'all. I can't explain it, wait yes I can...Did you see how cute he was with his rain pancho at the Inauguration? 

Even Cheney seemed to get a chuckle out of it.

So as you can see, I wan't kidding. The new obsession is a real one. Don't worry or call child protective services just yet. Things will level out soon and I will be back to running around crazy with my kids and spending all my down time watching Netflix. Right now, I am just enjoying this time when my body desires to be still and mind is thirsty for information. It's good to try something different every now and then.... even if it is reading. But as always, everything in moderation.

 Besides, I've got a reputation to protect.

January 2015
I just went in to brush my teeth... And then I started flossing, and plucking my eyebrows, and cleaning out my pores, and then I lost track of time for a couple of hours. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What do Carseats and Library Fines have in common? My glamorous life.

So I'm homebound today with a sick child. Same child. Same sickness as before. She's sweet and a pretty easy patient if you don't count the cleaning up of the vomit. I paused for a second trying to decide if I should actually type that gross word, but couldn't really come up with a less offensive alternative. Also, sometimes being a parent is just gross.

I don't want to me dramatic... except yes I do... but I feel like you haven't really been inducted into the society of motherhood until you have cleaned a vomit soaked car seat. Y'all. This is no small feat. I have heard that there are some lucky parents out there (and I do mean lucky because there is no other explanation) that have never actually experienced this. (I am comforted by the thought that these people will end up with a very poopy puppy one day to make up for this.) There are other people (aka the Summys) who have had more than their share of carseat vomit. I have taken apart and a washed and reassembled carseats no less than 20 times since having kids. It's painstaking and disgusting and I hope to receive a special reward in heaven because of my faithfulness to keeping my kids safe and clean as we ride to school/church/ChickFilA and back.

PSA for the day:  I will say, if you are reading this and in the market for a carseat Britax seats are not only our favorite for safety reasons, but the covers are very easy to remove and reattach which makes all the difference. While I'm pushing particular products... Chicco infant seats are our other favorites for the same reasons.

The good thing (if you have to pick a good thing about your child being sick. I felt like I needed to add that little disclaimer so I don't look like I enjoy sick children) about being homebound is that I didn't have to go to the gym today. I'm apparently boycotting exercise these days. Which is super inconvenient because I'm also supposedly trying to lose weight. I say supposedly because we all know that when you get this close to 40 there is no hope of losing weight without the hard core combo of very strict diet and extreme workouts and I'm not actually doing either of those things. sigh. Just typing those words was exhausting.

I'm hoping this boycott ends and I can get myself back to the gym soon if for no other reason than most of my Christmas gifts involved some type of athletic wear. Before the holidays I was super motivated to workout and was excited to start the year off with new gym clothes and a "Can do it!" attitude. I'm still recovering from the holidays, but I'm certain that motivation will return eventually.

Until then, these new clothes are also great for going to Kroger, cleaning the house, and sitting on the couch to finish a good book.

Today I FINALLY finished Tina Fey's hilarious Bossy Pants. I checked this book out from the library months ago. That's right, I said months. If you are thinking, "Wow! that's a super long time for someone to have a library book", you would be right. I have renewed the book as many times as it allowed and have been holding it hostage since the last due date (December 18th) knowing full well that I was being charged $.10 for every additional day. If you have done the math then you know that is a full 30 days and $3.00. I rationalized to myself that as long as I didn't pay more in late fees than the book was worth on Amazon, then I was still being "smart".

"Smart" is a relative term.

But I finished it and I really did love this book. I have no idea why it took me so long to finish it. Yes I do....Kids. School. Homework. Lunches. Baths. Church. Cooking. Cleaning. ReCleaning. More Cooking. and Bible Study (this is a big one because I have a personal rule that I can't read anything secular until I have read my Bible that day and sometimes that was very late in the day... or honestly the next day). I have lots of respect for Tina Fey and enjoyed her storytelling. Of course there was some abrasive language, but I overall appreciate her down to earth outlook. And of course... she is ridiculously funny.

So that is my day in a nutshell plus a few product advertisements which should make my dad proud because it's almost like I used my college degree. Almost. Not really. Sorry Dad.

Have a great day and if you are reading this say a little prayer that none of the other family members gets sick. Or if they do, that they manage to wait until after they get out of the car. Thanks.

January 2014
Cleaning a house that is under construction seems completely pointless and overwhelmingly necessary at the same time.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Just Shy of Creepy Mom Status

Tonight I did weird thing.

I went into my 3 year old's room while she was sleeping and I picked her up and went into a different room to rock her in the dark. I promise I'm not usually a weirdo mom. You know, like that creepy mom in the children's book "I'll Love You Forever". I could never read that book to my kids because the thought of an 80 year old women crawling through the window to rock her adult son was as disturbing as some horror movies I've seen. But I digress...

Tomorrow is Lou's 4th birthday and we have all been very excited about it. Birthdays are big in this family and we have been celebrating our baby all week. But this is also DNOW weekend at our church which means we will have a house full of teenagers all weekend. Needless to say I have been a bit preoccupied getting ready for both events.

So tonight I came home from a particularly great worship service feeling super pumped about the next few days and I walked into the girls' bedroom and saw her sleeping. Something just came over me and I collapsed. I literally fell to my knees and started sobbing. I had missed putting her to bed on her last night as a 3 year old and it was almost more than I could bear.

Now I feel like I should point out that I'm usually not very sentimental about babies growing up. None of my children have baby books with their measurements and lists of their "firsts" and I have never cried at a first day of Kindergarten, but something was different tonight. As I sat there in the dark rocking my almost 4 year old and crying in the room that used to be her nursery, I thought "what is happening to me? Why am I doing this? Did I feel this way when the others turned 4?" 

That's when it hit me...I don't remember the other two turning 4. Sure I can remember the parties I had planned, but I don't really remember THEM at this age because both times I also had a 6 month old baby. I don't know about you guys, but the first year of a baby's life is complete chaos in the Summy home, and I spent most of that time I'm a sleep deprived fog. So this transition is something I'm  experiencing for the first and last time. For someone who doesn't handle change very well, this is the sort of thing that causes some type of emotional break down or at least the need to spend the better part of an hour looking at old baby pictures and eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch. (Am I being a bit dramatic? Probably so, but that is just who I am as a person.)

The bond between me and little Lou is a special one. Of course I don't love her more than the others, but there is just something special about that last baby that gets this Mom a little choked up. Lou and I have had a lot more "just the two of us" days than I had with older two. I have become more relaxed and confident as a mom since having her. I have learned to play more and listen more and give more grace with her. I learned to spend extra time snuggling with her because I knew that time would not last forever. I caught myself enjoying motherhood a little more. Maybe I'm actually growing up with her. Just as I nervously experienced all the firsts along with Amelia, I'm celebrating all of the lasts with Louisa. Soon I will graduate from a mom of babies and preschoolers to a mom of elementary and middle schoolers. (Maybe that is what all the crying is about. Lord be near.) 

Things are changing in our little family and this is just the beginning. These 3 children that God has given us are each so very different. I know he has big plans for them all if I'm willing to let them go and grow and if I teach them to follow Him. That is my job as their mom. But tonight she is still three and still just a baby and so I rocked her just a little longer while watching her sleep.

Okay... maybe I am starting to sound a little bit like the creepy old Love You Forever mom. Time to look at cute pics of the birthday girl to lighten the mood!

Happy 4th Birthday to my sweet Louisa! She is as smart and hilarious as she is cute!

***Have any of you found yourself overly sentimental and acting super weird with your last baby?

January 2016
How many brownies is too many brownies for breakfast? 

Friday, January 6, 2017

When it snows, aint it thrillin? Though your toes get a chillin.

It's a good ole southern snow day in Tennessee y'all.  Which of course means we have approximately 1 to 2 inches of the white stuff and the entire city has stopped to enjoy the view. Well except for my husband, but let's not dwell on that.

For the last couple of days I have been trying to write my New Years post. For some reason (kids, cleaning, cooking, dieting, sleeping) it is taking me a while to gather all of my "welcome 2017" thoughts. And then this little snow day thing happened and distracted me and I started writing about today. The New Years post is already a week behind, what is a few more days?

I (finally at 2:45pm) sit here on my nice warm couch looking out the window at the winter wonderland. I've been haunted all day by the expectation to create magical memories of each blessed snow day. I'm kind of over it.

I was thinking this morning while in the shower (seconds after my children barged in on my naked self to ask if we could go out and play in the son may never recover) I kind of wish that we lived a little further north so that snow would be a little less of a novelty. Since it only snows 2 maybe 3 times a year in the southeast, there is a tremendous amount of pressure to soak up every second of this weather phenomenon.

Don't get me wrong. I love snow. I really do. I remember as a kid the excitement of snow, but specifically the excitement of watching the TV waiting to see if my school's name would be listed as one of the cancellations. Come to think of it, I don't remember ever actually playing in the snow as a kid. or making snow cream. or sledding. And I surely don't remember my parents taking part in the festivities. Parents in the 80s were not in the business of making magical childhood moments. One of the many reasons I wish we could go back to the 80s. (others include: hanging at the Mall, being dropped off at the skating rink, the Cosby Show, and of course the Reagan/Bush political era. Sorry if I just offended any democrat readers, but I have always had a thing for the Bushes.)

Honestly, as a 2017 mom, I kind of dread this whole snow day thing. I know we aren't supposed to admit this, but snow days are a ridiculous amount of work for the mom. First of all, my family in general is a lazy bunch of folks. We like to take it slow in the morning. Saturday. mornings are made for watching cartoons and reading and coffee drinking. But we get a little frozen precipitation and suddenly my kids are up and at 'em at 7am fully dress and wanting to go play. "Hold your horses kiddos. What's the rush? Mama needs her coffee and sittin time." 

I firmly believe that snow days should be a dad thing. I'm not the "run around outside" parent when the weather is pleasant and certainly don't have the desire to do it when it is cold and the closest thing to snow boots I have is my super cute rain boots that leave my toes vulnerable to frostbite. I should point out that none of us actually have decent snow apparel. Because as mentioned before these things would only be used 2 out of 365 days a year and as any finance smarty pants would tell you, that's a horrible return on your investment. But this is a fact that only seems to bother me. Kids don't mind a little frost bite.

I don't mean to sound like such a grump. I do actually love watching them make snow angels and throw snowballs at each other (but not at me!!!), and  I also love the taste of snow cream and hot chocolate. It's just the Instagram pressure to make it magical that gets to me. I feel guilty if I don't make the most of it and beautifully document on social media. It's exhausting because what you don't see on Instagram is the child crying who got hit in the face with a snowball. Or that 2 out of 3 kids had to come and strip down after 5 minutes because they forgot to go to the bathroom. Or that you forgot to buy hot chocolate so you had to use 2 old packets found at the back of the pantry and then find a way to stretch it out to 3 mugs without anyone noticing. And finally, no one takes a cute picture of someone spilling that precious hot chocolate all over the living room floor after they BEGGED and PROMISED to be careful if they could drink it while watching a movie.

These are all hypothetical examples of course.

But then I look back at my own Instagram worthy pics and they make me smile. And I almost forget the grinchy attitude I had earlier in the day. I see their little hats and gloves drying off next to the fire and I determine that I will remember to be thankful for that fire and those little hands. And then if I need a little more motivation, I make myself another bowl of chocolate chip snow cream. That combo will perk even the mom with the coldest feet right up.

January 2014
My littlest has her first birthday in a week. I have made no plans and no practice smash cakes. There is no theme and no presents have been bought. My how different is the life of a 3rd child. Poor Lou. Maybe aunt Carmen Keen can give you a pep talk and tell you being the baby is all bad.