Monthly Archives: July 2012

i make cool kids.

Go figure — I get featured on WordPress.com’s Freshly Pressed page and gain a crapload of followers and then GO INTO LABOR WITH MY SON, thus causing me to take a break from blogging.

Hi. I’m alive, you guys!

It’s been exactly 12 days since I became a mother and boy how things have changed. As much as I love you, blog, I don’t seem to love you as much as I thought I did and I definitely don’t love you as much as I love my baby boy. But please, don’t take it personally. It’s not just you. It’s everything. I don’t seem to love anything I thought I loved — namely leaving the house, sleeping, showering, brushing my teeth, wearing deodorant, normal hygienic and social practices in general — as much as I love my kid. He’s just too cool.

Even though he’s only 12 days old, we’ve already pretty much figured out his personality. Here are some fun facts about our baby boy:

  • No matter how hungry he is, whether it’s simply “the munchies” or it’s ravenous starvation, he absolutely will not nurse if there is any iota of gas anywhere in his system. Be it a tiny burp or the most silent fart, he simply will not feed until we squeeze it out of him. It’s nice that he’s so aware of what’s going on in his body, but before we figured this out, we suffered through some of the most desperately eardrum-piercing screams you could imagine.
  • He smiles in his sleep. I even caught him laughing in his sleep once and I swear on everything holy that my entire being melted into the most pitiful mom-puddle ever. 
  • Most people think he looks like me more than he looks like Dan. I don’t really know about that. I know he’s adorable, that’s for sure.
  • He loves to snuggle. Not a big fan of sleeping on his back in the bassinet, but put him on Mommy or Daddy’s chest and he’s on a one-way trip to snooze town. He also snores a little bit.
  • He is about one feeding away from being a chunker and I LOVE IT.

There is so much more I want to say, because I’m a proud mama and could literally go on for days about how great my baby is, but I don’t want to bore you guys.

Tomorrow, “real” FBDC blogging should resume. Thanks for reading and sharing in my joy!

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things i love thursday! (July 19, 2012)

This week’s TILT comes a day late (deal with it) and at the steadily typing fingers of Lindsay’s husband Dan (again, deal with it).

Lindsay wants you, her readers, to know one thing for which she is thankful this week: This little guy!

Dax Arthur

Born THURSDAY, July 19, at 1:34am. 8lbs, 4oz, and 20.2in long.

So little baby Dax is what Lindsay loves this Thursday…and Friday…and Saturday…and everyday for the rest of her life.

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top five reasons i’m going to be a kick-ass mom.

If you know me at all, or if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know I love to poke fun at (or, sometimes, just maliciously poke) myself. It’s kind of my schtick.

I take something about me — whether it’s a quirk, an insecurity, a flaw, what have you — and exaggerate it in order to make a point about society, my own lack of understanding, or, quite plainly, my humanity.

Mind you, while my insecurities and flaws are very real, I don’t really think I’m the worst person on the planet. Nor do I actually believe that I’m going to be the worst mom ever. Remember. I exaggerate. (My 11th grade English teacher called it “emoting” when I did it in excess. Which was pretty much every day. See? I just did it again! Exaggeration!)

Anyway.

After yesterday’s post about Pinterest and how it’s simultaneously great and soul-crushing, a good friend of mine texted me and told me I don’t give myself enough credit; she challenged me to write a blog post about all the reasons I’ll be the best mom ever.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

And so, without further ado, here’s a (very rare) post about why I’m awesome.

TOP FIVE REASONS I’M GOING TO KICK ASS AS A MOM:

1. i was raised around boys.

Growing up, I was the only girl in my family. Hell, I even thought I was a boy at one point. The fact that I’m pregnant with a boy? Total divine intervention. God was all, “You know who would be great at raising boys? Lindsay Durrenberger. She can’t knit for crap but she knows the rules of baseball and likes to wrestle. Plus, because she’s an insomniac, she hasn’t slept a wink her entire life. She’s already ready! Lemme put a baby boy in her right quick.” (At least, that’s how I imagine that conversation went.)

2. i worked in childcare for approximately a billion years.

The best thing about working in childcare is the experience you get with the kids. The second best thing about working in childcare is your exposure to every kind of parent under the sun. As parents drop off and pick up their children, you can think to yourself, “I want to be JUST LIKE THAT PARENT when I have kids,” or, “If I turn out like THAT parent, someone shoot me and steal my kids.” It’s really enlightening.

3. i don’t sweat the small stuff.

Look. Life happens. Spills happen. Broken noses happen (twice, for me). Meltdowns happen, both on the child’s end and the parent’s. And kids still grow up. Whether or not they need therapy later (oh and by the way, I’d argue that any person who was raised by another person could probably benefit from therapy) kids grow up into (usually) fully-functioning adults, so long as they had parents who tried. Generally speaking, good parenting doesn’t equal perfect parenting. You can’t let mishaps and wrong turns color your evaluation of yourself as a parent or your child as a developing human being. Move. On.

4. i have a strong faith.

Hear me out, here. I’m not saying that parents without a faith-based background don’t raise perfectly wonderful humans. They absolutely do. I’ve seen it. I’m just glad that, for me, in those meltdown moments, I have someone to pray to. I’m sure that’s going to come in quite handy, like, every day I’m a parent. (This is mostly because I have crippling anxiety and I can’t afford anti-anxiety medication. True facts, people.)

5. i have a kick-ass partner.

There’s an old adage that begs women to “not marry a man unless you want a son just like him“. Well, I can safely say that if I could be so lucky to raise a kid who turns out just like his dad, I’d be so blessed. There are a lot of things I’ve done in my life about which I can be proud — graduating from college, running a half-marathon, learning how to make scrambled eggs on the stove — but all of them pale in comparison to the choice I made when I chose to marry Dan. That is, by far, my greatest accomplishment. I know that no matter what happens in the adventures of parenthood, I’ll look to my side and see the best, most supportive, most loving partner I could have ever asked for.

And there you have it. The top five reasons I’m cut out for motherhood. Oh, and by the way, there are countless other reasons that I’m definitely going to rock at this. But the best part about doing anything new is that, until you actually do it, you can’t know the full extent to which you will succeed.

So. Check back with me in a year or so for more reasons why I’m a great mom. Until then, I hope these five will serve as some sort of reminder that, seriously you guys, I don’t think I’m awful. I really don’t.

Shout out to my friend Jessica who called me out and challenged me to write this. You rule, girl!

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why pinterest is both great and awful.

The cool (terrible?) thing about being pregnant (and I mean super pregnant) is that there is never a dull day because your mind takes you on such wonderful adventures! You get to go round and round in circles until you end up at the same destination at which you arrived the last time you let your mind wander — the notion that you’re going to be the worst mom on the planet. 

In today’s edition of Reasons I’m About to Fail at Motherhood, we explore Pinterest, an online pin board designed to inspire and motivate you to do things you never thought possible. (Or help you plan a wedding when you’re not even in a relationship. That, too.)

To watch me flail around desperately in a sea of DIY crafts I’ll never have the time or energy or creativity for, follow me on Pinterest here.

I love Pinterest. But I also hate it.

I love it because it is literally a bottomless gorge of creativity. Novice photography? There’s a pin for that. DIY crafts? There are only about a thousand boards to follow. Recipes? Oh man, don’t even get me started. (A couple weeks ago I made Nutella cookies from a recipe I found on Pinterest. Because I don’t have a hand mixer  – and why WOULD I? Anyone who knows me knows I don’t cook/bake/do anything a real wife and mom should do — the texture was a bit off. But they tasted like little chunks of Nutella and my husband was popping them like pills so I guess I succeeded.)

At its core, Pinterest is super helpful! Also, this is exactly what happens to everyone who signs up for Pinterest:

But. As a new (and undeniably uncrafty) mom, Pinterest scares the hell out of me. Just by existing, Pinterest takes everything I’m insecure about and just flaunts it in my face, like a big ol’ bully wielding recipes I’ll never have the skill to perfect and projects I’ll never have time to complete.

And so. I hate it. I hate it so much.

Here’s the deal — I follow a lot of my crafty friends, both moms and otherwise, on Pinterest. They pin the darnedest things, you know. Make your own X for baby! Create your own Y for the nursery! Do it yourself Z for the home! Etc. Etc. Etc.

It’d be great if that’s where it stopped. If everyone else was a “theoretical pinner” like me (that is, someone who pins things on their boards with no real intention of ever attempting the projects for a number of reasons) I wouldn’t be so bloody insecure. But that’s not the case. Oh no — when I visit these crafty friends of mine, I find that Pinterest is not only bookmarked on their laptops but has also clearly been inside their homes and left its mark via super adorable DIY things.

Because they’re all better crafters than me and, therefore, are better women/wives/moms/people than me.

You see, my house? Uh. Well. Last week we went to Wal-Mart and bought an already-painted canvas with already-printed-on sayings and nailed it to the wall in our dining room. Does that count? I mean I bet I could pin something that looks like that and just pretend I did it myself. Would anyone notice?

As I try to “nest” I’ve been scouring Pinterest for crafty DIY ideas on how to make the nursery look great and “nesty”. Because success at Pinterest = success as a mom.

Well, good news, readers! I’ve found something on Pinterest I’m going to DO MYSELF! I’ve resolved to buy some canvases and some pretty fabric and staple said pretty fabric to the canvases and then hang them on the wall. DIY wall art, you guys! Sounds super easy, right? (Here’s a link to the pin I, uh, pinned: DIY wall art.)

Seems easy enough, right? How hard could it be? I’ve done the research. I know where to buy the canvases and fabric and I know that I should probably get a staple gun to wield for this project. Looking at it, it seems like a piece of cake. That’s why it’s on Pinterest, right? Because every DIY project on Pinterest is easy, right? I have two hands and eyeballs and all the time and energy and creativity in the world. If I can’t make this work then…

Oh goodness. I don’t even want to think about what it means if I can’t do this.

Because if I fail at it, then I fail at being a good mom.

Well. I’m glad I consulted you, blog, before I attempted this most likely disastrous and self-esteem-crushing project. I just saved myself a lot of grief.

So. Let’s just stick to the already-printed stuff at Wal-Mart and call it a day so I don’t have to cry myself to sleep tonight thinking about all the money I’ll have to shell out for Dax’s therapy later on in life for being born unto such an uncrafty, unconventional, horrible mother.

While I’m at it, I should probably buy stock in Hot Pocket, Kraft, and Great Value brand hot dogs.

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things i love thursday! (july 12, 2012)

Happy Thursday, kids! Despite being 38 weeks pregnant and, therefore, quite the volatile person emotionally (sigh, I know, I’m sorry to everyone around me) life’s pretty great. Here’s my weekly list of love!

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Having Matt over for dinner! I COOKED, Y’ALL! I also made Nutella Cookies! (Thanks, Pinterest!)
  • Hanging out with my friends in so many places.
  • Fried pickles.
  • Getting to meet Wil, Natalie, and Carter (finally) after Facebook stalking them for months!
  • Watching Carter dance and give everybody high fives.
  • GETTING TO HOLD CARTER.
  • Live music, especially when produced by good friends.
  • Sleeping in and not having anything to do until 8PM.
  • Power-nesting.
  • Learning about new pregnancies! YAY!
  • Being able to text friends during awkward situations.
  • Disney Princess Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Getting my world rocked at church.
  • Having Kelby take “sexy” photos of me standing in front of an industrial-sized fan. (FYI “sexy” in this context means “not at all sexy”. Ha.)
  • Glassboard.
  • Hanging out with EJoy and Isaiah at a breastfeeding support group.
  • Adorable photos of babies on Instagram.
  • Ditto for cats.
  • Getting text message pictures of homemade clothes for Dax. SO PRECIOUS.
  • Going to coffee shops with books and no agenda.
  • Lunch with Audry at Decent Pizza. DROOL.
  • Sleep (when I can get it, which is not so frequent lately).
  • Randomly running out to get Marble Slab with the hubs.
  • A wonderfully uplifting girl-date with Lori.
  • CARBS.
  • Making a “happy place” list.
  • Going to a book store for the sole purpose of purchasing a book that is neither baby- or parenting-related. A book simply for entertainment purposes.
  • Having well-read friends I can text for quick book recommendations.
  • Being taken care of emotionally and spiritually by good friends.
  • My friends starting a Dax Birth Pool! I don’t think any money is involved but I know Kyle already lost. Sorry, dude!
  • Counting down the days till motherhood!

Go ahead — make your list!

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“i’m not sure what to do with my hands.”

DISCLAIMER: I know that “articles” about child-rearing and parenting can cause quite a ruckus on the Internet. Please do not read this as if it were “an article”. Rather, read it for what it is: a blog post of a girl who is simultaneously terrified and elated to become a mother in the next few weeks. That’s all it is. A blog post. An opinion. A cry to be heard and understood. That’s all.

Oh, I’m a slave to my hormones, too. Take that into consideration as well.

Yesterday, Dan and I spent our Saturday together doing some last minute preparations for our baby’s arrival (which, if you haven’t been following our pregnancy blog, is only merely a few short weeks away). We bagged up things we needed to return, made a list of things we still needed to buy (and bought most of them!) and did some organizing/nesting. It felt good.

I can’t explain in words how excited I am to meet this little guy. Over the past nine months, I’ve grown to know him in my belly. I know his movements and I know what his little body feels like on the outside. I know that he likes to stick his butt straight out on the left side of my belly button (perfect for little love-taps!) and I know that he isn’t a big fan of me laying down. (He instantly starts squirming to get comfortable.) I just love him so much already and I know that the second I lay eyes on him, my whole world will be rocked.

I guess it’s different for dads who, while they can put their hands on our bellies and sort of feel what we feel, don’t really get “hit” with the reality of fatherhood until they’re in the hospital and that slimy little creature is in their arms screaming at them. Women are caregivers from conception, growing and nurturing that little human inside their bodies for nearly a year before introducing the baby to the father to let him care for it. So, in essence, we women are “more experienced” come delivery date and I guess that means that dads need some help.

Last week, while we were perusing Burlington Coat Factory, Dan found a book in a sale rack all by itself. From afar, it looked like some hokey novelty book no one would ever seriously buy, which is why we assumed it was in the sale pile — just to get rid of it.

After mindlessly flipping through it and laughing out loud, Dan exclaimed, “We’re getting this!” and we walked to the register to do so.

We’ve both been reading it and, I must say, it’s wonderful. A must-have for any new parent. The book is well-written, hilarious, and, above all else, extremely helpful. Even as “the mom” and not “the dad” I’ve found it to be quite enlightening in preparing me for the crazy changes ahead.

Changes. I am no stranger to those anymore.

Take right now, for example. It’s Sunday morning. I’m sitting up in my bed, still in my pajamas with my hair a mess and my glasses on. I’m blogging in a quiet house while my husband toils away at church. My over-sized t-shirt is almost uncomfortably tight across my bulbous body, the tell-tale sign that the act of expelling a child is imminent.

Nine months ago, everything looked different. At 10:30AM on a Sunday, I’d be at church with my husband, most likely since about 8:00ish, getting ready to hang out with the youth group to which I ministered for five years. I’d be chugging some sort of caffeinated beverage loaded with artificial sweeteners and non-fat milk, terrified of getting fat. My pre-baby body would be adorned in cute clothes, not just “whatever I could squeeze into that morning”. So on. So forth.

But here I am, no longer leading any ministries, no longer making music with my friends, no longer writing a book, no longer training for marathons, no longer wearing “whatever I want to”, no longer staying out super late with friends “just because”. Rather, I’m sitting here, waiting to become a mother, spending my time Googling things like, “How do you change a diaper” and “How long do babies sleep in bassinets” and “How frequently do newborns feed” and so on.

You know that scene in Talladega Nights when Ricky Bobby is getting interviewed and he just whispers, “I’m not sure what to do with my hands”? That’s kind of how I feel right now. I don’t know what to do with my hands, or my life, until this little guy shows up. Then, I’ll be on 24/7. All mom, all the time. That will be my role. That, and that alone.

Yesterday, while we were organizing, Dan asked me where he could hang his new Spider-Man poster. He (jokingly I hope?) placed it on a wall in our bedroom and asked if it looked okay. I shot him a look, to which he replied, “Oh, I know that look. That look means no. That look means this isn’t going here.” I nodded in agreement.

“You know,” he went on, “my dad book says that I should have my own space with my own things to remind me that I’m not just a caregiver. I should be reminded on a daily basis that my life isn’t over just because I’m a dad and that I can still do the things that I enjoy.”

I looked at him sadly, then glanced around our 1000-square-foot apartment. “When you find a space to call ‘your own’, feel free to decorate it however you like,” I playfully snapped, then went back to scrubbing the toilet.

Suddenly, it dawned on me. Nowhere in any of my “you’re about to be a mom” books have I read that I should have my own space, or focus on things I enjoy to reinforce the idea that I’m not “just” a caregiver. On the contrary. I’ve been told that I’m absolutely “just” a caregiver, and have been since conception. I’ve read things like, “Your body will never be the same,” and “You will feel like you have a baby attached to your chest forever,” and “You will never sleep again, but that’s just what being a mom is” and “You will quickly learn that the things you used to do, you can no longer do, and that’s just the way it is,” and, my personal favorite, “You will also have a man understandably chomping at the bit to have sex with you again, so make sure you cater to him as well as the baby you’re caring for 24/7.”

So, this morning, I am a bit melancholy. A bit mournful. I’m not saying that being a mom is a bad thing. I’m not saying that the fact that I’ll be on 24/7 won’t be completely worth it. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m just annoyed that in a world so dominated by fatherlessness, it’s sad that we’re perpetuating the idea that fathers need not focus solely on that role because, of course, how can we expect them to? They’re just dads after all, whose contribution to the “miracle of life” is pretty minimal compared to the mothers’.

Well. As a girl who grew up not knowing her father, I can tell you, a father’s presence is absolutely priceless and I don’t think it’s unfair to demand equality in child-rearing.

Surely, my husband cannot breastfeed. That is absolutely something that only I can offer our son. But there are things Dan can offer him that I can’t as well. And, furthermore, we’re both still individuals. We both are people outside of our caregiver roles and I feel a bit bitter that the importance of the mother maintaining her individuality isn’t more widely acknowledged. Rather, we’re told that “being a mom is a full-time job!” and that we’re all our kids have at the end of the day. That’s a lot to take on, especially when coupled with the pressures to get back into our pre-pregnancy bodies and go back to having sex with our husbands as soon as inhumanly possible. (Oh, and don’t get me started on the guilt I’ve been subjected to because I have literally NO CHOICE but to return to work.)

“You, woman? An individual?” society barks. “No, my lady, I’m afraid you are mistaken. You are a sex-having, baby-making, child-rearing machine, who is supposed to be 5’10″ and 115 pounds and tanner than any given member of the cast of Jersey Shore. That’s what you are. That, and nothing else.”

All the while, all Dad has to worry about is where to hang his Spider-Man poster so he doesn’t feel like “his life is over”.

Please.

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julia bluhm vs. seventeen.

I think I’ve mentioned Julia Bluhm before, but I couldn’t find it when I searched my blog archives for all of 0.5 seconds. At any rate, this amazing little middle-schooler has done something incredible. While I, a 20-something blogger in Florida, sit down and piss and moan on the Internet about how magazine companies shouldn’t Photoshop models or celebrities in order to protect impressionable youth, Julia is actually doing something about it. 

This amazing 8th grader was sick of hearing girls in her ballet class complain about being fat, so she started a petition to get Seventeen Magazine to stop misrepresenting women in their publication by publishing at least one unaltered photo an issue. Some 84,000 (yes, you read that number right) signatures later, the unthinkable happened — she won and then some.

According to this article from Think Progress, Seventeen agreed to her terms, but they even went a step further. The magazine offered to start representing girls and women from all shapes and sizes without using Photoshop on their bodies at all. (They did say, however, that they’d still use Photoshop to edit away wrinkles in clothes and flyaway hairs.)

Here’s a picture of their new Body Peace Treaty, alongside a picture to illustrate what to expect from Seventeen going forward:

And, if you click here, you’ll see a Body Peace Pledge that is posted on Seventeen‘s website to which girls can add their signatures. I particularly love the first statement (“I vow to remember that the sun will still rise tomorrow even if I had one too many slices of pizza or an extra scoop of ice cream tonight.”) and the last statement (“I vow to accept that beauty isn’t just about my looks. It’s my awesome personality and my energy that creates a whole, unique package.”)

Hear, hear!

Oh. And don’t think Julia’s done yet. She’s developed another petition to get Teen Vogue to follow in Seventeen‘s footsteps.

I can’t deny how giddy this makes me. Assuming Seventeen sticks to its word, this will be huge for the self-love movement and for young girls worldwide. However, I’m trying to curb my enthusiasm for fear of being let down later. I mean, if they’re still using Photoshop to smooth away wrinkles, what’s to keep an editor from discreetly splicing an arm or a boob or something?

No matter. For now, we have their word. And furthermore, we have proof that we are actually being heard. 

Great job, Julia! I wish we could all be as strong and badass as you are.

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