Friday, August 11, 2017

I Am Not A Frog

I have felt out of sorts for a while now.  Why do I live for so long in a place I am not happy in?  Cleaning out the basement I found countless journal entries from many years back lamenting my displeasure with life.  Why do I remain?  Why do I not jump up and change something?  Why do I stay?  I think there is a story about boiling frogs or something.  You put them in a pan of room temperature water and they are fine.  Then you slowly start to heat up the water until they are boiling.  They don't realize the danger and will boil.  I guess I have been in tepid water so long I just don't realize it is actually boiling now. 

It is the same with an injury.  You feel a little twinge one day and don't think much of it.  After a few days maybe you take some Advil.  After a few weeks you get used to compensating in some way.  Then you wake up the next day and you are in the worst pain you've ever been in.  How did I get here?  Why did you not do something the first day or even the first week?  Tepid water.

You know, it is hard.  Trying to change your life is so, freaking hard.  That wall that shows up the first few days or weeks of trying is so effective at putting us right back where we started.  Why do we not climb the wall?  Why do we not punch a hole in the wall?  Why do we go back to the start or worse?  It's hard.  It has to be.  I certainly don't want it to be.  I would love to just wake up and have it all figured out and a routine in place and my kids go merrily along.  That is not real life.  Real life is having three boys that are loud and they fight and they mess up and make big spills.  Real life is not sleeping well and being so tired you forget your own name for a minute.  Real life is you are out of milk and everyone wants cereal.  It's hard.  It is freaking hard.  It has to be. 

If it were easy?  It wouldn't be worth it.  I don't even have a good story.  It just is not worth it.  The hard, real life way is worth it.  You earn it.  You do it.  You succeed.  You put the effort in and it's rewarded.  You give a damn and you get back in spades. 

So what now?  I'm feeling the water heating up.  I'm trying to change.  I'm looking at the wall and thinking about how to be on the other side.  The best part of this is I have other people standing next to me willing to let me stand on their shoulders to get over the wall.  There are people on the other side waiting to catch me when I jump.  Open your eyes and see the people around you able and willing to help you get on the other side of the wall.  Reach out and feel the water.  It's heating up folks. 

Here's to finding the next journal entries that say "I hit a wall and went over it" and "I felt the water heating up, and I got out".

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

It Aint Magic

No Really.  It isn't. 

I joined a fitness challenge a few weeks ago and I was pumped.  I could not wait until the Monday it was going to start.  My head really built this up to be the be all, end all magic thing I needed to finally (FINALLY!) get moving and get in shape.  So as I waited for day one I pictured my new fit life.  I would be able to run a 5K, keep up with the kids, practice soccer with them, clean the house, sort through the junk, my marriage would improve, my friends would multiply, money problems would be resolved and (AND!) all this with a Mary Poppins attitude.

OK.  Stop laughing.  I really did feel like this challenge was going to change the world for me.  You know what happened on day one?  Nothing.  It was a Monday like all the rest of them.  Kids were grouchy, I was tired and my clothes still didn't fit.  Paying the fee and joining a challenge did not change any of the things I wanted to change.  Sure, it gets me on a team with other folks and there are points to earn and maybe even a prize of some sort, but it doesn't actually DO anything.  I spent that first day wondering how I was going to achieve all my dreams.  How were my clothes going to fit by joining a challenge? 

It was sort of like watching a magic show and the magician is really bad.  So bad, you see the bunny in the hat, you see the scarves in the pocket and nothing is a surprise.  Just disappointment.  Here we go again.  Nothing is going to change me.  Nothing is fixing all my problems.

But wait!  What about going to your high school reunion and seeing someone that has always struggled with weight suddenly is the hottest thing around?  We all ask "what did you do?"  We want an easy answer.  Like they took the green pill and suddenly life was different for them.  Where do you get the pill?  How many do I take?  We so want this new life they have and we want it NOW! 

So how does it happen?  Honestly, I think the 'how' varies a little from person to person, but overall here is the magic answer.  Me.  You.  Him.  Her.  Each of us has to change in some way in order to change.  I have to stop drinking soda and reach for water instead.  You have to put the chips away and grab some carrots.  He has to take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Get the idea?  There is no magic, there is no pill.  It is a person that decides to make changes in their life and then changes their life.  On day one nothing was going to happen because I did nothing.  Each day was going to be the same unless I changed something.  So I did.

While day one was kind of a bust, I did manage to get going on day two.  Now we are in week three and I am scheduling workouts and meal planning like it's my job.  Oh wait, it IS my job.  I run the MacFam and all the things that entails.  Meal planning, play dates, cleaning, paying bills, kid care and the list really does go on and on.  The change I made was to put me first as much as I can.  Sure, there are days I'm not first, but I'm never last anymore.  And that my friend, is magical.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

And So It Begins


So it all starts with a Toy Story themed birthday candle.  I realized today it starts with something innocent and small.  Just an average everyday item.  Somehow it snowballs from there to a disease.  What?  Remember those fake news blips on SNL that would say something like "this common household item is killing you, more at eleven."  It played on that fear that normal everyday products could be so harmful for you.  They aren't, or at least at the time I think they were all OK.

Anyway, innocent candles to disease.  Here we go.  You might want to sit down.  I am pretty sure at some point you will recognize this in your own life.  So you throw a party for your child.  They wanted Toy Story, but not the alien candles you bought, they want the Buzz Lightyear flying candle.  So you plan to return the aliens.  But, you don't.  It's a special trip to a store you don't really go to that often.  You have kids so it's twenty times harder to walk into a store and return something.  By the time you are ready to go to the store, you forget to take the aliens.  Oh well.  What were they like $3.00.  No big deal you think.  I'll keep them.  I have other kids.  Surely we'll use them.  So they take up a tiny bit of cabinet space.  Next thing you know, Despicable Me sprinkles sit next to them.  Then a box of white cake mix.  You meant to use it, but the chocolate cake you did make was plenty.  Next time.  At some point your cabinet is full of these items.  Never used, but you don't want to waste them.

So Mutt, how are we leaping to disease here?  Empty your cabinet already.  Donate to the neighbor or Goodwill or heck, just throw it all away.  Well.  Those are all good suggestions.  Here is the honest truth.  I can't.  What a waste?  Someday I'll use it (no, I won't).  The disease starts when the stuff spreads to another cabinet.  Soon the kitchen is over taken by these items.  Then something comes along that is not a kitchen item.  Say all the special dinosaur figures you bought for a dinosaur themed party.  Where do those go?  Well, the children will surely play with them.  We'll make a dinosaur land.  It will be glorious.  No.  They play with them a few days and then you have 15 dinosaurs scattered throughout the house.  Get rid of them?  I certainly cannot return them.  I find a nice container to keep them in.  They find a few other dinofriends we already had.  Soon we have a giant Tupperware type container keeping all mankind safe from the Jurassic Era.  It's Jurassic Park all over again and we all know how that turned out.  Bad idea. 

Dinosaurs, birthday candles and supplies, toys, clothes, decorations and more.  They start small and multiply before you know what's happened.  It's impossible to get rid of any of it because "I may one day use this."  Soon you think burning your house down is the best way to get rid of all of it.  I don't personally suggest this, but I see the pros.

The irony is, my husband will want to keep the nails out of an old board or the screws from a door we're replacing and I will tell him to his face "we do not need this, do NOT keep it!"  I have uttered those words and he can sweat by it.  Saying it to me?  It does nothing. 

So what disease are we diagnosing today?  Hoarding maybe?  I'm not sure I would classify myself as a hoarder, but I do have a hard time getting rid of the "stuff".  Some of it is sentimental, some I really do feel like we would use.  Some I think the kids would be heartbroken.  Like they would even notice if we only had 10 Hot Wheels instead of 1,000.  They don't play with them at all.  Most of it could be taken out in the dead of night and the kids and I would never miss it.

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Time to Celebrate, Except I Guess Not

Gosh, I guess once a year seems about right for a blog.  What?  You post every day.  You get the gold star.  I am busy.  Or at least I am not busy with this.  Wait, what?

So, we had a baby.  We had a boy (surprise - not really).  He is wonderful and funny and sweet and all the things little babies are supposed to be.  Except he is not a little baby anymore.  In less than two weeks he will be one.  ONE!  I cannot take it.  He was supposed to stay tiny (OK, small) and a sweet sleepy baby forever.  Nope.  Already he is a trouble maker.  He is such a mini me for the two older ones.  He looks like one and still yet reminds me of the other.  It will be fun to see how he follows.

I have been having some trouble dealing with certain aspects of this last pregnancy and birth.  I am not sure how to get over it.  I was thinking maybe writing it all down would help get it out of my head.  Now, by no means do I dwell on this every day all day.  I do think of it once in a while and it makes me sad.  Occasionally, I will cry, but most of the time I think of it and go about my day.

No one threw me a baby shower. 

That's it.  That is the big sadness.  If you are reading this you might think I am nuts to dwell on this.  Who cares says you?  I care, says I.  Here is why.  When a woman is pregnant she is in a special phase that doesn't happen to everyone all that often.  So people treat said woman special.  They make her comfortable, they fetch her drinks and snacks or a puke bucket.  They encourage her, they tell stories and ask to hear the name list.  People help her decorate her precious bundles nursery and buy her gifts to show their love.  They also, throw her a shower.  They shower her, her baby and husband with cake, attention and love.  They show her just how special she is to carry a baby, to have a child.

So what does it mean to me to not have a shower.  After all, this was baby number 3.  Isn't there a minimum amount of time and effort one would spend on baby number 3?  What if it was baby number 9?  Surely, you just high five her in the hall and that's good enough, right?  No.  It means to me that I do not have close friends.  It means that of all the people in my life in some way, none of them are close enough or care enough to do this for me.  I know women that have had more than one child and a shower for each.  Even just a small gathering for appetizers and gifts.  I got nothing.  No one offered.  No one even asked me if I was having a shower.  (As a side note, I found out after the fact that someone told husband they would help with a shower, though no offer to actually host or have one).  No one even high fived me in the hall.  I know I am not close with very many people, but I though I mattered at least a little or enough for a baby shower.  After all my kids were 5 and 7.  We had given away and sold almost all of our baby stuff.  We had a crib and not much else.  There was plenty to help with.  It's not even about the gifts.  It truly is about no one caring for me. 

OK.  So what?  I had my baby and he was precious.  I had an emergency C-Section.  My baby was in danger, but turned out OK.  We had a total of four (4) friend visitors.  Two sisters came, one niece, one nephew and one brother in law and my mom.  Once.  They all came once except my mom who ended up watching my kids and came a few times.  However, she left town the day after I arrived home from the hospital.  Glad I was so busy throwing up, recovering from surgery and crying over my dying father to worry about friends coming to visit.  Some of our "friends" didn't even come until he was a month old.  Gifts?  Some.  Not many though.  Our neighbors brought us new baby clothes and I am not sure I know their last name.  I do, but you see my point?  One couple brought a meal and that was great, but we already had meals coming from church and they sort of just came over and didn't really make a plan. 

Some folks from church arranged meals for us.  That was great and very helpful.  I did hear the person comment later how hard it was and how they didn't want to do it.  Um.  Wow.  Thanks.  My dad died 13 days after my son was born.  Someone at church thought they should keep doing meals and wanted it to start up again.  It did for a few days and that was a nice gesture.  By then I was done.  Oh congratulations and I'm so sorry.  Thank you?  Maybe my hormones made it more awkward than it really was.

My baby is almost one year old and no one at church has asked me to hold him.  Ever.  Most people seemed to wait until I gave him to husband and then husband handed him off.  Was I some sort of baby ogre?  In my head I cared for him since no one else seemed to be offering.

So now, he is almost one and I want to have a little party.  My family will come.  I was looking at pictures from the parties of the older boys and our friends are there.  So I thought we should invite them too.  I also think that if they could not be bothered to come see him at his birth or celebrate him in the womb then why would they come celebrate his one year birthday?

So now I am  nine paragraphs in and the sadness is coming over me as I remember being so hurt and still being hurt by this.  I want to celebrate my kids and I want to have people around me celebrating them too.  It really stings that I do not have those people.  That I do not matter

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bah Humbug

I am grouchy.  I guess I have a right to be, but I wish I was not so grouchy.  Women should get a very nice gift for having babies.  I don't think men understand just what happens to us during pregnancy.  There are physical changes for sure and men can see those.  There are also emotional and psychological changes that no one can see or understand.  Perhaps other pregnant women can come pretty close, but each of us is different and different things will happen to each of us.  What bothers you may not bother me and so on.

I leaned toward another and husband leaned toward no more.  We sort of idled there for a long time.  I'm not sure how it was decided to go forward with a third child.  I think we sort of just went for it.  There was a moment early on when I thought it was not going to happen and I was so sad.  I thought that was my only chance and it was gone.  Little did I know there was no need for tears.  Now when I have moments of "what have we done?" I look back on that time to remember that yes, I did want this.

It's hard though.  My body is, changing more than I expected or wanted it to.  Let's just say there is a whole lot more of me than there ever has been.  I'm sure things will go back to normal eventually, but it has caught me off guard how disappointed I am.  I still have more to pack on and cannot imagine getting bigger. 

It isn't only about a number on the scale.  My fingers and toes feel like sausages.  Tight and pudgy.  My knees don't bend nearly as much as they used to.  My feet hurt.  My hips feel as though my legs are tearing apart from the rest of me.  It is difficult to walk with my sausage legs and aching hips.  My back isn't so great either.  I am tired.  All. The. Time.  I tried to nap today and the other kids kept coming in a talking to me.  I am hungry, but the things that sound good are only adding to that stupid number on the scale.  It's hot and I want ice cream, but sure, water will do fine.  Bleh.  I'm tired of drinking water.  I have to use the bathroom every twenty minutes.

There are things I like too.  I hate to sound like I hate everything.  Baby moves and it feels so weird and neat at the same time.  Baby gets the hiccups and then wiggles.  If I rub my belly, baby will push out near my hand.  I like to try to push on the knobby things and see if I can figure out which part of baby I'm poking on. 

There is also a lot of stress and a little depression and some weariness.  I've always told newly pregnant ladies to enjoy the first pregnancy to the fullest.  You will never be pregnant for the first time again.  It goes without saying, but the second, third and each one after will never be quite as thrilling.  No one dotes on you.  No one treats you special.  You still have to walk on your sausage legs through the grocery store. Sure, husband has helped tremendously, but it's not the same as it was with the first. 

Both boys are headed to school in a few weeks.  I would have been home alone.  Free to get a job or do more house things.  I can't do much now.  Even though babies sleep, I won't be able to do much.  I just keep feeling like I made a huge mistake.  One we will love and care for the rest of our lives, but a mistake.  I think that's normal.  I remember having doubts with both the boys.  Not that I would trade them for anything, but there was doubt I could be a good mom, that we would mess up, that it wasn't really supposed to be like it was. 

Wow.  I'm really a positive person here.  I guess writing some of this down makes me feel better.  I'm not sure where else to put it.  I think it's time for bed.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Almost to 32. What about You?

OK.  So we are at T minus 8 weeks and a couple days.  I am not freaked out.  Not totally anyway.  I constantly think about the nursery even though there really isn't too much to do.  I wonder if people will get us stuff or we should just go to Target and drop a fortune.  I am trying to pace myself.  There is no hurry until baby is here and we know more about him/her. Specifically the him/her part.  I have two nurseries in mind depending on the gender of baby.  I can get some stuff, but they are not the same so for most of it I have to wait.

I need to do some planning.  Just so I remember here are things I want to look into.

Make meal plans and even make some frozen meals so we can just defrost something when we are all tired and starving.

Make chore lists for the kids.  Figure out what a 5 and almost 8 year old can do and make lists so they just pick something each day.  I figure they can spend 5-15 minutes of their lives helping the family out a bit.  Put away laundry, run the vacuum and other little helpful things.

Make a homework chart.  I know neither of them will have real homework, but we like to have them practice.  I'd like a space set up where all their supplies live and they can easily do this.

Make a list of things around the house that HAVE to be done before baby.

Go on some sort of vacation.  Husband is working on this and I think we have something planned.

What am I forgetting?  Oh yes.  Coffee Bar Prep.  Make sure we have tons of supplies and who is getting what, when.

I would also like a massage and to color my hair.  Those are not top priorities, but would be lovely all the same.

This makes me feel better.  I like to have a plan.  Making a plan will make me happier.  Yes.  I think this will work.

Monday, April 15, 2013

This Roller Coaster Called Life

Being pregnant changes several things.  The first and most obvious is my body.  It changes almost daily.  Another is my wardrobe to accommodate that changing body.  My tastes have changed too.  Some things that used to be delicious are just OK now or even yucky. 

I would say one of the biggest changes is hormonal.  I'm not sure how much your levels change or even which ones change, I just know I am not the same "me" I was.  I have horrible fears, mostly related to my kids and the new baby.  Will baby have Downs?  Will it have all it's limbs?  Will it be blind?  Will it....?  These are all fears I cannot control other than to eat a healthy diet and do the best I can to be healthy. 

Today my fear has been driven in a new direction.  There were multiple bombings in Boston.  At the famous marathon.  There have been fatalities and many injuries.  People that had finished the race or were waiting for loved ones to finish or even just watching were injured.  Blown up. 

Is there a shrink machine?  I want to shrink my kids and put them in protective bubbles and then keep them in my pocket forever.  I realize this has its flaws, but for now I don't want to take them anywhere.  We went to a baseball game yesterday and now I kind of want to throw up.  What if some lunatic blew up a baseball game? 

There are no safe places.  We up security at airports and events and say we are fighting a war on violence.  We are not.  We are throwing a band-aid on a severed wound.  I'm not sure you can stop every nut from committing evil, though I would like to.  There are probably dozens/hundreds of attempts that are stopped each day that we really do not hear about.  It's the ones no one expects that take the breath out of you.  Can I put my kids on the school bus and not worry?  Can we go to the zoo?  Where can we go? 

I will not stop living life because something may happen.  An airplane could fall on my house or a tornado can hit it.  There is no where to go.  I can only pray that what is meant to be will be.  I can only live the life I have as best I can while I can.  I can only teach my kids that we make the most of today because we are not promised tomorrow.  Sure, we make plans.  I have a plan to have a baby in another four and a half months. 

There is nothing I can do to guarantee any of it.  I accept that.  Yes, I use caution.  I try to get the kids to use caution, but I won't freeze and wait.  I do pray for the lunatics of the World.  I pray that they are stopped, somehow thwarted for one more day.  That folks can run a marathon and reach goals and live life without senseless violence ending it.