Sunday, October 23, 2011

Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom

I have some confessions. About obsessions. An obsession confession. And a Dalmatian Plantation! Not really, but I've been watching a lot of Disney movies lately, so it seemed to fit.

I love organizing and consolidating things. I love when there's just one sleeve of crackers left, because then there's no need for the box. I love when we eat half of the Bagel Bites so I can just keep one tray instead of two and the container they come in. I love when I get a box full of things Brooklyn does use or wear anymore, because then it's a nice, neatly packed box that I can stash away in a closet. But perhaps my favorite things to consolidate is stickers.

I scrapbook a lot. We've got scrapbooks of our wedding, our honeymoon in Disneyworld, trips we go on, our entire college life at A&M, Brooklyn and our baseball stadiums. I make thank you notes, Christmas cards, birthday cards, and even recently baby shower invitations! I save every card the three of us get because even if I don't want to keep the whole thing for sentimental reasons, I know I can cut part or even the entire front of the card and reuse it on my own creations. And most of these gems of mine require stickers. And I'm a sucker for them. I'm the queen of buying clearance. If I see some 99 cent stickers, I just can't resist. I use them all the time, so I definitely get my money's worth. Plus let's be serious, what is the logic in paying $4 for one sticker? I could buy a Hallmark Gold Classic for that price!

Earlier this summer we had a multi-family garage sale. Though the purpose was to make money by getting rid of odds and ends we each had lying around our own houses, as usually happens, we picked up a few beauties from each others stashes. After all, as the saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Which, for me, means that the Semanaks unused stickers and scrapbooking paper get to be added to my motherload!

I was making some cards the other day for a friend to sell as a Relay for Life fundraiser and realized that I have WAY too much fun consolidating stickers. This process isn't very complicated. It simply consists of taking a sheet of stickers that only has 1 or 2 stragglers left on it and resticking them onto another sheet of stickers that has a few open spots. Voila! I get to throw away a piece of plastic paper, and oh the joy that fills my soul!

It's insanely silly, and I realize this, but there is something so satisfying about throwing away 10 pieces of empty plastic sticker paper after a day of scrapbooking. I feel like I've really accomplished something! Maybe it's because I'm a list maker and I don't put fun things like "scrapbook" on my To-Do's, so seeing the carnage report of a card making session is like checking it off my list or putting another feather in my cap. Or notch on my belt. How many ways can you count things, anyway?

I do feel the need to accomplish and be acknowledged for my accomplishments. Not a project goes by that Brandon doesn't see a finished product of. I need his "looks good babe" in order to pat myself on the back. Childish, selfish, and utterly true. I'm like a kindergartener, running home to show mom and dad what I made and hope that its good enough to make the refrigerator. On a completely unrelated note, my mom and dad now have a fridge that is only magnetic on the very tiny sides and not on the front. Those types of refrigerators should be outlawed in families than have children under 10, in my humble opinion. Too many art dreams crushed by the lack of magnets and visibility of elementary genius.

It's not a terrible thing, to want people to notice when I do something well. Really, it's only certain people. I want Brandon to tell me I sing well, but I won't sing in front of others if they ask me to, because that's embarrassing (It's also embarrassing to know that I have a Bachelor's and a Master's and still always misspell embarrassing the first go at it. I also misspelled misspell just then, so that's two in the "you stink" pile for me).

We seek approval from the people we love. I know it, and that's why I try to tell those that I love when they do a good job. Brooklyn carries my keys every time we go to check the mail or get in the car. I praise her for being a good helper. Do I really need her help to carry my keys? Of course not, but she grins ear to ear like it's the most important job in the world, so I make sure I thank her for it.

I don't need someone to tell me I did a great job consolidating the stickers. I really don't, I'm not that pathetic (yet). I do that for the pure fun of it. It's just part of me getting stuff done, and I do confess that that is one of my absolute favorite things. A day is not a good day if I didn't get anything done. I used to be much worse about this principle until Brandon introduced me to the song "Time Well Wasted" by Brad Paisley. I've slowed down a lot since then and realized that I can relax without feeling lazy and enjoy a day of not working without feeling awkward about it.

Oh dear, I accidentally confessed to liking some country music. Perhaps this is the most disturbing confession of all. I better quit while I'm still barely ahead.

Photo from waleg.com


Those leaves were a foot deep in the yard
And 'wash me' was written all over the car
But watchin' movies all day with you
Wasn't on my list of things to do
But we laid on that couch
Girl, we never left the house

(Chorus)
It was time well wasted
And there's no way I trade a few more things that I could've crossed off my list
For a day I'll never forget
No, I didn't get a thing done
But I sure soaked up every minute of the memory we were makin'
And I count it all as time well wasted

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