Monday, May 26, 2014

Meditating in Cemeteries and Other Hazards of Being A Hippie

I'm on a journey and I'm not quite sure where I'm going.  I mean, I suppose we all are all the time...but lately I'm feeling like I'm at one of those life crossroads and I'm kind of in the middle of a road where there's 20 different directions I could go in and I really have no clue which path to even start down.  I'm a little lost and my map isn't making sense (although it could be the smear of peanut butter & jelly covering the North, South, East, West key).  These last few years of my life have been completely defined by my role as a mother.  And I'll always be a full time mommy to my babies, regardless of how old they are, and I'll be there for them whenever they need me no matter what.  But now dynamics are changing and Lauren is getting ready to head of to full day kindergarten and Ben will be starting preschool in the the role isn't so clearly defined anymore, and I'm kind of left wondering what I should be doing.  Although, in the last 8 minutes while I've been writing this blog, I've filled up a plastic shark water gun, put a fake shark tattoo on Ben, Wiped off the fake shark tattoo after a meltdown, and reapplied a new fake shark tattoo once he decided he could handle all the responsibility that comes with sporting "ink".  (If you're wondering what's up with all the shark paraphernalia, you can rest assured this has nothing to do with my obsession with the movie "Sharknado"....but instead these are goodies Lauren got in her goodie bag from an "under the sea" birthday party she went to Saturday..)

Anyway, so here I am, trying to figure it all out.  And for the first time in a while, the focus is on me...which is funny and a bit reminiscent of my life before kids.  Only thing, everything I do and each decision I make, impacts all of us.  If I decide to go back to work - even on a part time basis....tons of questions linger - who will drop off/pick up the kids from school, and take them to Dr's appointments, and what about "sick days" (and they never get sick at the exact same time - as soon as one gets over something, the other comes down with it), and school vacations, and half days, and after school activities?  Having been home with them since they were born, all of these things are totally new for me and honestly I wonder how it would work going from mom being there all the time, to suddenly someone else being there to drive them around and nurture them when their sick.  At this stage of the game, I don't want to consider what that would be like.  It sends a wave of sadness over me to think it wouldn't be me after all this time. 

****DISCLAIMER:  In NO way, shape or form am I making ANY comparison whatsoever to stay-at-home moms versus working moms, or suggesting one is right or wrong or ANYTHING in between. This is simply my personal story and random pontifications on the big questions like - what the heck I should do? what's best for my family? what's it all about?  Who hacked my Netflix account?  Who thought Sharknado was a good idea? Why are we still entertaining all things Kardashian & Seacrest?  And are those people with the phone number 867-5309 still getting calls after all these years?******

Of course, the other side of the coin is that once the kids are both in school - it makes sense for me to find something that both fulfills me while bringing in the extra money, too.  At this stage in my life (29 years old) - I feel it's important to not only get a "job", but find something that also  means something to me that I am passionate about. ( If animal rescue was a "career", all my problems would be solved ;)    So my focus turns to something more spiritual.  Although I've been doing yoga for years, I'm finding it especially important now.  I've also started meditating.  In cemeteries.  Ok, I said it - I meditate in cemeteries.  Truth be told, I've always loved cemeteries.  And between carting the kids around between their activities, when I have a few minutes to myself, it's the one place I can always go and feel at peace and sort of block out the world for a few minutes. I'm new to the whole meditation thing, and although it's the simplest of notions - quieting the mind and focusing on only the breathing - it's proven to be more difficult than I thought.  If I can make it 3 minutes without my mind wandering to what to make for dinner or singing a random song in my head ....then I consider it a success.  Anywho - yoga/meditation - all things spiritual and crunchy - have become more of a focus and a passion for me during this time when there are a million questions to be answered and no manual on what the right answers are.  That's when I realized that the very things that are helping guide me on this journey may be the answer to some of my questions.  I need to be a yoga teacher!  Yes, I shall hug trees and teach yoga...kidding about the hugging of the trees, of course - there are far to many insects on a tree trunk to really get intimate with it.  Teaching yoga will also allow me a more flexible schedule with non traditional hours so that I'll still be able to drive the kids to and from school and apply fake tattoos as needed :) 

I've looked into the200 hour Yoga Teacher Training and it looks like I can start that in September - it's one full weekend a month (Friday night, all day Saturday & all day Sunday) through June, which really works out pretty well considering Ben will only be in preschool 3 days a week - 3 hours per day - so it will be nice to have that one on one time with him while still being able to complete the training.  And there you have it.  I'm not saying this answers all the great questions in the world of me...but it's a good plan, and at least a step in the direction of one of those paths in the crossroads.  I'm hoping there's a wine stand on this path, because I'm already getting thirsty.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Summer Safety - Secondary Drowning

I read an awesome blog called Delighted Momma which shares healthy, PALEO recipes, natural beauty tips, and on occasion, a very personal story.  I just read the following blog post this morning, which left me teary eyed but ultimately more aware.  With summer fast approaching, certain to be filled with beach trips and visits to the pools, this blog is an absolute MUST READ if you have or are responsible for young children....this could save a life...

Friday, May 9, 2014

No Soliciting (Unless You're Selling Wine)

May is here, thus marking the beginning of "door to door soliciting season".  Yes, in this day and age - people still show up at our doors at dinnertime attempting to give us a free estimate on new siding (which we don't have, by the way..), trying to get us to switch cable providers, invite us to various religious events where we should "bring our own snake", sell us a security system, or get us to vote "yes" on question 3.   This annoys me to no end.  I feel like it's completely ridiculous to expect people to open their doors and have these absurd conversations - it's a total infringement on privacy, and really - who the hell are these people?  And so last summer I put up a sign on the front mailbox that read "NO SOLICITING"...and guess what?  People still came to my door!  Yep, I actually had someone say "But I'm not trying to sell anything, I'm only offering a free estimate.."   And of course it totally doesn't apply to the religious crew who is only selling redemption (3 sins forgiven for only $19.95!)  Don't get me wrong - I'm in no way bashing any religious organization - I just don't appreciate the door-to-door-conversion thing. 

So I figured I'd start letting Brynn - my 200 lb.  English Mastiff - answer the door.  She gets really excited when someone comes to the she & I put that to good use.  I open the door, attempting to hold Brynn back, and usually do a dramatic trip where I "lose the grip" on her collar so it looks like I have no control over the beast that lives in my home.  She looks mammoth at the door, and nobody is expecting to see that greet them at the door.  As she snorts and paws uncontrollably at the screen door, I try to get in front of her, only to let her push me back with her family sized head.  Standing behind the Mastiff, I lean over her - being tossed about dramatically, I hold on to the door frame to steady myself, and yell over the snorting, "She hasn't eaten lunch yet....I can't open the door - sorry!"  At which point, the solicitor has no interest whatsoever in giving me a free estimate on anything.  They put their little brochure in my mailbox and scurry off, looking back over their shoulder to make sure the brindle beast hasn't broken out the door to come after them.  (Insert evil laugh here).  The religious folks back off wide-eyed, sometimes clutching their chests in horror when I yell to the dog "Down, Satan, Down!"  Yes, soliciting season is here, and we're looking forward to it :)

In other news, Ben started soccer last week, and his team shirt color is pink.  I must say, this kid can totally pull off the pink.  He owns it.

 We're walking across the soccer practice field looking for his team - there were literally hundreds of people coming and going - and some little boy comes running up to Ben and says "Hey Ben!"  And Ben says "Hey" with a cool head nod and keeps walking.  Brian & I look at each other quizzically as if to say "how does 4 year old Ben know random people??"  So I ask Ben how he knew that little boy and nonchalantly he says..."From the gym".   Oh of course!  I can only assume he means the gym daycare, where I put him the mornings I go.  But of course, this is Ben - for all we know he has his own gym membership and is training for a Tough Mudder or Warrior Dash.  The kid's like Ferris Bueller...he just has that way about him.  He's very charismatic, makes friends quite easily, and is quite the flirt with the women.  Expect to see him on TV singing a top a parade float one day when he skips Kindergarten.

And my sweet baby girl Lauren Allison....I just registered her for Kindergarten for September.  No, no no....I don't even know how that's possible!
Lauren watching Ben's soccer game :)

Soccer Love

People say it goes so fast...and it really does.  Of course, it didn't seem that way when they were both babies.  Lauren was only 15 months when Ben was born, and I remember bringing him home from the hospital and Lauren staring at him like "What IS this??"  I think she thought we got a new cat at first.  She was too young to comprehend the whole sibling thing.

 I remember the day that Brian went back to work and it was just me and the toddling 15 month old and a REALLY hungry Benjamin that needed to eat every 20 minutes.  I literally thought "What the hell have we done???"  I had 2 babies under 2, and started to wonder if anyone had ever successfully made it through those early days while maintaining sanity?  I googled things like "2 under 2 HELP!"  and read forums where other mom's had actually done it and survived....and just as soon as I felt like I had a handle on 2 babies....Ben started in with Colic.  Unless you've had a baby with just can't appreciate the noise that goes along with it.  At about 3 weeks old, he started screaming and crying every day at 3pm.  He'd scream clear through until 8pm, and there was no consoling him.  Brian & I would pass him back and forth and take turns eating and give our ears a break, but there was nothing we could do to calm him down.  The pediatrician told us this was very common, and should subside by the time he was 12 weeks old.  WHAT?????  I was convinced there was no way we'd survive 9 weeks of that.  But somehow, we did.  By 10 weeks he was only screaming for 3 hours a day, and at 11 weeks it just stopped as abruptly as it came on.  But let me tell you, THAT didn't go fast!  No...and when people told me it would, I wanted to cry then shove a pie in their face.  Of course hindsight it did.  And here we are - one going off to Kindergarten and the other running for public office at 4 :)

At the Dr for their check-ups

Lauren loves going to the Dr. 
Enjoy your weekend!  And if you insist on soliciting at my door, please bring wine!