Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mommy Guilt

This morning, I accidentally slammed Luke's fingers in the car door.  Ironically, we were in the parking lot for the doctors' office for Baby Jack Jack's nine month check up. 

The poor little thing had slipped his fingers into the driver's side door frame as he climbed down out of the car and was not expecting me to close my door at the instant; he now says that was his first and last time for using that method of getting out of the car.  Fortunately, his fingers just were trapped in the gasket so even though it really hurt, there was little damage done according to the "can you wiggle your fingers?" test and his fingers (thought not my ego) stopped hurting by the time we walked into the office. 

It was one of those stupid moments that I am sure that all parents have but I felt HORRIBLE over it.  So, of course, we went to McDonald's after Jack Jack's appointment to make it up to him or, more accurately, to assuage my mommy guilt. 

Then Luke told me that I needed to call my mom and tell her what I had done to him albeit accidentally.  This kid has a very strong sense of justice I realized given that he decided that my mom would "get me in trouble" and he thought this was hilarious.  We left a message for my mom detailing our mishap.  Don't know if she has listened to it yet so I haven't been able to ask if she was able to hear the profound giggling coming from her grandson in the background. 

He also asked me to call his grandpa, three uncles and an aunt and let them know what he had been though since he is apparently very proud of it. 

It reminds me how thankful I am for Grace.  In a moment when I think I have it all together and am being a good mom taking my nine month old, freshly scrubbed and in a cute outfit to the doctor to report on all his milestones, I am reminded about how, in a lot of ways, being a "good" mommy is just an illusion because it can melt away as quickly as a car door shuts. 

I care so much about being a good mom and loving on my three musketeers that it is particularly painful when I don't do the best job much less be responsible for actually hurting one of them.  Hence my appreciate of Grace.  God has given us a tremendous gift of Grace through Jesus's death on the cross and if He can forgive me, I need to be able to do the same.  I realized in our incident today that being able to say I'm sorry is a huge example to the boys and gives them a chance to understand and give grace.  Funny how good can come from a parenting mistake.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

It seems hard to believe that we have been living in our house now for four years.  Brian and I moved from Southern California to the South.  There were some big adjustments to make like when ordering iced tea, "regular" is actually syrupy sweet and I had to learn that flip flops are not year round attire (people tend to laugh if they see you wearing them in January here).  Aside from the funny cultural differences and missing my family like crazy, one huge adventure has been owning a home for the first time. 

When we moved in, we embarked on some house projects and finally, I finished the most long running one this past weekend.  I had to share since I am incredibly pleased with the result though sadly, I have no before pictures to compare the finished product with so sorry!

Our downstairs powder room was in need of some attention when we bought the place owing to some dark forest green striped wall paper with a wood grain pattern over the stripe.  It had the shortest vanity that I had ever seen which was comical when 6'2 Brian tried to wash his hands.  We were in process of refinishing the floors and so, in true "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie..." style, I thought we should rip out the vanity too so the floor guys could fill in the wood flooring so I could put the pedestal sink I have always wanted. 

With that done, I moved on to peeling wall paper and, like all projects, discovered it wasn't as clear cut as it looked since the builder many years previously had glued the paper directly to the drywall and thus peeling paper meant peeling drywall.  Painting the walls my beloved red Plan A went out the window since the walls were going to be so damaged that we decided the only thing to do was to re-paper.  We have never been big wall paper people so I was thrilled when we found a red paper that I actually loved.  The powder room is crazy tiny so papering it was really funny since both Brian and I could barely fit in there at the same time.  We put in a new set of bronze fixtures (my other love besides red!) which were sorely needed since when we bought the house, there were no towel bars or toilet paper holders... am still trying to figure out how that worked with the previous owners...  We switched out the toilet too later to a water saving one (all the while carefully measuring so the door would still have clearance- yes, the room is that tiny) and replaced the rusty mini blinds with a roman shade.  I found a inexpensive black framed mirror at Target to replace the huge builder one and I love that it looks just as good as the $70 dollar ones at Lowe's but was only $25. 

All of this sounds crazy expensive but it wasn't since we all the work ourselves with the exception of the floor and Target and the Lowe's brand fixtures was pretty much all we used although when it came together, you would never know they were the basic brands. 

We finished this all a long time ago and I have been trying to figure out what should go over the toilet since that looked bare.  This spot has really been the crux of why we haven't finished yet since we just couldn't figure what should go there for the longest time.  We toyed with the idea of a family picture but thought that might be weird having people "watching" in the bathroom and I never found any artwork that I really loved that didn't just seem like a generic print.  I've been really enjoying photography lately and decided this would be a good chance to showcase a photo that I've actually taken so with some planning, I was able to shoot the restaurant, Angelo and Vinci's, which was the place Brian and I went to on our first date and where he proposed in downtown Fullerton, California.  One of the things I love most about decorating and homes is how it reflects the people who live there hence my desire to make sure that anything I put up was personal and made me happy anytime I look at it.  Since I am at home with our three boys, I definitely need calm and happy pictures!  I love how the red of the building ties in with the red and the old theater behind stands out against the sky; it reminds me of home and good times.  I was able to print it out as an 11 by 14 from Shutterfly with a coupon and then, armed with another coupon, picked up a frame at A.C. Moore this past weekend.  It took a long time to actually get it done but I am so glad that I didn't just stick any thing up there to call it done because it is so personal and so fun. 

One of my goals is to try to do as much as I can, as economically as I can in taking care of our family and making it homey.  I think some of my favorite projects have actually been some of the cheapest and have thus required the most creativity.  I love how opportunities to be creative let me make our home personal by telling our story through our photos and let me be crafty in a practical sense.  Thanks for listening about my foray into photography and decorating and my you have opportunities to be just as creative!