Well, you got ramble. Woo-hoo.

Well, I took requests this morning and the tally is complete. I got one vote for potty training. One vote for NOT potty training. Three or four votes for a not-funny yoga post. One vote for ramble. And I think one vote for a nap, too.

Ramble it is, because that's about all I have the time and energy to do. I'll catch a nap at some point during my ramble, how's that?

+++++++

My life as I know it is about to change. We're changing Hannah to a big bed tonight. She's 2 1/2. We are late on this, I know, but the kid likes her crib and we have traumatic memories of transitioning Rachel to a bed. I was pregnant at the time Rachel started climbing out of her crib and there went that happy second trimester. I dragged my way through it. It took Rachel hours to fall asleep and she was up at 5:00 every morning. We got through it. We've had about two years of our kids in bed by 7 PM and sleeping through the night. This is how I've managed to go to school and parent at the same time. Bah-bye to my long evenings for who knows how long.

Why change now if Hannah is happy in her crib? We're not sleeping well anyway because Hannah has been waking up wanting to be changed. She's so ready to be out of diapers and so NOT ready. Anyway, we figure since we're not sleeping well anyway we might as well get this bed transition started. Besides, Hannah's preschool teacher suggested that it might help with the potty training to get her into a big bed because it will help Hannah think of herself as a big girl. She has a point there.

The funny thing is I've been sitting here all smug giving advice to people with kids that aren't sleeping through the night. It's dawned on me that for the past month or so, my kid has not sleeping through the night. Oh yeah.

So, we spent the day at IKEA picking out a bed, mattress, and bedding set. We got her the same bed that Rachel has, a white bed with drawers AND a trundle. Very cool bed if you're looking for one. We figure if we have a third child, they'll need to share a room at some point and matching beds is nice. Yada-yada.

The ride home was a joy. There was a mattress between Rachel and Hannah's seat, and the girls, who usually drive us crazy by pushing each other's buttons during the ride, drove us crazy because they were freaking out at not being able to see each other. Good times.

I don't know about this rambling strategy...I can see that you are nodding off already.

+++++++

Yoga poses. There's not much to my story. I've been doing yoga for six months and have not been able to do the full wheel.

I did one once by accident at home about a month ago. Then yesterday in class, again. It felt great. But I couldn't repeat it. Now I'm on a quest. This wheel represents my youth to me. One of my yoga teachers said that someone discovered that the real fountain of youth is really your spine. I'm not sure how literally to take this, but I see his point. When I can do the wheel regularly I'll be a kid again. I'm kidding, but not really. It does mean a lot to me.

+++++++

We said good-bye to a neighbor today. After a year of marriage, she and her husband are getting divorced. They have no kids, thank goodness, but I know she dreamed of having some in their house, which is no longer theirs. I knocked on her door and she was in tears, still crying, her heart broken. She was about to leave, say good-bye to her house and her dog. I could feel the pain. We hugged tightly and a lot. Rachel was by my side taking it in. She doesn't know the two are divorcing. It's not something I think she needs to know. I just told her our neighbor was sad because she had to say good-bye to her home. We were friendly with this neighbor but never real close. I did not know until the marriage had dissolved that there were problems. Instead, I worried about what they would think when we argued in whispers in our backyard about silly things--not knowing there was so much pain in the quiet house next door. My heart goes out to her. Them both. Let this teach me to reach out more. I forget sometimes how much pain is out there.

+++++++

I think I better quit while I'm only a little bit behind here. Boring you a little bit is better than boring you in the-post-that-will-not-end.

Here is the rest of what I want to say. Thank you to all those who called me a good mother after reading my letter to Rachel last week. I do like hearing that, I do. However, to be completely honest it makes me a little uncomfortable. Not because I think I'm a bad mother, but because most of the mothers I know are good mothers. Not everyone can write about it the way I can--there are many who can. I write about my feelings and what I see, and not as much about what I do. Don't assume I always act perfectly. I don't. If anything, my writing inspires me to be a better mother. It helps me see things more clearly. I wonder sometimes if previous generations of mothers worried so much about being good mothers. I think all we can do is give our children what we have inside us. I try to reach a balance between raising children that are happy and independent and children that I can tolerate. I learn as I go. I make mistakes. I try not to worry too much about my mistakes, but just enough to know that I can do better, and can be better.

I'm not sure what I'm trying to say. Maybe this: I'm no better than you at mothering. I think there are such strong "good mother," "bad mother" caricatures out there that we are working under. These caricatures place enormous pressure on us. On one extreme is Dr. Laura who has her cookie-cutter good mother ideal that is hurtful, in my mind. On the other hand, I see a lot of people in blogdom who intentionally portray themselves as "bad mothers." (And no, no and NO, I don't mean YOU. Nobody I know.) It's good for a few laughs, but it gets boring and is hurtful, too in my opinion. It's kind of like being back in elementary school and the girls being afraid to show that they are smart. Of course no one wants to gloat about their mothering, and sure it is helpful to write about our mistakes, but why wave the bad mother banner. I don't get that. I think part of being a successful mother is throwing both caracitures-good and bad mother- away and just digging in. It's work. You don't always do it right. You keep at it day after day and the big picture will turn out well if you are lucky. I hope, I hope. To be honest, I'm just focusing on the rewards I get each day. They are gold. I imagine there will be years when the gold mine gets dry. I'll just try to keep my eyes open. Hit me if I forget.

And you knew all of this already. So, I'll shut up.

Enough rambling. I'll try to be more coherent next week.

+++++++

And I realize I've included no kids stories, which are what you like best. The heck with my self-absorption, right? Move over, and show us the kids. (Don't feel bad, I agree with you!)

Here's a quick one: Every time we have garbage pick-up morning, Hannah wakes the whole house up by shouting, "There's a garbage truck in my room!" about 100 times. I feel like taping it and sending it to the garbage people to get them to wait until at least 6:00 to come by.