Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Post For The Times When It Is "Just Too Much".

Last night we were awoken by that cough.  Parents, you know the one I am talking about.  At first you hear it as you are balancing in between reality and dreamland and are hoping that perhaps it was a dream and maybe a good dream, like one about going to the Zoo to visit a seal!

But no.

You hear it again and quickly sit up, knowing he is awake and his tears will soon follow and so will your 1:00am.

Luckily you have been through it before so you and your partner are on auto-pilot and just do what you need to do.  There are tears (yet you remain strong) there is screaming and hitting (yet you remain calm) there is lack of sleep (yet you remain awake) and after a few hours he is back asleep and you are laying in bed and the emotions just come rushing out.

You think those words that make you feel so alone....

"It is just too much".

You are annoyed and mad and frustrated and sad and feel helpless.

Now this...on top of everything else going on and everything I have been feeling.  Now my son is sick.  Now I worry more than I normally do about him. (Which is already a lot!) have been trying to be better.  Be positive.  Have perspective.

So you acknowledge the fact that you remained calmed and where a good mom and your little boy is comfortably back to sleep and you shouldn't be so hard on yourself...and soon you head back to dreamland for a couple hours.

Now, there is a point....just a little longer folks.

A little while later I am sitting at lunch, surprisingly not as tired as I thought I would be on just a few hours of sleep.

I want something mindless so I go to and skim past all the BS (I don't care about Miley and her costume,!!!) and I see this story.  A real story.  I story worth writing and reading.  HERE.

It is about these two who were dating in college when a horrible accident happened, leaving her boyfriend with traumatic brain injury.  They had only been dating 10 months and she could have left him knowing that the dreams she had may never be met.  But she stayed. And they got married a few years later.  There is a is sweet.

I normally just skim quickly though these stories, but something drew me in.  Made me read and read again.  And then I noticed she had a blog and I clicked on it.  This selfless person had my curiosity.  Something made me want to read more about her story...folks, I never read more about these stories and am always just on to the next.

But I clicked and the first thing that caught my eye wasn't the first blog post but I blog entitled "For the days That Are Too Much".  HERE.

You have my attention.

It was a short blog and I read these words and instantly my eyes teared up (part of post below):

These are the days that feel like too much, that this isn't what I asked for because stress brought from the little just reminds me of the bigger losses I have.

But then there are the sweet gifts, like the new book in the mail that will show me god. The three hours by the fire with a girlfriend and his smile when I come into the room late. 

The fire and the conversation with her and the staying up late with him is worth it. Because those are the moments where I get to live and breathe.

Those are the moments where I see God filling me up, filling my emptiness.

I NEEDED to hear this.  You have no idea how much I needed to hear this.

It is more than my child getting sick.  So much more.  Nothing horrible, we are all OK and in good health.  Infact, this post isn't intended to say "i am sorry Jenn I hope you feel better", it is sort of the opposite as it is encouraging me to stay strong.

But I think we can all agree we go through ups and downs.  Life gets tough.  There are stresses.  There are things we could never in a million years plan for (good and bad).  Feelings we hate feeling.  Days we are not at our best.  Moments we question our self.  Times we just want to curl up in a ball and fade away into a different place in our mind...even just for a moment.   Days where it just feels too much.

And what do we do during these times?  We focus on all that is going wrong.  All the bad we feel.  All that we cannot change but want to.  All that makes us feel even more alone and like we are not good enough.  All that makes us want to yell and scream and cry.  (Which those are our feelings and it it OK until it is not OK.)  And soon we find we are lost and trying to figure out how to get back.  How to gain perspective.  How to be ME again.

What I am realizing, though, is just when you feel alone and you don't know how you are ever going to get better and find find it.



Reassurance that you are not alone.

Something truly inspiring.  Something that makes you feel better.  Something that gives you hope and confidence.  Someone who makes you open up and talk about what is wrong so that you can BE better.

As many times as I may question it, sometimes I think the universe really does have your back.  Sending you a friend at just the right moment to talk to or making you click a link you would normally just overlook or giving you a confidant you can share anything with without feeling judged or wrong in your feelings.  

Reminding you that you are NOT alone.  That others struggle and overcome and you can too.  That even though we all feel down sometimes, there is SO much to live for and be happy about.

It gave me perspective.

And while I know I have more to figure out and further to go with feeling better; admitting, opening up and remaining positive are key.  Just taking it one day at a time and just TRYING each day to be better and knowing it is OK to have bad days as long as there are also plenty of good ones.

Yeah, i got ALL that from the post.  You may not, but I did.  It may not make sense to you, but it does to me.  And I need to remember that I did gain some perspective from this post.  You know, for that time in the future (and there will be a time) where I need to be reminded of this again.

I needed to hear this today and I KNOW there are others who may possibly need to hear this too.  So I am sending this back into the universe in hopes it finds those who are also having a rough day, week, month, year or just feeling lost and need a little perspective or just want to read a good love story to put a smile on their face!

A simple and inspiring story about love and hardship and dedication and persevering through those struggles.  A reminder that no matter how tough it may seem and when you just feel it is too much that sometimes right around the corner there are those moments that give us hope, make us feel loved, and remind us we are not matter what we are going through.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Henry, No. Henry, Stop That. Henry, Listen to Me. HENRY NO!

So let me preface, like any parent feels the need to do, by saying overall Henry is a really really GREAT child.  (Just wait for the but…) He is funny and laughs all the time.  (keep waiting…) He so incredibly sweet and will always usually give out hugs and kisses when asked. (wait for it….)  He LOVES to help and he is an awesome little helper.   BUT (oh, there it is) he doesn’t always listen and has a big temper when he doesn’t get his way. And while he does listen at times, this is a growing problem and the lack of listening is becoming more and more frequent.

Now, I am sure most parents of kids older than mine are saying “yeah, that is just a toddler. Why are you writing a long blog post for something that is normal?!”

Well, because I don’t know how to get my child TO listen.

I wrote a post awhile back that talked about multiple things, one being the frustration of extreme independence and not listening. HERE (#5)

As I mentioned in the post I feel like I am constantly saying NO.

Henry, NO.  Put that down! NO, Get away from that! DON’T touch that!! You will get hurt!  Don’t stand on that!  Don’t put that up your nose/in your ear! Henry, STOP IT!!!

I don’t know about any of you, but sometimes always feeling like the “bad guy” or saying “NO” all the time can wear on you a bit.  Though terry tells me to get use to it, it is part of being a parent, I just want him to listen more, especially with important things like running away from us, getting into stuff that is dangerous for a 2 year old, or doing things that are unsafe. (and believe me, Henry likes to do things that are unsafe)

Now that Henry has really started talking more (He is saying SO much and talking in sentences and actually trying to say words…WOOHOO!!!) his independence aka stubbornness is growing and he is not listening as much as he once was.  Everything, and I mean EV.ER.Y.THING. IS….NO.  ME. I DO IT. NO. MEMEMEMEME.   He is also big and can reach nearly everywhere and wants to touch and get into everything.  And he does stuff and gets into stuff even when I ask him to stop.

Henry, stop turning the lights on and off! (as he laughs)

Henry, put the phone down! (as he refuses to even look at me and proceeds to keep pushing buttons on the phone.)

Henry, do not stand on the table! (as he jumps and purposely falls into my arms when I go over to get him down.)

Henry, stop!  Get back here! (as he runs away and I am chasing him….which is a sight)

Henry, get out of the trash!  It is yucky!  (as he proceeds to pick out pieces of trash)

Henry, you need to listen!  Look at me and listen and play with this cool toy (as he ignores me and continues with what he is doing)

There is NO denying this child is stubborn, I mean look at his mom and dad, and extremely curious and into everything.  And while I want him to have independence and do things on his own, I also need him to listen.

Perhaps this is all normal and I just need to continue with what I am doing and he will grow out of it.  The "he will grow out of it" statement seems to be a common thing with kids.  

But I want to try to get him to listen better.

I have tried getting down on his level.  I have tried quietly saying “no” or “no thank you”.  I have tried explaining why he needs to listen.  I have tried time outs.  I have tried yelling.  I have tried ALL of the above at once just to stop him from doing one thing.  Sometimes after trying everything or saying NO 22 times he will stop (though goes back to it later).  And sometimes it takes me physically removing him from what he is doing, which means Baby Hulk comes out and Baby Hulk no like when I say NO.  Baby Hulk SMASH and hit mommy and fall to the ground screaming.

Obviously, we have some communication issues.

I totally get that he just turned two and that we need to teach him and reinforce good listening.  But HOW do I do that?!?! 

I think I just don’t know the best way to communicate with Henry.  T & I talk to Henry pretty much like we talk to each other.  I know I have had to get use to changing the inflection of my voice and trying to be quieter because I can be loud….Terry and I can be loud.  We get excited and talk loudly and laugh loudly and we forget sometimes and talk loudly to Henry.  So we are working on softer tones, not baby talk, but I more rhythmic talk for things that are good and a more stern tone with things that are bad.  But yeah….that doesn’t always work!!

Maybe I need to stick to one way to correct him….which is hard with two parents with two different styles and whom he listens to differently depending on which parent it is.  Maybe he is bored and just very very active and we need to bring in his focus on different things so he is constantly doing the productive stuff instead of getting into everything he shouldn't.  Maybe I need to teach him when to listen, though I don’t know how to do that!

Do you have a stubborn child who doesn’t listen?!?!  How do you communicate with your kids?  How do you get them to listen and focus?!

I have seriously started looking for books on Amazon, but lets be real....I won't read those ;-)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Talk to Me - Getting Older

I totally acknowledge this post may come off as vain or like I am complaining, even though I am trying to make it fairly light and funny.  However, I don’t know of any woman who likes the changes that happen to our bodies as we age and especially changes post kid.  And what is even more frustrating is men seem to get younger looking as they age which makes women look even more broke down as they get older even if that is NOT the case and they look great.  Feminist….back off!!  So I am not complaining (maybe a little) because I am OK with getting older, I am just not OK with looking the same age as my husband who is 7 years older and having more facial hair then my husband...

Ok Ladies (and men if any read this blog) let’s talk getting older.  Specifically, getting older and your look.

Now let me preface and say by NO MEANS do I think I am old, but I also think I am reaching the age where I can no longer deny the fact that I am getting older and things are changing and I am looking older.  My body is changing.  My look is changing.  I feel different and am noticing things I have never noticed before.  And the last time I went to the store I wasn’t carded and she just put in a random birthday, so there is that...

Now I never thought I was someone who cared about my appearance.  I very rarely wear make-up, I don’t use lotions and creams, I wear my hair up and messy about 96% of the time, my clothes…well you could say they are dated and ill fitting, I get a haircut once or twice a year, and if I don’t like the way I look I just don’t go out in public….which is OK with me. 

I mean honestly, it is too bad that What Not To Wear is ending because I probably could benefit from a makeover.  But I just have not put too much effort into my appearance, which I think can be good and bad.   I probably should have made a little more effort over the years, I just always felt uncomfortable with beauty and fashion.  Perhaps it was because for so much of my life I tried to go unnoticed by my peers, just blend into the background, that for me to wear makeup or fashionable clothing I feel like it would draw too much attention to myself and that makes me uncomfortable.  Though I totally get that by NOT doing those things I am also drawing attention to myself, but it is hard to argue with crazy person logic!!

So what does this have to do with changes in my look and getting older?!?!

Well, now that I am getting older I am finding it harder to continue the way I have all these years.  I am thinking I need help.  I need to hide stuff.  Cover things up.  

So what is changing, you ask.  Well let me tell you.

1. I am growing a beard.  Ok, maybe not like this…

….but I have so many little dark and light hairs on my chin.  I am going to be that lady that has one really long hair growing on her neck that I don’t see but everyone else sees it and stares at it and thinks “WHY WON’T SHE PLUCK IT” but they never say anything and it is the big elephant hair in the room that no one talks about.  UGH.

I am seriously obsessed with trying to pluck every hair and I feel like they are just multiplying and it is so frustrating.  I know that most people don’t get close enough to me to really see them, but I see them and know they are there and on really sunny days there is no hiding them.  Dim lighting is my friend.

2. I have been getting pimples. Yep, 33 and breaking out on my face and my back like I was 15 years old boy!!  I have been lucky that I have not had a huge problem with pimples in the past, but apparently now it is an issue.  Sure hormones and stress can be a cause, but it is just weird and annoying that now I am breaking out.

3. My skin.  Yes, in general my skin is changing.  It isn’t as taut as it once was.  It is blotchy and dull and just blah.  I have circles under my eyes the size of half dollars and my once wrinkle free forehead now contains a crevasse that I feel I could store my change in.  And just wait until the winter months….I will turn my head and half of my face will flake off!  Awesome.  

4. Hair.  Besides losing tons of hair on a daily basis, I am also the proud owner of grey hair.  After I had Henry I found my first grey hair.  I heard that happened post pregnancy so of course like any normal person I quickly pulled it out and denied that it even had happened.  And all was good.  Until this weekend when I saw this…..

Grey hairs!!!!  WTF?!?!  When did those get there?!  If having blotchy skin, pimples, and a beard wasn’t enough, now I have grey hairSSSS?!  I really thought that being grey free was the one thing I had going for me, the one thing that didn’t make me feel like I was getting older.  And then I was bitch slapped by a stray coarse grey hair and reminded that, yes Jenn, you are aging. 

5. Boobs. All I am going to say about this is that boobs post kid fuck’n SUCK.  Pardon my language, but your boobs should hit you in the face when you jump, not smack you in the vagina or rest comfortably on the post baby jelly belly you still have.  But I still have hope for this as I promised Terry that when we were in a better place financially I would get a boob lift and he can get a ball lift.  :-) So there is hope!!!

6. Body.  My body is just different.  Things are jiggling more and sagging more and clothes just fit weird.  And I just feel at this in between with clothes.  Like, what is appropriate and what doesn’t make me look old but what also doesn’t make me look like I am trying too hard or trying to look like my 25 year old sister.  I know working out would help some of this.  I will get on that.  

There is also just things creaking and snapping that shouldn’t make noise and haven’t in the past.  Or soreness that I have never had before.  Like today with the weather, I feel and sound like a 90 year old!  And don’t get me started on things happening below the belt.  That is just a hot mess.  Probably literally. Sigh.

Someone at work told me some of this could because I am off birth control and haven’t been on it for 4+ years and my hormones are just a crazy mess and that is what is causing some of these issues. WHAT, YOU THINK ME AND MY HORMONES ARE A CRAZY MESS?!?!  YOUR HORMONES ARE A CRAZY MESS!!! 

She may be right…..

And while she may be right and getting my hormones readjusted may help a little with some things, I think I have to face the reality that with each decade I enter things change and therefore I need to adjust. 

First adjustment is signing up for AARP and bingo night at the senior center Fridays at 6:30. 

Second is taking care of my skin. I have always said I need to do this, but just hate the feeling of anything on my face.  But it is more than apparent that I need something now.  I am looking at different lotions for my face. (What do you use?!?!)  I also think my first trip to a dermatologist may be good.

Third, I need to lose weight.  Mostly for health, but I also think if I can be happy with my weight I will be happier with my overall appearance.

As for my beard, well I am still trying to figure that one out….

I know that aging is inevitable and though it may not sound like it and this post has sounded totally vain, I think I am OK with getting older.  I am just not OK with all these things that seem to be showing up all at once that make me feel older than what I am.  I mean, can’t I just have ONE of these as a problem?!

Talk to me!!  This is the face of someone who needs advice!!  And some strong moisturizer.  And her bangs cut. And some concealer.

What do YOU do in regards to aging?  Deny it?  Use lots of lotions and potions?  Seek help from a witch doctor?  Use natural remedies?  Take lots of vitamins and supplements?  Stay indoors and avoid all mirrors or reflective services?! All of the above?

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Done By 5pm

So after two years we are officially transitioning to a new work/day care schedule.  WOOHOO!!!

You guys, I am absolutely thrilled about this. 

Now believe me, I know people have it so much harder than us when it comes to schedules.  Single parents, parents with one spouse overseas, working third shift or working late at night.  Ours wasn’t the worst schedule out there, but it also wasn’t the best and starting to become draining on both Terry and I.

On the one hand we were really lucky that his job allowed him to work part time and in the evenings….especially since he works retail. It gave Terry the opportunity to be at home with Henry for TWO whole years.  This alone was awesome.  But with that came the fact that Terry was only working part-time and to work part-time he had to work either 3-4 days a week in the evenings and every weekend.  And the past 3-4 months he has been working stretches of 20+ days without a day off, all while watching Henry during the day. 

Our weeks consisted of me rushing home and having a brief conversation with Terry about the day while he was in the shower.  So many important conversations have taken place while I sit on the bathroom floor with henry :-)  Then about 15 minutes after I got home, Terry would leave for work.  Some nights till 11pm and other nights until 8:30pm and then every weekend he works both Saturday and Sunday until about 4pm.  So there was a lot of “solo” parenting done by each of us.    

But folks….it is done.

That schedule is over.

Terry is going back to full-time status at work and though he will still have to work every weekend, he will only have to work three DAYS during the week.  No more evenings!!

Honestly when this first started, two years just seemed like an eternity away.  We always knew we were going to make the transition back to full-time and with Henry in daycare around two years.  But when you have a colicy baby or a one year old starting to get into everything or an 18 month old who can’t communicate and is throwing tantrums or a two year old who thinks it is OK to put things in the microwave and turn it on, having that extra person there can provide much needed help and support!

So now we are transitioning to days!  I say transitioning because this may be hard at first for some in our house *cough cough* Terry and Henry.  The two of them usually get up around 8/8:30 and now everyone will have to be up by 6am!  Even I can no longer sleep until 7 and rush to get only myself ready and leave for work by 7:30.  Nope.  Now we have to get a child up and fed and out of the house by 7:15am three days of the week.  A highly independent and stubborn child who doesn’t like to wake up early and doesn’t want to do things on OUR terms but rather his own.  For instance, today he wanted cheese and only cheese for breakfast. Um, OK.  Not going to pick a fight with you about that!

I am sure this new schedule will come with its own set of frustrations, such is life.  But now…now we can do it all together. We can be there so one parent isn’t trying to do it all.  To stop a child from coloring on the wall when a parent is trying to make his dinner.  To sit down and have a meal together!  To help wrangle a naked child at bedtime.  To give each other good night hugs and kisses that are not done via text.  To spend time together, though after two years spending so much time apart we may have to ease into that one!!!  I kid…sort of :-)  To be together.

Yep, I am ready!