Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thanksgiving in July 7/31

It’s been one of those weeks where I needed slapped in the face with a little gratitude. The last several days have required much more parental patience than I possess; I’ve had to stop myself and reach into my Superwoman stash and pull out miraculous amounts of calm, cool and levelheadedness (traits that I’m naturally lacking).

O will be 2 in about a month, and we’re already experiencing some symptoms of the terrible twos. Along with acting like a snotty teenager, he’s also tapped into super-human stubbornness and unbelievably high-decibel tantrums. I can handle that during the day, but when I’m supposed to be sleeping, it just doesn’t work. I take my sleep very seriously. 

Along with reminding myself that I should be grateful for a healthy and (albeit obnoxious) normal toddler, I’ve also found these blessings along the way:

Friends and family members who have been there, done that (got the Kool-aid stained t-shirt) in the parenting arena. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who wants to suck down an entire box of wine (yes, box… desperate times, my friends) before lunch some days.

Friends and family members who don’t have kids. To remind me that I used to be lots of fun before my name became Mommy. And to help me remember how to have fun after bedtime.

Our Roku. I was a little skeptical when Tots said we “needed” this device, but we watch so much Netflix, it really has been worth it.

McDonald’s Vanilla Ice Coffee. It’s not great for you by any means, but it sure makes me happy.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thanksgiving in July 7/24

Hey there! It's been a while, but I haven't really done anything blog-worthy recently, so I haven't had much to say. I hate to write posts that aren't real posts, ya know?

Well, this one isn't really a real post either. Over the last week, I've found a lot of new things to be grateful for. Here are a few of them:

Old friends who pick up the phone at 10:30pm. For some of you, that doesn't seem like a big deal. You are probably 24 or younger.

A healthy family. Watching Jack Hoffman win an ESPY was such a proud moment for the entire Husker Nation. If you're unfamiliar with Team Jack (you're probably not from Nebraska), you can learn more about him and his fight against pediatric brain cancer here. He and his family are really an inspiration, and whenever I'm feeling negative about anything related to my son, I step back and think about the Hoffman family and get slapped in the face with a little bit of perspective. My son is healthy. My husband is healthy. I am healthy. Life is good.

Again, a healthy family. Over the last couple of years, my husband's uncle was battling with cancer. In early May, he was able to announce that he was officially a cancer survivor. We were able to see him and his family briefly in June, and the bond between them is incredible. The four of them have walked through fire together and come out on the other side, stronger.

My plastic microwave egg cooker. Seriously, I cook eggs in the microwave every morning. Breakfast dishes? Aint nobody got time for that. Especially when you're perpetually running late and you've got a kid to feed.
I got it fo' free. Jealous?
As a side note, my kitchen attracts convenience-based microwavable cookware like nobody's business.

The fact that every day is a new day. Each day, we all get the chance to start over, and make a change if necessary. Someday, I'd like to get my crap together and get serious about this blogging business. Obviously, that day hasn't come yet. We can both hope it's out there somewhere, in my future*. Bottom line, if you don't like who you were yesterday, be someone else today. That's the opportunity you get every time you wake up.
*Or maybe you don't hope that, which is cool, but then why are you still reading? Nobody's got a gun to your head or anything. Unless somebody does. Blink twice if you're in danger.

Monday, July 15, 2013

1 going on 16.

Since O hit about 18 months, we've been dealing with what I like to think of as "early onset terrible twos." Sometimes it sucks; it's frustrating and infuriating, and it forces me to be a much bigger person than I ever realized I could. However, I've been told by many more experienced parents that the terrible twos pale in comparison to the threes (they're so bad, apparently nobody has given them a cutesy name yet).

That's all fine and well- it's wonderful to have something to look forward to, right? (eye roll), but sometimes I feel like I'm living with a teenager. Every time I go into his room in the morning or after nap time (always after he wakes up on his own), he rolls over, scowls at me, and shouts "Mommy WEAVE (leave)!!" As I get half way down the hallway, I hear him shout, "Cwose da door!"

He's also become a bottomless pit, his feet STINK and all he cares about are sports and cars. I can tell his interest in the ladies is imminent and inevitable. 

Yes. A tiny little teenager. One going on sixteen.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Thanksgiving in July 7/14

Looking back on my weekend, I have many things to be grateful for. We had a pretty busy couple of days, filled with family and friends, a wedding and a funeral, and quite a few miles on the truck.

1. Opportunities to come together and celebrate. You probably think I'm talking about the wedding but the funeral is actually what I had in mind (not to say that the wedding wasn't a great celebration, because it was; the pounding in my head this morning tells me it actually might have been a little too great).

On Friday, we celebrated the life of a woman I didn't really know. She was my great-step-grandmother-in-law, and I had only met her a handful of times. I remember very vividly when I was a kid, and I was at a funeral for someone I loved very dearly and I was angry at all of the people who were there that didn't seem to know the deceased, and I asked my dad why they thought they should be there. He looked at me and said, "Jessie, this isn't for the person who died. The funeral is for the people who are left missing him. You go for those who are grieving."

So, that is exactly what I did on Friday. I went for the bereft. Everybody there was so sad to have lost her, but they were so filled with joy to be together and to share stories about her life. Sometimes, when you hear about the way someone lived their life, it re-focuses you and reminds you of how you want to live your life, and what you want to be remembered for.

2. The people I've somehow managed to surround myself with. I've said it a million times; I've got great friends. As we were celebrating last night, I was amazed to think of what we've all been through together: how many of each others' weddings have we attended or participated in, the birth of at least 5 kids (you get them together and get them running around, and you sort of lose track of how many there actually are) and countless other events. It's nice to have friends who are there for all phases of life-- people you don't outgrow. I was so afraid I would never see them again after the birth of O, but they've been right there, growing with us.

3. A husband who is willing to split the parenting work 50/50. As I type this, he's bathing O. He actually came home tonight and decided that it was time to start potty training, so he's been spearheading that operation for the night (don't worry about him, I'll have the day-shift all day tomorrow). I don't know what life would be like if I were on my own through this parenting ride.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thanksgiving in July 7/11

I spent a little time on the road today by myself, for the first time in a long time. That meant listening to anything I wanted and singing as loud as I wanted, without a toddler telling me "Mommy, too woud!" or "Mommy, music OFF!" or, my favorite, "Mommy, no music. Sing twinkle sarr."

Today I'm thankful for:
1. All of the different "phases" of my life so far. I'm not kidding when I tell you that on the way to my destination, my iPhone played (in this exact order) Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty, Brand New, Fleetwood Mac, Alice Cooper, James Taylor and Tom Petty. Each song took me back to the day I downloaded it (legally, I assure you), and even though I'm a completely different person than I was back in my Brand New days, I still love all of that music. It's symbolic to me of where I've been and what I've overcome. Oh, and there is no season or mood necessary for Tom Petty; that's good music anytime.

2. Dex's new-found maturity. I don't think I've shared it with you guys, because I didn't want to jinx it, but it's a pretty big deal: Dex is finally kennel-free. I know. I was shocked too. From the day he broke out of his kennel while we were gone and ate our entire stash of Subway trash (receipt and all) and pooped all over our floor, I never thought we would get to this point. I remember very vividly the first day I let him out of his kennel for a few hours while I was at work. We had a very serious conversation about maturity and responsibility. He gave me a knowing look that said, "Look Mom, you can trust me now. I don't do lame things like eat your electricity bills or poop on the floor anymore. And I swear I won't annihilate your pretty throw pillows either." I took a leap of faith, and I'm so glad I did. I thought the ugly wire kennel was going to be a permanent furnishing in my house. Now that it's no longer taking up space in my room (serving as a frequent thigh-bruiser and toe-stubber), I feel so... free.

3. Nate's sense of humor. Maybe, more specifically, the sense of humor Nate and I can share. At one point in conversation with our friends tonight, we both looked at each other and said, "Buzz, your girlfriend... woof!" Who does that? Straight-up 90's.

What are you thankful for? Are you playing along with me? I'd love it if you would post your blessings in comments!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thanksgiving in July: 7/10

1.       Modern technology. I live about six hours away from my mom and dad, and sometimes it’s hard to have so much distance between us. That’s probably why my son has hijacked my facebook page (sorry, all of my college friends who gag at all of my mommy posts). I don’t want my family to miss anything, and I want O to know who they are, too. Facebook makes it really easy to look at pictures and share videos and stories. Just ten short years ago, I would’ve had to resort to calling my mom, every day, on my flip phone that may or may not have had a crappy camera.
2.       Second chances. We all need them sometimes.
3.       Subtle reminders of who and what we want to be. Sometimes it comes in the form of an inspirational, positive person who we aspire to be like. You know the person who lights up the room with their smile, has never said a bad word about anybody, and can encourage and lift even the most despondent situation. Sometimes it’s the opposite. Have you ever been around someone who is chronically negative, or two-faced, or angry? It sort of opens your eyes and reminds you of what you don’t want to be.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Thanksgiving in July?

I've done it again. It's a pattern I'm not proud of, but seem doomed to repeat. I keep breaking the cardinal rule of blogging: erratic and unpredictable writing. Sorry I keep leaving you all high and dry for week-long stretches at a time. The only real excuse I have is that I've got a lot of obligations fighting for my time an attention. I think of you all often, I really do. I just have trouble making this the priority that it should be.

So, we catch up, again.

We're still trying to sell our house, and it consumes me more than it probably should. I have a few more posts to share with you about some of our projects, so be looking for that.  I also have some really fun non-house related projects that I've been working on in my spare time, and I can't wait to share them with you. I'm hoping to post at least one later this week (so ya know, like, next month in JessieTime).

I'm still training for my 5k, even though the 5k date keeps getting pushed back due to life's interferences. I was very impressed with myself the last time I ran. Don't laugh, but I ran for twelve minutes straight, without stopping to walk. I know, you can probably do that right now without any issue, but for an avid non-runner like myself that was like a marathon. I think my feet fell off when I got home, but I can't confirm that because I blacked out (just kidding Ma. I didn't black out, but I couldn't feel my feet for about an hour).

In all of my impatience and grumbling about things beyond my control, it's probably a good thing that this month's resolution is here. I've been so caught up in my own world, wishing and longing for things that I don't have and things I can't control, I haven't been as cognizant of all of my blessings. In all honesty, I've been so consumed that I didn't even realize what this month's resolution was until today.

It's so easy to take things for granted; even the most important things. For the rest of July, I'm going to work to find three blessings each day, and I invite you to do the same. It will be pretty easy at first, starting with the most obvious and basic, but I think by the end of the month, this is going to truly become a challenge. My hope is that by opening my eyes to the blessings (even the small ones) every day holds, I will become a little more grateful and content, and a lot less anxious.

These are the blessings I'm focusing on today:
1. Air-conditioning. It's pretty nasty out there today, and I'm really lucky that I not only have a home to live in, but a functioning air-conditioner to make it comfortable.
2. The ability to work part-time. Today is one of my days at home, and it's been great. From "coffee time!" with O, to late morning grocery store trips (when you don't have to fight with anyone over the last un-shriveled pepper), this extra time at home has been a blessing. Every day is an adventure. Within the first three hours of my day, my house was a train station, a doctor's office and a restaurant.
3. The community I live in. I know, I've spent a lot of time focusing on getting out of this town, but it's not because of the town. I love this community, and I will be really sad when the day comes to leave. It's a nice small town that still offers lots of big-city luxuries, and it's really invested in it's own growth and success.