Still running for the cheese (or why this blog still exists)

As my regular readers can tell, this has been a dry year for me. Just look at the number of posts this year vs. 2008! Awhile back, I had considered either shutting down the Maze, or starting a new blog that would more accurately reflect where I am in life now. Truth be told, sometimes I come here, look around, and feel distinctly hypocrytical about the things I want to write. I'm sure I'm not the only one to ever be in that kind of place.
As the time in between posts has grown longer, I came to realize something. Without the past years' material, where I am now makes very little sense. What good is the destination without the journey? As Christians, so much of the best stuff that happens to us is in the times God is molding us to His image. To throw away the evidence of that process would somehow cheapen the result, I think.
So, here we are, dear friends. I think my little mousie may just have rounded a corner finally. Some things will change around here to reflect the changes in my heart. And you know what? That's ok. As much as I typically rage against anything changed in my life, I'm learning to accept the God-given ones. My prayer is that some of you may be encouraged by what you read here. Hey, you may even be challenged. And of course, if you know me, then you know you always stand a good chance of being offended too. Not intentionally, to be sure! Just know that what you find as you wander this Maze with me may surprise you as much as it does me.

All that to say this:

Welcome to

Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Meme

It's been awhile (consistent I am not) since doing one of Cat's Monday memes. So here I am, noticing it's a Monday and all, and I thought, "Hey! Let's do this thing!"

1) What two colors do you think look the best together?
This is actually harder than I thought it'd be. There's lots of colors I love and many that look great together. My 1st thought is a nice deep red with black or maybe silver. But then again, purple and blue are great as well. Hmmm. I guess as long as there's no pukey looking colors involved, they all work for me!
2) For your memoir, describe what you looked like as a teenager.
Not much different than I do now. A little less fat but definitely still hefty. No gray hairs. More zits.
3) Do you know anyone born on your half-birthday?
That would be August 31 and nope. Most of my family was born in August (mom, dad, and brother all within a week of each other, and SIL's wife is also in August I believe) but not any on that specific day.
4) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one. Strangely enough, it makes me think of what my apartment complex might look like in a few hundred years. Hey, I haven't had my coffee yet.

Til next squeak,

Sunday, February 27, 2011

If I had a million dollars...

My friend Kristy humored my Facebook call for blogging ideas. So, without further ado, here's what I'd do with a million cool smackers, tax free.

The first thing that comes to mind is saving for the future. I assume that, done properly, $1 million can go a long way. So, take around $250,000 for savings/investment of some sort.
I would donate 10% to the groups that helped us so much to not only get our sons back from foster care, but restore our marriage as well. So, $100,000 to Casey Family Services and Klingberg Family Centers, split down the middle.
I'd probably buy a Ford Flex. With all the bells and whistles I want, we're looking at $56k. Worth every cent. :)
I know there's more I'd do- buy a house, help out friends and family, take a vacation. I have a feeling we'd buy my mom a trailer, maybe Mr. P.'s mom as well. It'd be fun to come back to this after talking with the husbeast to see what he'd do.
It's nice to dream, that's for sure. What would you do with that kinda cash?

Til next squeak,

Through a mother's eyes.

If you're a mom and part of Facebook or any online forum for mothers, then you've probably at least heard in passing about the controversy surrounding pictures of nursing infants.

"Oh the obscenity!!"

I took this picture today while nursing Ladybug, who will be 4 months old this week.
As I learned before her birth with all my internet research, NIP (nursing in public) is quite controversial. Both in real life and online, NIP brings with it a whole host of issues. Cover or not? Nurse at the table when out to eat or hide away in the bathroom? Leave the house at all? Is it legally protected or subject to public indecency laws? Mom's right to breastfeed or baby's right to eat or the public's right to not be grossed out? That's just the tip of the iceberg!
There are Facebook groups, blog posts and carnivals, news articles, and forum debates about breastfeeding. The arguments go back and forth, and honestly? I don't think any one person is more right or more wrong than any other when it comes to all the different opinions on nursing mothers. I truly believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion, regardless of whether or not I agree with them.
When I see other moms nursing, yes, it makes me uncomfortable. I am embarrassed to admit it, but there it is. I personally choose to cover up when NIP because, as you can see, my boob is 3x the size of my daughter's head. For me, covering makes me less afraid of a confrontation with a belligerent or ignorant stranger.
Yet when I'm at home, I look down at my baby and see nothing but the love I have for her. I am often overwhelmed by how much stronger I am as a woman and mother because I am nursing her. We have overcome much on our journey. From a past riddled with sexual abuse and body image issues, to flat nipples and painfully broken/bloody skin, to oversupply and thrush, to paving the way as our family's first breastfeeder in this generation, Ladybug and I have shown ourselves to be strong women.
I guess I can now understand why women want to post pictures of themselves breastfeeding their kids. After all, in a formula saturated society (no pun intended), breastfeeding for any length of time is something to be proud of, and something to celebrate. It's not about making other moms feel bad. It's not about getting our jollies by showing off the goods. And it's not even about promoting breastfeeding. It's about seeing the world through a mother's eyes. It's about the love we have for our children and the pride we have in ourselves.

Til next squeak,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Confessions of a confused parent, Part 2

Now that Ladybug is nearly 4 months old, I thought I'd revisit my feelingsCheck Spelling on different parenting techniques.

I have become "that mom". You know her. The one you never really wanted to be but somehow find yourself walking in her shoes. The one you'd whisper about at the grocery store.
"See that chick over there? Look at her kids! I'd never raise my kids like that!"
Yup, I am her. Much to my chagrin.
In my previous post about my parenting choices, I really waffled about how things would be once our baby daughter arrived. I'm still waffling. Mommy guilt is a real...well, you know. It makes us doubt ourselves as not only mothers, but as women and wives as well. We do it to ourselves. We second guess, and we wallow in the guilt of not being whoever it is that we think we ought to be.
One day, I want to be able to say that I own my choices and am happy with them. I don't know when that day will come, if it ever does. I want to be able to hold my head up with pride and say, "Look at my kids. They're good kids. I've done well in raising them, and yes, done well by them with xyz parenting."
The unfortunate reality is that although there's not much I would currently change about how I parent my kids, I don't do any of it with purpose. I think we all know a few moms (maybe more than just a few) who follow their parenting techniques because they have researched out their options and can quote studies and statistics about why they parent the way they do. Not me. More than ever, I've just been trying to get by. Having a new baby in the house has changed everything. Not just my identity as a mom, but how I treat Mr. P. and how I parent our sons as well. I'm a different, though not nessecarily better, mother now.
Perhaps taking the time to study and look into all the various schools of thought will help me to be a more purposeful mom. Or maybe it will serve to only confuse me more. Either way, I think my kids will turn out all right, despite their confused mother.

Til next squeak,

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