family · Mama · personality types

7 Quick Takes

Again, yes, it’s been forever.  Again, sorry.

Ok, let’s just dive right in.

  1. Pregnancy Numero Cinco

IMG_5706

Yes, I’m pregnant!  Yes, again! And, yes!  With a boy!!! I’m well into my 6th month actually and seeing as how I was talking about how I was not pregnant in my last post, it’s clearly been wayyyy too long between now and then.

This pregnancy has honestly been one of my toughest.  I don’t feel like I’ve done any of my pregnancies that gracefully but this baby has just sapped allllll my strength.  Thus far, we’ve made 3 trips to the ER for IV fluids and I’ve had to get 2 root canals.  TWO! (insert dying face emoji here). Let me tell you, hanging out basically upside down for an hour or so in a dental chair while pregnant (with a dentist who btw keeps pulling down his face mask and breathing his yucky man breath down your way too open mouth) is just delightful.  Just.

But, in some other key ways, this pregnancy’s actually been one of my most peaceful, too.  Mentally, I mean, not physically.  I’ve been told by large families that once you hit the 4 kid mark, things get noticeably easier.  I don’t know if I would agree that things have gotten easier (ahem, laundry, ahem, food), or if just have.  Normally, during my 3rd trimester, I’m freaking out about how the current baby is going to adjust and how we’re going to handle it financially and will my older kids be neglected, blah blah blah.  But with this little guy, the only thing I’m really thinking about is how awesome it will be to have a newborn again.  I honestly CANNOT wait to hold him and smell him and just cart him around.

2. Ages and Stages

Ok, I’ve said this before but I’m seriously in love with the 2-year-old stage.  Which I know is crazy bc it has this terrible rep as being just awful but I honestly find it to be the most magical, enchanting, cutesy patootsie stage ever.

Zoe has transformed from a demanding, Lt General of a baby to this sweet little counselor-tot.  She has this thing where, if any of us gets hurt or says they have a stomachache or whatever, she holds her arms out and says in this tiny but totally self-assured voice, “Come ere, come ere.  I got choo,” and then she wraps her arms around you and pats your back.  It’s the most precious thing in the world.  I could have a limb hacked off and be like, ok, I’m good, after one of her counsel seshes.

z

(Resistance is futile)

3.  Worries

That being said, 4: not my favorite age.  I’ve gone through this enough with my older girls to know that 4 just has bad juju all around it, but I re-heally find this stage challenging. Is it just my kids or are all 4-year-olds the most emotionally fragile people on the planet?  The list of things that make Ruby cry are endless and include everything from not being able to find her hat to not being sure if she has to go to the bathroom to thinking I’m giving her a stink eye when, in reality, something has gotten under my contact.  Anna, who is now 6, was the same way at that age and is pleasantly stoic now so I know that this is, in fact, a stage, but still, Ruby is def the child currently holding the title of Child I Am Most Worried About.  Check back in a few months when she is 5, fingers crossed.

r.jpg

(Don’t even think about borrowing one of those stuffed animals)

(Mom guilt add on: Ruby is honestly the sweetest child, who bursts into tears (shocker) whenever her sister puts roller skates on bc she’s afraid she’s going to fall.  I love her and her massive bleeding heart.  The constant breakdowns are just slowly killing me rn.)

4.   Books

Wonder

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This book has been awesome so far.  We’re about 3/4 of the way through it. It’s about a little boy with a serious facial deformity and how he and all the people around him cope with it.  It has chapters written from different characters’ points of view, like his sister and even his bully, which makes it even more interesting.

Full disclosure:  My 8-year-old LOVES this book.  My more sensitive 6-year-old has had a few nightmares from it, though, and has asked me more than once if there is any possible way for her face to suddenly become deformed.  Maybe best for older kids.

5. IN Parents. (Warning: if you are not a huge Personality Type geek, you may want to skip to number 6.)

I as in Introverted, N as in Intuitive.  If you were wondering if my Myers Briggs obsession is still going strong, wonder no more.  Shaine and I are both IN’s (I’m an INTP, he’s an INTJ).  IN’s are very very big about respecting other’s personal space, big on day dreaming, big on individuality, big on unconditional love and acceptance.  We pretty much hate being pushed into things by other ppl so make it a point not to do that to others.  I have generally considered this to be a plus, parenting-wise, and it’s probably not hard to figure out why 2 IN’s have embraced unschooling.  Lately, though, I was reading about ES’s.  They’re the opposite of IN’s.  Extraverted rather than Introverted, Sensory rather than Intuitive.  (An easy way to summarize the difference between an S and an N is to say an S understands the world through their senses while an N understands it through their thoughts.  An S experiences the mountains by climbing them.  An N understands the mountains by looking at them and thinking about them.) Anyways, as I was reading about ES’s I saw that their great strength when it comes to parenting is that they are engaging.  They play.  I am with my kids almost all the time.  And I think I am playful.  But I don’t really play.  I don’t like to play.  I like to watch them play, and I feel like I’ve given them enough siblings/free time that they shouldn’t really even need me to play.  But I know they want me to.  They want me to swim with them, to dance with them, ride bikes with them, etc.  And I’m not really very good at all that.   Tbh, I’m never going to be that mom who mountain bikes with the baby strapped on the back of her bike, but I’m trying to be at least a little more present.  Maybe, gasp, even swim with them every once in a while when really really all I want to do is sit and watch.

swim

(Are you coming, Mom?

Nope.)

6. Grillin

Ok, this 7 Quick Takes is starting to feel like 7 Agonizingly Long Takes so let me just say I am married to the Grill Master.  Like, for real.  And we be grillin all the time these days.  Right now bb boy is feasting on carne asada tacos with grilled onions and tomato and, let me tell you, he ain’t complainin. (you don’t need g’s at the end of words in the summer, did you know?)

7. Spam

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That’s all for now! See ya’ll later!

 

 

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family · personality types

Hmm, not so much…

I’ll be lecturing a class on Creative Blog Posts titles at Harvard later this month if you’re interested.

We’re all given a lot of advice throughout our lives, right?  Some good, some not so much (see what I did there?).  Anyway, I was just obsessing over insignificant things in the shower, as you do, and I realized that a lot of things I have been told in my life, that I have taken for granted as hard, cold truths, are not actually true at all.  And so, since I possess that rare gift of oversharing, I’ve made a little (long, rambling, endless) list of them for your viewing pleasure.

  1. It is good to be a perfectionist.

I am NOT a perfectionist.  At all.  No one has ever accused me of being one (my nickname for years was Spacey Casey) and I am fairly certain no one ever will.  Example: I was late every single day of my junior year of high school. Every. Day.  Example 2: While changing my baby’s diaper yesterday, I wiped her with a damp bib  because I had run out of 1. wet wipes as well as 2. paper towels as well 3. toilet paper.  Now, most of my life I considered this a weakness.  It was certainly a weakness while in school.  But now that I am an adult, honestly, I’m starting to see it as a strength.  There are a number of studies out that say perfectionism can lead to depression because, while it may be possible to fill out a scantron perfectly, it’s not possible to argue with your husband perfectly. Or teach your kids perfectly.  Or pray perfectly.  It’s just not.  Not being a perfectionist has allowed me to be an optimist.  Yes, I might screw up here and there, my kids might be crazy, feral beasts off and on throughout the day, and my husband might be gone working and doing homework more often than I would like him to be, but, at the end of the day, we all love and forgive each other and that is enough.  That is more than enough!

sleep

(excuse me while I earn my nickname)

2. I would get used to waking up early.

Nope. Never.  Never.  Ever.  Mornings = death.  (I think the above picture was taken before 9 am)

3. I would miss working once I became a stay at home mom.

I remember being told this when I was pregnant with my first daughter, by virtually every woman I knew, and thinking inwardly, “For real?!” Now, just to clarify as my former boss aka Dad will be reading this: I had a great job.  My heart just wasn’t there.  I think this is true for many girls though it’s unpopular to say so.  I have met so many young girls who aren’t sure what they want to do with their lives.  They say maybe they’d like to go into creative arts or open a bakery or just travel a bit.  I wonder if maybe, like me, their true heart’s desire is to be a wife and mother.  I used to feel ashamed about how little ambition I had in school and work.  I thought maybe I was inherently lazy or stupid.  I can tell you now, after having/chasing/cooking for/cleaning up after four small children (and still hoping and praying for more!), I am neither lazy nor stupid (proof: I used nor in a sentence).  I’m actually pleased (and  a bit surprised) to say I can be quite the hard worker.  I just needed a vocation.  I needed a purpose.  Working couldn’t give me that, but motherhood and wifehood (is that a word??) has.

baby jo

(sweet dreams, you beautiful excuse not to work)

4.  Even if I did get used to the SAHM gig, I’d be dying for playdates so I could have “grown up” conversations.

Ahh, playdates.  Save me.  Please.  Playdates = death.  Contrary to what I had been told, children are fascinating as well as hilarious company and are, gasp, also capable of conversation.

5. If I didn’t succeed in high school, I’d never make it in college.

Blatant lie.  I barely graduated high school.  In fact, there was some controversy over whether or not I should be allowed to walk on stage during the graduation ceremony.  I did great in college.  I actually earned straight A’s one semester, and close to straight A’s all the other ones.  Yes, I did end up leaving college before I graduated but that was not because I couldn’t handle the workload.  I went full-time every semester while also working and even joined the debate team.

6.  I would regret dropping out of college.

While I am not against college in the slightest, I am against the idea of “finding yourself” in college. College is a horrible place to find yourself.  If you are lost, you will be more lost on a college campus.  I was very very lost in college and, upon reflection, probably depressed.  I had no clue as to what I wanted to do for a career.   Though I did enjoy my classes and received grades my high school self never dreamed of, I was floundering in my personal life.  I decided to take some time off to travel with my sister and get my head straight.  Within two years, I had a passionate faith, a beautiful husband, and a pregnant belly.  I have never, ever, for a moment, regretted dropping out of college.  Actually, it’s one of the best decisions I ever made.

p and c

(Hong Kong)

7. Getting married young is a mistake.

I was 21 when I got married.  My husband was 19 (yes.i.am.a.cradle.robber.  Seriously, what would happen if this joke was not made every single time it’s mentioned I’m older than my husband?  Would the Universe implode?)  We’ve been married nine years now.  In a lot of ways, we ‘ve grown up together.  We’ve made foolish, youthful mistakes together.  We’ve been poor together.  We’ve quit careers and started careers together.  And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  Going through all the ups and downs of life has truly made us partners. It’s made us One.   There’s a scene in “Letters to Juliet” where the grandmother, who is searching for her long lost love, pulls up to the giant mansion  where she thinks he’s living and her grandson turns to her and says, “Well, looks like you got to skip the messy bits.” To which she quietly replies, “Life is the messy bits.”  Word.

c and s

(babies)

8. My kids wouldn’t connect to the Faith in an Orthodox church.

Okay, no one actually said this to me, it was more something I said to myself.  In our seeker friendly culture, I was afraid my kids wouldn’t be able to find meaning in a 2-hour service full of chanting, incense, and standing.  Didn’t they need Veggie Tales and a rocking worship band to engage?  Wouldn’t they dread the services, as there are so many of them?  Wouldn’t they find the priests and the icons and the hymns strange?  No, no, and no.  It has been one of the greatest joys of my life to see my children grow in Orthodoxy.  They get it. They just Get. It.

st anna

Btw, kids LOVE icons.  And prostrations.  Who knew?

Okay, there you have it.  I could have written more but I assume you have better things to do with your time to read my endless rants, right?  I’ll just end with this: there is a certain mold people are expected to fit into; in school, work, adulthood.  When you don’t fit that mold, it can be scary. I don’t fit that mold.  I never did.  And, for many years, that truth really did scare me. I remember crying myself to sleep one night, calling out to God, begging Him to give me a future, pleading with Him to set me on a path, because I couldn’t imagine how I would walk the one the world had laid out for me.

And He did.  He gave me an awesome life.  He gave me purpose.  He gave me a future.  It’s okay that I didn’t fit the mold.  I think one of the reasons I am so grateful for my present life is because I always assumed my life would suck.  How could it not?  If you’re a terrible student and unmotivated worker, your life will inevitably be a giant failure,right?  As it turns out, No.  That’s not right.  There is more than one version of a Great Life.

9. This is only one version of a Great Life.

Until next time.

 

Links · Mama · personality types

Personality Types

So, we’ve already established that I’m obsessed with Myers Briggs, though at present I’m a little confused over what my type is.  I was so so sure I was an INTP but then I thought, no, I’m probably more of an E than an I, so I must be an ENTP, but then Shaine was like, you are not a T, you’re an F.  So now I’m all confused…Is it possible I’m an ENFP? All these years I’ve thought of myself of an introverted thinker, but is possible I’m actually an extroverted feeler?  Could the sun set in the middle of the night and the sky be pink? Maybe friends, maybe.

Thrillingly, for this huge nerd right here, there are many more personality type thingys (that is their Latin name) out there in the university of Google. Such as!!! Enneagrams!  And Temperments!  Woo Hoo!

Not that I would ever obsess over anything, least of all myself (lies lies lies), I may be a personality type junky.  I can’t help it!  They are far from an exact science and I seem to change my mind about which type I am every week or so, but for some reason I’m hooked.  I’m a Cabo San Lucas Grouper and the Personality Tests are a boatful of drunk tourists. Get me?

Ok, I know you’re all dying of suspense, so I’ll just tell you: I think I may be a 7 on the Enneagram, which would mesh perfectly with being an ENTP.  I thought for sure I was a 5 which would mesh with an INTP but all the tests I’ve taken say, no, you’re not a 5.  I think the thing that trips me up about all this is I must view myself as a shy, reserved, deep thinker (i.e., 5, INTP) but I’m actually an obnoxious, pleasure seeking lush (i.e., 7, ENTP).  This is reflected perfectly in a conversation I had with someone who knows a lot about Enneagrams:

“So, what’d you score?”

“Well, I thought I’d be a 5 but I scored 7.”

“Hmm, what degree did you get in college? That should tell you something about your personality.”

“Oh, I dropped out of community college after about a year.”

Awkward silence.

So, I guess I’m that terrible kind of person that thinks they’re much smarter than they really are?  But, on the plus side, maybe I’m also more likable than I ever thought I was?  I don’t know.  Does it matter? No, probably not.  Ok, I just heard the whole blogging world sigh in unison so I’m moving on.

To the Temperments!  (You didn’t think I was done talking about the tests, did you? Neva)  The Temperments are much easier, in my opinion, to figure out as there are only four so their descriptions are much broader and I don’t feel the need to flip-flop every time I have indigestion or don’t get enough sleep.

Part of this obsession with typing comes from wanting to understand my children (it’s not all about me, I promise!) so I think I’ll describe the four types through them:

jo

Jo – Sanguine/Choleric.  The most active of all the types (hold me, Jesus).  Sanguine types are fun loving, pleasure seeking extroverts.  Cholerics are quick tempered, strong willed types.  This is the type of child that will tie FOUR ropes of varying materials from your bannister (see above) so she can continue moving even while watching TV.  Jo’s main goal in life is to make people laugh, though, if she can’t pull that off, she’s also content with making people cry.  Whatevs.

anna(I did not make the above picture Godzilla gigantic and this pic small as a mouse on purpose.  I just have no idea what I am doing)

Anna – Melancholic/Phlegmatic.  Melancholics are sensitive, quiet, introverted thinking types.  Phlegmatics are calm peacemakers.  This combo is interesting as the two instincts are at a bit of a variance with each other.  Anna is the type of child who cries over something her sister has said to her, yet begs you not to be upset with the offending sister, and cries even harder if said sister is punished in any way.

If you can’t tell, Anna and Jo are complete opposites, which has the potential to create conflict, but actually has been a huge blessing in many ways.  Jo, left to herself, is a savage barbarian that belongs in a Roman colosseum while Anna is so prim she shrieks if an ant crawls over her toe.  In short, they NEED each other.  Jo brings loads of fun into Anna’s otherwise neat and tidy world while Anna makes Jo a bit more aware of ridiculous things such as manners and closing the door while you go the bathroom.  God knows what He’s doing, it seems.

ruby

Ruby – Phlegmatic/Sanguine.  Phlegmatics, as we’ve discussed, just want everybody to get along, and Sanguines want to have lots of fun.  I have no favorite among my children (no nope never), but Ruby is seriously so so easy.  As any parent of multiple children will understand, a child who’s main goal in life is getting along with everybody is a GODSEND (hallelujah hands emoji).  She also happens to think I’m pretty and awesome so, cheers to you, Rubes.

zoe

If your main hobby is not staring googley eyed at sleeping babies, then we can’t be friends.

Zoe- Choleric/Sanguine.  Oh, Zoe.  Zoe, Zoe, Zoe.   Should I say it again? Okay: Zoe.  I have never had an angry baby.  I’ve seen angry babies, sure, being pushed around in strollers by other, less competent parents.  But my children never acted in such a way.  Last said by me, about twelve months and three weeks ago.  This kid has such a temper!  I used to blame it on teething, and the kid does have an obscene amount of teeth (what baby has her back molars before age 1?), but I’m starting to come out of denial and realize that, yes, she actually is trying to bite me.  She seems to get over things quickly (thank you, friend Sanguine) but it can be a bit of a wild ride until she does.

How have  I rambled on so far down the page about personality types??  I should probably be embarrassed by this, right?  In case any of you are thinking, seriously, this is your Easter weekend blog post!?  Let me remind you that I am Orthodox so Easter is still weeks and weeks away for me, so ha! I promise you, whilst I am shopping for deeply discounted Easter merch in the following weeks, I will be constructing something of a bit more depth to lay on ya’ll.  Or, I’ll write about how much I love the show Parenthood.  You’ll just have to wait and see!

P.S. In case you were wondering (you weren’t? what?) I am a Sanguine/Phlegmatic (No, Parris, I am not a Choleric. No!) and Shaine, sweet, blessed Shaine, is a Phlegmatic/Melancholic.  I highly recommend marrying a Phlegmatic. They are thee best.

P.P.S. Yes, I am aware that I use an unwholesome amount of commas.

And, (not P.P.P.S., this is too big to be a P.S.) to all my non-Orthodox friends out there: Happy Easter!  Christ is Risen!