Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I'm Ready to be Done Now

  All those who are keeping up with my blog, should keep in mind that I'm trying to write in a slightly less filtered fashion. These are my thoughts and feelings, but I'm hoping that perhaps some of you can relate to them as well. If not, try to remember that we are all individuals and that my unique emotions, views and opinions aren't wrong just because you don't share them. Remember, no one is forcing you to read this.

  It's been an emotionally draining time. I'm not one to cry in front of anyone. For some reason I feel like crying is a form of manipulation and I never wanted to get something because someone felt sorry for me. I never, ever want anyone's pity. Just because I'm upset about something and I'm not getting what I want, doesn't mean I don't have a back up plan. I don't need you to give into me suddenly because now you feel bad for me. That is like the worst feeling for me. To know that you are now doing something you had no intention of doing, mostly to make your self feel better and to alleviate some of the discomfort you feel at having to interact with a crying person. If you are witnessing me crying, its because I just can't hold the emotions in any longer and they just sort of spill out. That's not to say I don't cry unless I'm at my emotional limit, I just save those crying times for when I'm alone. Perhaps my lack of crying makes me seem cold and unfeeling, and I get that, but clearly there's a lot more going on than my hard exterior would suggest. If one witnesses me in the midst of a break down, I will reassure them that I'm okay. Which truthfully is accurate, most of the time. I'm okay, but whatever situation I'm currently dealing with has become too much for me to contain and so some has to spill out to relive the pressure. If saying I'm okay isn't the truth at the moment, I know that it will be true at some point in the future, to which I usually say, I will be okay. These days, I'm mostly okay, with periods of sadness interwoven through out the day. Usually when I'm doing tasks that don't take all of my attention, like driving. I know what you're thinking, Driving should take all my focus, but it doesn't. I drive the same route twice a day, and it's become routine. I listen to the radio while driving and sometimes the song lyrics get to me, or a random thought will sneak up on me. Whatever it is, my daily drives have become emotionally difficult.
  I love that everyone wants to be supportive of our families during this awful time, but for me, when you ask how I am, it just brings up the fact that we are trying to find our new normal in the wake of a tragic event. I will tell you I'm okay and that we are making it through the best that we can. Which is true, but honestly I just don't want to have to answer the question. Maybe you are worried that no one has shown enough concern for our current situation, that we are left feeling unloved and unsupported, that we might be feeling alone in a time of need,  but I assure you that that is not the case. The outpouring of condolences we have received from everyone in our lives has been amazing, there were so many people who showed up at the memorial to show their support of us and share in the remembrance of her life. However, at some point we all need to do the work of letting go. I have enough daily reminders of the loss already. Know that my emotions are close to the surface and I'm still struggling to keep them all in. I understand that you want to be helpful, and I promise that I will ask for help if I need it, even though asking for help isn't really what I do best. I know that I have wonderful friends and family who are always willing to lend a hand even when my greatest problem is that I need to escape my kids for a few hours. I hope that all of you know that I'm always there for you too, even if I don't say it all the time. I figure you don't need the constant reminder of your own sorrows and shortcomings to know that I've always got your back, no matter the situation.
  Now, back to the title. A few years back the boy contracted some sort of stomach virus. He had been vomiting pretty frequently for a few hours and while still over the toilet from latest episode, he looked at us and weakly announced, "I'm ready to be done now." I remember thinking that wouldn't life be wonderful if we could just say we were done and be done. Move on to the next thing, in the hopes that it will be more pleasant than our current situation. On the off chance that it might actually work this time, I'm ready to be done now.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


'Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.' -Dylan Thomas

Remember that quote, I'll get back to it later.
Right now I'm just so angry, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to articulate my feelings properly but I also just don't care if you get it or not. Also not going to re-read this post to make the wording more sensible, so deal with that too. Yesterday my mother in law passed away. She had cancer for many years and fought against it the whole time, but in the end it was a battle that couldn't be won and I'm pissed. Anger motivates me to keep moving, to take care of my children and get stuff done. Sadness is debilitating, it makes me sit on the couch all day and accomplish nothing. With no other viable option, anger is what I use to complete daily tasks that create a sense of normalcy for my children in a situation that is the polar opposite of normal. Either I do these tasks or I melt in in puddle on the floor and never get back up. Here's the rambling rant of why I'm so angry. No one will let me skip Christmas this year. Granted, I'm always searching for an excuse to cancel this holiday (I think I have a hangnail, Christmas is canceled.) but I think this time around, I actually have a valid reason. Since I can't skip it, that means I still have to do all the holiday prep, like buying presents and planning events and sending out cards which all seems so trivial and meaningless in a regular year, but now seems like the most ridiculous idea ever. How can I be expected to be jolly? And if I am, what does that say about my feelings about her death? Why must the world continue to keep moving on when all I really want is for everything to just stop and let me breath? The boys require food, and clean clothes and monitoring so they don't kill each other. I'm so mad about all the things she's going to miss over the years. Watching her grandkids grow up, graduate from high school and college, and have families of their own. She was always willing to attend any and all events happening in their lives. I'm mad that my kids won't have her around to cheer them on, and share funny silly stories with them and snuggle them even when they pretend they don't want it. And missing all the stupid things like the smell of coffee in the morning and the sound of rain on the roof. Snuggling in a warm bed on a cold morning. Clearly there is an infinite list of things that she will no longer experience. On the flip side, she no longer has to fight. She no longer is experiencing any pain. Her fight is over.
Now back to the quote from the beginning. Dylan Thomas reminds us to fight for the life that we want, to hold on with all that we've got, to rage against dying. She for sure did this, She was not just going to let go without a fight. There were many times when I saw her struggle with her illness and I thought that if I was her I would have given up already, but she never did. Now I have my own rage against the dying of her light. Perhaps someday I will move past the anger, but for now it's what keeps me strong.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Extra Chesse, Please.

I'm currently watching a corny Christmas movie. I actually started watching them earlier than usual this year, back at the beginning of November. I use them to counteract what I call my holiday depression. I have always struggled with this time of year. When I was growing up we didn't have a lot of money or a lot of relatives near by. We were lucky to have the few presents we got, and there wasn't money for me to purchase gifts for my close friends. It was stressful knowing that I wouldn't be able to give a gift in return should I happen to get one. Even now gift buying is super stressful. I struggle to know what the perfect gift is for some people. I've eliveated some of this stress by enstating a 'no Christmas presents for adults' rule. The exception being for parents and grandparents. My reasoning on that is, there were many years when we were growing up that we received gifts but, since we were children, we didn't give gifts in return. Somehow, children are just easier for me to buy for.
Now back to my my holiday depression and my unconventional treatment method. There's just something about the predictability of all the hallmark/lifetime Christmas movies that is comforting. I know that by the end of the film everything will be okay. They are light hearted and overly sentimental, but sometimes, when the real holidays are too much to handle, it's far easier to escape into one of these films. For those of you who could use a little movie therapy, or those who just enjoy a good cheesy movie, here's a list of my favorites, in no particular order:
1. The Mistle-tones
2.12 Dates of Christmas
3. Pete's Christmas
4. Dear Santa
5. I'll be Home for Christmas
6. Love Actually
7. Holidaze
8. Holiday in Handcuffs
9. Holiday Engagement
10. A Snowglobe Christmas
11. A Very Merry Mix-up
12. Christmas Under Wraps
13. Let it Snow

I'm sure I'm forgetting a few, but these are the ones I watch the most, and I find new ones almost everyday. Leading me to believe that whatever the reason, there are others, like me, who need these movies too.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Totally Stacked

I purchased a new bra this weekend, not that I really needed one, but I'm going to fill you in on how the whole thing went down. First off, I get a 10 dollar off coupon from Victoria's Secret because my birthday is coming up. I wasn't planning on spending it so soon, but I could never have let it go to waste. I always cash in my free panty coupons too. Then I get an ad telling me about a bra and panty deal that was ending this weekend. A bra and matching panty set for 40 dollars. That right there is a killer deal, even before my 10 dollar off coupon. I had to go check it out. I get to the store, only to realize that the bra is quite heavily padded, supposedly enough to add 1 1/2 cup sizes. Well this full chested girl doesn't really need any help in that department, or so I thought. The sales associate convinced me to try it out. It's no secret that I've lost weight this year. While most of it has come off of desirable locations like my tummy, arms and thighs, some of it has come out of my boobs. I lost a band size and at least two cup sizes, dropping me to a still respectable 36C. They are a bit saggier than I'd like, which is either due to weight loss, advancing age or a combination of the two. However, my large chest sort of was my thing, like I'm pretty sure that people would use it as a descriptor for a police sketch artist. Unbeknownst to me, I was missing that little bit of extra umph the bigger girls gave me. Now the introduction to the best push-up bra I've ever tried on. For the record, I've only ever tried push-ups when I was larger and certainly didn't need any more emphasis on the chest, so my perception may be a bit skewed. This bra is amazing, and makes me feel that much better about my appearance, and I'm pretty sure that's the bra's ultimate job. At the end of it all I walked out of the store with the So Obsessed bra and panty for just over 30 dollars, a deal that very few could argue with.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Let's Do This Thing!

I toyed with 'back in the saddle' as a possible post title, but for some reason that just sounded a bit creepy. Moving on. I'm going to attempt to write more regularly again, now that the boys are back in school and I have a bit of time to myself during the week. We are moving into our 4th week of school, and life is falling back into our typical routine, allowing me time to breath. Feels kind of strange, because I'm actually typing this up on the computer. Previously, I was writing on my iPad, while Alec was in gymnastics class at the Y. I have to say, it's way faster, thanks to several typing classes in high school, however, I miss the automatic spelling, capitalization and punctuation corrections that the iPad generally takes care of. However, overall, the real keyboard wins.

Today's focus will be, The boy and his gum situation. As part of The boy's school accommodation plan he is allowed to chew gum in class. Apparently it may help him focus on desk work. There is actual science to back this up, just don't ask me to explain it to you. I provide him with gum, which he leaves at school so that he will have some when the need arises. Last week, on the one day when I was over the bridge to spend the day at the fair with my laotong*, he calls me. I missed the call, but he left a message, something to the effect that he had left his gum at home and could I please bring him some more. As previously stated, I was over the bridge, already in the fair grounds, so I wasn't in a position to help him out. Although, I'm not so sure that I would have even if I was at home that day. First off, based on his message, it sounded to me like he had brought the gum, that is meant to stay at school, home and then left it there. To me this situation sounded like a good learning opportunity. If he feels like he needs the gum at school he either needs to leave it there so that he will have it, or he needs to be able to remember to take it back to school. Natural consequences at work here folks. Also, I felt that there were other ways he could have solved the problem, rather than having me come to his rescue. There are several adults at the school that I'm sure could have brain stormed with him about other possible solutions to the problem. I called the teacher back, leaving a message to let her know I was unavailable to help him that day. A few hours later I got a call from one of the counselors wanting to discuss how upset Evan was about not having any gum that day. My first thought was,'Seriously? This is your biggest concern today?' I listened and then explained how I didn't want Evan to think I was going to swoop in and solve all of his problems, I'm trying to teach him to be responsible for his own things and that I thought this was a good teaching moment. If the gum was that important, being upset over not having it would likely help motivate him to remember the gum in the future. She basically told me that perhaps I was pushing too hard, and that he may still need some hand holding, he's not quite ready for that level of responsibility. She told me that he finally came to her to help solve the problem, and she was able to give him a few pieces of gum that she had. Which sounded like some excellent problem solving, that didn't involve mom running in to save the day, but what do I know.

Once I picked him up from school I got all the details about why he didn't have gum at school. He assumed that he had lost the gum, since when he went to get a piece that morning, it wasn't in his desk where he kept it. So, not likely lost to any fault of his own, most likely taken by someone else. I'm still not sure that I would have brought the gum to him if I could. Yes, he seems to perform a little better while chewing gum, but I think he also needs to realize that not having the gum isn't the end of the world. That he can cope without it and not let the gums absence define the day. There are always going to be obstacles to over come, no matter what you do. Learning to figure out what to do when life doesn't go as planned is an important skill that I want him to learn. Also, that there are more adults in his life than mom and dad, who can help him solve those problems when they arise. He needs to learn to ask for help from other people who have the skills he might be lacking.

In closing, it is possible that I push my kids too hard. I'm trying to create successful adults. People who don't fall apart at the first bump in the road. I want them to be adaptable, and good problem solvers. I don't feel like they are going to be able to solve problems well if I'm the one solving all their problems. Mom can't fix everything, and I certainly don't want to be trying to when their in their thirties. If I don't start pushing now, when is it appropriate? Middle school? High school? When they finally choose to move out? Won't that be a bit of a rude awaking if I don't work on preparing them now? If we don't start to mold these skills now, won't they be ill prepared to cope later when it's expected? I'm going to continue to do what I feel is best for my children, but I'm still bothered when someone implies that perhaps my way is completely wrong, when really it's just not how they would have handled the situation.

*Like how I threw that reference in just for you.**
**you know who you are.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

We Are Never Flying Again (Until the Next Time)

We recently took a trip to California. We went with our close friends who have boys the same age as ours, whom we often vacation with. First off I want to say it was a great trip, no major disasters or anything. Everyone seemed to have a great time, even if we were all totally exaughsted at the end of the day. Even the weather was wonderful, right up to the day we had to fly home. While lying in bed that morning I heard thunder. Upon getting out of the shower I could hear the rain pouring down and the thunder continued to get louder and closer. When I looked at the weather report for the day it indicated that the storms would increase towards the afternoon. Great. Our flight wasn't supposed to leave till 5pm and we were going to do a bit of sight seeing that day. Not exactly a fun rainy day activity. It was pretty warm and muggy when we headed out. I wore a comfy jersey knit dress and the boys were in shorts, we were on our way by 9:30am. By the time we stopped for lunch it was still raining pretty good and was considerably colder. At this point, on our last day, I was more than ready to be home. Instead of continuing to drive around aimlessly I just wanted to head to the airport. I figured we could wander around inside, or the boys could watch movies. As we were dropping off the rental car husband gets a notification that our flight has been delayed. We were supposed to make a connection in L.A. but with the delay it was pretty unlikely we'd make it. It is now 2pm. Once we arrive at the airport to check in we express our concern for making our connecting flight. She changes our flight for one that was supposed to leave at 2, but hasn't arrived yet. This would allow for more time to make the connection. Once we arrive at the gate the flight continues to get delayed. We have frozen yogurt in place of dinner, because I'm so stressed I need a treat to help me feel better. The plane finally arrives at 4:50 and is supposed to be leaving at 5:00. All the passengers are hurried off and then we are hurried on, where we proceed to wait on the plane for about 20-30 minutes. The captian comes over the P.A. to announce that upon initial inspection scorch marks were discovered near one of the engines, the plane must have been hit by lightning on the flight over. The plane must be further inspected, which could take an hour. We are all asked to leave the plane and await further instructions as to when the plane might leave. There is no way we are making a connection out of L.A. at this point. I'm super irritated. We try to get another flight out that night but our airline has nothing till 6:15 the next morning. We can book on another airline and try to get our money back for our unused tickets, but that seems pretty unlikely. The airline could give us vouchers for a hotel, however the hotels they have vouchers for are fully booked, as well as every other hotel in the area. There was a pride event happening in San Deigo that weekend. The flight is eventually cancelled, which at this point if we could have taken it would have only left us stranded in L.A. for the night. Although we may have had better luck with a hotel there. At 8:30 I take the boys back to the food court to get them some dinner. I skip eating, I'm so mad I can't even think about eating. Afterwards I take them over to some couches I'd found earlier in the day in hopes of getting them to sleep a bit. Husband has to retrieve our checked items and re check them for our new flight. I get the boy all set up to sleep and the small one, who is totally wound up at 9:15, goes with husband. The boy seems to fall asleep quicky and I have a little bit of hope that perhaps the night won't be that bad. Then husband returns and tells me that the terminal area will close at 11 and we will have to go out to the ticketing area until they reopen at 4am. What? Security almost didn't let them back into the terminal. Also, they wouldn't recheck the bags because it was too early. Husband manged to yell and get his way. They kept our bags in the airline office and checked them on a direct flight home so they would arrive before us. So now I have to wake the boy up and we have to go out to the tiled floor ticketing area where there are no couches. At 10:20 husband gets a call that they found a room for us at some ungodly rate. We decide to pass, seeing as we'd have to be back soon for our early flight, it just wasn't worth it. We hang out in the terminal a bit longer, trying to let the boy sleep as much as we can. Then we pack up and move. I'm freezing, because as you'll recall, I'm wearing a light, jersey knit dress. I also don't have my clothes because they've been checked. We lay out our beach towels for the boys to sleep on and I pull out pajama pants for them to put on over their shorts. By 12:30 they are both asleep. They sleep pretty restlessly till about 3:45. We pack up yet again and head into the terminal to wait for our plane yet again. This time we get to fly out as scheduled. The small one sleeps the entire first flight. When we landed he woke up screaming and was nearly inconsolable, but otherwise the rest of the flight home was uneventful. Luckily this all happened on the way home, because I'm not sure how readily they would get back on a plane had this mishap occurred on our way there. All in all they were troopers, but we were all very glad to be home.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

An Unexpected Explosion

On the Fourth of July, there are many expected explosions. We had a great time with friends, the boys ran around crazy like as per usual. We headed home about 10:45. We live a short distance from where we spent the evening, less than twenty min. Approximately four min from home The Small One says his tummy hurts, which he tells me on a daily basis while we are in the car. The buckle on his car seat is sometimes tight or he has to use the bathroom. I told him we'd be home soon and that maybe he needed to potty. He agreed, adding that he needed to potty a lot. A min later he's really complaining at this point and sort of writhing around. I asked Husband to pull over to check on his belts because he seemed really uncomfortable. There wasn't anywhere to pull over, and as I mentioned we were three min from home. As soon as Husband does pull over, before either of us can even open a door, The Small one vomits, a lot, all down himself and in his seat. Some managed to get on the floor as well as the seat next to him. Once it seems like he is done, I cover him in one of the blankets I keep in the car and we drive the two remaining minutes to our house. I take him in the house to get him cleaned up and ready for bed, husband tackles the car seat. Not exactly the way anyone likes to end their evening. We are not vomiters in our house. It's a rare occasion that anyone throws up, even the kids, so the possibility certainly didn't cross my mind as he was writhing in pain in the back seat. It was dark and I couldn't see his face, but I'm not sure that would have helped, it came on so quickly. We will spend time this morning super cleaning the car and his seat, another not fun activity.  So far just the one vomit, and keeping my fingers crossed that it was the only one. Hope your Fourth contained only expected explosions.