My Real Day

I keep re-reading my blog post about my imaginary day. It just sounds so lovely and relaxing. Then I thought, maybe I should show my wonderful followers what a real day looks like for me.

6 a.m. The alarm goes off, jarring me awake.. But I have discovered that my sound machine/alarm clock has a wind chime tone. I awake to wind chimes chiming, as I slap at the clock to make it STOP. Then I roll over and pull the covers over my head while mumbling unintelligibly about the unnaturalness of waking up when it’s still dark.

6:30 a.m. I get up and pour big bowls of Fruity Pebbles for everyone. What? It has the word fruit in it.

7:50 a.m. I drop Caylie at school and drive north for a 9 a.m. appointment. On the way, Chase and stop at a store and buy dental floss to kill some time and keep our gums healthy.

9 a.m. My Physical Therapist guides me through a series of movements so she can evaluate my pelvic movement, gait, and muscle alignment. I’m totally jacked up on my entire left side. She then guides me through a session of stretches to open up my rib cage and stretch the muscle that attaches my pelvis to my ribs. Easy schmeezy.

10:30 a.m. Muscles I didn’t realize I had in my back are starting to ache.

11 a.m. I make lunch for Chase and myself. Then I talk on the phone while I throw dinner in the crockpot. Eventually, I remember that I have a lunch waiting for me to eat it.

12 p.m. Chase and I dance around the living room doing ninja moves. We pretend we’re Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and are obnoxiously loud with our kiai as we make our pretend hits. My neighbors were surely eating themselves up with jealousy at our boisterousness.

12:30 p.m. I throw in a load of laundry. I finish the erotic vampire urban fantasy romance novel that I started yesterday. Then I grab my Kindle and cruise Facebook and check my emails in a semi-quiet house. (I replaced the batteries in Chase’s Imaginext T-Rex. It provided hours of me-time).

1:30 p.m. I put in a second load of laundry. I fold my first load of laundry. Then I start cleaning my house. I’ve been so lazy about cleaning lately that this proves to be a daunting task. Chase provides running commentary on how well things are looking while I put away toys.

2:50 p.m. We walk to the bus stop and wait for Caylie. The balmy 47 degree day in Maine makes my newfound back muscles feel like they will shatter with any sudden movements.

3:15 p.m. I break up a fight over the newly noisy T-Rex and wish that I had a nanny.

3:30 p.m. I put on a movie for the kids and write a blog.

4 p.m. I’m off to fold my second load of laundry while my crockpot cooks a pot roast.

Bet you’re wondering what will happen next! So exciting! I’ll give you a preview of what’s to come: We’ll eat, clean up, nag my daughter to get ready for bed, brush teeth, sing lullabies, yell at the kid who keeps coming out of her room while we’re trying to watch a horror movie and I’ll be asleep by 9:30 p.m. Riveting, isn’t it?

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A Day in my Imaginary Life

My friend Mary over at Contrary Mom is currently participating in “A Day in the Life of…” project. I’m finding it fascinating to see what other people are doing with their days. I thought about doing this, but my life is really boring and I’d fall asleep just blogging about the details. So instead, I’m going to blog about what I would like to be doing on a typical day. (We’ll assume, for this imaginary day, that funds are unlimited. Wouldn’t that be nice?)

9 a.m. I am gently brought to consciousness by the soft chime of a tibetan singing bowl.

9:15 a.m. I eat breakfast in bed. I’d like the raspberry coconut pancakes they serve at my favorite breakfast place in Monterey, CA. (First Awakenings; you need to eat there. You do.) I get to eat gluten without consequence in my imagination!

9:45 a.m. My personal yoga instructor guides me through a session that awakens and energizes me for the rest of the day.

11 a.m. I make notes on an idea for my next best-selling novel while I soak my feet and get a head, neck and scalp massage at Soakology. And I think I’ll try their Apple Pie Chai while I’m relaxing too.

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12:30 p.m. My girlfriends and I meet up for lunch, eat some amazing food that I don’t have to cook and laugh so obnoxiously loud in our joi de vivre that other people glare at us in jealousy. Because we are enjoying ourselves that much. Truly.

2 p.m. I sit down and work on my novel in a quiet house.

4 p.m. I pick the kids up from the nanny and consult with our personal chef about what we’d like for dinner tonight.

4:30 p.m. I spend quality time with my family.

6 p.m. We eat our gourmet dinner and share about our day. No one interrupts anyone else or tries to talk over them. There is no yelling and the kids eat all their vegetables without complaint.

7 p.m. The live-in nanny bathes the kids and makes sure they’re ready for bed.

7:30 p.m. I sing lullabies and tuck in my kiddos. They fall asleep immediately and NEVER wake me up in the middle of the night.

8 p.m. Mike and I go and have some “alone time.” For 2 hours.

10 p.m. I’m so exhausted from all that alone time, that all I can do is lay in bed and read.

11 p.m. I fall asleep to the cracking sound of the fireplace and the summer nights track on my sound machine.

My Wild Child

I want to share this great blog post I just read on Scarymommy.com written by Kristen from Abandoning Pretense. I read it and a lot of the things Kristen wrote made me feel like she pulled those thoughts right out of my brain.

What You Don’t Know About That Wild, Unruly Child

“When you pass out your child’s birthday party invites, he’s the kid you’d just as soon not invite. At soccer practice, he’s the one on your child’s team who makes you think, why do his parents even bother bringing him? He’s obviously not interested. At the grocery store, he’s the brat who makes you think, his parents need to learn to control their kid. But there are some things you don’t know about that wild, unruly child…” read more

I have a wild child. She’s impulsive and aggressive and loud. She can be irritating and sometimes goes too far in social situations. And my heart breaks for her when she isn’t invited to the parties and she tells me she just wants to be with her friends (who don’t always want to be with her). She wants to play sports because she wants to be with her friends, but she isn’t interested in playing; she cries at the practices and stares off into space during the game. Or she is so focused on the kids around her – trying to start a conversation with them, to hug them – that she forgets she’s supposed to be playing a game.

I was in the grocery store a few weeks ago with both kids. They were both acting crazy, especially my wild child, and I kept getting these looks. You may know them. You may give them to other moms. That out-of-the-corner-of-the-eye look. The condescending, judging look that says, “Why can’t you control your kids. My kids would never behave that way in public.” Well, I was getting the look. And in the very last aisle, I lost it and yelled. This old lady was standing there squeezing loaves of bread and she gave me a harsh look, like I was monster to yell at my kids like that. So what did I do? I gave her the alpha female stare down, of course. I looked her in the eyes and just stared at her until she not only dropped her eyes, but stopped squeezing bread and left the aisle. I don’t feel bad about it, ’cause lady, you have no idea how frazzled I was.

Parenting a wild child is demanding and draining. And that wild child is still only a child. She’s not a bad kid; she just hasn’t figured out how to control herself yet. She doesn’t always understand why something she wants to do is inappropriate or rude or dangerous. Give her a break. Give her mom a break. And unless you’re going to smile at me and give me that conspiratorial wink that says you understand, keep your looks to yourselves!

I Thirty-hate Thirty-Eight

I’m another year older. It’s not like 38 is a milestone birthday or some societal harbinger of doom, but I wasn’t looking forward to this birthday. Now that it’s passed… I’m still not too thrilled about it. Every year I think, “Hey, you’re only as old as you feel and half the time I still have to call my dad to ask him how to do something. That makes me young, right?” Right?

This year, I’m feeling my age. Maybe it’s why 38 hasn’t wowed me so far. You would think that the under 40 crowd wouldn’t have arthritis aches and pains, bodily shit getting out of whack if you barely exert yourself beyond your normal limits, or, *gasp* hormonal craziness making you feel like menopause is breathing down your neck. Nothing makes a gal feel like she’s old as much as the thought of menopause on the horizon. I thought I was cool with the reality that my childbearing days are behind me, but today it kind of hit me for some reason. I’m not going to have any more children. Not because I don’t want to, but because I physically can’t. And whether that reason is because of my age or for no logical reason at all, it makes me feel old and even a little unfeminine. It makes no sense; I realize that. I don’t want to start all over again with sleepless nights and diaper changes, but the fact that my body made the choice to stop at two makes me feel defective somehow, like my body is breaking down and everything that makes me a woman is shriveling up and dying.

Thirty-eight is too young for this. I mean, I still have 29 years until I hit retirement age. In my head, I should be pain free and physically perfect. I should be like Michelle Duggar, spitting out kids into my 40s and never raising my voice or complaining about anything. Okay, back up. I lost my mind for a minute there. There’s no way I can go through life without raising my voice. Let me shout it out then, a sort of therapy if you will: I thirty-hate thirty-eight! I’m young dammit!

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What Not to Say

It’s a rainy day here in Maine. It’s also the only day this week that I don’t have something going on. So I’m hanging out in my jammies, doing laundry and watching movies with my little guy while I sit on a tennis ball. (It’s supposed to massage your muscles. So far it just hurts.) I picked up my Kindle while re-watching Wreck-It Ralph for the second time in 2 days to browse my Facebook newsfeed. And I saw a post of a friend of a friend who was letting everyone know that she had just lost her baby.

I clicked on her status post and read each of the 50+ comments written there. I can’t explain why, but maybe it was some morbid need to see what her loved ones had to say about this devastating moment in her life. And then I got upset for her. Because some people just say the absolute wrong things. You can’t blame these women either, because they haven’t gone through the experience. They are trying to be loving and supportive. But they still say things that can almost demean what their friend is going through.

So if you have a friend who has recently experienced a miscarriage, these are, in my opinion, some things NOT to say:

You already have 2 beautiful children. This may be true, but it isn’t comforting. I don’t care how many children a woman has, she will still deeply mourn the baby she has lost. A friend shared with me that her husband’s grandmother had 14 children and had one miscarriage. Only a couple of years ago that grandmother shared that she still hadn’t gotten over the loss of that one child. She still mourned some 50+ years later. And what about the women who miscarry that don’t have any children? Does that mean they are entitled to feel more grief? Grief is grief, whether other people think we’re entitled to it or not. Please don’t try to demean the depth of a woman’s grief by reminding her she already has other children. Because for me, it made me feel like I was being told that I shouldn’t be too upset about my loss because I had already attained the ultimate goal of a woman: I had already experienced motherhood. It made me feel guilty that I had children when some women couldn’t and I should get over my grief more quickly so as not to possibly offend the women miscarrying who didn’t have any children yet.

Everything happens for a reason. This is a tough one. Partly because I believed it when I kept losing baby after baby. I wanted to believe there was a reason. I had to believe there was a reason. And I couldn’t figure out what that reason could possibly be. I became so fixated on trying to determine why I was miscarrying that I couldn’t allow myself to complete the stages of grief. I thought if I could figure it out I could fix it and get pregnant again and finally have that elusive third baby I kept wishing for. I really struggled with my faith during this. Because I kept hearing about how God has a plan for me and knows what’s right for me and blah, blah, blah. I listened to this and tried so hard to embrace it, to take comfort in that thought. I had friends and family praying for me and with me and that support really meant a lot. But I asked myself a lot of ugly questions. Like, is this some kind of message? If so, what’s the message? Am I not being a good enough mother to the kids I already have? Am I sick with some hidden illness I’m going to discover is the culprit behind my losses? Am I supposed to experience this so that I can write about it, so that I can help other women get through it too? I had my fourth miscarriage at the end of April this year. I was still grieving my other three and was so overwhelmed. Then, a few months later someone said something to me that enabled me to finally let go and start to heal. She said, “We want to believe there is a reason for everything bad that happens in our life, but the reality is, sometimes things happen for no reason at all. They just happen.” And there you have it. Shit happens and it doesn’t have to mean a damn thing.

So now I’m crying for a stranger who is going through something horrible. A woman who will probably hide her grief during the day so that she doesn’t upset those 2 beautiful kids she has and who will sob into her pillow when she goes to sleep. If she were my friend, what I would say to her is this: My heart is breaking for you. I love you and am here for you if you ever need anything. Let yourself cry. Your kids will be okay.

Be there for your friend. Don’t try to say things to make her feel better. She needs to cry. She needs to get all those emotions out. Let her know she can do that with you. Give her a hug and don’t let her go right away. Make her feel loved and supported just by your presence, even if it’s just on the phone.

And now I’ll get off my soapbox and go back to sitting on my tennis ball.

The Pain in my Ass

I bet you think I’m talking about a person, don’t you? Nope. I am, literally, talking about a pain in my ass. To be precise: my piriformis muscle. Yeah, I never heard of it either, but it sounds a lot better to be talking about the pain in my piriformis than the pain in my ass.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever blogged about this before, but I’ve been having back pain for a long time. I’d say, oh, 6 years or so. Right after my son was born, almost 4 years ago, I finally went to see my doctor about it. She sent me to an Osteopathic Physician. At the age of 34, I was told, after a series of x-rays, that one of my legs is longer than the other. And that walking and running (thank you, navy) without a lift to equalize the length of my legs had caused my spine to curve in order to compensate, and had pushed the top of my tailbone toward my spine which caused it to press on 3 discs in my lower back. Which are now arthritic. I have also worn out the outsides of my kneecaps because of the awkward gait I’ve had since taking my first steps.

What does this have to do with a pain in my piriformis, you ask? For the last year, I’ve been telling my Osteopath, while she was adjusting my back, that my left hip hurt. The pain has continued and now is so bad that I can’t even sleep on my left side. She believes that a trigger point in my butt is to blame. She thinks I should get a cortisone shot right in the old keister to get the muscles to release. I’m guessing this means I have a tight ass. And not in the complimentary way, either. Too bad. I always wanted a JLo booty.

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The Piriformis Revealed, or Everything you didn’t want to know about my ass. (Note: this is not an actual image of said ass.)

For some reason, the idea of a needle being injected in such a vulnerable place is unsettling. I’m not afraid of needles. I don’t like shots, per se, but I don’t have an irrational fear of them either. This spot, however, is making me have some Navy bootcamp flashbacks and I’m thinking maybe I was slightly traumatized by one little incident there.

In the first few weeks of basic, my division had to go down to the medical facility and we all had to get a massive round of shots. It was pretty standard military medical care. We rushed on over there, waited for a really long time, and then had to line up and walk through what felt like the bottle conveyor belt from the opening theme of Laverne and Shirley. We walked down a line, stopped when told, and a nurse on either side of us would give us a shot in the arms. Then we’d take a few more steps, stop, and two more nurses would give us two more shots in our arms again. I don’t remember how many I got; I wasn’t all that concerned. Then came time for the penicillin shot. They separated the girls from the guys and marched about 20 girls into a room at a time. They must have been coming out a different door because we wouldn’t see them again until we too had bandaids on our butts. When my turn came around, I marched into this big sterile room that had a long table in the center with no chairs. Ten of us lined up facing the table on one side and the other ten on the other side. We stood there looking across at the other girls while we were told to drop our drawers, bend over, place our forearms on the table top and wait for our shot. Once the shot had been administered, we were allowed to pull up our pants and wait until we were all ready to march out of the room. I wasn’t all that nervous, although it’s kind of weird leaning over a table bare-assed with strangers (both male and female nurses) hanging around behind you. But then the girls across the table from us started getting their shots. And we could see each pained expression, every tear escaping every eye and each poignant gasp as the giant (I kid you not, it was gianormous) needle was plunged into their backsides. To make matters even more horrific (yes, it’s possible, wait for it…) one of the girls in my line jumped or twitched or something and the needle snapped off in her ass cheek. Blood and penicillin were spurting, nurses (they were actually nursing students, I later discovered) were scrambling around, shouting commenced and there I was, leaned over a table, cold air on my cheeks, in a horrified eye-lock with the girl across the table. Our telepathic conversation sounded like this:

Are you fucking kidding me? We’re dreaming this right now, right?

No, it’s really happening. This is a goddamn nightmare. Can you believe we actually signed up for this voluntarily?

My ass is so cold right now that I’m shivering.

Don’t do it! I’ll bet that’s what happened with the girl currently sporting a giant needle in her ass. You shiver and that shit’s gonna spurt!

Oh. My. God. I can’t bend over this table another second or I’m going to scream, scream I tell you!

You take out the Petty Officer on the left and I’ll take out the one guarding the exit. Ready, set…

I’m next! Holy sh- Ow! Ouch, ohmygodthat’sagiantneedleinmyass!

Thank God that’s over. Let’s never speak of this again. In fact, I’ve already forgotten your name for all time.

Can you blame me for not wanting a cortisone shot in the keister? I’m scarred for life when it comes to shots in that region. Instead, I went for a trigger point therapeutic massage this morning. It was both relaxing and painful. Now all I have to do is convince my husband that its beneficial to my health to become a member at Massage Envy and get a massage once a month so I can avoid the dreaded butt shot. I’m not so sure my penicillin shot story will move him to part with the money. Maybe if I act it out for him….