Monthly Archives: June 2012

Wisdom of a child..

Sam’s grandmother passed away last night. I didn’t get many details because he mostly stayed outside. I asked if he wanted to go to be with his family – no. He advised he would go to the funeral but did not want to go early.

I can understand and respect it I guess. Which led to a fight with my mother who continued to send text after text telling me that we really needed to go, it was disrespectful etc. Not my family, not my choice.

The truth is – I don’t know much about Sam’s family or why he didn’t spend much time with this set of grandparents. But I’m certainly not going to force him into a car and drive him to New Mexico to find out.

I told Katelyn last night and the wisdom of her whole 3 years was clear yet again “Oh, Ila Jean went to Heaven. Heaven is a really nice place. We won’t see her for awhile but she is with God.” And then she asked to see the quilt Ila Jean sent her a few months ago. I cried. She ran off playing.

Oh to be young and to see everything in black and white. Who needs that grey area of emotion anyway? She woke up fine this morning. I am dreading the funeral because I think that is going to be weird for her. With a lot of hard questions for me.

Sam is still asleep. And I have that icky sinking feeling in my stomach. I’m sad for Ila Jean and I feel like all of the emotions I didn’t deal with when my grandfather passed away are flooding back in.

It might be a long day.

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Rambling.

Sam’s grandmother is in the hospital and we’ve all been cautioned that she is dying. Sam does not want to go say goodbye. I respect that. My only concern is that one of my biggest regrets was not driving in a day early to tell my grandfather goodbye before he passed away but the relationship Sam has with them is totally different. I just hope he will be at peace with it.

Sam’s family has an interesting dynamic. He is very close to his mother’s side of the family and his relationship with his father’s side is almost non-existant. I’ve gotten to know a few of those relatives via the internet (thanks internet!) and while I don’t think they are that bad and I am more than happy to provide them with updates on Katelyn, I don’t push him to bond. Any updates I’ve gotten about his grandmother have come in the form of a short phone call with his mom, an e-mail, and facebook updates. He gives me a quick re-cap occasionally. He doesn’t do well with emotions. He never has and I don’t anticipate that will ever change.

I’ve only met his grandmother once. She sends cards and presents for Katelyn and I keep her supplied in photos. She sent Katelyn a gorgeous quilt for her baby dolls a few months ago. Katelyn was not even a year old when she met Ila so I doubt she will remember her and quite honestly, I don’t know much about them to tell Katelyn anything when she does get older.

Sam’s maternal grandmother, on the other hand, is a different story. She is G.G. and Katelyn knows (and adores) her. It makes me sad in a way that Katelyn will grow up how I did, not really knowing her dad’s side of the family very much. Or at least the older generations.

I was sitting here at lunch reading the relatives sad updates on Facebook wondering if they think I’m some cold, callous asshole because I have not posted an update, or even prayer request. Sam is such a private person and I don’t feel like it’s my place to do that. Maybe they haven’t even noticed. Either way, I’m grieving. I’m grieving for a woman I didn’t really get to know who had a part in creating the man that I love. And I’m sad that my daughter is losing a great grandparent that she won’t ever get to know. She already lost three before her arrival. And one not long before she was born. I was so glad that he knew I was pregnant before he died.

He would have been crazy about her.

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It might be a Quarter Life Crisis… or just a stirring in my soul.

I wrote the following when I was 21. I was still doe-eyed and taking summer classes before my final year of college. I still had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I only thought I was going through a “quarterlife crisis” then. Hindsight is 20/20 right?

 So I started my summer class today. 8 am is such a lovely time to be at school. I’ve been dreading today for awhile now. 

This class focuses primarily on preparing us for the “real” post-undergrad world. Or as the syllabus states “This course seeks to explore two elements of your development: 1. skills necessary for your professional and personal growth; 2. knowledge that offers you the opportunity to contribute in significant ways to society.”

My first real problem with this class is that I paid 500 plus dollars for someone to tell me how to make decisions, how to write a resume (when I’ve already taken classes that did this multiple times), cover letters!, and budgeting exercises. Secondly, if Tech really cared about my well-being in the future – shouldn’t this class be free and not required? I thought so.

So I drag myself out of bed and somehow make it across town to class. And the topic for two lovely hours today … the quarterlife crisis.

Characteristics of a quarterlife crisis include but are not limited to:
Not knowing what you want
Your 20’s aren’t what you expected
A fear of failure
Not being able to let go of your childhood 
Waffling over decisions
Constantly comparing your options

At some point, I had to write down what I would do if I won the lottery. I said if I won the lottery – I would travel. A lot. Apparently, this is my passion – or my “cowbell” rather. We then had to watch the SNL clip about the Blue Oyster Cult and Will Ferrel going nuts with the cowbell. So now I realized I paid 500 plus dollars to watch Saturday Night Live clips – and to be told I have a “cowbell”. I was also told to just live. To make the best decision based on the information I had and not look back.

I was also told my hypothetical schedule of graduating college at 22 – being married around 25ish and having a child around 28 is a ridiculous concept. This didn’t shock me. Somehow I think I’ve known this all along. Life isn’t about meeting deadlines and I’m the one that set them so I shouldn’t be dissapointed if things don’t always work out that way.

The one thing that did make sense was that decisions aren’t permanent. If you hate something – you can always do something else. We aren’t supposed to know what the hell we’re doing 100% of the time. Apparently, the problem with growing up is that we trade our sense of adventure for this notion of stability.

After coming home and taking a long nap I’ve decided maybe this class isn’t that bad. I’ve also decided I must have started this quarterlife crisis journey at about 16 and it’s just gotten progressively worse.

I’ve always been undecisive … or wishy-washy which is something I’ve heard hundreds of times. I am scared to death of failing. I’m always looking for the better, more stable option. Maybe it’s time I learned to take a few risks. I technically don’t even know who I am anymore – so I don’t really have anything to lose.

 So what exactly should I call it now that I’m on the approaching 30 side of my 20’s? A One Third Life crisis?

I love reading old posts of mine. Now that I’m a “grown up” with a child and a full time job I’m not nearly as introspective as I used to be.

We are at an interesting place in our lives as a family right now. As much as I hate this town and want to move far away from violence and overcrowding to friends, fun, life, better education(!) I am hesitant to leave. I’m entangled in a lot of stories right now and some of these stories are so important to me that I don’t know if I can leave without finding out how they end.

When we moved here it was out of sheer necessity. My grandfather had passed away and I was home sick. I missed my parents, I wanted to spend time with my grandmother. I wanted my daughter to be close to my family like I was. Even 4 years later I still think we made the best decision for her. And now we’ve made another good decision to move her again. We’ve worked so hard on this little house of ours to make it more appealing to the next buyer. Sam has put in lots of sweat, blood and  tears (well maybe not tears so much, but definitely a lot of cussing!) to update the house. And now that we’re in the middle of a seller’s market it’s the best time to go.

We went and looked at houses a couple of weeks ago and I’m stuck back in buy vs. build mode. The oldest house we looked at was built in 2004. The prices they want are well over what we could build a brand new shiny house for. We’ll have to really think that out. The thought of jumping back into the world of mortgage approvals and house shopping really nauseates me. I was 7 months pregnant last time. Now I’ll be dragging my precocious almost 4 year old along for the ride. I guess it’s stressful no matter what point in your life you are at.

It’s all just such upheaval. Leaving the only house your child has ever known to go back to the one place you feel is “home.” Lately Katelyn has been praying at night “God, I want to move back to Lubbock to be close to Baby J and grandma and grandpa.”  (Baby J has to remain nameless for the sake of confidentiality..)

Right now it’s exciting and new to her. And it’s exciting to me too.  But it’s going to be bittersweet.

And it’s going to be a lot of change. I don’t know if I want to do what I’m doing now. I feel like I’ve gotten myself into such a niche and as much as I hate my job, I really love it sometimes too. I need to go back to school. I’ve applied and even talked with an admissions counselor but then I couldn’t even get some basic stuff turned in on time so I decided I might ought to wait until we get settled before I throw that into the mix.

I think the only difference between 21 year old me and 27 year old me is pretty black and white. I got everything I wanted then. Just not quite how I had planned. And I’ve learned the best way to live my life is to help others. And I’ll just keep building off of that.

Everything will fall into place when it should I suppose.

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Sometimes you’ve got to cry.

When I was little – I apparently did not cry often. After one particularly hard day at school with a lot of homework I remember my mom telling me that it was okay to cry. She laughs now but she literally opened a flood gate that night. I remember it very clearly, more so than most of my memories at that age. It was okay to cry. Who knew.

I don’t cry often. Generally crying means I’ve been pushed past an angry breaking point. I don’t cry when I’m sad but stress is definitely my biggest trigger.

The past 9 weeks have been a roller coaster. Lots of questions, lots of digging, lots of not so pleasant answers. Lots of driving, late nights and early mornings.  Throw in some divine intervention, a little luck, and you have my life in a nice package.

I’ve been in a battle (both literally and figuratively.) I considered really unfeasible options at one point. I’ve been at the end of my rope more times than I can count. I’ve wanted to beat my head on my desk. Mess. Mess. Mess. I’ve wanted to throw the towel in on more than one occasion.

And it all melted away today after a very tense, pacing the floor afternoon.

I’ve believed in miracles since I was 11 years old and nearly died. As much as I don’t like to acknowledge that part of my life – I made it through it for a reason. And today someone else made it through for a reason.  And I can only imagine that it is a great reason. I’m so proud to have had a tiny part in that.

The phone rang and I answered with my heart in my throat. And the news was good. I kept it together until I hung up and I literally collapsed in the floor sobbing.  The type of sobbing that made me thankful what little mascara I had on was gone by that point. And it was amazing.

All of the scary, the stressful, the second guessing washed away. Someone’s broken heart being mended managed to restore my own.

The next few days will be a test. And the next few weeks after will show me what I’m made of. And I’m ready for it.

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Sunday (no) Funday.

I love seeing all of my non-parent friends posting their various Sunday shenanigans. It’s a bittersweet reminder that I am no longer a free to do as  I please young adult anymore. I don’t even remember really taking part in the “Sunday Funday” phenomenon anyway so it’s okay.

A typical Sunday at our house goes like this: Wake up, make coffee, drink coffee, read PostSecret, enjoy whatever quiet time I get before the mini monster rises from her slumber.

And then the real fun begins. Prep for the week ahead.

In the almost 4 years Katelyn has been present I constantly shake my head at the laundry piles around the house. How do 3 people (and one of those being a not so big person) have so.much. laundry?

I mean, seriously.

I try to do a load in the middle of the week to cut down on the weekend madness but that generally hasn’t happened lately because everything has been so hectic. And heavy. I normally start on Saturday morning to try and get through it. Yesterday I decided to say no thank you to laundry and today I’m paying the price.

5 loads down, 2 to go. Though I suspect I may have more if I look closely.

I try to look at it with the whole glass half full perspective. At least we’re lucky to have so many nice things to wash. That only gets me so far! So I will hang and fold my afternoon away.

I woke up with a sick feeling in my stomach this morning because of events that will happen tomorrow and I can at least be grateful the laundry is keeping my mind off of that.

So, Katelyn and I will dance around the living room amid piles of towels, shirts, shorts, and socks that lost their mate long ago. Sunday could be a lot worse.

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A little glimpse of crazy … or … more about my breasts than you want to know.

The Daddy person is working late this week. I hate late weeks. It throws K’s schedule off horribly. He’ll be home around bedtime, which in her sweet little mind apparently means – bedtime is way later, thanks Dad! It’s rough for all of us. I’ll be so thankful when we move and he hopefully finds a less demanding job.

Which brings me to this post – that and the little is actually playing and not requiring my full on attention. I work full time in an interesting job. Job shall remain nameless due to confidentiality reasons. Job means I’m responsible for the lives and well beings of little people. And that is stressful. Hence the blog. It used to be fun to ramble and whine when I was younger and didn’t have to be a grown up. Maybe grown up blogging will prove to be cathartic too.

Last weekend, I ventured to the mall while we were away for the weekend to try and find something for Sam for Father’s Day. His typical request is tools. A storm was coming in so I opted for Sears instead of Lowe’s (which would have been further.) Much to my surprise, Victoria’s Secret was having their semi-annual sale.

First off, I should mention I hate shopping. I hate trying on clothes. I don’t generally like malls and won’t go into stores unless I know what I want and where exactly to go to get it. And 99% of the time I refuse to buy anything that is not on sale.

But as a treat to myself and my poor breastfeeding overloaded breasts I decided I could probably rationalize buying a new overpriced bra, or two.

I found two on the sales rack. Tried them on. Hello boobs! Where have you been the past 4 years?

Ironically enough – when I stopped having let down frequently, I also bought some fancy VS bras to celebrate. I couldn’t even tell you where they are now. I digress.

Anyway – I buy these two new bras. One is white, the other hot pink with weird cream lace. And I’m proud of myself.

I attempt to wear one when we go out on “date night” and end up having to readjust my shirt continuously because the bra continues to be visible. Frustrating. But it definitely produced some nice cleavage, so I won’t complain much.

I wore one to work today. I could not wait to get home and get that puppy off. At times I feel like I can’t breath. My boobs look great, youthful even. But the not breathing is a serious issue. I stood in front of the mirror for a moment and admired the boobs. They were never big. The only time they got above a C cup was right after K was born when my milk came in. They were DD for a couple of glorious weeks.

Now they are just a deflated B and my nipples look like they’ve been in a torture device for years. Oh, extended breastfeeding.

I took the bra off and literally gasped as I watched them fall. My breasts are saggy. SAGGY. I am not old enough for saggy, deflated boobs.

At least K loves her “nummy” and Sam is pretty indifferent, so saggy is a-okay in this house!

But wow. Between motherhood and work I feel so old. I hate that I feel old.

I guess the moral of the story is that I didn’t really have boobs before I got pregnant. I didn’t really have boobs while I was pregnant. I had some amount of bigger boobs immediately after giving birth and now I’m back to almost no boobs at all. Ah, the circle of life 🙂

At least my kiddo has a kick ass immune system and we get a lot of bonding time in even though she’s almost 4 going on 40. I suppose I can sacrifice my boobs for that.

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The loss of a fur baby.

Last night K and I were playing in her room, when the Daddy person walked in looking less than pleasant. He had been on the phone with his mom. Belle died. 

A little history about Belle…

In March 2007, I had been offered a job in Denver and had gone up for 3 days for an interview and to look for apartments. I got back late at night, exhausted from driving and the excitement of moving, and was in the process of unloading my stuff when I caught a glimpse of what slightly resembled a snake with legs in the street light. I stood on the porch trying to decide what exactly it was and it kept approaching, quickly. 

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The suspicious slithering thing turned out to be a tiny, oily, old dachshund. I brought her inside. We took photos and posted Found signs all around the neighborhood. I posted ads at the local animal control. I called vet offices. I took her to be scanned for a microchip. My vet estimated that she was at least 15 years old. No owner turned up.

I always imagined she probably lived with an elderly person and they didn’t have the ability to search for her. She liked to eat, nap, and eat. She was very mild mannered but would attack Miles if she saw the need to do so. She weighed about 7 pounds. 

She got out of the yard twice. Once not long after I met Sam and he mowed the yard and forgot to shut the gate. She was gone for a week. She got out again a few months later and I searched animal control twice. This would be when I met Chester but I can talk more about him another time. She was gone for a week again. She always seemed to turn back up.

When we found out we were having a baby and moving, all of the dogs went to stay with Sam’s parents temporarily until we could find a house and get settled. Once we closed on the house and got the yard dog ready, Miles and Penny moved with us. Belle and Chester stayed behind. 

Sam’s parents have taken excellent care of them and I still got to see them. It turned out to be a win, win situation. 

We went up to visit this weekend and I went into the yard to see the dogs. Chester was running around like the awkward ball of fur that he is and Belle was no where to be found. Sam came out and I asked him if Belle had died and he had just not told me. He laughed. I finally found her snoozing away. Her hearing was almost gone at that point but she still managed to love all over me. 

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This was the last picture I took of my sweet old girl. She had a stroke. She couldn’t come back from it. They chose to euthanize her so that she wouldn’t suffer. 

And as quietly as she showed up, she left.

I cried for awhile. My three year old showed wisdom well beyond her years. 

“Momma, let’s say a prayer so that you can feel better. God, we love Belle and we will see her again sometime. She is in Heaven and that is a nice place. Belle, you were a good dog and we will hug you. Amen God.” Followed with “Momma, I will wipe your eyes and you will feel alright.”

I’m so blessed to be her mom.

I read the Rainbow Bridge poem years ago and I read it again this morning when I woke up with a heavy heart and deep ache in my stomach and it took me a few seconds to remember why it was there.

Belle had a great, long life. She had two homes the last 4 years that loved her very much. And I believe she had a great home for the first 10 or so years too. We will miss her. I’m thankful she spent the last of those years being loved on and not hit by a car because the half blind old lady loved a running away adventure. And I imagine she’s running around now. We’ll miss you Belle.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. 

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. 
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. 
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. 

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. 
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. 

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. 

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. 

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…. 

Author unknown

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Life. Or something like it.

Every time I debate starting to blog again – the following thoughts occur: Will I have time? (yes.) Will it restore my sense of self? (yes.) Will it prevent me from turning into a raging psychopath? (yes, yes, yes!)

When in reality it goes something like this: Alright, I’ll start a blog again. This will be fun. I’ll keep it up. I will process my thoughts in a nice, humorous way instead of slamming the Daddy person with them, or worse, bottling them up.

Oh, reality. There is no time to blog. I wake up at 6 am before my alarm is anywhere near going off (I’m taking this as a true sign of adulthood.) I make and drink coffee. I get ready for work. I get child up, dressed, fed and deposited at school. I go to work. My work day varies from horrible to frightening. I drive hundreds of miles. I pick up the little person. We come home. We snuggle. We make dinner. We clean up after dinner. We play. We bathe. She goes to sleep. I scroll through my list of 4946854098 DVR’d shows that I never get to watch because the TV is monopolized by Dora, or Wubzy, or Fresh Beat Band – or even worse ESPN. I decide the shows can wait. Collapse in exhaustion.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

I used to be fun. I used to have a sense of humor. That all seems so long gone sometimes. I miss that person. I know she’s bound to be in there somewhere. Underneath piles and piles of emotions and worry about the lives I’m responsible for. And there are many. Sometimes so many I don’t want to even begin to think about any of them individually.

Which brings me to why I actually wanted to blog today.

Alanis.

Oh Alanis Morrisette.

Ironic made me have a panic attack on my first plane ride. Who in their right mind encourages an 11 year old to listen to Ironic while sitting on the runway? I mean, really?!

I remember sitting on my friend’s bed howling to Uninvited all summer. The song was terrible, but we had fun. I also vaguely remember my grandmother hearing Thank You blaring from my room at some point and declaring her love for Alanis. She still remembers (and likes!) that song.

A few years later – I rediscovered my love for Alanis in the midst of my teenage years. You Oughta Know saw me through a break up (or 5.) Well, until I found out it was about Uncle Joey from Full House and it lost some of it’s appeal. Thankfully, this happened WAY after I found it to be beneficial.

I danced around my room to Head Over Feet and planned weddings. Lots of weddings at various stages of my life. Interestingly enough – I have no desire to play that song now if Sam and I ever get married.

And then there was Hands Clean. It became my mantra – and my tag line for the one blog I actually maintained for years. This could get messy. And messy it got. And it’s still messy!

She hooked up with Ryan Reynolds and I was afraid we would never again get a crazy assault on the English language beautiful song again. I was wrong. I felt like in ways, she had grown up with me. And when she had a baby and became a crazy extended breastfeeding advocate we reconnected again.

I have no idea if her new song is about motherhood though I pretend that it is.

I’ll be your keeper for life as your guardian
I’ll be your warrior of care, your first warden
I’ll be your angel on call, I’ll be on demand
The greatest honor of all, as your guardian 

Because ultimately, that is how I feel about my precious monster. She is truly a blessing and I know that I’m her momma and she is my crazy ranting child for a reason.

And at the end of the day – if I have enough time to write a blog that is not only ranting about life but basking in a happy part of it – it’s been a good one.

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The mom war rages on.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again – I don’t care what you feed your kid as long as you’re feeding them. And as long as it isn’t you know, gasoline.

But with that said I’m a huge supporter of breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding and I’m in what I hope is the last stretch of my own extended breastfeeding experience.

The TIME magazine cover was one thing. I was initially excited to see extended breastfeeding getting positive publicity – my initial excitement quickly went out the door when I read the “are you mom enough” text (or garbage. whatever) on the cover.  Watching the inevitable Mom War that followed makes me sick.

And now there’s this:

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A beautiful photo of two military breast feeding mommas that went viral. Bring on the outrage. Again.

My favorite comment thus far:  “My fiance and my brother are in the military and nothing is worse than seeing someone disrespect the uniform,” wrote one.

Really?! I can think of a million other things that “disrespect” the uniform and loving your child just doesn’t seem to fit in that category AT ALL. I hope you don’t plan on breastfeeding your future children with your fiance and gasp, breastfeeding them near him when he’s in uniform. I nursed my daughter in what I wore to work every day. I guess I was disrespecting social work. Or are these babies just supposed to wait until Mom can strip out of all of that stuff to eat? Use some common sense.

What in the world do all of you anti-breastfeeding people think we fed babies with before formula? Which was actually evaporated milk until the 70’s!  If you couldn’t lactate – you hired a wet nurse who could!

I am so tired of seeing women get attacked for choosing to breastfeed their babies. I want articles with outrage about the mom who didn’t even try to nurse her baby and went straight to formula instead. Let’s at least make this a fair war.

Women have got to stop attacking each other and their parenting choices. It’s one step forward and two steps back every time.  We are so concerned about our older children being bullied in school – yet we as adults are bullying each other. It’s time to grow up and show some respect ladies. You may find yourself on the negative side of the fight one of these days and I doubt it’s a nice place to be.

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And how was your week?

I was looking forward to this week if only because it was a 4 day work week. This morning I vowed to turn off my cell phone this weekend and take a real break from work because that rarely happens. I need to enjoy my kiddo and the daddy person and just. be. I really need to start reminding myself that the one consistent thing in my life is that things never go quite as planned…

My inspection sticker expired in April and I literally have not had any time to get it done. In all of my multi-tasking glory I took it to an oil change/inspection place that’s about a block from my office. Asked if I could drop it off for the inspection and oil change and come back later. Kid says no problem. I tromp through the hot parking lot mentally patting myself on the back because not only am I getting something done that should have been done months ago –  but I’m also going right back to work and getting caught up. Good plan, good plan.

I go back to get the car about an hour and a half later. It’s sitting in the parking lot with a shiny new sticker so I think all is well. I go inside to pay and another guy comes to check me out. He just charges me for the inspection. Being the decent human being that I am – I remind him I also got my oil changed. He looks at me for a moment and starts to ring it up. I ask if they even changed my oil. He shrugs and asks what car it was again. They did not. At that point there was a two hour wait so I thank him and leave.

Fail.

Now I’m going to spend part of my lazy, pajamas, nothing I have to do today Saturday getting my oil changed.  

Life has been a total roller coaster the past few weeks. I am a tough person mind you. I can handle a lot of stress and a lot of intensity at once and survive. But lately I really feel like I’m going to break. Something as small as that today made me want to stomp my feet and throw a tantrum Katelyn style. Being an adult is hard. Being someone’s mom is harder. And being that someone’s mom while also metaphorically being a mom to 35 other little people is worse. 

Something has got to give. And soon.  

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