Thursday, September 26, 2013

True Love

I've often wondered, in that way that girls often do, what it is that made my husband fall for me, and stick with me through this crazy ride we've been on.
Let's face it....I'm no picnic to live with. I'm actually a complete pain in the ass a majority of the time. I dad tells me so.
I'm a total know it all.
I will argue a point to death when I think I'm right, and because of the previous sentence...I'm pretty much always right.
I can be selfish and only think of how everything affects ME.
I'm expensive. Not cause I buy fancy stuff, but I eat a lot and stick with organic.
I don't take the trash out. Ever.
When I peel the sticker off an apple or lemon, I stick it on the side of the sink to throw away later. And by later I mean never.
I'm super weird and picky and if you make me a sandwich and things aren't spread evenly, I won't eat it.
I make my kids weird too.
But one of the hardest things to live with is probably that I'm completely unsympathetic to pain, illness, or discomfort. Take right now, for instance. Tom has a possible broken finger. I say possible because he hasn't been to a doctor, maybe cause it takes A LOT for us to go to the doctor, looks fairly broken. Pretty sure it feels fairly broken. But...ALL I've done is make fun of him. (Okay, it IS his middle finger. I tried to convince him to put a splint on it so I could take a picture.) I mean it's a finger. He'll live. As I was explaining this to a friend today, I said something along the lines of, "oh he'll be fine, it's just he's never broken a bone before. I mean a real bone. He's just done his back and his rib when he punctured that lung." I didn't even realize the funniness of that until she started laughing and called me a "hardcore bitch." Whoops!
But it's nice to be married to someone who can laugh and lighten things that might not be too funny. Like when I had 2 broken arms, metal sticking out of one, and he made me hold his horse at a show. Or when i can't hold a pot with my left hand without it flopping over because of the aforementioned injury. Or when I got kicked by horse in the chest and thrown into a stucco wall and couldn't ride for a while so we decided to go to a NASCAR race, which wasn't actually fun per se but we laughed a lot at the horseshoe print on my chest and the rednecks (also, it hurt a lot to laugh). Or when Tom makes fun of my lack of reaction or reflexes, which comes in handy when riding a skittish horse but not so much when someone tries to...say...toss me the car keys. OH! Or the time Tom fell off the smallest horse in the barn and I almost peed myself. Or when this one horse would pin our legs against the rail in the ring and we'd be stuck until one of us realized what was going on. Okay, some of this is only funny to horse people, but I crack up every time! When you have kids, there will be times you are so tired and covered in shit or puke or who knows what and if you can't find the funny ain't gonna make it. Lord knows we've had some dark times, but eventually one of us will find a way to make the other laugh.
In going over our strange history together, I pinpointed the moment where it all happened. We were down in FL and had a big manure spreader but no ramp to wheel a wheelbarrow up to it and dump. Most people used smaller buckets and would dump it themselves, but we had 11 horses and no time. We'd fill up the biggest wheelbarrows and together we would 1, 2, 3 HEAVE 150 pounds of shit over our heads to land in the spreader (let's not forget our height difference here, people). Honestly, it was a bit miserable to do every day for 2 or 3 months, but EVERY time we'd get "heave", Tom would do something to make me laugh and the ridiculousness and hilarity of the moment would take over and THAT was the moment that he fell in love with me. He thought to himself, "this chick will do ANYTHING!"
Yep, pretty sure we fell in love at a manure spreader. The stuff of legends.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Nation of Complainers

Overall....I'm a mostly positive person. I think it's partly due to the ability to have a bit of tunnel vision and definitely living in the moment. A few months ago I was reminiscing with my mom about when James was at UVA for so long and how I would walk him around the halls in a wagon and goof around. She said something about doing what you need to do and plastering a fake smile on your face. And I get that (truly), but fact is....I wasn't faking it. At those moments, chatting with my many nurse friends and joking with the doctors in my PJs...I was happy! Because the alternative was to be...not happy. I just had to make a choice.
The single most infuriating thing I see on Facebook is when people wrote FML. I'll be honest, I didn't know what this meant for a long time. Now when I see it, I truly want to punch people. Fuck my life? Really???
But I'm not perfect and its very easy to fall into the trap of worrying about all our first world problems.
We are a nation of complainers. "I'm going on vacation but I hate packing or flying or whatever."
"I love living in the country but it's so inconvenient."
"My kids' school is amazing but it costs a lot."
"I own horses but I have no money." (Right...)
Pay attention next time you ask someone how they're doing. I'm finding that when I do, I'm more shocked by the person that says, "I'm great!"than by the person that gives me a laundry list of all the shit in their lives. And I'm COMPLETELY guilty of this at times too. It's like it's not cool to be happy or enjoy your job, or your marriage, kids, house, vacation...
It's not to say I don't want to talk to my friends about stress in their lives. We all have it. But...I mean...most of the's just not THAT bad. And the people who REALLY have it bad, or have had TRULY tough times...they're the ones that complain the least! Because they KNOW the alternative, and they've found a way to be happy a little bit every day.
And so, if next time you ask me, "how are you doing?" and I start immediately complaining, feel free to call me on it. I'll do the same to you.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Why I Love My Friends So Much

I'm very picky about my friends. I don't.....enjoy...most...people....
Sorry, is that rude? Safe to say, if you're reading this, I enjoy you, so we are good.
Here's the thing about my closest friends...
They show up at my house forgetting or just forgoing shoes.
They are the fastest texters ever and can do it even while riding a horse, therefore readily available.
They don't sleep in.

See!!! I heart them.
Sarcasm. They get it.
They've sent the most appropriate care packages to various hospitals. drink.
They're amazing multitaskers, so a question can get answered or a trip planned while they're dealing with another 2 year old or shooting an ad in LA.
They can flat out tell me what to do and I'll listen (this is a big one).
And they're funny. I mean...really funny....

And above all, they get me and all my weirdness...

Thanks guys.
Also, if you notice people missing, it's cause they're texts are so far beyond inappropriate....and I love them for that even more.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Because my Ego is HUGE

For the first time since our honeymoon, Tom and I went away, BY OURSELVES, for our 6 year anniversary. And while no one probably cares too much, part of the purpose of this blog is to document this while process we're going through, and this is a momentous occasion worth documenting.
Since James has finally reached 30 lbs (more or less---still fluctuates), I felt semi-comfortable leaving him in my parents' capable hands for a few days. When I say capable, I mean this: my dad's job was to entertain and distract from the fact we were gone; my mom's job was to make sure they survived my dad's distractions. Success!
Anyway, we took the train up to NYC and pretty much planned our trip around food and beverage. I wanted to schedule as little as possible so we could just do...WHATEVER WE WANTED!!!! It was amazing, and made largely possible (aside from my parents) by my wonderful friend, Annie, who made us the world's most amazing cheat sheet of how to do everything we should, and she knows since I like what she likes. And my long time friend Natalie, who lives in NYC and will soon be starting her own blog of restaurant recommendations and things to do. We were set! And we managed to pack a lot in without ever feeling rushed, which, turns out, is pretty easy when you can't help but wake up at 6am...
We had a great time, ate a lot but walked it off, and drank a lot so my liver was tired but prevailed.

My liver wasn't sure whether to be alarmed or comforted by this...

Just the sight of all this gluten....

And those were pretty much the only pictures we took except for this...just because....

So we returned home to happy, healthy kids who were very happy to see us, which is rewarding, and very tired parents, who were possibly even more happy to see us. They left the next day, both kids started school the day after that...and then.....
Okay this requires a little explanation. A few months ago I joined up with this hilariously inappropriate blog that reviews romance novels. There are 6 of us, and put us together on a group chat and the most convoluted and entertaining conversation will ensue. I love these girls. I'll share the blog but I've already told my family they don't need to read it. Some things are best left swept under the rug. But for others who love to read, we write very honest reviews of all sorts of books, so long as there are hot guys in them.
The Book Whoreders
A while back, the blog reviewed a book called The Wingman Chronicles. The best way to describe it is this review:
Hysterical, right??
Again, if you're family, just don't tell me if you read that.
Over time, the Book Whoreders have corresponded with and pimped out The Wingman himself. So when an opportunity came that some of us could meet in Cleveland to see his show, for the first time since James was born (and really ever), I thought, 'hey, I could go...'
I got to fly on a plane all by myself (!!!!!!!), meaning without kids. I'd have been happy to have Tom with me, but I don't think my parents could have handled any more bonding time. I met my Internet friends (omg) as one sweetly picked me up from the airport and then at our hotel with a view of Lake Eerie, that looks suspiciously like the ocean...

We walked what seemed like many miles due to a confusion of east and west to the club where we proceeded to stay until basically the next morning. No, actually it was the next morning...
These girls are amazing. I love them.

And yes, I got spanked on stage, because in Tom's words, of course I did. (I almost fell down--shoulda worn flip flops)

The show was just about the funniest thing I've ever seen. If you're ever in an area to see him, do it. There are links to creep on him in the blog post.
So after getting back to the hotel at 3-something, I decided I may as well just stay up until my 6am flight home. Since weekends are busiest for us, I had to have our wonderful babysitter show up at 5 am so Tom could get to middleburg. She's a saint and I had to go rescue her.
It was worth it though, I got to sit in the lobby and watch police officers try to calm down an irate patron who's brother was arrested for dropping the F-bomb. Cleveland rocks.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Feel a Breath

There's this thing a friend came up with a long time ago. It's called Bombshell Burnout. Sometimes, you can only keep up your amazingness for so long. I've had a pretty severe case of it this summer. You'd think with summer break I'd have all sorts of therapy set up and be all organized doing it at home...ummmm...
And I have so many wonderful friends who feed my ego telling me what a wonderful mom I am, how they don't know how I do it...
There's a guilty part of me that needs to let out the fact that sometimes...I don't do it. I get tired and let my kids watch TV to the point where they ask to turn it off. I go ahead and just feed James myself just to get it done. I make the same thing for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks so I don't have to think about it or worry about what will set him off.
So I'd say....we haven't made a ton of progress this summer. I remember, years ago, when we thought that by this time, all this shit would be a distant, crappy memory. That didn't happen...
Anyway, I've been focused on health and calories, which really isn't beneficial from a therapeutic standpoint. But I am still not comfortable enough with his health to really properly turn the reins over to him like I do Eve. I don't worry if Eve doesn't eat much at any time because I know she'll make up for it. Also, he actually eats a large volume of food, without a ton of weight gain, so I know we are missing something in the absorption department. I'm thinking once that is resolved, I'll feel a lot better about relaxing.
I should clarify, I'm just talking about feeding, which is a ridiculously frustrating and slow process. Other aspects of James as a person...are astounding. He has continued to overcome so much and gives me pause frequently when he completes a task I had no idea he could. Things that come so easy for other kids. Things like putting his own shoes on, going to the bathroom, helping feed the dogs, climbing over a gate, singing a song...
He's so dang smart, and I have these expectations of him acting like a little adult, sometimes I forget he's only 5 and has skipped some really important developmental steps and life is HARD! Those moments where he comes up with a funny line and I pause and think, oh my gosh. That was such a little boy thing to say!! Or that was so normal!! Lol
Those pauses allow me not only to take a breath, but actually feel it. And I know that even if it takes us a little longer than I'd like, it's going to be okay.