Wednesday, April 29, 2015Posted by Jena Roach
Your hands begin to sweat as you furiously fumble through your purse. No. No. No. This can't be happening. You double and triple check your bag, your pockets, and your mischievous baby who has recently mastered the subtle art of thievery. Nothing. Oh my god. The worst has happened.
You pull up to your car window and see the lost set of keys unabashedly plopped next to your kid's car seat. Bad word. Bad word. Baaaaad word. They're in plain sight, cruelly taunting you as you stand outside tangoing with the desire to burst into your best ugly woman cry or fat man chuckle.
You choose the former.
You frantically call your husband, thankful it's already time for him to come home. Phew. We'll be waiting ten or fifteen minutes, tops. No answer. You text him a myriad of sad emojis. No reply. You repeat this process a good 700 times before you realize that he's in the middle of a soccer game and won't be done for a long while. Cue Sobfest 2015.
You move your full cart and fussy baby back inside the store because it's cold and people are starting to raise their eyebrows at your projectile tears. Frantically, you call your in-laws, who live five minutes away, before remembering they're out of town. You call your friend who lives fairly close, but no response.
Panic mode sets in. I am going to lose this perfectly good gallon of ice cream.
You try to avoid eye contact with the shoppers entering the store. Desperation pours out of your every nose hair, and you wonder if they can smell it. You silently beg one of them to ask if you need a ride. Whoever warned against getting in the car with strangers never had a toddler and a full cart of groceries on the line. No one approaches. No one asks. You can't blame them; you'd avoid the wailing child and the strange lady smashed between the coin exchanger and arcade game, too.
You call USAA and start crying to some poor soul about letting your baby play with the keys when you were getting her out of her car seat and something about mom brain and melting ice cream and a soccer-playing husband. Your phone suddenly beeps that you have less than 10% battery, so you tell the kind stranger to get a locksmith and step on it. Please. Thank you. Hurry.
You then pump your now screaming baby full of unwashed blueberries and say a prayer to the pesticide gods to stay away from her. She's innocent...ish. A few minutes later, a text message appears on your phone proclaiming your lock guy will be there in two hours. And then you really lose it. You hunch over your cart and seriously debate trying to carry everything, except that damn watermelon, and walk home.
Then a miracle happens. Your friend calls you back. And she rescues you and your baby from grocery jail. And she takes you home. And you try to appropriately thank her despite the clear trauma you've just endured and the mascara running down your face. And you make a mental note to duct tape a spare key between your boobs from now on and to never, ever let your baby play with your keys again no matter how shiny and fun they may be.
P.S. Somehow the ice cream survived. Thank you, Brittney. Thank you.
Monday, April 27, 2015Posted by Jena Roach
Your recovery from devouring those soapy spheres was about as fast as your ability to reload a fresh diaper in the middle of church. Astonishing to the point of admirable. (Slow. Clap. For. You.) No sooner had you face-planted into my lap, full of despair and a tiny mouthful of suds, were you up and Adam and ready to blow another "ba ba" into my face. You're were bubbling over with curiosity.
Though you haven't quite grasped the concept of blowing air, you kiss and drool and cry some big crocodile tears like the best sorority girl on the block. That 99-cent bubble wand has never known such love.Your blue eyes grew wide as you watched each fleeting bubble burst in the afternoon sun. Sometimes you would laugh in amusement; other times you'd smack the orange stick in frustration, as if summoning the bubble to reappear. (Trust me, you'll be doing the same thing with your post-nursing chest.)
For the most part, you enjoyed our bubbly afternoon in the backyard. You may have been on the verge of a colossal melt down at points, but somehow you picked yourself up by your tiny pink sandals to once again watch the magical circles dance around you.
Sometimes in life, sweet daughter of mine, we accidentally swallow a little bubble juice. Our fragile bubbles sometimes pop right before our eyes, despite how carefully we've tried to coax them into sticking around. But even in the midst of a bubble-busted, soap-slurpin' day, we can still choose to smile, to laugh, and to eagerly await the next bubble to come our way.
at 8:30 AM
Wednesday, April 22, 2015Posted by Jena Roach
Shirt (Let's forgive Target the grammatical error.)
It can be about anything. Everything. And nothing.
My kid will only eat Ritz crackers. I use too many diapers. I don't buy the right brand. My kid needs to have more independent time. My kid should be around kids more. My kid still has eczema all over her ankles. My kid is bipolar about napping. Am I being selfish for wanting to run errands without her? Am I being too needy to want a Mother's Day Out? Maybe I should play with her instead of doing the dishes. Maybe I should do the dishes instead of playing with her. I work too little. I work too much...
In true Miley fashion, I can't stop. I won't stop.
In the muck of mom guilt, I'm very clearly not resting in Jesus. Instead of entrusting my child's needs to the God who created her and knows her better than I ever will, I'm relying on my own strength and foresight to give her everything she could possibly need. Like my pre-pregnancy bra, mama ain't gonna ever fill that cup. Yet still, I try.
It's an easy problem to diagnose, but not one so easily cured. And to be honest, I'm not sure what the real answer is. Maybe some better mommy blogger has the answer for me. But I'm still stuck in the trenches of learning that it's OK to wean my baby from nursing (and no, she isn't going to die), and it's OK to leave her in someone else's care (and no, she isn't going to die), and it's OK to sometimes feel like I'm going to pull all my hair out (and no, neither of us is going to die).
Moral of the story? I do a lot of things wrong. A lot, a lot. (She can send me the therapy bills later.) But maybe I also do some actual good for her, too. She's alive. She's happy. She's fed (most days, anyway). It could be worse. We mammas wag our fingers at ourselves all day long, maybe it's time we collectively cheered for ourselves, too. So tomorrow when you have the hankering to get down on yourself because you just plopped your kid in front of the TV so you could have a whoppin' ten minutes to get something done, why don't you give yourself a little pat on the back for making it this far in the parental colosseum and for loving your baby something fierce.
You go, Glen Coco. You go.
at 8:42 AM
Monday, April 20, 2015Posted by Jena Roach
Last night, while pounding half a tube of glorious Nestle Toll House, Grahm and I were talking about life here in San Antonio. Three years ago, we moved to the land of bluebonnets and sweat with nothing but a nearly empty bank account, a full-size mattress, boxes of unopened wedding presents, and an excitement for beginning our new life. Here's the thing. When you uproot your life and leave essentially every friend and familiarity you've ever known, you wonder when you're going to be out of the woods. Out of those lonely, maneuvering-through-the-bear-shit, will-I-ever-feel-at-home-again trees that can make you disoriented and bitter and equipped with the ever-present desire to eat your feelings.
Slowly, we meandered out of the friendless forest and found community within our church. It was a painfully slow process. The transition from "Hi, we're the Roaches; please like us despite our last name and our needy expressions" to feeling comfortable inviting someone to enjoy a meal with us was no walk in donut park.
Flash forward two years later. I have this tiny, perfect infant in my arms. My milk-crusted shirt (cause mama ain't got the energy to put on a bra), eye bags the size of soccer balls, and mommy mush brain made me the poster child for NyQuil and loneliness. The desire for someone to talk to (besides hubby dearest) was as real as my hankering for my sweet baby to sleep through the night.
The need for real friendships (the "hey, can you come over because I haven't had a conversation with someone other than my four-month-old pet rock and the cashier at Target and I just really need to feel normal even though I haven't showered in three days" kind) escalated when Sawyer entered my world. When you're ankle deep in diaper changes and counting the minutes till your husband gets home, you look around your empty house and begin to beg for companionship and solidarity... despite how happy you are to be doing exactly what you're doing.
I began to pray for deep friendships, for women I could relate to and love and encourage during this wonderful and really hard life transition. And the weirdest thing happened. He answered. San Antonio doesn't look like it did three years ago. I no longer have a running mental countdown of when we can move back to familiarity and old friendships. We are happy here. We feel at home. We are finally out of those God-forsaken woods and feeling like this city is where our family is meant to be.
I guess what I'm saying, kids, is you can live anywhere as long as you have real friendships with real people who really just get you. Words cannot express how thankful I am for the women in my life, pictured and not. Friendship really is the best ship to be in.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015Posted by Jena Roach
Nothing screams success quite like eating leftover chocolate cake with your child's (dirty) plastic fork while watching someone else do your taxes. Your naked toddler is getting her loaded-diaper groove on to "Blank Space" in the corner (Who put baby in the corner?), and your husband is slowly shaking his head with each number crunch...
If there's one thing this Professional Writing major enjoys, it's a good numbers game. I speak the language of 20-percent-off sales and Hobby Lobby coupons and marked-down prices in the clearance aisle of Target. See? Numbers... ish.
But taxes? Oy to the veh.
April 14 has been the same in our household the last few years. The day of intaxication. I do my part (gathering all the necessary documents that have come in the mail the last few weeks). And Grahm does his part (everything else). Yeah, we're those people. The ones who literally wait until the very last possible minute. (In case of fire, you should probably call someone else.)
As I watched that handsome guy I married stare at his computer and mutter amusing political quips about Obama (cause everything's his fault, duh), I stewed on how grateful I am to have someone who a) knows his way around Turbo Tax and b) doesn't treat me like the IR-No.
Maybe I've been eating too much of this yummy chocolate cake, but I think there's a tendency in all of us to view our relationships like paying taxes. There's a sense of obligation, entitlement, and return. We feel like we've been serving and serving our spouses and our friends and our children. Our money has been continuously taken out of our checks. Day in and day out, we've poured our time, our energy, and slivers of our souls into people. And by golly, they better pay us back. A big ass return check better be in the mail.
I wonder what it would look like if we loved people without wanting or expecting a return check? What if we abandoned our agendas and our tit-for-tat perspectives and just got on our knees to wash one another's feet? Tonight (and every night) I'm thankful for a husband who gives me a better picture of what a servant really should be,* even through something as dreary as paying Uncle Sam for his math-incompetent wife.
Loving me can be pretty darn taxing (ba dum tshhhh).
*Gal 5:13-14 and 1 Peter 4:10-11
Monday, April 13, 2015Posted by Jena Roach
Testing, testing... is this thing on?
In an unlikely turn of events, blogging has managed to seduce me back to her quirky world of open letters, hodgepodge tutorials, GIFs, and house tours that make you want to set your furniture on fire for the chance to buy something more Pinterest-board worthy. (Oh, just me?) Instead of running away as a sane person probably should, I found myself flocking to her temptation like that girl unable to resist a Saturday-morning trip to the donut shop. What can I say? I love a good apple fritter.
Recently Roached, like my pre-stretchmark self, is still a whisper of the past.
This little space now has a new name, because I am not who I was when I began this documenting adventure in our 400-square-foot apartment so long ago. I am no longer a newlywed, learning the nuances of sharing a bed with (gasp!) a boy or attempting dinner for (gasp!) a hungry boy. Though "she burned meals" and "he stole the cubbies" will probably be intricately carved on our headstones when we're pushing up daisies, I wanted the chance to begin anew. A fresh page for our bustlin' and ever hustlin' family of three. Plus, my buggy last name is already part of our Wifi name (Roach Motel), so I feel fairly certain I've fully covered all of my insect obligations for this lifetime.
We are a nest full of many things. A nest full of laughter. Chipotle bowls. Sticky floors. DIY attempts. Unfolded laundry. Panera runs. Grace upon grace upon grace. Baby giggles. Naps. Netflix binges. Meal planning and meal burning. Aggressive cuddling. And an hourly need for Jesus.
I don't pretend to know a lot. And I won't pretend to say anything that hasn't already been said by every other mommy blogger on the stratosphere. But maybe, in my own fart-joke, slap-yo-mamma kind of way, I can make you laugh as you read about our journey through parenting our red-headed wild child, home ownership, marriage, and every frozen pizza in between. So stick around, and I promise to blog as infrequently as I darn well please.
I was all, "Babe, can you take pictures of me?"
And he was all, "Only if you do that melodramatic half-smirk thing."
Happy to oblige.
at 9:17 AM