Friday, June 08, 2007

Happy Anniversary! and the "8 things meme"

To my wonderful husband, my best friend and soul mate. When I was a kid, I knew so many people that were divorced that I pretty much thought that hardly anyone was really happily married. I'm still not sure all that many people are! But I am one of the lucky ones, praise God. A good marriage is truly a blessing, and nothing is more stressful than living in an unhappy one. I should have a wedding picture to paste, but I am not motivated to dig one up. Maybe next year! John and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary yesterday. That's right, you can do the math. Maria is 10, we've been married for four years.....

And that leads me to the "8 things Meme" I was tagged with by Barb a little while back in which I am supposed to list 8 random things/habits about myself. So here's the first.

1. Maria is not John's biological child. In my "away from the faith" late teen/young adult days I married (sort of...if you call getting married by a notary public in your neighbor's apartment "getting married") when I was 19 and Maria was born two years later. A year after that we were separated and he disappeared very shortly after...kindest thing he ever did for both of us. I had started attending mass again when I was pregnant with Maria and made a general confession and came fully back into the church after my divorce. John and I met when Maria was 3 years old, so he's the only father she remembers, and he adopted her soon after we married four years ago. Told you he was a good one.

2. I used to be a smoker. It always amuses me when I tell people this because they almost always say, "Wow, you don't look like a smoker." I'm not sure exactly what this means, except that I think it means I'm too fat to be a know, like I should have that oral fixation thing covered by the overeating. :)

3. Well, that's all the dark history-of-me stuff I can think of, at least all that I'm willing to put on a public blog. What else? Habits... I can really only clean with music on, preferably Aretha Franklin or some other kind of Motown. We are not a "religious or classical music only" kind of homeschooling household. Life is not complete without Aretha. Or without my Beatles LP collection.

4. That being said, I have a weird collection of music and people are usually perplexed when they notice cd's like Aretha, Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin, Brooks and Dunn, Tchaikovsky, and Weird Al all on the same cd rack. What can I say? I am a complex individual who refuses to be pegged. And Weird Al is a musical genius.

5. I don't much like cleaning, and my house shows it. I do, however *love* organizing...this means that even though my house is generally messy, there are weird pockets of anal-retentive organization, like the immaculate condition and rotation system of the boys dressers (Maria is in charge of her own now,,,nuff said), or the complex toy-rotation system I have in place. This causes me great stress as well, because there are certain areas of my home that refuse to be organized. For example, like most homeschoolers we have a large book collection. Most of our books are kept in the dining room simply because there is a lot of shelf room in there.

These cabinets came with our new kitchen, even though they face the dining room. That's my kitchen on the other side. Other than the little drawers right under the counter and the pretty stuff behind the glass doors, every inch of this space is filled with books.

These shelves are built onto one whole dining room wall. This room has not been remodeled yet, so excuse the newsprint wallpaper. The shelves go almost from floor to ceiling, and they are filled with children's books.

There is plenty of room here for our books, but other than separating them into adult/children books there is no way to organize them. The shelves, as you can see, are very different in size...the inside of those cabinets is the same way. So the books get shelved where they will books with fiction books, craft books with history books,,,it's madness I tell you! The only attempt at organization is that Jack's board books are down on a low shelf where he can reach them.

My pantry is the same way, a big built-in floor to ceiling deal with shelves of very different heights...this leads to vegetable oil on the same shelf as breakfast cereal, taco seasoning packets on the shelf with dried beans and's enough to keep me up at night!

6. We are social nerds here. The three biggest "adult conversation fodder", politics, current events, and sports, are subjects I choose to be completely ignorant about. I think politics is a worthy enough subject...I just don't have the interest for it, and I find politicians extremely irritating. I read current information, don't get me wrong...I can tell you the latest treatment for neonatal sepsis or discuss with you the recent article is Discovery magazine in which they discussed whether time exists on a subatomic level...I just am disinterested in politics and government completely. John, as a compulsive newspaper reader, keeps up with these subjects better than I do and he will often point me to articles worth reading. And before an election, I try to give myself a little crash course so that I can be an Informed Voter. Usually though, I am interested in current events that affect my little world or interests, which I know is really narrow-minded of me...I can live with that.

7. The third "fodder" subject, sports, does not exist in my house. It just doesn't. I realize this is blasphemy to many. It's not that I think there's anything wrong with sports. There is just absolutely zero interest in sports by everyone in my house, including my husband. In January we have been known to say, "Hey, did you know tomorrow is Superbowl Sunday?" "Oh yeah? Who's playing?" "I don't know...the Lakers?." ", I think that's basketball."

8. I miss being a nurse. Don't get me wrong, I don't miss being a *working mom* in the slightest little bit. I love, love, love homeschooling and raising what I hope will be a big family, and those things are not very compatible with working. But I loved being a nurse, I loved pediatrics and obstetrics, and before becoming a stay-home mom I had the pleasure of working at a great Catholic hospital on an awesome unit. There were things I didn't like to be to moral challenge of attempting to see Christ into some wretched excuse for a parent that was going to be allowed to take a precious newborn home in the morning, or sending a child that I *knew* was being abused back home with their abusers and fighting the urge to smuggle the child down the back stairwell during the night, or most of the obstetricians. But I loved the challenge of managing a challenging, very ill child and knowing that that child survived the night because of my care. I love helping a family make it through a very challenging time in their lives. I loved being one of the first people to make contact with a sweet newborn, fresh from God's hand, all ooky with blood and vernix and crying mad at the abrupt and shocking changes to it's little world, and being one of the first people to snuggle it and coo to it while I bathed it and wrapped it in warmed blankets before sending it back to nurse with Momma, making some kind of small but surely forgotten impression on that child's psyche. My husband is a nurse to, and a very good one. Our big "if we win the lotto" dream is for John and I to build and run a home in which we take in a slew of foster kids with special medical needs and disabilities. Just waiting for the money, Lord! :)


Lillian said...

What wonderful answers! So honest and inspiring. I love hearing about conversion stories. It amazes me how much people change with God's grace!

I'm totally with you on music other than JUST classical!! Thanks for the look into your life! I just finished the same meme over at my blog too!

Entropy said...

Great answers, Mel. Comments: I love those cabinets! Weird Al is a musical genius! I have the same weird compulsion with organizing in clumps only I'm not terribly good at it but I love doing it. Lists and plans are so much fun!

Great meme!

entropy said...

don't forget you still have my meme to do! Don't be a scaredy-cat!

Marie said...

Just a thought on your very last comment, about the money and the "dream house" for foster kids.... Maybe you should tell your county social services that this is your dream; they would probably funnel the money your way pretty quick!

Barb said...

so much here reminds me of me!! I was a nurse too, critical care tho, hated that OB, two patients and one I couldn't see! The music, I totally get :) We do not clean unless Bob Seeger is playing, (I suspect I am a bit older here LOL) Loving your blog here.