Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Meeting the Challenge

Some days are just so long, and so exhausting, the thought of sitting down and writing about it, is really too much.

I thought about skipping the blogging tonight. I mean, I've skipped a few nights already.

But maybe these are exactly the kinds of days I should share. The kind of day that is really just all about how I don't have it all together.

To start, I didn't wake up this morning. My 6 o'clock alarm went off, and I hoped to snuggle in my warm bed for a few minutes, but the doorbell rang. Who would ring my doorbell at 6 am?

No one.

It was 7:10, and my neighbor had shown up for his ride to school. With his mom, who'd brought Holiday Treats. Bless her. I had a mild heart attack. I had literally slept through two alarms that should have each gone off twice.

I ended up running around like a banshee for ten minutes in my pajamas trying to get everyone out the door.

The day continued in much that same fashion, with me getting ahead of things, only to fall behind.

On a totally unrelated note, some people came from the county today, to do some work on my house, through the Healthy Homes grant. Mold removal, new toilet, a few plumbing issues, a new storm door, fixing the rain gutters, and some new window panes.

It was very exciting. Especially the toilet. Seriously, we've had nothing but trouble with the one that was replaced. The plumber said it was the worst one on the market. The new one looks so shiny, and...new. It's totally weird, but I just want to stand in the bathroom and stare at it.

Trying to keep the kids happy while all the work was going on, and the pets too, was a challenge.

Just about everything today was a challenge.

Some days are just like that. And all you want to do at the end of it, is a big fat nothing.

But you keep going. Because that's the job. You get up early, you go to bed late, and you're busy pretty much all the time in between. And the little challenges that felt like too much, fall away as you get ready to do it again tomorrow.

And at the end of the day, there's wine. Wine tonight brought to me by my awesome neighbor. Seriously, I'm so grateful for my amazing neighbors and friends. I'd be lost without them.

*****
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

This Is What Service Looks Like

Piper & Detective Edwards
This is Detective Edwards. This is what service looks like.

Tonight, he was Piper's partner for the Heroes and Helpers program.

Funded by a grant from Target, and other local businesses, members of our local Police Department, Sheriff's Department, and the Minnesota State Patrol, come together to take a bunch of kids in the community, Holiday Shopping.

I don't talk about money much, because how boring is that? But being unable to go back to work because I had to be home and care for my disabled child, has meant some strain on our finances. We're doing better, but sometimes it's still a struggle. Especially around the holidays.

It seems Piper's counsellor at school, whom she knows well, put her up for the program, and she was chosen. She was so excited. She was also incredibly touched that she was thought of. And so was I.

So, tonight 14 kids got paired up with Law Enforcement Officers, and rode along in their squad cars to Target. She shopped for over an hour, which I'm told she's very good at.

Then they went back to the precinct to wrap gifts, and eat an unholy amount of pizza and cookies.

When I picked her up, he pushed pizza on me.

I told him he was a bad influence, which he admitted with a grin.

We talked for a while about  growing up in California (he's a transplant as well), how we're both glad to live in Minnesota now, about how Piper has turned him on to her favorite snack (pocky), and about  modern police work. He's a Doctor Who fan from way back, and explained that he was Piper's partner because she needed a geek to shop with. So, clearly he was one of our people!

In a time when we can look around and be bombarded by all that is wrong in the world, and in the world of police work, I think it's important to note that there is also much that is being done right. In a room that was a rainbow of  both kids and officers, something good was being done. Relationships were being fostered, and trust was being born.

Officers and members of the community came and gave of themselves to make some children very happy for the holidays.

True service doesn't make the nightly news. It's years of carrying a heavy belt, of helping people on a small and large scale. It's being a first responder, and the last to leave a scene. It's putting yourself on the line every day for the public, and hoping to make a difference. This is what service looks like.

For another view of what service looks like, read my friend's post about his life as a police officer, here.

As for Piper, she was all smiles. She really liked "her" Detective, and is thrilled with the gifts she got for her family. And as her mother, I am grateful for this opportunity to see something so positive in my community.

*****
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sometimes, The Kids Take Care of Me...

I'm sick. I've been sick for days.But today I was worse instead of better. Because clearly the gods of head colds, hate me.

Anyway, my 17 year old son, recovering from his own plague, looked at me and told me that I was allowed to do two things today: sit on the couch and watch tv, or go to bed and watch tv.

And I have to tell you, that's mostly what I did.

That's what I call a Mom win. Which is especially nice if I have to feel like crap.

Of course this was a terrible week to have taken on that Fitbit challenge with my friends.

But that's beside the point.

I realized, as the medication kicked in, that I am living the moment that new moms can't believe is ever coming. But it is. Oh, new moms, it is coming.

I know that right now you may have leaky boobs. I know that you find things that are sticky where things should never be sticky. I know you haven't slept all night in months and that you are the kind of tired that is hard to explain to civilians.

I know that you are on-call 24/7, and that sometimes you are touched so many times in one day that you're not sure you will ever want to anyone to touch you ever again. Like really, ever.

I know that you don't get to clock out and go home. Because even if you have a job outside the home, you're still working long after quitting time.

I know that you keep going when they're sick, when you're sick, or when your partner is sick. And that there's not really such a thing as a sick day for moms.

I know it seems like there will never be a time when they will get up and make their own breakfast, or wipe their own butt,

But let me tell you that it does happen.

Clearly I'm still in the same trenches that you are in many ways. Since my kids range in age from 17 to 3, I'm still working with diapers, sticky fingers, and all the wonder of having young children.

But I've kind of reached the promised land. My oldest child put me to bed. Then he made his brothers breakfast. He made them lunch too.

Still, it's more than just what they're capable of doing as they get older. It's the connection. It's sometimes scary to watch them growing up. You may think that as they get older, that special connection you have with them will go away. But the truth is, when you nurture that connection, it only gets stronger. To the point where I now have kids who see me sick, and want to take care of me.

I wish I could tell new moms to love the place they're in, but know that it won't be so overwhelming forever. And when it stops being so crazy, it doesn't stop being wonderful.

*****
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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

It's Not A Downward Spiral

I read an article recently about the idea of having a Croning.

A Croning is a ceremony for women to acknowledge and celebrate becoming an older woman.

See, we women (people really, if you're doing it right, but I'm focusing on women for the purposes of this post) we learn a lot along our path. We gather the stories of those we have known, as well as our own.

We become wise.

Well, we hope so, anyway.

And it used to be that older women were valued for their wisdom and knowledge.

You know, I kind of like the idea of a Croning. Maybe when I'm 60. But I don't think we need to wait until we have some kind of special ceremony to start feeling like it's okay to get older.

It's okay to get older. It's okay, right now. And it's happening.

You know what I didn't do when I was young? Make good choices.

But I do now.

You know what else I didn't do? I didn't like myself very much. I didn't take care of myself like I was someone who mattered.

But I like myself now. I take care of myself.

Because why the hell not?

I have made a family, a home, and a life for myself. I have things to be proud of. And while my ass may not be exactly the same size as it was when I was 17, but I have to tell you, I'm starting to not give a crap.

First of all there are so many more interesting things about me. Second, women don't stop being attractive in their 30s and I have to say, I'm getting downright tired of us thinking we do.

Seriously, we somehow buy into this ridiculous notion that only young women are beautiful, and we are mean to ourselves.

I'm done.

I'm not on a downward spiral. I'm just hitting my stride. There is so much left to learn, and so much left to do, and I'm not done yet.

Here's to my 40s. Because they're coming whether I like it or not.

And I think I'm going to kick 40's ass.

Because I'm not getting older, I'm just getting more awesome. And you are, too

*****
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