Wednesday, January 29, 2014

OMGosh, I bit my kid...

When Professor and I were dating, our dates looked like this:

Go to the gas station/grocery store.
Wander aisles, chatting and giggling and ogling all the treats.
Spend the few dollars we had rounded up (usually on pop, Ramen, candy, and/or chips).
Go back to one of our houses, eat our treats, and talk-talk-talk...or watch TV.

Exciting stuff, eh?  When we went to his house, we watched from his DVD collection, which included a lot of seasons of ER.

I had never really watched ER while it was actually on TV; the only episode I remember sitting down and watching with my mom was the one where Dr. Greene died.

{Sorry if that was a spoiler for some of you.}

Anyway, ever since I've had children--well, mobile children--I fear taking them to the doctor because of this show.  "Oh no!  You have a bruise on your knee and we're going for your checkup tomorrow...they're going to think I beat you!"

No doctor has ever commented on my daughter's bumps, scrapes, or bruises, because they've always been typical little-kid injuries.  But every time I have a moment of heart palpitations as we're getting ready to go to that check-up that they'll take away my babies and call me a bad mother.

{This isn't just an irrational fear that I have.  A pastor's wife once told me she had the same worries with her boys, but the doctor told her they can tell the difference between injuries from play and injuries from more sinister things, which helped put me at ease.}

And then the other day...I bit my kid.

Scrunch woke up from her nap, happy to cuddle for a minute but eager to get down and play.  Professor brought her some animal crackers, which she dove into as she wandered the living room.  She cruised along the couch and shoved an animal cracker in my mouth, so I obliged and took a little bite.

"Num num num," I said in that animated way parents do.  She beamed and giggled and got so excited she had to sit down.  She grabbed another cracker and came back.

I paid no attention to the texture as she shoved the would-be cracker in my mouth and, reader friend, here is where I must stop and say this: They should not make animal crackers the color of person flesh.  This is why God invented unnatural food coloring.

So, yes, I bit down on my child's finger, and it took us both a second too long to realize it.

But before you call Child Services or think that Scrunch got the short end of the stick, know this: she worked her way up from piddly animal crackers to an Oreo, to help her cope with the pain.  And my child-biting days?   Well, I hope that they're all in the past.

And also that animal cracker companies will work on that food coloring thing.

Friday, January 24, 2014

When January is bleak...

{via Microsoft Images}

I've learned in recent years that January is a difficult month for me: it's cold.  It's dark.  It feels like winter will never end.

When Pooke was a baby, I tried to busy the January blues away: long to-do list, lots of rushing about, lots of projects.  Mostly I just got burned out and felt overwhelmed by all the things I didn't check off.

The next year, Pookie was just starting to walk, so I tried to escape from the blues: we went to the nearby mall nearly every weekday, just to walk the wide, open hallways and stretch our legs.  At least once a week we ended up at Taco Bell for a pop and burrito (for me) and a cheese roll-up (for her), even though I could have easily made these things at home...for much less.

I knew we had overstayed our welcome at the mall when one of the janitors waved at Pookie as she toddled by and commented, "Wow, you guys are here like every day," so I ended up feeling guilty and embarrassed.

I don't really remember last January; we were still in newborn mode, sleeping when we could, which wasn't often.

My strategy for this January?  We're hibernating.

When it's too cold to go out (which has been most of the time), we stay home.  We read stories, watch extra TV, sleep a lot, and eat as we please.1
I'm not getting much done.  Our grocery budget has been decimated.  Some days I want to climb the walls...

But overall?  It's probably the best January I've had in several years, simply because I decided to recognize my weakness rather than run from it.

January may be the month for resolutions, but around my house, it will now and forevermore be a month for sleeping, for dreaming, for resting.

And I don't think I'd have it any other way.

1. Also? My people are eating me out of house and home! Apparently, two little people and a tall, thin husband can really pack it away when the temps drop below zero. Anybody else?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I got a nanny...for myself

"Last year, I deleted my personal Facebook account...Harsh?  Maybe...
     I deleted it because, for me, Facebook had become a time and energy sucker.  A five-minute Facebook break in the middle of a writing or blogging project would turn into twenty-five minutes or more.  I'd get sucked into this virtual world of viewing other people's pictures, commenting on their statuses, reading through conversations (sometimes I didn't even know any of the people--pathetic, I know!)...
     Facebook had become a time-wasting distraction for me, so I finally got rid of it."
                              --Crystal Paine, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode (pg 18-19)

Reading these words was a comfort to me; the internet is my weakness, but I'm often afraid to speak that truth aloud.1

But it is true, and I will say it again: I struggle with falling down the internet rabbit hole and wasting entirely too much of my day {read: life} down there.

And those days I fell down the rabbit hole?  My house stays messy, my kids get crabby, dinner doesn't get the attention it deserves, and I end up crabby.

That sounds like survival mode to me...I was ready for this book.

Luckily, the book that pointed out my weakness to me also offered a solution: installing an online tracker, a tool to monitor my internet usage and block websites altogether.

And that screenshot?  It's entirely enough motivation for me to walk away (or get to work, as the case may be).  I never thought having a Net Nanny would work for me, but it is.  And I'm so glad.

Currently, I have things set up this way:
6:15-7           ALL websites blocked (should be reading Bible, praying, etc.)
8AM-5PM        Facebook blocked
8:30-11:30     ALL websites blocked (should be focused on my girlies)
1:30-3           ALL websites blocked (should be focused on writing or editing)
3:30-5           ALL websites blocked (girl time, housework, starting toward dinner prep, etc.)

Admittedly, I haven't started working toward many of my goals for the year yet.  January always seems to be a difficult month for me, what with the dreary weather and the post-holiday letdown and all.  I let myself take extra time to snuggle the girls and watch movies, sleep more, keep projects to a minimum...basically hibernating.

But even though I've "hibernated" as usual this January, it's been more productive than most:

  • Pookie hasn't been as stir-crazy because I'm more available when I'm not in front of a screen.
  • We made granola that has become the toddler equivalent of crack in this house...not sure if this is good or bad, but at least it's delicious.
  • I'm caught up on the laundry.  Say what?!
  • I've been far more consistent in Bible reading.
  • The girls have given me more space.  For some reason, Mama-chopping-onions isn't as inviting a playground as Mama-reading-blogs.
  • I've found that the time I've given myself is "enough": playing a mindless Facebook game for a few minutes seems like more of a treat than when I get sucked into it for ages, and I'm reading just the blogs I really want to read rather than hopping and hopping and getting nowhere.
There are so many other things that I've gleaned from Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, and I'll share them in due time (when my hibernation is over)...but for now, my Internet time is drawing near an end.  And there are babies who need me.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode:
9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life
Would you like to feel healthier and more energetic, eliminate stress, get more done, and rediscover your passions for life? 
Crystal shares practical ideas, big-picture perspective, and 9 simple strategies to help you stress less, sleep more, and be inspired to live life on purpose. 
To celebrate the release of her book this week, Crystal is offering a collection of amazing prizes for those who buy the book. Simply go to now for details. You can also pick up the book anywhere books are sold, including Amazon.

1 Except when the issue of smartphones comes up...then I blurt out, "I couldn't handle that much temptation at my fingertips." And as I have worked in recent years to get my blurter tendencies under control, it must be a pretty strong feeling to come bubbling out.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Twitterature :: January 2014

Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy hosts a monthly link-up for sharing casual, tweet-sized book reviews.

 Revenge Wears Prada :: Lauren Weisberger

Enjoyed the movie, tried reading the sequel.
Meh premise.
Meh unfolding.
Happy (I guess?) ending.
Mostly meh.

A Jane Austen Education ::

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy birthday, dear Taurus!

{via as it is way too cold to go out and get a picture of our actual car, though it looks just like this one...}

Dear people of the internets, our car is celebrating a milestone birthday this year.  Just like people get shy about their age as time goes by, the car would rather I not share the exact number of years she's been on the road.

Our little Taurus has put us through a lot.

Like that time it died on the highway, smack dab in the middle of our trip with two hours between us and either place we call home, plus a baby in my tummy.1

Or like that season when we went through sway bars like candy bars (and we love our candy bars around here, mm hmm).

Or that time the brakes were off and the bill made my heart stop.

Or the bills for new tires that made me cringe.

There was a season of great tension between us and the Taurus, but looking back, Professor and I realize that we were to blame.

Cars get sick, just like people.  It wasn't her fault, nor was it ours.  But what was our fault was our attitudes: the sky is falling, our car is a lemon, God is testing us...

And maybe He was.  But after many months, lots of prayer, signing up for AAA, and more prayer, we finally remembered an important truth:

God {much like our little Taurus} is always faithful.  And He will be long after the car is gone.

Funny, we've had a lot fewer car problems since we came to that realization...or maybe we've just felt more prepared to face them.

Either way, happy birthday, dear Taurus.  We thank God for the blessing that you are.

1 And God brought us a helpful police officer, a generous waitress, and a wonderful father-o'-mine to drive two hours into the night to save us from the expense of a tow. {Plus? The fact that we were 1,000 miles before the expiration of the car's warranty, which saved us oodles of money we didn't have to fix the tranny.}

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Resolutions for my crabby children in 2014

Have I mentioned that 2013 was not my favorite year?  Yes, we had a lovely, cuddly baby around.  Yes, we had a fun-loving 3-year-old.  Yes, we even got to go on a trip (without them!).

But in truth?  2013 was a hard, hard year.  That cuddly baby wasn't thrilled with transitioning to life outside the womb and wasn't afraid to show it.  The spunky toddler laid us flat most days.  And the amount of crying in this house would have solved the entire world's water supply problems, given a good enough filter.

Oh, and there are elephants living above us.  So that's helpful.

Needless to say, we are eager for 2014, looking so fresh and new and full of promise.  So, dear daughters, as you are too young to plan out self-improvement programs for yourselves, I took the liberty of drawing a little something-something up for you...


  • Stop acting like you're fourteen.  We'll get there someday, and you can slam doors and talk back to your heart's content.  But for now, why don't you stick to princesses and make-believe, hmm?
  • Enough with the angry face.  Brave is your favorite movie; Merida tromps around with an angry face because she's mad at her mom.  We get it...and we're over it.  Good luck making friends when your face is stuck like that--because that's what happens to kids who make faces all the time.  Totally true.
  • Rediscover your ears.  Oh my gosh, what happened here?  What's with the blank stares
  • Grow a butt.  In addition to the ears...what happened here?!  How do your pants stay up?  They're all six inches too short now (hello thrift store shopping in your near future...), but I don't dare buy bigger ones because there's nothing to hold them up!

  • Buck up against the pain.  Teething happens.  Bonking your head happens, especially when you climb things you're not supposed to climb.  Sure, crying's part of being a baby, but when you get that smug look on your face after you've been comforted for the umpteenth time this evening?  Even Mama knows she's been played like a sucker.  We're onto you, little one.
  • Stop being allergic to everything.  Tall order?  Yes, but you're a smart cookie; good luck.  I promise, if you stop it with this allergy silliness, there is all manner of yum in your future.
  • Don't be that crazy-tantrum-meltdown kid.  I can see the train a-comin' on that phase in your life, and trust me: nobody likes that kid.  More to the point, nobody likes that kid's mom, so let's just stop before it becomes a thing.

Jorgenson children:
  • Stop being so cute in public.  It's like we live in that cartoon where the frog sings and dances, but only in front of that one guy.  YOUR PAPA AND I DON'T WANT TO BE THAT ONE GUY.
  • Stop doing cute things at home.  It makes it hard to remember that you're the enemy.
  • Stop saying that you love us, that you love my cooking, that you love...well, shoot.  Now I've forgotten what I was mad about.  How do you two always manage to do that to me, anyway?
I love you girls {and Professor}'s to a healthier, happier 2014!
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