The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I am almost home free. Mike is on vacation as of 4 o’clock on Friday evening. I just have to make it until then.

The good things this week: 1) I applied for a part-time job with Scholastic and have an interview on Tuesday. The building is about 5 minutes from my house. If I take the job, I will be working for the man again, which I haven’t done since getting out of the Navy at the end of 2005. I thought it would be good to get me out of the house and away from all things domestic and mother-like for a few days a week. 2) I have been night-training my son since the beginning of last week. He has been potty-trained for almost a year and a half, but I have been lazy about trying to train him to hold it overnight. I hate washing sheets every day. But today was day 3 of waking up dry. And he slept from 7:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. this morning. I may get to go back to washing his sheets every week (or two).

ImageThe bad things this week: 1) Caylie’s night-time wanderings have my anxiety level at defcon 5 and I haven’t been sleeping well because of it. I keep getting up and checking the kids, checking the locks on the doors and roaming the house, searching for signs that she’s been out of her room. The extra anxiety and sleep deprivation has left me feeling depressed. There’s nothing like parenthood to make a person feel helpless. And I feel like nothing I do works anymore so let’s add a little bit of hopelessness in there too. 2) My creativity is at an all time low. I feel boring and unoriginal and have nothing to say that doesn’t sound like I’m bitching.

The ugly things this week: 1) The words coming out of my mouth when my daughter pisses me off make me go into a room and cry about it later. I feel like a horrible parent. 2) I left the kids alone in the kitchen with finger paints. It’s quiet. I’m thinking we’ll be having bath time very early today.

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A Day in the Life

Woke up in the wee hours of the morning this morning. You know how it is (well the ladies do) – after 2 babies your bladder is just never the same. I walked into the hallway and saw my kids’ bedroom door wide open. So I peeked in. Empty beds. Okay. Empty playroom, empty guest room, empty living room. No lights on in the house. It was 4 a.m. and I saw that the kitchen door was wide open.

Cue the true drama queen Tamara reaction. I ran, screaming, down the hall, visions of Elizabeth Smart in my head and turned on the overhead light in my bedroom. My husband was in the Army and even though he’s been out for 6 years, he still wakes up like he’s in basic – one minute he’s asleep and the next he’s on his feet and ready to attack. So the light went on, I was screaming, Mike was in battle mode and we ran outside (okay, I was the only one running, Mike was calmly doing a thorough room-to-room search before walking outside). There are my kids, in the dark, sitting on the fucking lawn chairs in their underwear with their hoodies on. “We’re looking at the stars, mom,” says my daughter, calmly, like she didn’t just give me a heart attack at the age of 37 at 4 in the fucking morning!

Looking at the stars? You could be halfway through New England by now in the back of some weirdo’s molester van about to become his 7th wife! Seriously? She woke up her brother, lured him outside at 4 in the morning, in the dark. To look at the stars.

“What were you thinking?”

“Well, we were wide awake-”

“Um, your brother told me you woke him up.”

“Well, I was wide awake.”

And there you go. A day in the life of Tamara trying to mother Caylie without killing her. We’ll be heading to Home Depot after dinner to either buy a new front door and new kitchen door complete with dead locks and chains (which I think she’s smart enough to unlock on her own), or an alarm system to alert us when the door is opened (which I’m not sure we would hear all the way across the house in our room). Or, a padlock to put on the screen door (which is a fire hazard). Too bad they don’t make kiddie crates. We could just crate train her for night time.

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That’s right Emily. It’s harder to keep them alive than you’d think.
(fyi: I’ve never even heard of whatever show this is from.)

Unfriending

Have you ever unfriended someone? I’m not talking about Facebook or Twitter or any of the other social media forums out there. I’m talking about actually telling a friend of yours that you want to end your friendship. It’s hard to do. It’s hard to tell someone something that will make them think you don’t care about them anymore, when that’s not what it’s about at all.

PCDD123-SimonSaysStampsCard (3 of 3)I was discussing this concept of “unfriending” with a friend yesterday. Because in the last year, yes, I have let someone go. I actually took the coward’s way out and just stopped answering her phone calls, which is a jerky thing to do, really. This woman was someone I had been friends with for a very long time. The reason I took the coward’s way out is that I still care about her and I didn’t want to actually have to say the words, “I don’t want to be your friend anymore.” It’s so grade-school. I know. I just think I’d rather have her think I’m an asshole and be mad at me for not answering the phone than have her feeling hurt at hearing those words. It’s easier to get over an emotional hurdle when you’re pissed off. Anger’s good like that.

I’m 37 years old. I don’t want to deal with the bullshit anymore. I need a friend that can listen to me when I need to talk and not try to make me feel like my problems are small compared to hers. I need friends that are encouraging and supportive and can actually empathize with me even if they don’t quite get the situation I may be in. When you’re a kid, you befriend people for almost no reason at all. You play together, crush on boys together, whisper secrets and pass notes. It’s great. But as adults, we befriend people who we have things in common with, whose lives are moving in similar directions. There is some kind of commonality that brings you together and makes you feel close. Sometimes those childhood friends don’t share that common thread with you anymore. Sometimes the two of you are just friends because you always have been.

I need more than that. Yeah, I’m high-maintenance. It’s healthier for me, emotionally, to be talking to the friends who are able to make me feel connected. But I still feel like a jerk.

A Thousand Words for Love

I think husbands and fathers don’t get enough credit sometimes. Oh, I hear a ton of stories from women’s mouths about all the things their husbands aren’t doing right or just aren’t doing. (Aren’t is such a weird word… aren’t.) But I feel like there aren’t (there it is again!) enough stories about what husbands and fathers are doing right. I could never be the mother I am or even the woman I am without my husband. So I want to share all the “right” things that my husband does.

litebarI saw this photo and “quote” on Pinterest a while ago. I pinned it because it’s so true. I wish I did have a thousand words of love to say to Mike when he is doing everything right (which is most of the time) because he deserves to hear them.

But then I realized that there are a thousand words for love. Love means different things to different people. And I’m going to share all my love words for my husband with you.

Mike,

  • You listen when I need to talk
  • You laugh with me when I’m happy
  • You’re quiet when I need to cry
  • You hold me when I need it and you hold me when I don’t know I need to be held
  • You understand my sense of humor, my crazy emotions, my moods and thought process, my needs and wants – you understand everything that makes me me
  • You take the kids somewhere just so I can be alone in the quiet and think
  • You support me, provide for me and pay the bills so I won’t get stressed out about money
  • You like my cooking and praise me for it constantly
  • You thank me when I do something as mundane as the laundry, or running the dishwasher
  • You are always smiling and have a positive outlook about everything in your life and in our life together
  • You are courageous
  • You are strong in both body and mind
  • You work hard
  • You are trustworthy and trusting
  • You are my best friend, my lover, my confidant
  • You are respectful, thoughtful, considerate and kind
  • You are always there when I need you
  • You do the dishes because you know that I hate doing them
  • You treat me with respect – always
  • You have never, ever said something horrible to me when we argue or made me feel badly about myself when I’ve made a mistake
  • You admit when you’re wrong
  • You are passionate in all aspects of your life
  • You let me sleep in on the weekends
  • You never give up
  • You are decisive, successful and open-minded
  • You make me feel appreciated, heard, understood, cherished, beautiful, secure and honored
  • You encourage me to do the things I love and celebrate all my accomplishments with me
  • You steal my pillow because you like the way it smells
  • You are an amazing father
  • You have patience when I don’t
  • You are affectionate, caring and loving with me and our children
  • You watched our children being born without batting an eyelash
  • You are manly without being condescending or too macho
  • You never said so, but I could sense your discomfort as you watched me labor in pain during my births – I knew you would gladly have taken the pain on yourself
  • You are always gentle with our children
  • You always make time to pay complete attention to our children when they speak to you, even when they’re telling you something ridiculous
  • You never brush me off
  • You are a dreamer and share your dreams with me
  • When something random reminds me of a song and I just start singing it, you sing along with gusto
  • Your love of horror movies is both cute and (for me) horrifying
  • You have never judged me
  • You always make me feel special, important and intelligent
  • You never make a mess and leave it for me to clean up
  • You wrote me love letters when you were deployed in the Army
  • You’ve saved every letter I wrote to you when we were apart (and then hid them in your dresser drawer so I know they actually mean something to you)
  • You call me from work sometimes just to hear my voice and you freely admit that you miss me when we’ve only been apart for a few hours
  • You have made all of my memories of the last decade good ones
  • You call your mother every weekend
  • You are my hero, my rock, my protector
  • You let me switch sides of the bed when we moved so I didn’t have to sleep closest to the door
  • You always ask me if I need help with anything
  • You make me a better person
  • You ask my advice and actually listen
  • You talk to me about everything and I love feeling like I always know what’s going on in your head
  • You make me feel safe physically, emotionally and mentally
  • You are the best thing that has ever happened to me
  • You make everything better and brighter in my life
  • You still take my breath away
  • You are the best gift I have ever gotten
  • I can’t imagine my life without you in it
  • I wish that I could have more kids just to have more of you alive in this world
  • I will always feel so lucky that you’re mine
  • I will always forgive you when we argue
  • I am proud of you and proud to be with you
  • I admire your confidence
  • I respect your character and integrity
  • I feel like my life with you is a journey that keeps getting better and better the longer we walk side by side
  • I wish that I had met you sooner so that I could have loved you even longer
  • I will never stop looking for more words to tell you how wonderful you are
  • I will love you for the rest of my life
  • A thousand words of love will never be enough to describe all the things you do right and how much I feel for you

Re-blogged:10 Ways Having a Toddler is Like Being in Prison

I came across this blog post yesterday from dadandburied.com. After reading it to my husband, who fervently agreed with everything the author wrote, I found myself nodding my head and laughing. And then wishing we had our very own hotbox in which to place ourselves in solitary confinement.

In the Name of the Toddler: 10 Ways Having a Toddler is Like Being in Prison.

As the author, Mike Julianelle, professes, “Having kids is not all it’s cracked up to be.” No Mike, it really isn’t. So read this awesome blog post and laugh your ass off. And if you’re not a parent, laugh anyway. Because it’s all true!

I’m off to go read everything else this guy has blogged about. Later alligator!

Growing Pains

I’m just coasting along this week. The kids had their last day of camp yesterday and as I left I was confirming the date and time for my youngest’s “visit day” at his new nursery school. When I finished buckling him into his car seat, I got in the car and sat there for a moment thinking, My baby is starting nursery school. My oldest is starting Kindergarten. My babies aren’t really babies anymore. And it kind of makes me sad.

I like that they can use the bathroom by themselves, brush their own teeth (for the most part), put on their own clothes, feed themselves, even pick up after themselves when prompted. But there is just something so poignantly sweet in my memories of my children when they were babies. When there was no talking back and no arguments. When all they needed was me: my touch, my smile, my breastmilk, the sound of my voice. I have tried explaining my love of the baby stage to my husband who says that the older they get, the more he enjoys being a dad. But that is because he’s the fun one. I’m the one who’s doing the day-to-day nurturing. And babies are happy with the simple things. Mom can do no wrong. Nothing has ever made me feel as needed, as necessary, as the look on my babies’ faces as they smiled up at me while I held them. Those little wide-eyed nursing smiles. Oh how I wish I could have recorded them somehow. Nowadays, I don’t that look. I get whines and begging and outright defiance because they always seem to want more, more, more and nothing is ever enough. *Sigh* What I wouldn’t give to see that look of complete love and trust on my children’s faces again.

I know I’m not going to be having any more children. I’ve come to accept that fact. And I’ve been able to get my fill of baby smells and snuggles from my new nephew, who is the cutest thing you’ll ever see. Holding him here and there has appeased whatever crazy hormonal urges my uterus sends to my brain in the hopes of another baby. I’m just feeling… lost at the thought of how quickly my kids have grown. And the next step in my life as a mom will begin in only 3 more weeks when I’ll be sending them both off to school.