A friend of mine is losing her mom. She has just a little bit of time left to love, live, make memories, take pictures, talk, hug. I know how she feels. Ever since her story began, I have been reminded of my dad. Many years ago, my dad needed bypass surgery...again. Seven years prior, he had the same surgery with a slow recovery. The day after he was told he needed it repeated, he called me. I was living in a different state, going to college. He told me he was "backed against a wall" and that he felt like he didn't have a choice. I told him to consider another option. I knew in my heart that things wouldn't turn out well. So, I came home. I left school and all my responsibilities. I came home and followed my dad around the house for three days. I watched him and listened to him. I tried to absorb all the advice he could give me. "Take care of your mother", "take care of yourself", "you don't need a man to take care of you", "finish school", "do good", "be kind". My dad had that surgery and a month later he died. He never got to see me graduate from college, get married, meet my wonderful husband, or hold my precious babies. He missed out on what I consider to be the most significant events in my life. Boy, do I miss him. Dear God, can I have him back for just one more day? We could go out for breakfast, he could shake my husbands hand, I could pile the kids on his lap. I could wrap my arms around him and tell him and tell him how much I love him. So, to my friend, I would say to you...love your mom, wrap your arms around her and tell her that you love her, write down her advice in a journal, take her picture, take pictures of the two of you together, plop your baby in her lap, make memories and savor the time you have left with her. For this is such a precious time, a gift, really. How lucky you are to know that your time left with her is limited. To be able to make every moment count. To say what you need to say and to BE with her. I wish peace and love to her and to my dad.
Here is a picture of my Dad and my sister, Leisa.
Monday, September 17, 2012
My children look like orphans. It's true. They haven't had a haircut since July. The littlest one, probably not since her birthday in May. I hate taking them to get their haircut. I never know where to take them, and it's never a really good haircut anyway. No matter whe we go or how much I spend. I used to take the twins to Kidsnips. It's one of those kid friendly haircut joints that cons you into buying toys, hair bows and expensive organic kid shampoo. They liked it and didn't cry, so that's where we went. Now they are older and want to go to a fancy salon. I took them to one by our house and I was charged $30 per head for a haircut and blowdry. And frankly, I think they cut off 1/8 th of an inch. That's not a haircut in my book. I've also taken them to the cheapo places, like Great Clips. The price is right, but the asymmetrical cut hasn't been in style since the 80's. So, here's my dilemma. Pay for a sucky haircut, or do it myself. Yes, you heard me right. Do it myself. So, I got on YouTube and learned how to be a hair stylist. Or, how to cut hair in a straight line. I love YouTube. You can learn how to do pretty much anything. I watched a video or two and now I know! And, I'm saving some money. And actually, I think I'm getting pretty good at it. I bought some good scissors at Walgreens for about $20 that cut great. So, in conclusion, I think haircuts are a rip off. And hairstylists charge you whatever they want to. And, it's usually too much. Especially at those fancy schmancy places. My next, project is to learn how to cut my own hair. That should be interesting. Pictures to follow...
Sunday, September 16, 2012
I should be better at this. It's been twelve years since I became a mother, and for some reason, I still struggle with it. The drama, the emotions, the responsibilities, the guilt. All rolled into one big anxiety frosted cinnabon. My heart hurts. Truly, it does. It's become a physical thing. I've even resorted to Lamaze breathing techniques to get myself through some days. And, I'm sure, this too, shall pass. I wonder how I got here, and lately, have been really missing some old friends. And, definitely missing my family. I think this Thanksgiving will be really good if I can drag my little family to Michigan to be with my sisters little family. Oh, how they've grown. Before I know it, I'll be old like my mom. Wondering what the hell happened. Hee Hee hoo...
Friday, June 29, 2012
So, I stole the title of this post from one of my favorite childhood books by Judy Blume...Are You There God? It's me Margaret. A classic tale of teenage angst and a relationship with God. I've been thinking about God lately. Probably because a family member of mine asked me why I was creating a "fairy tale" for myself and my children. Now, I knew he was an independent thinker, and I knew that he didn't go to church, but I didn't know that he didn't believe in a God. That surprised me. And, quite frankly, saddened me. I am sad because I have a hard time relating to people who think that when they die, they will be buried in the ground to rot. Most of those folks also think that they can do or say anything they want because there is no higher power to be responsible to. It's so sad, because I've experienced God first hand. So I'm sure he exists. And he makes this life of mine worth living. I've felt him as a teenager at camp, when we accepted him into our hearts. I've felt him in the silent moments of young adulthood, when I lived alone and had the time to be quiet. I've felt him when I held my twin daughters for the first time. I felt him when I started bleeding at 19 weeks gestation with my sweet Julia. I felt him when my Dad died. I feel him almost everyday, as a forty year old wife, mother and nurse, who has so many responsibilities and unique experiences and home and at work that there's no denying God. A "fairy tale"? I think not. God gave me these three beautiful children that I love with all my heart. And a kind husband to share life with. And a job that shows me the miracle of life and God with each delivery I attend. So, I say....go to vacation bible school! Play Jesus music in your room! Go to church! Appreciate this time and this life and this gift...Given to you by God.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
No more lunches No more homework No more 6:30 am No more "where is my gym shirt?" No more forgotton IDs No more "hurry up! Or you'll miss the bus!" No more kindergarden No more half days No more lunches with my buddy No more innocent 11 year olds No more sweet sixth grade Watching my children grow Bittersweet Accepting that I'm growing older Unbelievable Trying to hold on this time Impossible I love you Emily, Maia and Julia! What a wonderful year this was for you. I am so proud of your commitment to doing well in school and to being kind to others. I am proud to be your mom. XOXO
Friday, May 25, 2012
I love summer. I love everything about it. I love the sun and the heat. I love the sound of my air conditioner running, and a really cold bedroom at night. I love to eat, drink and play outside. I love Popsicles, flip flops, citronella candles, BBQ, fire pits, grass. I love the unstructured days and the spontaneous nights. I love my vegetable garden ( which I have yet to plant) and eating something out of it every night. I love fresh air and flowers and farmers markets. I love planning birthday parties that consist of turning on the sprinkler and cutting up a watermelon. I love summer. I love NOT waking up early and NOT making lunches and NOT checking homework. I kinda love driving to work and it's still warm and light outside. I kinda like bugs, but not Mosquitos (whom I think can completely ruin a summer night). I love dollar store cheapo kids beach toys and sidewalk chalk art. I love a cold glass of white wine. I am starting to appreciate and love my birthday, which is in August. It makes me feel special and wiser and better. If I could, I would slow down time. So summer could be twice as long and twice as fun and twice as relaxing and twice as magical.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
I miss my Grandma. She took care of me. In fact, she took care of everyone. She cooked, made afghans, hosted holiday parties, made crafts with us. After she died, the family fell apart. Literally. And, frankly, I miss my family. After almost 12 years of parenting, I've realized that no one takes care of ME. I spend every waking hour of my life taking care of someone else. If I'm at home, I'm taking care of my husband, my children and my home. (what a good wife i am) At work, I am taking care of laboring women and their families. (what a good nurse I am) Don't you think everyone needs to be taken care of sometimes? I do. No matter how old you are, everyone deserves their hand to be held, a meal to be cooked for them, someone to ask them how their day was. That's what my Grandma did. She was great. There was no one like her. My grandma made the most amazing dessert. It's called Mississippi Mud. It's a delicious mix of chocolate fudge, marshmallows, and some sort of nut. It was so good, the pan was scraped clean by the end of the night. It was oozy gooey goodness. Yesterday, I went to Jewel and was passing thought the baking isle, and I saw a Mississippi Mud box mix. Seriously!!! I bought it. Of course i did. It tasted like decadent brownies with marshmallows and crunchy yummy stuff on top. It wasn't anything close to my Grandmas, but it was good. (pictures to follow) It made me think of my Grandma, and my family, and the comforts of home. Funny how a dessert can bring back so many memories. I'm crying a little now because I miss her and I miss my Dad. Tomorrow, it will have been 17 years since he died. My one wish is to have him back for one day. Just one. So I can tell him how much I love him. And miss him. And to tell him what has happened since he's been gone. This is a sad post. I didn't mean for it to be. That just happened on its own. Sorry for those of you who had to read it. I feel better now.
Monday, April 23, 2012
I'm a Michigan girl. Born and raised. I love everything about living in the Midwest. Especially, experiencing all the seasons. By the time I am sick of one season, another comes around and I am happy again. I love cold winters and hot summers. I love spring and the crisp air in the fall. Sometimes, I think I would be happy living somewhere south of here, where it's warmer for more of the year. But, then I wonder how I would feel at Christmas time, hanging lights off of a palm tree. Not good. So, I think i will stay right here. Plus, I am a sucker for tradition. I have no intention of moving out of this house. I want my daughters to be able to come home to THIS house. Where all their memories are. I would hate to "pull the rug out from under their feet", the way it was done to me. I don't feel like a have a connection to my childhood. No hometown to go to, no house filled with memories, no family inviting me to visit. Nothing. I will not do that to my girls. I do know that this will be an issue for Frank, because he hates the winter and intends on moving away as soon as everyone goes away to college. He may just have to go by himself. I love, love, love small town charm. Little boutiques, restaurants, resale shops, farmers markets. I am itching to travel around the midwest this summer with my family. Keeping it simple, exploring, eating, swimming. I have a few ideas for day trips, and weekend trips. I wish school was over. I'm tired of the schedule. I need to relax. (I say this every year at this time)
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Working the night shift is exhausting. Not always, but once you don't get enough sleep, and you add that to another day of not enough sleep....your doomed. That happened to me yesterday. It was Easter and I thought I would get a call off, but didn't. So I was awake for 24 hours straight. After working my 12 hour shift, I was practically out of my mind. Cross-eyed, dizzy, confused, completely useless. When you work nights, you are always counting your sleep hours. And trying to do more than you should. I am not sure how long I will be working nights. But, it's better than working days. I've decided I don't get paid enough. My time is valuable, to me, and I think I should be compensated way more than I am. I was thinking the payments could come in the form of clean laundry, or a spotless house, or a day to myself. I mean, cash is good too, but I can think of other things that I would rather have. I wish I had more time to spend with the kids, unhurried, and without thinking of what needs to be done. Every extra minute I have is spent doing chores, making list of chores, or going to work. I sure wish I could go to a Cubs game.....like someone I know.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Babies are funny. They like to come out at the strangest times. Sometimes way to early, sometimes on the side of the expressway, sometimes in a moving car. I think it's funny to deliver a baby in a car. It's so movie-worthy. *the husband is speeding down the street..."it's coming!" Screams the woman, her hands between her legs, bearing down , pants around her ankles.*. Classic. And lucky. I mean, really, who wants to be in labor for twelve hours anyway? I can't wait until I get to deliver a baby somewhere besides the hospital. Like at the mall, or the grocery store, or Target. It's so not scary to me. Unless, my delivery is replayed, than that's scary. Baby stuck, shoulders stuck, PPH. enough said. Babies change you. They change your story and your life. How they come into this world is part of that story. That's why my job is so awesome. I get to be part of that story. And the woman may not remember my face or my name, but i hope she remembers my calm voice and encouragement. So what's wrong with delivering in the car anyway? Well, I'm not there. I don't mean "me"... I mean someone like me. Someone who knows what to do. Someone to support and encourage, and do the right thing. Unassisted births seem to be a hot topic these days. My childbirth certification organization is discussing it daily, having forums, blogs, conferences. It seems like more women are choosing this option instead of the traditional hospital birth. I think, they are looking for a delivery that is more natural, less invasive, more instinctual. I can appreciate that. I think all women ideally want that type of delivery. But when a baby's head is coming through your vagina, natural is not crossing your mind. It hurts. A lot. And to be in a place where they can help you with that pain, is pretty great. That's where I come in. To all the women out there, who have allowed me to be part of their story...thank you. Because your stories are now my stories.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
We are about to begin our adventure in parenting, I mean, the REAL adventure. Not birthing, and diapering, and feeding and burping and sleeping. I'm talking about the real deal. My twins are almost twelve. Their days are unpredictable, sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes happy, sometimes sad. I feel like I am caught in the whirlwind. Their tears are mine, their frustrations are felt deep in my soul. My intention is to guide them through this storm, and to try to find small islands of calm and peace they can rest upon. Making our home a safe and comfortable place. And making myself available to them to talk, cry and to come to for advice. I have to admit, I don't really know the answers. I'm still trying to figure this whole thing out myself. But I do remember being twelve. I can give them some clarity and insight. I sure hope they come to me for it. Probably not. At least they have each other. God, what I would have given to have a twin at that age. Someone to always be there, who understood me, to talk to. I wish my mom would have been more available back then (and now). Her parenting style was hands-off. Letting me do what I wanted, but with serious consequences. Never guiding and supporting. Maybe that's why I became so independent. My style? Loving, a little over-bearing, consuming, cautious, open, and always trying to cut the cord (artery-vein-artery). Speaking of cord cutting....two of the girls at work had their babies yesterday. I do not envy them. A new baby, no sleep, no down time, no privacy....hey wait, that is my life!
Monday, April 2, 2012
I'm alone. I swear, right now there isn't anyone home. No one to ask me a question, no one to complain, no one fighting, no one crying, no one needing me...and I am loving it. Don't get me wrong. Parenting has been a wonderful adventure. But I would be lying if I said I didn't miss my "old life". I miss waking up alone, going to bed alone. I miss preparing dinner for just myself, and sometimes not eating. I miss going for walks, reading, thinking. I can't be the only mom out there that feels this way. I can't be the only mom that REALLY enjoyed living alone, being single. Am I? I would not change anything. Really. But I would have mentally prepared myself, if that is at all possible. Which, of course, it is not. Isn't that the adventure of parenthood? Jumping in with both feet? Into the deepest part of the lake? On the coldest day of the year? My big girls always accuse me of loving my little one more. And in a way, I guess I do. Not more, but differently. She is five, sweet, funny, silly, ridiculous, lovable, simple. I need that right now. The complicated life of preteen twins is exhausting, confusing, frustrating, and wonderful. I see myself in them. I remember those times. I don't envy them. I think I need to take a new perspective on this parenting of preteens thing. Perhaps a trip to the library is in order. Maybe a literary /parenting expert could share some tips on how to survive this time. But, for now,I'm going to sit here with my iPad and blog.....alone.