Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tag! I'm It! (Grumpy Meme)

I was tagged in a meme by the lovely and always fascinating Kristin at Wanderlust. She is a talented writer. If you haven’t checked her out already, you should do so!

I have been charged to list 7 things that annoy me, bother me, piss me off, make me grumpy, IRRITATE me (said with a growl). You get the idea.

I have no problem doing this. Sadly, I am a person with many pet peeves. Recently, I wrote a list in a post, “I’d Rather Put a Cigarette Out in my Eye Than…” Go ahead, check that out too. But, people, I was not done. There are other things to list, and here they are. (By the way, I complain about these things so ferociously that my closest family and friends could probably write the list for me.)

1. Gum popping. Gum poppers and aggressive chewers, stop already!! What are you, cows? Chewing your cud? Loud gum chewing and popping is ugly and should be banned world wide.

2. Chewing ice. When people chew ice, it is so loud that an entire room that seats 100 f-ing people can hear it. People turn around and look and stare and FIND the person that is doing it. Doesn’t that alone make this person stop?? Oh, no! The ice-chewer ENJOYS making others miserable. Or, at least, this is what I think.

3. Loud smacking of the mouth for any reason. It is uncalled for.

(Are you sensing a pattern here? I know. I am crazy. And extremely sensitive to oral noise issues, but you asked for it.)

4. Solicitors. Do not come to my house. Do not ring on my doorbell. Do not ask me any questions. I am home. I am done. I hate you.

5. Chirpy, happy birds before 8:00 am or any other time they seem to be piping up a little too much. PETA lovers beware: I visualize shooting birds with a gun when they chirp and wake me up. I sleep with ear plugs. (I know! I’m crazy! I have sound problems.) Every bird I hear through the ear plugs should die.

6. Sparky must die too. You may be surprised to hear that I have never been truly annoyed by any other neighbor dog, EXCEPT for Sparky. He is the lowest life form I have ever encountered and he must be destroyed. I do believe I could get a petition around this neighborhood for him to be exterminated. I bet the mail lady would sign it as well (she has the scars to justify it).

I only get one more?! Hmmmm. Which one should I choose?

7. If I am tired, that is it. I cannot fake or act nice, chit-chat, or pretend to care. If I am tired, you know I am tired, and I am done. Sleep is very important to me and anything that gets in the way is a problem.

I’m sorry if this sounds so negative, but WOW! I really liked getting it out. It was fun for me!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Feed My Soul. Not My Thighs. (They’ve had enough.)


Here’s what I’m thinking. I need goals. I need self-improvement. I want a better body. I want it all – shiny hair, white teeth, “gorgeous gams,” increased energy, muscles you can SEE, do I need to go on?

But I’ve been down this road before (and here I am again), and it just doesn’t sound like fun to “crack down” and count my points and berate myself into doing SOMETHING, anything about it (losing weight, getting active, being healthy overall).

However. I have strong desires to be desirable. To FEEL svelte and proud of myself and confident and pretty, and dare I say…SEXY.

We all want that, yes?

Here’s what I’m going to do about it.

• Be kind to myself. Regard myself kindly, speak kindly to myself, treat myself like I am a dear friend. Being kind to myself means giving my body what it needs. Eat if I am hungry. But, STOP when I am not (sounds so simple but will be the hardest thing to learn in my life probably).

• Feed my SOUL. When I am not hungry anymore, and I still want to eat, I will feed my soul. I will comfort myself because I deserve it. I will drink tea, play with my child, talk to a friend, talk to my husband, maybe participate in some pampering and grooming.

• Be truthful. I am LYING to myself when I indulge too many times. I think I am “rewarding” myself, but there is no reward. Only bloating, gas, farts, and burps (not too aligned with my desire for sexiness, right?).

If I can do the above 80% of the time, I bet things will be feeling pretty good pretty soon. That’s another part of being kind to yourself. Allowing for imperfections.

Yeah, perfectionism can bite my ass.

So, this is what health is to me. None of the above has anything to do with counting, weighing, calculating, shame, embarrassment, or fear. Only kindness makes sense.

(Some of my ideas in this post are influenced by a new book Women, Food, and God. The author was featured on Oprah. I just want to give credit where credit is due. I still do not own this book, but I have read about it, and am already excited about it, and plan to buy it this weekend because it is not offered on the Kindle list dammit.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's the 80's, Grandma! Wordless Wednesday

As I am still sick, I think getting ready to link up for tomorrow's Wordless Wednesday is in order. No energy for pounding out a funny but thoughtful story out of my ass again.

Like, totally check us out at an 80's themed party from last weekend. Well, my husband didn't dress up, and you can hardly tell that I did, but I DID! I am a person from the "Come On, Eileen" video. (BEST song from the 80's EVER!) See it? Scrappiness, overalls, and hanky.

Parker rocked a mullet.

You can tell he thought that was really rad.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Boy Likes to Party All the Time


The calendar is full this time of year with get-togethers, BBQ’s, and potlucks. This has been a great opportunity for Parker to show us his “party style.” We are quickly discovering that Parker is a bit of a party animal. It is entertaining, kind of funny, but mostly scary.

I found myself telling my husband with worry in my voice, “Oh dear Lord, he is a SENSATION SEEKER. God help us.”

My husband said, “Yup.”

Then we watched in horror as Parker ran around people in circles, screamed at the top of his lungs, did a little shimmy dance to the music, and ran outside to pump the keg for a while.

There were many other children at this afternoon get together. Most of them were SITTING with their parents, eating dinner, or playing video games. After my son pumped the keg for about half an hour, he came inside to work the ab machine like an expert.

I saw him climb up on the couch and took my moment to go sit with him and chat with people who were on the couch. Well, this really only lasted about 2.5 seconds before he’d had enough of that, jumped down, bumped into a baby on the floor, and took off running again. Of course, the baby started crying, and the parents looked horrified. I looked at them apologetically, said “Sorry,” and went off to find my maniac spawn (all the while thinking, “Listen, you just wait until your baby turns two.”).

I smelled him before I found him. He had let go of a giant load of stinky diarrhea. I took him in a bathroom to change him, found my husband, and I said, “It’s time to go.”

My husband said, “Yup.”

The next party we went to a week later was just as much fun as you can imagine. I think the most frustrating thing about it is that you just don’t get to connect with others, chat, talk, “catch up,” what have you. So, even though you get to get out of the house and SEE other people, there really is not much opportunity for adult relaxation.

Ah, well. In a few hours we will yet again go to another BBQ. Like the na├»ve people we are, we hope that this one will have a smaller yard with clearly defined fences and boundaries, and maybe a little more opportunity to say, “Hey, how are you?” before darting across the room to stop my child from throwing a ball in the house, pulling a cat’s tail, or running around with a sharp letter opener he’s found. Here’s to hoping!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sick and Tired


When I picked Parker up from daycare yesterday, his daily sheet said, “Cheerful.”

Fellow mothers know where I am going with this, yes?

From there, Parker fell asleep on the car ride home. He looked so cute all slumped over and snoring. He still slept on my shoulder as we went in the house, so I took my rare opportunity to just HOLD my boy for a while. We sat on the couch together and I just held my precious lovey. It was a moment of stillness and calm. Togetherness and present-ness. Moments like that you feel you could hold your child forever.

And then he woke up.

What happened next was about a 4 hour tantrum – the kind that comes and goes – but pretty much sticks around the whole night. This is the way he acts when he is coming down with something. (It’s been about a week since we were at the doctor last, guess it’s time to go again!)

I thought children were tired when they were sick. You know, aren’t they supposed to lay around with a pout on their face and watch endless TV? That sounds quite relaxing.

But, noooo. My child must zombie around the house moaning, crying, whining, and shrieking, “NO!” whenever anything is said to him. Then, if he is so inclined, he may walk up to you and hit you just so you know how gnarly he feels. This then puts him in time out, which increases the tantrum. Then, when the tantrum starts to calm, he does things like walk into the corner of the kitchen island, and the screaming starts all over.

He had started to calm down a bit at one point and I had set out some apple slices for him to snack on. He started eating a slice, and I have no idea what set off the crying again, but it started, then he began choking a little, then I’m running to him to pound his back, and he throws up all over the place when the apple dislodges. And, he does not prefer changing his clothes or diaper much, so there continues to be NO. RELIEF. FROM. THE. CRYING.

You want to feel sorry for the poor kid, but MY GAWD, I’d rather put a cigarette out in my eye WHILE giving birth, than hear more crying (or the word NO!). Even right now, I am thinking, my poor bub. He is getting sick. I must love him and hold him and do whatever he needs to feel better, and I will stay so, so patient no matter what. That line of thinking usually lasts about five minutes, then it’s survival mode. With wine. Wish us luck tonight!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We Regret What We Don't Do

The two day trip to Iowa was accomplished in the only way Juli and I know how to do things together – with frivolity, odd-ball antics, and one minor hissy fit. Things started to get really interesting about 6 hours into the trip when we were half-way across New Mexico, and I threw the entire, giant-sized atlas out the window because I discovered a live scorpion inside. We never did buy another map to get us where we were going. We went on instinct alone (and a lot of dumb luck), and after adventures on two-lane highways through Hooker, Oklahoma, a night in Liberal, Kansas, (quite the tourist attraction), and a liquid lunch somewhere in Nebraska, we finally arrived. My 1986 Pontiac LE 6000 bomb of a car pulled up in front of a farmhouse in the dark of the night, and my live-in life with my husband began.

Six years of learning, six years of wide open spaces, yet it is not enough. We are saying good-bye to a place that did nothing but give back to us. The mountains are ahead of us and our destination a constant west. What else lies ahead? My only hope is that our learning is as great as from where we came, and our road always leads us home to each other.

-The above is for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, that I have written today, even though the link up doesn’t occur until Thursday. I’m wacky like that. Oh, well. (The prompt was to write about a “chapter in your life” with 5 sentences representing the beginning of the chapter, and 5 sentences to represent the end of the chapter.) I chose to write about the years that my husband and I lived in Iowa. I finished college in Arizona and drove out to Iowa in the fall of 1998. Six years later we moved to Colorado. Why? Because we could. So we did.

I actually have a picture of my friend behind the wheel on our drive out to Iowa. Check it out:

Every time my husband sees that picture, he laughs. He thinks we are strange to be able to have so much fun doing anything – including driving across the country to Iowa. But that’s what we do when we’re together. We know no other way but to do it big and fun. Love to you, dear friend.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Choose Health...Tomorrow


There comes a time (about once a month), where I say to myself, “I have splurged enough. It is time to get SERIOUS.” I am talking about losing weight, moving around more, and feeling healthier overall. The whole she-bang. Don’t we all put ourselves through the striving-for-perfection thing at least several times a year?

There is something about this time of year, isn’t there? The kids are out playing, the grass is green, and the birds are chirping. The sunshine interacts with the vitamin D and shoos the seasonal depression right out of our dormant selves. I start to feel like, maybe I will really exercise a bit because I WANT to, and maybe I will really stop eating when I feel satisfied because that is a smart decision in regards to long-term payoffs vs. short-term payoffs (The short-term payoff being, holy shit this pasta doused in the naughty cream sauce was made especially for me and is one step away from heaven, so I better eat the whole entire thing dammit. Yes, that would be the short-term pay-off.)

There is also something about this time of year too, where a potluck or barbeque is around every corner with a festive feeling in the air. A feeling of celebration and indulgence. Me like indulgence. Ohh, it is rough, but I've got to try.

So I have decided to contemplate this fresh commitment to better health with some warm bean and cheese dip and Tostitos. It is fabulous. I am writing. My son is playing at the sink contentedly. I stop every sentence or so for a snack of nasty yummy. Do not lose hope for me, people. I will figure this out sometime. (Maybe say a few prayers for me.) I will start tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day…

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Munchhausen Much?


I wonder what the receptionists thought as I walked out the pediatrician’s office today.

Perhaps, “We’ll see her again in a week!”

Or, “She’s not going to have another child, is she?”

Or, “Hmmm. Munchhausen?”

Or most likely, “Hey, pull her file from the family doctor and see if that woman gets to take any anxiety medication!”

Well, whatever. Think what they must, but I simply cannot resist taking Parker in for an ear infection check about once a month.

And…he almost never has an ear infection.

But, you’ve got to believe me! He had diarrhea (VERY unusual for my constipated little bub), he was tired and falling asleep EARLY (again, VERY unusual for my little maniac), and pulling on a red ear and saying, “Urt!” People without children, keep up, “urt” means “hurt,” and details of bowel movements are mandatory in toddler world.

So, I had to take him in. Just to make sure. This is what I say every time. For crying out loud, can’t they just donate one of their ear-looky things to me to keep at home and give me the quick low down on spotting an ear infection??? (With technical language like that, how could you ever doubt my medical skilz?)

The doctor is so nice. She always agrees with me, “Yes, yes, just to make sure, especially before the weekend.”

Then we leave. After Parker shouts “Tank you!” to everyone with a smile on his happy and healthy face. He terrorizes the waiting room play area a bit, shows a waiting patient his McQueen car, and shouts, “Bye!” And off we go. With no explanation for the diarrhea, tiredness, and pulling of the ear. Except, maybe it’s teething, maybe it’s a gassy tummy, maybe a growth spurt, maybe he’s just friggin’ tired and felt like pulling his ear a bit. Who the heck knows.

Maybe they should just pencil in a monthly appointment for me. Set up a VIP section. Offer champagne and dispense Xanax. Our doctor playdate.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I'm posting this in anticipation of Wordless Wednesday tomorrow and I plan to link up!

From Bad Cat Calendar - I took a picture of this paper with my camera. Don't you love my mad tech skilz?!


If you can't read what the text says, here it is:

Name: Misty
Impersonates elderly Russian woman to get state-subsidized vodka

I'm thinking, this Misty and me, we could be friends.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Child's Love for Mom


A couple of weeks ago, I dug through my drawer of journals and poetry through the years for inspiration and a walk down memory lane. I’m nostalgic like that. I found a letter that I wrote to my mother. I think I was a senior in high school, getting ready for college. It was a rough draft of the letter I wrote for her (even back then the psycho-OCD-perfectionism had begun).

I thought it appropriate to share that letter today on Mother’s Day. It reminds me of the legacy of comfort and nurturing I want to give to my own child. Today, I woke with my first crafted, home-made Mother’s Day gifts from my son. That was pretty cool. And so the legacy of love lives on.

Dear Mom,

Lately, we’ve associated our lives and what is going on around us to the song “Letting Go.” We have made many references to the song, and it is a beautiful song, but you must know something. You need to know that I am not letting go. I’m holding on and carrying with me all that means home in my heart. It isn’t the end – there is no such thing, and I’m not breaking away. Spring breezes through the screens, Christmas tree lights that sing in the night, snuggled in blankets in front of the TV, and the comforting, quiet way you sew at night – these all mean home to me. These moments and feelings are etched deep within my soul, and I will take with me all I have learned. I will never be separated from the bond that ties me to you.

Love forever,
Your daughter,
Kristy

Friday, May 7, 2010

Home

My mind is numb. I sit here.

I sit here.

I know I will go home and see a big smile and a loud, “Mommy!” I will finally feel that everything, in my world, is alright.

But I also know that my heart will be heavy. Still.

Still.

The air will not be as heavy as from where I came. I will still feel them gathering, mourning, celebrating.

Thank you, God, for reminding us of small gifts everyday. Even at the worst, there has still been the strong arms of friends, a cool breeze on our face, the sun shining on new spring leaves, warm soup, and frogs. Thank you, God, for giving us moments full of goofy kid smiles, the loud crack of a baseball bat at Little League, chair dancing to GreenDay, and laughter between the utter sadness. And, thank you, God, for giving us the grace to recognize these moments that still exist and embracing them with the most vulnerable of hearts. Beauty is everywhere and gratitude is thick.




Sunday, May 2, 2010

Love Surpasses All Understanding

There are times that there is a loss so great, that you are stunned. Silenced. Time and the world around you stops. I only want to be with my friend and her family as she navigates a tremendous grief and soldiers on as the strong and safe place for her children. I feel empty-handed. Inadequate. I have packed my things, and I look around my house. What else can I stuff in this tiny suitcase that could even make a difference? What else could provide any kind of comfort? I really have nothing but myself to offer. The most I can do is just be with her. Sit with her, sit with the grief. There are times that life seems to whisper around you. The colors in the world are vibrant, and the feeling in your heart is massive and expanding. I am coming, my friend.