Saturday, April 19, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
Posted by holly at 5:26 PM
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
Sunday, April 13, 2014
If you have been reading my blog for a few years, you might remember me bragging about still not acting like a Midwesterner in this November 2010 post. Three and a half more years have passed, and let me tell you, the Midwest is a part of me now. I don't know if anyone will ever recognize me as being from a coast at this point. I have gone full out Nebraska. Here's what's changed from my list:
1. I still haven't worn tennis shoes with jeans
Correction: I am wearing Chuck Taylors with jeans right now.
2. I've managed to remain under 180 lbs
Correction: Just three weeks ago I tipped the scale at 203 lbs.
11. I still can't cook
No correction needed here, I can't cook - but I am attempting now that I stay at home.
12. I've never ordered from Omaha Steaks
Correction: I have, but it was for work, so I don't know if it counts.
13. My outdoor grill is tiny
Correction: we got a new grill and it is Midwest large. I have not used it, though.
14. I don't have a quilt on my bed
Correction: I don't, but I bought one for my son. I think they are so quaint and homey.
15. All my silverware matches
Correction: I have not one, not two, but three different partial sets of silverware in my top kitchen drawer.
17. My hair is not brown
Correction: it is not now, but it was last year for a short stint. It's just easier than constantly highlighting this shit. Midwesterners recognize and gravitate towards convenience and ease.
So out of 20, I have rescinded 8 of my earlier statements. That makes me 40% Nebraska and 60% West coast, right?
Sure, if you only take into account this list and don't include what didn't make it on the original list - like I love going to Cracker Barrel and haven't worn heels in a long time and will go days in a row now without putting on makeup and I never even think to call the interstate the freeway anymore.
I might be full out Nebraskan now. Someone go buy me a Huskers shirt. Why even fight it at this point?
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Do you ever wonder what happens to your thoughts that you never release? I think they stay inside of you and become a part of your psyche - affecting your actions and decisions and emotions and attitude.
For me, writing is my release - I write and set free those thoughts that were captive in my mind. My mind is freed of those thoughts, but I can always reference them again if I ever want to remember what I was feeling or thinking at any given time.
I write both to remember and to forget.
Perhaps that is why therapy works for people - because by saying their thoughts out loud to someone, they are setting their minds free of what they were harboring before.
I am a somewhat private person in real life, but on paper, I am an open book. I found something I wrote in 2005 that I will share a part of with you here:
You don't need to know...
That sometimes I cry at night because I feel inadequate. I feel like I've failed my parents for having a daughter, and I feel like I've failed my daughter for not being her parent.
That I write what I can't say out loud.
That I am different versions of me depending on my audience.
That I sometimes say things hoping to convince myself it's true.
I read this the other day and was grateful that I had written this down so I could free my mind of what it had been holding onto. Writing is my therapy. It allows me to release and reset. I am going to start journaling at night again to allow myself to release what I didn't even know I had been harboring; to make myself a happier and gentler person.
Friday, April 11, 2014
I am so thankful for all of you who have helped me with these two kids. Whether it's watching one of them or buying us dinner or giving us baby and toddler stuff or visiting in the hospital; our friends and family have been really great.
Before, when people offered to help me, I brushed it off as a social nicety that people said but didn't really mean so I never took them up on it. But now - geez, with two kids and a broken abdomen, I can use all the help I can get. Fair warning: don't offer to help me - I will take you up on it. Perhaps immediately.
Yesterday was beautiful and Brandon was dying to go outside. I went out there for a few minutes with him, but Holden didn't like the breeze and it was too bright for his little eyes, so after 10 minutes, I told Brandon we were going inside. Brandon ran after me and tripped in a small hole left from when we had a tree removed. When he tried to get up, he immediately collapsed back to the ground.
I was afraid he had sprained his ankle. Four hours later, when he still wasn't walking or bearing weight on his foot, I called the doctor. They could get him in immediately. So I was all set to load the two kids into the car and drive to the doctor's office, until I stopped for a second and tried to picture hauling an infant and a two-year-old in simultaneously. My mind couldn't fathom saddlebagging the two of them with my broken abdomen, so I dialed up my friend Melinda who lives only a mile away. I could drop off Holden at their house on my way to the doctor.
Brandon's sprain is very minor and he doesn't need a cast and is already walking around with just a slight limp. But damn, yesterday was tough. It gets easier. My friend who has three boys and is pregnant with her forth child texted me, "I remember going from 1 to 2 and it's not easy but just remember every day is one day closer to what will be 'easy'!!" I remind myself of that every day. One day at a time. Fuck, I need a long nap and two bottles of wine just from these last three days on my own. But three of the hard days are down, many easier days are yet to come.
Thanks to all of you who are helping make the hard days a little easier on me. I am truly grateful.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
I never thought Holden's birth would be a C-section. After all, I've had two children vaginally already. But we can't control everything in life (much to my chagrin). Although the delivery itself is easier since you're knocked out and don't feel anything, the recovery is so much worse. This is the time when your hormones are all out of whack and you're trying to feel normal again after finally not being pregnant, but with a C-section, your body needs to recover after going through a major abdominal surgery.
And that fucking sucks.
I'm a go-go-go kind of person. I don't sit around and watch movie or TV marathons. I always have a to do list, I'm always in the middle of a book, a project. Sitting around idly isn't for me. I feel lazy. So "taking it easy" has never entered my vernacular before.
Do you know what it is you're not supposed to do after a C-section? Basically everything. You're not supposed to exercise or do housework or lift anything over 10 pounds. I might be able to stick to that if Holden was my only child, but I also have a 27-pound two-year-old. Up until yesterday afternoon, I got by fine without lifting Brandon. My mom was here and she could lift him in and out of his crib and high chair for me. But today was my first day on my own with these two kids.
It was tough. Physically and emotionally exhausting. On top of my recovery, we're working on disciplining Brandon and forcing him to grow up. That means no more pacifier during the day, transitioning him out of his crib and into his big boy bed, and teaching him to go to bed without me rocking him to sleep. The poor kid has a lot going on on top of a new brother he has to share my attention with.
So today when I wouldn't give him his pacifier, he wailed like a fucking banshee non-stop for 30 minutes. This caused Holden to start crying, too. Here I am, in the middle of cooking dinner, counting down the minutes until Steve gets home and trying not to break into a tantrum of my own. And now, I'm sitting here with a glass of wine, listening to him cry hysterically because I'm not rocking him to sleep, and wondering how women do this. How do moms raise two young children while recovering from a C-section correctly? Because I can tell you with certainty that I'm doing it wrong.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Thursday, April 3, 2014
My brother read this parable while at Jimmy John's the other day and it is a great reminder of work/life balance. I don't work anymore, so rather than feeling useless because of it, this story is a good reminder that I'm doing what people work so hard to do - spending time with the ones I love. And while they still live in my home and are growing and learning each day. I'm a lucky woman.
The Mexican Fisherman and the Investment BankerAn American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “only a little while.”
The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?
The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.
The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, and stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”
The American scoffed. “I have an MBA from Harvard, and can help you,” he said. “You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, and eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middle-man, you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening up your own cannery. You could control the product, processing, and distribution,” he said. “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles, and eventually to New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “Oh, 15 to 20 years or so.”
“But what then?” asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time was right, you would announce an IPO, and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?”
The American said, “Then you could retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigos.”
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Love is lovelier, the second time around
Just as wonderful, with both feet on the ground
It's that second time you hear your love song sung
Makes you think perhaps that love, like youth, is wasted on the young
Loves more comfortable the second time you fall
Like a friendly home the second time you call
Who can say, what brought us to this miracle we've found
There are those who'd bet
Love comes but once - and yet
I'm oh so glad we met
The second time around
The Second Time Around - sung by Frank Sinatra
This song has been in my head. It reminds me of raising an infant for the second time. I'm more prepared and a little bit wiser than the first time. Our night time routine is down pat a week in. Thanks so much to my friend Melinda who is also raising two young boys - she lent me her bassinet and I'm actually using it this time. It's a god send. If you're about to have an infant, get a bassinet or something where you can sleep right near your baby. Not running up and down the hall and rocking back to sleep has given me many more minutes of precious sleep.
Awhile ago I convinced Steve to buy a mini fridge and a second bottle warmer to keep upstairs. With Brandon, I ran downstairs to the kitchen for each bottle feeding. Never again. Best $100 I ever spent. And I've spent a lot of money. Holden is a good sleeper. He is really making this much easier for his mama than he has to. And I'm so thankful, because after having a C-section, I realize that recovery is much longer than with a vaginal birth. Sleep is even more crucial. Every moment counts. And this is going OK so far.
Being a parent is wonderful and great with just one. But with this second one, you get to see the whole process from a new perspective. Knowing that Holden is my last baby, I will cherish every second of his infanthood. After all, I know what is yet to come - tantrums and shrieking and picking out his own clothes and that fucking "no" word. Kids are wonderful at every age, but damn, the not talking back stage is blissful in comparison.