Conversations with Uncle Ryan. Continued…

Me: “Ryan, Do you mind watching Augie & Anna while I pick up Mom & Bob from the airport? Or you could grab them but it’s rush hour.”

Ryan *looking visibly upset*: “Jesus. That’s a tough call.”

Me: “Spending an hour with your niece and nephew or sitting in rush hour traffic?”

Ryan: “Yes…..No idea what’s worse….I guess I’ll choose the kids because you have snacks.”

Me: “Umm thanks…”

Ryan: *mutters under his breath* “You better have ice cream.”

My slightly above average parenting blog turns one.

It’s coming up on a year since I’ve started this blog. I know. Everybody calm down. No need to jump.

A full year. It’s funny because a year in I thought (much like motherhood) I would have a better understanding of what the hell I’m doing. Truth is I know way less now then when I started. Starting something is easy, it’s full of promise and newness. When you have a new baby your so full of love and delaruim, everything is exciting. I have never felt more content when 1st born was about 6 months (once the sleep deprivation faded), everything seemed so easy back then. So new and exciting.

It’s the same with writing or blogging. At first you’ve got a million stories and ideas and you strive to be funny and interesting. But as time wears on you start to start to feel like your just a butt wiper with a computer. How can I be interesting if most of my time is spent trying to negotiate who had which matchbox car first. I recently called my husband because I thought the size of my 2 year old’s poop was ASTONISHING. I contemplated taking a picture but know I am constantly straddling the line of sanity and need to check myself when I’ve gone too far. (But seriously, it was HUGE)

Anyways, how can anyone justify putting them selves out there when they are not living a life that doesn’t seem that interesting. Well, what I learned is; it doesn’t matter what others define as interesting. It matters what you define as interesting.

Truth is everybody has a story and most people want to share it. So let them. Let them share. And share your story. The happiest people in the world are the most connected to other people and writing and sharing is a way of connecting.

There was a very famous Harvard happiness study and that resulted in this : “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” Not money. Not power. Not how many blog posts you have (damn it) or how many followers you get.

So have a voice. Share. Write. Connect.  Don’t get caught up in how many page views you got or how many shares an article had because in the end it doesn’t matter. What matters is the the connection you have to your family, friends & community.

Also, it’s never about how much you have but how much you give.

Thanks for reading. ❤️❤️❤️

 

 

Modern Country Music.

What’s happening to country music? Seriously. I have  A LOT of questions. Things have gotten….strange. For example, this song came on and I swear to christ the artist just googled country music, then sang every country cliche and now it’s a song.

From what I can tell this song is called America because OF COURSE. The lyrics are:

It’s a high school prom, it’s a Springsteen song
It’s a welcome home parade, yeah
It’s a man on the moon and fireflies in June and kids sellin’ lemonade
It’s cities and farms, it’s open arms, one nation under God
It’s America! It’s America! Oh, oh yeah, woo!

What. The. Actual. Fuck. America is a high school prom? And why does he have to bring Springsteen into it? You know that mother fucker wanted to write Taylor Swift but the google search said she wasn’t country enough.

Anyways, my kids enjoyed it (as evidenced by the video below), they also like when I tell them I’m going to tell them a secret and push them down and saying the word butt. Soo.

 

Happiness is a Bitch.

Should someone else’s happiness should affect your happiness? The obvious answer is no. Someone else’s successes or failures has nothing to do with you or your life.

I whole heartedly agree with this idea yet….sometimes I struggle.

I find myself scrolling Facebook and when someone I don’t particularly care for or feel inferior to has a positive thing happen it feels like a personal dig at me. Like, who does this person think they are that they can have great things happen and I’m over here watching my third hour of Dance Moms eating non organic peanut butter because I’m too lazy to make a proper sandwich. Assholes, that’s who.

So for me the first step is admitting there is a problem. Admitting that you can’t be happy for someone else’s success is hard because it means that you feel like your in competition with them and you’re losing. That something is going on in your own life making you feel less than or vulnerable and here’s the god’s honest truth: that’s ok. Life is filled with ups and downs, they just aren’t usually shared on social media. Ups only on the ole social media.

Feeling a bit lost or sad or ‘not where you should be’ is a hard place to admit to being. It’s easier to attack the other person: their bragging or  being “fake” or inauthentic. That way one don’t have to examine what’s at the core of a reaction.

So the only thing that I have found to be helpful when I’m feeling this way is to talk about it/write about it/examine it. Get to the core. As my dead boyfriend/hero Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers to those who weren’t pretend dating him) said, “If it is mentionable, it is manageable.” If you can talk about it you can get through it.

I also know that this feeling is a kick in the butt to get working on myself. Focus on the only thing I actually have control over: myself and my happiness. So when I’m feeling a pang of jealousy, it’s a cue to get moving. Not because you are actually in competition with some Facebook bragger (that Facebook bragger is probably not as happy as they want everyone to believe) but because it triggered something in me that’s saying I’m not feeling right about my life. When I’m happy and things are going great, someone else’s happiness or successes is a blip on my radar but when I’m not; an Instagram post will make me rage eat a peanut butter sandwich.

So a gentle reminder:

 

 

 

When you suffer from Man-Cold but you’re a Woman

Woman are constantly complaining about their husbands having a “man cold” and I have a confession: I’m a man colder….In fact when I get sick my husband nicknamed me “Baby-Infant” because baby wasn’t specific enough. I was more like a infant: useless, unable to articulate why I’m crying and could barely hold my head up.

In fact, I currently have a cold and honestly: it sucks. I’m won’t suffer in silence either. I don’t actually see the point in it. If I’m sick I want everyone to know I’m sick. I want your sympathy and I want to moan and eat toast and not do a damn thing.

Does this make me a hero. No. I doubt it makes me super fun to be around either. That’s ok: I’m sick. I’m not currently enjoying myself, so why should anyone else get the pleasure? I just don’t understand this culture that likes to cultivate the idea that if your sick you have to soldier on and not talk about it. If you feel bad, feel bad. You have one life and it’s okay to take care of yourself and treat yourself to some well deserved napping, chicken soup and tv.

Also, if you get a boner because you are able to get through life not talking about how your feeling when you are sick that’s fine to. Just keep your boner away from me. Ain’t nobody got time for boners when they have the man-cold.

In fact the only things I DO have time for are: doughnuts, sympathy, bad TV, and ignoring my children.

 

 

Found a new way to make money: sell your child’s poop.

Last year I wanted a stroller: a specific, expensive double stroller. My in-laws had generously offered to buy me one as a new baby gift but I felt like a brat asking for a $500 dollar (plus) stroller. I also would buy the stroller used but knew they wouldn’t be comfortable gifting us something used, so I ended up getting a more reasonably priced one.

Which would have been fine if this wasn’t a ridiculously heavy & annoying stroller that barely fit in my car (I’m looking at you Graco Sit & Stand) I wanted my dream stroller: a red City Mini double. I became like the Ralphie from a A Christmas Story constantly dreaming about this his Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle.

I also had a desire to buy it with my “own” money. So this is when shit (literally) gets weird. Someone had told me about a diaper study. They said it was easy and pays $200.  Much like I do with anything, I did no research and just showed up for the study. I was given a bag, free diapers, and told to bag the first 4 diapers of the day and document how they “did” for three weeks. Then return the used diapers (weekly).

oh. okay.

I had not told my husband about this & decided it would be more fun to “surprise” him. Some women buy lingerie as surprise, I come home with a large tan bag that I will fill with my daughter ‘s poopy diapers. For weekssss.

So that’s what I did. And you know what: I regret NOTHING. I got my dream stroller & I enjoyed buying something with my own money.

That said, my days of bagging diapers and dropping them off to some random women at a research lab are done.

Probably.

Focus on what you focus on.

I just spent a week in St. John visiting my Dad. My dad lives a pretty simple life: he only gets PBS on TV, has a composting toilet, outdoor shower with no hot water, and an oven that he used for the first time when we got there.

His house is simple but it’s beautiful. It’s surrounded by nature, different kinds of animals and it’s a short drive to the most beautiful beaches on the planet.

I hadn’t realized how different my life was until I was there. When I’m home I get so swept up in my day-to-day life/routine that I didn’t realize that I developed some not-so-great habits. Such as: constantly checking Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, counting the clock till the kids go to bed so I could watch bad TV, and getting an endless onslaught of bad news from basically anywhere and everywhere.

There was a need for a change.

I had this epiphany on the flight home. I realized how much calmer and more connected I was when I wasn’t so tuned into the news, TV and social media. That said, the first thing I did upon returning was watch Summer House, a spin off of Vanderpump Rules…JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL (& the remote).

This epiphany was obviously still a work-in-progress.

So I know I need to pay attention to what I’m paying attention to. I’m not talking about sticking my head in the sand and not taking action about the massive injustices that are happening in the country but I want to limit my REACTION and focus on my ACTION. There is so much sadness in the news right now that it will eat you up. It overwhelms me everyday, so much so that I then take no action. There is no real traction, only DIStraction and it’s not doing anything for anyone. As the great Jen Sincero said “Wallowing in the pain and suffering isn’t going to help anyone, yourself included, anymore then you starving yourself will feed the hungry.”

So I’ve decided for a WEEK: no Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bad TV, or reading the bad/scary news. I will check my email, and try to go to websites that focus on positive new stories (example: www.upworthy.com/lets-talk-about-the-good-stuff-that-happened-this-week-not-the-bad-stuff).

I will focus on my ACTION instead of my reaction and hopefully become a more balanced/happier person.

I also know myself and this is not sustainable for a lifetime but I’ll be interested to see how a week goes. See what positives changes occur and see if I can make a modified version that I can actually apply. I have found that when you stop doing something, detox for a bit, it can give you clarity about what’s working and what isn’t. Sort of like dieting, finding small changes that you do everyday (like switching how you take your coffee) can have a big impact.

Also, I know quitting Facebook & Bravo for a week isn’t exactly the most enlightened and spiritual thing in the world. I talked to a guy in St. John who went on a Buddhist retreat where you don’t speak for 6 weeks. Six weeks of silence. Just thinking about it gives me diarrhea. And then I would have no one to talk about my impending diarrhea. It’s sounds exhausting and I need to find my inner peace at my on pace, thank you very much.

So as a believer in the saying “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” I know I will either come out of this mini-detox a calmer, more focused mom and person or I’ll just go a bit deeper into my own madness. Either way: I’m excited for a change.