Monday, July 19, 2010

Hesistant Hostess

Before I got married one could generally find anywhere from one to thirty college students in my apartment on most nights of the week.  Even on and off during the day a few would stop by if I was home to kill time before or between classes. 

I like having people in my home.

That hasn't really changed much but the dynamic of life has changed a bit.

When I got married we were part of a church that showed hospitality in a way that I had never seen before.  It was beautiful, generous, lovely... and, well... sometimes a bit intimidating.  Not that any one of these families imposed certain expectations on my but they were my own self-imposed expectations and thinking that I needed some serious observation lessons before attempting any of these shin-digs.  I would see women under such grace feed 15 people for a sit-down lunch/dinner and it seemed like it never phased them.  Scary!  At the time we also lived pretty far away from most people in our church family and in my mind I thought that it would be a great imposition for them to come all the way down to our home.  Sigh.  I think we had three households from church in our home.  The rest were a fun family that lived relatively close, family, and a neighbor.

Now we live pretty close to just about everyone in our church, family, and other friends.  In my expectations I didn't want people to see all of our moving boxes, then there was the "legitimate" excuse of morning sickness, or I want to get this or that project done.  Well, boxes are removed, morning sickness gone, and projects completed.  No more excuses.  You can insert my anxiety sky-rocketing here as Husband talks about having this or that family over. 

Again, it's not that I don't want to spend time with these people it's my own self-imposed, unrealistic expectations of what needs to be presented and done for these people.  Yeah, no aroma of grace there!

This last Friday we had a lovely family over in a very impromptu manner for dinner.  In the midst of my third trimester I am moving slow and trying to keep things simple and the oven off as much as possible.  Let me note that this family is quite hospitable and the wife is a whiz in the kitchen.  I told her basically that we were having pasta salad and I whipped up another cool salad type thing to eat with chips.  The pasta salad was even from a box but we love it and I added a few extra things to make it a bit more "hardy."  They brought a couple of things to share as well which was great.  Husband bought a bottle of wine home which I think can make any meal better.  ha!

We had a grand time in fellowship which is really what the evening was all about.  The kiddos had fun playing and we let them all stay up after their bedtimes.  While talking with the wife she appreciated the fact that I didn't put on any "airs" in creating my pasta salad.  She got a good laugh when she inquired about the recipe and I told her, "It's my Aunt Betty Crocker's recipe." All with a smile.

We talked about hospitality and what it means to have people in our homes ever so briefly.  I realized in our conversation hurt that had been extended to her because those who have been in her home and experienced her gourmet side think they have to return the same when they come over.  NOT SO!  Yes, she has special gifts in different areas as I have gifts in other areas.  We learn and grow from each other.  It's not about the food but what happens around the food.

It was a good learning experience for me on a variety of levels.  Even in letting her help me in the kitchen while being 7 months pregnant I learned it really is okay to let your guests help.  It was the least stressed I have been in a "hosting" situation in a long time.

So, with that we have another household coming next weekend for lunch... in the midst of a crazy, filling-up-fast, getting-ready-for-baby kind of schedule.  Family and other friends, too.

Even while having an extra tabel in the front room while we are trying to sell it.  Yes, the house was clean but there is grace even in that.  Not everything was totally in it's place.  A toddler lives here and it was obvious.  But that's okay... we live here, it's not a showroom.  More on these other aspects later.  But I am not quite so hesitant a hostess anymore.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Two Girls, Two Rooms

One of my sweet friends asked me to blog about my final decisions to put Miss L and Miss A in their own rooms for the time being.  So, here's a bit of my thought process and those with other experience can share, too.

The reality is that Miss A probably will not go into her own room for at least a month or so after we come home.  Mostly for my own sanity she will be in our room.  Hopefully, she will "probably" be sleeping through longer stretches of the night by then, too.  It will really come down to how long she is actually sleeping through the night, if I am getting much sleep while she moves and coos, and ultimately if she keeps Husband up at all during the night.  He has to function at work, you know.  He doesn't have the option to stay in PJ's or have Grandma come help him, or take a nap at work.

When we do move her we realize there may be several trips in during the night to check on her, feed her, or any number of other things.  Knowing that, we also want to preserve Miss L's sleep schedule.  Sometimes she is totally "out" if we walk into her room at night.  Other times she will wake up right away as soon as the door knob turns.  We are not sure how sensitive she will be to Miss A crying so some of this is based on unknowns that could surprise us when Miss A does come on scene.

So, with that we decided to keep them in separate rooms until they are basically on the same sleep schedule which could be when Miss A is about 18 months old.  It's not very long in the grand scheme of things.  Husband likes the idea of our kids having their own rooms -- he and his brother always had their own rooms.  This is fine if the Lord should decide that we are done at two.  However, should there be more... :)

Even if the Lord says, "two is it" we may still move them into a room together.  They are so very close in age that it wouldn't make that big of a deal.  Then we can reclaim our guest bedroom.  Granted, we don't have a ton of visitors as most of our family lives nearby now.  However, it's nice to have the option.  We do have plenty of floor space and air mattresses are always an option.  We can also create a makeshift guest room if need be in our office or in Miss A's room by moving the girls together (or Miss A to our room) for a temporary fix.  Options...always options.

We will move the crib to Miss A's room this weekend.  I am on the search for a changing table and will make that a one-stop-shop for changing both girls.  Seems easier to have it in Miss A's room at this point in time.

Okay, there you have my pretty simple thought process.  I know quite a few others have put their kiddos together from fairly young ages.  I would love to hear especially the how's and why's.  Usually the "why" is because...well... that's the only option really.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010



In some sense it seems like a foreign concept to me and at the same time a very true reality.

I made the comment to Husband the other day that I think that I have more of a nesting urge with this pregnancy than I did with my first.  He thought it was the other way around.  However, I think that the things that happened (and current tasks at hand) in each situation have been very different and that effects how we perceive it.

Either way, I am totally in the midst of it right now.  Although, I will say that while I have things to do and want to do certain things my motivation can quickly go out the door.  Or little things become big things and that is all I can focus on.  And even worse, sometimes other things completely get neglected because I am focused on this other task or thinking about it, etc.

Things are coming together, though.  Much to our surprise (and my great hesitancy) Miss L moved to a "big girl" bed on Saturday night.  Quite on a whim, I must say.  She has done remarkably well!  So, we will be moving the crib to Miss A's room.  We found a great deal on a new-to-me glider as my other one broke. (That story for another day.)  I am still trying to figure out the changing table configuration.  I just want one changing area for both girls.  I think I have it down.  So, there are just a few little things to get both rooms ready for different changes.

The funny thing is that while there are a gazillion things to still get ready there are toys strewn across my living room floor (with said toddler in the midst of it all) along with a pile of clean cloth diapers that she has also seen fit to play with.  She loves to play with the fluff... even when it has been put away.

Maybe more on all this later...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Water Ice

We made a super fast trip to Texas over the July 4th weekend.  We were there to see a dear friend installed as pastor of a blossoming mission church.  It was a lovely time rich with fellowship and new relationships.  While I cannot go into all of that here there was this one random blip in the weekend that took me back to the summer of 2004 when I spent 6 weeks in Ocean City, NJ.

You know those special things that take you back to a special time and they seem like the most amazing thing?  Then you know how sometimes you can partake in said special thing outside of the context of said special time and it's really not so amazing anymore?  Well, this was NOT the case with Rita's Italian Ice... or more fondly called water ice.  It's like a sno-cone but not that rigid.  It's smooth... like a slushie but... still not quite.  A spoon is generally required. 

Let's just say that I may have given Husband a slight fright as I gasped when I saw the sign on a building as we pulled into the hotel circle.  OH. MY.  I told Husband that we MUST go there at least once this weekend.  After Miss L went to bed we got the hankering for something cool and sweet.  Husband was going to go get it and bring it back.  I told him whatever flavor was fine as long as it was red.  ha!  He came back with Tropical Punch for me and Cookies and Cream for himself.  I thought his sounded strange for water ice but it was pretty yummy!!  A regular size is plenty! On the plus side it is super affordable... I think we paid $4.00 for the two of them.

Ahhhh... Delightful!

We wanted to go again but our schedule kept us running and eating at other venues.  However, there is rumor that Rita's could be coming to the Valley of the Sun in the next year or so!  YAY!  Husband and I thought it would be a good investment and half thought about the possibility of doing a franchise.  I will say that it was a fleeting idea...  fun in the moment but probably not for us.  So, we will wait until places open here and join my Ocean City buddy, Stephanie, at a grand opening.   

In all of this reminiscing... I had to look up the Polish water ice place that I also liked and found that it is pretty much just in three states on the east coast.  But if you are looking for another fun place try out TLC's Polish Water Ice.  If you happen to find yourself on the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ you will find these places fairly close to each other... partake... in both!