Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Are you up for a challenge?

     Look, I get it, life is stressful. I'm a mom. That's constant stress.  I'm a nurse in a unit that only has critical patients. That's stressful. But I really think that there out to be more fun in a day.  I'd give up an hour of sleep if I could trade that for nothing but fun.
     So, what's fun for me???
  • Anything with my friends or J.  I love being around people.  I may be incredibly shy (no, really) but once I know you, you will see my crazy side.
  • Taking the boy (aka the dog, moose) to play.  Jacksonville has a wonderful doggie country club type dog park.
  • Going to the beach.  Doesn't matter the weather or if I'm alone or with people.  The ocean calms me, always.
  • Theme Parks with the girls.  Yes, I am insane, but watching the girls faces light up at the parks is amazing.  Tell me that face doesn't make you smile even a little...
  • A good meal with people I love.  I love to find new restaurants and to have a night out.  I love to try new recipes too.
  • Dancing to music I like, out with people or even alone in the living room.  Playing on the wii or just random nonsense in the kitchen.
  • Live music.  I once got to see BB King live.  Was amazing.
  • Bathtub, glass of wine, good book.
  • Couch, movie, head on J's chest.
     There are 100's more, but those are the biggest.  I spend way too much time in my head worrying about all the what-if's.  I need to find a way to stop that and spend time having fun.  Honestly, is it a big deal if the girls' room ALWAYS looks like a hurricane hit it?  Does worrying about anything actually change it or does it just waste time?  Is there a way to break the bad habits and make time for more fun???
   My challenge to myself is to try to let all those minor things go and make fun a priority.  Show the girls more of what's important in life.  I am good at teaching them healthy habits, the importance of manners, why we exercise, and that too much electronic time is bad, BUT maybe I need to teach them that getting rid of stress is a good thing too.  Make time after running club to take the boy to the dog park (not the country club, we only have 4 cheap visits left and I'm not paying $300+ for a dog park membership).  Go have  a picnic on the beach after homework is done.  Wander downtown St Auggie and enjoy the lights.  Find a new recipe every week and have fun cooking together.  Just be silly.
     What should your challenge be?  What helps you de-stress?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NFL ortho surgeon/sideline reporter/novelist???

     Let me share a secret with you.  I have always had a secret dream of being a writer.  I really want to be able to sit down and write a smart, funny novel for women.  Truth be told, I am terrified to even start.  The only reason I can write on here is cause I have only given this website to 2 of you that I trust to tell me if it sucks.  Anyone else reading this must have just found it somehow.
     I LOVE to read.  I can read sit and enjoy reading just about anything.  Nonfiction, chick-lit, mysteries, anything, really... I think that is part of the reason that I want to write.  I have never told anyone that I want to write though.  I am a perfectionist.  I judge any and everything I do very harshly.  I have started writing at least 5 times and have deleted every word.
    There's this blog that I read.  The first blog that I have ever followed.  I only found her because she is my boyfriend's cousin's new bride.  Follow that?  Good.  She is an amazing writer.  I have laughed out loud every time that I have read her blog.  Reading her blog gave me inspiration to start writing this one.  Not that I think that I could do it better than her, not even a little.  Just that if I can enjoy reading hers, maybe, just maybe I can start my own and people will like it.
     Writing this gives me a release that I never thought I needed.  I feel better writing. I'm still scared to show anyone and I think that I'd ve very self-conscious if anyone else knew that I was writing,  but who knows... maybe, just maybe, it'll help me start that dream novel.

This is the day of Court, so suck it... Or maybe not

Why is it that some people constantly make you feel used? Sometimes, I think that it's just me and sometimes I wonder if it has to be something more. Do we let people use us, or is it that we feel used because we are willing to do so much?
I have a friend that believes the entire world revolves around her. Everything good that happens is because of something she has done and everything bad means that someone is trying to screw her over. There are days like today when I wonder how much of that is in me. Do I just not see that I am acting selfish? Is asking this favor selfish? Is writing this blog and hoping someone reads it selfish?
We expect a certain degree of selfishness from children. All they know, and up until a certain age all they should know, is that they are the center of their parents world. I truly believe that that is how it should be. My children should know that they come first in my life. BUT, and a big butt it is too (if you know me you know I'm not lacking in the behind area and I like to joke on that kinda often), my children should also know that I have a life outside of them. They can be first, but I'm a very close second. If my children don't see me ever putting myself first, I think that I am doing them a disservice. They need to know that there are other people in the world and sometimes they aren't going to get the attention that they want. Yes, we can do A and B, but nope, we aren't doing C because I would rather do D.
But man, I am feeling super selfish tonight. I don't know if it's the holidays, the fact that work is insane, dealing with the ex, or just that fact that I'm sick of doing favors for others that seem to be expected and not appreciated, but I want it to be about me today. I want to get off work early. I want to sleep until I feel like waking up. I want to get the kids and make them help me finish cleaning the house. And then I want them to go to bed so I can watch a crappy movie and drink some wine. I want the world to revolve around me and for me to just take what I want. Screw it, if I make someone feel used. It's my day.
Yeah well, fortunately or unfortunately, that's just not me. Maybe tomorrow...?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tuberculousis has hit my house....

        Either that or my kids still have reactive airways and any kind of sinus drainage or any virus that goes around makes them cough.  But seriously, if you walked into my house right now, you'd prolly run away and bath in Purell.   The joy of attempting to co-parent with an ex means that my many years of medical experience, plus the advice of their doctors means nothing.  I was told that I HAVE to go get another opinion.  Oh, really???  I'm thinking that you don't have that power.  I know what is going on, and I know that the doctors know what is going on. Please go away now.
       This cough though... When they are in bed, you would think that they are going to cough a piece of their lungs right out.  The way I know that they aren't actually feeling bad:  they continue to do the daily runs (we are part of the elementary school running club and are currently training for a 5K, story to follow later), they play and laugh and run around like wild animals, but any time they have to do something the don't like they start coughing.
         My big problem with their coughing is that 99% of the time, they aren't 'sick', they aren't contagious and yet I get 3-5 phone calls a week from the school nurse.  I think she's knowledgeable.  I think that she is just trying to follow protocol.  BUT seriously lady, unless my kid is actually sick and needs to leave school, quit interrupting my sleep.  I work nights.  I sleep while the girls are at school.  If they are sick and need to come home, I have no problem bringing them home.  BUT don't call me cause they are coughing.  Let them have cough drops without a note from the  doctor because it'll cost me $40/kid to see the doctor to get the stupid note and they AREN'T SICK.
        This last week was the worst.  The teacher not only told my child that she got her sick, but sent her to the nurse because she was being a nuisance.  The nurse called me and told me to take her to the doctor.  Hey, guess what lady?  I did that last week and SHE'S NOT SICK.  I was on the way to my yearly check up that takes me 2 months in advance to schedule.  I told them that no, I'm not coming right now.  She only wants to come home because you made her feel bad (as in guilty, not sick).  I'll be there when I get there.  And of course, I get her home and she's fine.  She's running around like a crazy person and playing.
        Don't get me wrong, I understand the need for keeping sick people home, not only to heal, but to not spread the wealth.  But please don't tell me what to do with my own children.  If my child is actually sick, she stays home.  If she's not, she needs to be at school.  I am trying hard to teach my children the importance of going to school and being responsible.  Please don't undermine me.  Maybe I should start sending them out in surgical masks...

Friday, November 16, 2012

So there's a boy....

     I met this boy in 1997.  I was a wee freshman in college and he was a junior.  He was only going to be in Florida for a year.  That did not stop me from developing a ginormous crush.  We were both in jazz band.  I was a jazz rookie.  I was always great in band, but I was so out of my league when it came to jazz.  You have to improvise...?  What?  I have to make it up?  I don't have a clue how to do this.  AND I'm sharing music with this really cute guy that is AMAZING at jazz????   You don't know me yet, but I am a perfectionist.  If I'm not great, I don't even want to try. (Well, this is the exception, but I'm trying.)   I was so intimidated.  I was trying to write my improv so that I knew that it would sound good so I could impress him.  Not sure what worked, but he called me...
    J: "Hey kid, whatcha doing?'
    My thoughts "wait, he's calling me, what?  I don't know what to say.  SOMEONE HELP ME"
    Despite my complete awkwardness, we dated.  Well, if you can really call it dating.  We were at a tiny college in the smallest town I've ever been in and there weren't a lot of places to go out.  I never thought he was serious.  I honestly thought he was playing me.  He was being a 20 y/o boy, calling occasionally, just seeing if I want to hang out.  I was being a naive 18 y/o thinking that if he didn't call every day then he must not like me very much.  So I started dating someone else and he moved away.
     That brings us to 2011.  I was in the process of getting divorced and I changed my name on Facebook to reflect that.  The NEXT day I get a friend request.  WOW, it's my crush.  I was dumbfounded.  To this day, I can't believe that he even remembered me, never mind the fact that he was looking me up.  It took about a week, but there we were talking on the phone and texting back and forth.  ALL DAY LONG.  No, seriously, I prolly averaged about 3-4 hours of sleep because we were too busy texting to sleep.  May finally rolls around and he makes it down to visit. 
     And that was that... It's now 18 months later and we are hooked.  Yes, we fight like cats and dogs.  Throw 2 hardheaded Italians in a room and that's going to happen sometimes.  He doesn't actually fight, he just sits and watches ESPN while I stand in front of him and yell.  Doesn't mean he doesn't fight or try to push my buttons, he is just not a yeller like me.  He's screwed up (a bunch, if I am honest) and so have I (prolly a bunch if he's honest).  And yet we just work.  If I listened to my friends, we would have never even gotten off the ground.  Some wanted me to not give him a chance after he had to change plans at the last minute.  Some thought he was an ass.  Others just wanted me to date someone else.  But I have to admit, good times or bad, ups or downs, yelling or hugging, this is the most honest, real relationship I have ever been in.  We have issues, but we both understand that life isn't ever going to be perfect.  We make our perfection in the imperfections.  Nicholas Sparks is much better with words that I am, so I'll use his words:  "There was something about him that spoke only to her, a connection that she had missed in the years they'd been apart.  And she knew on some level that she had been waiting for him, just as he'd been waiting for her."
       Maybe someday, he'll tell me why he looked me up.  Maybe someday we will actually live in the same state.  Maybe someday people will understand that we make each other happy, even when we are making each other crazy.  Maybe someday people will realize that I'm not blind, I see the faults, I just see the good as well.  Maybe someday....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

At home assignment? Otherwise known as homework for mom...

           So I have twin 6 y/o girls.  I decided that it would be a good idea to separate them for K and 1st grades.  While this was great in teaching them a little independence, it also means that they have 2 sets of friends, 2 teachers and 2 different homework assignments...  Well, not really 2 different assignments, just assignments on different days.  I don't mind homework.  I don't mind studying for spelling tests.  I don't mind websites that help them practice things that they are supposed to be learning.  But I hate at home assignments.  Wait, that's not strong enough. 
                                        I HATE AT HOME ASSIGNMENTS! 
            These aren't projects for the kids.  These are projects for mom.  If either of my 6 y/o's did this projects themselves, not only would they cry at home, they would cry at school because everyone else's projects look so much better than theirs.  NO.  I'm not exaggerating.  My oldest child did her own hat for the 100 day of school hat parade in kindergarten.  I emphatically told her that this was her homework, not mine and that I would buy her whatever she needed to do it, but I would not do it for her.  She worked on it, and she loved it...  UNTIL she saw the 17 other hats done by the mom's and realized that not only did hers not measure up, it didn't even come close.  I stood my ground and tried to explain to her that she should be proud of her work, but her 5 y/o mind just saw that theirs were fancier and much prettier.  She cried for the rest of the afternoon.
              This time around, I didn't have the energy for the meltdowns (I'm now a single mom and don't have time for the little battles).  I still told them that they would choose what they wanted, they would pick out their supplies and they would make it themselves.  Again, it's not my homework.  Oh how the strong crumble.  One little meltdown somehow has me cutting, pasting, drawing and taping whatever they need because it's just easier.  Well, until it's not.
               Project of the month: disguise the turkey.  They get a piece of white construction paper with a naked turkey form and they have to decide what the turkey should dress up as to disguise it so that it won't get eaten.  Anyone else see this as a jumping off point for a child to become vegan????  Fortunately my kids all know where there food comes from and it hasn't stopped anyone from eating it yet.  A. decides that she is going to dress her turkey up as me.  Ummm, WHAT???  Ok, I guess that should be flattering.  I'm hoping that she doesn't think that naked turkey form looks like me though.  M. decides that hers should be a skeleton.  Good luck coming up with that story kid.  But I'm not going to challenge her.  This is her assignment.
              Off to my favorite place in the whole wide world: the craft store.  What, you can't hear the sarcasm?  Oh, well.  Maybe I'll find the sarcasm button before my next post.  Fortunately, we find the supplies we need and are out in under 20 minutes.  And my head didn't explode.  No really, those stores scare me and my head exploding is a legitimate fear.  Home we go.  They clear the table with only 1 minor meltdown and it's time to start. 
            A: "Mommmmmmmy, I can't cut it out.  You need to cut it out for me"
            Me: "Wow, is that how you ask me to do anything???"
            M: "Mommy, will you please cut mine out for me?"
            A: "But I asked first."
            M: "But I used manners."
Seriously, can I just go to bed?  I have to work tonight and I don't have the energy for this argument...
           Me: "Why do we need to cut them out?  Can't we just decorate them on the paper?"
Stupid question.  Of course they have to be cut out and of course it wasn't on either of the papers explaining the assignment.  We went through this last month with the storybook pumpkins.  That were a week apart.  That required 2 different characters and 2 different books, blah blah blah...
           I cut them out.  M starts crying because she doesn't know how to make a skeleton.  A starts complaining because she doesn't know how to make jeans.  As you can imagine, I get to cut out jeans and a shirt now.  I tell M to color the turkey black.  "But mommy..."  No, seriously kid, color it black or else....  "Mommy, I can't color the shirt" "Mommy, S has the sharpie" and on and on.  I cut the jeans and shirt, I glue the jeans and shirt, I color the shirt, I start to add hair, and then I remember that IT'S NOT MY HOMEWORK!  I show A how to finish the hair.  M has finished coloring and I show her how to make bones out of pipe cleaners (always making great use of my medical background).  And then the crying starts.  "It isn't perfect."   "I can't do it."  At this point I really want to just do it myself.  I don't know if my little help made it worse, or just left me more impatient, but I can't take it.  I start the 'nobody is perfect except God' speech and then I decide we all need a break.

 Go change clothes girls, let's go for a run....