Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Anyway, we were at the pool for a birthday party. It was a lot of fun with all of our close friends there. Logan has an awesome farmer's tan (because we haven't been swimming only playing in the back yard) and when I lathered SPF 70 on his fair skin, it didn't really blend in well, making him look even more ghostly white than he already is. I laughed joking how he was goth and never sees the light of day. He really did look an odd color.
He had a fantastic time with his friends though. He jumped in the kids pool and splashed and laughed with pure joy. "I'm so happy! This is so fun!", he exclaimed many times in the three hours we were there. He was cute and pretty well behaved.
It was Carter's very first time in the pool. He LOVED it. He had a very rough morning, skipping his nap, so I thought he was going to be a total grump. I sat in the pool with him cradled in my lap with his big, green, floppy hat covering his delicate baby face. He cuddled up relaxing in the hypnotizing motion of the water. I thought he was going to fall asleep and take his nap on me, but didn't. He got a second wind and splashed away. He loved standing and holding onto the side of the pool (clearly, it wasn't a deep baby pool) and at other times, he enjoyed sitting between my legs on the side of the pool kicking his feet in the water. He grinned his incredibly cute two-tooth smiles all afternoon.
I am kicking myself for not having the camera battery charged.
After three hours of solid pool time, it was time to go. Both boys fell asleep instantaneously when we got in the car. The rest of the day was spent laying low at home with the smell of chlorine emitting from us until bath time.
Man, I love summer.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Anyway, Carter had a great time and I am kicking myself for not having the camera on hand. He got to go in naked-baby style, splashing and crawling with big smiles on his face. It was cute. I had him out there in the late afternoon so the water had a chance to warm up and his risk of sunburning was minimal. He was even brave enough to crawl around in the grass - something he hasn't wanted to do this whole summer until now.
But, yeah. That's about it. I will take a boring weekend over one filled with family dramatics any day. I have a couple of poems stirring around inside that I can't seem to get out. It's been a while since I've felt even remotely poetic. So, we'll see if they come to fruition....
Friday, June 26, 2009
Wednesday night Bill told me that Aunt Ju-Ju scheduled an appointment for the next day and Grandma L was guilt tripping Bill into going. They never accepted his rejection and rather than talking about why he was saying no (despite him telling them during their last visit that we aren't going any further with them until they take an introspective look at their part of the issue), they ignored everything and kept pressuring. She told him that they didn't have to talk about the cut-off issue and that they were going to talk about "their family" (Grandma L, Grandpa L, Aunt Ju-Ju and Bill). Manipulation at it's finest.
He told me he was going because he wanted to figure out what kind of relationship he has with them. They have never had any type of communication skills at all, resorting to superficial conversation about the weather and crap like that. Since the cut-off with me and the boys, Bill apparently doesn't talk to his family much anymore. Not by my demand, but because they really have nothing to say to each other, even the pointless drivel. He wanted to figure out what direction they were going.
I tried to tell him that they weren't going to talk about anything other than the cut-off. That it was a chance for them to corner him and continue with the Kristin-bashing without me there. I tried to tell him that it was a trap, and to explain once again, that the Cleaver Family that he wants them to be does not exist, it never did and it will never be that way. He still went anyway.
And I was right.
Apparently the session only lasted 20 minutes. In the first five minutes, they got in there and started talking and of course got to the root of the problem - the cutoff - in which Bill pulled the breaks on them and said he wasn't going to talk about that issue without me there. The next 20 minutes (the rest of the session) was Bill talking to the counselor one-on-one without his mom or sister in there.
She told him it was pointless to continue counseling until we get the big picture straightened out. He told her that in order for us to move forward, I need a sincere apology from both of them. At the very least, I need them to admit the truth and stop lying. The counselor said that may never happen (haven't we known this all along?). She wants to do a mediation where Bill and I go in and talk with her by ourselves, then at a different session, Aunt Ju-Ju and Grandma L go in and talk with her. Once again, this is a HUGE waste of time. The problem is so big and we are so far gone that the damage is irreparable. I will never get what I need from them. Ever. Otherwise I would have already gotten it.
I told Bill that I would go see this counselor with him for our side of the mediation, but I am not going to do another session with his family. I've learned my lesson from the last session with them. His mom and sister are very capable of picking up the phone and doing what needs to be done if they are serious about mending our broken family. They aren't.
It kills me that Bill still can't see the situation clearly. He was totally mislead and fell into their trap, not wanting to believe that they were manipulating him. I am proud of him for stopping the situation and not letting them go any farther with their attempts to drive us apart. I am proud of him for standing up for me as well, expressing my needs in my defense. This is a huge step and it restores some lost trust from the past. I just wish he could accept that his family is never going to change or do anything to resolve the hurt. I know that's hard for him to do.
They are here for a week (I think) and I'm sure this won't be the last attempt at guilt trips and manipulation. Unfortunately.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
He got his first tooth a couple of weeks ago, small, white and shiny on the bottom left. The second is coming soon, already having erupted through the gums. He crawls around everywhere, following me around the house, chasing after Logan and speed crawling to meet Bill at the door when he comes home from work. He learned how to crawl up the stairs just yesterday, now causing me more worry. He babbles "Ma Ma" and "Da Da", knowing exactly what he's saying and who he wants attention from.
He is nine months old.
He not only crawls and climbs stairs, but pulls himself up standing. He plays with cars the most and plays along with Logan. They also wrestle and climb all over each other. He prefers Big Kid toys rather than baby toys. He used to wave bye-bye, but not anymore since he realizes that we think it's so cute. He does exceptionally well at the gym and has gone up to the two hour max without a melt down.
He is so cute.
He loves to feed himself Cheerios and blueberries. Not so much of a fan of cheese or peas and carrots unless they are pureed. He started eating banana again, but I refuse to try avocado since it makes him gag. He likes to hold his own bottle which is nice. He is a great sleeper and fights nap times and bedtimes very little. He is incredibly cute when he clutches his blanket close to his face and sucks on his thumb. He's not nearly as dependent on the pacifier as Logan was.
He is becoming more of his own person.
He is 28 inches long (40%), 17 pounds and 2 ounces (5%) and his head is 17 1/4 inches (30%). He is outgrowing his 9 month clothes and is making his way into 12 month sizes. He has an infectious smile and is in good spirits for the majority of the day. He loves to snuggle if it's only for a brief minute before he's off getting into trouble. He is fond of the cat who is so patient with his hair pulling and ear poking. He and Logan hold hands in the back seat while we drive around town.
He is growing so fast.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
This year Logan was quite stubborn since he's in this "I can't do it all by myself!" phase, claiming that he can't do anything by himself, gets extremely frustrated before even trying and throwing all sorts of fits when asked to do anything on the face of the Earth. That's really a daily thing, but it was especially this way playing disc golf. It was still fun (and hot) nonetheless. And Carter really enjoyed watching Bill play. In a few years, all of these guys are going to be throwing rounds together and it's going to be cute (to me. To them it will be "cool").
It was really funny when Logan was helping me write on Bills' card. I asked him want he wanted to write and we wrote it together:
"Daddy likes robots"
"Daddy likes monsters"
"Daddy likes ghosts"
Yeah. I don't know what that's all about, but it's hilarious.
We hope you had a Happy Fathers Day. Thanks for being a great Dad to our boys, Billy. Yeah, you could be more of a disciplinarian but I guess somebody has to be the Good Cop, right? We're lucky it's you.
Monday, June 22, 2009
I've nursed two babies. My breasts have done their job, punching the time clock at the milk factory every three hours for two years. This year they even worked overtime, on the hour every hour for a week straight. They are now retired and it shows.
In the past when someone mentioned how they wanted to go under the knife, I always wondered why they couldn't accept their body for how it was. Just be happy with what you've got! In fact, months ago while I was still nursing Carter, I had a conversation with Bill about it as we were watching some kind of plastic surgery show on TV. "I don't get it. Why would someone spend all of that money on their body? There's so much danger in surgery and then you have to go back every 10 years or so to get replacements? Wow! We're all going to get old, ugly and wrinkly anyway. What's the point?"
At the time, I might have been in the "working" mindset. The frame of mind in which my body was doing it's job and these parts were employed for a very important and specific task - to feed my babies. They were not multi-purpose or held two jobs (if you will).
Now that nursing is over and they will never need to return to slave labor? I get it now.
I've never been "blessed" in this area. In fact, of all the women in my family, I got the short end of the stick with these genetics. For a long time I was fine with that. I accepted that this was how I was built, these were the cards that I was dealt and I didn't obsess about how I could be different. I was fine with how everything changed after nursing Logan. Really, they weren't very different! But then, after Carter? Wow, did things change. And I'm not happy nor accepting of it.
I think it may be one thing to accept how you were born, but it's another thing to accept how you've changed. It's a hard pill for me to swallow. I think of stretch marks as "battle scars" (maybe because I don't have too many). Wider hips give a more womanly shape. However, there's nothing positive about deflated, small (and smaller than they were) boobs.
If we had the money, I'd change how things are. These retirees should get decent pension for a job well done. I'd get an upgrade and they'd get to travel around in a brand new RV rather than a beat up Oldsmobile.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
If anything were to happen to Bill or if anything were to happen to us and our relationship, I know without a doubt that I would be able to handle being a single parent. Sure, it can be exhausting and it's nice to share the load, but there's no question - I can do it. Not a problem.
What I would have a hard time with though is the loneliness. Sitting around the house at night by myself while the boys are asleep, going to bed alone, not having the physical touch. After eating dinner alone with the kids, it really starts to hit. 7:00pm bedtime routines start and once I close the door to Logan's room after tucking him in, the emptiness smothers the house like a dark fleece blanket. It's quiet. Too quiet.
I'm really glad he doesn't travel much.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Part of the fun for our event is that we rent out the train at one of the parks and the kids can ride over and over again to their hearts content. Logan was so excited this year and couldn't wait to ride the train. He had a blast with all of his little buddies and every time the train would circle the track, he would wave to us. A beauty queen wave, no less. I have no idea where he learned how to do it, but it was hilarious. He was so funny the entire night, being the cool kid with his sunglasses. Carter also rode the train - for the first time (!) and loved it too. He was a little sketched out when we went through the tunnel and the kids screamed, but not too bad. He still smiled afterward.
We were lucky we didn't get rained on, especially considering that every day last week we were hit with afternoon hail storms and we've been under constant tornado warnings. It was actually a nice evening for dinner and everything went off without a hitch. Good times!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The end of the term for leadership positions is the end of June and the new board and coordinators take over July 1st. Being organized and prepared, our board got on it looking for volunteers for positions and making the judgment call that the incoming president(s) should have some kind of executive board experience, since there's a lot of garbage with by-laws. We also thought it was fair that one of the board members who had taken someones place only a few months before go ahead and move onto the next term. Someone in the membership got their panties in a bunch and emailed our regional coordinator to complain that "we weren't doing it like other chapters". Thus began months of dealing with by-law regulations with International.
You know, it doesn't take a genius to get a bunch of moms together for playgroups and park days. It's not rocket science. When election time turns the corner, we're not running for President of the United States or some kind of Super Mom recognition. International by-laws likes to make things more difficult and more complicated than they really have to be and sometimes, things work better when you do what's best for the group you're in. There is more than one way to skin a cat.
Thankfully, after today it's all over with. The elections were this morning. I'm going on again as president, only without my partner in crime (she didn't want to continue dealing with the lameness of it all). Now we move forward knowing that someone is amongst us, forwarding emails and making anonymous complaints when things don't go their way. Fabulous.
As the saying goes among my friends and in our home, "It's just MOMS Club".
Monday, June 15, 2009
The feeling starts in my sternum and if I ignore it long enough, it begins to turn into anxiety. That's when I usually start investigating. I know there's something wrong, something I need to find out. Something isn't right and I need to find out why. Some people may call this paranoia. That may be true if my investigations didn't result in actually finding something; if I really had this feeling for no reason. But there is always a reason. And I always find out why. Always.
I have perfected the art of being an investigator. My gut gives me the signal and I'm on it like a hound. I had this feeling over the weekend, but this time, it was different. I first asked Bill when his parents would be back in town (since they seem to be the number one reason for stress in our family at any given moment). He is going to be on business for a bit and it turns out that they will be here shorty after he gets back.
Bill has been working very hard on rebuilding the trust between us. I do not trust easily and it takes me forever to start taking steps on my part to bridge that gap. For some reason, I felt alright about telling him how I was feeling and asked him if anything was going on. He said that everything was fine. I resisted the urge to accept his answer and dig for the truth on my own. I rephrased the question. "Is there anything you need to tell me? Anything I need to know?"
"There is one thing. My mom and my sister are trying to get me to go to counseling with them, but I keep telling them no. I'm not going."
And there you have it. The truth. The "something" that's going on that I need to know about, the thing my gut gave me the signal on. For now, I'm leaving it as it is and we'll see what happens.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
So, I've had to cancel my training sessions and became couch-bound all day. Logan was a big help in keeping Carter entertained and made me laugh a little despite my loss of dinner and appetite. I was trying to explain food poisoning to him and why I was sick. He told me that I should go to the Doctor. Then not too much later than that, he saw a commercial for Zantac. He turned to me and with a straight face said, "You need to take the blue pills". I guess so...
I'm glad I didn't get anything serious, and I'm on the mend. I should be better for tomorrow when I'm set to review a bakery in town. I'd be pissed if I was still sick and couldn't eat a cupcake.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
So, 4am rolls around and Logan decides that it would be a good idea to wedge himself in the middle of us in bed while continually kicking and elbowing me in the back for two hours while I don't sleep. For the rest of the day, The Headache That Won't Go Away hangs on to the back of my skull for dear life as if it were going skydiving and changed it's mind right before jumping. Hours and hours of screaming kids - either both at the same time or one right after the other prompted me to seriously ask myself why I haven't tried to trade-out my services with an engineer who would build me a sensory deprivation tank in my closet. It's totally big enough and it can't be that expensive. Hell, I'd just take a pine box at this point.
And, Logan apparently woke up on the same side of the bed that I did. He felt so wonderful after he woke up from his nap that he screamed his head off for two straight hours, crying about how he couldn't get his socks on - the same socks that he's proudly put on himself while excitedly running around in circles "I DID IT ALL MYSELF!" Then he cried some more on the bike ride to Target because a rain drop fell on his shoe. Not many rain drops; a single, lonely, sad, rain drop who was separated from the rest of his family. Boo-hoo. I'm actually wondering if it was a mother rain drop who decided to jump cloud and escape before her droplet children caused it to thunder and lighting.
That bike ride was exceptionally enjoyable because we live in a neighborhood with an invisible crosswalk. I was walking my bike across the street - with the kids in a bright red and yellow bike trailer and people would not stop for me crossing on the CROSSWALK. I had to stand in the middle of a 4-lane street to wait for people to slow down, which they didn't, while I shook my fist yelling "I'M IN A CROSSWALK YOU DUMB ASS!"
Let's not forget about the Mom Of The Year yelling I performed all throughout the day, "LISTEN TO ME! HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU TO (fill in the blank)?!?!?!" I felt like I had won the lottery because those were some great odds that the two of us, Logan and I, would be such a fantastic pair today.
Then, at the end of the night, I decided to throw in the towel. "That's it! We're skipping baths tonight! Where are your jammies!?" With Logan watching Finding Nemo, I take Carter upstairs to get ready for bed. As he's on the changing table, I talk to him matter-of-factly. "Listen. I've had enough. I'm tired of all of this. I don't want to hear any more screaming. I don't want to hear any more crying. No more yelling, fighting and whining. The day is done. I am done". You know what he does? He looks at me smiling the whole time with his beautiful blue sparkling eyes and his tiny white first tooth popping through his gummy grin. He giggles after every one of my sentences, thinking that this has to be the funniest conversation he's ever heard. It makes me smile and shake my head. At least he's going to bed happy.
Logan seems to be exorcised of his demons when I come back downstairs and has stopped trying to channel poltergeists even though he is chasing the cat around the kitchen and she's meowing her aggravated LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE meow. He sits down for a little longer and says he wants to cuddle. I have hope that the night will end well for him too. The exorcism doesn't stick because then he starts crying and whining, which lands him straight into bed faster than you can say "Ringling Brothers!" because this is beginning to feel like the circus from hell.
Ahhh, well. I guess tomorrow is another day.
Monday, June 08, 2009
After many of our anniversary plans fell through, we decided to go out for a nice dinner and dessert together and then party it up around town with some of our friends. And boy, did we party. First, dinner was delicious, one of the best meals I've had and of course, dessert at one of my favorite dessert spots was fantastic. We met up with our friends for margaritas and then hopped to 8 different bars all through the night. There were shenanigans and more fun than we've had in a very long time. It was a perfect way to celebrate.
A few days before our big day, I had been working on an essay to submit for Writing Group. Our anniversary was the perfect inspiration. This piece sums up why we're still married after all of the insanity that we've been through...
I believe in imperfect soul mates
In two days my husband and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Many people didn’t think we would make it this far. Some made their own attempts at splitting us up and sometimes I didn’t even think we would celebrate this milestone. But, we did and there was one belief I always held - in our darkest moments, the most troubled days of our marriage; I always believed (and always will believe) that we are soul mates.
We met when I was 17, he was 19 and both of us were completely clueless about the world we lived in. However, we did know that we were in love. It wasn’t puppy love or lust, but real honest and true love. There was an instant connection that felt like we'd been together forever and the sacrifices that we made to be with each other were easy to make. In fact, giving up the life and the religion I had to be with Bill was one of the best decisions I've ever made. The long conversations in our cars after work under the stars, the electric spark that ran through our fingers while holding hands, the almost chemical dependence with each others touch and the comfortable safeness in our hugs; we both knew right away that we were meant to be together. Even more so considering the many random places that we could have run into one another. Our marriage was something that was supposed to happen.
Being soul mates, we have one of the most imperfect marriages made up of two incredibly imperfect people. There are no rainbows and roses in this fairy tale. I don’t get flowers “just because” and he doesn’t come home to a dinner fresh from the oven. He doesn’t share his feelings or thoughts with me and I probably don’t tell him “I love you” enough. We are equally to blame for not appreciating each other enough. It really took us blood, sweat and tears to survive as long as we have. Our soul mate connection is certainly not one that most people fantasize about, with knights in shining armor and a perfect, conflict-free marriage. It’s because we are the real deal - real imperfect soul mates.
Our dynamics are interesting. We have a very yin - yang relationship where the term "opposites attract" rings true. He's the practical, concrete guy who likes to play it safe. He's logical. He has terrible eating habits and hates working out. He's patient, quiet, calm, holds his tongue and likes to read. I'm the adventurous, abstract gal who likes to take risks. I'm emotional. I'm neurotic about my eating habits and the gym is my second home. I'm impatient, loud, explosive and would rather climb a mountain than read a book. We couldn't be more different, but we are the perfect fit. We make it work. We are the opposites that make the whole. It’s as if we are the two matching pieces to a puzzle, the only two that fit together to make the rest complete.
We often talk about how we are a perfect fit despite our imperfections. While our differences can cause conflict, they also balance us. He keeps me grounded while I try to get him to think out of the box. We keep each other out of trouble by keeping one another in check. While I may be the one who is willing to make drastic life changes without a second thought, he is the one who steps in with cautious logic to make sure we're making the right decision. We make a good team. Between the two of us, we get the best of both worlds. While we've grown to understand that without each other our lives would still go on, they just wouldn't be complete. That's what's held us together. We can't imagine living life without the other.
The intensity and depth our love runs regardless of our differences is undeniable. It seems that no matter what life throws at us, we always make it through together with our love untouched. Despite all of the trials and tribulations we've been through and all of the hurt we cause one another, I will always love him with every cell in my body and I will always believe we are imperfect soul mates.
Friday, June 05, 2009
So, if you're looking for some more blogs to check out, this is a good place to find some! And on that note, if you're reading anonymously or have never commented - now's a great time to say "Hi". Or "Hey". I like that too.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
While writing, a couple of random thoughts popped into my head. First, do writers get carpel tunnel? Is this a work-related injury that I'm developing? My right wrist is really starting to ache. Second, how many writers have ADD? Because I seriously think I have it. I get so distracted and if I get stuck, the best remedy is a hot shower. I'm not kidding. I get the best ideas in the shower and have always been able to do my best thinking in there. But at this rate, I'm going to need to buy large tubs of shower gel at wholesale.
So, my essay is almost finished. I just have the last paragraph to write, which seems to be the most difficult. I've yet to take a shower today, so maybe I'll get it figured out in there. I'm going to have to because I need to have this finished in three hours.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Yesterday while I was working (writing) and the boys were playing together with cars on the floor, Carter began to wave 'bye-bye' and actually tried to say 'bye-bye' too. I was shocked. First, this is not something I've shown him before. It was like he picked it up out of nowhere! He thought it was the coolest and we waved bye-bye to each other all afternoon.
Right after he learned to say "ma ma", he had a huge surge in vocalization, babbling and talking to himself all day long. He quickly picked up on "da da". In one day.
Then, Carter likes to crawl after Logan and they play together at the bottom of the stairs using them as racing tracks. The front room is still empty too, so Logan will play with balls while Carter sits and watches. It's really cute. So, they were playing on the stairs and Logan runs over to me. "Carter did it all by himself every single day!" (every single day is now what he says after every statement). I get up and see what he's doing and lo and behold, Carter has pulled himself up and he was standing. All by himself.
It was a day full of excitement over here yesterday. Busy little bees we were!