Being a Nerd and Owning It, or Just Be Yourself 


I was a super nerdy kid.  I was never interested in sports.  I was involved in Girl Scouts from first through tenth grade.  I played three different musical instruments in the school band and participated in our church handbell choir for almost ten years.  From first grade on I wore glasses.  In the early years I was not particularly careful with them, so I was prone to breaking my glasses; I remember having a couple pairs held together with tape until I was able to get a replacement.  My mom encouraged reading early and I excelled at reading.  In second grade I could read at a fifth grade reading level, and the older I got the farther ahead of my classmates I read.  I remember once during library time I wanted to check out a copy of a children’s version of Moby Dick, but the school librarian didn’t think I should check it out because she believed it was above my level of reading and comprehension.  She quizzed me in front of the other students and I was able to take the book home.  My voracious appetite for books only grew as I grew older. I was lucky to have several adults who recommended or gave me books to read that expanded my horizons.

In elementary school I discovered the Star Trek and Star Wars movies.  In the fifth grade I began to beg my mother to let me stay up past my normal bedtime to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation on TV at 9:00 p.m.  I was made fun of for my glasses.  I was made fun of because I liked to read at recess rather than playing dodgeball or some other game I wasn’t interested in or good at.

When I was in middle school I became obsessed with reading science fiction and fantasy novels.  I devoured The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.  Of course, in middle school there is a change in school social structure.  Unlike elementary school where everyone is friends, middle school becomes divided into different groups and cliques form.  I always felt as if I didn’t really belong in a certain group and tried to hide my nerdiness, to no avail. My haircut, the hopelessly uncool clothes my mother bought, and my ginormous glasses all branded me as a nerd.  I attended a small school and never had a group of friends that shared my interests.  Recently when my husband and I watched Stranger Things on Netflix I thought,  “Wow, that’s the group of friends that I should have had as a kid!”

During my high school years I still felt like a nerd.  I got all A’s and was the editor of the school newspaper for a year.  I participated in the Academic Contest with other school students in our school’s League. I was a member of the Scholar’s Bowl and the National Honor Society.  I tried harder to be cool and hide my nerdy interests so that I would fit in, but I never really did.  I often felt ashamed that I was so “weird,” as other kids called it.  I never dressed right, never played sports,  never had the right car, the right hairstyle, the right interests, the right music, and whatever else was or was trying to be, have, or do.

After high school I took a semester off and traveled.  When went to college I slacked off my first two semesters and did not do well.  I had a somewhat late rebellious phase and was determined to not be the dorky person I had always been.  I lived a much more carefree and bohemian lifestyle for quite a long time, trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life.  I remember having an epiphany at a Dead concert at Red Rocks.  I was having a conversation with an older couple who had followed the Dead for years.  They were living the lifestyle they loved.  They were doing what they loved.  They weren’t trying to be something other than what they were.  They were happy.

I had never lost my love for all things sci-fi, superhero, or fantasy.  I am a huge Doctor Who fan.  I love graphic novels and am chomping at the bit to read The Walking Dead Compendium 3, which I received for my birthday but haven’t started yet.  I am dying to watch the new Wonder Woman movie.  I could sit down and discuss at length why the newest Star Trek movies totally suck and why the newest Star Wars movies are fantastic.  

My husband and I have attended three Comic-Cons together.  They have been some of the most fun experiences of my life.  There were so many people there that were having the time of their life, surrounded by so many encouraging people who shared so many of the same interests, some of whom had dressed up as their favorite characters, not caring a bit what the rest of the world thought. 

I am tired of trying to fit in to someone else’s mold, of trying to be someone else’s ideal.  I don’t care if I wear more band or TV show themed T-shirts than LulaRoe leggings or skinny jeans.  I am happy with who I am, nerdiness and all.  I have never been more comfortable in my own skin.  I no longer care to change who and what I am to make others like me; if they don’t, it’s not my problem.  Love yourself.  Be who you are and own it.  It’s the only way to be.

A Long Time Away 

Photo by Viktor Hanacek. From http://www.picjumbo.com

It has been over a month since I last published anything.  I have been amazed each day to see that my page has still been visited – thank you to those of you who have.  

I haven’t published anything for several reasons.  I ran out of ideas for a while.  I went through a period where I thought maybe I wouldn’t come back… my readership isn’t very high, would anyone really notice?  Would anyone really care?  Does what I write about matter to anyone?  I was ill with bronchitis for over a month and felt too awful to do anything beyond the everyday necessities.  I felt stressed and a little depressed due to work, worn out and exausted from being pregnant and running around after a toddler.  Meh.

But, after much consideration, I decided to return.  My writing may not mean much to some, or most, but if another mom can identify with it, and me, then I feel like I am making a small difference and that makes me feel good.

So I guess you are stuck with me. 

I look forward to updating you on my latest thoughts, what’s been happening with my pregnancy, what’s going on in our family, and more.  Stay tuned!  

A Page Out of the Toddler Rule Book

Photo: Samantha Sophia/Unsplash

The older my daughter gets, the more obvious it seems that toddlers operate by a different set of rules. 

I happened to find a page from the secret Toddler Rule Book and decided to share it with you.  Enjoy!

  1. No matter what delicious food you are given, always insist on eating what Mom and Dad are eating.
  2. Wherever Mom goes for alone time, find her and bug her until you have her full attention.
  3. Be incredibly quiet when being mischievous.
  4. Anytime adults are in a hurry or have a deadline, use this opportunity to move as slowly as possible and not acknowledge any instructions you are given.
  5. Even though you might be turning purple and shivering while sitting in cold bathwater, this is no excuse to get out of the bathtub.  Keep playing as long as possible!
  6. Even if every episode of Curious George has been watched 70 times, ask to watch it again.
  7. Even if you acted like a food was delicious yesterday, it is perfectly fair to act like it is the grossest thing on Earth today.
  8. Fake ouchies and boo-boos deserve as much sympathy and attention as real ones.  Band-aids are always necessary.
  9. Stickers must be placed on every available surface, from the kitchen table legs, to walls, or Mom’s butt when she isn’t looking.
  10. Stuff anything of an accommodating size into the toilet, clothes hamper, trash can, potato bin, and air vents.
  11. Shoes and socks must be removed during each car ride, no matter how short, especially when full of sand.
  12. Being naked at all times is better than wearing clothes. Always.
  13. It is lots of fun to walk around the house with Dad’s underwear around your neck on laundry day. No matter how many times Mom tries to take them off, find a way to put them back on.
  14. Cookies and marshmallows are acceptable for breakfast.
  15. Push any button that you see.  Remote controls, keyboards, and phones are particularly fun.
  16. Anytime Mom and dad are trying to have a conversation, immediately interrupt with, “Mom! Mom!” or “Dad! Dad!” and don’t stop until you have their full attention, even if you have nothing to say.

Fun in the Sand

The weather has been warm lately and the kids have been able to play outside at daycare.  Can you tell Abby had a fun time in the sandbox yesterday?  When I picked her up she looked like Pigpen from Peanuts.  She was covered in sand from head to toe.  There was even sand in her diaper.  I couldn’t believe how much sand was left in the bathtub after I gave her a bath last night.

The Joys of Being comfortable 

Photo: Andrew Branch/Unsplash

I hate wearing uncomfortable clothes and shoes.  Sometimes dressing up for work each day becomes unbearable by quitting time at five o’clock.  

I have always been the type to come home and instantly become as socially unacceptable as possible.  Ciao, shoes!  So long, bra!  Goodbye, pants!   The first thing I try to do is change into a more comfortable outfit right away.  

I can’t imagine living in a time where women were expected to wear incredibly restrictive undergarments like a corset or girdle.  Heck, I can’t even figure out why some women choose to wear Spanx or thong underwear on a daily basis.  I am super excited about Abby being fully weaned so that I can quit wearing nursing pads and finally sleep without a bra again, for a few months, anyway.

Lately with the body changes I have noticed due to pregnancy, I have put much more emphasis on comfort.  My pants have been fitting more snugly… my underwear have been feeling too tight… anything around my tummy feels uncomfortable.  

I feel as though I am in an awkward stage because I don’t really look different, other than maybe looking like I have gained a little weight.  I don’t have a baby bump.  Some of my clothes are feeling too small but I am not ready for maternity clothes yet.

I have pulled some of my old “fat pants” out of the closet.  They don’t fit well and are too baggy since they are too large, but they fit more loosely around my waist and feel better.  I’ve tried to wear longer and looser shirts, so hopefully the poor fit is not too noticeable.  I have been rolling down most of my yoga pants and workout pants lower around my hips to avoid feeling like they are too suffocating around my abdomen, even though they are not too tight.  I even went shopping for new underwear and what a difference it makes to not feel like you have a wedgie all the time!  

Everything seems so much better when feeling comfortable.  I can breathe easier.  It’s easier to relax and unwind.  I feel happier and less irritable.  Instead of focusing on how much my shoes are pinching my feet or how the underwires in my bra are digging into my sides, I  can more clearly focus on what’s going on around me.  

A more comfortable momma is probably a more fun momma.  Feeling comfortable is more accommodating to getting down on the floor and playing, chasing a kid around the house, or getting up and dancing when Abby comes and pulls me by the hand.  And that’s what really matters.

Cravings

I haven’t had too many cravings thus far in my pregnancy, but today I went to a clinic to train a couple associates and the manager made me try this delicious spicy dip she made.  It was so good, but after I left it left me craving the Spiderman Roll from my favorite sushi place.  

On my lunch break I didn’t have enough time to run all the way across town and then wait for a roll to be made so I went to our local Kroger store where they will make fresh sushi to order. It’s nowhere as good as from my favorite sushi restaurant, but it will do in a pinch.  I ordered a spicy crab roll (don’t worry, it’s cooked!)

Oh my gosh, it hits the spot. Yum!  

Fun Non-candy Easter Basket Ideas

Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays of the year.  Why?  Lots of reasons!  Usually there is spring-like weather.  The church was always filled with the beautiful smell of lillies.  Mom would always buy us a pretty new Easter dress.  Easter candy is the best candy of the year.  And who doesn’t like waking up to an Easter basket and going hunting for eggs?

My mom was great at putting together Easter baskets when I was a kid.  She didn’t add just candy (although, I never complained about chocolate), my favorite memories are of playing for hours with a new jump rope, jacks, and a an activity book.

Now that I get to put together an Easter basket for Abby I have been trying to find fun ideas that are not just candy or sweets.  I will add sweets in as she gets older, but right now I don’t really give her candy, and I am sure that between both grandmas she will have more than plenty.

As I took a walk down the Easter aisle at Walmart I noticed that most of the stuff they had for Easter baskets is either really cheap and breakable or kind of lame.  I decided to skip all of that and try to get creative with my own ideas.  

What did I get? 

  1. Bouncy ball – This bouncy ball has a fish floating in glittery water.  It lights up when it bounces on the ground.  Abby loves Bouncy balls but most are small enough to fit in her mouth and are a choking hazard.  This one is small enough for her to easily hold but not chew on.
  2. Windup walking dinosaur – Thus little pastel dino walks when you wind it up.  Her cousin had a similar toy and Abby enjoyed watching it walk.
  3. Hatching egg – Place the egg in water and after a few hours it will begin to crack and a chick will hatch.  My neices and nephew had a couple of similar eggs in their Christmas stockings and had a great time checking to see if their egg had hatched throughout the day.
  4. Bubbles – What little one doesn’t love blowing bubbles?
  5. Snacks – I did add a few packages of cheddar fish crackers, graham crackers, and fruit snacks.  
  6. Sesame Street sticker/activity book– Abby loves all things Sesame Street.  She also loves stickers and enjoys sharing them or adding to her sticker “collection” in an old notebook.
  7. Necklace and bracelet Set– Abby begged me for this as we were walking through the store and I snuck it in the cart while she wasn’t looking.  She loves wearing jewelry.
  8. Sidewalk chalk- We enjoy drawing on our driveway with chalk and are almost out, so I thought it would be a nice addition to her basket.

    What are you adding to your kids’ Easter baskets this year? 

    Painting Time!

    Abby has been very interested in coloring lately and we have spent a lot of time with her colorbooks and loose paper.  After several coloring sessions this weekend I was a little bored and wanted to do something different, so I looked through my craft supplies for something we could make together.  

    I found a small canvas and decided to let her finger paint.  Not wanting to clean up a paint mess all over the house (and all over the kid) I placed blobs of different paint colors on the canvas and then enclosed it in a gallon-sized Zip lock bag.

    I set her loose to play and have fun squishing the paint around with her fingers.   

    She had lots of fun and the project occupied her for quite a long time.  She is quite proud of the end result, seen here drying:

    Monkey See, Monkey Do

    Photo by Liz Bridges. From: http://www.unsplash.com

    I have had a sensitive stomach from morning sickness for a couple of weeks.  So far it hasn’t been too bad and I’ve only had to run to the bathroom a couple times.  Yesterday happened to be one of those times. 

    Abby and I were playing with her kitchen set and she had been handing me all sorts of tiny plates and cups full of imaginary food.  The Reuben sandwich I had eaten for lunch wasn’t sitting too well with me but I thought I could power through.

    Eventually I knew I couldn’t.  Abby was distracted playing so I went down the hall to the bathroom.  She must have heard me making funny noises and came to investigate.   

    “Hi, Mommy!” She sings as she runs into the room.  I continued heaving and feeling ill as I bent over the toilet.  Immediately she stops and watches me, head cocked to the side, with a worried look on her face and concerned about what I am doing.  Then, she smiles.  

    I flush, stand up, and turn to the sink to wash my hands.  As I turn on the water I hear, “Bleegh bleegh, ugh.”  She had positioned herself as I was, hunched over the round clothes basket in the corner.  She held her stomach with both hands and again says, “Bleegh bleegh, ugh,” acting as though she were sick and throwing up.  She was actually doing a pretty convincing job mimicking me.  

    “Silly girl, are you acting like Mommy?”  I ask.  She turns and grins at me before running out of the bathroom and back to her toys.  

    Even though I was feeling bad she made me laugh.  That’s one of the things I love best about being a mom- no matter how rough things are or how bad I feel, there is always a little person that can make me smile and feel better.