Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Widget

I've added a label widget to the sidebar. Over the past several days, I've been redoing the labels of the posts to make them more compact and easier to navigate. Originally, the number of labels was huge. Now with this widget, you can see the list of labels and find exactly what you want to read about.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Guilty Innocence

Guilty Innocence: noun. Having the form of being innocent with some guilt attached.

OK, I really struggled with that definition. I would think that innocence is an adjective, but the dictionary says it's a noun. So we'll call it that. But what I mean by "guilty innocence" is knowing you are doing the right thing, even though there is some guilt involved.

Husband just finished our taxes and presented me with the paper to sign. Next to the place for my signature was the infamous "occupation" box. I hesitated. What do I write there? Is it domestic engineer? Housewife? Stay-at-home mom? I eventually settled on housewife and let that be the end of it.

You know, I don't really like the term "domestic engineer." There's something wrong about it, I think. I was reading Wikipedia one day, and came across this statement: "The euphemistic term 'domestic engineer' has gone out of favor, being seen by some as satirical, as if to give a sense of mock dignity to a role held in low esteem by the speaker." (Full article here.) Maybe that's it. It seems almost silly. Note, though, that I don't care if other people use the term. I just personally don't. (Remember 300 Roses when I said I don't care if other people make it? It's the same kind of thing.)

Which, in a round-about way that you should be used to by now, brings me to my point. I'm happy to stay home with my kids. Really. But when people ask if I work, it is almost painful to say no. I could say yes, being that I do actually work regardless of the fact that I don't get a paycheck, but somehow I don't think that kind of smart alec answer is going to get me anywhere.

So, after some reflection, I've come up with what I think is the reason why I feel a slight pang of guilt when I have to say that I don't have a "real" job. It's the fear that in the eyes of the asker I'm somehow not right. Like I might be lazy or just not living up to my potential. That realization is somehow freeing.

So now, I say it loud (or as loud as I can get on the internet): I'm a housewife. I'm a stay-at-home mom. I feel my job is very important and I am doing the best thing for my family!

Did you notice the italics on "my"? That's because I want you to notice that me staying at home is the best solution for my family, but is not necessarily for others. I recognize that there are a lot of factors that need to be considered in order for a parent to make that kind of big decision.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Domestic Glitch Part 2

Click here for part I.

Domestic Glitch:
noun. An instance when a person tries their hardest to run a smooth household, but something still goes wrong.

A few weeks ago, Husband had to go away for a few days on business. I decided to use that time to try out some new recipes.

Husband is usually the one who cooks. He took over that responsibility while I was pregnant with Monkey Son #2 (or somewhere there abouts). He's fantastic at it, really, but sometimes I feel like I'm not doing my full job by letting him do the cooking, even if he is better at it than I am.

One problem I have with cooking is raw meat skeeves me out. I hate it. The look, the feel...yuck! I feel like I can never quite get my hands clean enough after handling it. Don't get me wrong. On nights when Husband doesn't want to cook, I do cook for him and I have no problem doing that. But I don't enjoy it. Every time we watch a cooking show where they are patting the meat as they tell you about it, I cringe. The other day we watched The Sandlot, and Small's step-father put a frozen steak on Small's black eye...I was squirming.

So, that's why I don't like cooking. But I, as usual, digress. What I want to tell you about is the butternut squash soup I made while Husband was away. It was fantastic and no raw meat involved. It was so good, I made another batch the day Husband came home. He wasn't interested in it, but I gave him a bite later, and his reaction was terrible. He pulled back, made a face, and shuddered like it was the worst thing he had ever had. Oh, dear.

I didn't know he didn't like squash.

"OK, well, I won't make it anymore, then," I said.

"No, no, no. You can still make it for you," he replied.

But I won't be making it. It takes an hour or so for all the pre-roasting and slicing and washing and prepping to make this soup. I'm not going through all that just for me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Non-Momma Commentary

Non-Momma Commentary: noun. A comment made by a non-mother that ends up being insulting, whether or not it was well intended.

I want to tell you about this article, uh, column I guess, that my sister sent me. You can find it here.

Go ahead and read it. It's short. I'll wait.

OK, you done? Good. Now lets discuss.

Are you insulted a little bit by the question? I guess the thing that bothered me the most is this: Is this the way non-moms view us SAHMs? Do they really think we sit around and eat bon-bons and watch soap operas while our children run wild and we just hope they don't kill themselves? Really?

I agree with what the columnist said (although I probably would have been a bit less snarky about it): When you are a parent, everything you do takes longer than it would a childless person. Shopping, dishes, library trips.

And as for "What do they do all day?" Well, my friends, the other day I was watching an episode of "Little House on the Prairie" on one of the Christian channels. Often, a man name Michael Guido comes on during the commercials and gives a quick little story that illustrates important life points. One day he told a rather amusing story that goes something like this:

A man asked his wife, "What do you do all day?" Some time later, he came home and was surprised by the state of his house. When he asked his wife what happened, she replied, "Now you know what I do all day, because I didn't do it."

Sadly, it's easier to see what a SAHM hasn't done than what she has.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Magic Baby

Magic Baby: noun. Any child that does something that makes the parents wonder how he/she did it.

I gave Monkey Son #2 a few potato chips today. I know, I know. It's the evil junk food. But it is one of our few junk food vices, so be patient with me. It's not like I give my children tons of potato chips every day. Monkey Son #1 gets them rarely, and Monkey Son #2 even rarer than that.

At any rate, today I gave both of them some chips. Afterwards, Monkey Son #1 ran off to play, and I took Monkey Son #2 out of his high chair. A few minutes later, Monkey Son #2 walked by with another chip.

Wait. Where did he get that? I thought he must have had it in his hand when I took him out of his high chair. Only a few minutes later, he had another one.

I looked at the counter. The chip container was still there, closed, and out of reach. So...where was he getting these chips? Was there a secret pile somewhere? Did I spill some? I seriously had no idea how he was magically coming up with extra Doritos.

Something made me look toward the living room. There, at the end of the couch, was a plate with chips on it. As I watched, Monkey Son #2 went over to the plate and took one. I really must talk to Monkey Son #1 about leaving plates of food everywhere.