Banana Peel

It’s what’s inside that matters…

Can you see me? August 28, 2009

Filed under: Change,It's All About Me — Jess @ 9:45 am

For the past couple of weeks my dear Hunk has been giving me a few hours to go out by myself. Whilst he stays home and tends to the children (what a quaint little statement that is) I go out.

The key here is I go out by MYSELF. No kids, no husbands, nothing. Just me and the radio. Oh, the FREEDOM!

Can I tell you that the first “mommy’s morning out” I was scared out of my wits? Yes, I’ll admit it–I’m a grown woman who was scared to go out of her house by herself.

I felt naked without the huge diaperbag/purse I always carry. I felt like something was missing the entire time I was out. Like I had forgotten something really important.

What is wrong with me?

I’ve come to the realization that what’s wrong with me is that somewhere almost four years ago I left myself behind to dive head first into the world of motherhood (was that a run-on sentence or what? too bad I’m keeping it). The moment I held that sweet little baby boy for the first time I was consumed with the deepest most intense love I’ve ever felt. All I wanted to do was be a good mom to this tender little life I’d been given.

Which is all well and good. BUT (there’s always a “but” isn’t there?) a good mom is a whole mom.

And I wasn’t a whole mom, folks. Not even close. I’ve realized this over the past few months. I was running out of steam. I was getting impatient with my children. I was getting frustrated constatly at my husband. I was all around a very unpleasant person to be around. This added to the stresses we were facing as a family and things weren’t so good (as I’m sure you’ve gathered from all my depressing posts lately…..and the lack of posts even).

I’ve known for awhile that I’ve needed some time to myself. Some time to figure out who I am, again. Time- to refresh myself and my attitude.

I don’t know if I was afraid to ask for some time to myself or if I was feeling like I didn’t deserve it. I think it was a mixture of both. And a bit of not wanting to admit to anyone, myself even, that I really couldn’t do it all. Admiting that I need help has never been my strength.

Well, as you’ve already gathered I somehow found the guts to ask my dear Hunk if I could have a few hours to myself on his days off. And much to my surprise and delight, he said yes.

The first morning was awful. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I ended up wandering around a few stores like a lost puppy. It was pathetic, let me tell you.

The second morning I was better prepared. I had an appointment set to get my hair cut. Then I planned to buy myself a new outfit. It was lovely.

I’m thinking my third morning will be even more wonderful.

The best part is I’ve been more patient with my kids. I’ve been more patient with my husband. I’ve felt happier than I have in a long time, refreshed even. Each time I went out I’ve come back so happy to see my family again. I feel less weighed down by life. And the best part: I’m slowly regaining some confidence in myself as a woman. I think I’ve buried myself under the guise of “perfect mother” for so long that I forgot what it was to be a woman. I forgot that motherhood was only a small piece of the womanly pie.

So I will continue on this journey. I think I’ve finally learned that having some time to myself, for myself, is a priority I need to make time for. Lucky for me, my husband has noticed the change in me and realizes I need this too.

And who knows…maybe one of these times I’ll meet myself.

my siggy


It’s that time of year…. February 25, 2009

Filed under: Crazy Things I Do For Love,It's All About Me — Jess @ 2:40 pm

Lent. The time when we prepare ourselves for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Because of this people typically give up something that is distracting them from their relationship with Him.

So we are giving up the thing we spend our evenings doing.

There will be no more T.V. in our house.

For 40 days (not counting Sundays). 46 days of giving up.

And strangely enough I’m looking forward to it. Now my Hunk and I will have to spend our evenings talking with each other rather than staring at a little flashing box.

What a wonderful thing that will be.

my siggy


It was the Summer of ’99 February 10, 2009

Filed under: It's All About Me,Pieces of my Past — Jess @ 5:21 pm

Okay so since my beautiful, world-traveling, absolutely fantastic Sissy, Cindy, asked (and because I have nothing else to write). I am going to tell you the F.B. I. story that I mentioned in my previous post (see #23). It’s not very exciting, but I’ll try to at least keep you from falling asleep at your keyboard (try is the key word here folks).

The year was 1999 (holy crap, I’m feeling old), it was the summer before my Senior year of High School. I applied and was chosen to be a Page for the U.S. Capitol. The Congressman who sponsored me was Joe Knollenberg. He was a nice old man, I have a picture of the two of us in front of the capitol (I’d scan it in here and show you, but I’m not sure if that is legal because it was a professional picture and it’s at my Momma’s house). I wrote him a letter saying why I should be a Page and all that and out of the hundreds of applicants in our great state of Michigan (and much to my and everyone’s surprise) he picked little old ME. I wish I had saved a copy of that letter, I would like to read it and see what I wrote.

Basically, I had just won myself an awesome paid summer job. The trip of a lifetime! If you are not familiar with what Pages do you can go here and read all about it,  they basically deliver messages between the three legislative buildings. We also did various other jobs. One time I worked in the Cloakroom. Some pages got to raise and lower the Capitol flag and deliver the flags to the Congressmen and Senators for delivery to veterans families and such.

The job I was doing when I had my run in with the F.B.I. was a special one. A select few of the Democratic Pages (I started out on the Republican side, but because there weren’t enough Democratic Pages, volunteered to move over to that side. I am glad I did for I got to do a lot more things because there were so few of us on the Democratic  side, whereas there were tons of Pages on the Republican side) were selected to help out in the Library of Congress. This was when the Library was switching over from a card catalog system to an electronic database system. Our job was to take the card, find the book and make sure everything was right, then we entered all the info into a computer. Kind of boring yes, but not really…it was the Library of Congress after-all.

The first day we did this (we were to do it for a week) the lady in charge (I can’t remember her name or her title even, she made a lasting impact can’t you tell?) took us down there. We worked all day and had a break for lunch. The next day we came back and did the same thing. Only it wasn’t the same.

That was the day I was apprehended by the F.B.I.

I had worked the morning like usual. One of my other friends had heard that Don King was going to be at the Capitol that day and we wanted to meet him and get our picture taken with him. So, we had planned to meet at lunch time with a couple of other Pages and go off and find Mr. Don King (this wasn’t a wild goose chase we knew where he was going to be, at least the vicinity).

So, during lunch I ran off with my friend (who happened to be a really cute guy who I had a crush on, sigh. The things we do for love! P.S. He’s the one next to me in the picture.). And we find Don King, and we get our picture taken with him (which I will post because it was taken with MY camera). But in the process I was 1/2 an hour late for reporting back to the Library of Congress (so basically already in trouble). So, I say farewell to my friends and run off frantically trying to come up with some excuse that sounded a lot better than I skipped out so I could meet Don King. I don’t know if it was because I was already freaked out or I just couldn’t remember but I could not get back to the proper floor where I was supposed to be. So, my half an hour late turned into an hour which turned into and hour and a half which turned into two hours of my being completely and hopelessly lost.

Just so you know I asked a dozen different people how to get where I was trying to go, and each one told me a different way which got me even more lost and never to my intended destination. I’m sure it was on purpose, some sort of scare the crap out of the High School kid conspiracy or something.

But, I digress.

On one of my many forays into and out of the elevator I am approached by two very scary, professional-looking people. One is a very tall man in a black suit, the other is a woman with short reddish hair wearing a sort of reddish suit. They stop me and hold up F.B.I. badges and say “Jessica Rushlow? You need to come with us”. Then they take me by the arm and lead me away. Then one of them says in their ear thingy, or they might have called on a cell phone, I’m not quite remembering right, but they say “we have Miss Rushlow in custody”. How I kept from peeing in my nylons I do not know. There is nothing more terrifying than being led away by two F.B.I. agents who are completely silent. I had no idea where they were taking me. It could have been to jail for all I knew. All I was worrying about was how I was going to tell my parents I got arrested for meeting Don King. The other part of me was so thankful that I wasn’t lost anymore and was being taken anywhere where SOMEONE knew where they were going, it was quite relieving even .

They took me to the Office of the Clerk, who is the one in charge of the Page’s . It was then I knew I was in serious trouble. This wasn’t like going to the Principals office, folks, it was worse. I was yelled at and had to explain my whereabouts and threatened with being sent home and jail or even worse– a call to my parents. This was prior to 9/11. I’m sure if this had happened today, it would be a lot different. I’d probably been accused of being a terrorist or something.

So, I did what any girl would do. I cried my eyes out and begged him not to call my parents and please I really was lost and I’ll never do it again just please don’t send me home. I was written up and my parents were not called, which is precisely why my Sister has no idea about this infraction. The scary F.B.I. agents, who weren’t so scary after this, but who were still pretty stone-faced, took me back to the Library of Congress where I finished out my work day.

I had no problem finding it after that.

So, there it is:  my run in with the F.B.I. I’m sure I have a file somewhere with it in there. I’ve always wondered how many agents they had out looking for me.

The Imfamous Picture

The Imfamous Picture

I am glad that they found me, however. For all I know I could still be wandering around D.C. trying to find the Library of Congress.

my siggy


Getting to know you…. February 8, 2009

Filed under: It's All About Me — Jess @ 3:24 pm

My friend Crystal tagged me.  So, I am to share 25 things about myself. I just did this on Facebook and it was a lot of fun ( I especially loved reading everyone’s responses–such interesting things!). I had a hard time coming up with the 25 things, so I’m a little nervous as I begin writing this. BUT I know there are more than 50 things about me that I can share so I will find something to tell you about myself!

1. I’m afraid of the dark. Still. I’m 26 years old and still afraid of the dark. So afraid that I cannot walk through a dark room to a lighted one. I have to turn the lights on and off as I go. I also get really mad at The Hunk when he goes to bed before me because that means I will have to turn off the light (and run for my life into our bed).

2. I love to drive cars. For a while in my youth I dreamed of being a race car driver. As a teenager, I was one of those who zip down the highway at 90+ weaving through four lanes of traffic. I’ve since out grown that. Having babies in the car makes you drive a little bit on the slower side (or at least it should!) so I now view speeding as 2-5 over. I once drove non-stop to New Hampshire, 15 hours or so, even though there were 3 other capable drivers in the car. I just love to drive!

3. I am afraid to drive by a semi-truck in the summer with my window down. I always have visions of that semi throwing a rock at my car. It comes in the window and either impales me in the head and I die instantly or it hits me in the eye and I go blind in that eye. Cheery isn’t it? This comes from one time in summer I was driving by a semi and it DID throw a rock at me. Thankfully, my window was closed, but I will never ever forget that sound. There, now you all can be scared with me. You’re welcome.

4. Getting shin splints in both my knees was more painful than either of my labors (36 hours of pitocin induced hell was FAR worse than the 40 hours of natural labor) and my cesareans combined. I never want to do that again. I don’t care if we have to starve, I will always have good running shoes. period. the end.

5.  We don’t do baths here. The Red-Haired Girl has had ONE real bath in all of her 9 months. Now before you call CPS–we shower. The Blue-Eyed Boy has taken some baths, more when he was a baby, but now he exclusively takes showers. Try it out. There is nothing better than a warm wet baby snuggled up to your chest while streams of warm water cascade over your body. Oh yea, and it’s faster.

6. I love calendars. LOVE calendars. I don’t think I could explain my love for them adequately. I love writing on them, I love how they look all symmetrical and straight lined and such. I know I’m weird. If there was a calendar big enough to write out my entire day every day, I would seriously believe I’d died and gone to heaven.

7. I love schedules. I love knowing what I should be doing and when.

8. Conversely, I love spontaneity. I know its a paradox. I have the uncanny knack of being able to throw the above mentioned beloved schedule out the window and go off and do something. Drives the Hunk batty. But he loves me anyways.

9. I love cereal. Sugary, plain, full o fiber, full of marshmallows. I don’t care what kind it is, I love it. I could eat cereal at every meal every day for the rest of my life and be perfectly content (although I’m sure my body wouldn’t thank me). Sometimes we eat cereal for breakfast AND dinner, all in the same day. Imagine that!

10. I love cloth diapers. I love how easy they are. I love how I never have to run to the store to buy diapers and waste thousands of dollars on land-fill fodder. I love that my babies never ever get diaper rash. And oh are they CUTE! I just got The Red-Haired girl a new diaper (a new style I’m trying out, an AIO for my cloth dipe friends who know what that means) and it is fire engine red. It goes with the hair. She is SO adorable. A sposie doesn’t give the same effect.

11. I’ve always wanted to live out west, specifically Colorado. I’ve also always wanted to live in Florida, New Hampshire, Texas, California, Australia, Ireland, and Africa. Maybe one of those dreams will actually come true here soon? Who knows. I sure don’t.

12. The Hunk is an amazingly accomplished guitarist. I am sad to say that, though he has tried to teach me several times, I can only play about 4 chords. Which isn’t too bad. Except I could never get strumming down. Disgraceful, I know.

13. My Hunk was the first boy I ever kissed, and Lord willing he will be the last.

14. One of my dreams has been to open up a bed and breakfast. I love making food for people and I love making a cozy place for them to stay. I would love it. And I would make it affordable, but really nice so that people who may not be well off (like us) could still be able to take a romatic getaway and not break the bank, or have to settle for somewhere mediocre.

15. Another thing that The Hunk and I would like to do someday is to buy a small 2 to 3 bedroom house and fix it up really nice, then rent it to families who are not so well off (again like us) for really cheap. It is very hard to find somewhere nice to live when you do not have a lot of money. This would obviously happen after we bought our own house, and you know, won the lottery.

16. My most favorite movie of all time is a little known musical called “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”. I’m certain that before I bought it on VHS I probably rented it from Blockbuster 357 times. Because I love it so much I bought it for my Sister-In-Law when I was first married to my husband. She is a musical lover herself, but now that I know her better than I did then, and know her movie tastes—I don’t think she really liked it–did you Nan?

17. I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 18. My mom’s rule was that we couldn’t pierce our ears until we were 16 (so that we would be responsible enough to take care of our ears, or something like that). I bemoaned this rule until I hit 15 or so, then I didn’t care anymore. It was a spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment, peer pressure laded decision to do it when I was 18. After I had the Blue-Eyed Boy I was too depressed to care about fixing myself up so my earring holes grew shut. I just had them re-pierced again at age 25. And just so you know (because I know you care) the Red-Haired Girl will have this rule as well.

18. Sometimes I feel like my life is all a dream. Like I am going to wake up at any moment and find myself once again the scared, unloved, party-hard little 18 year old I left behind the day I accepted Christ as my Savior.

19. I’ve made hundreds, if not thousands of knitted dishcloths for friends and family and clients. The sad thing is: I don’t have any in my own kitchen because I don’t have time to make some for myself.

20. I own 21 cookbooks. And I still want more.

21. I love funky socks. There is nothing more boring than a pair of plain old white socks. Too bad they’re cheaper. My funky sock love has had to be set to the back-burner for the past few years.

22. I am awful at math. And I mean AWFUL. Simple addition and subtraction will have me running for the calculator. It’s embarrassing.

23. I was once apprehended by the F.B.I. (I was 16).  It sounds more interesting than it actually was, so I am going to leave it at that. But I will say that I have never been so terrified in my whole life as when a couple of very important looking strangers-in-suits stopped me and knew me by name. If you’re thinking Men In Black, you’re right on. Although there was no Will Smith.

24. I can say the alphabet backwards. Fast. And without thinking. I can say it backwards as well as I can say it forwards.

25. I always feel like a movie star whenever I wear sunglasses.

Okay, there we go. Now you know way more about me than you already did (or even wanted to?) but that’s what you get for reading my blawg.

Now I am going to tag: Coco, Rob, and Kat.

I can’t wait to read yours!

my siggy


It’s just the way I am but I’m okay with it February 5, 2009

Filed under: It's All About Me — Jess @ 12:08 pm

You know that old Nat King Cole song “Unforgettable”? Great song. Beautiful melody, wonderfully romantic lyrics. It’s fantastic, and I love it.

I was thinking about it the other night, and I came to the conclusion that I am the opposite of that song; I’m forgettable. I’m not saying that to try to garner your pity or something. It’s just the way it is. Some people are forgettable, and I’m one of them.

It’s one of those crazy things that I ponder while I’m up at 3 a.m. to nurse The Red-Haired Girl. The house is quiet and peaceful. There’s a sweet smelling warm little baby in my arms. I sit back and relax……..and random things pop into my head.

Now The Hunk is probably going to have a problem with this post. He never likes when his wife is even a teeny bit down on herself. But like I said, honey, I’m really not cutting myself down.

I’m forgettable.

People rarely remember me, though I with my visual memory ALWAYS remember a face. Even if I only met you once for 5 minutes while we shared a line at the grocery store. I will recognize you the next time I see you. I just have one of those memories. But people rarely remember me. There’s nothing remarkable about my appearance. Except maybe the red hair, but even that doesn’t really set me apart so much. I’m not ugly, though I’m not drop dead gorgeous. I’m just a normal every day sort of girl.

I’m quiet. Really quiet. The old folks have to turn up their hearing aids quiet. I don’t know why I’m so quiet, maybe because my parents were always so loud? I always joke that I should sing all the time because yea, I’m a projective singer.

I am not a great conversationalist. Unless I’ve known you for awhile. I’m not the type who can converse easily with strangers, or acquaintances. I am happy to sit and listen to others chat and talk, interjecting once in a while. I’m slow to speak. I think long and hard about things before I say them. Which makes it rather difficult to talk to me, I’m sure. Usually by the time I’ve gathered my thoughts into what I want to say the conversation is long over.

I don’t wear trendy clothes, or drive a cool car. I don’t have money, or connections. I have a common name. I’m always getting mistaken for a Jennifer.

The only memorable thing about me are my super cute babies. That’s the thing people remember. Not me, but my kids.

I’m okay with it though. I don’t need people to remember me. I may want them to for my own self image or whatever on a particularily bad day. I have the same vain urges that any woman does of wanting to be admired or noticed.  Most days I don’t give a flying flip what people think about me.

Most days, but sometimes at 3 a.m. when the house is quiet and I am left alone with my thoughts….

I wonder what if I were outgoing, and loud and easy to talk to? What if I were drop dead gorgeous and able to turn every head? What if my name was something unique like Pepper or Reese? If I were rich and famous? Or if I could just have an interesting conversation with a complete stranger? Or talk on the phone without stumbling through my words?  What if I could converse as easily as I write?

Then a little hand reaches up and touches my face. As I’m jarred out of my reveries I look down into the sweet milk-soaked smile of my baby girl. As I watch her slowly drift off to sleep all those what-ifs drift far far away.

I don’t need any of those things. I have every thing I ever wanted. A good home, a loving husband. Some great kids. Family and friends who love me, though I don’t know why.

I’m happy. Would I be happy if I were all those “unforgettable” things? Possibly. But I wouldn’t want to trade my life now to find out.

I’m forgettable. That’s what I am.

And I wouldn’t change a thing.

my siggy


I’m it again…. December 17, 2008

Filed under: It's All About Me — Jess @ 8:25 pm
I was tagged by Shop Girl in Chicago
The rules:
1. Link to your tagger and list the rules
2. List 7 random facts about yourself
3. Tag 7 people (and make sure you check back and see what they say!)
4. If you’re tagged, play along and pass it on!

Hmm…since I just did this recently I’ll have to think of some more things…here goes nothing…..

1. I am shy. Painfully shy. Like I can hardly talk to anyone unless I’ve known them practically my whole life. Are you surprised that I have a blog? I’ve always been better at expressing myself through writing, than through verbal communication.

2. I’m old fashioned. I love cooking and cleaning and being little Suzy homemaker. I’d rather wear a dress or skirt than pants any day. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong time period.

3. I’m allergic to cats. I don’t like them, so I’m really not so sad about that.

4. I don’t drink coffee, or ANYTHING with super high amounts of caffeine (so chocolate is okay!). It’ll give me a stomach ache/make me barf.

5. I cannot go to bed in an unmade bed. So, if I didn’t make my bed in the morning (or anytime during the day) I have to make it before I get in it to go to sleep. Drives the Hunk crazy, but I think he secretly like it too.

6. I’m secretly (well not so secret now) thinking of becoming a vegetarian…meat and me are not friends. I already do not eat red meat except on rare occasions, so it’s not to far of a leap from there.

7. I despise cell phones. I wish they had never been invented, they make people rude and obnoxious. I’m sure if I got stranded on the side of the road I would change my tune. Maybe it’s not the cell phone itself that I despise, but the lack of proper etiquette people with cell phones exhibit? For future reference I don’t want to hear about your boyfriends best friend’s sister and who she is having sex with while I’m shopping for groceries with my 3 year old and 7 month old. And I don’t think anyone else wants to either.

I’m going to take Dizzy’s lead and refrain from tagging anyone because we all just did this.


Tag: I’m it! October 13, 2008

Filed under: It's All About Me — Jess @ 1:33 pm

Kimberly at Labor Trials tagged me. I have never been tagged– it’s my first time! So, apparently I am suppposed to share 6 things about myself that the blogging world doesn’t know! Here goes nothing:

1. My secret: it’s been 5 months since my unnecessarean, and my belly still hurts. So much for the healthy mom part of the equation. I don’t talk about it because I don’t want to think about it.
2. My other secret: I have finally stopped having nightmares about above said unnecessarean every night. Now they’re just about once a week.
3. Okay on to funner things! The Blue-Eyed Boy and I have a birth mark in the same spot, I think it’s even the same shape…almost. I’m not going to tell you where because that’s just tooooo personal! =P
4. My favorite sandwich: sliced bananas, peanut butter and *gasp* mayo. I know, I know it sounds really weird, but it’s FANTASTIC. The hunk thinks I’m nuts, but the Blue-Eyed Boy loves it too!
5. I am a classically trained opera singer. I had aspirations of moving to New York and singing at the Met. Then I met my Handsome Hunk and got married. My last year of college as I was practicing my butt of to prepare my audition songs for the Grand Rapids Opera I was blessed with a positive pregnancy test. All those aspirations of grandeur went out the window. I sang (4 1/2 months pregnant! Can we say breath control difficulties?) my senior recital and that’s the last time I’ve really sang. Now I just sing in church on Sundays. Part of me is sad about that…..but mostly I don’t regret the decision. Except when I have a day full of tantrums, poopy diapers and all around suck-i-ness….then I rethink this whole stay-at-home mom thing. But, thankfully, those days are few and far between.
6. Last but not least, and I’m ashamed to admit this….my house is messy. Like REALLY messy. Like a tornado came through. It’s a sty (as in pig). I just can’t seem to keep up with everything since I had the Red-Haired Girl, and started my business. I’m working on it though. Maybe now that I’ve admitted my failure to the WHOLE WIDE WORLD, I will do something about it. Oh the shame!
Okay, there’s my six things. I guess now I tag some other people.
Here we go:
Kristina at The Mom-tionary
And last but not least…..
Have fun!!!