The Secretary of Health & Human Services, Education, Justice, and Peace, and The House of Reps (aka Mum): Tabitha
The President (aka the boss who has to pass everything through Congress & the House...but certainly has the power to last-minute Veto): Greyson Rudy
The Secretary of Energy (as in too much energy): Bullet
As Greyson has now entered a new stage of babydom, (ie. eating new foods, trying to sit up, less cuddly/more active, etc) I thought it'd be a good time to take inventory of our union...as in the union that is our little family.
The State of Our
1. jobs: I like this quote...I don't know who said it, but I know we need to get back to this in our crazy life: "When I was a kid, I had a hard time distinguishing between what was fun and what was work."
Thankfully, (seriously, Lord, thank you) Brandon and I both have steady, well-paying actual jobs that are secure during a time that we know so many people do not. We know that we are very fortunate to have our bills paid. Outside of making a living, job opportunities continue to rise inside the house. Who is making dinner? Who is taking out the garbage? Who is taking Bullet for a walk? Who is reading the same book to Greyson for the 14th time in a row? It seems like the jobs just keep piling up at our house...if only we could replicate this for the national economy...maybe the United States should have a baby too.
It literally takes me a week to do our laundry...and if you think that sounds normal, you dont' know that I only do the laundry once a week. So, its actually totally sad. I manage to get the whites in on Monday and then fold them on Tuesday with maybe getting the darks in that day. Baby's clothes maybe on Wednesday or Thursday and then folding both those and the darks on Thursday night. Sheets & towels on friday? maybe not, maybe they can wait until Sunday? or next Monday?
Brandon shaking out and re-wearing work shirts two days in a row because I haven't ironed clean ones yet, check. Running the garbage/recycling down to the garbage man while thanking him for waiting on Wednesday afternoon, check. Forgetting to throw away leftovers in the fridge and then discovering they are covered in (possibly toxic) mold, double check.
2. health care: so far so good. Grey has not experienced any sicknesses yet..but fall is right around the corner. B has a track record of getting super sick right at the start of fall, so we need to stock up on our vitamin C in preparation. Thankfully, we already have a humidifier for when the baby gets sick...of course I'll be sick in the heart to see the little guy suffering, but I guess its a part of life. In other health care instances, mum and dad SERIOUSLY need to make an appt. at the dentist (forgive us dentist, our last appointments were an embarassingly long time ago), and mumma is due for an eye appt. Note to self, keep glasses out of reach from Bullet...Brandon and I have already lost 3 pairs to his chompers between us.
"The family; we are a strange little band of characters, trudging along through life; sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of rooms, inflicting pain and kissing it away in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together." - Erma Bombeck
3. education: we are learning new things everyday it seems. Brandon has learned all kinds of new house maintenance things over the last few months (mudding drywall, hanging shutters, laying tile, etc). He is also trying his best to learn how to balance work and home. Brandon has a very demanding job and has experienced the disappointment and frustration of having to miss fun home stuff (like Grey's first trip to an amusement park!) because of work. We hope there will be some reprieve in this department soon.
"I get sillier as I get older, so I don't know what wisdom means. I can only pass on something that I've been acquainted with and let whoever it is pick the bones out of it." - Dame Judi Dench
I try to learn new things as often as possible which I think is in part why I read so much. I am learning everyday how to accept the fact that its impossible to juggle everything. This has been the hardest lesson to learn...I'm still learning it. I physically, mentally, and emotionally cannot do all the things I was able to do pre-baby (or pre-puppy). I've been kicking, screaming, and crying the entire way, but I'm slowly starting to recognize that I need to make priorities and realize that I'll get to the other stuff tomorrow..or next week..or maybe never...but at the end of this life is the disorganized guest closet going to amount to anything?...um, No.
Greyson's little brain is learning so quickly. What he is capable of doing and understanding now from only 4 months ago is amazing. He surprises us and makes us laugh everyday with what his tiny little humanoid-self can do. He is still a no-tv watching baby (although he would like to be; he turns into a zombie baby anytime he catches a glimpse of it) and we are reading lots of books. He has a few favorites but mostly likes any book. He loves listening to music, especially music with a lot of drums or horns. And he loves being in water most of all. We recently dunked him (!!) in our neighbor's swimming pool and he did just fine. So, he's learning about holding his breath too.
Bullet is learning who the bosses are at the house. Brandon and I are learning the Dog Whisperer techniques (thank you, hulu!) and trying to get Bullet to stop being such a maniac in the house and on walks. Mostly working, but Bullet just cannot behave himself when we see other dogs...he wants to play sooo bad. Maybe we should get another dog....HAH. just kidding...at least not right now.
Lola and Jinx are NOT learning how to keep the litter in the litterbox. I can't understand it.
4. global warming: We are full gdiaper-users! What happended to EC, you ask? We are still trying to get Grey to pee on the potty as often as possible, but he still needs to have a diaper on. We use the disposable/compostable/flushable inserts during the day and the hemp cloth ones at night. They have been working great and his little bum looks so cute in the gpants. I feel sooo much better that we aren't throwing diapers away anymore.
Also in the (trying to stop) global warming category, we are making our own baby food now. We got the OK from the doc to feed Grey whatever we're eating for dinner (grinded up in the MagicBullet)! So exciting:) We also still recycle everything possible and we have a serious plant growing from our compost bin....? Pumpkin maybe? I cant' remember throwing pumpkin seeds in there, but we must of thrown some kind of seed in there that is totally loving the ultra-soil in the compost bin.
"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair" -Kahlil Gribran
5. economy: steady. we are doing our best to save money and trying to make smart choices when purchasing. We still shop at ALDI for 90% of our food/supplies and I use coupons for anything else we need at the grocery store. Anytime I shop online I first go to http://www.ebates.com/ (thank you Kayla!) and search for the website I want to shop from. If you don't know about ebates- check it out. You get a % cash back from like a bajillion different online stores. I got my first ebates check in the mail the other day...for literally doing nothing but going through their website. Once I'm at the site and ready to check out, I stop over at http://www.retailmenot.com/ to see if there are any posted coupons for the website too. I've probably saved over $50 this year from using coupons I've found on their site between no shipping to $$off of the total.
"If one wants to establish himself, he should help others to establish themselves first."
We are also fortunate enough to be able to continue our 12 months of kindness...some months take extra financial planning (like May with our Studer scholarship or our January donation to the local Food Bank). Other months we get lots of finanical support to help others from our friends and family (like March Madness to support Special Olympics and July Beer Olympics to fundraise for the Make-A-Wish foundation).
6. foreign policy: After the baby, we were too ____ [tired, busy, overwhelmed, etc] to really do anything...we are starting, slowly to get back into the friend and fun groove. Brandon and I have strictly enforced a "third thursday of the month" date night for ourselves:) And we've been joining friends out for playdates and picnics more often than before. Now when we get an invitation instead of thinking...ohGod that's going to take a lot of packing/planning, we think, ooh that might be fun!
okay, sometimes we still feel like this:
"When I was young, the future was where all the good stuff was kept, the party clothes, the pretty china, the family silver, the grown-up jobs. The future was a land of its own, and we couldn't wait to get there. Not that youth wasn't great, but it came with disadvantages; I remember feeling I was missing something really good that was going on somewhere else, somewhere I wasn't. I remember feeling life passing me by. I remember impatience. I don't feel that way now. If something interesting is going on somewhere else, good, thank God, I hope nobody calls me. Sometimes it's all I can do to brush my teeth- toothpaste is just too stimulating." -excerpt from A Three Dog Life: A Memoir by Abigail Thomas
7. civil rights: we look at civil rights in our house as playing well with others. Greyson is encouraged to be held by as many people as are around. I want Grey to be comfortable being around lots of people, especially since we don't live near all of our family. He has done well so far, but now that he's to the age where he knows the difference between mum/dad and anyone else, we'll really need to make sure he knows that being with others is okay too. Of course, "stranger danger" will be taught when he gets a little older:) We also try our best to introduce Grey to different types of music and food. We listen to lots of Putumayo cds (http://www.putumayo.com/) like the New Orleans & World Music which has lots of fun jazz and drum beats. We read about different places to live and cultures, and even different languages in our books each day. We'd like Grey to recognize as early as possible that there are many ways to live a life.
"I try to affirm the worth of every person I meet." -the late "Padre" Reverend E. Raymond Shaheen from Susquehanna University
Unfortunately, Bullet and the kitties still do not play well together. Lola is the boss between the three of them. Bullet can run right up to her, barking his head off and that girl fights right back. Many-a-time, I've had to wipe blood from Bullet's nose because Lola isn't putting up with his crap. Jinx is the most skittish cat on the planet anyway, so she runs like the wind and hides at the sight of Bully. We are trying to work on their friendship, but it seems like a long road ahead. The fact that Bullet can sit with his face through the cat door and just stare at them, while the cats just stare back seems like we've come leaps&bounds from their first meeting...slowly but surely.
All in all, our life is crazy and chaotic, but mostly funny and definitely full of love. There really is only one truth, "Life is too short to be anything but happy."