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Ugh

I am not sure if it the impending holiday season that is upon us or something else that I can’t quite put my finger on, but I’m feeling….lonely. And that’s weird for me.

When Tim and I first moved to Colorado in 2010, I had zero friends until Kellan was born, which was February 2012. Zero. And I was fine. I was at the gym a lot and saw the same people almost every day, so maybe that felt like having friends? I don’t know.

But now….I keep having dreams of being in our old town in Colorado and being REALLY EXCITED about going grocery shopping. I mean, excited like a kid on Christmas Eve. It is so strange. Sure, we have grocery stores in Arkansas, but it’s not the same. The selection is terrible. The store choices are exactly two…three if we drive an hour…but I mean, I can deal with this being the reality for a few years. But why am I dreaming about grocery shopping? I have never dreamt about grocery shopping in my entire life.

And why am I feeling lonely?

I admit, I am pretty bummed that we don’t even have the option of sharing any holiday anything with anyone here -party, get together, play date, dinner, etc. It has been a real struggle to make any friends. At least in Colorado, we had the option of doing fun things with friends.

I am thankful – October edition

Wow. It’s been a super busy month, you guys….

October 1: Kellan and his crazy vocabulary. I asked him if he was finished eating his snack and his response? “Not quite yet.” Not QUITE yet, well, okay, then.

October 2: The storms with the cold front weren’t as bad as anticipated. Whew.

October 3: Having Tim home for a long weekend. Also, naps.

October 4: the most perfect fall weather day, complete with a trip to the park and dinner outside on the deck!

October 5: A nice long family walk in the evening after dinner. The weather was pretty nice! And this kid – maybe 10? – thanked Kellan when he brought a soccer ball back to their yard (it ended up not being theirs). And then, the kid, who was in the middle of playing with a friend/brother, stops, bends down, looks right at Kellan and says hi and asks his name. Tim and I were in shocked silence. Whoever is raising him, is raising him right. What a kind and genuine gesture.

October 6: Kellan wandered off this morning while we were eating breakfast and went to go play by himself in the family room. It was kind of strange, him doing that, but also kind of nice to see he’s becoming his own person and wanting to do things by himself/as an individual. He’s growing up.

October 7: The ability to lay with Kellan in the morning until he’s ready to get up. Sometimes it’s five minutes, others it’s 45. Either way, I have the option to do that, and I see how much of a blessing that is, versus having a hectic morning where we are trying to get ready for work and him ready for daycare or preschool….I am really thankful we can have mellow mornings.

October 8: Kellan being a super big cooperator and getting up early so we could take my car to get service at the “deodership.”

October 9: Kellan really trying to be more and more independent. He’s asking/saying he wants to do so many things by himself.

October 10: Tim stepping on the vacuum cleaner cord while I was vacuuming. It was olive branch attempt 3, after I rebuffed his, then he mine, then he stepped on the cord like a seventh grader and made us both laugh.

October 11:The most relaxing evening outside…it has rained all day, it was cold, and we decided to go on the deck. The feeling and sounds of rain very lightly falling on the leaves, along with the smell of someone who had made a fire, it reminded me of camping…in a good way. If you have been camping and you know how relaxing that kind of moment can be….it was pure bliss. Also, Kellan has learned how to climb in and out of his bed. He needs to use the quilt on the bed to pull up, and tonight during story time, he said, “I don’t need any help. I can do it by myself.” There was not a blanket available to use, so he started to say he needed help, so I pushed the blanket over. He tried using it once and didn’t get a good grip, couldn’t get up on the bed, stopped his attempts, and looked me right in the eye and goes, “That didn’t help.” Commence hysterical laughter from Tim and me. Kellan never fails to crack us up, no matter the time of day or night. And I love that.

October 12: Tim watching Kellan, even though he didn’t feel well, so I could go run a few errands.

October 13: Kellan being a really big cooperator running a million errands after nap, which is usually a difficult time to do errands.

October 14: A super windy day. It reminded me of Colorado. While I didn’t really like the days on end of super winds there, the one today was nice because it reminded me of Colorado. And we are all really missing it.

October 15: The most amazing surprise in the mail from the BFF! We cannot find Horizon organic peanut butter crackers ANYWHERE IN ARKANSAS…and Kellan keeps asking for them….and Amazon only lets you order a case for like $70. And then….an unsuspecting package turns out to be two boxes of crackers! Kellan was ecstatic (me too!)!!!

October 16: sage travel day for us….and Kellan did SO WELL for the whole thing, from having to get up super early to flying on an airplane to dealing with airports to bring patient with a rental car mini fiasco to driving to my mom’s, and everything in between

October 17: A really nice dinner with family and my high school basket coaches, whom I have not seen in forever, at a restaurant I used to frequent in my college town. Super fun night.

October 18: Amazing day. Sports Hall of Fame induction. My first ever permanent mark. So grateful for all of the wonderful experiences today and all of the wonderful people who were there to celebrate with me.

October 19: Seeing all my old friends and their children! So sweet they all took time out of their schedules to stop by. Also, at the end of the night, post party, the uncles and Tim and my mom and a few adopted family members were outside on the deck and Kellan went inside to grab a snack from the party food table. As he was running in, he stopped, turned around, and said, “I’ll be right back so I can be with my family.” Hearts melted everywhere.

October 20: A nice, low-key day with family.

October 21: Papa had a successful surgery!

October 22: Safe travel day home AND Kellan did SO WELL the whole time. He was patient and nice and understanding. Definitely mature for his age, in a good, amazing way.

October 23: Realizing Kellan is having a developmental leap in the form of trying to engage us in power struggles….and arming myself with some knowledge and tools to appropriately handle/not engage in them.

October 24: Homemade mashed potatoes.

October 25: A safe day of running all over the place doing errands.

October 26: The cutest FaceTime session with Nonni and Papa. Kellan knows exactly who they are, even though we do not see them very often. It’s very sweet and endearing.

October 27: walking out of a small store and Kellan turning around and waving to the owner while saying, “Have a nice morning!”

October 28: Safe travel day for Tim and a successful day of getting stuff done here.

October 29: completely random fun evening finding acorns in the backyard with Kellan. It was so neat to watch him enjoying nature.

October 30: Safe travel day for Tim and a really fun, impromptu fall leaf activity with Kellan. It was his first time, since we didn’t have trees like this at our Colorado house.

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October 31: Meeting a Vietnam veteran. I interviewed him for a few hours for a newspaper story, but he really has had an incredible life…and it was truly a pleasure to speak with him and hear his story. I was also reminded today that life is so precious…and should never, ever be taken for granted.

I am thankful – September edition

And we are just plugging along, here…..the most adorable thing happened on the last day of the month, by the way. Also, I didn’t have time to grammar and spell/autocorrect check, so I apologize for the errors that probably exist.

September 1: Hanging a million pictures. I mean, I may have to have a whole week of being thankful once the very last picture is up. This is a process, let me tell you.

September 2: being Kellan’s mom. He’s such a joy and light in my life. Also….randomly coming across an explanation of the “peace that passes understanding” and finally actually comprehending what it means. We used to sing a song in church as a kid with that phrase in it and I never really thought about it, I guess….but tonight! It came to me at the perfect moment. And I get it. And it makes me feel so much calmer inside. Less bothered…not at all bothered, really…by external things and people who can easily get under my skin.

September 3: Finding another dentist for Kellan that we like much better/are more comfortable with.

September 4: We survived the allergist appointment. And by survived I mean did really, really well. AND had a negative skin test to peanut butter! Phase 1 of 3 for no peanut allergy passed!

September 5: Officially a freelance writer for our local newspaper!!

September 6: After having an over the top, ridiculous argument about nothing important, after maybe 39 minutes, I went up to Tim and said, “We have been married way too long for this to be an issue.” And laughed and gave him a hug. We both apologized and it was over and done. A few years ago, we would have sulked all weekend. That’s definitely growth of some kind, I think, and thankful to be able to just see it for what it was, apologize, and move on. Married 7 years on Monday!

September 7: Spending enough money by SEVENTEEN DOLLARS to get our credit card reward thing we signed up for six months ago. We had to spend X amount of money every month for six months, and August was the last month and we barely made it over the threshold. It would have really ruined our day had we missed the requirement spending amount on the last month! It seems really silly to be thankful for money…but I mean, half a year of watching the credit card to get a reward at the end and missing it by thismuch would have been really upsetting. Let’s be honest.

September 8: Surviving a really not pleasant dentist experience with Kellan. I’m scarred for life, I think, but we made it and I kept it together for him versus totally losing it in tears. Also, making it to seven years of marriage with my BFF!

September 9: I stepped on the couch while the “pokies” (aka car deterrents) were still on and Tim was like, “Ouch! Stepping on the pokies?” And I was all, “I’m fine.” Then? Kellan starts trying to take them all off, saying “No! Don’t step on the pokies, mommy!” It was really sweet. I think this was the first time he has been outwardly and obviously protective of me/my feelings/well being. Melted me.

September 10: me recognizing my attitude and apologizing for it….and then, again, hearing myself say something in a mean way and in the middle of my words saying sorry and trying again.

September 11: Kellan went into the yard and picked a tiny flower and ran over to me with a huge smile and said, “this is for you, mommy!” This was the first time that I can recall him doing this without prompting by anyone. It was heart melting. He also has been really willing to help clean up his messes or just help when I ask, which is really mind blowing to me, because for a long time, it’s like he was all about RESISTANCE! Oh, and his blood test for peanuts came back negative! Yay!

September 12: Total random act of kindness when the guy at the John Deere store checkout gave Kellan a hat. Completely unexpected and so sweet. If I take nothing else from our Arkansas experience, it will be how genuinely nice everyone has been.

September 13: COOL FALL-LIKE WEATHER AND A TRIP TO AN OUTDOOR ACTIVITY!!!!!! (Nature center). can you tell I’m over summer?

September 14: When clearing out a REALLY old woodpile in the yard from who knows how long ago, Kellan asked Tim why he was taking the dirt/leaves/etc left after all the wood pieces were gone and Tim goes, “Always do your best work whenever you do a job.” I mean, we all know that cutting corners is way easier in the moment, but it always comes back to bite you in the butt. Tim, however, does it right the first go, 99.9% of the time, even if it takes a million times longer. *However* it never comes up as an issue again. And even though the taking a million times longer sometimes makes me crazy, I’m very thankful he puts in the extra effort and is such a good example to Kellan – and me – as to why you don’t half ass your way through anything.

September 15: Tim coming downstairs after taking a shower in non-work clothes. It’s rare he’s even home at a reasonable hour these days during the week.

September 16: this video: http://www.iflscience.com/brain/5-ways-social-media-changing-your-brain#

It actually really bothers me that I am so…dependent?…on “the internet” when I know I can survive just fine without it. At least the social media aspect. I have been wanting to trim down my social media accounts and really change my habits when it comes to checking email/twitter/Instagram/Facebook/etc. It isn’t healthy and it is not a good example for Kellan. I think this video may have been the straw to break the proverbial camel’s back. Facebook will be the first to go. My plan is to just have this blog, and maybe Instagram, nothing more. Well, twitter, too, but mostly just for weather information, since I seem to be able to find out what is going on faster there than anywhere else….SIGH. It’s a slippery slope, isn’t it? Wish me luck.

September 17: the chance to write a story that will be on the front page of the newspaper AND getting set up to visit the fair before it is open to the public for a different story about an exotic animal petting zoo…and Kellan gets to come! Think camels and zebras and emus!

September 18: Nice post-dinner outside time. The weather was perfect and Kellan has a blast. This is night two in a row where we went outside after dinner and it was so relaxing and fun.

September 19: Kellan surviving his first carnival ride. Actually, all of us surviving, because it was not at all what any of us expected. Poor Kellan. He was being so brave…and then the Lightning McQueen car whipped around the curve and his head almost didn’t make it around with his body. Suffice it to say, we got the guy to stop the ride ASAP and got him off. First time we put Kellan in a situation and he thought it would be ok and it wasn’t. Learning and growing experience for all of us. Thankful Kellan survived without any real injuries and we all survived this parenting first.

September 20: Kellan going to bed/falling asleep without much of a fuss after I told him I needed sleep because I wasn’t feeling well. He is really starting to develop empathy, and it is really amazing to watch.

September 21: we went outside for a little but in the evening and I had on a pair of nap socks (super fuzzy socks) over a pair of regular below-ankle type socks (my feet are always cold inside. I blame the wood and tile floors). I took the fuzzy socks off while sitting on the driveway and Kellan picked them up and threw them into the bushes. I asked him to go pick them up and he instead ran the other direction down the driveway (hello, testing toddler). At that same point, Tim had to go inside for something and he took the socks with him. I told Kellan that that was really nice and he should say thank you when Tim/daddy came back out. I had kind of forgotten I had said that until a few minutes later. Tim walked back outside and the first thing out of Kellan’s mouth? “Thank you for bringing the socks inside for me, daddy.” WOW. He does listen. And wow. Just…every day he amazes me in ways I never expect.

September 22: I’ve probably said this already, at some point, but I REALLY LOVE our neighborhood. It’s so unique. It’s not color cutter. It has an amazing feel. I can’t even describe it. It feels like it has been loved for a very long time and gives that love back to you as you’re walking down the street, admiring everyone’s house and yard and unique touches they added to make their house a home. I love it so much. This is how I want to feel in our forever home, wherever that will be.

September 23: Another day. Life is so
precious. I am so grateful to live it.

September 24: recognizing that I really just do not handle stress well. At all. Isn’t this the first step?

September 25: Randomly happening upon this quote: “The things you take for granted someone else is praying for.” No idea who said this, but a really good reminder, because it’s the absolute truth.

September 26: Seeing the relationship blossoming and growing between Tim and Kellan. It is less “mommy all the time” and more “mommy, leave.” Harsh but also good.

September 27: Peace of mind. Also known as an underground tornado shelter.

September 28: While Tim and I were making dinner, Kellan was playing in his little play area off the kitchen. He had gotten out this farm set with a barn and animals, etc. A few minutes later, I looked over to check on him and he was finishing putting it all away in its bin, all on his own. I was so proud. I went over and told him how proud I was and how that was such a big boy thing to do and gave him a big hug. I don’t know what prompted him to do this, because he leaves messes a lot, but this moment did show me that he is learning and trying really hard. Makes my heart smile.

September 29: how well Kellan can – and will – entertain himself. Sometimes I feel like I should be right there, too, playing with him, but I try to keep my distance and only join when asked. It’s incredible how he has developed this wonderful imagination, seemingly all on his own.

September 30: experiencing the most adorable grocery shopping trip of my life. When Kellan and I got to the grocery store, he went over to the little carts for kids and started pulling them out. I asked if he wanted one and he said yes. He’s gone over before but has always said no. He pushed that little cart through the whole store, filling it up with everything he wanted….and he was so proud of himself. It was something I hope I never, ever forget. If you’re curious, his cart had pomegranates, lemons, pears, apples, carrots, broccoli, parsnips, asparagus, tomatoes, grapes, cheese, yogurt, and then some boxed stuff (brown sugar and powdered sugar, Graham bunnies, etc).

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don’t aim to please. aim to write

I saw something the other day about how you (proverbial you) need to stop writing for likes or views or stats or whatever. Write to a person. Write for yourself. Don’t aim to please. Aim to write (I just made that last part up actually…).

I used to write for comments. The horror! I mean, let’s be honest. Comments are fun. They make you feel like someone else is actually listening.

And then, one day, I decided to stop obsessing. I decided I didn’t really care about comments. Or blog views. I really just wanted to write, so that’s what I do, now. Write when I feel like it. Or when I really want to share something. Or express myself.

It makes writing more fun and less stressful because I’m not wondering if someone I don’t even know will like what I am saying. *I* like what I’m saying, and that is enough for me, now. If you can also identify with me, that’s an awesome, added bonus.

For whatever reason, I have never been *that person* who seems to attract a lot of readers/followers/attention/likes/friends. This used to really bother me, because I felt like I was just as good a writer – if not better, to be honest – than X blogger or Y instagrammer. Why wasn’t I interesting? Follow worthy?

Then I decided that maybe I am more like a cult following kind of person. A few diehard, loyal fans, versus a watered down, mainstream person with wishy-washy readers.

And after thinking about that, do you know what I realized?

I preferred the loyalty – YOUR loyalty -over the masses.

Fun news for you – I still want to write a book. I have so much to say….that I have never said here….there is so much you don’t know…and I want to say it all at one time. In a different format than a blog post, obviously.

One day…I hope. It’s a long term goal. Even if no one ever reads it. Even if I am never officially published, at least I can say I did it; I completed my goal.

stop shaming our kids

I’m not one to get on one side or the other regarding hot topics.

Believe it or not, I really dislike conflict. I’m terrible with it. If you start yelling at me or raising your voice, any point that I *may* have wanted to make goes whooooosh! Gone forever from my brain. All I hear is buzzing, like white noise, just on the inside.

Anyway. Today is not the conflict avoidance day….so, here goes.

I am getting really tired – REALLY TIRED – I cannot express this enough….

REALLY. FREAKING. TIRED.

of all the news stories about X parent making their child wear a sign and stand by the road or have their picture taken and posted on Facebook to shame them.

To shame them.

Last time I checked, shaming someone, no matter their age, wasn’t the appropriate way to correct a behavior. Ever.

It increasingly feels like parents are doing these things for attention, like, “Ohhhhhh I saw on the news the other day how this dad/mom made this sign and put their kid on a corner for an hour! I’ll bet I could do one better AND make the news.”

JUST STOP RIGHT THERE.

If you’re disciplining your kid to hopefully garner enough attention to make it on Channel 5, there is a serious problem, here.

Dear News Outlets: STOP BEING AN ENABLER. If children are our most precious resource and we are supposed to be teaching them how to be responsible adults, wearing shame signs ISN’T THE WAY TO GO, so stop giving it press.

What lesson are shame signs teaching our kids? One where we must blatantly point out an undesirable behavior and then to make sure you really understand you messed up, let’s announce it to as many people as possible to make you feel small and insignificant.

I guarantee you that the only thing a child will “learn” from that exercise is that doing bad things means I wear a shame sign and my parents are assholes.

That isn’t the takeaway message they need to hear and carry with them in order to be better prepared to deal with difficult situations in the future.

The message kids need should involve why the behavior was wrong. What you can do together to fix it. How to approach the situation the next time.

And all of that?

All of that should happen in a private space. Mono e mono. Parent to child. Nothing more.

How would you feel if your boss did that to you? Dressed you up in a sign that said, “I suck so bad at my job, I’m on a PIP,” took a picture, and then emailed it to the entire company? Posted it to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram? And then did nothing more to help you improve?

How’s that for a confidence and resume booster?

If your boss gave you the shame sign treatment, would you learn from your mistake, receiving both knowledge and guidance as to how to do your job to the best of your ability in the future or would you resent your boss and live in fear of it happening again?

EXACTLY.

Stop treating our kids like crap. Teach them, don’t shame them. Be bigger than that.

can the 451 people please stand up?

So, hi. I feel like I pretty much write to myself, save the few who regularly read/comment (you know who you are). Except, here’s the thing:

IMG_1085-1.PNGWHO ARE YOU 451 PEOPLE?!

Or, maybe let me say this a nicer way. Can you all (that means you) please take a minute to say hello and introduce yourself? Tell me about your blog(s)? I’d kind of like to get to know you, since you’re getting to know everything about me. It’s only polite fair….

Then you can go back to lurking status.

Deal?

And here’s a carrot….my actual, just taken a few weeks ago drivers license picture (which you have already seen if you follow me on Instagram – Jessica bold).

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this is why I have food issues

Okay, so I have this thing with food that I buy and like to eat. It can be summed up in three words:

DON’T EAT IT.

I think this stems from back in the day when my thing was sour cream and onion chips (which I don’t even like anymore). My mom would buy them every so often, and by the time I went to have any, they were gone. Thanks a heap, family.

And now, I will demonstrate to you why I still have these issues in my life, in one scene:

[This morning, after Tim left for work. His breakfast? A giant bowl of cereal of my favorite, organic mini wheats]

Me: I’m definitely buying you your own box of mini wheats. The box is half gone from your one bowl!

Tim: It was opened before I got to it…didn’t you already eat some?

Me: I had one bowl yesterday with maybe 15 pieces. Not even enough to fill a small bowl.

Tim: Ok. So half gone not entirely all my doing. Maybe 3/4 my doing.

Me: I barely made a dent. I’m getting you your own.

Tim: Ok. That will work. Then I can eat yours when I am done.

End scene.


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