Thursday, January 26, 2012

Google Overload: When Search Engines Take Over Your Brain

A while back I was trying to remember a story my grandmother once told me. It was a true story from her childhood about a time when she was walking in the woods in the dark. She heard an owl up in a tree, and as she continued down the road, it followed her. It was a sweet story because she had always felt as though the owl had been protecting her.

google search overload syndromeBut I can’t recall much of the rest of the details. Where was she going? I think she was headed home from somewhere…why was she afraid? I know there is more to it, but my brain seems to have lost some of the pieces of the puzzle. I wanted to know more. So for a brief moment, the thought actually crossed my mind to google it.
Yes, for a split second I had my fingers poised over the keyboard, ready to type in something along the lines of, “grandma owl story” or “owl protection in the dark” (which sounds more like a forest animal birth control ad, now that I think about it). I don’t know what I would have typed in – luckily, I never got to that point. I’m so glad that my brain caught on to the ridiculousness of that act before it actually went through with it.

That close call with insanity made me realize how much I rely on the Internet, and especially Google, for my information fix. I google everything:

“What do you want to do this weekend? “Hold on…hmmm, looks like there’s a street festival on Saturday.”

“What’s the name of that song?” “Um, I don’t…wait, let me google the lyrics real quick!”

 “Liam Neeson looks really large in his movies. He must be really tall.” “Just a second…why, you’re right! He's six foot four!" (Yes, that really happened.)

I can’t remember what life was like before I literally had everything I ever wanted to know at my fingertips. I just remember wishing I had encyclopedias whenever I had a question about something. My kids aren’t even going to know what an encyclopedia is.

"Mom, is that like Wikipedia?”
“Ugh…no. Nevermind – go ride your bike!”
“Bike? Are you talking about my hovercraft?”

I realize this isn’t a new concept. I’m sure you recall those Bing commercials about ‘Search Overload Syndrome'. Yeah, I could totally relate. I can waste so much time clickety-clicking my way across the Internet. But you know it’s really bad when you almost attempt to google things that can’t be googled.

Of course, now that Facebook has ‘Timeline’, it might not be long before we can start googling our life events and actually come up with a few hits.

Too bad Facebook wasn’t around while my grandma was still here. I’m sure she would have tagged me in her owl story note, right?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

5 Things I'd Tell My Younger Self

5) You don’t have to be perfect. Really, you don’t. Say ‘yes’ to fun, skip a homework assignment, take a long drive with a friend…because what you’re going to remember are the moments you spent with your loved ones, not the essays you wrote in AP English. Your achievements in your relationships are the ones that matter. Nobody remembers the ones on paper.

4) You are beautiful. Others think so too; you just don’t allow yourself to see it. Straighten your shoulders, walk with your head up, look people in the eye…you have absolutely no reason to be so shy.
3) That guy you think you want to marry? You totally should. It’s going to be even better than you expect.
five things I'd tell my younger self

2) You will be a mama one day. It might not happen when you want it to, and you will certainly feel like it can’t happen soon enough. But don’t let that desire take over your life. There’s a lot of living to be done in the meantime.

And it’s worth the wait.

1) You have an amazing journey ahead of you. Some days will be hard, some days will be easy, and some days will just be. But they are all intended to strengthen you, teach you how to love, give you purpose, and open your eyes. This is when being a good student matters.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Spread too thin. It seems to be a theme amongst all of us parents, doesn’t it? I’ve seen it in my own life, among my friends, and especially in the blogging community. We all want to be “Supermom”.

And even if you’re not a parent, I bet you also feel the pressure to always “have it together” and be at your best, each and every day. We all have this intense desire to succeed, perhaps just to have people see us as successful, but perhaps also to feel like we’ve made our marks on the world. But while it’s great to be motivated and strive to reach our goals, I think we need to be careful to avoid burnout.
I don’t want to be trying to do too much, and I know I can’t do everything. But oh my goodness, there is so much I wish I could do.

I want to make plenty of time for my kids and my husband, get creative with my new camera, work out to stay healthy and get back into pre-pregnancy shape, write often and keep up with my blog and other projects, be a domestic goddess (24-7 spotlessly clean house, daily delicious home-cooked meals for the family, impeccable organization skills, etc), and not be tired while doing it all.  
And I probably shouldn’t even mention the other things I really want to do that don’t even factor in right now because they have been pushed so far off the radar: scrapbooking, flute-playing, journaling, learning to sew, traveling…

I’m exhausted just thinking about all of this. I need to remember something: I have a newborn. And a toddler. And a toddler-like husband (just kidding, honey). They just need time with me, just love from their Mama. I don’t have to be great at the rest of it. I just have to be great at loving them.
The energy will come back in time, as the little one gets older, and as we adjust to new and ever-changing demands. Maybe one day I’ll reach that supreme Supermom status. Today I’m going to relax and live moment by moment…while I fold laundry and yawn profusely.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Toddlerisms: A Little Personality

I’m starting to wonder if my Toddlerisms segment is going to be able to last much longer. I might have to rename it Preschoolerisms or perhaps simply Two-Year-Old-Geniusisms. She is speaking in full-blown sentences, and at 36 inches tall, is looking and acting more and more like a little girl every day instead of the baby that I picture in my head.

two year old toddlerismsBut she’s still hilarious. As you all well know, she gets that from me, of course.

They (whoever “they” are) weren’t kidding when they said toddlers are little fireballs of energy. I thought the baby was going to be the one wearing me out, but lately the toddler has been full throttle. The constant energy inevitably provides many opportunities for little accidents (trips, flips, falls, and things of that nature), so we’re hearing a lot of this lately:
“Hannah okay!”

Yes, she speaks in third person. Don’t worry; it’s normal at this age. And quite entertaining. She giggles and squeals with delight as she chases the dog around the house, an event that is generally followed by a THUMP, a pause, and then “Hannah okay!”

Well-being seems to be a theme in her mind lately. Last night she draped a cord over her shoulders, walked over to Clint, and said, “I needa take tempacher.” She then stretched out the cord and placed it over his chest. “Twenny-four,” she said.

I think she’s a little confused. Perhaps we shouldn’t expect a career in the medical field in her future.

On the other hand, we can absolutely picture her in a physical trainer position. During my ab workout she stood beside me and yelled, “You’re fine! You’re fine! Go, go!”

Where does she get this stuff?

But the best thing about her right now is how wonderful of a big sister she is. When he cries, she tries to fix it, and when he’s happy, she’s happy.

happy little brother
And he’s pretty darn happy!
Now, if I could just get them to nap at the same time...

Friday, January 6, 2012

While You Weren't Sleeping...But Should've Been

A while back I was trying to come up with some blog post ideas, and I considered writing about the crazy things that sleep deprivation does to a person. However, I find myself unable to come up with much material for such a post because I honestly feel like I’m getting fairly decent sleep this time around. I was expecting the lethargic lifelessness that occurred after Hannah was born, when my eyes were glazed over in an unendingly vacant stare while I feared that I might never feel any semblance of normal again.

It’s not like that this time, hooray!
Even so, I’m still thoroughly lacking in the energy department, so my blog posts are probably going to continue to suffer in quality and quantity for a while. My brain is not functioning on all cylinders (not that it ever did), but that’s okay. I need rest, and I need precious time with my babies. But I also need some time to myself to stay sane, so I’m going to continue to work on that balance.

What I do know is that it’s funny how staying up too late or not getting enough sleep is similar to drinking one too many margaritas. I remember a time long ago – I was in fourth grade – when I couldn’t fall asleep one night. Instead of counting sheep or some other sort of harmless activity, I came up with a “genius” plan. By the light of my alarm clock, I penned two secret admirer letters - not to actually give to anyone I secretly admired, but to play a practical joke. I planned on leaving them on the desks of two male friends I had in class. Both letters said something like, “Meet me by the big oak tree at recess.” (I don’t really remember where the meeting place was, but that sounds good enough.) I thought it was going to be hilarious for them to show up at the tree and see each other standing there.
So that night I feverishly scribbled away on the notepad, giggling like a maniac in anticipation of watching this all go down. I patted myself on the back for being so HI-LAR-I-OUS. And the next morning at school I went through with my plan.

As genius of a plan as it was, it was not without its flaws. I failed to take into account the fear that fourth grade boys have of romance, so I watched in horror as both of my targets, upon reading their letters, proceeded to take them up to the teacher and show her. No, what are you doing? I screamed in my head. This is not part of the plan!
Convinced I was going to get into trouble, I tried to pretend I wasn’t paying attention as the three of them looked around the room confusedly. Nothing ever came of it, but to this day I believe the teacher knew it was me. I’m sure my face must have turned beat red out of the terrifying realization that she probably thought I had crushes on both of the boys.

Life lesson: Do not try to be hilarious when lack of sleep (or consumption of alcohol) is involved.
Thank goodness Abram has a tendency to go to sleep by 11 p.m. Otherwise I just might persuade myself to engage in more shady (albeit hilarious) activities.

I’m in for it if my kids end up being anywhere near as goofy as I am. So far signs point to yes.
silly childhood antics

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hannah's Corner: Top 10 Moments of 2011

10) Our vacation to Sedona and the Grand Canyon. I love family road trips almost as much as Mama does!
Lion King

9) Moving from my crib to my “big girl” bed. I had no problems at all because I’m a good little sleeper! Nothing like I was when I was a baby…
8) The amusement park. I wanted to ride the carousel over and over and over again.

7) Playing in the snow on the mountain.
playing in the snow on the mountain
I got to throw snowballs and try out sledding. Then we got to go eat cookies and ice cream, and I never pass up treats! My second experience with snow was quite different from the first:
baby doesn't like the snow

6) Swimming. Anytime, anywhere. Seriously guys, if you haven’t tried it, you totally should. It’s amazing.
5) Trick-or-treating. I still talk about it all the time. My butterfly costume was the coolest, and it was super fun to walk up to houses and have people give me candy! I also learned the word “spooky.” I still say that word a lot because Daddy makes “spooky ghost” noises.

4) My birthday. Mama says I am two years old now. I got a birthday cake and presents. When Mama asked me what kind of cake I wanted, I said “blue” just because I’ve seen pictures of my first birthday cake, and it was blue.
3) Christmas! I helped decorate the tree, saw amazing Christmas lights, got to open presents again, and I even got a tricycle. I also got my favorite thing ever – CANDY!

little girl on tricycle

2) Family coming to visit us. My grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles are the COOLEST ever! Plus I got to stay up late and act like a crazy person.  My mom almost cried when everybody left, but she says she’s kinda hormonal these days.

1) When Baby Abram was born! He’s so cute, and I always want to hold him. I wondered what it would be like to have a baby brother, but now I can’t imagine what life would be like without him.
baby abram

I can’t wait to see what happens this year. I hope there are some new, exciting things in store for my family, and for yours too! Thank you for reading my Mama’s blog – she thinks you are all really great!

Hugs & Kisses,