I have always thought that giving birth was the most physically demanding part of motherhood. But today, I reevaluated that line of thought. As I sit here with my aching legs and the remnants of a day's worth of sweat on my face, I think I would rather give birth (with an epidural, of course) than repeat today. Let me explain.
It started off as a wonderful, easy day. Andrew did a night flight (he is gone right now and won't be home until 2am...hence my late-night computer time!), so he was able to be home all day. I defeinitely took advantage of that. See, I have been needing new jeans. Not wanting, needing. My overweight, postpartum self was getting royally sick of having only one pair of ugly pants (they were cute when I bought them but with overuse they became hideous to me) to wear; sick of waiting until I lost the last 8 pounds to spend money on clothes; sick of putting off looking decent until I got my butt back in shape. Not only my butt, but my stomach, thighs, arms, BACK (yes, my back got fat when I was pregnant! UGH!)..you get the picture. Anyway. So I left Andrew home with the darlings while I went shopping. Alone.
It was glorious. Guess where I went first? I bet you guessed Target. And you would almost be right - that is where I intended to go first. Not to find jeans, but just to BE there. You know? But I realized as I drove through the beautiful gray, drizzly morning, that the scrapbook store was right on the way. So I went there. And I tried not to buy anything. Really, I did. I wanted to just look. But the paper wouldn't let me look. The paper made me buy. I spent $27, and I feel pretty good about that. (To compensate for my guilt of buying things, I proceeded to make an entire album in 2 hours to prove to myself that I would use the things I bought. But I'll get to that in a minute.) After an hour there (my, how the time flew!), I went to Target. I wandered and looked around and purchased really interesting things like hair clips for Eva, bobby pins, and diaper genie refills. Then I went into the mall.
Let me say that by this point, I was already sweating. I don't know why. Well, maybe I do. The muggy air (not hot, just muggy), the lack of air conditioning in WA, the exertion of walking around and trying on clothes and carrying things...I don't know. I sound like a pig, but I was a little hot. Luckily, I didn't try on any shirts and leave my sweat as a gift for other women of the area. (Gross, Stephanie! Grow up! I know.) I went a couple places, but the place where I finally found success in finding a new pair of jeans (did I ever make that point before? I can't remember if I ever said that outright and I'm too lazy to scroll back up and look) was Express. Have you ever bought anything there? I have. Once. It was about a month ago, and I bought a cute teal blouse - actually, my current favorite shirt - that was on sale for $30. And that was quite a chunk of money to spend on a shirt. For me. But it's my favorite shirt. So I tried again there for pants. And so what if I spent $60 on jeans? I HAVE JEANS THAT FIT. I can dream all I want that they won't fit for much longer (we all know I'll be in these babies for a while), but for now, they fit. And I feel cute in them.
I went a couple more stores after that to make sure I couldn't find anything better priced and cuter, but then I realized I had been gone for over 4 hours. Whoa. So I went home. Then I worked like a mad woman to get that entire album done. See, tonight was the ward talent show, and I signed up to do a "talent" display of my scrapbooks. Probably a bit of a mistake. Both trying to finish an entire album of 20 pages in one day (or 2 hours), and signing up to do it at all. I also signed up to bake 2 frozen pies and bring them. I was also in a skit with a couple other women in the ward to do The Mormon Rap, and I had to get to the church early - with 2 children, 2 pies, a million scrapbooks, sans Andrew. I made a yummy dinner - probably a little ambitious for a day like today, but still really yummy - and then Andrew left.
I rushed to get myself ready, (of course I wore my brand new jeans!) and I was pretty sweaty by then. My hair, even as short as it is, was pretty much beyond repair. Sweat and rain don't make for a great look on me. (Sorry that my sweaty self is the topic of this post, but...that's what it is.) I got Eva ready, changed Leighton's diaper, hauled my 8 scrapbooks and a basket of mini-albums (mistake, mistake, mistake) through the rain to the car. Took the overly-browned pies out of the oven, threw them (gently) in the back. Raced to the church, strictly following the speed limit like the law-abiding citizen that I am. (Are you still reading this? I feel like I'm being VERY long-winded...) Hauled the kids into the church and asked a random stranger (one of the young women, actually) to keep an eye on my kids. Took two more trips to the van to bring in my massive pile of scrapbooks and the pies.
Fast forward through the talent show (I'm sure we didn't look half as funny as we felt). I am now sweating profusely. I have not had a normal body temperature in HOURS, and I hate sweating more than most people hate getting shots. (Truthfully, I would rather get 120 shots than sweat like that again. And you wonder why I don't work out...) Thankfully, two kind souls helped watch my kids while I made a fool of myself on stage. (Who IS that new girl?? they all thought.) Eva kept screaming "NO!" for no reason other than to make noise. Leighton spit up all over the place and I forgot to bring a burp cloth OR wipes. (I'm pretty sure I've made that mistake before...) I used Andrew's shirt to clean it up. (His shirt that I brought to wear to dress up like a gangster, but ended up using it as a mop.) Eva kept trying to eat the ice cream by herself and got stickiness everywhere. Eva dropped an entire cup of water on the floor and splashed all over someone's leather purse. (Again, Andrew's shirt came in handy. That is so weird I used a shirt. Typing it makes me realize how weird I must have looked.) Eva opened the formula container and shook formula all over the diaper bag - in my keys, wallet, cell phone, sunglasses...you name it, there's formula on it. At that point, I decided I was WAY overdue in walking out the door. I frantically gathered up my sticky, crying, tired children and headed for the exit. On the way, I passed all my scrapbooks. Oops...I had almost left them there.
I strapped the kids in the car and ran back in to try to get everything in one trip. My 2 oven mitts, a large cookie sheet, a basket full of mini-albums, and literally about 75 pounds of scrapbooks. I piled it all up to my chin and, trying not to fall over from the weight and holding my car keys in my teeth, I staggered out the door. (It is moments like this where someone volunteering to help me out, or even just to hold the door, would be REALLY nice.) I got in the car, wiped the sweta off my forehead for the hundredth time in the past hour, and turned the air conditioning on full blast.
I got home, got everything in the house, and promptly tore off all my clothes in an attempt to cool off. I eventually got the kids in bed, and now here I am. Sitting in my sweatsuit (from Nauvoo!) because I got chilled walking around in my underwear. At least I finally cooled off. But my legs are aching from dancing and jumping and walking and shopping and trying on a million pairs of pants and carrying children and scrapbooks and whatever else I did today.
To make a long story short (TOO LATE!): I HATE sweating.
P.S. Hardly anyone even looked at my dumb scrapbooks, and nobody even CRACKED open a single mini-album from my cute little basket.. I have no idea why I tried to finish a whole one in a few hours...I am SO dumb.