Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Not All Bubbles Are Fun

Conversation that took place in the back seat on the way to school today:

Little Man:  Look!  I can blow bubbles with my spit!  Can you?

Big Bro:  Yeah.  Mine are bigger.  Watch this one.   

Little Man:  What if we could blow bubbles with out butts!? 

(Hysterical laughter, snorts and guffaws)

Big Bro:  Then Dad's Butt Bubbles would be HUGE!!

(More hysterical laughter)

I did not participate in this conversation.  But had I chosen to make a remark, it would have been something to this affect:  

"Yes, Dad's Butt Bubbles would be huge!  They would also contain an incredibly noxious, nuclear-like  odor that could lay waste to an entire third world country in about 5 seconds flat.  I know, because I sleep in the same bed as the man.  And apparently, night time is the best time to practice butt bubble blowing, because I notice that's when he does his best work."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Stress of Transistions

Transitioning is always stressful.  We have lots of decisions to make in our house, but no information to make them with.  So here we sit, in limbo, waiting to know if we have the job or not before committing to Plan B, which is not all that strong at the moment either.   I've had a lot of time to stress over not being able to control the situation, which has led to me getting very sick this week.  Lots of stress = weakened immune system = me getting hit with a chest cold and flu-like symptoms that knocked me on my butt.  Lots of crying and general malaise. 

Today, I forced myself to get up and get the kids to church because Little Man had to read the monthly scripture today in Primary.  It required putting forth effort that I really didn't want to put forth when I feel like hammered poo.  But I did it for my kid, because that's what moms do, right?  My son was magnificent, he read his very long scripture perfectly and he even understood what it meant.  Was it worth the effort?  Of course.  And in return for my willingness to sacrifice my comfort for my son's church participation, I was blessed too. 

No, my lungs did not magically open up and expel the foul virus that is making me ill, nor did a bag of money or a job offer drop from the sky.  But my eyes did manage to open up and take notice of the beautiful cornflower blue sky laced with wispy white clouds.  And my poor, dried out skin took delight in the wonderfully cool breeze that brushed over my arms and gently swept over my face as it hurried toward the trees to tickle their branches and leaves.  My nose breathed it in deeply and despite a few hacks and coughs, the crisp, clean air filled my lungs and I felt renewed and refreshed for a few moments.  My mind instantly recognized the signs of fall and my soul truly jumped for joy at the realization that the brutal heat of summer is finally gone.  We have officially survived another hellish Arizona summer!  And just like that, I had one less thing to stress about.  Deep breath (cough, hack, cough) and sigh.  My shoulders just relaxed a little. 

As I write this, I am sitting by the open window, not hearing the constant drone of the air conditioning unit. Instead, I hear my boys laugh, play, giggle and yell while they take in all the neighborhood has to offer a couple of active boys who have been cooped up for 3 months by the intense summer sun.  The cooler weather has lifted their spirits too.  They frolic and kick like spirited colts running through fields of perfect, green alfalfa, but instead of whinnies and neighs, I hear laser and machine gun sound effects and instead of alfalfa, the frolicking takes place in the dirt fort next to our house.  No long as they are happy.  I love that I can hear them so clearly - their plots, their dreams, their gross boy humor.  I remember having a few great play days like this when I was kid.  You know them...those days when everything and everyone from the neighborhood comes together in perfect harmony to create the ultimate perfect day; great weather, good friends, awesome snacks, no arguing, no hurt feelings, no bike wrecks...just pure, unadulterated fun that you never want to end.  Suddenly I am aware that my chest feels a little less tight and I realize that I have pretty good, generally happy, well-adjusted kids.  And with that realization comes one more release...Now I have two less thing to stress about.  Is there nothing more healing to a sick mom's heart and mind than the laughter of her happy kids? 

So I thought I'd take a minute to make sure I got this day down in writing.  The day that I remembered what fall feels like in the desert.  The day I remembered a few good days from my childood.  The day I remembered to enjoy my kids.  The day I remembered that hard times (or excessive heat) don't last forever.  The day that I was reminded that there are so many good things in the world to think about and enjoy as we struggle through our trials and tribulations.   It's been a good day to just sit and remember.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Transitions - Part 1

Along with other life transitions, I am working on a new look for the blog.  It might get kind of crazy around here 'til I figure out which direction I want to take it, so try to hang on while I get it figured out! 

As far as life outside of my blog?

It seems like my life has been in transition for a long, long time now.  I keep trying to evolve to fit my current set of circumstances, but none of the changes I make seem to take hold on a permanent basis.  As I write this, I realize that just being human makes life transitory by nature.  We are always learning and growing and adapting.  But right now?  I'd like to just chill until I can see a clear path. 

This really all relates to stability.  Emotional stability, financial stability, domestic seems like when I get one of those elements lined out, another one spins out of control.  Some of my instability is due to choices I have made in my life, and some of it has had to do with circumstances and choices that others made on my behalf.  I get that I can't go back and change that.  Finally, I get that.  At this moment I want to create a more stable life going forward, not just for me, but for my kids!  Stability is all I want right now. I sit, on the precipice of several HUGE life choices.  All of them will directly affect my life and the lives of my children, especially when it comes to our ability to feel safe and comfortable.  For me, it's really hard when financial instability becomes the driving force behind our decision making process because then the process feels frenzied and chaotic and desperate.  It's hard to stay calm when you're backed up against the wall.  Having said that, had we had a Plan B on file in the first place, we probably would have made better choices at the beginning of this trial and could have avoided some of the last minute misery and debate we are dealing with now.  Hindsight, right? 

Now we are facing the inevitable...Do we move to another state and try to start over in a new environment or do we stay put and try to slug it out in a place where both of us have spent what seems like an eternity trying to carve out a niche for ourselves?  My vote?  Stay here.  Which is weird, because we've always talked about the day we can finally move out of Arizona!  But now that I face that possibility, I'm not ready to go.  I'm still trying to decide if my lack of enthusiasm has more to do with the location my husband is leaning toward or having to pack the house up all over again.  Either way, I'm not ready to deal with this change.  I know the demons I face here!  I know the economy (or lack therof), the streets, the politics, the weather, the people...all of the things which I gripe about on a daily basis!   Isn't it ironic how familiarity can sometimes ease the lack of stability of our lives, but that same familiarity also leads us to feel contempt and boredom for our same old surroundings?  We are weird, complex creatures sometimes, that is certain.

All of this comes down to what?  Me being too afraid and tired to try something new.  Before I had kids I probably would have jumped at the chance to see another part of the country.  Now I just want to get where we need to be and stay there.  I want to put down roots and become part of the community and live my life there and know that at last, I am home and I never have to leave.  If I thought for one second that the place my husband wants to move was that place?  I'd be all over it.  But I don't feel that way about his choice.  In fact I work hard everyday to try to imagine life there and I can't. 

So why is it even a consideration?  If I'm not gonna be happy there, why would we even consider it?  Because Big Man has a brother there whom he adores and who brings out all the good and wonderful qualities in the man I married.  Their love for each other is deep and strong and without judgement.  My husband doesn't have kind of relationship with most of his other siblings.  Big Man feels like maybe with his brother's help and support, he can get back on his feet and create a new career path.   More importantly, he feels like he will finally be away from the many people he has grown up with here who seem to always see him as a failure.  His road here has been a tough one, not filled with very many positive experiences.  

So maybe a change is warranted.  Sometimes all one needs to shake old habits and demons is a change of scenery.  Some place to start over again, with a new outlook and new perspective.  Some place where you get to be who you really are, where no one has preconcieved ideas about you based on who you used to be. 

I just wish that place wasn't Florida. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Grandpa hates pictures.  Like really, really hates them.  He hates pictures like the rest of the family hates the work jumpsuits he wears everyday, regardless of the occasion.  Which is why I took this quick snapshot of him and Big Man a few months ago.  Because I knew it would be one of the few that I get of him during his time here on earth.  And I want my grandkids to know who their great grandpa was...jumpsuits and all. 

I realized the other day that my kids have no idea who their ancestors are.  There aren't a lot of stories about the men and women who came before them being told around the campfire or the kitchen table. 

I remember some of my family's history being told to me when I was doing a report for school in Junior High, and I've read little bits and pieces about some of them here and there, but other than that, it wasn't until just recently that I made some really amazing discoveries about my lineage.  And I know this sounds stupid, but knowing where I came from has helped me deal with some of my most deepset issues. 

I am finally starting to feel there is more to who I am than my issues and my feelings and my past.  Does that make sense?  I belong to something bigger than my little semi-dysfunctional unit. For some reason, learning more about my forefathers has helped me see things from a different perspective.  Maybe it was just the fact that my world got a little larger when I began to own my heritage.   

Anyway...the more I learn about some of these people who started the gene pool to which I belong, the more grateful I am for amazingly strong ancestors who were willing to make some pretty tough choices and some big sacrifices for future generations.  So it occurred to me that my boys need to know about these amazing people too.  They need to know that their world started long before they were ever born and that there were folks who paved the way for them.  They need to know their people. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hexbug Winners!

Okay, let's announce the Hexbug Winners!! I gave Hope 2 entries, 1 for her comment and one for the facebook post, Danielle had 3 entries, for a total of 5 entries.
  1. Miss Hope
  2. Miss Hope
  3. Danielle
  4. Danielle
  5. Danielle
So here's the draw:

Looks like Danielle is the winner!!  Woot!!  Congrats Danielle!  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Movie Review: "Life As We Know It"

Lucky me, I actually got to go on a date with my husband last night, thanks to Mom Central!  We were invited to see a pre-screening of Life As We Know It starring Kathryn Heigl and Josh Duhamel.  I had seen a few commercials for the movie and it looked really entertaining, but you never know until you actually get there if the movie lives up to the hype. 

Well, I'm here to tell you, the movie is really, really funny and touching at the same time.  The basic premise of the movie is this:

"After a disastrous first date, the only thing Holly, an up and coming caterer, and Eric, a network sports director, have in common is their dislike for each other and their love for their goddaughter Sophie. But when they suddenly become all Sophie has in the world, Holly and Eric are forced to put their differences aside and juggle career ambitions and competing social calendars to find some common ground while living under one roof."

First of all, I had to laugh at the whole Holly/Eric relationship, because we all have single friends like those two characters...the ones who irritate each other so badly, but would really be a great couple!?  The casting for those two parts was so dead on! Kathryn Heigl and Josh Duhamel made such a cute couple and they played off each other really well!! 

So Holly (Kathryn Heigl) and Eric (Josh Duhamel) get thrown into the whole parenting thing with no warning and have to figure out how to deal with each other and a child, as well as the loss of their best friends.  As life issues go, definitely not how I would want to start my child-rearing gig.  But as a parent, there was so much about this movie that I could relate to.  The thought of a child losing her parents immediately triggered my nurturing side and I was totally moved to tears watching that whole issue unfold.  Then as the main characters took on the parenting roles, I remembered how I felt so overwhelmed when I had my first child, even with 9 months to get used to the idea!  So it was really easy to be sympathetic and even laugh when these two single people, who had parenthood thrust upon them, struggled with basics like changing diapers (Josh's character gagging and running out of the room) and trying to calm an inconsolable baby at 2 a.m. Kathryn and Josh made the struggle seem believable, not campy or trite. 

Then...there was the whole "neighborhood support" issue, which had me in stitches, because again...I could relate to the whole dynamic!   The lady who brings casseroles, the endless unsolicited parenting tips, the married couple with 9 kids who always looks tired and wrung's true to life and it made me reflect on my own neighbors with both affection and irritation.  There were seriously some very funny scenes involving the neighbors.  Gotta love 'em!

I won't give anymore of the movie away, but I will say, I was a little concerned at first that there wouldn't be enough meat to carry the plot and that it would just be a bunch of poopy diaper and spit-up jokes, both of which were part of the script, but there was a lot more going on in the story. 

Life As We Know It really is a light-hearted, somewhat realistic snapshot of what people face everyday as they decide to merge lives and raise a child.  Careers, income, even which TV shows to watch...everything changes when you bring a baby into the picture!  It was refreshing to watch Kathryn Heigl and Josh Duhamel play out everyday situations that most of us face with great comedic timing and with the emotion that we all feel when it comes to choosing a partner and raising a family.  And yes, I get that this is a movie and movies generally tend to have happy endings, but sometimes life has happy endings too.  This movie gave me some perspective and helped me laugh at my parenting challenges and made me want to try harder for my own happy ending. 

Life As We Know It opens October 8th.  Go see it!  It's totally worth the admission price!

**Disclosure: “I attended a complimentary screening of this movie to facilitate my review and received a gift card from Mom Central as a thank you for my time.”**