Archive Page 3

yah. that didn’t happen.

Have you ever read that “story” about the dad who comes home to utter chaos – kids running around in their pajamas, half-eaten food everywhere, every room a complete disaster? And he’s searching frantically for his wife because something must be wrong? And he finds her upstairs, in bed, reading? And then she says you know how you ask what I do all day? Well, today I didn’t do it.

That’s the situation with the kitchen and family room right now. Complete disaster. Buttons – hundreds of buttons in varying shades of green – are in every corner, scattered all over the floor, under the table, in places we won’t even realize for months, probably. And it looks like Hobby Lobby exploded all over the kitchen table. Scrapbook paper, sewing needles and thread, ribbons and miscellaneous buttons, felt and probably a pair of scissors.

All because I wanted to try and complete one tiiiiiny piece of our advent calendar for this year.

Leave a toddler unsupervised for thirty minutes and your whole house will turn itself inside out. They’re all conspiring against you, really. Toddlers. Houses. Toys of all kinds.

I told Tim yesterday that I felt like I had zero time to so anything other than domestic duties. I mean, really, is the laundry EVER DONE?

No, no it’s not.

Neither are the dishes.

They both auto populate with things you don’t even remember using or wearing or seeing on another person. We may as well slap an infinity sticker on their fronts because they’re always full, half full, or being filled.

I cannot seem to catch up and my need for organization and order is sounding bells and whistles in my brain. Note: The Container Store is my BFF. If you don’t know what to get me for Christmas, start there. I’d be forever grateful. There are about seventy million half finished projects going on in my life right now. The advent calendar “fillers” being one, because I can’t just write the activity on a piece of paper and call it a day. Noooooooooo. I have to go and make *special* tchotchkes.

Granted, once they’re done, I never have to make them again, so, really, I’m saving myself work in the long run, right? That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway….

It’ll be super cute once I’m finished. I mean, when you buy this advent calendar, you can’t just put paper notes inside. It’s blasphemy!

So, I guess there will be many more days of utter house chaos and destruction, if I am ever going to finish anything…

pumpkin spice reminds me of….fighting

I usually have one – maybe two – Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes each year, in the fall, of course. Who drinks pumpkin anything any other time?

Anyway.

How sad is it that the single, solitary memory that I have with these lattes is an argument?

A loooooooooong time ago, Tim and I were engaged, my youngest brother, Troy, played football, Tim was driving *the car* that I always associate with him, since it was the one he drove when we met (dark blue Acura TL), and we lived in Georgia.

One particular fall morning, we were driving to an away game to watch my brother. On the way there, we got into a huge argument over I have no idea. All I know is that he stomped on the breaks in the parking lot of the school where Troy’s game was and said curtly, “You go by yourself. I’m leaving.”

I got out of the car.

I watched him drive off.

I had no idea if I was going to have to ask my mom for a ride home.

After he left, I tried not to tear up and
went to join my mom and two other brothers, Jeff and Mason, in the stands. I had to make up some story as to why Tim wasn’t there, as they expected. I’m sure my mom saw through it, but she didn’t say anything.

Partway through the game, I put my left hand down on the concrete bleachers and scratched the band on my ring. Because of course that would happen.

By the end of the game, while we were waiting for Troy to come off the field, Tim shows up.

I don’t remember what happened or what exchanges were made. All I remember is that when we got to the car, what was sitting inside one of the cup holders but a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. His “I’m sorry” gesture.

Cue end of the fight.

However, this day, this argument, this moment in time is what I think about every time I have or hear “pumpkin spice latte.” I wish it was something a bit more cheery, but it is what it is – a memory hardwired into my brain.

Footnote: we ended up taking my ring to a fast fix jewelry repair place at the Mall of Georgia that same day, where we left it for maybe ten minutes and then Tim was like, “WHAT IF THEY TAKE YOUR DIAMOND AND REPLACE IT WITH A FAKE ONE?!” So, then, we had to go babysit my ring – aka watch them buff out the scratch. As an extra extra precaution, Tim took it to work the next day to look at the diamond under a loop to make sure the inscription that the jewelry maker put there was, in fact, there (it was).

not yet

Some days….I feel like I’m doing it all right.

Other days……eh. What am I even doing?!

Lately, it’s been like a bombardment of notifications about people having their second child. I saw one just via Facebook yesterday from someone who has a child a week younger than Kellan. Baby two. On the way.

We aren’t even there yet, people.

I want to want another kid. I do. I really, really do. I think about it almost every day. It frustrates me. It bothers me. Is something wrong with me?? Why do I not have some overwhelming desire for baby two? Aren’t my ovaries supposed to be yelling at me to procreate or something? Where is their megaphone?

I try to look into the future and “picture” our family. When I do, I feel like I see two kids. I feel like I see Kellan with a younger sibling.

Then, snap back to reality (oops, there goes gravity) and I’m like AM I SMOKING CRACK?! I don’t want to do this again. This is hard. I already struggle. I barely and rarely have a minute to myself.

I’ve tried to convince myself to stop thinking about it. To wait another year and see how I (we) feel. There is part of me that just knows – for whatever reason – that right now is not the right time. Call it my maternal instinct or sixth sense or whatever. But I am certain that now is not good. It’s not right. Whoever the next little person is that may come into our life is not ready to be here, yet. And I’m not ready for them, either, so really, it all works out.

And then the little voice says, “But what if you’re never ready?”

The circle continues.

it’s a long road, and it isn’t always pretty

I saw a quote somewhere the other day that was, in sum, how we (proverbial we) struggle and aren’t happy with our lives because we compare everyone else’s “highlight reel” to our regular, everyday, ho-hum existence. Or we compare the highlights to the part of our life that we don’t really talk about. The part, for instance, that may show we aren’t perfect or that our marriage or relationship isn’t all rainbows and laughter and magazine worthy perfection.

No one wants to talk about that part, even though we all have been there…or we are there now.

So, let’s talk about it.

I will be the first one to tell you that my life isn’t perfect. I’m sure Tim would line up behind me and be the second to voice the same. We have our moments that sometimes last for months. We go through ups and downs. We argue. We fail to communicate. We say things that are hurtful to each other, sometimes without even realizing it. Just the other weekend, after taking Kellan to a (what we thought would be) fun event called Tiny Tots Inside the Orchestra, we walked to a nearby coffee shop. We had to leave after a few minutes because Kellan was scared – it was too loud. So. Plan B. Coffee shop.

As we were walking in, I wasn’t paying attention to anything other than the fact that Kellan was whiny/probably needed a snack and pretty much snapped at Tim when he tried to tell me something about what the menu outside the shop said.

I don’t remember what I said or how I said it because my mind was 100% focused on getting Kellan’s needs met.

Tim asked me three times to repeat whatever I said….and I didn’t respond at all. I legitimately didn’t even hear him ask.

He got upset. I hurt his feelings and at the time, I didn’t even know why. It took getting into an argument (debate?) on the way home before I even knew what I had done. He didn’t want to talk about it or deal with it or start a fight.

I guess I did.

However, even though the whole conversation on the way home was zero percent fun, it helped. It took down some barriers we both had put up over the span of time this same type of thing had happened and neither of us dealt with it; but instead held it in and put up a protective wall. I’m pretty sure at some point, Tim said, “It’s always the same things. We always argue over the SAME THINGS. So, we are either not adjusting/changing our behaviors enough or we aren’t willing to change them at all.”

Ouch. But, that is true. It’s hard to change.

However, actually hearing what it was/is that I did/do that upsets Tim helped me realize that what I was doing (basically saying something with a snippy tone to stop the conversation dead in its tracks) was not the best way to handle a stressful situation for me (Kellan needing something). Tim learned that he sometimes has to actually make me repeat what he asked to make sure I heard him (though I’m trying to get better at hearing him the first time).

(And Kellan was asleep, by the way, so he wasn’t having to consciously witness this.)

I have a really hard time explaining to Tim, or to anyone, really, how difficult it is for me to pay attention when Kellan is actively needing something. It’s like my entire brain is buzzing, tuning everything out, except whatever it is that I need to do to satisfy the need. I’m sure I will get better at handling myself in these situations as Kellan gets older, but right now my brain literally goes into tunnel vision mode. It drops everything, tunes everyone out, doesn’t see anything except for any possible solution to take care of the need.

That automatic response is why I said my snippy comment outside the coffee shop and why I didn’t hear Tim ask me to repeat myself three times. All I heard in my brain, on repeat, was, “Do they have apple juice???

We have a really long way to go. We have much still to learn about balance and communication and compromise and letting go and being a family. It is really hard. Maybe I have more to learn in those areas than Tim, I don’t know. All I do know is that even though I mostly talk about lighthearted things and post pictures of fun events or moments, know that everyday life isn’t always so glamorous. We are not the perfect example if anything, other than maybe how not to be perfect, if that makes any sense. We are just regular people, trying to make the best out of what we have.

so, about the flood…

Yah, so, the flooding in Colorado. Did you happen to catch that on the news? It happened. It’s real. And it is bad.

We were very fortunate to stay dry, but areas only a few miles to our east, north, and west were not as lucky. I feel very compelled to help, since this is all basically in my “backyard.”

This is a creek. Not a river. It is usually not even visible from where I’m standing. It’s typically pretty shallow and narrow. It is never defined as “raging.” Also, those are trees against a bridge that has almost been overtaken by water. This creek is about a mile from where we live. And those people are not being smart, for the record.

20130917-192114.jpgI’ve been trying to provide assistance any way I can. I’m currently running a page on Facebook called Colorado Flood Temporary Homes and I’m also selling these doo-dads on Etsy, benefiting flood relief.

20130917-192457.jpgSo, if you can, please help, share, pass it on, anything you can do. It’s a looooooooooong road ahead.

I *want* to be that person…but I’m not

Tim: I just wanted you to know that Kelly (his haircut person I saw for the first time on Saturday) said, completely unsolicited, by the way, “Wow! She’s so pretty!”

Me: Are you sure she was referring to me? Because really. Zero makeup, hair in a messy ponytail thing, bags under my eyes? Food or deodorant or both – probably – on my clothes? And besides, you pay her.

Tim: Um. I don’t pay her for unsolicited compliments.

Sigh.

You know, there actually was once a time in my life where I was petrified of leaving the house without makeup, having my hair pretty, and wearing the *perfect* outfit.

I even wore makeup to basketball practice, where I would get sweaty and hot and bang up on anyone under the basket trying to get a rebound.

But, you better believe I’d look good running up and down the hardwood (basketball court for the sports illiterate).

Then, at some point in college, I started caring less. And less. And less.

And soon, I was wearing sweatpants to class without a stitch if makeup, smirking as the freshman who were all dolled up, though secretly wishing I had the energy and desire to put that much effort into my morning.

Becoming a mom made me not care at all. Did I accomplish all of the non-neggotiables? Shower? Brush my teeth? Put on deodorant? Am I wearing pants? Check, check, check, check?

We’re good to go.

A shower is kind of like my thing. Do not expect an overly pleasant conversation – or more than a one word, curt response – until I’ve had my shower and I can remove the swamp from my mouth.

My mom learned this wonderful tidbit about my personality a looooooong time ago. There would be arguments over absolutely nothing in the mornings before school until she figured out that I needed time – and a shower – to wake up and become a pleasant person instead of a raging (okay, maybe not raging) beast of a human. A simple question like, “do you want toast for breakfast?” had the potential to set me off all, “I’m not even hungry!”

Okay – I think I just took a detour from the point I was trying to make…moral of the story: don’t mess with me or ask me questions until I’ve had a shower and I approach you, capisce (“cah-peesh” people)? End tangent.

So, my whole point was that I no longer care that I do not wear makeup unless it is some kind of occasion that calls for that kind of extra effort. I’ll curl my eyelashes because it takes like, a minute, but that’s usually the extent of my beauty regimen.

Thing is, though? I would love to spend an extra twenty minutes to do all the frilly stuff. I just…don’t have an extra twenty minutes and even if I did?

Doubtful I’d start spending it in front of a mirror. I would like to say I would, but, obviously, if I’ve gone this long (think college) without actually caring….I don’t see it changing any time soon.

I want to be that person who cares…who always looks put together…never frumpy…wears makeup to go to the grocery store…but I’m just…sigh. I’m just not her.

*Unless* I’m invited to do the kinds of activities that require a cute outfit, curled hair, and a pretty face.

Unfortunately, buying food, running errands, and toddler play dates do not fall into that category.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I wore cute shoes and wasn’t wearing a nursing tank under my regular clothes. Oh. Wait. It was almost nineteen months ago.

(Related: Tieks, please help…my feet. Do you make size 11…and potentially a half?).

I’m more for convenience and comfort than style, because I cannot be chasing a kid through a playground with a dress on. Hello, awkward situation waiting to happen.

Fashionista I am not. Someone may want to call that intervention show where they throw away all your clothes and give you a better wardrobe. I think we may be at that point. I’m so far down the frumpy path that I can’t see the forest for the trees.

pow wow time

Okay. So. Pow wow time.

A looooooong time ago, I started my blog to write out my thoughts and feelings. It was how I “got it out” so to speak.

Then, more and more people I knew in real life started reading it and started having their own opinions about what I was writing and I got more and more sensitive to that. I censored…a lot. And continued to do so.

Well, that allllllllllll ends today.

My current life is at a point where I need – need – to write it out. Everything I have wanted to say…needed to write about…I haven’t because I was worried about the backlash, the potential to offend someone, the emails or comments about how I was doing it wrong (whatever it may be).

I think I have finally gotten to a point in my life where I really don’t care about all of that. I’m not looking to stir the pot, but I’m also done trying to please everyone, too. I’m writing about my experiences. My view on things that happen. My opinion.

Now, just so we are all on the same page, I do not write with the intent to offend anybody. What I write is how *I* feel. If my opinions or views or whatever put a bee in your bonnet, newsflash: no one is forcing you to read what I write. Stay happy: Don’t read.

For everyone who actually sees me on the regular (I feel like I sound so hip saying that…which probably means I’m not hip at all), I’m the same person I always was. If you want to talk about what I write, okay. I’m game. If what I say makes you not want to be my friend…that makes me sad. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that. I realize this makes it sound like I’m about to write some craaaaaazy stuff. Highly unlikely. This is just the catch all disclaimer in not-so-tiny print.

I’m just tired of censoring everything, everywhere, all the time. If you follow me on Instagram (Jessica Bold) or are my Facebook friend and think that, based on what I post, my life is a pot full of rainbows and sunshine…well, know that you’re only seeing a tiny – TINY – snippet of what actually goes on in a day in my life. And that snippet is usually a funny moment, a happy time, something I think others will get a smile from. It’s rarely how I’m at the end of my rope. Frustrated beyond my ability to be rational. Tired. Exhausted. Worn down to the point of wanting to collapse and shut out the world…or run away for a day just to have a moment to think. To be in the quiet. To do something *I* want to do. To not have someone always needing something or asking me questions or having to hear, “Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy.” until I relent.

Being a mom is really, really, really hard. Other moms already know this. Live this. I am no different. I am not a super mom who has it all together and makes all the right decisions or spends every waking minute enriching my child. I mess up. I lose my temper. I let Kellan sit in front of the TV for an hour or so just so I can have a second to just…sit.

It’s really unfortunate that he no longer likes watching TV but instead wants me to sit there and rewind the ten-second theme songs to about seven different shows over and over and over – but never the same show twice in a row.

“Bob Builder! Pomas (Thomas)! Tigger Backson (Pooh)! Dinosaur Train! Monkey (Curious George)! Cat intha Hat! Different one! Different one!”

It’s endless. It is intense. It has been so bad this past week that this conversation actually happened after Tim came home from work to a child who was literally off the walls crazy. Running around, clearing counters with one swipe of a hand, laughing, yelling, throwing anything he could find.

Tim: Is this what you’ve been dealing with all day??

I just gave him the side eye like, YEP. Welcome to my world.

Tim: This is too stressful. I’m going back to work.

I have a really difficult time even lamenting over these things that, in the grand scheme of life, are pretty petty. I know that I live a blessed and privileged existence. I am probably not as thankful of that fact as I should be, though I try to remind myself of how lucky I am. When I see those that I am friends with on Facebook or those I follow on twitter mention something is they are (rightfully so) genuinely excited about – like getting a new apartment or buying a (new to them) used car or when they are pining over something that I would typically just go out and buy if I wanted it…it is like an unplanned punch to the gut. An instant reminder that I should stop complaining. That I should be happy and thankful all the time, because I get to live in a house. I got to buy a new car. I was able to go buy a pair of shoes without worrying about having enough money to pay the electric bill.

But, if I am honest, it is hard to always be thankful. It is hard to not want to whine about how I struggle with suiting up in my armor to go to battle for yet another day over not throwing food, wearing clothes, taking a nap, with a toddler who always seems to win.

I love being a parent. I love Kellan more than I can put into words. I am eternally grateful to Tim for working so hard to provide this amazing life for us.

But, I have my days. My moments. The times I need this blog to write out my frustrations and feelings and whininess (it’s a word today) without having to think about having to be thankful because others are struggling much more than me. Maybe that’s selfish, but it is something I legitimately need for my mental health. I can’t be a good mom, a good wife, a good friend, when I have all these frustrations inside that I am just barely, barely keeping a lid on.

This is why I can’t filter or censor anymore. I need a space where I don’t have to do that. This was my space for that, and from this point forward, I’m taking it back.


this is where you ask those burning questions

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