Posts Tagged 'relationships'

it’s not what i thought it was

Tim and I went back and read through a bunch of my old blogs….man I was a know nothing punk kid! Legit what in the world? No words…I mean I guess it’s all a process but I really thought I was something, huh?

I know better now. I have no idea what I’m doing and I have no problem admitting that. 

Kids will do that to you. Bring you to your breaking point and then a second later make you laugh. You realize that nothing is really as big of a deal as you thought. Life really isn’t that serious and those things I thought were super important? Like OMG I need to match and I have to have makeup on always and if I’m going to send out a letter you better be damn well sure that stamp is 100% straight (sorry Mase…all those wedding RSVP envelopes you spent hours on…now that I think about it, as hell bent as I was on making sure you made sure the stamps were perfect becauussse…..they were coming right back to me? I mean really, self. Did I even care about the placement of the stamps? No. No I did not.)

All those things…are they really soooooooooooooooo serious??

No.

They’re not.

And when I read back through some of the things that mortified me?

Hysterical.

All the things I thought I was going to be and do after having Kellan??

Bwahahahahahhahahaha

None of it happened. Not a one.

Also? Having kids means F makeup and cute outfits. Did I shower? Are my clothes clean? Double check? 

Then we are having ourselves an excellent day.

So, back to whatever I was saying….oh! …I’m realizing now that wisdom is really learning to be comfortable with your “plans” never working out. Wisdom is letting go. Not allowing silly, trivial things to ruin a day. Being okay with  being present in the moment instead of trying to plan the next one. Saying what you think instead of being worried about what someone might think of what you have to say.

Wisdom.

It’s not what I thought it meant when I was a punk kid. It is not knowing everything.

It’s realizing that you know nothing.

I mean of course we all know stuff. That isn’t the point of wisdom. It’s more than that. A wise person…they understand. I don’t think I’m far enough in my wiseness to properly explain…

Anyhow. What I have realized is important are family and friends. We are sorely lacking in that department.

Sorely lacking.

So much family drama has left that circle really small. I keep having dreams of reconciliation – probably because I know how much everyone is missing.

I purposely have no spoken to or allowed my dad into my life for….probably a little over 7 years? We didn’t even give him our address when we moved. There are a myriad of reasons…but it boils down to how I was treated growing up and his life choices and me not wanting that kind of influence on any children Tim and I had. Not during the formative years.

…so he got my address over Christmas because I had to send one of my brother’s Christmas gifts there and I didn’t really think about our address being on the box.

Guess I should have known better.

One that it would be there and two that’d he’d find it.

He sent me a birthday card. 

First one in years.

I was just like….welp. Here we go again.

Part of me feels like I should respond? But the other part of me doesn’t want to open any doors or windows or cracks of any kind.

Then the wisdom comes in my brain. Not that it’s telling me I should be 100% on board with reconciling, but it does say that I should clear the air. Say what I mean and be honest. Whether or not he agrees or cares or does anything about it has nothing to do with me. I can’t change anyone, nor should I try. I should just be honest and then let things fall where they may.

I feel like that is what Tim and I both need to do with our respective family issues.

Clear the air.

Be honest.

And then whatever happens…happens. I really do not think we will be any better or worse off than we are now. 

It will just be as it should. Whatever that means.

Wisdom tells me that 

Let go. 

Say what you mean.

Be present with the ones you love.

I’m totally rambling and need to just stop because where was I even going with this?

I have no idea. I’m wise enough to admit that.

(See how I kind of went full circle? Maybe 3/4 circle?)

(I crack myself up sometimes)

ode to arkansas 

I’m not even going to lie. When we first moved here from Denver (I KNOW), I hated it. I couldn’t wait to leave. I counted the days until Tim’s company would move us starting the day we got to this godforsaken place. It was ridiculously hot and there was nothing here and the grocery store sucked eggs and had moldy produce and I HATED IT ALL.

The days kept going by and the new position for Tim never came after the promised year….year and a half….here we are at two and a half years and still. nothing. Oh, there have been interviews. Even final ones. Yet not a single one has panned out. Not a one.

We were both over it. The emotional letdown from having one rejection after another after another was too much. Those opportunities weren’t meant to be but WHY???????

Sometime last summer, we were in the neighborhood walking and talking with Kellan and I brought up something a friend from Colorado said to me as I was lamenting over our situation. She said, “maybe you haven’t moved because you have to find what’s good about it all first.”She was right. We had been saying how much we loved our neighborhood. It’s the best neighborhood we have ever lived in. We don’t really have any friends in it, but everyone is nice, it’s an older neighborhood with big lots, every single house is different, and it has great running roads. They just added a park at one end and our house is amazing. Built like a tank. Huge backyard and has gorgeous windows that let in so much light. The sunsets from the backyard in the winter are incredible. I still despise summer…so we won’t go there…but we realized there are a lot of good things about where we physically live.

Then, Kellan and I spent two months in LA in August and September. It was a huge culture shock, especially for Kellan. Everyone is too busy, in too much of a hurry, and too important to give anyone else – especially a four year old – the time of day.

Kellan was almost in tears one morning when he kept trying to talk to our server at a restaurant and she never spoke a single word to us. Zero. Not one. When I finally was able to tell her that Kellan wanted to say something, she mumbled something as she walked away about being short staffed and busy and was gone. Kellan just looked at me like…why is she being like this??

I didn’t have a good answer other than that is the way people are there because that’s how the culture is…and that’s what people are used to and expect. It’s normal to them.

(Granted, we did run into people here and there who would stop and talk with Kellan, so it’s not everyone in LA…but the vast majority…they all need to just take a second and breathe)

Well, what’s normal to Kellan is the complete opposite. What’s normal is anyone and everyone stopping in the middle of what they’re doing to notice and talk with Kellan. A few days before Christmas, we were in a packed Bath & Body Works to pick up a gift. Kellan had just visited with santa and was SO EXCITED about it. He wanted to tell everyone. As we were waiting in line, a woman was rushing out and I had to tell Kellan to move so she could get by…I mean when there’s only one mall in the entire city, packed means basically walk to wall people and everyone has to squeeze around everyone else.

Anyway, so as this woman is inching her way around Kellan as fast as she can, he looks at her and says, “I just saw santa!”

Now, had we been in LA…his comment would have fallen on deaf ears. She could have pretended she didn’t hear him over the ambient noise and Christmas music.

But not here.

Not here.

That woman, who was obviously in a hurry and had no time for anyone…that woman stopped dead in her tracks, turned around, and responded. Not only did she respond, she inquired. She had a conversation. She took time out of her day to make a child feel special.

She didn’t stop because she felt obligated or because she thought she’d get the mean mom, “I can’t believe you’re so rude to a kid” eyes.

She did it because she genuinely wanted to.

And that’s how a majority of people are here. They stop. They are never too busy. They understand that a child’s question deserves just as much attention as an adult’s.

The checkout person – Jo Ann – at our grocery store? She knows Kellan by name. She calls him the “movie star” and asks where he is if he’s not with me. Same with a handful of Target employees. I have had them ask me if it’s okay to give Kellan a special treat. They ask himhow he is and give him high fives.

The entire staff at a restaurant know us and will come talk with Kellan at our table when we are there. It’s probably because Kellan walked around the whole restaurant one day, introducing himself to everyone from the hosts to the manager to the people working behind the bar. But…they remembered him. They didn’t just see him as “some kid.”

Kellan has an entire cheering squad at swimming lessons. Every single one is probably over 70, save one guy who does therapy in the same pool he has lessons in…but they all help him when he’s struggling or scared. They tell him he did a great job or how he’s improving so much (and wow has he…but that post is for another time). 

Just the other day, Kellan was having a reeeaaallllly tough day. Tears and the whole nine yards. He didn’t want to “dive” in (kneeling at the edge and kind of falling in like a dive) and swim to his instructor. He can and he usually has no issue, but he’s four and sometimes things are hard even when he’s done them before.

Well, the therapy guy starts talking with him – because he’s seen Kellan swim and knows he can do it – and then out of nowhere says he will race him to the middle of the pool. His therapy person swam out to where Kellan’s instructor was and the therapy guy and Kellan swam next to each other all the way to the middle of the pool while they were cheered on by the instructors.

And therapy guy turned Kellan’s entire lesson around with that small gesture. He even made sure he told him goodbye before we left.

I have example after example of people in this town going out of their way to make a kid feel special.

I have never lived anywhere like this. The way everyone stops and is never too busy…it is truly heartwarming. It isn’t easy to find a place like this. It’s a wonderful way for Kellan to learn how to interact with people. Without phones in faces and half distracted conversations. It’s fully engaging and 100% genuine.

Had we come here and left right away…or had we not decided to try and find the good in this place…I am not sure if we would have ever opened our eyes to the people here. They are wonderful. They have taught us all how we should pause. Life is lived in little moments every day. And we are blessed with those moments here every single day.

Never in a million years would I have given Arkansas credit for anything other than being a dumb old hick town.

But I was wrong.

Very wrong.

And not one person here has rubbed that in my face. 

Instead, they taught me with their kindness and genuiness and desire to treat people, young and old, with love and respect.

I’m humbled by the people here. And I’m so glad Kellan has learned such important life lessons…how to be human. To never be too busy to stop and talk with someone, even if we ARE busy. 

Because you should never be too busy to be kind. To have a conversation. To brighten someone’s day.

We stop.

We talk.

We smile and say goodbye while we are still facing each other and bid them a nice day.

We live the little moments that are the formative moments in the lives of little children.

Arkansas gets that.

And now…we do too.

maybe I’m just weird?

I know. It’s been awhile. Like, I’ll be starting my third trimester in a few days and the last time I was around was to say that baby bista was a boy.

Which, by the way, he’s a boy with no name. Guess we better get on that…not that we haven’t tried. We are just having a really hard time coming up with a name, or even a few names (which is preferable), to choose from when he’s born. I’m hoping something just comes to us soon….like a lightbulb moment…I digress.

My whole point of this post really has nothing to do with baby bista. At least, not yet. 

So, lately, Tim and I have really been trying to pick out battles with Kellan the threenager (why didn’t anyone warn me??? Holy roller coaster of emotions every five minutes). We are trying (and I say trying because we fail a lot. Daily. It’s pretty frustrating to feel like you really suck at parenting at least once every day, usually more)….anyhow, we are trying to let things go unless it is a legitimate safety or respect issue. 

You want to eat standing up? Not use any utensil at all, ever? Make “animals” out of play doh and let them dry out? Wipe the stainless steel refrigerator with wipes to “clean it?” Use five different chapsticks every ten seconds and roll them up so far that half of the stick gets stuck in the top? Put stickers all over the banister to make it “beautiful?,” pack single toys and objects into thirty separate gallon ziplock bags? Race your cars through flour? You want to do alllllllllllll of this along with a myriad of other activities that can make a type A person go insane and also take forever to clean up?

Knock yourself out, kid. Do it. Do all of those things. We aren’t here to stop you.

Do we want to say no?

Yes.

All the time. 

ALL. THE. TIME.

But…we aren’t.

We may be cringing on the inside, but we let him go. Unless it’s respect (like hitting the dogs’ crate to scare them) or safety related (like trying to jump while on the stairs – OMG kid almost gave me a heart attack. Had he fallen, it would have been 15 steps down and backwards).

We are trying to just go with it, and it is HARD. 

[cue me whining] I don’t want to wait five minutes for him to pick a bedtime story and then change his mind after he gets all settled in. 

I was like too bad. 

And Tim was like, is this really that important to battle over?

No, it isn’t….([whining again] but I’m tired!!!!)

I guess that’s where the rub lies. Kellan wants to do, or not do, something that we don’t want to deal with because we can already see the outcome. We know the end game.

But….he doesn’t. And how is he to if of they he is never given the chance? Trial and error. Hypothesize. Experiment. Fail.

And fail and fail and fail.

Or, maybe he’s just expressing his creativity. The 30 gallon bag activity was a beast of a mess to clean up, but Kellan was so into it. What he was doing he was calling an “important job” and who am I to tell him it’s not?

Or trying to be helpful, like with the wipes. Tim has an OCD thing about streaks on stainless, and let me tell you, baby wipes leave more than just a streak. More like a film or impossible to remove streaks. But, Kellan sees that activity as cleaning. He’s trying to bechelpful. Why kill that desire, even if at the time it isn’t 100% correct? Yes, we can give him the appropriate cleaning tools, but that was a spontaneous act and why stop him when he sees what he’s doing as helping mom and dad?

So, I’m not exaggerating about any of this. All real. All happening on a daily basis. I told Tim that we are going to have to have and keep a sense of humor about all of this, plus the sass and attitude we are getting and will continue to get, or this whole parenting experience is going to be miserable.

And no one wants to be miserable.

So, enjoy our messes, and go make your own. Maybe I’m in the minority and I’ll end up with hooligans, but this is how we have decided to approach this. We are letting go of control (and it’s really hard)….and neat and tidiness…and trying to overlay what we want Kellan (and eventually baby bista) to do and/or how to do it versus what he wants to do. Unless it comes to safety or respect. Then we draw a line.

I’m sure lots of parents think we are crazy. And maybe we are, I don’t know. That’s the benefit, really, because no one knows what they’re doing when it comes to being a parent. You’re learning on the job, just like everyone else, and no two kids are the same, so no method isn’t a catch all. 

I figure you have to ebb and flow.

So. Here we are. Real life. Ebbing and flowing.

The bags. The other half were on the coffee table:



The lack of utensils. That’s birthday cake frosting by the way.

The Chapstick….



The five hundred play doh animals that were eventually thrown away:



Every pregnancy is…well…not the same

Honestly, the only reason I even took a pregnancy test back in September was because I had a dream that I took one and it was positive.

Later that day, I was just like, “Whatever, I’ll just take one and it’ll be negative and we can move on.”

Hahahahaha ha.

That thing popped up positive before I even set it down on the counter. I was shocked. Tim had gone to pick up the dogs from daycare and when I handed him the stick as he walked in the door, I just started crying because HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE.

Most of the TMI begins here. Fair warning.

I’m irregular at best. I mean, I can go 40+ days with nothing one month and then 30 the next go….and it’s been this way since forever. So, how we can manage one attempt and YAHTZEE! is beyond me.

(The Yahtzee comes from an email from Tim earlier this week regarding a woodland creature finding dog poo….and hitting the jackpot. Anyway. Made me laugh. Totally irrelevant…)

So. That’s one reason I had zero clue I was knocked up. I also assumed (hahaha) that my first “sign” would be sore boobs and having to pee a lot, because that’s what happened with Kellan.

I’m finally having to use the restroom more frequently, though I’m still waiting on the sore boobs that become ginormous. Neither have happened this time like they did with Kellan. Maybe it was because Kellan was still breastfeeding in the beginning of this pregnancy? I have no idea.

I also assumed (hahaha again) I would be hit with unbearable first trimester fatigue. Like cannot. keep. my. eyes. open. must. take. a. nap. fatigue.

That never happened, either. Sure, I was ready for bed early, but with Kellan, it’s like I HAD to nap during the day or I wouldn’t survive. Maybe I’m just used to functioning while tired, now, so it didn’t seem as noticeable?

As for morning sickness….yes. Lots of that. I keep wondering when it will end, even though it has only been nausea to varying degrees. With Kellan, it started around six weeks and ended around 13-14 weeks. I definitely had food aversions and many days/weeks where I could only eat a few things. *However* the nausea didn’t stick with me through the night. This time….I started feeling sick around six weeks and it was 24/7 until maybe….13 weeks? And now it is just random bouts of nausea throughout the day and a lot of the time after eating. This time, I had huge aversions to meat, namely chicken. I still can’t cook any meat, and there are only a few meat items I can handle. I can’t drink milk at all (gag). I still prefer mostly bland foods. Cheese and crackers or bread is a favorite. No hot foods like soup. No foods with lots of flavors/spices. With Kellan by this point, I was putting hot sauce on EVERYTHING (I kept a pregnancy journal, this is the only reason I remember). This time, I am already getting heartburn with certain foods, like pizza, so again, I stick with bland. Oh! I went off chocolate with Kellan. I like it this time, as well as clementines and grapefruit and apple juice and pineapple. I actually ate about 3/4 of a pineapple the other day. Oops. It is so weird how much different my likes/dislikes are between the two. My big cravings with Kellan were Taco Bell bean burritos and soft tacos (I know. Strange things happen to preggos) and meat. Obviously, not the case at all this time.

Also, I am breaking out like whoa. My skin was amazing with Kellan. My hair on my legs also stopped growing with Kellan…this time it is growing like a weed. And I SMELL AWFUL. I mean, yikes. A shower and loads of deodorant is an absolute requirement these days. It’s really, really awful.my gums seem more sensitive, too. And I keep getting headaches this time.

Some things are the same. My hair has gotten really thick. It’s back to mostly shiny, though in the beginning it looked and felt like straw. My nails grow really quickly. It’s taking forever to show, I think because of my height….

Oh! And I have had so many dreams about boy/girl that I don’t even know what to think. I’ll just post the notes I wrote down after each one, and you can go all Freudian on me. The dreams are in order of earliest to most recent.
I have not had another dream since the very last one, thankfully, because they just confuse me, now. Anyway….here we go. Excuse the typos because I didn’t edit the notes:

-had a dream peed on a stick and it said it was a boy, then frantically ran around to find the box to read the instructions, checked the back of the box and it said 34% accuracy. So, there’s that.

10/7-8: holy heartburn ALL NIGHT and in the morning. Never had it this early with Kellan. It kept me up it was as so bad.

10/20: crazy weird dream that I had the baby but had zero memory of the entire process. Tim was holding it and I kept asking him million questions about what happened (did I have an epidural? Where was Kellan? Etc). Tim kept getting mad that I was asking all of these questions and I was just like why do I not remember ANY of this?!?! I should remember this! Finally I was like, wait. What is it? And Tim said to look, so I looked in the diaper and it was a boy. And then I was like, does he even have a name? Did we tell anyone this happened? It was really strange and disorienting.

11/15: I had the craziest dream last night. I was in class in school and this person came up to me and handed me this used bright pink lipstick pencil (that was mine and I had loaned out, apparently. Ew) and they were like, “they want to see you in the front office. The person who handed me the lipstick had the pink lipstick on, and I had to put some on, and when I got to the front office with the principal and his assistant (both men, the principal was gay), they were also wearing the pink lipstick. And the principal looked at me and was like, “Are you sure you’re a girl?” And I was like are you serious right now? And he’s like, “Even ‘down there?'” And I was like, I’m positive I’m a girl.

11/23: another gender dream. This makes 2 boy and 2 girl dreams, sooooo. Hm. This one, I was laying in bed with two babies. One was Kellan (but as a baby) and the other was baby 2. They were sleeping side by side and I thought to myself, “Wow. Even her sleeping face and mouth shape is different.” And I knew it was a girl. She woke up and wanted to crawl next to me, so she did. She had basically no hair but it was very light in color, basically blonde. It was very surreal. I never had this many gender dreams with Kellan. I think I may have had one.

11/26: ANOTHER dream about baby’s sex. This one was an OB showing me an ultrasound picture that wasn’t super clear and was like, see? You’re having a boy. I honestly didn’t see anything, it was a pretty grainy picture. Then she shows me a very clear picture of the baby’s face, which did not look like a boy or girl, just a baby. Fairly wide set eyes, no hair? And then she goes, “Well, you never know I guess. We just had one couple who thought they were having a boy based on a picture like this and it was a girl.” Super confusing. I still have no idea what this one is….

11/29: Yet another gender dream that was totally confusing. I was at a machine that was like a gumball machine, and you put money in and it would give you a round disc like a coin with either a B or a G on it to tell you if you were having a boy or girl. I finally decided to put money in and my coin pops out, smaller than a dime. It’s upside down. So, I hesitate for a minute, wondering if I really want to know, and I decide to do it, and it says B. So in my head I go, “okay, it’s a boy.” Then right as I say that, a larger coin, the size of a quarter, comes out of the machine and has a big G on it. And I was just like….seriously?! Now what?!

12/4: had a dream last night that we were walking (?) Near the church on Jenny Lind and someone (ultrasound person?) had told us it was a girl, so we decided to name her Claire.

I am thankful – November edition

At the moment, I don’t even have the energy for an intro…but I was thankful! Every single day.

November 1: We are officially weaned!! It’s actually been a few weeks, but I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a fluke before I said it out loud. Yay!

November 2: collecting wood with Kellan for our first fire in the fire pit, complete with apple cider. It was so nice. And then, later during bedtime, Tim hit his knee on I have no idea what….oh. The corner of the door…this man and his weird injuries….anyway, Kellan walked over to him and goes, “It’s okay, daddy. Accidents happen. I’ll kiss it.” Ensue laughter from all. He is the sweetest kid.

November 3: Kellan is such a polite kid! He burped in the grocery store and goes, “excuse me, I burped!” And then when we left from checking out, he waved at the dude and goes, “Goodbye, have a nice day!” Also, Tim coming home and making homemade spaghetti and meatballs. It was divine.

November 4: All day rain. It’s been awhile….

November 5: Being able to rescue Kellan from choking. I think maybe he finally gets the message…SIT AND EAT. DO NOT RUN AROUND WITH A MOUTH FULL.

November 6: I know I’ve said it before….but I am so thankful Kellan enjoys….LOVES….being outside/nature.

November 7: Tim genuinely happily whistling while he was making cookies, even though he was really tired and didn’t really want to, but did it for me.

November 8: Getting garage sale pricing done. Whew. I can’t wait to be done with it.

November 9: Managing to obtain a family photo for our Christmas card. It’s always an ordeal and a feat to accomplish. No idea why….but it never goes as planned/ends up being stressful/everyone gets upset at least once. It’s amazing we even still attempt this, honestly….one year may end up just being a picture of a sign laying against a tree that says, “WE TRIED.” Not this year, though. We powered through! Yay us!

November 10: A beautiful warm day where we could enjoy the park before the cold weather. And a successful trip to the dentist for Kellan, albeit it was full of tears, but we got our teeth cleaned!

November 11: Tim being nice and understanding when I’m super tired at the end of the day and he plays with Kellan without complaint or with any snide comments.

November 12: heat!!! It is so cold outside!

November 13: finding the last winter coat in the city that would fit Kellan. Guess I waited a liiiiiittle too long this year. But, we found one!

November 14: A nice, crisp late afternoon exploration in the woods behind the house. Kellan really loves going back there.

November 15: A pretty successful first ever garage sale that Tim and I have done together. Yay for less stuff!

November 16: Tim saying he was glad he was home, too, because he knew that meant all of the “have to do everything” burden wasn’t all on me.

November 17: Meeting a very nice man for a newspaper story. Some people really affect you, even by doing one simple, small, unexpected thing.

November 18: Kellan’s ability to entertain himself and be creative with styrofoam while I put together patio furniture. The styrofoam was everything from runway for his planes to building material to make a house.

November 19: Even though Kellan is absolutely showing signs of the “threenager” stage of asserting his independence and saying NO to everything, there are also lots of heartmelting moments. Like today when he threw a pillow all the way down the stairs and said daddy had to get it. And I told him no, he needed to get it. And he did. I eventually came over to help him bring it back upstairs, as he was struggling. Also, I asked him to go put a face sponge in the bathroom for me, and later when I went to go look for it because I didn’t see it on the counter/in the trash can/some place obvious, I finally looked in the cabinet under the sink where we keep extra stuff, and there it was. Placed nearly right in the front. I went and told him how proud I was and how that was a perfect place. He had even closed the cabinet doors after he put the sponge away. Seriously so proud of him.

November 20: finding a haircut person that Kellan LOVES. It’s a big deal when he warms up to someone immediately and there are no tears.

November 21: Somehow, by the grace of God, Tim made it home last night against all odds.

November 22: Safe super rainy – as in pouring buckets – trip to the grocery store an hour away for Thanksgiving shopping.

November 23: How excited Kellan is about Christmas. Today he wanted to “deck the halls!” I have no idea where he heard that, but it was so cute. Holidays really are so much more fun and magical with a child.

November 24: I let Kellan finish brushing his teeth in the bathroom on his own/unsupervised while I had to go do something else…that I now cannot recall…and then when we were reading his bedtime story, all of a sudden I was like, “Wait. Did you rinse your toothbrush and put it away in the yellow cup?” He looks at me and goes, “……..(thinking)…YES!” I was like, “I’m going to go check.” I walked in and sure enough, there was his toothbrush, put away in the yellow cup. I walked back into his bedroom with a huge smile and gave him a
big hug and kiss and told him how proud I was and how what he did was so, so responsible. He was so proud of himself…then wanted me to go check again so I could come back and tell him again how he was responsible. So cute and I am so blown away. He’s growing up so fast! So thankful he is making the right choices even when on his own.

November 25: Safe travel day for Nonni and Papa AND Kellan was beyond excited to see them!

November 26: Finding the last toys I was looking for after searching three different stores. It’s a long story. But I had to have them TODAY and they apparently didn’t exist anywhere, except the last place I looked (of course).

November 27; Nice Thanksgiving with family and for the best husband ever!

November 28: Sitting in the history museum soda shop/old pharmacy area with Kellan, Tim, Nonni, and Papa. Kellan was eating ice cream and sprinkles (in separate bowls, always). Out of nowhere Kellan looks at me and says, “This is the best time of my life.” No one else heard him but me, which I think was on purpose. He is the sweetest kid….and then, when we get home, Tim and his parents make a leftover thanksgiving plate of food (my stomach wasn’t having any of it), and when Tim sits down, I look at his plate and he put all dark meat on it, which he doesn’t really like, to make sure there was enough white meat for everyone else. I am so thankful for my extremely thoughtful boys!

November 29: Kellan’s smile. Honestly, this kid brightens anyone’s day. Everyone he meets smiles back at him. He is such a light.

November 30: Not completely losing it when Kellan pooped in the tub and I had to clean it. No idea how I remained calm so he didn’t get more upset about what happened…oh the plot twists of motherhood.

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.


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