What I’m Doing and Not Doing

I’ve been thinking often lately how I might only be a good mother to babies. I know what to do with babies and my daily life since 2008 was knowing what my babies needed, but they are no longer babies. No they are not, we are in a new stage of life here in this house. Gavin is 5 and Lucas is going to be 8. The other night Gavin came into the house because he was sweaty from playing and the bugs were attacking him. So I stripped him down and washed him with a cool wash cloth and after I dried him thoroughly, I powered him up with baby powder. Baby powder for my baby that is clearly not a baby. He felt better and offered me snuggles after (thankfully he still snuggles). What I don’t do well is golf outings, fishing, and watching Star Wars. All of their favorite things right now. Daddy things.

To try and compensate for my lack of babies in the house, I thought about something I love to do that I could share with the boys. I love to read. Or I used to love to read? Seems like I can’t focus long enough to get into a book. I buy I book, read three chapters and set it down for too long due to the hustle and bustle called life and then I spend the rest of my days wondering, do I try to pick up where I left off or do I reread the first three chapters? I don’t really have time to reread three chapters. Last summer I bought 3 books (which I used to never buy books because I was against that and only believed in library books but whatever) and now I have 3 half started books next to my bed and I WILL NOT buy another book until I finish those. These are the rules in my head. Anyway, I do love to read or did love to read or whatever and it got me thinking about Luke. He loves to learn about new things, he loves stories, and he asks a million questions. He knows how to read and reads well in school but I noticed he does not try to read for leisure. Often times when he asks me questions, I give him an answer following with, “Lucas, do you know how you learn facts like this? Or different words, or history, or anything? Read! Reading is the best way to constantly be learning.” So I bought us a book. A chapter book called Bearhaven. We’ve been reading 2 to 3 chapters a night. He begs me to read more but I don’t because I want him to look forward to it. He does. I haven’t asked him to read yet because that’s not how it works with him. I just want him to see how exciting books can be and how much you can learn. He asks questions about words or things we read about in the book, we stop to talk about it, and my heart explodes. After Bearhaven I’m going to read him, Danny The Champion of the World.

I have been keeping my eyes on an Apple watch for some time. I keep window shopping and telling myself no because I’m not really sure I will love it. The few people I know who have one, they love it. They adore it. I can’t bring myself to bite the bullet because I had a fitbit for awhile and I did love that but it’s not necessary in motivating me to be active, I just love all the technology-but the taking it off to charge it? Eh. And also it can’t get wet, also eh. I’m still on the fence. So my neighbor asked me to go for pedicures yesterday and I said no. We are paying full cost for day care in these summer months and I didn’t feel like spending 40 bucks on a pedicure was the right thing to do. But I’m still thinking about that Apple watch. I believe this is what some people call starling expenses TM Swistle. I’m not going to spend 40 bucks on a pedi but I’m cool with an Apple watch. Eh, whatever. But that changed today or at least it did for a minute (because I promised myself that I would not buy this watch unless a certain thing happened and that hasn’t happened yet). I didn’t buy flowers this year because they die. I don’t mean they just die at the end of summer, I mean they die two weeks later. However, I found myself sitting outside more and feeling like our deck was drab. Blech. Just a drabby brown deck with the same table and chairs we’ve had since before 2008 (can’t ever seem to buy real grown up patio furniture even though there’s nothing really stopping us). The table we have is actually still nice but it only seats two and there is nothing else on the deck. Well, I changed my mind today. I went out and bought 3 nice large flower pots with the promise to myself that I will water them every night. I watered them tonight-so I’m on track already. Additionally, I bought two plastic adirondack chairs. I have been eyeing these for awhile (I tend to do that). At first I didn’t know how I felt about these chairs but the more I saw them, the more they grew on me. I particularly enjoy how you can set your coffee on the arm of the chair and pull your knees up to your chin and feel comfortable. I bought them in turquoise blue which is a particularly loud color for someone like me, but I love them. We also bought a Cabela’s camping chair that ROCKS and I’m here to tell you, rocking is nice. I originally wanted the adirondack chairs to bring to the camper however, I am particularly enjoying them on my back deck so I might just leave them there forever. So instead of an apple watch, I spent the boys college money on chairs, flowers, oh and a welcome mat with flip flops on it because it’s summer and I don’t want a drabby deck in the summer. Note: I painted my own toes and no one will know the difference unless they read this blog which is unlikely because no one reads this blog.

We are still camping mostly every weekend. We stayed home this weekend because of birthday parties, graduation parties, and father’s day. I think Rob had a good day because he’s been snoozing on the couch for about two hours. He went to the driving range, spent time with the boys who gave him new golf shirts and a golf bag. I made all of us dinner. I made Mini Meatball Casserole minus the mini-just imagine regular sized meatballs. You might wonder why I would choose to cook on a 90 degree day when clearly one should grill, but I’m not the griller. Rob is the griller and, “Hey, can you make your own dinner?” didn’t feel right. Also, we grill a lot. A lot. A lot. So I made the meatball thing which was a hit with not just my baby daddy, but also my own daddy, and the boys choked it down without much complaint so I will consider that a win. Because if no one is crying at dinner time then something has gone terribly wrong. I never cook anymore and maybe I will start cooking more if there is less crying about what I make because nothing feels better than planning out daily meals, spending time cooking said meals, and then listening to two boys cry about how they hate it (and usually before they even know WHAT IT IS). This means that the weekly meals have stayed the same for about a year and Rob mostly cooks the meal before I get home from work. You can probably guess in case you can’t, those meals are: tacos, pizza, chicken tenders/fries, grilled cheese, burgers, chili, ribs, pork loin…..throw in a veggie side with all of those but the tacos and call it good.

In other recent events, my house is now being cleaned by someone other than myself and can I just tell you, this is the best thing in the world.

Well, in case you’ve been wondering what’s been happening with me since the last time I wrote, this post sums up that I no longer cook, spend time with my children doing things they love to do, or clean my own house. Awesome.

I promise to blog more.

 

 

 

Questions 

I could not resist asking Rob these questions, mostly because I knew he would be annoyed. 

What is something I always say to you? 

These kids are driving me crazy. (Nice)
What makes me happy? A clean house. 
What makes me sad? Mothers Day 
What was I like as a child? Quiet 
How old am I? 39
How tall am I? 5’6
What’s my favorite thing to do? Quiet time in your spot 
What do I do when you are not around? Everything 
If I become famous, what will it be for? 

Writing 
What am I good at? Your job. 
What am I not good at? Driving 
What makes you proud of me? Going for your masters degree. 
What is my favorite food? Angel hair pasta. (Um no-sandwiches)
What do we do when we are together? Talk 
How are you and I the same? We agree on more than we disagree 
Where is my favorite place to eat? Olive Garden. ( um no- bistro bell vista)
How old was I when I met you? 15
When is my birthday? January 15. Haha. He’s being funny. It’s January 14. 
If I could go anywhere, where would it be? He said Ireland. True -but also Maine. 

Do you think you could live with me forever? Absolutely. 
How do I annoy you? This quiz. 
What is your favorite thing about me? Your tenacity. 

2015: A Reflection 

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

There’s a few things in 2015 I’ve done that I have never done before. I think the biggest thing that stands out is studying for and passing the PHR exam. 
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year I decided to spend less money and make more memories. Well, I still spent money but we definitely made the best memories by deciding to buy our camper and spending every weekend at the lake. I can’t wait for May. 

In 2016 I’d like to do more yoga and continue to make memories with my family and friends. I already laugh a lot but I’m going to laugh more. 
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No. 
4. Did anyone close to you die?

A few weeks ago I got the call from a coworker at my last job telling me one of the employees had passed away. I cried for him. I adored him. We talked a lot and he had shared a lot with me while he was sick. That’s what happens when you work in HR. People come to you because they have to and then they tell you stuff because they trust you and then you become friends. Every time he came to my office he brought me a bag of peanut m&ms and last year when I graduated he brought me wine.  Such a kind soul.  So while we were not close outside of work and when he was too sick to work we lost touch, mostly because I got a new job, but man, to hear that made my gut hurt. And cancer sucks. 
5. What countries did you visit?

None. 
6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

2015 was the year I fell in love with yoga. It’s the first time I’ve loved any type of exercise more than I love running. Yoga does things for my mind and body that running can’t even touch. Yoga brought me out of the Funk of 2015. I’d like to do more yoga in 2016. 
7. What moments from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The weekend we spent at Great Wolf Lodge. The 4th of July weekend-our first real weekend at the camper. Our family vacation to Mackinaw Island. Starting my new job. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Passing the PHR exam. 

9. What was your biggest failure?

Being too hard on myself. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The camper!!! So much amazing family time. 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Lucas. He’s such an amazing kid. He blows my mind. Everybody adores Lucas and he will never see it like we do. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I like to think that ones behavior (when questionable) is based on something that makes them insecure or angry so I try hard not to let other people appall me to the extent of depression however; people who are so close minded that can’t dig up a single ounce of empathy for others, it hurts my heart. 
14. Where did most of your money go?

House, childcare, camper. 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Our family vacation to Mackinaw Island. 2015 was the year that we could finally really do stuff as a family of four without packing a million baby things, worrying about potty training, and coordinating nap times. So so nice. 

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Fight Song. 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier

b) thinner or fatter? Same 

c) richer or poorer? Richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Reading books for leisure. 

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying about the future. It’s happening either way, right?

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With family. With my boys. I love watching them fall deep into the magic of the holiday. And every year I play Santa, I love (and appreciate) my mom more than I ever could. She was so good at making holidays and birthdays special, I didn’t realize how much work it was for her. (I wish she was here so she could know I get it now. Thank you, mom) 

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

Not to be cheesy but I love my husband. And every year, I think it’s safe to say, that I love him differently because we grow together through these seasons in our life together. I fell in love with him in 2005 but there are days or months that I find something new to love about him and that’s pretty awesome. 

Also, yoga. 
22. What was your favorite TV program?

Mad Men. Parenthood. Ray Donovan. I’m always going to watch KUWTK because I can’t help myself. 
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate is a strong word. 

24. What was the best book you read?
The Girl on the Train. It was also the only book I’ve read besides a lot of PHR books and texts books. Blah. 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Down in the Valley by The Head and the Heart. And a million other songs I adore. 

26. What did you want and get?

A job that I love. 

27. What did you want and not get?

Eyeliner that doesn’t smear. A new front door. 

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Favorite is a strong word since I don’t have time a lot of time to watch movies but:

The Gift. (Don’t be a meanie)

Vacation was also funny. 
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

My birthday is in January so that is tough to remember. But I turned 38 and I’m soon to be 39 and I’m not sure how I feel about that. 
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Nothing. It was a great year. I think worrying less would increase my ability to embrace each moment for what it is but hey, I am who I am. 
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

Life: leggings, cardigans, gray tshirt, yoga pants. 

Work: more skirts. But also gray and black per the usual. 
32. What kept you sane?

Running, yoga, my husband, my friends. 
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan)

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Gun control. 

35. Who did you miss?

My mom. Oh my sweet mom who I’ll spend the rest of my life wishing I had been a better daughter to, and wishing she didn’t have to die of an illness that robbed her of her quality of life and confused us for so long. I wish she could see my children and I wish we could meet for coffee. Some days the pain is as real as the day I lost her but most days it’s okay and I’m really okay. 
36. Who was the best new person you met?

Devra. I knew her last year but I didn’t really know her until this year and I adore her. 

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
Pick your battles wisely and don’t die on that hill. 

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“And all those things I didn’t say

Wrecking balls inside my brain

I will scream them loud tonight

Can you hear my voice this time?”

Happy New Year. 2016. 

A Happy Life

It always feels like a whirlwind. Time is rushing. There’s rooms to clean, laundry to do, boys to bathe, groceries to get, oh shit we are out of milk again, and there’s work. 

I don’t know how to stop it from being so windy so I’m just going to admit it. This is it. This is life. 

Right now though, despite the wind, I’m loving this life of ours. The new job is half good, half tortuous. The boys are growing fast and running through sprinklers. Rob is content and back to playing hockey on Monday nights. I’m reading books again and I still love quiet mornings with my cup of coffee. We are probably ordering too many weeknight pizzas and Jimmy Johns but we are all happy. 

My most favorite thing about life right now is this:

  
Our new home away from home. One that we can move but don’t have to. It’s on a lake and our neighbors are friends. It’s a short drive but feels far. The boys love it and smell of dirt and campfire by the end of the day. We make the eggs on the grill for breakfast burritos but thankfully there’s also wifi. I get to relax in the sun in a too expensive chair from Cabelas. We spend the day at the beach and take the short walk back to the camper for showers. I love it. I love all of us sleeping in the camper together and I love how sleepy everyone looks in the morning and I just could’nt feel more happy. Seriously. This is the best summer. 

Advice

A magazine I must have inadvertently liked on F!B was was in my feed asking a question this morning about the best words of advice your mother ever gave you.

What my mom always liked to say-when I was complaining or just dealing with something difficult in any aspect of life is:

“This too shall pass.”

It drove me nuts. But it’s oh so very true.

She also told me….after one time I told her how I was uncomfortable in a situation because I didn’t feel good about how I looked or what I was wearing…she said, “Never go anywhere when you don’t feel good about how you look.” It sounds very shallow as I type this but it was sort of this funny moment between us and I’ll always remember what she meant.

She also said that, “Yes, those diet chocolate shakes work….but only when it replaces a meal, not when it accompanies a donut every morning.”

Oh, I laughed laughed laughed with her about that one. Because she was dead serious.

I miss you, Mom. And you were wrong…this shall NEVER pass.

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