Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Through blood shot eyes I watch this world come undone...

If I had a soundtrack to my life the current song that would be playing is Ben Harper's "I Will Not Be Broken".

For a little over a month I've had to fight, defend, explain, work hard against judgement every day and it's made me tired.  It's made me emotional.  It's made me really sad.  But I won't be broken.  I will find a strength inside me I didn't know I had.

Hopefully this is my last post filled with whining and complaining.  March, you've been a tough month, but April I have great hope in you.  Over are the weeks of getting bad news.  Of waiting for the "other shoe to drop".  Good news, you are on the horizon.

And I have to say, I have found out who will be there for me, support me, answer my crying with great comfort and understanding.  Even people that you've pushed away in the past will come to your door when needed.  So out of this, I have regained hope in a friendship I thought was lost. I have found hope that true love and loyalty do exist.

I present to you, Mr. Harper's beautiful words and music:

Give and you give and you give till it's gone
then the people you fight hardest for say you're wrong
before me flash all of my memories and days
so don't stand insincere at the side of my grave

I will not be broken
I won't be turned away
When it's too cold to breathe
and too dark to pray
I will not be broken

I go too far then I go further still
Time starts to collapse leaves a void none can fill
Nothing you can say to hurt me with your forked tongue
Through blood shot eyes I watch this world come undone

I will not be broken
I won't be turned away
When it's too cold to breathe
and too dark to pray

I've come too far to give up
or to be turned around
I will not be broken
I will not go down

I will not be broken
I won't be turned away
When it's too cold to breathe
and too dark to pray

I've come too far to give up
or to be turned around
I will not be broken
I will not go down

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hey, Soul Sister

So CJ had a birthday.  A 4th birthday.  My first born has made four trips around the sun.  I hope she's enjoyed the journey as much as I have.

Much to my delight, the girl has learned how to make her birthday celebration last for as long as possible.  One of her aunt/uncle duos sent a present a week before her birthday, another one a few days before her birthday, she celebrated at school on Friday, Mom Mom and Pop Pop (Marc's parents) gave her a present on Friday after school, celebrated with friends and family at her house on Saturday, and then her actual birthday on Sunday.  I like her style.

I was lucky enough to be a part of her school party; I purposely signed up to be in charge of the classroom party the month of March since it was her birthday.   Now, I was not excited, at all, that she was born on a holiday.  It bummed me out that forever March 17th would be known as St. Patrick's Day and then CJ's birthday.  I stayed away from green, clovers, leprechauns, all of it.  But that didn't stop Carty Jeanie.  At school they were building up the suspense of the big day and the girl loves celebrations, so she was down!  Therefore, I made her school party St. Patrick's Day themed.  But don't you worry, she still got to wear a birthday crown, have cupcakes and the happy birthday song!

 Pretty sure I was more excited than she was!

My beautiful birthday girl!

I had such a great time seeing her interact with her classmates, getting to actually REALLY talk with the teacher, I even got to walk with her to get the kids from music class.  It was truly a wonderful party.  Thanks to Barb and Steve for watching Harpie so I could really be engaged at school.

Then Saturday came.  All week the forecast was rainy.  Not just rain, but thunderstorms.  At 6 am, the day of the party, it was still looking bad; 60% chance of rain all day, thunderstorms in the afternoon...the exact time the party was supposed to take place.  I was worried.

But I shouldn't have been. The day Carter was actually born it rained ALL DAY!  Ever since then, it's been remarkably beautiful on her birthday celebration days.  No different this year.  It was gorgeous, perfect even.  (It did rain all day on her birthday, though, good thing we had the party a day early!)

Marc's drawing summed up the weather nicely.

Carter had a few demands for her party: a pretty dress, with gloves and a purse, plus pretty shoes, a heart shaped cake with sprinkles, nuggets, and to marry Colin.  I was able to help her with a few of those things!

 I went with Carter to pick out her dress.  I was taken aback when she picked a wedding gown!  Her father picked out the sparkly shoes, just for his baby girl.

 She looked absolutely beautiful!

Homemade heart shaped cake, think I did alright! I let CJP decorate it herself!

Now, if I had really prepared better, I would have bought a "mother of the bride" dress, but I didn't know she would pick a bridal gown.  So I showed up in less than appropriate attire! Sorry Carter.

The party was great with everyone outside enjoying the super weather, then it was time to open presents.  While we were inside we heard a few rumbles, looked out and it was raining.  Mother Nature managed to save the yucky weather for when we were inside. Thanks a bunch, momma N!

All of Carter's guests were extremely generous with their gifts.  Lots of pink, lots of princesses and super girly things, the girl was in HEAVEN! We are SO blessed to have such amazing people in our lives.  

Notice the outfit change?  I guess this was considered the reception.

Carter was super excited that after everyone left, grammy and grandpop (my parents) stayed behind to hang out with the kids.  They got to stay up late, really late!  That alone was probably the highlight of her day.

The next morning CJ woke up to a house invaded by a leprechaun.  Man was she excited!!! She loved every single thing that "sneaky leprechaun" did.  She was also veeeerrrryyy pumped up that she was going to be watching me play volleyball that day.  Every week she asks to go and every week I say no. This week was different.  Smile from ear to ear!  Carter even had the perfect outfit to wear!

New shoes and purse, compliments of grammy and grandpop!

Carter Jean, you are a doll baby!  So smart, creative, funny, and kind. When your friend Colin wasn't at school you were very concerned about him.  You asked if we could call him, when I said I didn't have his number you said we could stop by his house.  I love that you are so caring!  
And what an amazing big sister you are to Gabriel and Harper Ri.  They are a bit crazy but you are always willing to play with them, be patient, and show them how to do things.  You are amazing!!!!

Such a big girl, but still my little baby.  You're awesome, you really are! I love the little person you are and am glad to know ya.  I feel lucky and blessed. 

Happy birthday, CJP!!!!!!  May you forever sing, forever dance, and forever giggle through life.

When you first caught on to how awesome music is, you would dance to "Hey, Soul Sister" by Train.  When I hear it I am taken back to those early days. ENJOY!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Just Breathe

I notoriously have had high expectations of others during my life.  I expect from others what I expect from myself.  Maybe that's not fair, but it's the way I am.  I am extremely hard on myself, extremely.  If you have ever thought something bad of me, I have already thought it myself.  I've probably thought about it, analyzed it, worked on it.  Very few people can get to me because I beat myself up enough.  I am much harder on myself than I am on anyone else.  I am much harder on myself than anyone could be on me.

Lately, I've given myself a good ass kicking.  I have said not nice things about myself, I have thought not nice things about myself.  I've been very critical.  I've been down.  I've been stressed.

Every single day I am challenged to take on the world.  Not just for me, but for my kids, for my son.  To fight off judgement, ill will, struggles that any of us face.  It is a fight that I gladly take on, it's a fight I will gladly engage in until my death.  That's what every parent does, right?  But the strength to do that is wearing thin.  I'm cracking.

But I am vowing to think positive thoughts. Luckily I have a best friend/therapist (you should really start a tab, Lisa) that gives it to me straight.  She flat out said to stop being hard on myself; I'm doing my best and the love I have for my kid is all that he really needs.  Gotta love a friend that talks with you during your struggles and gives good advice. I wouldn't blame her one bit if she later told someone what a whackadoodle I am.   Thankfully she didn't say it to directly to me in my moment of weakness. HA!

My older brother, my sage, my Jedi Master, told me to breathe.  I forget to do that a lot.  So much so I created a sign so that I'd remember.

In the past week I've heard "This too shall pass" twice, once from my mother and once from my mother-in-law. The funny part about this is that days earlier I said it to Marc and he responded with, "What will pass?"  And I said, "I dunno, that's just what people say."  I guess what it means is that my  feelings of "I'm a terrible mother, my kids are gonna be messed up because of me, everyone hates me, everyone knows I'm doing it all wrong, I am a big ol' phony, I can't do this anymore" will pass.  That every now and again I will think, "Hey, look at my spawn, they are pretty neat, they have manners, they are funny, people seem to enjoy being around them, they are good hearted people and I did that." That the questioning and anxiety will subside enough to pat myself on the back.  That all the sleepless  nights, all the tear soaked pillows, the ranting and raving, the struggle I go through every day to be an at-home occupational therapist is worth it.  That everything I am doing is working, even if I don't see it right away.

This is my post to say "Just breathe".

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Best Thing

Today I got to take my three year old to school all by herself.  I got to hear every.single.word she said during our short car ride.  I got to hold her precious hand as we walked in to school. She was able to show me her cubby, tell me about her "number of the week", and hear her tell the teacher that she "looks just like mommy today".

I left with tears in my eyes.

My first born is celebrating her last week of being three.  Next week I will be driving a four year old to school.

Where did the time go?  Where did my baby go?

There are moments when I look at her and I still see that pumpkin head she rocked as a baby. I still smell that newborn smell.  I still see the sweetness of my baby girl.

Other moments I see a young lady.  Holding the marker just so, coloring in the lines, drawing pictures of her family, speaking in full sentences and telling fantastic stories.

Age four is a weird time.  So grown up, in toddler terms, and still so little.

Birthdays have always been important to me, each child brings up different emotions, but the first, there's something about the FIRST.  Maybe it's because it's also celebrating my birth as a mother.  As the day my husband became my child's father.  The day everything in the world changed and everything stayed exactly the same.

On Friday I get to run the classroom party for CJ's class, on Saturday we are having her big birthday party with friends and family, and on Sunday we will celebrate the actual day of her birth.  I like her style, celebrating three days in a row. That's my girl!

I am so proud of the person Carter is today.  She has compassion, intelligence, kindness, and is hilarious!!  She is a leader, a go-getter, and embraces the world.  I yearn to be her.  I pray she is as proud of herself as I am of her.  I pray that she has an inner strength to carry her through any of life's tribulations.  That no one ever changes the person she is meant to be.

In one week I'll have a four year old.  That's pretty neat.

On the drive home Ray LaMontagne's "You Are the Best Thing" played on the radio.  I am not a fan of LaMontagne's but I do heart this song, I just didn't need to hear it today. ;-)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Carry That Weight A Long Time

The Beatles' "Carry That Weight"

Lately I have felt a weight on me.  On my shoulders, my chest, deep in my soul.  I've been in my head...a lot.

The Beatles are helping me.  The only other band that I come back to in "times of trouble" is the Dave Matthews Band.  Music always helps. Always.

What do you do to release the weight?

Interesting side note/fact:  The Beatles album "Abbey Road" technically ends with the song "The End". Which means the lyric "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make" is the last line sung by the Beatles on a recorded album.  "Her Majesty" (great song) was a hidden track.  Gah I love them.