Wednesday, August 27, 2014

School Started!!!!!!

I love that my kids love school.  I'm working SO hard to keep that going as long as I can.  They think every single subject is great.  Seriously!?  the only subjects I liked is reading, writing, and anything that had to do with music.  They must be their father's children.

Went to a meet the teacher night last night and enjoyed it from a front row center point of view.  Hm.  maybe that's where I went wrong when it came to school. 

I feel informed this year.  We are getting organized.  Last year, poor 08 came home with a backpack of papers that I never got to look through because he had already destroyed them.  This year!?  That's not happening.  He uses his take home folder.  He empties his bag every night.  He brings it to me, we go over it like Wally and Beav used to with Ward and June.  Ward, what a great name. 

Another thing we do now?  We eat dinner at the table!  I know, right!?

Another thing?  Chore Charts.  Did you know that my children have no desire or incentive to do a chore chart unless their sibling is!?  Sibling rivalry is the best, despite what Cain and Abel will tell you.  Disagree if you must, but my kids haven't missed a shower, piano practice, they pick up after themselves, they hang up their crap, they do their work.  They lighten mine.  They should.  They are capable of feeding the animals, they are able to scoop a litter box, they are able to set the table, they can tidy their bedroom, they can do aspects of their own laundry.  This is a good thing. 

I am in a really good place.  I can feel it's a very distant place, but still a good one.  I'm going to bask in it for a while longer. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Me and Schmiegel

Make no mistake about it - I am not referring to the actual F word.  The four lettered one that no one REALLY needs to say.  I'm referring to Facebook.  I still love the real F word.

I had quite the realization the other day regarding my relationship with Facebook.  I loathe and love Facebook.  I am always annoyed that it tells me about people that I don't even care about, and I'm even more annoyed when it doesn't tell me about people I do care about.  A friend of mine, that I haven't talked to one time, since the 9th grade had a baby and I didn't even know she was pregnant.  Way to go Facebook.

I have been riding quite the emotional rollercoaster as of late and as a self-aware person, it was really easy to hone down and toss out the parts that clearly wasn't helping matters.  Facebook.

First, lets back up and opt for some real-talk.  I have been having a hard time with myself as far as my friends & family is concerned (author's note:  my family for the purposes of this entry is defined as anyone related to me or my husband, not just my side of the tree).  

I feel a twinge of emotion when I realize how stressed my relationship is with them, and just as soon as that twinge comes, so does my inner Schmiegel, my inner Schmiegel is a real wench and she doesn't let ANYTHING go.  

She gets mean, and she gets evil and she tells me things or reminds me of things to stop me from being hurt - she means well.  The thing is, my inner Schmiegel isn't protecting a gold ring - crouched to the ground, holding it so tightly, calling it precious.  On the contrary, she is protecting my heart.  And folks... my heart is precious.

Over the last several months I have no longer been able to scroll through a news feed and browse.  I have felt rejected, hurt, jealous and left out far more than a person should.  

I'm sure it's happened to you too, right?  Ohhh, sure it has, I'll give you some examples:

  1. You ask someone to do something and they are too busy, but then they are Instagraming the crap out of their life that includes everyone but you.   
  2. You ask someone to do something and they are always too strapped financially, but are rocking tickets to the latest greatest thing, or vacationing somewhere magical, or talking about what a great deal they got on {insert anything that couldn't possibly have actually been a good deal here} and still 
  3. You are constantly hearing from people how they never see you anymore, and they think you're kidding when you tell them that the interstate runs both ways
  4. You ask someone what their plans are and they tell you nothing, but what they meant to say was, "nothing with you" 
Things like that.  I stopped scrolling and I started scrutinizing - I tried to talk to my friends and family about it, but it's really hard when they see all of those types of things as sheer coincidences.  

It was making me crazy.  I wasn't about to cry or anything, because it didn't seem like the appropriate emotion.  Schmiegel seemed to agree with me.  Anger and resentment replaced most of the emotions that I was feeling before.  Along with two middle fingers held high for everyone to see.  Those are there for the visual, but I wasn't really doing that...I just wanted to, really bad.  It was how I was handling everything internally.

So - I had a talk with my husband, I wrote a GIANT letter to one of Schmiegel's biggest offenders to sort my thoughts out and it hit me as I was writing out the list of horrible things the offender had done to me and Schmiegel that NONE of these things would be something I would have known anything about without Facebook.

I had a talk with Schmiegel's offender - a long talk but a healing talk and told them that I would be quitting Facebook - at least for awhile, because it really was the root of the events that triggered the horrible emotions.  

I was initially met with some opposition from friends, family and Schmiegel, but I'm rounding out 72 hours and doing ok.  I couldn't actually deactivate my account, because it hooks me to a game that my husband and I play together - but I deleted it from my phone and hope that I don't log in for long enough that I have to request a new password.

See, the thing is, I can't be wrapped up in 300 stranger's lives - because I have some pretty great things going on at home in my real life.  The life that doesn't require a signal or internet connection.  I know that this is how some people keep in touch with me or keep up with my boys growing like weeds, but really - that's a bullshit copout.  If you don't see them often enough to WATCH them grow and EXPERIENCE some of the funny shit that I get to experience on a daily basis, then it's your loss.

For my loved ones reading this, please know that I'm not angry.  Schmiegel and I are both just hurt and tired and I don't need kind words and empty promises - it makes Schmiegel work frantically to protect my heart - it's her one job and she'll come out swinging before she lets you continue to hurt me.

If you have friends that you would rather be spending time with than me, then you should be with them & I'll find new friends.  I've done it before, I can do it again.  I think you make time for people and plans that are important to you - and right now, my heart is too tired and weak to keep doing it for people that aren't willing to do the same for me.  

I will tell you this ... it's hard and insulting to realize that life goes on whether or not I post to Facebook.  Turns out the world CAN go on without my funny, witty, opinionated insight and comments each day .... lol .... who knew!?

Friday, August 22, 2014

to my future self.

Dear 20 years from now me,

Look at us go!  We became a grandmother! 

I'm sure you are in love with this new little bundle of joy and it's causing your mind to race about how things were way back in 2006, 2008, and 2010 when you had your kids - remember that really nice nurse who got us warm towels?  Remember that really nice anesthesiologist who got us the epidural?  remember that super great doctor who told you this was turning into a csection?  remember that rookie pediatrician who told you your kid had a heart murmur?  remember that awful nurse who wouldn't let you nurse your infant?  remember the wench who let you vomit for four hours before giving you anti nausea meds?   remember how you felt when they took your snorting baby away and cam back with him in a NICU cube?  gosh that was awful.  but we made it.  and we love our boys regardless of how it was or would've gone.  we had some postpartum psychosis and made it through and were pleasantly surprised that it didn't come back with a vengeance. remember how awful it seemed that you only got 8 weeks off?

ahhh sweet memories...but hold on, there are some other things you should remember.

remember when people sent you books and videos telling you that you would be killing your child if you chose to vaccinate?  remember when people talked about how full of it your OB was when he said all of my deliveries would be csections?  remember when everyone was in your face about breastfeeding?  remember when people dropped by unannounced after you had the baby? remember when THEY were trying to tell YOU how they were going to "help you"?  remember when they were trying to tell you that they would stay with you for a few week?  oh god, that made you want to freak out just thinking about it.

lets remember how awful that unsolicited advice was and how it would've been nice to be ASKED what would help.  what would've helped you at that exact time might be different for what will help someone else...don't forget that.

remember when you had to go back to work?  oh man, you cried so hard while you were pumping, you spent every free second you had calculating how to make it work financially if you quit your job and stayed home in 2006. remember in 2007 when you switched to an in home daycare that you thought was safer and he started having marks and bruises that couldn't be explained?  remember how you snatched him out of there like a thief in the night?  remember when family tried to tell you they would watch your kid and save you money on daycare?  I'm so glad we never did that - not because they wouldn't have done a good job, but because they spent their time as parents and you never wanted them to feel used.  man, you were smart.  remember when you got that job in 2008 while you were on maternity leave, you cried because you knew you got the job and you were happy at your old job, you just didn't make enough money.  you were so mad that you had to choose between happiness and money.  you were so mad that you just had the baby and now you had to change jobs.  remember how good you felt to leave him in 2010 knowing that he was with his daddy and mandy at the daycare?!  you never wondered about him, never ever worried about him.  you knew he was loved, you knew he was taken care of.  you were at peace. 

lets remember how stressful daycare decisions and child-rearing decisions can be.  there is a delicate balance between letting someone live their own life and be an adult - and you need to be a grandma, not a third wheel in the parenting wagon.  you parented your children.  it's not your turn now.

remember when family over stepped?  they over stepped and tried to ram-rod you and you came out swinging ... they kept pushing kept trying to invade your life and your routines and they kept acting like they knew your child better than you did.  they kept pushing to babysit, they kept wanting private time and you were so pissed off - why did they need private time?!  remember when you felt like they were always trying to pull something?!  you always felt that they were always trying to manipulate you in some way.  you always felt like there was something they weren't telling you - because you're kinda scarey.

or stepped too far back?  then almost over night, the offers to baby sit stopped, the sweet i'm-thinking-of-you gifts stopped, they got way too busy for you and your kids and couldn't find the time to spend time with you at all - they had their own lives and being a grandparent seemed to cramp their style.  remember when they would come to one sporting event per season just to say they came and would spend the entire time chatting with people instead of cheering for 06, 08, and 10? remember how lame it was and how you stopped giving them their schedule because you wanted to protect them in your own way?

just remember that fine line - be available, but not pushy.  offer to help, but don't demand it on your terms or your schedule - try to remember that as exhausted as you are, they need time when they ask for it or they wouldn't be asking.  plus, we all know kids are only kids who want to go to grandma's for so long.  then it's christmas and easter.  be present, be involved, be supportive.

and remember, when your children seem hurt they probably are.  when they seem closed off, you have to ask the awkward questions to find out why.  when you ask what the plans are and they don't have any made yet, that isn't an invitation for you to create and execute plans for them.  you are done planning little kids birthday parties, you just get to show up!  you are done making Christmas morning the most exciting thing ever - you just get to show up!  just make sure you show up.  be a better grandparent than you knew, be a better grandparent than your kids knew. 

and most of all, be respectful of their wishes, and willing to help.

Monday, May 12, 2014

once upon a time i had a blog

i feel guilty for taking up this space and never using it.  some would say i should just go ahead and use it then - her name is sabrina and she doesn't blog right now either.

mothers day was yesterday and since i have three boys it's basically like christmas in may ... ok maybe not that cool but i did capitalize on the opportunity to tell my kids that they can't fight/argue/punch each other in the throats because it's SUCH a sacred holiday. 

sometimes when i'm blogging a stupid song comes on spotify and i lose all inspiration.  pretty rude, spotify. pre. tty. rude.

my children don't sleep.  and I know, someone is going try to give me advice and you should save it because all I'm going to give you is a middle finger.  so friday i had a direct sales party and they stayed up until 10 and all three were up by 7 the next morning.  i opted out of napping them because i was going to convince their sweet, little bodies that they are so tired they MUST sleep past 7am.  saturday night they stayed up until just after 9 and we ran them like little work horses.  like, legit, their dad cut down two bushes that were as tall as trees, a tree that was convinced it was destined to be bush and then trimmed the weeping monster and they hauled the brush from all of them.  i helped, but not very much because I was already tired (they never let me sleep) and I know how to sleep in (not that i'm ever afforded the opportunity).  sunday morning i woke up first, at about 615 and decided to get up because i would have a nice quiet time all to myself.  i poured a glass of orange juice and grabbed my bible for the first time in years and when i rounded the corner, the middle one was up.  seriously!?  he snuggles up and turns on netflix on an old smart phone that we have.  10 minutes later the eldest comes down.  grabs his tablet and curls up under a blanket.  an hour later the baby and his dad came down - still all up by 715. 

all three boys play hockey and their dad coaches 66% of them each week.  he's a good guy, i plan to keep him around as long as he'll have me.  i am not normally a crazy hockey mom screaming at my kids each week - this week was an exception.  this week they didn't even try.  my middle camped out by the goal just in case the other team managed to get the puck down there, then he would be ready.  what?!  the eldest had big plans to glide his way to success and i was pissed.  everyone else is actually skating their tails off and my son is standing straight up, holding a stick.  are you kidding!?  i was pissed.  the three year old was more involved in the game than the 6 and 8 year old.  i was hot.

I was also pretty pissed because of people that show up and have no plans to watch the game.  if you are going to take the time to come to a game, don't stand directly behind me and talk about things that have nothing to do with the play happening in front of you.  and if you are my family or friends that i invited to watch my kids play, plan on me not actually talking to you during the game.  i will talk to you before the game starts, when my kid is on the bench and when the game is over.  i will get excited when my kid makes a great play, i will be constantly yelling at him (i say him because really, it's all of them) to get down the rink to help his team, get his stick down and take the puck away.  they always forget that part and it makes me crazy.  i will not apologize to you for not holding up my end of the conversation.  i am here for my kids.  90% of the time i wont even have my phone out because they are not on my phone...they are directly in front of me...playing pee-wee hockey for the next 30 minutes they get my attention.  not you. 

the weekend was way too short and is over and all i can think about is how i yelled at my kids in the car because they weren't even trying.  i could care less if they win or lose, but at least try.  then, for fun, mother nature decided to throw a giant storm our way just to drive home the fact that no one will be sleeping.  at all.

the world wonders why i'm stabby?  seriously.  don't wonder.  there isn't a magic formula.

oh.  the bible.  right.  i chose to read a devotion about change.  there are major changes about to happen at work and i was looking for some encouragement.  i ended up reading about god giving the new covenant - new rules, new game plan.  still the same premise as before, same objective (worship, love god, get others to love god too) but new plays.  i did find encouragement but am not oblivious to the fact that change is hard, change takes work and change almost always means you'll piss someone off.  i am certain that these changes will piss enough people off that we will lose some - i'm just hoping it'll make us more efficient, trim some fat and find ourselves more lean. *swallows hard* this plan is flawless.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

aca awkward

have you ever been in that conversation with that one person who doesn't know when the conversation ended for you?  there are natural and progressive parts of a conversation and if you have any social skills at all, you know exactly that point that i'm talking about.  travis and i used to call it the three taps.  it's where a conversation has a natural break and that's the non-awkward time for someone to hang up the phone, walk away, drive off, whatever is appropriate.

yesterday, i had the pleasure of chatting with someone who has never heard of this concept in her life.  or if she has, she was doing an amazing job of hiding it.  the initial conversation was normal, had to do with our kids who are the same age and what extra curricular activities they were going to be involved in this year.  normal.  once i had answered her initial question and appropriately discussed the topic, she could have walked away.  she didn't.  she stood in the doorway and waited.  then began telling me all about their family history, their background, their goals and past conversations and a bunch of information i didn't want to know.  i wasn't asking additional questions.  i was hardly looking at her.  she JUST.KEPT.GOING.

mandy and i like to mess with each other when this stuff happens ... i'll send her a facebook message, she'll send me a text, whatever we do - we avoid eye contact at all costs...for fear that we'll bust up laughing.  so when i hear my phone buzz, i know it's her.  it's her messing with me.  i read the text.  doing my best to control my laughter when i read, "I mean...what?  You wanted to know his sports history, right?!" 

it was aca awkward.  it was super awkward.  she didn't walk away.  she didn't leave.  she lingered.  how do people not have social skills?!  even my cat knows when i stop petting him to jump down and find someone else to love on.

being aware of concepts like this is probably how people make it past acquaintance and into friend in my world.  that's probably not true.  i think about the people that i consider to be my best friends and wonder how they made it past my wall of, "mmmeehh - i have enough friends," my beliefs that would make a nun blush, and my comments that would cause the cast of SNL to grab a pen and paper.

i'm pretty convinced people who have this delusion that everyone wants to hear what they think, or hear their voices in general, didn't have parents like me.  they probably never heard their mother tell them to stop talking, they probably never experienced a family game night where it was ok that a child lost, they probably never had their parents play cards with another family until the wee hours of the morning - kids banished to the living room with age appropriate games, nintendo, or tv ... they never had to sit through a church service with nothing more than a bulletin, pencil and stick of Big Red to get them through the "boring parts"....

as a parent, i hope to tolerate and listen to (and have) a little more frivolous dialogue, but not to the point that my kids become the one who lingers as an adult with no concept of when to walk away.  whether it's walking away from a relationship, a friendship, a job, or a simple conversation - i hope that they will catch a little bit of the hollie hardass snark ...  that name is a gift from one of my bff's, and it probably fits...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Demolition Derby Details

Call it a whim, call it a lapse in judgement, I agreed to make a trek to Colfax, IA last weekend for a fantabulous night at their local demolition derby.

I have three boys and two men that are constantly in my life, so none of this seems like a stretch for me.  They do crap I want to all the time, they take me places, they spend their money doing a bunch of stuff they don't really want to, but they do it to appease me.  So I've convinced myself that I can do this, that I can sit on some bleachers watching cars crash into eachother, sling a little mud and head home for the night.  Plus, the entire night was going to cost all of $20.  I can't take my family to McDonald's for less than that ...

We get to Colfax and everyone is hungry, the initial plan was to grab McDonald's on the way into town - but the boys had just had that last night, and the thought of spending 80 points on whatever meal I got didn't appeal to me.  I was being a brat and throwing a tantrum and wanted to find something else.  Google told me there is a pizza place, a Subway, a McDonalds and a diner of some sort ... the pizza place had a 45 minute wait so we went in search of Subway. 

We found Subway, ordered, sat down, and I was about 5 inches into my footlong and I couldn't chew.  I didn't have to keep going to know what was in my mouth.  A piece of fatty, ligament, nasty, hard, whatever the hell it's called meat filler in my mouth.  I get the chills, I am seriously ready to throw up.  C'mon.  I do the right thing, I order a turkey sub with spinach and cucumber and THIS is the thanks I get!??!  This is horseshit.

Annoyed, I refuse to take another bite, reminding myself that next time I'll get a cheese sandwich...or a veggie delite...something that would have less chance of making me want to vomit. 

We make our way to the derby.  pay our admission, drive down the gravel road and I feel like fell bass ackwards into a country song.  I have never, ever, in my life seen so many pickup trucks, cans of bush light, or people smoking their cigarettes in my entire life.  I swallowed - hard.  Trying to be excited, trying to be happy, trying to be fun, trying to be a good sport.  I realized, almost instantly, that we should have came straight to the fairgrounds rather than getting dinner.  Afterall, the most expensive item on their concession stand was like $2 - a helluva lot cheaper than my wretched subway.  Turns out, everyone gets to back their pickup trucks directly up to the gates and enjoy the show from the bed of their truck.  There are four small sets of bleachers that are completely full - I mean, COMPLETELY full.  We walk around the arena and come across a spot that has room for about two adults, we are about to fit three adults and three children.  Travis asks the guy right behind the spot if the seats are taken and he tells us to go ahead and sit down.

Lady on the lawn chair next to the bleachers starts objecting, telling me that these seats are taken.  Now, I would love to tell you that SHE was being irrational, that SHE was being unreasonable, but this blog is loaded with honesty and I see no reason to stop that now.  It was ME who was irrational and unreasonable.  I felt like I just walked through a ring of fire (which was actually just cigarette smoke and spilled beer) - I could hear the intro to the tom petty song "wont back down" and if I was about to throw down over these seats.  Just before I was able to prove that despite my brushed teeth, washed hair, and clothing that appropriately covers my body, I will get loud, I will get crazy and I have NO problem being mean, her husband interjects and tells her that he didn't mind giving up his seat, that, "these people have small kids and need a place to sit"  I apologized to her for the things I did and didn't say, she apologized too.

This was not my element - it really, REALLY wasn't.  There was far too much smoking for my liking, we were outside and it felt like everyone was smoking and blowing their smoke right at me and my kids.  I was frustrated by the parents who were holding their babies and smoking at the same time.  I was really irritated that the "officials" or flag people were chain smoking - one right after another! They are like the "cool people" that all of the kids are watching and they have a flag in one hand, cig in another.  Gross.  I was annoyed that people had their newborn babies out at this event, I was annoyed that the "DJ" had a playlist with the same four songs that were playing over and over and over again, I was REALLY annoyed that the theme of the derby was "Get Smashed in Colfax" - my kids wanted t-shirts and THAT wasn't going to happen.

Truth be told, it was a stretch to get the boys to look at me long enough to take the pictures and the biggest two wouldn't look at me.  whatever.  so they had a good time.  the youngest two asked to go to the car with two heats left ... it was about 9pm and was getting dark and I held the boys' hands and made the long trek back to the mini van... it's funny though, every thing I've said about this derby and I would tell you that I wasn't nervous at all while walking two kids by myself in a field of pickup trucks and wrangler jeans ... i figured, in general, the most trouble I would have found was with lawn chair lady, and that was hours ago....and I was right.

There are a million songs about trucks, coon hounds, country back roads, good ol' boys, tailgates and tan lines and I know a good many of them.  someday, local fair grounds will join the rest of iowa in being a smoke free event.  Until then, I'll take solace in the fact that my boys were disgusted by the smoking almost as much as I was ... and when you ask them what they remember about Saturday night, they talk about cars and mini vans crashing into each maybe they weren't in culture shock, maybe they'll be just fine if they have this much exposure to THIS breed of redneck once or twice a year....

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Twenty Ten Baby

Once upon a time I was pregnant and was drinking 100 ounces of water to keep my blood pressure low so i didn't have to have a baby earlier than i wanted to.  I had a doctors appointment on Wed the 18th, was told by the doctor to stay home the 19th because he wanted to recheck my levels the next day once I had rested...went in on the 19th and they redrew labs.  I figured the next step was bed rest, I didn't figure a baby.

I got The Osborn Call that evening when my labs came back, telling me that while my blood pressure and swelling were amazing, my platelets were not.  damn.  surgery the next day.  I remember asking him if it was too early.  I was only 35 weeks pregnant.  he said we'd just have to see.

The next morning, my 7 pound, 15.4 ounce baby was born via csection.

I loved my OB - he was great - after months of promising me that he would get me some valium to calm me down before the spinal - he laughed, said I was fine and that he must have lied to me, but that i'm here and i'm doing great so we're going to keep going.  WHAT?!!?  The ONLY reason I was fine was because I was supposed to have SOME type of anti anxiety medication and I got a the dr who I had seen through three high risk pregnancies and 8 years of exams is laughing at me.  I was floored.  All in all, he was right, I was fine. 

A few hours after he was born I noticed that he was grunting - like a little piggy - I mentioned it to the nurse and she said she would check his oxygen levels.  Turns out grunting in infants is a sign of respiratory distress....they moved him to the NICU before anyone met him. 

I had to fight tooth and nail to do things that I knew as a mother to do - breastfeed, hold him, see him.  And made the swift decision that no one was meeting him until my older boys had.  (Have I ever told you how good I am at making waves??)  Grandma's and Grandpa's were irate, friends were bummed and I was clenching to this one.last.thing. that it felt I was in control over. 

Two days later he was discharged back to the "regular" nursery because my pediatrician is amazing.  my business partner and budding best friend came later that evening to visit and to tell me that she quit her job with the wicked witch of the west via was probably the best evening in the hospital i've ever had :)

About Aaron:

~ he could not have been an Ace or Apollo
~ he is the baby of the family, however is afraid of no one.  brothers be dammed.
~ he will tell on you, even if you think he wont
~ he loves tractors, fast cars, helicopters and every sport possible
~ he loves rollerblades and will tell you all about how he is going to pway bwasebawl soon
~ he loves water, swimming, sprinklers and playing in daycare's drinking fountain
~ he loves food, but generally refuses to sit still during a meal
~ he bites - a lot.
~ he is EXTREMELY ticklish
~ he is EXTREMELY tall and SO thin
~ he has EXTREMELY large feet
~ he rarely will poop in the potty (though he's pretty perfect with pee!)
~ he loves his binky - still.  AND his daddy has decided that he's done with it today.  (mean ol' daddy)

You are indecisive but can be persuaded with logic and reason most of the time.  you don't respond to someone yelling/hollering at you, this makes you shut down.  you are the biggest helper when it comes to cleaning and picking up - you are always insisting that SOMEONE let you help in SOME way...

Aaron, you have your mother's infectious laugh and your fathers sense of adventure.  My predictions about you:  saying goodbye to the binky will be REALLY hard for you.  you will be my tallest child.  you will be trouble for us, you aren't afraid of ANYTHING.  I cannot remember a time when you weren't in our lives.  We love you SO much and are SO happy that we decided to have just one more baby :)  As soon as you were born I felt whole, I felt soul needed you and I'm so happy that I have you.