April 23, 2013 | Category: Uncategorized
I remember a time not so long ago when I had trouble hoofing it (where’s my elevator?!) up to the girl’s bedroom (third story!) without getting winded to the point of needing to sit down to catch my breath. Never mind scolding them for a messy space, mama needs oxygen because she’s super pregnant…
I remember a time not so long ago when I would look at my body in a full length mirror and feel completely ashamed. Other women, other friends, they look so amazing! Why, oh why, did my poor body appear so messed up and ugly?
I remember a time not so long ago that I would have been mortified if anyone other than my husband and kids stepped foot into my home without warning. Living in a constant state of disarray and chaos, I hung my head in shame.
I remember a time not so long ago when I was sad, very sad, because I was sad all the time. I had no reason for my sadness, other than I was sad all the time.
I remember a time not so long ago when a dear friend of mine urged me to trust her. She asked me to read a post she just wrote, convincing me that it actually would get better. That maybe I couldn’t see it now, but things wouldn’t always be like this. That the light at the end of the tunnel was a real thing and not just an illusion.
That it wouldn’t always be this hard.
That better, easier, less heavy days would surely follow.
You guys, she was right. Things are actually getting less exhausting. I mean, I still have four kids and they necessitate so very much, but I’m in such a better place mentally and emotionally than I was a year ago.
Today, I wasn’t tired from a sleepless night nursing a baby.
And today, I washed my face and put lip gloss on. I got the girls off to school, and then the boys and I ran errands. We were like, normal people doing normal activities.
We went thrifting, and I found a perfect laptop bag straight out of the 1950′s. (process that one for a minute)
We got groceries and nobody threw a tantrum. And I didn’t even have to bribe the 3 year old with a bag of Chips Ah-noying.
We went to the park and had fun.
You guys, it was so great.
Basically, I had a pretty fab day, and I’m optimistic tomorrow will be nice as well. Because fab days are starting to happen consecutively.
It’s totally true, what they say. The baby fog will actually lift and at some point, you will feel human once again.
You will find yourself saying: yes, I can totally do this parenting thing. It’s totally hard, but I will survive! And maybe even like it!
Friends, that’s where I’m at (I think). The heavy blanket has been lifted, I’m basking in the light at the end of the tunnel.
And sure thing, don’t be surprised if tomorrow I’m all OMGEEEE MY KIDS ARE GONNA KILL ME LEMME TELL YA ABOUT IT…. (because that’s totally going to happen, right?)
But for today, I’m starting to feel lighter. Realizing that the warm spring sun is actually shining in my direction, and I’m present to experience it, even if it is just for a moment.
April 21, 2013 | Category: I'm a Pet Owner
When we moved downtown and built our little “urban” home, one thing that turned us on to city living was the romantic idea that as a family (Michael, myself, our new little baby Piper and our furbaby Miles the Boston Terrier) we could walk to cultural events and festivals.
So the first year living downtown, that’s often what we did. Until Miles changed all that.
It was a sweaty afternoon in August. Not like 100 degrees hot or anything, but warm enough that if you start moving around too fast, your pants would start to stick to your inner thighs. On this particular afternoon, there was an outdoor art festival going on just down the street, and of course we wanted to attend. So we grabbed the baby and strapped her in the stroller (this was in my pre-babywearing days), packed a few snacks, and put Miles on the leash.
The festival was about a mile away, totally walkable for young nimble bucks such as ourselves. We made it there without incident, perused the craft booths, bought a frozen banana (there’s always money in the banana stand), and started to head home for nap time.
But instead of having a spring in his step, Miles decided to perform a peaceful protest. Yes, he refusing to walk even one more step.
He laid down, and refused to budge. (he was fine, totally hydrated and healthy, instead just acting like a baby)
After getting extraordinarily embarrassed at the scene witness by what felt like 1,000 pairs of eyes, the only option was to take Piper out of her stroller and instead strap Miles in. The 5 point harness? Yeah, I used it. Through packed city streets, we got laughs, stares, and strangers pulling out their camera (this was before fancy cell phones) to take a photo of the dog being pushed home in a baby stroller, and the baby being carried home by her mother.
Since that day over 8 years ago, Miles doesn’t go to events with us anymore. Because honestly, I have four kids and the last thing I need to worry about is carrying home the fat dog.
He still gets out during the week as my shot-gun carpool buddy to pick the kids up from school, but when it comes to puppy athletics, he’s best left to being a cheerleader.
This is Miles. He like puppicinno from the coffee shop (honestly, ask for them, it’s free), heated leather seats in the winter, and a cool 50 mph wind breezing past his jowls via passenger side window in the springtime.
He’s my lazy old man friend, and I love him.
But for those of you who have a dog that act like a dog, there’s a super fun event coming to town next weekend!
It’s Mutt Strut 2013, and if Miles wasn’t such a geriatric, we would be there.
Here are the details:
When: April 27th (next Saturday)
Where: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (walk the dog around the famous 2.5 mile Brickyard track, along with like 1,000 of his furry buddies)
Why: To benefit the Indy Humane Society.
How much: pricing varies a bit, but if you sign up today it will cost you somewhere between $35-$40.
And if you can’t attend the event but want to make a donation to the Indy Human Society (it only costs $10 to microchip a pet), please consider giving what you can.
So will you be there?
Pretty sure there’s no need to rehash the news at this point. We all know just how horrible and brutally cruel this past week has been. Horrible stuff in Boston. Painful and beyond tragic suffering in Texas.
This week, this month, it’s been emotionally and mentally challenging.
These days, I’m not watching the news or even really even turning on the TV. I squint at facebook and twitter through half-opened eyes, glancing over my feed quickly before shutting it back down. Because if there’s one thing I do know about myself, it’s that sometimes ignorance is bliss. I don’t need to know all the details, and see all the photos to understand the magnitude of brokenness being experience.
I know people are suffering. I know there’s widespread unfathomably pain taking place across this country, around the globe. And just knowing that is enough information and saturation for me.
And while I’m trying to stay away from media as much as possible, this morning I found myself having a hard time doing so. For whatever reason, I couldn’t turn off the television. I could physically feel my anxiety level heighten, yet there I stared.
At 9am, the babysitter came for the boys and instead of working from home how I normally do, I packed up my gear and headed down the street to the coffee shop for a change of environment.
And wouldn’t you know it, love and reassurance meet me at that coffee shop and my hope in humanity was renewed over a hot latte and toasted bagel.
As I sat plucking away on a super boring freelance article (just being honest here, it’s not always fun and game), I was privileged to witnessed firsthand the best moment of a complete stranger’s life. Without any warning (or dropping of the knee *ahem* what’s up with that?), the women sitting in the booth next to me was offered a marriage proposal and a very beautiful engagement ring.
Between audible gasps, she said yes.
I need to see this LOVE. I needed to feel this extreme joy and happiness. My bad mood and pessimism were washed away with her happy tears.
On dark days, when we start to think violence and hate for our fellow sisters and brothers is the norm, it’s refreshing to be reminded first hand that there is a ton of good to be had.
That girl I saw get proposed to a couple hours ago from across a coffee shop booth? She’s having the best day of her life, I know it. And to witness such elation on days when the world feels so dark and heavy is refreshing.
This all consuming hate and violence preying on our souls? I’m optimistic that we can beat it.
Let’s seek out the lovely, and figure out how to make it multiply.
Best! Days! Ever! (they don’t have to be a thing of the past)
April 12, 2013 | Category: I'm a Momma
We were sitting around the kitchen table. It was a typical weeknight evening, and dinner was winding down. Baked salmon, a favorite. I told the kids to finish their last bite, listen to Uncle Charlie, and we might have a sweet snack if they played their cards right.
But then then the conversation took a turn for the funny:
Hey Nola, what did you learn in school today?
“we learned about animals (oviparous, what?). They lay eggs and hatch babies”…
yadda yadda yadda…..the chicken and the egg story…eat your asparagus or else…. blah, blah, blah…
One thing led to another, everyone got to talking and joking at once, and now Gage somehow believes I sat on him for 8 months. Yes, he thinks he hatched from an egg. Because naturally, he did.
Sure thing, I’ll correct him tomorrow. Or maybe the next day.
But for right now? My boy thinks he hatched from an egg.
It’s funny, no?
(I’ll fix this before he starts dating, promise)
(it’s only temporary, I’ll show him The Business of Being Born sometime before he goes to high school)
And not at all on the same subject, but equally frightening is baby Paul’s love for being outside.
He’s brave enough (but not graceful enough), to go sliding down the kiddo slide by himself.
Greg Louganis, you have competition. This little dude is smooth. A perfect “10″.
Also, you’re welcome.
April 1, 2013 | Category: I'm a Traveler
The thing about going on vacation with four little kids is that when you get home, you feel like you need a vacation from your vacation. Today is the first “normal” day after vacation, which means I have an epic post-vacation hangover. Vacation hangovers, they are totally a thing and I got a good one going on.
And even though I’m completely in need of a nap and housekeeper, I’m so glad that we went ahead and did the trip. It came and went in a blink of an eye, but because the days fly by and melt into each other like chocolate Easter bunnies let out in the sun, Spring Break 2014 will be here before I know it.
A few things I’ll always remember from SB 2013 (a bullet point list, of sorts):
- My baby sister got engaged.
- Paul refused to eat anything unless he found it in the sand, and lucky for him Gage’s favorite activity just happened to be throwing food in the sand.
- Piper officially decided she wants to scoop ice cream for a living, and Nola wants to work at the cheap crap souvenir store. This makes me a very lucky lady, as it looks like I’ll always have a hook-up for a shark tooth in a bottle, or a lacquered up shrunken alligator head for my mantel. College savings? WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ COLLEGE SAVINGS ACCOUNT!
- Speaking of college, Michigan State kinda blew it in that bball tournament thing. And last night, I actually found myself rooting for UofM for the first time in my whole life, which is basically the equivalent of hell freezing over.
- Also worth noting: I shouldn’t shuck steamed oysters after a couple beers, and my new favorite drink is called a Miami Vice. Mmmmm, frozen rum drinks on the beach while grandma keeps the kiddlets entertained BEST EVER.
- Paul fit a whole lot better in that middle place 15 months ago. Next year, he’ll still be my baby, but his shadow will be standing on it’s own.
- And then there was that one time when I just wanted to the kids to play independently on the beach for 5 short minutes, and I found myself saying: “why don’t you just pimp out your hole for a while”. Not exactly something I ever thought I would suggest to anyone, let alone my children.
But this hole? It needed some serious pimping. Back rests, cup holders, places to store the shovel. Time consuming details, but totally worth the effort.
And lastly, I was reminded that my people are pretty great. We might drive each other nuts most days, but wow do I sure love them.
Selfies. So much better at sunset with a sandy ring pop in your mouth.
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