Monthly Archives: July 2012

Until Death Do I Part – SOC

So, today is Sunday (at least it still is here. Somewhere, it’s probably Monday already). I’m partaking in Stream of Consciousness Sunday again, and the prompt couldn’t be more perfect. I actually read the prompt hours ago, but didn’t have the (whole) 5 minutes to write it. I went swimming at the neighbors with Zack, then my best friend from next door joined us with her son and husband, then my husband came over with Brayden, and well, it turned into a great party evening (yes, even on a “school” night). So, here I am, hours later – and I confess I was thinking about what I would write about, but the writing is still limited to five minutes, and here goes (oh, p.s. the promt is:

Tell me about a keepsake that you treasure and will hold on to until death do you part.

I have a keepsake, it’s from my Mother. I keep it in my pillowcase and sleep with it every night. It’s a retro, soft turquoise beaded sunglass case that she used to carry her glasses in. When she passed away 5 years ago, I was helping my Dad sort through the house and I came across that item. I packed it, and within a split second took it back out of the box and decided I needed to have it. It is something simple, but it was SO Mom. The beads are faded yellow and beige, in a sort of almost paisley shape, but really made no pattern at all.

Inside the sunglass case, I have a letter that I wrote to my Mom the night she died. I wrote it on white, lined paper with blue ink, but I have never read it since. It got washed in the washing machine once, as it accidently did not get taken out of my pillow case on laundry day, so the paper is eternally stuck together with the creases of how I folded it 5 years ago. And I will never read it – it’s too hard. I don’t want to go back to that night.

So I sleep with it, in my pillowcase, along with the collar – a blue collar with a tiny little silver bell – from my cat who passed away just a month before Zackery was born. I sleep with my keepsakes every night that I am home. I sleep with my Mother and my cat, Raja. And till death will we part.

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw. (Disclaimer: I usually take a minute to add a picture, because I try to have one with all my posts)
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love

Two Too Long

It’s been a long week. I know the week’s not over yet – we still have Friday, and then Saturday and Sunday – but my week is done! Tomrrow is my day “off.” The babysitter is coming and I get to go do “my” stuff. Yes, I do have some paying work to do – but I welcome that. I welcome time in the car driving around by myself without a sound, except what I want to hear. If I want to listen to the radio – I will. If I want to listen to the pure sound of the road as I glide over it – I will. Yes, tomorrow is Friday, and it’s MY day.

Tuesday and Thursday were just two, too long days. From the moment I got up out of bed, I was ready to put my boys to bed. Yes, THAT kind of day. I was proud of myself though. I didn’t cry, I didn’t scream until my throat was hoarse. I delt – fairly well I must say. *pat on the back!*

This is a quickie post, but I just wanted to write down and concretize (is that even a word?) the fact that my two long days are done, and we all managed to get to bedtime and tucked in with smiles, hugs, kisses and love. Boys will be boys, Mama will be mama, and sweet dreams are happening.

When Expectations Fail

I hate to be negative, so I’ll try not to be, but sometimes a girl’s just gotta vent! And I’m not really sure where I’m going with this post, but the words “when expectations fail” have been haunting my mind the past week, so I thought I would oblige them by unlocking the control of knowing everything (because I do, just ask my boys – ha ha!), and just… well… write.

I have a lot of expectations in my life. Those I put upon myself, those I put upon other people or situations, and those put upon me by others. Those last kind are the kind I don’t like. They are the ones that make me want to (more often than not) scream at people and say “don’t you get it?!” Don’t they see what they’re asking of me? Do they not see I am doing my best and then I am expected to do better, and more, and be happy and energetic and excited about it? Don’t they see things through my eyes?

Well, probably not. I can say with much certainty (see, told you I know everything) that I am the only one that sees things through my eyes. Otherwise we would probably be living in some kind of crazy Twilight Zone – and oh how freaky that would be! I can’t imagine being in my body but seeing things from someone else’s perspective, literally. Hmm… might make a good horror story (if I were the type of person who would want to write that – given that probably the scariest movie I’ve ever seen is Chucky – or something like that – I can’t remember and I’m more of a romantic comedy kind of girl anyway). Ok, so I digress. No horror for me, just love – awww.

And, as I was saying above, I am the only one who sees things from my perspective. No one else can “walk in my shoes.” No one else sees life through my “rose colored glasses” (which sometimes turn a rancid shade of ungodly gray). No one knows the thoughts in my head (except my little voice – shhh – quiet… not now!). No one knows… unless I tell them.

I don’t like expectations put upon me, but I also (gulp) can’t expect people to know what I’m thinking, seeing, feeling… unless I tell them.

As a Mother, I wear many hats. I know a lot of Mothers who wear many hats, and some have more hats than me – so hats off to them (no pun intended). I work all day without pay (other than the love of my children – which should be enough, but honestly sometimes isn’t), and then most nights I jump on my computer until the wee hours of the night/morning, and work some more. It’s not fair. Do I have a choice? Probably, but I wouldn’t like the outcome of the other decision. I am tired of “having” to work after I just worked all day. It’s not that I don’t enjoy what I’m doing – because for the most part it’s okay. It’s not my lifelong dream or passion (I have that figured out, but can’t – don’t want to – find more time without sleep or family time to get that going). It’s easy work, which I’m grateful for. But it’s work – after I already put in a 12 hour day. Add on top of that cooking dinners, doing dishes, laundry & cleaning, bath time & bed – most nights all on my own… I’m feeling a little resentment towards these expectations upon me. Here’s where I’m feeling the failure.

It’s not anybody’s fault – it’s situational, and it just sucks right now. My husband works his butt off to provide for our family – and he does a great job at what he does, but he just is rarely home. I chose this path for myself. I chose to stay home with the boys. I chose to work nights so my husband wouldn’t need to get another job. I chose. I have to deal.

Sometimes I think my husband forgets, or I forget that I haven’t shared my thoughts and feelings with him (trying not to play victim here). There is a lot put upon me, but there is also a lot put upon him. Fair is fair. So where am I trying to go with this? I still don’t really know, other than realizing (outloud) that I need to stop bottling things up and let my husband know how I’m feeling. Maybe it’s just the word “expectation” that’s got me all flustered. It seems pretty close to “assume,” and I have learned my lesson about not assuming anything. We have to have some expectations (or assumptions) in life, but when they get completely unrealistic or out of control, we need to re-evaluate. I think that’s where I’m at right now. Re-evaluate. No one likes to fail. I don’t like to fail. So maybe, just maybe, if I can adjust those expectations a little bit – maybe a little shift here and a little shove there – then maybe the suckiness will start to dissipate.

Let Them Be

The issue of weaning is something that continues even past breastfeeding. As a “good” parent you’re supposed to wean your child off pacifiers, bottles and milk in the middle of the night. As the good parent I am (yes, I’m gonna own that one!), I of course was concerned with weaning Brayden off his bottle, and I especially wanted to do it before he turned two (that’s the deadline-oriented person in me… always setting unrealistic goals for myself). With Zackery weaning was easy. He took a sippy cup (and the bottle for that matter) no problem, and could care less where his milk was coming from, as long as he was getting it. He didn’t care if it was warm or ice cold straight from the fridge. Brayden, on the other hand, was a bit more picky (this certainly cannot be a genetic trait – ha!).

As his birthday rapidly approached, and amongst the chaos of our move, I hadn’t really come up with a plan or schedule (yes, schedules RULE) of how and when to start the weaning process. When my In-Laws were visiting in May, my husband and I just randomly began giving Brayden his milk out in the living room with big brother Zack (in hopes to at least be able to brush his teeth after all his milk). It kinda worked, but he still wanted that dark, snuggle time with his bottle in his room. I don’t blame him. The timing was probably not the best, and it wasn’t even really something we “planned” out, we just did it, and eventually he got the idea. No milk after we brush our teeth.

I think part of what helped Brayden with that transition and change in his bed time routine was watching Zack. He adores his brother (sometimes to a fault) and wants to do everything big brother does. So when we explained that Zack doesn’t have milk after he brushes his teeth, well then Brayden decided it was okay for him to have the same routine. He loves brushing, so now I feel better that the brushing is actually doing what it’s supposed to! And the dentist will thank me. 🙂

The next step was weaning him from the bottle to a sippy cup. Surprisingly enough, he mostly did this himself. It was another case of “I want to be just like big brother.” Zack had a cool sippy cup with his milk, and Brayden wanted the same thing. I remember the day it happened (not the date, but I probably wrote it on the calendar!). I was getting Brayden’s milk ready for his nap. He still gets milk after lunch and before nap. I put cold milk right into his bottle, and he pushed it away saying “No, Mommy.” I offered it again, and again he refused. I asked him if he wanted a sippy, and he said (very enthusiastically) “Yes!” I asked him if he wanted his bottle at all anymore, and he declared “No.” So, that was the last of the bottle. I put him down for his nap, washed the last bottle and set them aside to give away. Weaning done, and oh how easy it was!

It’s funny, all this stressing I did (or used to do) was really pointless. I guess it’s different with your first child, and probably each child is different all on their own anyway. Brayden turned two last week, and he’s been off the bottle for almost three weeks. In fact, it was the week we moved that he weaned himself. Yes, I said it correctly, he weaned himself. He decided when he was ready. He let me know that he wanted to be a big boy. And can I say, how easy and welcoming that entire experience was for both of us. There was no struggling, no feeling like I was depriving him, and he got to feel proud and all grown up.

Brayden has been such a blessing to me in so many ways. Aside from the obvious fact of just pure life, Brayden has taught me to just let go. It was the same way with the breastfeeding early on, and then the night wakings and finally sleeping through the night. I just let him lead the way. I decided that I would let him tell me when he was ready for transitioning. It was hard for me to release control of everything and not do things “by the book,” but the more I let myself just be there, present with him, the easier things got for both of us.

My Happy Boy Brayden!

I could go on and on about the lessons he taught me and the ways I realized he was ready for something new, but instead I will just leave it at this: Our children are amazing, beautiful, smart, intuitive beings. If we observe them, listen to them, remain present with them and guide them, they will do what’s right for them. So what if your child doesn’t compare to the child next door. SO WHAT? Every child is different. Every child has different needs, and every child will reach their milestones at different times. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they are healthy, you are healthy, and that you love each other.

I say, let them be.

Sunday Stream of Consciousness – Reinventing Myself

A couple months ago I came across a website (a blog) but every time I tried to get into it and really read it, the technical error devil appeared so I just gave up. This blog has been on my mind as one I want to go back and read, so today I felt inspired enough (and it’s quiet here at home so I actually have time to divulge myself) to give it a shot. To my joyful eyes everything technical is working, so I got to read. The part of this blog I really was looking forward to was Sunday Stream of Consciousness (SOC). It’s funny how today is the day I chose to revisit this blog, because it is the author’s last SOC. Ironic? Perhaps. Great timing? Sure. Everything happens for a reason…

So, the rules are, 5 minutes of pure writing. No proofreading, no editing, no spellchecking (oh gosh!). And today’s (and the last) prompt is: What does it mean to reinvent yourself?

Time starts… now.

Reinventing myself. What DOES that mean, to me? I feel like I’ve done that before – recently, as in within the past 2 years. When I was pregnant with Brayden and left my Architecture business (my name on the door and everything), to follow my heart and live my passion of becoming a stay-at-home Mom. I did it. It was tough. I wrote all about it in the book I co-authored (which one year ago became a number one best seller). Wow – still can’t believe that’s me, that I did that. I was part of a best-selling book. Yay me!

Okay, I don’t want to just toot my own horn, because that’s not what this is about. I want to write about making the internal change to project something new. Not changing who you are as a person deep down inside, but bringing out what is deep down inside of you. Reinvention doesn’t mean something completely different, to me, it’s just changing the way you react to situations. Or changing the path you’re on. I’m still the same person, I just shifted. It’s hard. If it’s not, well, maybe it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes the easy path means you are on the right path. Sometimes though, fighting and struggling through something makes the end that much more rewarding. Like Motherhood. It’s hard. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had, but also the most rewarding. Cliche? Yes. True? Yes. Love/hate – yes.

And… time’s up!

Thanks for reading. If you want to check out the SOC blog… here’s the link again. Happy Sunday everyone!

 
#SOCsunday

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