Forks in the Road

I think when you feel the need or the passion to write, it comes from having many thoughts in your head that need to get out. Even if I didn’t have this blog, I’d have dozens of journals. I do have journals filled with my thoughts dating back to high school. I’d like to say it was to record thoughts to look back on when I get older but it really was to keep myself from going crazy. There was a time when if I didn’t write everything down, I would have been an angry, bitter person snapping at everyone. I’m sure I still had those moments but there would have been a lot more had I not had an outlet.

I don’t know if every writer does this but stories come to my mind in the form of mini-movies and I have to get them down on paper.

Sometimes I think about my life and the forks in the road and that leads to ideas for stories. Basically, if you could make money off of daydreaming, I’d be a millionaire. :)

Some of the forks that come to mind are these:

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. Everyone tried talking me into going out for the pom squad (that’s what it was called when I was in high school) after the whole cheer debacle. I didn’t want to be told what to do with my time anymore. I wanted to work and concentrate on college. Would I have loved it? What experiences or memories would I have had from being on the squad?

2. I visited Eastern Illinois University and Northern Illinois. I ultimately chose Northern because it was closer. What if I had chosen Eastern? Would I still have gone into education?

3. After my car accident, I wasn’t going to go back to Northern. I was going to go to the community college and decide where to go from there. Leo talked me into going back. What if I didn’t? I probably would have gotten my associate degree to teach at a daycare and done that. I think I would have been satisfied but I would have missed out on a world of opportunities.

4. When NIU had a job fair, I stopped at a booth for a district in Dallas, Texas. I was a huge Cowboys fan and thought, what the heck. After talking to the recruiter for a half hour, he offered me a job, presented me with a contract and said they’d pay for me to visit. I was so excited. Leo and I talked about it, seriously thought about moving there together and even went out to celebrate. Jobs were hard to come by back then so it was decided that if I didn’t get offered a job in Illinois, we’d do it. Not only did I get a job in Illinois but I got one ten minutes away from where I grew up and in the same district where I went to high school. What if we had gone?

5. What if I didn’t leave my job after I had Nico? Sometimes a lot, I think that maybe I wouldn’t enable him so much. Maybe my kids would be a little more self-sufficient and a little more grateful for the time we do get to spend as a family instead of take it for granted that I am always here.

6. We were in a hurry to find a new house when we bought this house. We wanted to be moved in before Nico started first grade. Two of my sisters live in St. Charles in the same subdivision. We looked at houses in St. Charles. This one weighs heavily on me. What if we had landed in St. Charles instead of here?

7.  There was a brief moment where Leo could have transferred to Dallas for work and then when he was out of work, he had some companies from all over the U.S. call him for interviews. Sometimes I think about what life would have been like on our own, so far away from our families. I was pregnant with Gia at the time so the thought terrified me at the time.

I’ll stop at lucky #7.  I want to make it clear that these are not regrets. I just think about the forks in the road and what might have happened if I had gone the other way. Sometimes I imagine things happening to characters in a story and if I feel inspired, I’ll write about it. I always feel on the edge of writing one of the many stories in my head. It makes me happy.

What about you? Do you have a story in your head dying to come out? Are you doing anything about it?

Pouring it out with Shell today:

 

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5 Things I’m Loving, 5 Things I’m Hating

In an effort to be more positive (God, help me…I’m trying), I am going to start off this post with five things I’m loving at the moment.

1. I finally got a new phone thanks to my sister, Chrissy and my brother-in-law, Ricky. I FINALLY have an iPhone. My piece of poop Pantech Burst was the most frustrating phone I have ever had. I would choose not to have a smart phone over having that phone again.

2. I am loving that Gia is completely obsessed with the app, My Tom (some cat game) and it is only on Leo’s phone (on purpose). The thing I love most is that you have to feed the cat throughout the day so it doesn’t die and Leo does it while he is at work so that Gia’s little heart isn’t crushed. She has him totally wrapped around her little finger.

3. The TV show, Modern Family. Why have I not ever watched this? I’m catching it on USA right after Law and Order: SVU and I am laughing out loud. Gloria, Jay and Manny seriously crack me up and Mitchell with his dry sense of humor…I am loving this show.

4. THAT TOMMY IS BETTER!!!!! For those that are not on Facebook, this is what his foot looked like on Monday:

Doesn't it look like a latex glove blown up?

Doesn’t it look like a latex glove blown up?

5. My sister, Gina and my brother-in-law, Deo. I need to give these guys a special shout out. I needed to get away this past weekend and they invited my girls and I (the boys all had practice or games) up to Chicago with them. It was exactly what I needed. The margarita at dinner didn’t hurt, either. Sometimes when you are in the middle of a feeling like you are in quicksand, someone comes and offers you a branch. That’s what they did. Being with my nieces and my nephew reminded me of what true, unconditional love feels like. No, “I hate you!” “You’re mean!” or “Your rules are so dumb!” Just “I love you, Auntie ReeRee. I’m so glad you are here.” Gia got to play with some girls (Grace and Gabriella, God love them for watching her as much as they did) and Belle got to be with people that truly love her for who she is.

 

Things I am hating right now:

I know hate is a strong word but I have some pretty strong feelings for these things.

1. High School. I don’t remember hating it this much when I was in it so I’m a little surprised by how much I am hating it right now. I hate the amount of work he has. I hate how tired he is all the time.  To say it is different than when I went is a huge understatement. Maybe that is why I am hating it. Where are the groups going to movies or bowling or miniature golfing or even out to eat? I thought competitive sports was ruining our family life. Well, high school sports have completely blown the family life out of the water.

2. Enabling the “Me, Me, Me” Generation. I hate that I am a huge enabler of the lifestyle I am not liking. They need a ride somewhere, I take them. They want to play a sport or do an activity and I will go into debt to help them do it. How can I squash their passions (especially at 4 years old, right?)? They want the new iPods so their grandparents get them for them. They want for nothing and what does that teach them? I need to find away to teach them that instant gratification isn’t the best way to live. It will be the cause of so much disappointment in the real world.

3. Middle School. I hate middle school more than I hate high school. I don’t really remember liking middle school all that much when I was in it. It’s an awkward stage for everyone. Insecurities run rampant and manifest in so many different ways. Some kids withdraw, some kids become silly or socially awkward and some become mean. Bodies are changing and kids this age don’t want to look different. Other kids take that opportunity to tear kids down. It seems no one escapes unscathed. Friendships are tested and they change and hearts are broken and the tears, my God, the tears.

middle school

4. Doctors appointments. No offense, Margie. We love you and Dr. A. I think for a few weeks we’ve had one or two a week. My mind is swirling with the worry about each appointment. I feel like I either have a kid that I think is fine that they are telling me something is wrong or I have a kid that something is wrong but we can’t figure out what. Nothing sends your world reeling like a health crisis.

5. I saved this one for last since you all are probably sick of hearing it. I am hating all of the broken things in this house. Our garage is so annoying. It goes up when it wants to and down when it wants to and of course when I am in a hurry, that is when it decides to not go up or down. Our refrigerator water dispenser is broken. The ice maker is broken. There is a shelf we can’t use. It’s against a wall so it won’t open up all the way. We need a new one but it is the lowest on the priority list. There is a brick guy coming for our STILL half done patio. I don’t even care about that anymore except that it has been almost a year since someone ratted on us. And the very thing I hate the most is that for a year our furnace has been broken. A YEAR! I finally take the bull by its horns and call someone. I get a quote and tell Leo because I have had it. We need it and we need it now. What does he do? He decides he is going to get “a few” quotes.” This is why I don’t call and get quotes or get people to come and fix things. Because once I do, he springs into action and I think, Why did I even bother? And of course he hates that I don’t care how much it costs, I just want it done now. It’s a vicious tug of war we’ve got going on here. That was three weeks ago. STILL have the old furnace. Still going downstairs to turn it on when it shuts off. I’m not going to lie. I’ve resorted to name-calling. I’m about to resort to crying and possibly throwing things. If they end up near his head, well, I’m sorry. My aim isn’t great (or is it?).

 

My hope is that by doing 5/5 it is a good balance so I don’t become the Depressing Queen of Chaos. I am also hoping that by getting all of this off my chest, it will clear my mind to be able to get back to writing regularly. I don’t know about you but I can’t seem to do much of anything when I have this much on my mind.

What about you? Tell me something you are loving and something you are hating a little bit.

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Anxiety

It’s been a while since I have written about this subject. With the help of meds, I do think mine is under control to some extent. I’ve noticed something, though. There is one area that my anxiety seems to be getting worse.

Crowds.

I noticed it this past Friday night. We went to a neighborhood restaurant that gets pretty crowded to have a before game drink. Nico was nervous about the possibly playing in the varsity game which made me nervous to begin with. When I walked into the restaurant, I immediately felt like I couldn’t breathe. As I thought about the crowd at the football game, my head began to ache. I couldn’t follow any of the conversations and since they didn’t have anything that I like to drink (why can’t I be low maintenance when it comes to that) and I thought a vodka and 7up was a little strong for a pregame cocktail, I had water and even that was going down like lead.

The men were going early and I decided to go with them to try to calm down. As I sat in the cold downpour and leaned on Leo, I immediately felt 100x’s better. On the cold, wet bleachers, I felt better. Waiting an hour for the game to start, I felt better. I immediately thought, What is wrong with me? I looked at Leo and said, “I think something is wrong with me.” See, Leo is the most social guy there is. There isn’t a crowd that he doesn’t want to be right in the middle of. I used to be like that. I was a cheerleader in high school so crowds went along with that gig. I went to a gazillion football, basketball and baseball games and never felt overwhelmed by the crowds.

I loved amusement parks, professional athletic events and concerts. I didn’t worry about germs or being trapped or small talk. Now, I hate driving where I am afraid I won’t find parking. I have left church because I start to feel panicked at how I am going to get out of the parking lot. I’ve switched churches because one made me feel like I was one in a massive crowd and another might have been a massive crowd but it didn’t feel like it. I find myself making excuses not to go places, even my kids’ games or competitions. I don’t like leaving my house. I could see myself being one of those people who never leaves their house.

What is that?

It’s just a matter of time before Leo loses his patience with me about it. I don’t see myself going back to loving crowds or parties or big events and from what I am told, it only gets worse with age.

Am I destined to become a bigger hermit than I already am?

What about you? Do you enjoy crowds? Do they give you a panic attack? Were you always like that or did it get worse as you got older?

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A Word to my Friends

I have a post up today at Ten to Twenty. You might have already read it but if you want to relive why I absolutely hate sleepovers, you can click here. It would mean a lot if you came over and commented a little something…you know so that they see that people do read me. :)

Today’s post here, though is all about the people who keep us sane. Friends.

This is overdue.

To my friends that I am related to, I didn’t pick you but if I could have, I would have. Sharing the same gene pool is a privilege.

To my friend that things got all weird and yucky, I’m sorry and I want to move forward with a new friendship, a new closeness. You are too good of a friend to lose and I can be a big enough person to admit that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

To my friends that I used to talk to every day and see all the time, I’m sorry that life is so crazy that we don’t get to do that anymore. I miss you guys.

To my friends that make sure we do talk every day whether it be for a minute or an hour, thank you for making sure I don’t crawl under a rock. Thank you for knowing I am bad at that and picking up the slack.

To my friend that I go too long between calls and seeing each other, being with you reminds me that you are my sanity. Being with you is good for the soul. It feels too good to be with you to go that long. We need to fix that.

To my friend that has known me longer than any of my other friends, being with you is like being with my old self. The self before kids, husbands and the bullshit we deal with on a daily basis. I cherish the time I spend with you.

To my friends that I see once a year. You guys remind me that I am normal even if you tease me about that normal. I love that we are in our 40’s and we can say that we are still friends and when we get together it feels like no time has passed.

To my friends that I met online but in my mind online or IRL, it doesn’t matter. You are friends. True friends that hold me up, build me up and believe in me. You love me for who I am and I’d be lost without you. Each and every one of you has a part in making this dream of being a writer closer and closer each day.

I write this blog like I am talking to a friend so that makes all of you readers out there friends and I thank, thank, thank you for coming here every day (or when I post) and commenting as if we were chatting or taking in my words and letting me know that you felt something while reading them.

 

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Something Stirred in Me

Gia’s first day of preschool, or as she says, “pretty school’ was yesterday. I wish I could say that I got a bunch of really cute pictures and that it went off exactly as I imagined it would: Gia in a cute dress, excited about school, smiling as she waved good-bye to me, heading off to play with other kids her age. Instead, it was too cold for her to wear the dress she picked out the night before. Strike one. I had to wake her up and she wasn’t really ready. Strike two. She cried when I left and had to be pulled off of me. Strike three. Here she was before:

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Today, she went to her school from last year. We called it school and she learned so much that it was, but the official title is Parents Day Out or as I like to call it, “The Gift of Sanity”. It went better than yesterday. She woke up early, insisted on wearing the dress from before (since it was going to be warmer, I agreed), and ran into the classroom. Score, score, score! The best part? She is playing with kids her own age and I get back to the blogging world!!!! I’ve missed you guys! Here she was today:

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Tuesday was not a full day of preschool. It was only an hour and while Gia became acquainted with her classroom and the way things work, the parents had their own orientation. We listened to the director discuss what the kids would be doing and all the policies and something stirred in me. I was at the edge of my seat being on the parent side. I really, really wanted to be on the other side telling how I run my classroom. I miss it. I didn’t even realize how much until I was sitting there in that room. I want to look at curriculum and themes and come up with activities. I want to read stories to a group of kids and then do an art project with them. I want to be their first teacher building a foundation of a love of learning. I want to have fun conversations during snack time. I want to watch them play on the playground and make their first friends. I want to teach them their ABC’s and 123’s. I cannot believe how much I want it. I was listening but all I could think of is how could I make it work next year? If Gia is in a four year old class, is there a way for me to teach in one classroom while she is in another? Do I really have to wait three more years? Will I be able to?

My former identity rose to the surface and was bubbling over. I am not just a mom. I am a teacher. I now consider myself a writer and things are finally happening in that area. I don’t want to give that up. Do I see a level of chaos I didn’t think was possible in my future? Possibly. But it feels good. It feels hopeful.

It’s funny. I went to all three older kids’ curriculum nights and I didn’t feel the same way. I couldn’t teach high school. I am not certified anyway but that level of teaching doesn’t really appeal to me. The only class I heard that I would have any desire to teach is health because I believe in what they are teaching but it’s all so technological these days that it sounded confusing.  I could teach middle school Language Arts or Social Studies but even as I was listening to the teachers, I felt the pressure of all they have to squeeze in. I  don’t have anyone in elementary school so who knows what I would have felt but sitting there listening to what the preschoolers were going to do, I wanted to raise my hand and say, “I can do this! I used to do this! Let me do this!”

It’s been a long time since I have felt the teacher in me stir. She never really went away but she’s been asleep for a very long time. There are times in this motherhood gig that I feel like I am getting it right but they are far and few between. I miss feeling good at something. The desire for that felt like a tornado stirring inside me.

 

What about you? Do you ever feel the stir of your former identity? Have you done anything about it?

 

 

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Not All Rainbows and Butterflies

The best part of the blogging conference was by far meeting the people who I have become friends with online and now can say we are friends in real life, too. Hands down, that is the best part but there are other parts of attending the conference that I was not expecting or ready for. I want to stress that this is 100% about me, my issues. No one set out to make me feel this way. These were things I learned about myself or observations that I made on my own.

I’m from a family of all girls. If you weren’t loud, you weren’t heard. Being loud was never noticeable until this weekend. In our room, I was the loud one. Kim and Jess are quiet people who have sweet lilting voices and would chuckle at something while I let out a big old guffaw (that’s right I used that word). Kim warned me that she was an introvert and shy and I was afraid that I was overbearing. What’s worse is that I think because my hearing is getting worse, I overcompensate by talking louder hoping that the people I am with will do the same. I know…there really is no logic in that. And for the first time, I heard my voice and it sounded harsh for lack of a better word. There is no lilt in it. I never thought of myself as having an accent but for the first time, I heard it.

BlogHer is huge and I am not going to lie. I was overwhelmed. You walk into the expo and it’s crowded and people approach you and start talking about their brand and you aren’t sure what you are supposed to say or how to say it and it’s intimidating. Thank God I had Jess and Kim (thank you, my friends) with me otherwise you might have found me in a corner rocking back and forth in the fetal position.

I wasn’t ready to feel like I did when I was a freshman in college. Not just a freshman in college but one that is late to her first class, walks in and everyone is already in groups working. There is that nagging voice saying, “Say something. Introduce yourself” and nothing comes out so while others are hugging and catching up, you become best friends with your phone.

Blogging is so strange. You sit behind a computer and you see that you have 200 and some followers and 200 hits a day and you feel like there is an audience out there reading you. Then you go to a big conference and you feel invisible. You feel small and like no one reads you. I had some of my peeps with me and I made some new ones but I missed the people I read that read me.

The hardest part for me was the questioning myself. I am not usually like that. I am a pretty confident person or at the very least someone who really doesn’t care what people think. You kind of have to be to put yourself out there in a blog. Suddenly I was questioning why I was blogging. Did anyone really care? Where was I going with it? What was I doing? What made me think stepping away from the computer world in one of the biggest blogging conferences would be a good idea? Why did I suddenly feel like I was back in high school? Did I really want to go to every private party that was there (and there were many)? No, I did not but did I still feel crappy when everyone was talking about going or talking about how fun it was when they were there? Yes, I kinda did. Not because I wanted the swag or even be there. It was more about not feeling important enough.

I started questioning my personality and my voice on my blog. I was talking to a blogger while charging my phone. We started talking and when she asked me what I write about, I started to tell her. I said I wrote about my kids and husband and the general chaos that comes with our family. I could tell right away that she was not going to be following my blog anytime soon. I wanted to stop talking but there is that thing with me and uncomfortable silences so I kept going. I said something about parenting being hard and how I’m married to the ultimate “frat boy” and she looked at me in horror and said, “You don’t actually say that, do you?” Then I went into the whole, “My husband reads it and I won’t post anything he doesn’t want me to” and she said, “Aren’t you afraid of how you sound?” I changed the subject and then she asked me why the “chaos” in my title so I told her about our schedule and I knew it was coming, “I would NEVER do that. It doesn’t sound like much family life.” See, do you know who judges moms the harshest? Other moms. Why? Why can’t we raise each other up and applaud our choices? Why do we feel the need to justify what we are doing by making someone feel bad about what they are doing?

And so began the feeling of not being able to be myself. I felt like it would be best if I stopped talking and if you know me for longer than five minutes, you know that is not me.

At one point, a blogger that I had read a few times and knew was a “bigger” blogger approached us. She never once made eye contact and instead was looking over my head, I am pretty sure to see if anyone “bigger” or “better” came along. I would think I was reading into it but in the end, she said, “Oh, there is so and so” and just left. I immediately missed my online community. I think that is what made me appreciate the bloggers I did meet or see in real life. Kim, Jess, Ilene, Shell, Ashley, Kristen, Kir, Janelle, and Angela (see the previous posts to meet them) are all big bloggers and they make you feel like you are the most important person in the world to them. I could be myself and when you can be yourself, it is incredibly liberating and that is why Saturday was so good. It was everything I wanted from the conference.

I remember the other conferences and being on social media and it killing me that I was missing out. I wanted to be there so much that I stayed off of it until it was over. I know now that we were only seeing the “good” parts. No one takes pictures of them standing alone or on the outskirts of a party. No one takes a picture with a “higher than thou” blogger that sat in judgment of them. It was fun but it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies and those that have never been to one should know that.

When all is said and done, I would go again. I would go to see my friends. I would figure out before hand what sessions I wanted to go to and discuss with friends to see if anyone else wanted to. And then I would be open to changing the plan and walking around laughing and sightseeing. And those of you planning on going to one with me in the future, if it is in a warm climate, I wouldn’t be opposed to heading to the pool for some Piña Coladas. Who’s with me on that one?

 

Ashley and Lisa from The Dose of Reality, Chris from The Mom Café, Meredith from The Mom of the Year, Melinda from Mothering From Scratch, and Tracy from Crazy as Normal, thank you, thank you, thank you! You guys know what you did and I will never forget. :)

 

What about you? Was it all rainbows and butterflies? Have you ever been in a situation when you couldn’t be yourself?

 

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I Can’t Believe They Said That!

Recently, it came to my attention that someone told my children that Gia was an accident and that after Nico, I couldn’t have kids so I had to go to a doctor and the twins weren’t “made” the normal way. They were “made” by a doctor. Did your jaw hit the floor? Mine did and I am still wondering how to handle it. First of all, Gia was not an accident, she was a miracle. Second, this person had no idea if I had already told my kids that we did in vitro to have them and me not being able to have any more kids (which obviously wasn’t true since I had Gia),  is not for her to tell my kids. What if I didn’t? She thought she should be the one to tell them? I did but the kids were still “weirded” out by the conversation.

In light of this, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to all of the things said to me that made me say, “I can’t believe they said that!”

 

“You would be so pretty if you wore some eye make-up.”

“It makes me feel better that your kids have CF because what are the odds that two of us in the same social circle have kids with it?”

“Well, at least you know how your kids are going to die.”

“You must be having a girl because they say girls take their mother’s beauty and you look awful.” (I went on to have a boy.)

When getting up in front of the class to tell what I wanted to be when I grew up, after saying a writer, my teacher responded, “If I were you, I’d find another career.”

“You’re not like _____. You’re big-boned.”

When trying to get pregnant after Nico, I had someone say to me, “You know, God only gives us what we can handle. Maybe He is trying to tell you something.”

“How about cleaning the house?”

“This is what happens when you don’t go to church.”

While watching my very active 4-year-old running around a playing, “Does he know he’s sick?”

“You are not as sophisticated and they need culture.”

“I know the mistakes I’ve made with my own and I won’t make them with yours.” I didn’t have kids so that someone can rectify their mistakes with them.

“If you only did _____, you’d be so much better.”

“Maybe you are not qualified to teach an African-American child.” This was said to me after a parent didn’t like my suggestion for their son to receive some help from the resource teacher. This was the same child that asked me every single day since I announced I was pregnant whether I was still pregnant. Every.single.day. I was as big as a house and still, that hand went up and the question, “Did you have your baby yet?” always followed. I was a 2nd grade teacher.

After Belle threw a fit, “She must get that from you.”

So, please, share what dumb things people have said to you. Help me know I am not just a magnet for these people. And I’d welcome any advice in how to handle what was said that sparked this post.

Pouring my heart out with Shell:

 

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I’m Tired

This might come as no surprise but I am tired. Not just take a nap or get a good night’s sleep tired but bone, in my soul tired. The things I’m tired of might surprise you (or if you are a mom, they won’t surprise you at all).

1. I am tired of rainy days and so humid you can’t breathe days this summer. It’s making me second guess me being a “summer girl” and thinking if I live here much longer, I am going to become a winter girl. No, never mind…that will never happen but it might make me into a hermit girl.

2. I am tired of summer in general. I am tired of dishing out money and answering, “Can I call someone?” within the first thirty seconds of waking up. I am tired of driving Nico places and then worrying about him coming home in time for him to go to practice. I am tired of his constant need to hang out and be doing something.

3. I am tired of friendships waning because I have stopped making the effort. It has to go both ways. If you want to be important to me, I need to be important to you. And I get that life gets in the way, believe me, I do and I  can be understanding to a point but at some point, I am going to wonder, “Maybe the friendship ran its course and we are no longer priorities for each other.”

4. I am tired of nagging the boys to take their meds and do their treatments. This was supposed to get easier and it is so much worse. It was easier when they were 3 than it is now. Sometimes having good health is a detriment to trying to make them responsible. They see that they are healthy and think they don’t need it. They don’t understand that they need to do these things to keep them healthy.

5. I am sooo tired of waking up kids to go to camps. I’m tired of hearing that they are tired. Especially because they have the luxury of going to bed and getting a good night’s sleep so if they choose not to, I have no sympathy for how tired they are.

6. I am tired of feeling like my best isn’t good enough. I am tired of feeling guilty because I want an identity more than Leo’s wife or my kids’ mom. I love both of those titles but they aren’t all that I am. I’m strict and I’m a bad mom. I love my free time and I am a bad mom. I loosen the reins and I am a bad mom. I don’t give money and I’m a bad mom. I give money and I’m a bad mom. I’m tired of feeling like I can’t make anyone happy or someone is always mad or disappointed in me.

7. I’m tired of sleepless nights worrying about my kids’ futures, their choices, their friends, their self-esteems, their health. I know it comes with being a parent and it’s what I signed up for but it doesn’t make it any less tiring.

8. I am tired of kids that want to grow up faster than they should. Sometimes the answer isn’t no, it’s not right now. You can have a phone, just not right now. You can go to the beach in the city, just not now.

9. I’m so tired of hearing aches and pains and illnesses ten minutes before bed when all of those aches and pains and illnesses didn’t bother them the entire day that they were out hanging out with friends. It’s as if each of my kids feel they need to run down a checklist of how they are feeling ailment by ailment. “Today, I got hit really hard at camp and my back hurt.” “I was at tumbling and I think something broke in my knee.” “All day long when I tilt my head forward, there is this bump in my throat that hurts.” Funny that while you were swimming at your friends, dancing like a maniac and shooting hoops all day, none of that seemed to bother any of you.”

10. And the number one thing I am most tired of is: SOCIAL MEDIA. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love that I can reach a bigger audience through Facebook and Twitter. I love getting to show my family to friends I don’t get to see very often but the braggers and the politically angry people are just too much. I know they feel good posting those things but what are they hoping to accomplish? Just once and maybe I’ll be the first, I’d love to see someone say, “Stressful day at the ballpark. My kid struck out, grounded out and flew out and then had a huge meltdown.” Do the people spewing the hate for the opposite political party really think they are going to change anyone’s mind?  And I am so tired to kids being idiots about social media. How many times do we have to tell them: IT’S NOT PRIVATE!!! Tweets, sub-tweets and texts…NOT PRIVATE. Whether you want to believe it or not, people are going to form opinions based on the things you put out there. That whole “courage behind the screen”, it will come back to bite you in the ass. I promise you. Girls, how about going old school and playing hard to get? Boys, newsflash, the things you think are funny aren’t and 8 times out of 10, you are being offensive. Seriously, if you still want to be that way, so be it, just don’t blast it on social media.

 

After writing all of that, I think I need a nap or a very large margarita (or two).

What are you tired of?

Pouring my heart out with Shell:

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Just One of Those Weeks

Before I start this post, I’ve been posting a lot these days because I am going to a baseball tournament/family vacation pretty soon and I won’t be able to post at all so you are getting a cluster of posts before you get a whole bunch of nothing.

 

This week has kicked my @ss. It’s one of those that makes you want to crawl in a hole and hide. I was reminded again that this job of parenting is HARD. It is an endless roller coaster and I am drained. I learned a few things:

1. I can scream in my head and my voice has the ability to come out normal-sounding, maybe even sympathetic.

2. Carpools aren’t so bad if you think of it as time alone while you wait.

3. Thank God for drive-thrus.

4. I am able to get dinner made by 3:00 pm. when we have two basketball games and a baseball games.

5. My children either have no idea or completely ignore my mean face which leads into my mean voice.

6. My children think the word “no” means “ask again 100 more times in a few different ways.”

7. I am not my children’s friend. I am their parent.

8. All sense of logic leaves my kids’ brains when it comes to hanging out with friends. For example: My mom is going to be gone all day, so it makes total sense to have friends here (Tommy and Belle), both boys and girls, while she is gone. My friends’ parents don’t mind picking me up or bringing me home. I’ll just ask them if they can (Belle and Tommy). I’m not going to check in with my mom and tell her where I am. I am sure that if she can’t reach me, she’ll assume I am in a pool somewhere (Nico).

9. Living in a hut on a beach in St. Thomas sounds pretty good right about now.

10. I have a breaking point and it’s ugly.

 

Weeks like this, I don’t sleep. I stay up at night wishing the day had gone differently. I pray that the next day will be different. And when it isn’t, I pray that this will be one of the weeks that escape their memories.

A family vacation couldn’t have come at a better time.

How is your week going?

 

Thanks, Shell for letting me Pour My Hear Out.

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An Open Letter to Hot-Headed, Little League Baseball Fans

Dear Hot-Headed Baseball Fans,

I know that you love baseball. I know that you love your kids but your behavior at these games needs to change. You are ruining this game for the kids. You know how when you watch a major league baseball game and you don’t like the way a player is playing or a call an ump made and you yell at the TV? Well, the professionals can’t hear the vile coming from you but these KIDS can. These 11-year-old kids hear every single thing you yell out. Oh, and in case you forgot…IT’S KIDS PLAYING LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL!!! They are 11. They have only been on this earth for 11 years and the fact that they can even hit a speeding ball coming at them is pretty amazing. The fact that they can dive and catch a ball and remember where to throw it (since they sometimes forget to brush their teeth) is pretty awesome.

Kids look forward to their tournaments. They get to play and watch baseball all weekend. You took that away from them and left something worse for them to think about. The ump is human and he is umping a little league game, not the pros. He’s going to make great calls and he’s going to miss a few. When you yell at the ump, you are showing the kids that it’s okay to yell at someone that you feel made a mistake and it’s okay to disrespect someone in authority (well, as much authority as a little league ump has). I don’t care if it is a close game. I don’t even care if it is the championship game. Try and remember and say it over and over again: You win some. You lose some. It’s a great life lesson to teach your kids because not every call is going to go their way.

To be more specific, I want to thank you for anxiety and sleepless nights in my house this weekend. When our outfielder made a great catch that no one bothered to ask me or my dad if he really caught it since we had the best view and you were sure that he dropped it, thanks for screaming at the ump. In case you were wondering, he did actually catch it. It bounced off of his arm and he caught it with his other hand. He made a GREAT catch and you completely ruined it for him. One of the greatest moments in this child’s life and you crapped all over it. When you completely lost your cool and started spewing venom and were asked to leave (for the second time that day), it was very mature of you to refuse and watch from the parking lot, still yelling. I want to thank your wife for yelling, “THAT’S BULLSHIT!” in front of the kids and then banging on the backstop yelling, “CHEATERS! CHEATERS! IT’S YOUR TOURNAMENT! YOU’RE CHEATING”. Your son must be so proud. And when you decided to come back a third time and argue and get in our coaches’ faces like you were going to become violent, thank you for causing my husband to yell louder than my son has ever seen him yell. When there was no other choice but to disqualify your team for your behavior which caused them not to be able to play in the championship, it was great that you finally remembered that there are actually kids involved and you just ruined it for yours. “Think about the kids,” you said. Yes, that is what the officials of the tournament were thinking of and keeping you away from the kids was the best decision.

I want to thank you for the image of baseball you put in my sweet son’s head. When he couldn’t stop talking about what happened and not in a “wow, that was cool” kind of way but a “that scared me kind of way,” I had to explain over and over again that there are some people like you in the world that take things way too seriously and have the inability to control their tempers. It’s a maturity thing that you are still lacking, I guess. Well, that is what I said because really, I didn’t know what to tell him because frankly, I am confused by your behavior.  When he looked at me and said, “Why did that mom call us cheaters? We didn’t cheat,” my heart broke a little bit that he had to witness the ugliness in people. And then when he said to me, “Why do parents get so mad? We’re only 11,” I knew that my son, at 11 has a lot more wisdom than a lot of the adults at the games.

And you know what, I don’t care if they are 11 or 16. They are still kids! It’s a game! And the outcome of the game doesn’t determine whether you live or die. They are playing a game that they love and your behavior from the STANDS is ruining this sport for them. After this weekend, my son isn’t sure he wants to play anymore. Thanks for taking something he once loved and muddying it all up so that it is no longer something that makes him happy.

I’m curious. When you explode like you do when a call doesn’t go your way, do you feel remorse after? Do you go about your day as if nothing happened? Because the kids that you yelled in front of, it stays with them. It affects them.

So please, the next time you are at a game, remember that.

Sincerely,

A Baseball Mom

 

 

*This post was inspired by actual events from this weekend. I wish I could say this was fiction or even exaggerated but it was not. A very yucky baseball weekend even though we came in 2nd.

 

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