Monthly Archives: March 2009

Parents that are grand

This last week we have been in a warm place, with even warmer people.  Being a hot weather girl at heart, I find living in the east where it snows for what feels like years to be almost unbearable.  Luckily, my parents still live in the city of my youth, which is always good for a mid winter thaw out.  We head back tomorrow,  and I am DREADING coats, mittens, and the like.  Yuck.

In addition to the weather, the best part of coming here is getting to be with my parents.  Not only do they genuinely love my girls, they seem to actually think I’m cool.  And, in a world of little people who tend to “use and abuse” it’s really nice to have someone take care of me.  To be someone’s little girl for a change.  I don’t think we really ever outgrow our need for mommy.

I was thinking about the term “grandparent” and realize it’s pretty dead on.  They act like parents, but man they are definitely more up on their game.  More patient, more fun, and let’s face it, they are unphased by anything.  They’ve seen it before.  And, they somehow manage to make everyone, children and grandchildren alike, feel special.  To quote one of Molé’s t-shirts, “Grandparents Rock.”

Oh, and did I mention the ample stock of treats in the house?  Oh yes.  

So thanks Mom and Dad, you are much more to me and these girls than you know.  Thanks for being, well, grand.

Insane in the membrane, woo

Oh, the joys of motherhood.  It’s all giggles, smiles, fun, and snuggles, right?  Funny, I didn’t get the memo about the sleepless nights, temper tantrums, attitude, food throwing, gag inducing vomiting, foul smelling, stress producing, and temper flaring moments that would mark the other 85% of the day!

Before I became a mom, I was pretty sure that I wanted to go pro.  (you know, my way of saying “stay at home mom”).  I just couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to do the same.  Well, I’m an actual mom now and I get it!  It’s trying, exhausting, humiliating and completely draining.  I am NOT saying that it doesn’t have just as many wonderful things, because it does.  But, this is a blog and I’m in the mood to complain.  So, you’re not going to get a “balanced” view this time.

BQ is now 3, right.  You’ve heard of the terrible twos, but my goodness, what about the thoroughly terrible/trying/tortuous/tiring threes!!!  Oh by gosh, by golly.  I didn’t believe people when they told me that the threes were worse than the twos, but they were right!  The increase in attitude ,defiance, and well, intelligence is hard to manage at times.  She cannot be fooled and is even more set in her ways than before.  I didn’t know that was possible.  Every day is a battle and sometimes I wonder how either one of us will survive!!  I am SO frazzled and exhausted at the end of the day.

I’m sure personality has a lot to do with it all.  I am very stubborn.  My child is very stubborn.  I am the mom that disciplines her kids when other parents think it isn’t a big deal.  I just don’t let her do whatever she wants.  It isn’t how I’m wired.  So, I know that in some ways right now that means that I have more conflict with her than my friends who simply give their kids whatever they want.  But, in the end, I know the investment will be worth it.  

Alas, I think I’m completely derailing.  Forgive the intense rant.  It’s just where I am.

Love my BQ.  Wouldn’t trade her for all the mild mannered little girls in the world.  But, whew, I’m tired.

Third Wheel

There has been a new phenomenon in our house lately and I gotta say I’m a fan.  I remember being totally overwhelmed when we brought BQ home from the hospital.  Then, when Molé joined us I wondered what the heck I thought was so difficult about having one child!  But, as we all know, hindsight is 20/20 and with kids we pretty much feel chaotic and frazzled at all times regardless of how many we have.  

Anyway, lately the girls LOVE spending time together.  First thing in the morning they run past me, giggling, and into their tent/house.  They might call out for drinks and snacks, but other than that I am pretty much not needed.  When we are all together, I am definitely the “third wheel.”  And you know what?  I couldn’t be happier.  

I feel truly blessed not only to have them, but that they have each other.  My mom has mentioned to me in the past how wonderful it is for her when my brother and I enjoy one another’s company and how important it is to her that we are close.  Now that I’ve experienced it firsthand, I get it.  There is nothing better.  

So, I will savor every giggle, every night they stay awake for little while “chatting” in their beds, and the wrestling matches they have on the mini couch.  These are sweet, sweet days.

Family

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be family.  For most of us, this probably brings to mind words like mom, dad, brother, sister, grandma, grandpa and so on.  And, I would imagine, for some it’s a mixed bag of emotions.  Maybe your family treated you like crap, while your best friend loved you through the ups and downs of life.  Whatever our experiences, I think we get really stuck with an extremely narrow definition of what makes a family.  Here’s what I mean.

I would say that for many of us, living near our “family” is not a reality.  We are spread across the country and might get to see one another once a year.  While our reunions are sweet, we miss out on experiencing the ins and outs of daily life together.  Ultimately, we form bonds with our friends and neighbors to fill in those holes.  We go to each other’s events, birthday parties, and even celebrate holidays together.  In essence, we become family.  

This isn’t to say that these new relationships replace the other, but they are significant.  And, if our original experience with “family” was negative, they might give us a sense of belonging and community that we had not yet had.  Who knows.  

I can tell you that I feel very blessed.  Not only did I grow up with an AMAZING family, but I feel fortunate that I now am blessed with a wonderful little family unit of my own.  In these last years, unfortunately, we haven’t been able to live near my family or my husband’s and at times it’s hard.  Especially once we had children.  I guess that is what has sparked part of this conversation, that you’re currently listening in on, or thought.  You can say the quote “It takes a village” is a load, but let’s face it, it takes a lot more people than just a mom and dad to raise a child.  If the complete task of loving, nurturing, caring, and providing for our girls was on our shoulders along we would collapse under the pressure.  I need to know that there are others who know and love my children.  Who know and love my husband.  And ultimately, who know and love me.  

Fortunately, we have experienced this, despite being so far from “family.”  We have found friends who although we don’t share DNA, last names, or country of origin, have become our family.  It isn’t a replacement, seriously I don’t want to say that, but man is it sweet.  True community.  It’s awesome.  It’s holy.  And it’s a gift.

The other place where I get frustrated is in the addition of children.  For many couples, biological children are a must- the only way to build a family.  For others, adoption is a must.  Not a “second best” but a choice, a preference and a desire.  Why so many people place more value on one over the other is beyond me.  Blood does not define family.  Love, commitment, trust, and so much more does.  The next time that someone tells me, “We are going to be adopting a child,” my first reaction should be AWESOME!!!  Not some lame narrow-minded thought of, “Oh, could you not have children?”  That doesn’t even make sense, really.  Of course they can HAVE children- they just told me they are going to!!  But, for anyone to think that a family is less of a family because they don’t share the same bone structure is ridiculous!  Don’t you think?

I guess, to end my rambling, I just want to keep my eyes open to the many ways in which family can manifest itself around me and hopefully through me.  I hope to never judge or evaluate anyone’s definition of family.  Because, let’s face it, life is too short to be alone.  If you can find people you love, who love you, and who can journey along with you, that is family.  Hang on to it, cherish it, and ask them to babysit.  🙂

A haircut minus the drama…Please?

So, as many of you other moms out there know, it is difficult to find time to bathe, let alone do things like get your hair cut.  Luckily since I have long hair I can get away with it by rocking a pony when things are looking bad.  As I’m sure it is for you, getting out and actually having someone cut my hair is a treat.  I look forward to it, I ponder the possibility of taking a risk and doing something crazy, but always wimp out.  The one problem that I keep having has nothing to do with my hair, the quality of my cut, or the cost even.  No, my problem lies with the stylist.  

Last time we were visiting family out west, I was able to get out for a haircut.  I was so excited to finally get rid of the dead ends and feel like a hottie.  (well, maybe not totally a hottie, but hot-er).  I walk in, willing for anyone to cut my hair.  I end up with a guy who kind of reminds me of the 80’s- like if the decade could be balled up and formed into a man I’m pretty sure he would be it.  It wasn’t one thing, it was the entire package.  From hair down to shoes, he was livin’ la vida 1984.

Anyway, we discussed what I wanted, he nodded and we were off.  Then it happened.  The one sided conversation of a stylist gone mad.  I heard about his ex who wouldn’t leave him alone and kept coming back for…(you know what, I really don’t want to remember that), then how global warming wasn’t real but actually just a government conspiracy, and finally something about life outside of planet earth that was real and possibly a threat.  Good thing I have long hair dangled across my face to hide the disturbed and somewhat amused look on my face.  Wow.  The kicker of that cut was that after this abomination, he proceeded to charge me $35.  Yah, not cool.

This evening, my sweet hubby got home from work at a wonderful hour and I thought I would try and run out for a haircut, since Great Cuts is open until 9.  I was so excited thinking about getting rid of these dead ends.  I arrived, checked the price which was $15, and was ready to begin.  I am welcomed by a man named Dennis, who seems pretty reasonable.  Maybe I will dodge another “crazy stylist” bullet.  Alas, it was not meant to be.  I think the only words I may have uttered were, “about 4 inches” and “that sounds good.”  He proceeded to cut, pause, pause, chat, cackle, complain, cut, for the next hour.  I really thought the cut would have taken about 30 minutes.  Not so much.  I definitely got in on the workplace dirt though.  Did you know that some girl named Azeal, well actually they aren’t really sure how to pronounce her name so Dennis refers to her as zebra, left dirty towels in Laura’s drawer?  Oh yah.  And, Dennis is such a rebel that he places products from brands other than Redkin on his station.  Mmm Hmm.  And so on, and so on.  Wow.  I wish I had audio for you, because all of this loud chatter from Dennis and the other stylist Laura was in the most fabulous New England accent ever.  I mean Laura, girl, amazing.

So, I have to wonder why I am attracting these crazy male hairstylists!  I mean, come on!  I don’t want the drama, just a cut.

Spent

Do you ever feel like you just can’t catch up?  There just doesn’t seem to be the time, or the caffeine to help you reach that place where you can, simply, exhale.  I would just like to have a couple of hours to myself.  That’s it.  Not even an entire day, just a few hours.  Some time off.  I had two hours yesterday, to myself that is, and had the pleasure of spending it getting a permanent filling and temporary crown.  Sweet.  (can you get the thick layer of sarcasm that I’m spreading on here?)  Then, I had an hour and half and I went to the store.  That was actually quite enjoyable. But man would I love to find a way to really recharge my battery.

I think the thing you don’t realize before you become a mom is that there is no off switch.  There isn’t ever a time when you aren’t “on.”  Take right now, for example.  The girls are asleep, my hubby is at work, and the house is quiet.  Sounds great, right?  It is, but the reality is I’m still trapped.  I can’t run out for a cup of coffee, meet with a friend, or even turn my music up really, really loud.  And when I do go to bed, I can’t put the humidifier on high and close the door, because I have to be alert in case I’m needed.  

All of this being needed stuff makes me feel, well, spent.  Drained.  Used up.  Empty.  Done.  I guess in the three years that I have been a mom and the 1 1/2 that I have been a resident’s wife, I have yet to figure out how to refill my tank.  It sucks, because I know that if I can’t figure it out I will continue to run on fumes.  I love our girls and I am so happy that we made the decision for me to go pro in the mom department.  (I like to call it “going pro” since technically mothering is my current profession.  And, let’s face it, it sounds pretty dang cool).  But between my sweet hubby’s 80+ hour work weeks, living in a place where I still don’t feel settled or like I know people, and not having any childcare to speak of, it takes its toll.  

So let me cut my lament because I want to get back to my point, which is, how do I refuel and how do I figure out how I refuel?  Hmm…