Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Sounds like high school...all over again.
And I didn't really like high school the first time around.
I didn't even budge when pictures of a weekend getaway with friends were being held ransom on Facebook. Why can't you just show me the pictures? Oh, actual hard copies of photos are too last decade for you? Okay, how about you email them to me? Give me a CD? Make me a frickin' PowerPoint.
But alas, I gave in. Everyone told me I just had to be on Facebook now that I'm blogging. Fine. I begrudgingly joined. Everyone also told me that once I was on, I'd love it. "It's addictive!" "Don't you love it?!" "It's a whole new world!" I may be on Facebook but I'm still not into Facebook. Maybe I should not be admitting this publicly. Maybe I'm at risk of losing some of my newly acquired--and still quite tenuous--internet/blogging/techie credibility, but I just don't get it. For example, why is it that people who barely say "hello" to me at work are now suddenly asking to be my friends? People are popping out of nowhere..."requesting my friendship." Golly, gee, thanks, I'm flattered. (Not really.) It's like a competition...whose Friends List is the longest? I'm telling you, it's high school all over again...when we used to highlight the names of everyone we "knew" in the yearbook, even if we just sat near them in a class but never spoke a word to them, because the amount of highlighting in your yearbook was a testament to your social standing.
And can someone explain to me this phenomenon of "updating your status"? "Liz just woke up." "Liz is going to make dinner. " "Liz is preparing a bottle of formula." Do any of you really care WTF I'm doing at that exact moment? I know someone who was actually updating her status ("sitting at a bar with my girlfriends") while out with a bunch of us. Apparently, it is no longer enough to be really out with your friends, live and in person. We gotta hang out with our cyber friends simulataneously too. Now we are even multi-tasking in our relationships.
And really, are these relationships? Aren't we watering down the meaning of the word "friend"? If we're posting our pictures, our thoughts, and even our whereabouts online, how much time is left to actually socialize? (No, I don't consider Facebook to be socializing.) I mean, something's gotta give....even those of you who have lots of spare time (read: don't have children) are actually spending a great deal of yours online and simple math means that there is less of it left for The Real World.
I know, I know...you guys are gonna go straight to Facebook and delete me now, aren't ya?
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
We are, however, pretty amused by the differences between how we celebrated this anniversary and how we used to celebrate our anniversaries. (Okay, we're really bordering on bitter, but amused seemed like a much safer adjective.) Our anniversary celebrations used to involve fancy attire, staying out late, bottles of champagne and/or wine (notice the plural), plenty of romance, pomp, circumstance, hoopla, and all that jazz. This year? Yes, we did go away to Orlando for a night (and labeled it as an Anniversary Getaway since it happened to land on that weekend), but my sister could not quite believe it when she heard that WE were in bed sound asleep in the hotel by 10:30. And yesterday morning? The actual day of our anniversary? Did we wake up oh-so-lovingly-and-leisurely and roll over and say "Happy Anniversary, Dear," followed by a sweet but simple breakfast together?
We woke up, forgot to say "Good morning"--much less "Happy Anniversary"--got the kids ready in our usual frantic-but-efficient way, and parted ways as I went for routine blood work and he left to drop off the kids and go to work. In fact, MY PARENTS remembered and wished us a Happy Anniversary BEFORE WE DID. Oh, but surely that was the chaos of a weekday morning...the evening was certainly better...? Hardly. After our usual 2 hour routine of methodically feeding, bathing, and tucking in, we did open a really cheap bottle of sparkling wine, exchange gifts, and talk about the last year.... Then (drumroll please) we watched a recorded episode of "Lost," and were sound asleep, again, by 10:30.
It's no wonder so many married people are "itching"! Marriage is hard. It's hard when you have money, good jobs, health, and no children. Now bring in REALITY. Yeah. Tough. Challenging. Exhausting. Marriage is kinda like raising children. It's harder than you ever thought it would be. It takes more time than you thought it would. It can get pretty routine. But if you make a concerted effort to shake things up a bit every now and then, see it as a work in progress, put it at the very tippy tippy top of your priority list, and always remember why you got into it to begin with, then within all the daily challenges and chores, there are Those Moments...the ones that make it all worth it.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Actually, it makes me a better parent.
It's true...those of you who do it, know I'm right. Those of you who never have, give it a test run. Being away from my kids makes me a better mom.
We finally made it to our Orlando getaway this weekend. We left the boys with my mom on Friday night so we could leave at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning. We spent the day doing a whole lotta nothing (for those of you who read my previous post...it's okay, I scheduled it in). We rode rollercoasters, we drank beer, we walked around, we ate ice cream. And...we held hands. We had grown up conversations. We went to the restroom instead of the potty. We spent quality time together.
And when we came home, we were both not only ready to see the boys, we were excited to see them. The tediousness of the feeding, the bathing, the constant negotiating every little thing...it's all made easier by the fact that we had a break from it. Babysitting is like Red Bull for parenting.
Something as simple as coming home from work on Friday and not having the boys with me is a Lovely Break From Life. That, alone, is a 15 minute adventure that can leave me needing a drink: Park the car, get the baby, put him in the house, come back for Ben, play that game where he runs around inside the car from door to door so I can't get him out, usher him into the house while he points out lizards/ants/dust particles, check on Aidan, go back to the car, get my purse/lunch/gym bag/random crap, lock the car.... And this is all BEFORE I even get in the house and begin the next process of Ben wanting to: go potty/play/watch TV/chase me around the house/run from the dinosaurs/take the toy Aidan is playing with/eat a snack...all while Aidan is wailing for a bottle and sitting in a dirty diaper. Really, coming home with no kids...that, alone, is comparable to a spa visit.Now factor in a little getaway and a full night's sleep...I am a new woman.
People ask: "But don't you miss them?" Um, sometimes. But am I supposed to be permanently affixed to every single person I love for every second of my life lest I miss them? "Hi, boss...yeah, this is my best friend and my husband and my granny and my son and my puppy. I couldn't bear to come to work without them because I'd miss them." And I wonder...do they ask this of the fathers? If a man goes away for a fishing trip (I know, so stereotypical...why fishing? I don't even know any man who fishes...!), do people ask him if he missed his children? If he had trouble t-e-a-r-ing himself away? I just don't get it. I can love my kids and be away from them for a bit. It's really good for my marriage and really good for my sanity. And really, really, really good for my kids.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
- I planned this blog post.
- I planned what I'd wear to work the next day.
- I planned what I was going to make for dinner.
- I learned many of the lyrics of today's top 20 hits. (They give you headphones in an attempt to drown out that crazy noise. It doesn't work.)
- I calculated how much spending money I had left for the week out of my new budget.
- I counted all the things I might need to spend my spending money on before the end of the week.
Of course, the blog post took on a life of its own. I totally did NOT wear that cute outfit. I got take out. I forgot all the lyrics. I'm broke anyways.
When will I learn?
There is always noise in my head. I can't shut it off, unless...I plan for it. How screwed up is that?!? I can actually relax, do nothing, just sit...if it's scheduled. As in..."We have babysitting so let's go to the beach and do nothing." That's the only way. Don't get me wrong. I do things everyday that I find relaxing. I read. I write. I work out. I watch "Lost" and "What Not To Wear". But these things are all part of My Plan. My Routine. And really, still, they are all activities, things I am doing, and therefore are deemed worthy of my extremely limited time. In fact, I was recently telling a friend about my summer cruise, and she was saying "Oh, I could never enjoy that kind of vacation. I'm not good at just sitting." And my response was: "That's because you don't have kids! When you have kids, all you want to do is sit." That may be true, but apparently wanting it is not enough for me to break out of my screwed up, noisy little head to actually do it on a regular basis. Not even in the MRI machine.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
*Insert hysterical, evil-like laughter from mothers who know better*
Apparently, Aidan Kai figured he had not been featured in Mommy's blog enough, because upon arrival in Melbourne--BAM!--the kid got a fever. Oh, and did I ever mention he's a vomiter? Yep. Coughing? Gag, vomit. Too full? Gag, vomit. Sucking on fingers too hard? Gag, vomit. So instead of standing in long lines for rides, eating greasy amusement park food, drinking aforementioned beer, sleeping in, and basically pretending to be what we once were Before Children, we were repeatedly washing dried vomit out of Aidan's hair (he'd start coughing and throw up in his sleep and apparently it did not bother him one bit! Woo-hoo, can you imagine how useful this will be in college?!?) and administering Infant's Tylenol.
I'm telling you....spring for the insurance.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Don't get me wrong, I loooooove my kids. I love them so much that sometimes, it scares me. Having a child is like having your heart "out there"--literally--and nothing has made me feel more vulnerable or helpless than the realization that I am limited in just how much I can protect them. But when people ask me "Oh, isn't it just the best?" my answer is always "No." Parenting is not the best. It's hard. It's exhausting. It's endless. It's monotonous. Really, it kinda sucks. To quote my husband: "I love my kids. I hate parenting."
But every now and then, a moment occurs that actually makes ME become "one of them." The Others. The mothers who ooooh and ahhhh. Like the night I watched Ben in his first Christmas show at school. All he did was sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and clap his hands for about 11 seconds, and you'd think he'd won the Pulitzer. Or the day he ran his fingers lovingly through my hair and said, "Mama, I love your hair." Or the first time Aidan waved bye-bye (okay, it's still just an attempt at a wave, but, hey he's 7 months old..it counts.)
So here we go...ya' ready? An official ooooh/ahhhh moment is coming. I am about to revel in motherhood. I'm gonna share one of those mushy kid moments that only grandparents really care about and everyone else who has to listen either cares a moderate amount or is only pretending to (refer to party scenario above). Here goes: Yesterday when Ben got home from school, baby brother Aidan Kai was playing on the floor of his room cooing and babbling. (Now, keep in mind that Ben has recently stated that the best part about being a big brother is the skateboard he got as a gift when Aidan was born.) Ben just walked in the door, heard Aidan's voice, and broke into a full blown sprint to the room, squealing "Aidan! Aidan!" He then proceeded to throw himself on the floor next to Aidan and started tickling and playing with him. And Aidan? Oh boy, he could not have been happier! Talk about JOY! To see them there, my two boys, The Brothers...I kid you not...all the cliches applied. Every one of them. Moments like these, they really, actually are "the best." It is these moments, in fact, that make all the other ones worthwhile. Go ahead...roll your eyes.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
We are staying with a family friend this weekend up in Melbourne, and hubby and I are hoping to leave the boys for one night with her while we sneak away to Orlando. We have not even allowed ourselves to get excited, to pack, to even think about an alcoholic beverage sans kids, because our 3 1/2 year old had a fever for the last 3 days...which means...yes, those of you who have multiple children know where this is going...when will the baby come down with it? We are so paranoid that Aidan Kai's gonna catch it and we will have to cancel our plans, that every time the kid coughs, we rush to feel his forehead. And rather than be disappointed (the way we were a few weeks ago when our Valentine's plans were cancelled last minute due to a rampant stomach virus that could only be compared to the bubonic plague), we are on "mental and emotional standby." And all this just for a 24 hour adventure! It has gotten to the point where sometimes I am relieved when there is absolutely nothing of note coming up, because then, and only then, can I relax and not worry about the possibility of it being ruined by another preschool-caught illness. Birthday parties? Oh, no, I hope he isn't sick! Disney World? That wasn't a sneeze, was it?!? A babysitting night? Who's got diarrhea?!?
We have a trip coming up in the summer....a cruise...our first "real" trip (yes, no kids...more fodder for your comments) in a couple of years, and I just know that I will absolutely not be able to "let go" and enjoy myself until I have my first (or seventh) pina colada. Vacations used to be relaxing, but then I had kids.
Monday, March 9, 2009
I hate technology. I do. I have no idea how I ended up blogging, or texting, or even signing in to Facebook (yes people, I gave in). Sometimes I think I have no business here. And yet, here I am, and here you all are...reading my posts, supporting me, giving me tips, cheering me on...all while snickering in disbelief. So this post is really one part "shout-out," one part apology, and one part request for help. First the shout out part...thanks to all of you who have taken the time to log on and read, sign in and "follow," comment, or forward the blog to your friends. I can't believe how many of you have NOT mocked, criticized, or asked incredulously "Why???" (at least not to my face, which is good enough for me). I am trying to post daily so keep coming back. The apology part goes out to all of you have tried to comment, follow, or something or other and are receiving error messages (or no messages at all) from The Mysterious World of Technology. I am trying to figure out why these glitches are happening and how I can fix them. I am also trying to learn how to improve my blog and most importantly how to get it "out there"...develop a fan base (other than those of you who feel obligated to read it because you love me--or at least like me a teeny bit). Hence, the request part: If any of you have any tips on blogging and all that comes with it (or know someone who do), I'd be forever in your debt. (No, I'm not paying anyone in shoes but I might offer you my first born on one of his bad days.)
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
I recently realized that there are many people in my life right now, important people, who don't even know That Me. And I also realized, with some relief, that I finally miss That Me. But something was standing in my way. (Well, 2 little things, to be specific.) That was when I realized that rather than shove them out of the way, it might be a little more effective (and a tad less violent) to take 'em along for the ride. So...here is my blog. A blog from a girl who, once upon a time, swore she'd never send a text message (I am now regularly over my texting plan limits) and who has no idea what the difference is between Facebook and Twitter. I will write, mostly, about parenting...from MY perspective. That is important to understand here, because my perpective on parenting is not usually rainbows and butterflies. I am rarely politically correct, I am always honest, and I frequently offend people. I don't mean to. I swear. But apparently, I do anyways. As most of my friends can attest, I can jump from topic to topic pretty seamlessly, so parenting will certainly not be the only thing I blog about. Shoes, fashion, and things that piss me off will probably make a regular appearance.
So yeah, I used to be a writer. I used to be a lot of things, actually, but then I had kids. I'll tell you this much, though: Just one post and I'm already starting to feel more like myself.