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.