Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My anxious boy

Anxiety is defined as fear or nervousness about what might happen.  We all experience it, just on different levels and at different intensities.  I rarely worry or feel anxious about anything.  I have a confidence and belief that things happen for a reason.  I always try everything in my power to be sure I've done everything I can to create the outcome I hope for and that serves us all the best but I know that's not realistically going to always happen.  And that's where the shoulder shrug comes in.  I'm good at that.  The, "*shrug*, Well, I guess that's just how it is."  Many people aren't capable of getting to the shrug state.  My sweet William is one of them.

I can look back now and see that William was always anxious.  He fits the mold of the Anxious Child very well.  He's extremely bright, very self-aware,  as well as very aware of his surroundings and the world around him.  This, coupled with the emotional maturity of a little boy, makes for an anxious kid.  He cried all the time.  Not just randomly, it was fairly predictable, but it was a lot.  It wasn't the spoiled brat kid cry, it was always related to a situation that was out of his control.  He also always needed to know what time it was, what we were doing next, what was I doing in there, where were we going today, what was I going to buy when we got inside, etc.  I chalked it up to him being curious and smart and nosy.  At age 3 he'd say, "Mommy, what time is it?"  and I'd say, "Why?  Got a hot date?".  He'd then repeat the question.  I now see that he needed to KNOW. 

I became aware that this was true anxiety when his crying began to happen in public in the last few months over situations that a "normal" kid would be able to handle just fine.  I'm of the mindset that crying isn't bad for boys.  I've never told him he can't cry.  But let's be honest.  He's 7, he's in 2nd grade, and kids are going to start making fun of him.  When he would stand outside his classroom and cry in the morning, I recently started saying, "You can't cry, your friends will see you.  You're too big to be crying at school in front of your friends unless you are injured or sick.  They will make fun of you."  Well.  That did it.  His anxiety flew off the charts after only a few days of that.  I couldn't figure out what the deal was. When all along I was making it so much worse. 

His crying was his release for his anxiety.  It always has been.  I can see that now.  My words made him then afraid to cry.  Well, if crying was the release and now he feels he can't cry, what is he supposed to do now?  He became scared that he'd feel anxious and all he knew to do in those situations was to cry.  He became scared of all situations.  YOU wouldn't see that in him, but WE did.

The last straw was then soon after all of that he started not wanting to go to my best friend's house, he turned down a birthday party invitation from a friend, and he didn't want to get together with friends after school.  I could see that all of this was a bad road to be on.  I sought out help.

My tools to help him with his anxiety were these:  "Take a deep breath."  "Stop crying."  "It's not worth crying about, Buddy."  Obviously, these are worthless.  My toolbox, for the first time ever, was empty.  EMPTY.  My boy needed help in learning to deal with this anxiety and take-a-deep-breath wasn't working anymore.

We are currently part of a program offered by Kaiser for kids from ages 6-11.  The parents are involved, too.  They fill the kids' toolboxes and ours as well.  William LOVES it and although his case of anxiety is so mild compared to some of the kids in his group, he learns when he doesn't know he's learning.  It's awesome and I am so grateful.

William has taught me patience through his impatience and he has taught me calmness through his anxiousness.  We are a good team.  And we're playing hard at this game.  Together.      \

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Drew

She's named after my Great-Nana, Jane Drew.   We call her DrewP (droopy?) because of her name and last initial.  All her friends and her teacher call her DrewDrew.  She's 8 years old, she's all about asking for forgiveness rather than permission, she's got dance moves to rival her dad's, she's a lover of reading and a hater of math, and she was the first one to call me mom.

Drew is my traveling companion.  She has come to Boston with me for the last 3 years and will be joining me again this year.  She's very even tempered and is unlike her siblings in that her mood is not dependent upon sleep or food so she makes an awesome traveler.  She can be stubborn but she knows right from wrong, most often makes good choices, and is quite mature for her age.  Kind of an old soul.  Like I was.  Or still am.  I was told that forever and I've been told that about Drew, too.

As she gets a little older I see much more of myself in her.  She's strong-willed.  She's loving.  She adores animals and babies.  She vies for position of The Boss in some situations and is just learning that that is not always important. I hope it doesn't take her 37 years to come to that full conclusion. 

I think she's beautiful.  She's got a tiny mole on the tip of her nose that appeared when she was about a year old.  She also has one in between her toes.  Just like I have.  Her skin browns nicely in the summer and her hair becomes nearly translucent.  She's tall and carries herself well.  

I am proud of her and I am proud to see that she is being compared to me as she matures.  It's good for my ego 'cause I think she's pretty awesome. 

Me, 1983.  Drew, 2013. 
30 years apart


Monday, March 25, 2013

Are you a good wife?

Are you a good wife? 

What does that even mean in your family or to your husband?

Dinner made when he gets home?  Well-behaved children?  Beds made every morning?  Sex 3 times a week?  All of his family's birthdays are remembered and acknowledged?  You make the most bomb banana bread from scratch for Sunday morning breakfasts?

I know what being a good wife means to Chris and it is something I strive for.  That's not a submissive thing, I think it's honorable.  I want to make him happy.  That doesn't mean that he doesn't have to try and meet my needs and make me happy, I'm talking about me.  I enjoy trying to be a good wife.  The definition and the role changes off and on and I can read that pretty well at this point.  It's a constant work in progress kind of thing.  My desire isn't Bible based and I don't walk around kissing the ground he walks on.  I just want to treat him the way I'd like to be treated and to create a loving home.  Plus I loooooooove him.  It comes naturally. 

I also hope to teach my girls what it means to always keep trying to be a good wife.  I hope they look back when they are married, or even when they are considering marriage, and recognize how I loved their dad endlessly.  It's ok to put him in his place, snatch him back into reality, soothe his ego, make his meals, tell him to put his God damned socks in the laundry basket, and laugh together a lot.  It also means compromise which can sometimes be the hardest to do.  Especially if you are a 5'11" blonde stubborn chick.   

No matter what being a good wife means to you and your husband my guess is that it starts with respect and ends with laughing together.  All the middle stuff is up to you and you can choose to work on it as much as you want. 

Should we discuss what makes a good husband next?  Blogger may not have enough room...

 have fun,
and keep working hard to compromise.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The ultimate in LAZY

I love new products that make my life simpler, easier, better.  Who doesn't?  This is kind of the ultimate in lazy, though.  But I'm ok with that. It eliminates the need to have to lean down and get the squirt bottle from underneath the sink.  And it eliminates the task of having to lift open the tab on the wipes and then making sure it's closed properly so that they don't dry out.

It's this.  And it's awesome.

If you haven't bought it yet, you must.  You think you don't need it, but you do.  Trust me on this.

See?  She didn't expend more than 6 calories in that entire clean up process.  You need this.

You're welcome.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

What the what?

I'll be 38 this year.  I've had long hair for, oh, 35 years.  I've worn bobby pins off and on for probably 34 years.  And today, TODAY, I discovered that I've been wearing them incorrectly this whole time. 

Did you know you're supposed to wear them with the flat side UP? 

Please tell me I'm not the only one who didn't know that.  Have people been smirking at the back of my hair for 34 years?  How embarrassing.

Flat side UP, bumpy side DOWN. 

This is the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Take a seat & make a friend

So sweet.  I hope I come upon a ballpit in the middle of a sidewalk some day.  I'd totally get in.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Oooh, snarky.  My mood today has been super snarky.  No apparent reason.  Maybe 'cause I woke up with a little throat/chest thing?  That always puts me into semi-panic mode because as all moms know, getting sick is a nightmare.  I don't know.  Anyway, snarky.

When I feel snarky I feel like I am a bit more preceptive than normal.  This makes me want to call bullshit on a few things and I figured instead of talking Chris's ear off on the phone while he's at the firehouse, I'd do it here.  Plus, you can't just pretend to listen to me here like he would do there.

  • People whose facebook statuses are rainbows and unicorns and cotton candy every single day.  I have a damn good life and shit still goes down.  C'mon, keep it real.
  • The salad I love at Chipotle is $9.  Really?  Lettuce, black beans, corn, pico, and avocado?  Really?  But, it's good, it's clean, and my kitchen stays untouched so it's worth it.  Damn them.
  • Luggage fees.  Drew, Chris, and I are traveling to Boston this summer and we're bound to have to pay for at least one bag.  For weight?  If an airplane can carry the space shuttle, it can carry my blow dryer and flat iron. 
  • Extra leg room on a flight.  I'm just shy of 6 feet.  Chris is 6'5".  We either have to fold in half for 6 hours or pay $45 more for room for our legs.  We help YOU in the grocery store reaching things on the shelves everyday, just give us the seats with more leg room without such a fee.
  • When the kids wake up at 6:30am on Saturday and Sunday and then on Monday morning I have to wake the beasts at 7:10am while I hustle and scream at them to get out the door by 7:45am. 
  • The biggest washing machine on the market still doesn't fit my machine washable Cal King comforter which I then have to pay $60 to have dry cleaned.
Oh, I could go on and on but I won't.  Tomorrow I'll wake with much less snark, read this post, and see how perceptive I can be.  And by perceptive, I mean bitchy.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Damnit. Fantastic.

I know that some of the country seems to be buried in snow right now but here in the Central Valley, we're experiencing this faux Spring that happens every year about this time.  Every year it confuses the birds and the trees and the flowers.  And every year it makes me take a step back and examine exactly how much I yell at my kids and for my kids.   Why now, during the faux Spring, you may ask?


This means it's open-your-windows-and-let-the-nice-breeze-come-in weather.  It's also the now-the-neighbors-can-hear-what-a-crazy-bitchy-yelling-mom-you-are weather.

Damnit.  Fantastic. 

I hate faux Spring.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Grenade, a cappella

This makes me want to become a music teacher.  After you watch this, block off an hour or two of your schedule and YouTube all the other PS22 Chorus clips.  You'll be amazed and inspired.  And you'll likely want to become a music teacher, too.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Still here! With a change of heart and a couple shares...

Oh, how quickly things change.  My last post was a little less than a month ago and I was feeling like I was breaking up with The Old House and was having tremendous guilt about moving.  We're now in The New House, we're pretty much settled, and I'm all like, "Old House Who?"  I drive over to The Old House to get the mail every other day or so and as I drive away I'm kind of like, "PEACE OUT!"  It's weird and unsettling that I could have a change of heart so quickly.  I'm taking that as a sign that it just means this move was absolutely the right thing for us.

My new kitchen probably has NOTHING to do with my change of heart.


You know my dysfunctional relationship with laundry.  I know many of you have the same relationship with your own.  I tried to create a new system in The New House (new house! new beginnings! new routines!) and that lasted about a week.  I have found these, which I love, and although it doesn't fold and put the clothes away for me, it sure makes the mounds and piles of clean laundry that lay around for days smell just a little bit better.

I'm not a big fan of the purple one, but I love the other two.


Drew and I have hair like a llama.  It's thick and tangles and may look pretty on the surface in the morning but it takes a great deal of shoulder strength to get through the underneath.  I have forever cared for my hair so that this doesn't happen but Drew is in her hair care infancy.  I'm trying my best to teach her how to care for the curse of thick hair.  Fighting over brushing it in the morning is a horrible way to start the day, lemme tell you.  This product is MAGIC.  It has restored our mornings and my relationship with Drew and I am not kidding.  If you or your daughter has thick hair, buy it.  You can thank me here.


It's good to be back and talking to you.  Thanks for still checking in. 

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

It's not you, it's me

We're moving.  Just across town, about 6 miles or so.  The new house was in great shape but in the last few weeks we've changed all the paint and replaced all the carpet.  It's now ready for us. 

The packers come tomorrow.  Then again on Saturday.  By Monday all our big stuff will be moved and I anticipate Monday night being our first night in the new house. 

I feel like I'm breaking up with this house.  It will soon be called The Old House.  It's making me very sad.  This house has been so good to us.  We've brought 2 of our 3 babies home to this house.  We've hosted the best parties and celebrations in this house.  We've made the best friends at dinners in this house.

This is a voluntary move to someplace bigger and better.  But now I'm feeling so sorry for this house.  The Old House.  That it doesn't feel big enough or good enough for us anymore.

I'm sorry, Old House.  I will always love you.

I know.  I'm cray.

It's not you, it's me.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Joyless Parenting

I will preface this post with a few statements:  I love my kids to a billion pieces.  I will forever be grateful that I am able to be a stay-at-home-mom.  I know many of the worlds' events make my problems seem nearly non-existent and that I should shut my pie hole and just be grateful for healthy kids. 

This is, however, my life and my blog.  In other words, it's my party and I can cry if I want to.

Although I have prefaced this post, I will not apologize for it.  As Oprah would say, this is my truth.

Parenting at this stage is a nearly joyless experience.  In the next 8 weeks we'll have two birthdays and at that point I'll have a 4, 6, and 8 year old.  The last 12 solid months has been awful and I've got to be honest - I am so sick and tired of people TELLING me that I will miss this stage.  I can assure you that I will not.  It is 14 hours a day of fighting.  We have brief breaks here and there but it is otherwise the only consistent thing left in this house.  It sounds easy to say that the law needs to be laid down and consequences need to be be implemented.  Well, if you know me at all or have been a reader of this blog you know that I am all about that.  ALL ABOUT IT.  This situation is different.  It may not make sense to you, the lucky one who doesn't have to live with this, but this is their way of being.  This isn't just their impulsive behavior when a sibling does something annoying.  This is their way of being.  It's just how they are with each other.  All the time.

I'm not going to go on and on.  I just want to put it out there that if you are finding it hard to find great joy in parenting, you are not alone.  If you make a point to go in at night and look at your sleeping children to remind yourself why you love them so much it hurts because during the day when they are awake you can't really remember why, you are not alone.

I know this won't last forever.  In fact, I'm hoping that this stage will end really soon.  I'm not naive.  I know they, as siblings, will fight and argue for many years to come.  I am hoping, though, that a bit of maturity will set in, they'll get tired of this dance, or they'll find a bit of something in each other to value and there will be a shift in their... way of being. 

I, in the meantime, will continue to do my best to parent them and love them to pieces and guide them to make the right choices.  Or I may just pack my bags and run away and become a gypsy.  I'm not sure which is more appealing at the moment. 

Yes.  Yes, I did. 
No.  No, it didn't work.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Don't call it a comback...

Hello, there!  'Member me?  It's been 91 days since I've blogged last.  In 3 years of blogging I've never taken a break longer than a few days and when I wrote my last post I didn't know it would be my last for a while.  Life just kind of...took over.  I've blogged about it more than any other topic but it's no joke - these 3 kids and their fighting has been all-consuming.  By the time I had any free or quiet time it was 8:00pm and it was all I could do to tidy up and get to bed.  Sitting down to blog was no longer an option.  I was in a constant state of exhaustion.  And bitchiness.

Since the last time I blogged a few big things have happened.  I turned 37, I had surgery, and we bought a new house.  Those are big, right?!  All of that kind of had me a bit busy, too, I guess.  37 is whatever, the surgery went well, and the house is awaiting new carpet and within 2 weeks we'll likely be in completely.  It's been a whirlwind few months and I'm ready to sit on the couch in my new house, bark out orders to the kids, and sigh a sigh of relief that it's all calming down some. 

Although I haven't written here, I've written in my head every night when I lay down.  Now I'm back to being ready to share it with you.  Hope you're still here to read it. 



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