Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Best Three Years EVER

Three years ago, my husband and I were blessed beyond belief with our beautiful little boy. Our lives changed forever. We became parents. We have watch him grow from a newborn into an infant into a toddler into this little boy. Isaac hit his third birthday last Thursday. It came out of no where. All of a sudden I had this little man in my house who spoke in complete sentences, sometimes better than my husband, and could walk up the stairs like a big boy. He could open the fridge and get his own juice, put on his own coat and shoes, and work the TV. At bathtime he would wash his own hair.

For three years we have been blessed to be able to watch this little person grow up, to be his parents. We may not always do it right, but we are all so very very very happy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Words of Wisdom from an 80's Monster Ballad

"Can you take me high enough to fly me over yesterday? Can you take me high enough? It's never over. Yesterday's just a memory."

Eleven years ago, this week irreparably changed my life forever. Eleven years ago, I learned exactly what a broken heart feels like. Eleven years ago, I lost one of my best friends. Eleven years ago, I learned the ripple effect of suicide all over again. Eleven years ago, I changed.

Every year, I take inventory of how I feel, how my feelings have changed and where I am at. I'm still angry. I'm still hurt. I'm still confused. The pain, the anger, the anguish...they are still there. Some days I can't tell if they have dissipated or if they have just become easier to live with. Have I healed, or have I just adjusted.

Last semester was hard on me for many reasons. It was an introduction back into the academic community as a student. I had to relearn a balancing skill, this time factoring in my family. It isn't just me this time around. Last semester, memories and feelings that I had shelved and dealt with hit me like a sucker punch. Every inch of this campus is haunted. There isn't a safe zone. It's a constant battle.

Late last night, after leaving my friend's house and before going home, I drove to Carter Park. Carter Park where the water tower is located that can be seen for miles approaching Bowling Green. Carter Park where Patrick drove, alone, and took his own life. Carter Park that I have avoided for over a decade.

I sat in my car cried. I couldn't bring myself to pull into that parking spot or to park at all. I stared at the trees that had been there 11 years ago. I took in the desolation and isolation of the area, hearing the quiet and seeing the lights of the freeway, of cars racing by unaware that there is even a park there. The park is larger now, and the surrounding area more developed. There's apartments and condos, and a disc golf course. More playground equipment and updated ball fields. But that parking area, by those trees...it's the same. The dumpsters are still there. The out buildings. The overwhelming and crushing feeling of sadness came over me again, since the last time I was there.

So many questions remain unanswered and will always be that way. Memories have flooded my heart and mind this week, and I just want to move past these dates, this week and ever this semester. One foot in front of the other, one breath in and one breath out.

Monday, January 16, 2012

What a Lazy Day Means

Today the University is closed for MLK day. That means I don't have daycare or classes  or teaching or anything academic related that is obligated. I stayed up late last night gabbing with friends over red wine and some delicious kind of chocolate-y cake magic from Kroger. That means Isaac was due to wake up at 6:30. My husband came in the room to get something, and I rolled over and muttered something unintelligible about it being too damn early to be up on a holiday and to take the baby gate down so Isaac could come get me when he was done with his movie (I use it as a buffer. He lays around and watches a movie until he is ready to get up. It buys me anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.).

When Isaac finally appeared at my bed, I took one look at him and decided it was a lazy day, which I texted to my husband. A few seconds later, I received the response "Soooo...that mean's you aren't taking a shower or putting on a bra today?"

If I could give him the stink eye over text, I would have.

That, dear husband, is NOT what a lazy day means (but maybe what it implies.)

A lazy day in our house means that Isaac and I eat junk food for breakfast and curl up on the couch until at least 10:30 watching movies. Which we did. It means we are spending the majority of the day in our PJs, playing trains, doing puzzles, and catching up on Pinterest.

It means that we are reading stories, playing with Play Doh, and making cheesy eggs in a dish for brunch.

It means the dishwasher is running but it most likely will not be unloaded.

It means that I consider productivity to be checking the bank balance and emailing our insurance agent enough for the day.

It means instead of reading GIS and making flash cards, I am reading "The Hunger Games" and sipping on my 3rd cup of coffee.

It means that Isaac is using Luna as a pillow and is on his 4th Disney movie (he only watches about 30  minutes of each). It means we have scoured the internet for an appropriate potty prize and printed said prize out to post next to the potty.

It means that we are spending the day relaxing and pretending that tomorrow we don't have to get up early and blow dry our hair, put on make up and jeans and accessorize. It means that we are enjoying the hours we get to spend together before we have to go back to daycare and teaching and listening to people tell us what we should be learning and already know.

It means today, the only thing that matters to me is that Isaac is my baby Boo and we are celebrating our togetherness.

And that I am not taking a shower or putting on a bra.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yet Another Valid Reason to Not Drink Bath Water

Isaac's new favorite pastime is to fill his mouth with a liquid (juice, milk, water...whatever) and spit it out like a fountain. Or just spit it out. Not the most wonderful thing for my son to be doing, but very boy like and one of the lesser abrasives. Still, I squashed it pretty quickly.

Or so I thought.

Monitoring his drinking worked well. Taking his drink away when he spit it out worked well. What I did not count on was his performance in the bathtub.

He started filling his rinsing cup with bath water and drinking it. I took the cup away. We are teaching him to wash his own hair, so as he is rinsing his hair, he opens his mouth. What am I supposed to take away there? The best is when he lays in the water and opens his mouth, taking a huge drink.

He was spitting the water out. Now he is not. He's swallowing the dirty, soapy bath water. Again, what do I take away? Bath time? He hates the shower, so sometimes if I am feeling really impatient and cranky, I will threaten to turn on the shower. But in retrospect I don't want to scar him of the shower and make him think that taking one is punishment.

I'm pretty sure Isaac solved the problem for me.

On Monday, my friends came over to watch the BCS national title game (Yep, I'm a football fan.). Isaac had his bath, drinking a fair amount of bubble bath-y dirty water. Sometime in the first quarter he began to complain of a headache. I asked if he wanted medicine and he said no, he just wanted to cuddle. FIRST WARNING SIGN. My son is turning three this month, and he NEVER wants to cuddle for more than 1 minute unless something is up.

And came the vomitting. While cuddled on my lap, Isaac said he was choking. And then proceeded to throw up on my lap. All over me, all over himself, all over the couch. Yuck. I put him on the floor, and wiped up the vomit from my leg so I could stand. As I was standing up, he threw up again. Took a step back, and did it again. 3 MORE TIMES.

I took him in the bathroom, changed him and brought him into the kitchen. While sitting on the bench waiting for his tylenol, since he was still complaining of a headache, he threw up 3 more times. This is the first time he had been sick like this, spitting up as a nursing infant does not count.

Once his tummy was surely empty and he had settled down, I wrapped him in a blanket wearing only his diaper and got to rock him to sleep. That never happens. In a groggy state, I got him into new pjs and into his bed. He slept soundly and woke up feeling fine the next day.

And now he doesn't drink the bath water anymore.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Come On, Get Happy!

When my cousin and I were young teenagers, we used to babysit our baby cousin on New Year's Eve. We used to watch MTV special and eat junk food util early morning. After midnight, we used to write our resolutions on toilet paper and then flush them down the toilet. I don't remember why we chose to flush them, but it was rather fitting since I can't think of one resolution that I have ever kept for more than a month, if even that. They all ended up in the toilet. I gave up making resolutions years and years ago. Instead of making resoutions I decided to make commitments to make my life happier, however or whatever that would be.

I am a firm believer that only you can change your life and make it what you want it. You choose how you respond to each challenge. I have made major changes in my life in order to create happiness in my life and my families.

When asked how I plan to create happiness for myself in 2012, I was unsure of how to answer. 2011 was a great year for me and my family. We flipped our lives upside down and inside out, moving cross country, back to our home state. Life has treated us well, even though we have had the downs as well. I was slightly sad to see the end of this year, because it was such a happy one, but I am greeting the new year with enthusiasm.

As the New Year is underway, a new semester is beginning tomorrow, and my son's 3rd birthday is looming on the horizon. It's going to be a busy one, without a doubt. There are new opportunities emerging and new challenges to tackle. So to answer the question about creating happiness in the new year, well...I'm going to greet each day with a smile, no matter what. I am going to commit to taking each day, one at a time, and live it to the fullest, setting aside time each day for myself to reflect and to decompress. I tend to stretch myself thin, so taking a step back each day to do something for myself, be it just 15 minutes.

What about you? What are you doing to create happiness in 2012 for yourself? Share your answer in a comment on the Life Well Lived post over at BlogHer.com and enter the KINDLE FIRE sweepstakes as well (A new Kindle Fire sure would help me with the me time, maybe too much. I distract easily!).

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Type A

I have figured out what kind of blogger I am. It took about 3.5 years, but I think I have finally got it.

I am an After-the-Fact Blogger.

I wish I could say that I was a brilliant writer. A funny writer. An inspirational writer. An insightful writer. I would even settle for CONSISTENT writer. But really, I am none of those things.

I think of what I want to write about and then I write the post in my head, usually in the shower (all my brilliant thinking comes to me in the shower.) and won't end up with anything I like until weeks later. Sometimes months. More often than not, they don't ever see a page. Or I think of something great to say about an even that took place months ago. Or I get so busy that months pass and I still haven't hit the publish button. Like my Halloween post? Yeah, where is that? (Although, that could be a poor example since my mother hasn't sent me the pictures yet.)

Regardless, I have deemed myself an After-the-Fact blogger. I don't make resolutions, at least not publicly declared resolutions. But in this new new year, I want to commit to being more consistent. I have had plans for this space for quite some time that I would love to get into play.

Now is as good of a time as any to start, right?