Category Archives: love

Never Again

Last night, in the middle of our bed time ritual, mini Gwinn’s face nuzzled against my neck just seconds before I put him in his crib for the night. The monumental realization hit me: he will never be this small again (not that 27 lbs. is small for a 14 month old). We will never have this night again.

I think all parents, particularly moms, have this epiphany at some point. It may spur the “let’s try for 2.0!” thought in some, maybe bittersweet thankfulness for going through the last round in others.

This past Sunday I shattered my phone (so for those that haven’t gotten text message responses or called with no answer, you now know why), and without the assistance of Facebook, have almost effectively been cut off from society completely. This has given me even more opportunity to immerse myself in the every moment of my little Fox. If anything, from last night’s realization, I took away the message to invest in his moments. The big stuff, like walking on his own, is obviously grabbing my attention. But his precious peals of laughter? The crazy phrases he says when I’m only half- listening (two days ago he said, “Ok guys!” what the heck, kid?!)? I don’t want to miss any of him. This is the last day he will be this age, this small, and at this point of development. And, I have to tell you, interwebs, he is such a cool toddler. He wears his sunglasses, willingly, at the park. He says funny things, like, “Ta da!”. And while I realize that I can’t eagerly await his every movement or sound, I can be present for him, no phone in hand, no TV in the background, more often.

That’s a concept I’m taking into my marriage, too. Captain Laser Pants is a rare man (for more reasons than his imbibing of orange soda and bizarre dance moves) in that he talks to me, like REALLY talks to me. There are times, for instance, when he is fresh from the gym after work (somewhere between 8-9 PM), and I am exhausted, but he wants to tell me about something he heard on the radio, or something from his work day, and I struggle to listen to him. Again, not that I can be 100% absorbed in my husband every second of the day, but when he wants to talk, I want to be present for him. He’s amazing and deserving, even if he is monumentally forgetful, and he is mine. My boys deserve the best of me, even when I’m tired or distracted, because never again will we be at this point in our lives as a family.

Advertisements

Ceremonial Meltdown

This morning started pretty much like any morning.

Mini- Gwinn pooped through his pajamas and woke us up at 6:30 AM (he rarely wakes up this early these days). This was followed by a sheet change on the crib mattress, a wipe down of the baby, and a lot of laundry. We were up early, so I made bacon- egg muffins (wrap a piece of bacon around the inside of a muffin tin, fill with eggs. I added cheese, sliced green peppers, and a slice of tomato at the bottom of each cup. They were yummy). After a few cups of coffee and a nap for the kiddo, we went to the gym early. Laundry, cleaning, shower, etc. Nothing out of the norm.

Yesterday I was trying to figure out a way to buy a new Dyson vacuum cleaner without begging for one from Captain Laser Pants. We saw a smaller model at Costco for $299 and we pretty much absolutely need a new vacuum. This came to mind as I was standing in his bathroom, stealing Q- tips. I looked in his closet and saw, in the very back of it, a giant, white dress bag.

The past 365 days have held plenty of surprises, changes and shifts in our group of friends:  a baby (ours), four engagements, and a wedding. There are more of these events to come- with four engagements, we get to attend three more weddings. CLP was fitted for his tuxedo a couple weeks ago for a wedding in November. Before I met CLP, before I ever thought I would actually get married, I really enjoyed weddings. Bring a present, wear a pretty dress, get free food, dance with friends, and celebrate the couple. It’s an awesomely fun party. When CLP and I went to our first wedding together, my view on the event changed. I didn’t have the “bride bug”, per se, but I stopped liking weddings and started to love them. When you’re with the one you truly love, you love love (wow, that’s a lot of “love” going on there.). So, when I was planning our wedding, I was truly excited to celebrate our relationship with everyone. And wear a gorgeous dress.

So, 18ish months later, I’m standing in my husband’s bathroom, Q-tipping my ears, staring at my wedding dress bag, which is hiding in the back of his closet so I don’t have to look at it. The exquisite dress that I never wore hung with sadness. So I called up the bridal consignment store down the road to see if they’d take it off my hands. The potential sale meant a new vacuum, some bills paid, aka, it was a practical swap.

Weddings are hard for me now. I’m torn by my feelings of happiness for the couple and my feelings of sadness for not having a wedding of my own. When this attitude hits me I usually remind myself that I have what everyone (mostly everyone) wants: the happy marriage, beautiful baby, loving home and cooking skilllllllzzzzzzzzzz (that’s right. I said it.). I didn’t need the reminder of the never worn dress every time I wanted to swab my ears. So I took it to the store.

Of course, when I unzipped the dress bag, everyone in the store gasped. This dress is gorgeous, seriously. Here’s a link to it, courtesy of Allure Bridals. My shoulders are broader than my hips, and the shape of the dress isn’t flattering on everyone, but when it’s the right body, holy moly. I don’t think I look good in much, but I guarantee you, this dress is stunning on me. I half- jokingly asked the shop owner if I could visit it before it sold. She, and some of the shoppers in the store, assured me it wouldn’t be there long.

On the drive home it hit me. A year ago today would have been our wedding.

I fought back tears as I pulled into our driveway. Then I sent a text to CLP to remind him of the date. Then I told him I had taken the dress to the consignment store.

When we finally hashed it out, he surprised us both by being upset about the dress no longer being in our home. He said words that finally made the tears spill, “I wanted to see you, beautiful as you are, in the dress you loved so much … I never got to see you wear it.” After mini Gwinn got a good laugh at my crying (he crawled in my lap to giggle at me), I called the store and asked if I could come get my dress. She chuckled and said, “I knew you would have second thoughts. Absolutely, come get it. It’s yours!” She was kind and understood. Even if I never got to wear it, that gorgeous gown was my wedding dress.

Am I crazy for harboring disappointment in never having a wedding? Maybe. But I don’t claim to be sane. Every deserving lady should get to have one day where she wears an incredibly beautiful and expensive dress, gets to eat yummy cake made just for her, and has the opportunity to tell everyone she knows how much she loves her man. I’m still torn about the wedding I never had. It’s a bittersweet feeling- I have all the best things about a wedding in my marriage.

But I really wanted to wear a pretty dress and eat cake.


Would You Marry Yourself?

About a week before Captain Laser Pants popped the question, I was talking to an old acquaintance of mine. After a years- long relationship, his ex had left him because it wasn’t moving forward. He compared all other women to her. At the time of this conversation, he told me he was “casually” dating between three and five women simultaneously and wondered why none of them took him seriously enough to have a real relationship with him. I guffawed and asked him if the situation had been reversed, how he would react. He sighed dramatically and commented on my wisdom (of course) before asking me about my relationship. I told him it was awesome, which was totally true, and he asked me how I was so happy. I told him, “To find the one, you have to be the one. I may not be ‘the one’ yet, but I’m sure working on it.” He told me that I was going to make CLP a very happy man. That was the last time I’ve spoken with him.

Maybe I was too harsh with him, but, let’s be honest- no one wants to settle down with a serial dater. Did he want to date the female version of himself? No way.

It’s a good litmus test, if you’re honest. Would you marry yourself? I sure as heck wouldn’t marry me. Want some reasons why? Here you go!

-I am really forgetful about important stuff (like paying bills or renewing my driver’s license) but have an acute memory for the utterly mundane (“there are four snaps on mini Gwinn’s romper!”)
-I am moody. There, I said it.
-Sometimes my very rational brain goes nuts and shuts down. Much like a robot’s hard drive.
-I’m not really affectionate, but I like to get a hug once in a while.
-I am super critical

I’m working on the critical attitude- being forgiving and emotionally generous will be paramount as my baby grows older. My moodiness is usually as a result of something incredibly petty, like forgetting trash day. Managing my emotions isn’t my partner’s responsibility, it’s my own. There are areas of “me” that I’m working on still (like my thighs). It’s pretty obvious that if I married myself, all the bills would be forgotten, but all clothes would be organized by color and style in each closet. Dinner may be made, but if me and myself are losing the house due to foreclosure, it doesn’t really matter. I need a partner, not a clone.

This is kind of a two- point blog. Not only do we need spouses who complement us, we need to first be the kind of “work in progress” person that “the one” will want to complete. I’m not saying you have to be perfect before you’re going to find your other half. But doing things like hip- checking your own selfishness, for instance, can make or break a good day in a marriage. Sometimes it amazes me with the blatant selfishness I see displayed in marriage, and honestly, it makes me pity the other spouse. It’s always a two way street (believe me I know), but if we laid down the weapons in a relationship and tried empathizing with the other, I can’t help but wonder how much more peacefully resolution can be found as a team, and not two opposing sides.

I asked CLP if he would marry himself, and he responded with, “I’m more likely to marry a Choco Taco”. He wouldn’t marry himself because he and I are two halves to a whole. Would I marry myself? No. But are there traits in my personality that make my marriage great? Absolutely. He and I both have plenty to work on as individuals, but because we empathize with one another and connect on a daily basis, we are so much better together than we are separate.

This is all over the place, really just a stream of consciousness blog. Maybe something more coherent will come up in the future!


Steppin’ Up on Workin’ Out

Lately, with the past few weeks being especially erratic, going to the gym has been really (REALLY) difficult. As a result, I’ve noticed in the mirror that I look a little… mushy. My abs are no longer as defined as they were, and my muffin tops look like they’re freshly baked. When I was getting to the gym regularly, my focus was usually on one or two major muscle groups a day, which put me at the gym right around 30-40 minutes. That worked well for me, when I was going 5-6 times a week. With the crazy car situation, starting a new (wonderful) job and squeezing in training during the past week, going to a wedding (so much fun- congrats, you two!) which somehow put Captain Laser Pants and I out of commission from exhaustion for a few days, and our little guy starting to cruise around the house (aka using furniture to walk), life has been a little hectic.

I needed to step up my game for riz at the gym. With lots of new tunes (mostly seriously hardcore stuff that makes me strut around like a tough girl) and some new exercises, I was ready to spend over an hour at the gym every day I go. So far so good, even mini- Gwinn is doing really well at the gym nursery (of course they love him there, he’s darling). I’ve been getting there 3-4 times a week for the past two weeks and I’m already seeing a difference. Below is what I did today, be prepared to be OMAZED. That’s right, o-mazed. I should say that since I’m experiencing some pretty annoying pubic bone pain (pretty sure I have a pinched nerve, awesome) and both my knees are prone to giving out, I modified my routine A LOT. Like, no more running (sad face), easy on the leg press machine, and easy on the squats. Ch-ch-ch-check it out.

Warm up: 4-5 minutes on bike at a mid-range resistance

Tricep extensions 20 lbs x 10 reps
Tricep kickbacks 15 lbs x 10 reps
Bent over rows 20 lbs x 10 reps
Repeat above 3 times
Standing side ab crunch 25 lbs x 10 reps, each side, 2 sets total
Every other day: bench press ~40 lbs x 10 reps, 3 sets

Calf raises 120 lbs x 12 reps, 3 sets
Leg extensions for quads 70 lbs x 10 reps, 3 sets (gotta go easy on my knees!)
Leg extension for glutes/ back of thighs 70 lbs x 10 reps, 3 sets

Pull Ups – 30 total with ~60 lbs. assistance

Hip Abduction machine (inner thigh) 90 lbs x 10 reps, 3 sets
Hip Abduction machine (outer thigh) 70 lbs x 10 reps, 3 sets
Lat Pull machine 90 lbs x 10 reps, 3 sets
Chest Press machine 75 lbs x 10 reps, 3 sets
Every other day: Leg press machine 150 lbs x 8 reps, 2 sets

Wall bridges x 10 reps, 2 sets each side
Side crunch/ toe touches  x 10 reps, 2 each side
Weighted crunches, side to side and middle 12 lbs x 18 reps
Army style push ups x 5 reps, 3-4 sets
Side leg raises (for inner thigh) 12 lbs x 15 reps, 4 sets each side
Every other day: plank, 20 seconds, 3 total (I freaking hate planks)

Cool down- walking on treadmill 3 minutes, lots of stretching after

It’s intense, but seriously, two weeks ago I could only do five Army- style push- ups. Now I can do 20.

In other news, here’s a picture of Captain Laser Pants and myself at the wedding:

We didn’t mean to match, we just both like blue.

Mini- Gwinn is in the Gerber Baby Photo Contest on facebook. You can vote for him, his ID# is 317.

 

Our little guy likes blue, too.

And, last but not least, I finally have new glasses. Which are also blue.

“I’m blue, da ba di ba di da…”

 


Accut-ain’t What I Thought It Would Be

Chances are, if you know what Accutane is, you either a) are a medical professional or b) you know someone who has painfully cystic, problematic skin. For the record, Accutane is no longer on the market. It has replacements, like isotretinoin, or Claravis, if you want to be able to pronounce it. Hi, I’m in AA- Accutane Anonymous (is there such a thing?) and I started taking Claravis two weeks ago. Let me just say, Accutane ain’t what I thought it would be. After a lifetime of combating skin I didn’t love, everything got much, much worse after the birth of mini Gwinn. I’ve done everything in the book in an attempt to heal it, with no results (yes, even Proactiv. I’m so tired of being asked that.). The last resort- the big dance- was isotretinoin. Five months of misery lead to a lifetime of healthy looking, smooth as a baby’s behind skin. I can handle five months, right? I mean, I was pregnant for like six years, and I lived through that. So I started talking to other people that have taken the big plunge in skincare. All the guys I talked with said they didn’t think the six months of misery (the treatment is five to six months) was necessarily worth it. All the ladies- you guessed it- absolutely felt that enduring the hardships of the medication were worth the end result. The guys urged me to reconsider, the gals told me it would be an entirely freeing decision to give myself a life with pain- free, pretty skin. What everyone agreed on, as well as all the forums/ interwebs stuff I read, was that I’d need a supply of the following:

-copious amounts of chapstick
-eye drops
-saline spray for my shnoz
-lotion
-vaseline
-water. lots of water.

So, no big deal. Right? I have five or six tubes of chapstick laying around the house to begin with, and I was already a crazy moisturizing lady. Piece of cake.

A few days into the treatment, I noticed that my lips felt dry if I hadn’t used chapstick within an hour. A few days later, I noticed that my eyes felt dry. Now? If my lips aren’t coated, they hurt. I actually have to stop in the store at least twice to apply gobs of goop to my mouth and pour eye drops in my eyes. Last night I experienced my first medication- induced nose bleed (as I was washing my face, which was convenient for clean up).

For those that aren’t in the know, cystic acne is incredibly painful, especially with an eight month old smacking your face. Topical treatments don’t work (they just make the top layer of skin dry, eww), oral medications don’t always work, and sometimes only time can treat the issue. While you’re waiting, you’re stuck with a topographical map for a face. When you’re 15 years old, it’s acceptable to have a few pimples. When you’re in your late 20s, however, people wonder what you’ve done to yourself to have such heinous skin. Statements like “It must be something in your diet” and “Do you wash your face regularly?” are usually said by morons with flawless skin. Of course I wash my face, and I eat better than you, lardbutt (not you, gentle reader).

This major shift in my life is also coupled with the news that I’m returning to the work force (cue the river of tears). The stress of looking for child care, the feeling that I’m abandoning my bright (yes, he’s bright, I said it. He says several words! He’s Einstein! Ok, he may be average. But he’s pretty.) little boy (who’s never been without me for more than two or three hours!!), and the fear that he won’t get the attention he deserves have me stressing out completely. Will my house ever be clean again? When will I have time to make all his baby food? Will they use sign language when they sing to him? Will they sing to him? How often is he going to be sick? Even as I’m writing this out, anxiety is taking over my mental faculties.

Oh my goodness, ya’ll. This is a lot of new going on right now.

I’m going to go squeeze my little punchkin.


Sippers and Shooters

I am somewhat obsessed with personality sorters and tests. Captain Laser Pants finds it exhausting when I talk about fictional characters and their four letter personality label; I find it fascinating to be able to “type” a person and work out (in my head) how to interact with them. In case you are as nerdy/ weird as I am, I am an INTJ (introverted – intuitive – thinking – judging) and have been since I was 16 or 17, and my DISC profile has a ridiculously high DC with a crazy low IS.

What does this have to do with the price of eggs?

When it comes to people, I am often intrigued by the inner workings of their minds- how they think, why they think and do what they think and do, and the best ways for me to approach interaction with them (yes, that sounds very scientific, but it’s true). If the world answered my suggestion box, everyone would have a name tag with their Keirsey Temperament type written on it. So it should come as no surprise, then, that I enjoy dissecting and analyzing relationships. Some people are sippers and some are shooters.

Huh?

For people that drink, you probably picked up the reference by the title. People that like wine, for instance, usually sip, taking in the bouquet of flavors and enjoying the aroma as they slowly drink. Those that enjoy shots, however, take in the whole of the drink in one fell swoop. Approaches to relationships can be categorized (loosely!) in these two ways- those that are “sippers” and those that are “shooters”. Sippers take their time with relationships, moving slowly in hopes to extend it to a long term relationship. Shooters enjoy the immediacy of moving quickly, and then move on to the next relationship quickly. I’m not saying that wine drinkers prefer long term relationships and shooter girls are short term types, it’s just a comparison in the style. Moving on…

I was listening to a Bon Iver song a while ago called “Blood Bank”. The lyrics have a lot to say, but a particular verse reminded me of the way a new relationship feels – you know, the electricity between you and that someone, the excitement of getting to know a new person and sharing those endorphins and adrenaline and all those other fun chemicals you feel when you’re falling in love. As I was driving and listening to the song, a wave of – I guess it was sadness? – washed over me as I realized I would never experience those feelings again. Those chemicals are so addicting, that even though I have a remarkable relationship with my husband, I was bummed that I would never experience that “high” again.

My logical side (and frankly, my heart) squashed my dumb, immature feelings almost immediately after they made themselves known. How stupid! Captain Laser Pants is the person I pursued for months. He is the man I learned to know and understand over a long period of time as friends constantly on the cusp of falling in love. I won the prize! I ran in the race, the huntress overtook the chase – I have the relationship with the man I never dared to dream existed.  Those feelings of infatuation are nothing compared to the deep river of love I have for my husband.

It is funny to me that the thought of “wah, I’ll never fall in love again” even crossed my mind. I’m not an adrenaline junkie, I was never the type to jump in and out of relationships, and (as an INTJ) I tend to prefer the tried and true method to the new idea. But, odd fact: I preferred a shot of something to a glass of wine when I would have a drink. Maybe that instinct to be an epicurean and move on quickly is in there somewhere. To be honest, I tried it with Captain Laser Pants – danced around the idea of the relationship, but was too scared to invest. Clearly, my fears were quelled and any thought I had of being hurt was overpowered by the immense love I’ve had for him for so long.

Are you a sipper or a shooter? Am I a weirdo for not liking wine? What’s your Keirsey Temperament? DISC profile?


“First World Problems” is a Stupid Phrase and More

Hello my jolly rogers! I took an unexpected hiatus from everything except living like a hermit (which I shall detail below). I trust you all lived with baited breath as you eagerly awaited my next post. If you really did, then may I suggest some social activities for you, perhaps a riveting game of BINGO or curling?

Ahem. Onto other things. So, after my “Overwhelmed” post, I didn’t think things would/ could be harder, but guess what! Things got harder. Mini Gwinn caught a bug the very day we went back to the gym, and promptly shared with me. The virus, as I was told by his pediatrician, would run its course within a week and leave us unscathed. So, naturally, a few days later when my throat was to the point that I couldn’t swallow or speak, the baby and I spent the day at my doctor’s (oh waiting room joy with a wildly active baby who wants to crawl everywhere!) only to find out that the virus had evolved into a heinous sinus infection. So we spent another week away from the gym, but we were both sick, so it wasn’t a major loss. While this was going on, our AC decided to run six degrees higher than its setting. This also happened to be the week that we were topping out at 105-110 degrees in the lovely (read: miserable) South. With multiple calls to maintenance/ AC and no real fix, a sick mom and recovering baby, we were on our way to misery town. Saturday I started feeling better, so we packed up the baby and headed to Costco for some good old fashioned American grocery shopping and sample eating (plus, the store was better air conditioned than our home, so it was more comfortable). Seeing that our radiator reserve tank was low, I added some (ok, way too much) water to the tank. While we were shopping, mini Gwinn peed through his Costco diaper (we don’t usually use those, and now I remember why) and ALL OVER my shirt. Naturally, he and I ran to the car while Captain Laser Pants finished the shopping. On the way home, our (NEW!) car began to overheat. We stopped in the ghetto between Costco and our home (why there is a section 8 stretch of hood between two lovely communities I will never know- good job, Atlanta) and the (NEW!!) car decided to die, right there in the parking lot of a grocery store, quite dramatically, I might add. So, it’s 104 degrees, we have meat and frozen veggies in the back quickly losing their cold temperature, the baby’s sweating, CLP is dripping with sweat as he troubleshoots the vehicle, and I’m freaking out because I think I caused the whole issue.

Fast forward to today- Wednesday- and the car still isn’t revived. CLP has been a super hero in his efforts to repair every aspect of the engine that comes to mind, to no avail. This man took the first few days off this week so he could rest (rest? What rest?), instead he’s been sweating it out in our garage trying to figure out what’s wrong with our beautiful new Jeep. He has spent days consoling me and telling me there is no possible way I could cause this bizarre, unexplained engine failure. Things he’s replaced/ investigated so far: camshaft sensor, crankshaft sensor, fuel pressure, battery, fuel injector and no codes. Suffice it to say, he’s running out of ideas. We haven’t been to the gym since the day the baby contracted the virus, and I may start sticking forks in my eyes.

It’s been a hard couple of weeks. On Pinterest (the place where my soul and self esteem go to die) I saw one of those retarded “text as motivational decoration” signs that said, “There are many who are happier with less than you”. Woo- freaking- hoo. I’m so glad they’re happy. And if it makes me seem evil for saying that “first world problems” is a stupid phrase, then I’m evil. Firstly- I like creature comfort. And my husband and I work darn hard to ensure said creature comforts. And yes, our country is the best of the best (if you don’t agree, go somewhere else), and yes, Americans are mostly spoiled. Are all the issues I complained about above first world problems? Yeah. But it’s the only world I’ve lived in, so I’m just calling it “my world problems”. Of course I have sympathy for those in need (truly, I do), but I also don’t have guilt for living in America. People that suffer from “white guilt”, “wealth guilt”, “having AC guilt” and any other kind of guilt for being born into a certain circumstance shouldn’t push their guilt on others. Go be guilty all on your own.

Moving on.

Rant number two (hehe, “number two”) for this post: women without children who talk about pregnancy and post- pregnancy. Shut up, or I will put a boot in your mouth. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Unless you’re an OB (which they never are), you only know from theory and watching what it looks like. You don’t know from practice, and you sure as heck don’t know what it’s like post- pregnancy. Stop putting up “how to tighten your post pregnancy belly skin” tips, stop suggesting ways to breastfeed your four year old, and stop pretending to have any idea what It’s like to live the life of a mother for even ten seconds. You deserve to have a boot in your mouth.

 

Favorite comic strip of all time- Calvin and Hobbes. Chances are, you know some people that should line up for this, too.

Ok, phew. Rants over. I promise I’m not in a horrible mood! To all of you who are happy to celebrate your first world problems/ spoils/ wonderments of life- Happy Fourth of July! Even if you’re a noncontributing zero, like myself, I’m sure you still appreciate the hard earned freedoms our country has.

I promise PROMISE the next blog will be better written and about something more thoughtful and thought provoking. This was just a “stream of consciousness/ I’m still here” post. Topics I’m mulling over: women with higher than average testosterone, pornography and modern media in marriage, the one article of clothing I own, and more. Thoughts? Ideas?


Overwhelmed

Typically when I sit down to write a blog I have a vague idea of what I want to say without any sort of “pre- writing”. Most of what I write isn’t polished, nor are there multiple versions before the “finished product” is posted to the interwebs. Today is no different. Honestly, I wasn’t planning on saying anything today.

But, readers, today I am overwhelmed.

It’s no small secret that I handle minor stresses badly. Having a baby? No big. Dishes in the sink? My face could explode. Running late for an appointment? I may blow up the house. Clearly, I should be working on how to manage stress in my life. Normally I work out until I just don’t have the energy to care. Take that away and I actually create problems, usually making a stress mess from nothing.

I haven’t been to the gym in a week. For some that’s not a big deal at all (“Hey, I haven’t been to the gym in 35 years, yuk yuk”), for others that’s mind blowing.

I may actually develop super powers and blow up our entire block because of the pent up energy I have.

It’s not out of laziness, I can assure you. With mini Gwinn’s changing nap routine (he’s growing up, after all- he said his first word on Father’s Day!), the usual time I go to the gym has shifted from the late morning to not at all. The childcare is only open until 1 PM (getting out of the house by noon is next to impossible with his new nap time that he’s selected), so by the time he’s up, fed, changed and I’ve changed clothes after having food thrown at me, it’s 12:45. Captain Laser Pants asked why I didn’t just do what I had planned and ignore the little dude’s nap. “Just put him in the car and go,” I believe, were his exact words.

Any parent knows that an interrupted nap is worse than no nap. To his credit, CLP doesn’t usually see our baby in daytime hours during the week- he wouldn’t know what a napless mini Gwinn looks like. Of course I didn’t follow his suggestion. I’m giving our baby what he needs. So after figuring out the new nap time and duration, I cleverly planned our morning around it and accommodated for the time. We were ready for the gym at our new time and BAM- I couldn’t find my key. Ten minutes later I asked CLP if he had it. He found it in his pocket. At work. Our new car has one key with a broken ring hole- it has been lost several times since the purchase of said vehicle. This minor stress has been accepted and isn’t really an issue. What compounded my reaction was that, after a week of no gym, I also realized that our little guy needs his acid reflux medicine, we’re out of baby wipes, and I need more vegetables to make solid food for the kid. Bonus- I dropped a heavy muffin tin on my toes this morning, my little guy has thrown up on me twice since 10 AM, and I have the caffeine shakes. Don’t get me started on the lack of dinner for tonight.

I’m a little overwhelmed today.

Being a stay at home mom can be overwhelming. I have a house that I can barely keep neat, let alone clean and organized. The three dogs tend to get in all kinds of trouble throughout the day. The baby has discovered new and unusual ways to cause injury to me (he flails his arms in the general direction of my cyst- covered face and leans away from my body, making my arm go numb from holding him). Some days are hard. Some days I want to throw bricks at glass panes. Some days I am amazed at the accumulation of laundry that has developed in the course of three hours. Some days I want to run full speed off the Empire State Building.

Image

He’s totally worth the stress.

At 6 PM (when my little guy has chosen to make his bed time) I squish my little man up against my chest, feed him, sing him a lullaby, and stroke his hair until he falls asleep peacefully in my arms. Whether or not the day has defeated me, the evening brings a precious peace that feels like melting into a hot bath filled with lavender oil (Wow, that sounds lovely right now). I sneak into his nursery several times between 6:30 PM and when I finally fall asleep just so I can steal a kiss or stare lovingly at my sleeping child.

Funny- even imaging it has calmed my frayed nerves. I suppose it’s all about putting into perspective the paces through which we put ourselves every day. Keeping in mind the obstacles life throws at us, being overwhelmed is normal, nay, expected. Accepting that every hour is different and rising to the challenge of a new day? That’s part of being a mom.

Now, about that lavender bath…


High School, Shmigh Shmool

So, in a conversation with a high school friend with whom I’ve recently reconnected (her blog is here), she brought up that our ten year reunion is next summer.

I, in no way, wanted to think about this fact. Shall I list the reasons for you? Well, tough nuggets. I’m doing it anyway.

Reason Number One: I do not like to think that I have been out of high school for ten years. It makes me feel old.

Reason Number Two: There is no single thing I have detested more than high school. I have never in my life loathed something for as long and as vehemently as I have loathed high school.

Reason Number Three: Did you see number two (hehehe, “number two”)?! Do I even need a reason number three?

In case you haven’t picked up on it, I hated high school. It was torturous. I was fat (yes, FAT), I was (am) weird, and I had a limited pool of friends (whom I loved). The people I liked in high school with whom I wanted to stay in touch – you guessed it reader, we still talk. The teachers I liked are friends with me on Facebook. I don’t feel as though I’d be missing much of anything if I went to the ten year reunion.

This conversation started my wheels a’ turning (surprise!). Did you ever see Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion? It is a very funny 90s movie about two women, each 28, who go back to their home town to attend their high school reunion and proceed to lie about the lives they’ve lived for the past ten years. They run into the popular girls, who (almost) all still live in the same town, married men from the same town, and are all still friends. The two protagonists embarrass themselves initially, but then end up rocking out and looking awesome by the end of the movie. They showed up to prove they weren’t still losers, and they end up running their own fashion store by the time the credits are rolling.

Fabulous fashion, humor and a major flashback to 1997. I wasn’t in high school for this movie, for the record.

Neato, right?

In high school I had a few boyfriends (some long term, some short). They were all cute/ talented/ smart- but each of them had one thing in common- quirkiness. When I wasn’t dating someone, the guy I had a crush on was a jock (say what?!). A square jawed, meat head jock. When I heard him talk, it was more like a basset hound “woofing” in a major Southern drawl rather than it was a person formulating words. Totally not my “type” (it’s laughable now, actually). And, since I wasn’t top tier or petite, I’m pretty sure he didn’t even know my name. We only had one class together (it wasn’t like this guy was in the honors classes), but for some reason, I clung to the crush until I was a senior (and I was above high school completely by then).

I don’t want to feel like I have something to prove to the people that made me feel like crap in high school. Yes, everyone had someone that did this to them in high school. If you didn’t, then, congratulations, either you didn’t attend high school, or you were at the top of the food chain. Yay for you. Realistically, I was somewhere towards the lower- middle of the ladder in high school. I skipped my senior prom to go to the comic book store to play cards (and I don’t mean Texas Hold ‘Em). I wore Lisa Loeb style glasses and listened to 90s indie music (a hipster before I knew what a hipster was, apparently). I was certainly not Miss High School- not prom queen, not homecoming queen, not a cheerleader, not a valedictorian- most of the time I didn’t even show up. “Bethany who? Oh, that quiet/ weird choir chick?”

If my attendance in high school was so iffy, why would I attend my reunion?

Ok, a small (and I mean infinitesimal) part of me wants to go. Just so I can wear a really revealing outfit (look at my abs, hookers! Daaaaang!), show up in my fancy car (oh, yeah, that’s right, we’re watching Avatar in the backseat! Daaaang!), introduce everyone to my husband (he’s so hot and clever and he’s not from here! Shablam!), show off some pictures of my kid (daaaaang he’s cute!), talk briefly about the fun career I had before becoming a stay at home mom (say what? Killer job but you left it all to raise a human? Daaaang!), and then drive away (awww snap, she doesn’t live in hickville anymore? Daaaaang!).

Yes, I realize that entire paragraph is significantly more petty than almost anything I’ve ever said in my entire life (and I imagine people still saying “daaaaang”). But the people that ridicule you in high school (to some extent) leave imprints on your view of yourself and the world, at least until you’re adult enough to form your own ideas. I will never forget the day that two boys in my English class called me fat. Even though now one’s a drunk and one’s unemployed (I kind of win on all fronts here), there is still some part of me that wants to rub in their face that as an adult, I am WAY ahead of them. I may have been a loser in high school, but that’s not what really matters, ninjas. I’m awesome now.

My mature side takes over (and I’m sure your mature side has been judging me this entire blog) and reminds my petty little brain of the point I just made- I’m awesome now. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. I’ve traveled, lived in other parts of the country, had a great job, met my amazing husband, and now live a beautiful, blessed life. It’s quite absurd to compare my life with anyone else’s. If anything, I should hope they have the same level of happiness and fulfillment that I have. I don’t live in high school land anymore (I just have nightmares about it, thankyouverymuch).

So, next summer when ticket sales to the grody, moldy Tennessee River Boat 2012 Reunion blah blah blah go on sale, I will most definitely not be purchasing a pair. Instead, I’ll put on some tunes from senior year (my tunes, not the top 40. Hello Mazzy Star and Cocteau Twins!) and dance in the living room with my two favorite dudes. We’ll eat a delicious homemade meal, laugh at the funny things our dogs do, and celebrate the life we’ve created for ourselves.

High school, shmigh shmool.  Adulthood (not O’Doyle) rules.


Letters to Your Husband, Present and Future

Last week’s blog on baggage and intimacy (as seen here) received more feedback than anything else I’ve written on here to date. Emails, text messages, and Facebook messages came pouring into my inbox. So many of us are walking around with hurt, some with the help of a significant other, and some without. One message in particular spoke volumes. Without revealing too much, she told me she is waiting for the right man to be brought into her life. I don’t know about you all, but waiting is one of many things at which I am dismally horrible. After a marriage, a child and a divorce, I cannot begin to fathom the pain of waiting that she is experiencing. So, in a brief moment of wisdom and/or clarity, I suggested that she write letters to her future husband any time she was feeling lonely or that the wait was too hard.

This morning, as CLP had his arm draped over my waist and was snoring in my ear, I thought about how devastated I would be if we were separated. We truly are two halves to one whole. A light switch turned in my head and I appreciated the snore (really), the weight of his forearm on my stomach as he slept. There are so many tiny moments of our relationships that we take for granted with one another. When he leaves the leashes next to the front door after walking the dogs, I have to check my attitude on occasion- should I be upset about the minor inconvenience of three leashes on the floor, or should I be grateful that I have a husband who takes time from his morning to walk our dogs so they’re better behaved for me later in the day?

For our first anniversary gifts, we wrote letters to one another. As you can imagine, mine was long, detailed, filled with lots of commas. I poured my tired little heart out. His letter to me mentioned the fact that he tells me how much he loves me every day. While at first I was just a teensy bit sad that his letter wasn’t three pages long like mine was to him, it occurred to me that a) yes, he does tell me every day (what a lucky gal I am!) that he loves me, and b) men, no matter how cerebral and verbose, communicate differently than women. The letter is in my jewelry box, where some of my most precious, costly gifts sit.

Where am I going with this?

Write a letter to your spouse, whether or not you are currently married. If you’re writing a letter to your husband, break up the length (for his sake). Date it. Men need to know their wives respect them- tell him you do. They need to be desired- tell him you do. Does he wash your car or mow the lawn? He’s taking care of you, above and beyond the big stuff that matters. Tell him thank you. If you’re a dude, write a letter to your wife. Work to make it long (for her sake). Women need to know they are loved- tell her you do. Remind her that, of all the women in the world, you chose her. Does she make you dinner or go grocery shopping alone so you don’t have to endure the store? Thank her.

Letter writing is a lost art. If you’re stuck or you can’t find the words, copy someone else’s love letter. There are epic, legendary letters of men to women and women to men out there from some of the greatest minds ever to have lived and loved. Seek inspiration. Check our your spouse while they’re getting ready in the morning. Be inspired by the love they have given and have taken from you.

No Shakespeare? No problem.

Letter writing is not something you have to build up to doing. Working through emotional baggage, trust, respect and communication- all very important!- can be done while you’re honing your sonnet skills. A little note card with an “I love you. Let’s make out later.” written on it can be slipped into a work bag or taped to a mirror.

If you’re not married, let your spouse know you are waiting for your relationship with anticipation. When you feel lonely, writing it out to your partner is a good exercise in healing together before you’ve even begun. Let your future spouse know your triumphs, your failures, and your heart. Don’t be a stranger to the pages- someday the person who will know you best will be reading them.

Don’t be intimidated by a pen and paper. Your heart and your mind were some of the reasons the two of you fell in love in the first place.