Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm Jealous of a Cow

Yesterday I saw the most amazing thing.  While visiting Fair Oaks Dairy Farm (a must do activity for anyone in Indiana), we went into the birthing barn (yes, on purpose) and watched as a giant mommy milk cow gave birth to her little baby girl.  Here's the mommy and baby just minutes after the birth...
Watching this process was amazing.  It was so natural.  The mama would just adjust her position, push and let nature take its course.  Eventually, a human birthing tech came in and helped with the delivery, and even that, the mommy cow just kept her stoic "this is what I do" attitude and let it happen.  It was amazing.  Then I realized something....  It is entirely possible that other women who have had two children would not be so mesmerized by this calf's birth.  Why?  Because they've done it.  However, I haven't.. not like that.... and I was amazed and a little jealous.
Don't get me wrong... I do not want a life of getting milked and birthing babies like this dairy cow.  But, even though I've had two children.... it wasn't this natural and God given miracle that I saw yesterday.  Mine were cut out.  By surgeons, of course. 
I was in labor with Will for 29 hours, my water broken for as long, and only dilated to 4 centimeters.  The finding was that he was not descending down the birth canal at all, and it becomes dangerous to have your water broken for that long without progressing... bacteria and whatnot.  Plus, American Idol was over (Taylor Hicks had just won), so why not get the show on the road?  C-section it was.  With Jack, they decided upon conception that if Will couldn't descend, Jack wouldn't either.... so c-section number two.
Now, I love my boys and my baby having days are over (though I do want to pursue a career as a cow birther after watching yesterday), but I sat there last night and thought... I wish I had what that cow had.  Not an unlimited supply of hay, but that miracle.  My body didn't do what God built a woman's body to do.  I didn't get the pushing and that elation of the baby sliding out and seeing it for the first time.  I had a curtain blocking the view of my innards.... and the baby wasn't immediately set upon my chest all gooey and slimy, but lovely...  Mine were taken to the incubator, and cleaned while my doctors put me back together and sewed me up.  Several people saw my boys and held them, before I did. 
I didn't know it at the time, and maybe it took watching this miracle happen to realize that while my boys are blessings (most of the time), I missed a little something.  There's a little part of the awe and wonder that I didn't experience.  So even though I don't want another baby, I wish I could redo the birth and do it right...   just one time.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dear 1st Grade Teacher...

Dear Mrs. B,

I've written letters like this before.  I wrote to Will's preschool teacher here, and I wrote to his Kindergarten teacher here.  In both cases, I was writing about a boy they didn't know, entering a world he didn't know either.  In this case, its not the same.

You were Will's Kindergarten teacher from spring break on.  While the transition was tough, by the end of the year, he loved you even more than his first teacher.  And when he heard that you would be his teacher again, he was thrilled... though slightly nervous that he's never going to remember your new name, since you were married this summer.  So, if you hear some Miss S's instead of Mrs. B's, know that it will bother him way more than it bothers you!

So, you know Will and he knows you, and I think he is a lot less nervous this year.  He knows the school and the routine.  Its easier this year, than any before.  Easier... for him.  The problem for me is that he's still my baby, and you're still a stranger who will spend more time with him today than I will.  You are molding him more than I am, and though you were his sculptor last year, I still have a hard time handing over the chisel, as I'm sure you can tell.

I laid in bed last night thinking about the first day of school.  Thinking about all the decisions he will make that I will not be a part of, good and bad, and that he will look to you for approval, for healing his wounds, for guidance and wisdom.  He will look to you for all the things he's used to looking at me for.  You have my 4'3" 75 pound baby to shape for a year....   so I am writing this letter to ask you to do it carefully.  Round out his edges, don't leave anything sharp. Make sure he is detailed and beautiful, strong and hard on the outside, but still slightly soft on the inside.  Shape him well for me, because though he's six, he's still my baby.  And when I sneak into his room to sleep next to him at night, I want my baby to still be there... even if he's taking up a much larger part of the bed.

Thanks and enjoy him!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Destined for Mediocrity

I watched a mother walk out onto a basketball court filled with a ton of kids.  I watched her grab her son by the arm and pull him off the court.  Then I listened to her berate her son about how he isn't even trying, he is putting in no effort and she wished he was the one that was hit in the face with the ball and got a bloody nose (seriously, it was a gusher), because then at least he'd have a reason to be lazy.  The boy was 5, maybe 6, but starting Kindergarten in August and taking a week long basketball camp at the high school.  She then sat him on the sideline and told the "coach" (Varsity player leading their scrimmage) to put in a new kid, because anyone would do a better job.

I learned something about Will today as I watched that mother destroy her little boy.  He will never be exceptional if that is what it takes to make an exceptional basketball player.  He is destined for mediocrity, because that is the kind of mother that I will never be.

On a different level, I saw that kind of extreme pushing while dropping Tabbi off at her theater camp.  This is a camp for kids from around 8ish to teen to train kids to learn all aspects of theater, ending in a camp-wide performance of Annie Jr., a shortened version of the musical.  Everyone gets a part.  They have two weeks to pull it off.  Only parents will attend.  Short version... it ain't Broadway, ok.  The leaders are trying to teach the kids how to do auditions, so today they requested that the kids come in professional audition attire... aka no shorts and jeans.  Tabbi picked her new white lace skirt and teal shirt and she looked very pretty.  I drop her off and pull away and see Little Orphan Annie emerge from her mother's Sienna.  Curls.  Red Dress.  White shoes.  White socks folded over.  I have a feeling her face had freshly painted freckles on it if I would have gotten close enough to see them.  Talk about pressure on the girl, intimidation for the rest of the kids with a dash of "you really have nothing better to do?"on the side.

I learned something about Tabbi as I watched that Toddler in Tiara's retiree walk into the church building.  Tabbi is never going to be a star.  If that is what it takes to get your name up in lights (or typed into a Word doc), then she won't get it.  She is destined for mediocrity, because that is the kind of mother I will never be.

I give Will a pep talk going into basketball.  He's hard on himself and he needs the little, "you're here to learn and have fun and give it your all" talk or he will work himself into a tizzy because he's not the fastest, best shooter, heck he's not even the tallest this time.  So, I support him and give him a talk.  I support Tabbi by telling her that while she is not the next American Idol, she can still do this.  Sing with confidence, carry a tune.  No one's going to walk in there ready to cut their own album, and while she probably does not have the vocal instrument to be a Broadway leading lady, she can do this.  She can act and God knows she has drama down pat.  But if she owns it, and she's expressive.... she can do it.  And if she's more chorus than super star, so be it.  Its her first foray into the theater world.  Have fun.  Learn.  Own the role, no matter the size.  That's the mother I am. 

And maybe, they'll surprise me.  Maybe Will is going to have a  basketball career, and maybe Tabbi will be a star, but if I have to be that kind of mother to get them there, I'd rather have mediocre instead.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Karma's Out To Get Me

Today I took all three kids swimming at my neighbor's house next door.  We had a bit of a hectic morning trying to get some errands done and still get over there at a decent hour.  So, we rushed and lo and behold (to quote my high school math teacher... possibly the only thing I learned in Pre Calc was that phrase) it starts raining.  Hard.  Torrential downpour.  Monsoon.  Hurricane approaching hard.  So, I round up the neighbor kids and my own and out of the pool and to our homes we go.  I get them out of their suits and into dry clothes... and the sun comes out.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen.... that's my life.

I realize things can be much worse. In fact, parts of my family are dealing with the much worse and it makes my heart hurt every time I think about it.  I don't even begin to compare my issues to those, so don't take this more seriously than I mean it to be.  I'm just saying.... there's something up in my world right now.  I just have this nagging feeling that the cosmos is giving me the finger... and I don't think it means I am number one!

It all started back when we had a little windfall.  Finally, we had some money in the bank and we used it to pay off the medical bills that were invisibly strangling me on a daily basis.  We had a little leftover and decide to get Mark's car looked at.  He had gone two summers without air conditioning and that is unpleasant at best.  So, we take it in.  Instead of the minor repair we budgeted for... it was toast.  It would take more money to fix than it was worth.  So, we replace his car.  We take what little we had left in savings to pay off my van so we only have one car payment... and we get a nice, simple, commuter car.  Crisis averted.

Then it got hot.  Not in his car, but in our house.  Really hot.  So I call the ac people thinking again that I had enough budgeted for the repair.  But no... in true Lynn and Mark fashion... we need to replace it.  With the money that we don't have anymore.  Awesome. 

Now its cool.  Nice and cool.  So cool that you can smell the coolness even in my van.  Wait...  I mean coolant.  Meaning my engine is messed up.  You get the drift.  Money... more money.  Bye bye money. 

So, that was last week.  Van officially in working order on Friday.  And now....  I just sit here and wait and wonder what's next?  My friend Martin says asking that is the equivalent to saying "I'll be right back" in a horror movie.  You say those words and you're not coming back.  But, I say back to Martin....  I am cursed already, it seems.  What's the worst that can happen?  Wait....  maybe that's going one too far?!?!?!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Breastfeeding Post... You knew it was coming

So today I had a weird experience.  I logged onto Facebook, one of my favorite things, and I was slapped in the face by a moron.  Not literally, or that would be a super cool app, but by the private message that I received from a person I don't even know.  She is a friend of a friend at best, and in truth, an acquaintance that I probably wouldn't be able to pick out of a crowd.  However, my new bestie decided to take it upon herself to send me a message in response to my recent posts about Will's coughing/seasonal asthma.  I deleted the post already, but the gist was:

Dear Lynn,
Its your fault Will's so crippled and sickly.  If you breastfed like a real mom, maybe you'd have a healthy kid. 
Love,  Almost Complete Stranger

In an unexpected bout of maturity, I chose not to respond.  I tried a couple of shots at it, but each time I felt like I was justifying my parenting decisions... and I owe this person no justifications.  She doesn't know if I did, when I did, how long I did, or if I still do.  So, I decided not to gratify her intrusion into my life with a response.  It wasn't worth my time.  However, in typical Lynn fashion, the maturity wore off and my response will be as follows:

Dear Almost Complete Stranger,

Thanks so much for your concern over a decision that I made almost 6 years ago.  In fact, you've so opened my eyes that I may start breastfeeding him again when he gets home from school.  Oh wait... that isn't possible... and you know what?  Breastfeeding wasn't possible when he was born either.  Welcome to the world of TMI, but I have what I lovingly call "deforma-nipples" and while I tried to breastfeed, neither of my boys were able to latch on.  The Breastapo, as I call the lactation consultants in the hospital, did all they could do (and even added a little extra guilt on the side), but it didn't work.  So, I threw in the towel and fed Will beer instead. 

Oh wait, no I didn't.  I pumped.  I pumped and I pumped and I pumped and I pumped and I pumped for 5 whole months.  Do you know what that's like?  You feed your little angel at 2:00 in the morning, then at 2:30 he falls asleep and you hook yourself up to a milking machine for 45 minutes, and then  at 3:15ish you unhook, wash it and go to sleep sometime around  3:30 and you're up again at 4:00a for his next feeding.  That's what I did.  FOR 5 MONTHS!!!  I carted my pump around everywhere I went.  And, just so you know how super easy it was, Will had colic.  If you don't know colic, you are a lucky woman, but if you do.... it will make you shudder.  At almost 6 years later it still makes me shudder.  The pediatrician thought that Will's colic could be related to a dairy intolerance, and the only dairy he got was from me.  So do you know what I did in my crappy, bad mommy ways?  I cut all dairy from my diet. It goes without saying I already had no caffeine, no booze, but now my cheeseburgers were sans cheese.  My ice cream was freaking sorbet.  Soy milk was in my cereal.  I was a dairy-less dairy cow for a long time, and I don't regret a minute of it. However, when a piece of the pump broke at 5 months, I did not for one second think I was less of a mother because I switched him over to formula.

And for the record... let's talk about my sickly child.  Would that be the one who is the size of an 8 year old?  The tall, big, strong, active sickly child who runs outside immediately after school to run, jump, play, swing, swim, and move until I force him in for dinner?  The kid that runs back out after dinner to scooter, bike or play ball?  Cuz, I don't know your kids other than photos, but I gotta tell sickly kid could take on your "healthy" one any day. 

The thing is...  I don't know how you raise your kids.  I assume you breastfeed (that or you're hypocrisy is as big as your gall), but other than that... I don't know.  I know you work, and I don't.  I don't however send you a message saying I think you are a worse mom because of it.  I think working mothers can be wonderful moms.  I think stay home moms can be wonderful moms.  I think both kinds can suck pretty bad, too.  Breastfeeding moms can be equally as awesome or craptastic as formula feeding moms, too.  If there was a simple step by step way to be a good mother, we'd all do it.  But the truth is, there is no special map to Mommy of the Year.

The bottom line is that I assume you love your kids.  (Psst.... I  love mine, too).  I assume that you do what works for your family.  (Psst...  I am doing what works for mine, too).  I assume that you are just like the rest of us.... trying to make it work.  (FYI...that's what I am doing, too.)  It may take a village to raise a child, but maybe the village should be offering a little less condescending judgement and a little more understanding and support. Instead of worrying where my breasts have been, maybe you should worry about where you just put your foot.  The next time you decide that you are the end all be all of motherhood wisdom, think twice before you open your mouth.  That way, you might have a better chance of keeping your feet out of it.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Noneya and Nacho

A long time ago my friend Lori taught me about Noneya and her brother Nacho.  Their story goes like this...  Lori is talking to me about something private.  In walks Bob.  Bob says, "What are you talking about?"  Lori says, "Noneya."  Bob says, "Noneya?  Who's that?"  Lori says, "Noneya Business.  You know her and her brother Nacho Business."  Get it?  Yeah... I may have been on the receiving end of a Noneya or Nacho once or twice.  It used to annoy me, as I am pretty sure that everything is my business and I cannot stand not knowing something....  but as I walked through my day today, I realized....  Maybe the world's population (or at least my 'hood) need to meet and embrace Noneya and Nacho once in awhile.

I was grocery shopping today at my favorite low cost store, and I ran into a woman I know.  We are not friends and in fact, her daughter is Tabbi's age and I would group her into my "archenemy" category... The Momunists.  You know them, the ones whose collective goal it is to live vicariously through their daughters while making the rest of the world feel inferior.  Alpha Moms.  Helicopter Moms.  Momunists.  I shudder at the thought.  I tried to avoid saying hello, but we came cart to cart and I was forced to fake a smile and say hello.  She then leaps into a passive aggressive diatribe about how Tabbi was cut from our local volleyball club and how is she doing after that heartbreak....  Well, Pretending To Care But Really Being Insulting Lady, she wasn't cut. She made a traveling team (albeit one level lower than Mommy Dearest's daughter's), and she just chose not to play.  Insert Noneya here.  And two, that happened back in November.  If she was cut and still depressed over it five months later, we'd have bigger fish to fry.  By the way, meet my pal Nacho.  Even if she was right and Tabbi was cut, why in God's name would you bring it up like that?  If you want to ask how Tab's doing, feel free (beware of the answer), but don't initiate the question with an insult.  Believe me, Momunist...  your daughter may win on the court, but you can't touch me (or Tabbi for that matter) if you want to have a little verbal sparring match.  Just be glad I have more class than that... even if it was in ALDI. 

Later, I went on to Meijer, and I was putting my goods in my van when an older gentleman walked up to another man and pointed out that his car was parked on the yellow line.  While I recognize that parking between the lines (though not my forte) is the goal, it would never occur to me to go lecture a grown adult about the perils of parking on line.  And before you jump to Good Sam's defense, he was not parked next to the man, and in fact the crooked man in the crooked spot was parked roughly a quarter mile away from any other cars.  So, it made me wonder...  should the crooked man have to justify his parking decisions, or is it another Noneya/Nacho situation?  Is it really our job to be the moral compass of the parking lot, or should we just let the man pack his car and leave? 

I think we (and by we I do include me) spend a lot of time correcting everyone else's faults.  I can give you an opinion (oh, wait...  I am right now) on just about anything everyone else is doing wrong or just doing in general... but maybe we as a society would get along a lot better and need a lot less pharmaceutical intervention if we just let Noneya and Nacho well enough alone.  I know I would prefer it.  (Unless its really juicy, then could you please just tell me?  Thanks.)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Juniors Section

If you know me, and by know me, I mean if you've ever seen me in person, you know that I have been out of the Juniors section for awhile now. By awhile, I mean since I was 10. Ok, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but you get my point. However, even though I am 33 years old and a size 33 (ok, for the record that was another exaggeration), I find myself back in the juniors section... and it is not a good place to be.

Tabbi is a size 3ish. 13 years old, 3 feet tall (that pesky exaggeration again) and a figure that most adults would kill for, meaning a thin waist and a booty... and by booty, I mean it pronounced boo-tay like you would for JLo. So, because of that fab figure.... we have made the leap to the Juniors section. However, I didn't know that our leap was one small step for our kind, one giant leap toward slutdom.

In Juniorsland, they don't just mean clothing size, but the size of the clothing as well. Apparently it is criminal for the Juniors section to offer a bikini where the bottoms fully cover the young lady's hoo hoo (for lack of a better term). God help her if she has hair down there, because its going to show over the top of that joke of a bottom! And the tops... really? Dental floss and triangles makes a top? Maybe if you are 21 and starring on Keeping Up With The (Yes, Rich People Can Be White Trash Too) Kardashians, but not if you are 13 and living in my house! And pants!!! I believe they are technically referred to as pants when the cuffs are on the ground, but the waist is a about 4 inches south of where the border ought to be. And really? Shorts designers.... just because Tabbi has a cute butt does not mean it should hang out of the bottom of her shorts. Remember that phrase "stick it where the sun don't shine?" Let's stop letting the sun shine there, ok?!?!?!

I feel like I need to change the name of this section to from Juniors to Just Hos, because it is no good. In what world should Tabbi be in a size Large when she has nothing on top to speak of? But everything smaller just looks so slut-tastic I can't bring myself to buy it. Maybe its just me and I am not ready for my little girl to grow up, but I don't think so. I think I just don't want her to grow up thinking that the Hooters girls are rocking the most stylish attire. Is that too much to ask?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Do you ever have the feeling that you're drowning? You tread water for as long as you can, but the times your head dips under seems to be growing more frequent and your stays under the water are lasting longer and longer? That is how I feel right now... only I am not drowning in water, but in bills. Stupid, annoying, overly inflated freaking bills.

I will admit that I am not the most financially savvy lady. I don't invest, we barely save, and when I worked from home as a scheduler for a financial firm, I chose not to learn what an annuity or mutual fund was and I still stand by that decision. I don't care. Why? Because we don't have enough to put in one of those anyway (unless they are fancy terms for jelly jar... because I do have change in one of those on my kitchen counter and I contribute to it daily). But, if money comes my way, I am not a ninny either.

We won the Mega Millions lottery when it was 640 million... but unfortunately, not the main prize. But, we won a little and it went to a gate in our fence and getting the trim painted on our house. I pay off credit cards with tax refunds. The only fun thing I've ever done with a cash windfall (aka large tax refund) was put a sizable down payment on my minivan. Wooo... crazy gal! My house is lovely but modest, my furniture old and showing it, and I sewed the butt of my 3 year old capri pants shut when it split because I can't afford to buy a new pair. (And for the record, I can't sew). We are a family of five living on my husband's income... and it shows. But we get by.

Or at least we got by until recently. Our health insurance is an absolute joke and unfortunately, our health isn't kidding around. While all medical issues have been managed (thank the lord), they've left our bank account hemorrhaging long after. We have a $7,000 annual deductible before even so much as a tissue at the doctor's office is covered, and if that isn't bad enough... they take $800 a month from my husband's check to pay for the nothing they cover. So, when Will needed ear tubes last year in order to preserve his hearing from the massive infections and multiple ear drum ruptures.... we did it. Out of pocket. Thousands. We are still paying that off. And when something ran amok in my lady parts (insert gag here), we got an ultrasound to see what. Out of pocket. Over one thousand. And when Will had asthma attacks so bad he was nearly hospitalized, we treated it with medications. Lots. In the hundreds. And to maintain his ability to inhale oxygen, we still treat it. Monthly. In the hundreds. And to maintain some of Tabbi's issues we treat her. Monthly. In the hundreds. And when the surgeon said I should have my tonsils out, I did it. Once. Out of pocket. In the thousands. And while all these medical bills are adding up, for some reason our mortgage company still wants paid, and our car payment, insurance, water, gas, electricity, even our kids' school lunches.... all these providers still seem to think we have money to pay them when the stack of medical bills on my desk nears double digits in the thousands.

I am making minimum payments everywhere, which we all know gets you nowhere... and I am drowning in a sea of papers and 800 numbers calling that I ignore because I don't know what's worse... telling them the check's not in the mail or just hiding. I have never been this out of control of something in my life and today.... today my credit card was declined for the first time. Luckily, it was a fluky thing and will be up and running tomorrow, but still... I am a control freak out of control, and a life preserver won't keep me afloat in this one.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


In case you weren't already aware, I am getting my tonsils out next Tuesday. Yep, tonsillectomy. And, I am 33.

Pause for you to tell your computer screen (representing me) the most horrific story about adults getting tonsils removed ever. Include all painful and gory details. Don't leave out a second of your friend of a friend's grandmother's day nurse who had them out at age 27 and the pain was so wretched that she went to the East side to buy crack to take her mind off it, ended up addicted and unable to swallow at the same time and is now a homeless, drug addict, throat broken hooker. And the blood... don't forget the swallowing blood part. You know, when your cousin's dentist's handyman had it done at age 41 and he bled so much that he eventually got such a taste for it that now he lives as a vampire? Good one.

Seriously, I appreciate two things about the human need to chime in about their tonsil experiences.... 1. Tips on how to manage the pain from people who have been there. 2. Survival stories that include, "and she had it done on Friday and was at church just fine as can be on Sunday." Anything else.... really?!?!? Why is it we feel the need to do that? If you've never had surgery before to compare this reaction, mention pregnancy to a woman with kids and you will undoubtedly get the full on gory details of the births.

Seriously, start a little experiment today. Ask a currently pregnant woman what women with kids do as soon as you mention that you're pregnant? I do it too, so I am not throwing stones. They will dish out the most horrible details known to mankind. "Oh, you're pregnant? Congratulations! Let me tell you about how I pooped myself on the delivery table and then they ripped me from here.... to... here," (which is always a distance of no less than nine inches). Heart transplants would leave less of a scar.

The problem these days is that none of us (or I should say the few of us that have this habit) have been in battle. Back in the day, there were tribal wars and revolutionary wars and fights for land with bitter cattle ranchers (I've seen Young Guns... I know what's up). So battle scars were real. They were everywhere. Now, we don't have those lives, but I think we still feel compelled to show our scars and be the battle heroes when we can. For me, it's having two kids. Yeah, I did that. (Puff out chest and stand up straighter). After next Tuesday, I will have survived a tonsillectomy, too. So, when either activity comes up in convo, then I get to dust off my invisible Purple Heart and talk about how I conquered sitting on a toilet after a C-section. "I almost gave up, but the need to pee spurred me on. And, with my bladder depending on me to be strong, I took that toilet.... and I won the battle." Bring it on, tonsils... Bring. It. On.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

That's A-Parenthood

Your kids are in bed, and you hear a scream you dread, that's a-parenthood!

You hear your son cry and you go lay by his side, that's a-parenthood.

Then you feel wet and you can bet that it's his vomit, that's a-parenthood.

You clean your son, don't get to you until you're done, that's a-parenthood.

When you sleep on the floor, because your son needs your bed more, that's a-parenthood.

Watching Phineas and Ferb at midnight without a fight, that's a-parenthood.

Then at dawn, stifling a yawn while you set up breathing machines, that's a-parenthood!

Spending the day tired as hell, but your son's breathing well... that's a-PARENTHOOD!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why Am I So Happy?

The other day, someone asked me why I was so happy. The question took me aback. First, isn't it funny that someone would think that I am "so happy?" Second, isn't it a bad sign that someone would think my being happy is so rare, it is worth asking about? Last, isn't it funny that I couldn't think of an answer? I couldn't point to something and say that I am happy because of anything. I didn't just get married or have a baby or win the lottery (the only one of the three options proven to lead to happiness every time).... I think I have just reached a point in my life where (at the risk of being trite) life is good.

Don't get me wrong. This is not an invasion of the body snatchers moment. I am still bitter, cynical, rude and sometimes mean. I can still come up with a litany of things to bitch about. After all, I need to buy Will new pants, but I have to wait til Mark gets paid again because we have no money. Jack is a snot machine and I am sick to death of everyone in this house being sick as death. I wore my favorite jeans last week and when I just pulled them out of the dryer, there was a huge hole in the ass begging the question... am I just sad that my jeans died, or humiliated that my ass was on display all last Thursday? And seriously, if I have to wash bedwetted sheets one more time this week, my head may explode, AND ITS ONLY TUESDAY!!! See.... same girl. But instead of being so bogged down in all that wah wah stuff... I am doing ok. Better than ok.

I used to wonder if I needed Prozac. Seriously, I even wrote about it here back in 2009. The little things were the size of ants... if I was starring in "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" and ants were 100 times my size. I couldn't cope. I wondered if I had a chemical imbalance or something, but now, I think I had three very specific things. I think I had children. Seriously. I had three in a short period of time. I gave birth to Will... a year later Tabbi moved in.... and a year later I birthed Jack. That means I had three kids in two years, and one of them popped out a mouthy 8 year old. It was hard. And maybe we as women aren't supposed to admit that... but it was hard. On top of that, we've had a job loss, before that we had to learn how to exist on one income.... and I just couldn't cope. I was mad and frustrated and beyond those two.... I was tired. All. The. Time. Baby having is a rough business. I realize now that I never needed Prozac. I needed sleep.... and maybe a nanny.

My kids (and more importantly I) have settled into a lovely routine now. I love all three of them, but man is my life good now that they all go to school. Tabbi has settled into our lives in a beautiful way, and while I may still get frustrated and want to rip my hair out (or hers) on occasion, I can finally say after a 4 year struggle that we have hit our stride. Will is in full day Kindergarten and while I find myself missing him still during the day, I love the little guy he is becoming. Last night during dinner he went into detail about his science journal at school, and I was bursting with pride. And Jack.... my sweet formerly Satanic little angel is in preschool two mornings a week. He is speaking better, behaving better.... and he is just as cuddly as can be when he comes home. We have schedules and routines (insert joke from my friend Homa here, as she thinks my schedules are hilarious), and they have given me the greatest gifts.... peace. Comfort. Enjoyment of my kids and this job titled Motherhood.

Don't get me wrong.... Tonight Mark has a home owners association meeting and I promised the kids that we'd go to the YMCA carnival without him. I have a hair cut at 5 and both Tabbi and Will have to get their homework done before dinner and the carnival... plus, Jack's entire head is filled with snot. So, motherhood still isn't easy. My guess is my mom would say the same thing and her kids are 35 and 33. But, the hard just seems a little easier these days, and I guess that's why I am happy.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

If You Get What You Put In...

So its been a really long time since I've blogged. I was going to say that I blacked myself out in protest of SOPA and PIPA, but in reality, I think soup is good and I don't really know Pippa, but I have nothing against her. I like Kate better, though. And, I really am anti piracy. I don't get the big hats and the scraggly beards, and all that "arrrrr matey" business. What are they, Australian? No one says "mate" up over. (Get it, instead of down under). But, I have a conundrum, so I thought I would take to the interwebs.

I find that the divine Ms. T is a bit lost these days. She has quit all of the things she used to do, with our blessing, but she has yet to find something new. She quit violin because she didn't actually enjoy playing. We decided to let her, as daily practice and paid lessons are not worth the daily battle and expense for something she won't put any effort toward. Volleyball... same thing. Girl Scouts.... ditto. But now, there's nothing. We tried to find some volunteer activities, but there are few for an almost 13 year old, and her goal of participating in drama is harder to come by than I had thought. So, she is drifting aimlessly through her 12 year old universe. But, she's not the only one, so I am not too worried. I know that as she grows older, opportunities will arise and she will be able to find activities. Here's my fear... I am not sure she'll enjoy any of them.

She is participating on our new church's youth group, and I have seen the same thing I've seen from anything new she ever starts. Very little. If you get out what you put in, and you put nothing into everything.... what is she ever going to get out? There is very little participation, so she comes home with a blah opinion of it. The next week she is even less interested in going. But, if she isn't going to contribute to anything.... she won't ever get past the new kid hump. I see in the youth group the same thing I saw in orchestra, volleyball and girl scouts.... a kid who is there, but not there. Friendly to others if they meet the long criteria of how they dress, look, act, etc... but not going out on a limb if you don't make the first, second and third move. Worse than depressed... apathetic.

I moved from my lifetime home of Bettendorf, Iowa to Kansas City when I was one month shy of 14. I was terrified of making friends and being somewhere new. In Iowa, first days of school were never scary, because it was the same kids shuffled around to different classrooms. But, that day... I would be alone for the first time since I was 3. The day we moved I got a fortune cookie that said, "You're only as happy as you'll let yourself be" and while I still had more butterflies in my stomach than in the Amazonian rain forest... I went with it. I wasn't happy to have moved... but I tried. So, I guess my question is.... what happens when you won't let yourself be happy?