Sunday, July 30, 2017

Today is a good day.

I rode my bike last night.  Only for 20 minutes or so, but my butt is sore this morning, so it totally counts for something.  It felt so nice outside, and feeling that breeze on my face as I pedal along - I really love that feeling.  I told Jimi last night I wanted to get up and go to the gym this morning - some mornings he stays in bed while I get up with the girls, and I wanted to make sure he knew I had a plan for the morning and it required him to be up and at 'em.  (He's so good to me, I am trying really hard to not set him up for failure, and I know that if I hadn't said anything, and he tried to catch a few more minutes of sleep, I'd end up pissed at him for ruining my plans I made in my head and never shared with him.  That's not very fair, and he never does that crap to me but I do it to him all the time.  So I'm working on it.)  Cora had us all up by 6, and she and I were both super congested and coughy.  I nearly talked myself into skipping the workout, but dammit, that's what I do every other day.  If I want to feel better, to do the things I enjoy, like working out, I have to stop making excuses and skipping shit all the time.  I'm 37 and I've never stuck with anything I've started except this marriage and parenting these girls and I'm probably only sticking to these things because Jimi is just amazing and parenting isn't one of those things you can just quit doing.  So I went to the gym. I walked Finn first, even.  And then I went to the gym, and it was as awesome as I remember.  I felt strong and got sweaty and my muscles got that awesome shaky feeling - I love everything about working out except trying to get myself to go do it.

The girls are sweet today.  Loving and laughing and playing together without fighting and not whining.  I bought mini ice cream sandwiches and some fruit snacks at the grocery yesterday - they are a hot topic of conversation today.  Geneva has been asking for fruit snacks and trying to negotiate her way into some all day - the final agreement is she can have some with snack, at 10 a.m.  She has to eat her carrots first, though.  (She chose carrots - the other options were broccoli and cauliflower, but carrots won out.)  That's good - she eats carrots by themselves.  Broccoli and cauliflower require Olive Garden Italian Dressing for dipping, as does salad.  But they eat veggies, dammit.

Looks like we have a Costco trip in our future today; Cora needs more Claritin. I still need to address that laundry.  Oooo!  Tonight is Game of Thrones.  I love Sundays.  I love today.  I love this silly little life.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


Oh, it was so good.  Almost all of it.  We went to the library for preschool playtime, where the girls listened to stories, played games, made crafts, and had a snack.  Then we went to the park.  Cora was asleep when we got there, so Jimi stayed in the car with her while G ran for the playground, and Finn and I hit the trail.  I let him off leash a little ways in, and it was going fine until he pooped.  I stopped to pick it up, he kept going and disappeared around the corner.  I called for him for a few minutes, trying to decide if I should backtrack or continue on.  I'd just decided to keep going when I heard his tags and saw his fluffy white tail bobbing along in the green of the trees.  To my pleasant surprise, he wasn't covered in poop.  I fully expected him to be covered in poop.  He likes to run off, find poop, and roll in it.  Good boy, Finn.  When we made our way back to the playground, Cora was just waking up and the girls were both ready for their hike, so we went back into the loop again.  We kept Finn on his lead this time.  G kept saying how wonderful this was, and how much she loved hiking with her whole family, and saying, "Thank you, Mommy, thank you, Daddy, for taking us here today."  She is so stinking sweet.  Cora wanted to run, which is good, because she's a slow walker, but when she runs she keeps right up.  She also wanted to run along the edge of the trail and wiped out a few times because of it.  I just knew the child was going to end up down in a holler, but she managed to keep her footing along the most treacherous parts.  (There were no treacherous parts.)  We stopped at the grocery on the way home and I ran in alone to grab the few things we needed, then we went home and the girls at ham and carrots and cauliflower and had a special fruit snack treat when they were finished.  Then I let them watch something, because we were all tired.  After their show, they played upstairs a little, but G really wanted to ride her bike, so Jimi took them outside while I stayed in and took a nap.  I've washed one load of laundry.  I've folded zero loads of laundry.  We had a great day, though, so we've got that going for us.

Go take a hike.

The weather broke in the last few days and now, this spectacular morning, the air is crisp and cool and it makes me wish we were camping.  Jimi said last night we can take the girls this morning to the park - but not just any park!  The park with the hiking trails!  It has a great little playground for the girls, and a short half-mile loop trail just past that.  The trail is easy and I think the kids will dig it, especially with promises of more playground playtime at the end.  I could sure use a good hike in my life.  I'm thinking of taking Finn and leaving Jimi at the playground with the girls so I can get an extra hike in - a half mile sure goes quickly.

Cora was up at 4 this morning, but Jimi got her back to sleep.  And then Geneva was up at 6.  It's Saturday, people!  She was so happy and giggly, though.  It's hard to be grumpy when you have a giggly four year old tickling you.  I let her have fruit flavored marshmallows after her Cheerios, so I'm probably the best mom ever...if you asked her right this minute.  Actually, she may not talk to you if you asked her right this minute; Netflix has Secret Life of Pets now, we discovered this morning.  Guess what they're doing right now?  Those girls I said weren't allowed to watch TV this weekend because we need a reset, a break from screen time?  Go ahead.  Guess what they're doing.

I'm drinking delicious coffee.  I really enjoy coffee at the kitchen table, with a laptop open to a blank screen and an open window of time to fill it with words that aren't important to anyone but me.  But that makes them important, right?  Even if they're only important to me, I still count, and things that mean something only to me still mean something.

I said 37 was going to be the year I stopped caring so much about what others think of me.  I said I was going to speak my mind, stand up for myself, say the words that are hard to say.  I said I wasn't going to be so afraid.  I'm doing a shitty job.  Part of this funk I'm in, it's fear.  I'm scared of things happening in the world around me and I retreat into myself and into my home, clinging to the things that are safe and familiar and mostly unchanging.  I need to be more brave.  Stacy and I had a good talk last night about the importance of saying hard things, speaking out when things bother you, saying "this is not okay" to someone who isn't treating you well.  I'm really good at giving her advice on how to do more of that; I'm really terrible of putting that advice to work in my own life.  Not that I have a bunch of people around me treating me poorly; the opposite, in fact.  But things that bother me, I sweep under the rug or work to ignore in the moment because I don't want to cause a stink, I don't want to be "that" girl.  Like when a co-worker says, "Yeah, I really jewed him down on the price..."  I want to punch the guy in the face.  Not literally.  I want to say, "That's a racist comment and I think you should reconsider using it in polite company."  Well, no.  What I actually want to say is, "Have you been living under a fucking rock? Do you hate Jewish people? I know that was a popular phrase a few decades back, but times have changed and it's not cool to be racist anymore.  Don't say that shit around me."  Either may make him stop using the phrase in my presence; neither will endear him to me, and may even cause conflict.  That's my hang-up.  I care way too much about what other people think about me, and I will avoid conflict at every possible turn unless there is just no other option.  Why do I do that?  Why do I allow someone else's opinions so much importance that I tamp down my own so as not to contradict theirs?  Especially in situations like this, where one of us is obviously right and the other is so obviously wrong?

I already have a bit of a reputation at work, I think, for being the liberal hippy.  The women's rights advocate who bristles at being called "hon" or "babe" by men just a bit younger than my father whom I've never met face to face but have been tasked with providing them excellent customer service, so I laugh and say you're welcome and roll my eyes and pretend it's no big deal even though it really does fucking dig at me because he would never in a million years say that to a man in this position and I know he doesn't mean anything by it but still, why is it okay?  Why is it 2017 and I have men who are strangers calling me honey on the phone when I'm simply trying to sell them steel?  Why do I have to laugh at their not-so-veiled flirtations and innuendos?  I'm not a prude; but if I object, if I don't brush it aside without blinking, I'm the problem.

Ugh.  I didn't intend to go down that rabbit hole this morning.  It's a deep hole and I don't want to be there today - I want to be outside, in the woods, hiking with my family!  And what else?  We are out of just about everything except condiments and dried beans and rice, so I probably should get to a grocery at some point this weekend.  And, surprisingly, our laundry situation is out of control; I think I have 6 baskets of clean clothes that need to be folded, and at least 3 loads of laundry to wash and dry behind that.  It never stops, maybe because I never get caught up.

Jimi did get our kitchen sink handled, though.  It's been clogging for the last week, and by Wednesday night, there was no amount of sulfuric acid that was going to unclog it.  We had a load of "clean" dishes in the dishwasher, with a pool of murky yellowish/brown water in the bottom of the machine.  The sink was full.  (We create a lot of dirty dishes.)  Jimi got an appointment for a plumber to come out, and at 9 a.m. Friday, I got a text:

My stomach dropped.  I told my coworkers I'd be back, and went outside to call him.  He sounded sick when he answered.  "So, uh, we're fucked, huh?" I said.  "Ha!  No, it's fixed.  The plumber told me to say that."  Nice, huh?  $99, problem solved.  Big sigh of relief.  And now those dishes that were in the dishwasher are actually clean and put away.  I'd like to tell you the sink is empty, but I try not to lie.  


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Back on the horse, or something.

It's overcast outside, hot and humid and the air feels pregnant with rain but it's only managing to do something that can't really even be called a sprinkle, and even that is only coming once every couple hours for 15 minutes at a time.  I took a walk at lunch anyhow, a brisk 20 minute walk on a winding path in a private park not too far from the office.  It was hot and I probably need more deodorant, but whatever.  It felt good to move. 

I'm in another one of those funks I get into - the one where I don't want to interact with anyone, where I don't want to do anything but sit and scroll through mindless crap on the internet, where I can't get enough carbs into my diet each day.  The internet is a dangerous place for my stress these days, though - every new click reveals some new vile thing happening in the world.  It's safe at home - at home, in my kitchen and living room and bedroom, I'm safe and the bad stuff is not around.  And a few weeks of avoiding the gym and eating like crap, it makes me feel bad and my clothes don't fit and then I fall into this spiral of self-loathing…

Anyone else?  I'm not the only one, right? 

Baby steps, that's what "they" say - baby steps to making better choices.  I'm not a baby steps kind of girl. I'm more of a "one big giant leap", "change all of the things all at the same time" sort of girl.  And then, when I fall down on the tiniest part of that, I quit it all and go back to into my misery spiral.  This morning, I decided to start tracking my food again.  I'll drink plenty of water, eat good things, won't overeat, hell, I may even go to the gym tonight…And then I bought some candy bars.  And ate two of them. Because, Yum! Carbs!  So the last thing I logged was a Butterfinger bar.  But hey!  I logged it!  That's a real improvement for me.  Normally, I only log for the first half of the day, until I make a bad decision, and then I quit logging and decide I'll start again tomorrow. 

Geneva and Cora - those little girls.  Geneva told me this morning she wants pizza rolls for dinner; pizza rolls and salad and grapes.  I didn't even know she'd ever had pizza rolls - apparently that's a thing they eat at daycare for lunch.  I sure wish I could afford to send my kid to the daycare that serves them actual real food, but that school was more than my mortgage each month for one kid.  I'd be better off quitting my job and fixing their food myself, except then I couldn't afford to buy real food for them either.  Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.  I'm super against not-real food; we're having pizza rolls and salad for dinner.  It's not fake pizza, it's "different" pizza. Square pizza. That's what Geneva said.

I've had a hard time writing because I haven't known what to write about.  I started thinking no one would want to read random snippets of my life, and so what's the point of writing if I don't have some profound essay or pronouncement to share?  I forgot why I started this boring blog in the first place - because I like boring blogs.  I don't read many anymore, but I still love coming across one of those rare sites where people share the mundane day to day details of their lives; the intimate portraits they paint of the lives they lead.  And really, as much as I love the dream of someday writing an amazing best seller, a more realistic goal is to just write.  I should write for myself, so I can look back and see how far I've come.  I should write for Jimi, should he ever wonder how I really feel about him.  And I should write for those girls, so they know how much their mommy loves them and what our day to day was like when they were itty bitty.  I feel so much guilt already over the parts I've missed and forgotten by not writing them down as they happened, but I am forgiving toward myself because I know these last few early years have been a whirlwind and I've done what I could.  Besides, who has time for regrets?  Life is so short.  Too short for that.

So yeah, tonight we're having pizza rolls for dinner. I bought more construction paper yesterday, so maybe we can spend some time coloring and cutting and gluing tonight - that's always a fun activity.  And we still have lots of water balloons we can play with, so long as we bathe in the Skin So Soft first so the skeeters won't eat up poor little Cora.  I'll try to keep them from watching too much TV and will probably fail miserably by 7 p.m., although if we make it to 7 p.m. without turning on the TV I will consider it a well-fought battle.  I wish we could ride bikes but the heat is so stifling it sucks all the fun out of playing outside.   I'm sure they both need a bath.

I love our boring little lives.  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Struggle Is Real

I want to write.  I do.  I also want to do yoga every day, go hiking, ride my bike, eat less than 1800 calories a day, not drink so much, not yell at my kids, get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep...the list of things I want to do is so long.  Besides, I don't have anything interesting to say.  I just have a lot of blah blah blah - I'm not doing anything special or magical over here.  That's not true.  Those two little girls are pretty special and magical, and raising them...well, that's why I don't write anymore.  At the end of the day, I'm either too tired to find words, or too ashamed of my behavior to talk about it with anyone.  Rationally, I know I'm not a bad mom.  In fact, some people may even say I'm a great mom.  Sometimes I am.  Sometimes I am really shitty at this parenting thing, though.  I am short-tempered and too demanding and my expectations are way too high for a 4 year old and a 2 and a half year old. I'm trying to learn how to go with the flow, to not stress over the little things, to follow Geneva's instructions and take a step back and ask for help when I'm frustrated, to take a deep breath and count to four when I feel so mad I want to roar.  It's hard sometimes.  Life is hard, even when you know you're on easy street.


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