Category Archives: Raising Rugrats

Planting pinwheels

I’ve been a little lost lately — fighting that need to be valued– a lot of people probably never grapple with this, because your work keeps you connected daily. For me, feeling like I contribute to society more than just upholding the economy with grocery shopping and soccer games, tugs at my ego and my identity daily. A part of the challenge is that overwhelming feeling of where do I start? What’s my motivation and where can I make the most impact? 

So I’ve opened my mind to going full time and it’s been stressful. 

My time with Reese is strained, and many parts of the day I find myself flustered or frustrated, but I hate the thought of missing out on any of her amazing moments. And lately, our bond has been very strong, and very important to the balance of her day. We see her initiating a connection with me when I pick her up from school and her teachers say they can tell if we didn’t have time together in the morning or like the night before, when I am occasionally out to a board meeting or  soccer practice runs late.

 

That bond is also important for me. I know I’m hard on myself and the whole family because I feel like we should be able to juggle more, or do it better.  I am slowly accepting that we just aren’t like every other family. And the mess and the confusion and the uncertainty is ok if we are happy and we are able to enjoy our time together. So, when I’m frustrated with myself or Reese or just life, then I’m not able to be happy or in the moment with my kiddos. I see myself from the outside and I can be critical and empathetic at the same time. It’s the oddest feeling. I catch myself laughing under my breath as my nimble daughter climbs out of the Target cart for the third time in a 30 min visit. I know people are judging and staring and no matter what I have done to prepare for entertaining her, it won’t be enough. So I laugh at my situation and I laugh at the world who can’t see what I see. 

   

The truth of our happiness lies in the balance and I am working on it every day. So if I look a little frazzled one side of the pendulum or the other, I’ll take a smile and a “you’re doing fine” any day that you want to give it. 

And for working more, we shall see. The kids and I are just  going to enjoy our pinwheels while they last.

All the Moms in the House say… Caayyy-ake!!!

Listen up to all my mommy friends. I’m far from perfect. Let’s get that out there first.

Here’s the thing… I’ve been a workaholic, adrenalin-seeking mom for almost 8 of my 15 professional years, sheesh, and now in a round-about-way I’m a stay-at-home-lose-my-marbles-daily kind of mom, too. THEY ARE BOTH THE HARDEST THING EVER. frabz-the-face-mom-makes-when-theres-no-more-coffee-lol-20e58b

Recently, I did a wild thing. I hung out with some ladies I had never met before. It was nice. Actually, it was a blast. And I think a part of it was the freedom that I had no idea who worked and who didn’t. And they didn’t know anything about my crazy life either.

Because, let’s be real here. Some of us working moms have had those jealous thoughts toward the SAHM who has it so easy. You hear the stories and acknowledge that staying home with the little rugrats all day isn’t a piece of cake, but really, is she having cake during nap time? Well guess what, if she is, she made it her damn self, which is more than I can say. I get so easily distracted trying to cram in one more load of laundry or one text (that turns into 10),  that I can burn anything. Truly. So if she IS having cake, she deserves it! And let’s be honest my kick-butt working mommy friends,  you get lots of cake. Birthdays, appreciation parties, customer events — you’re doing just fine on that front. I’m seriously wanting in the sweets category since I’ve been sequestered to these barren pantry walls. But don’t worry, there’s still some Valentine’s candy left I think.

Continue reading All the Moms in the House say… Caayyy-ake!!!

Amateur Therapy Hour

I am an experienced communicator. Not just a little bit. It’s pretty much the core of all I have ever done in my career. I’ve recently had the aha moment that it’s because of this natural tendency to understand visual cues, translate people’s wants, find middle ground and all kinds of other puzzles that come with sending and receiving messages — that I struggle so much with this challenge I live with every day.

It feels like failure to not be able to communicate with my own daughter. It hurts every time I try to guess. She makes unexpected eye contact and grabs my hand. I say something like “are you hungry? Want to play?” But she walks away. Clearly I’ve failed. It’s been a hard existence to feel your hours and days building up and the failures outweighing the successes. We’ve spent many hours together where I just stare at her thinking it will hit me. If I watch her long enough I will be able to crack the code.

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A guilty kind of thankful 

I have been stewing on this feeling for more than a week now. There is a huge guilt overshadowing this entire two weeks of spirited festivities. I haven’t been in the spirit really at all. Yes, we’re exhausted, and yes, we don’t see an end in sight so I think that Ground Hog Day feeling has set in. And yet, we are so very grateful for one thing, the only thing I asked for in all of 2013 and 2014 and now we have it.

The truth is it’s not enough. At the time it felt like it would be a miracle to go one day feeling normal. We just wanted to get through special occasions without our world being overturned in an instant. We didn’t want hospital stays to be our measure of life going by. And we have it. We officially have gone 365 days seizure free, (and a couple extra for good measure because we are somehow ridiculously superstitious about a disease we couldn’t control, predict or understand).

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A little slice of crazy

Beautiful night to sit outside after dinner. Even if it’s not a peaceful or relaxing moment. 

Just a little peek into our special kind of craz here. Manis/pedis are NOT fun this little hyper-sensitive busy bee. 

Bubba doing what he does best, distracting Reese during one of her not so fun sensory overload moments. Notice how she licks her hand the whole time? That’s her new “I’m uncomfortable” response. 

It’s hard to tell Davis to stop and honestly sometimes I think he is helping distract her. Her happy senses are lights and music and bouncing. Her not so happy is any kind of pressure on her hands and feet. It is something we work on every day. 

And then we see new signs of learning by our little love bug. She is following the simple task of picking up her toys. We do hand over hand a few times but she eventually does it by herself. It’s like Groundhogs Day around here though. Just because she figured it out yestersay doesn’t mean she will remember today. And then she figured it out again and we repeat. We repeat a lot. The good behavior and the bad. I admit we are so tired we don’t stay on top of her like we know we should. 

But then we see the funny moments when she gets to explore by herself. Like bedtime. I never had to think about what was around her crib before this month. Now, she has discovered she can pull everything through the slats! I laughed so hard first time we found a slew of clothes, formerly folded in a stack outside her crib, now providing a second layer of blanket INSIDE the bars. It’s a good problem solving challenge for her so I keep letting her do it. Tonight it was a soft book and a fake wood spare shelf. Tomorrow who knows… 

This Special Road: Giving to Others

I am repeatedly blown away by people’s support for our journey. Both dear friends and complete strangers praise our strength and give selflessly of their love. I admit it helps even if only for a second to know someone is recognizing it’s not an easy road.

But here’s the other side. I am reminded daily that we are so far away from being the worst of cases. And while our daily worries and struggles are exhausting, we have a more often than not healthy child, TWO actually! And we cannot be more thankful for anything on this Earth.

So, over the holidays, while I couldn’t make time to go give to others the way I wanted to, I did spend time filling up my heart with stories of other courageous mommies and their beautiful families. Theirs are the inspiring kind. The truly heart breaking and breathtaking that I admire now in a way I couldn’t appreciate before.

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This Beautiful World

I love how I get to see this beautiful world through others’ eyes thanks to @instagram. Here’s a keeper courtesy of @alohamoment This fierce family of 4 is ready for all that can be in the new year. #thankful #okwithchange via Instagram http://ift.tt/1AkGfpx

My sister! My strength!

My sister. So incredibly awesome & talented. This arrived today from 800 miles away wrapped in love with her handwriting immediately comforting me. A perfect fit for this sickly lady and my honey/lemon tea. The poet is not in me today, but it was so neat to see MY words, my heart’s work, on this cup. #thoughtful #loved #mysister #okwithchange @meganclark28 via Instagram http://ift.tt/1xcIIQp

Half-lit Tree can still be Half Full

One minute you’re enjoying your hard work and the next half a tree goes dark! This is a problem. A problem that may not get fixed this Christmas. At least it feels balanced. And honestly I think it would bother me more if it was the other half, so there’s me looking at things half full. 🙂 #doh #anothertreegoesdark #fiftyfifty #okwithchange via Instagram http://ift.tt/1x184nk