Monday, September 24, 2018

Parenting.

Hope you all have had a great restfull weekend! If you are catching back up with me I have been reading a book .. kinda a self help book if you will.. and it's amazing. It's about the lies we are told and believe and how it hurts us from being our best self. So feel free to go back and read my last couple of posts and join in with me.
Chapters 8 of "Girl, Wash your face" by 'Rachel Hollis'brush on parenting.
Chapter 7 is about sex. I don't want to talk about my sex life at this moment so i'm going to skip over to the parenting chapters. Chapter 8 is about the expectations of newborn bliss and all that goes wrong. I have a 3 yr old, a 17 month old, and a 5 month old. Yes, I'm busy.. ha ha ha... I get so tired of hearing that. Anyway.. you'd think that with kid #3 I'd be a pro! Wrong! I look up milestone schedules every week. I can't remember what a 5 month old is 'supposed to do'. Hell I can't remember what a 4 month old is supposed to do and we just graduated from it. People often scoff when I say that.. but hell life happens and that's not what I stored in my memory bank. I'm currently worried because she hasn't 'rolled' over yet. She hates .. loathes.. tummy time and back time. She sailed right into a jumper and loves the heck out of it. The problem is she has great neck muscles but she isn't mastering the skills she needs on her back and tummy.
The book talks about remembering that life with a infant are 2 things.. the baby and you. Not the laundry, not the cleaning.. the baby & you. So if you are happy, healthy and well rested (snort) then you are more productive and attentive. True. Your kids sense your stress and they react. True. My 'problem' is .. in my house I do it all. I clean, I cook, I run the errands, I bathe the kids, I buy the clothing, I scold, I kiss the owies and I fold the clothing. While this is not intent to be disrepectful to my husband, who does help in his own way, it's not checking off my 'to do list' boxes. So while the clothes are drying and the dishwasher is going.. I lay on the floor and play with my two youngest while my oldest is at school. I sing, I dance, I rattle toys.. I play 'ready set go" down the hallway.. but when those timers go off.. I'm at the next task. I feel if the the daily chore list isn't complete then it looks bad on me. That if I let one thing slide.. it effects another and I won't be able to bounce back.  That is a false reality. I try so hard to fill my kids love tanks. I try so hard to give each child individual attention. I struggle with this so much.. so much. I find that I give into idle time (facebook) instead of what could be given to them and it is promised to be fixed but habits are hard to break.
I have a special needs child. I have a child who requires A LOT of attention. I have a child who has therapy - speech and OT twice a week, he has ABA .. a therapist that comes to our house EVERY DAY to work with him over temperment and life skills and he has school for three hours a day. In THOSE three hours I have to get grocery shopping done, errands ran, appointments made.. and anything that needs to be done outside the home. Plus everything from the previous paragraph. To be fair we don't run errands everyday. Then once he gets home we eat lunch.. fight to do nap time.. and then off to our next therapy session. To come home and be thrown into night schedule. That leaves very little time for the two youngest.  Let me say again that I use my 'idle' time very unwisely and I'm working on that.
This chapter talks about all the ways you can feel like a failure. It talks about ways that you forget about yourself, that you forget about your husband.. that you forget about sex.. that you forget about anything outside of the humans you have created. That we are wound so tight on schedules and formalities that we simply don't enjoy our kids. She talks about how crazy she went when her husband said he was tired when their first son was 6 weeks old. AND how we are so tired of doing something wrong, or that the baby is up to par, or that something may be wrong with her children. She goes on to talk about post-partum and how dark it got for her.
She also touches on comparison. LET ME TELL YOU.. that's a slippery slope. I have this one girl that I insta stalk. She is bad for me. She is the picture of perfection.. in her posts. I don't know her very well outside of instagram, being honest, but her post paint a life of perfection. This girl has gardens, cuts up food in animal shapes, has organic foods.. she is the perfect wife. Her kids never get out of hand, the PTA Mom of the year.. and she has multiple kiddo's. Again.. what she posts are pictures of perfection not mishaps, not piles of laundry. No no no.. her house is a picture our a magazine. Every room she shares is perfection! Not a pillow out of place. Her kids rooms are decorated flawlessly. I can go on and on and on.. but she has become my 'mirror mom'. The Mom that I put myself up against to replicate. The Mom that I think I want to be so badly but wont be. It's dangerous. It's dangerous because one cheery post about her door design for her kids home room was jaw dropping and defeating. My husband told me  a couple of weeks ago.. yea but she has help.. She has her parents, her siblings, and she doesn't have a special needs child. Her life isn't yours. So two points on THAT sentence. 1. I do NOT ever see my son as a hinderance or a burden. I do NOT complain or gripe about anything to do with his therapies. I do NOT think of him as our exception to the rule or that feel sorry for me card. Do NOT pitty his life.. he is brilliant and he is funny and he is my whole world. So please don't read that and think that we are using it as a extra card.. we treat him like our other children who has special requirements to help us manage our world with him. 2. I do NOT feel sorry for myself. Not having my family close to help is a blessing not a hiccup. It's just a eyeball comparison of our lives. It's a point to say that we shouldn't compare ourselves to anyone. Do the best you can do and move forward. That's it. It's that simple. Stay away from comparisons and do you. That is beautiful. The last point from chapter 8 is this.. "The God who made the moon and the stars and with mountains and oceans, the Creator who did all of those things, believed that you and your baby were meant to be a pair. That doesn't mean you are going to be a perfect fit. That doesn't mean you wont make mistakes. It does mean that you need not fear failure because you can't fail a job you were created to do." PG 87.

I hope you read this book, I hope my posts are helping someone out there. I hope that this isn't annoying.. haha. I hope that one day I'll look back and see the effort I'm putting in myself to become who I want to be. Someone my kids will want to be. My biggest defeat will be to have my kids feel about me the way I feel about MY parents. I want to do everything in my power to make them NOT feel the way I did as a child and now as an adult.

Friday, September 21, 2018

the past

It's so easy to carry our past into our present. It's so easy to float back to that day 10 years ago that still makes you cringe. It's hard to not think about a choice you made and wonder how it ultimately altered your path. It is. I often wonder how different my life had been if I had taken that job in CA when I was 20 instead of moving to Oklahoma. I often wonder if I had had the guts to say no at the alter of my first marriage - like I wanted - how it would have changed who I am now. While I believe all the paths we take create the person we are today.. it's hard not to sit and wonder what if!
I urge you to not do that. It can't be healthy. I think we lose the mindset that we are given a new day to be the person we want at every sunrise. I often forget that the day ends when the sun goes down. You can't go back and re-do. You can't unhave that fight, you can't unrun that red light, you can't go to that friends party instead of staying home in jammies. All you can do is remember the outcomes of those situations moving forward and alter them.
Everyday I go to bed and pray that God helps me be a better Mom tomorrow. Everyday I pray that God gives me a little more insight into understanding Autism so I can help my son. Everyday I pray that play with the kids a little more instead of stressing about house chores. Everyday I write my to do list and scold myself for it not being completed. Everyday I wonder if Little Miss is getting the same attention her brothers did and worry she's not hitting milestones due to my negligence.
We are already so fragile, depleated, overwhelmed, anxious for the next trip or day off. There is no reason to throw that extra beat yourself session up everyday.  There just isn't.
My goal as a parent is to be a better parent then I had. Everyday I strive to be the perfect wife, have all my chores done, stress over a home cooked meal, and try so hard to not ask for help. I was taught asking help would be admitted I can't handle my work load and that equals failure. Girl, I know I'm not alone on this either. That is crazy. Absolutely crazy. We are not perfect! We are beautifully flawed and some of the best life moments are the unplanned ones. Asking for help isn't weakness it's a strength. It's a strength in knowing you are aware of your boundaries and that you are willing to get the task done by asking for assistance. Hell, it may even help you learn something more efficiently by asking for help or it could create a new dynamic into your marriage by asking for help cooking dinner. As a military spouse I am so used to doing things on my own. When my husband gets home I am so robotically trained that I forget to include him.  It wasn't until he told me how left out he felt because I never asked for help. I was like.. say what? You mean you could have doing bath time while I clean the kitchen???? Dude... you can take that task away pronto! my husband refuses to load a dishwasher.. will do any other chore in the whole house but will not load a dishwasher.. lmao
So the take away is that our past is our past, we can't change it but only learn from it. We have control over our current and future choices though. That load of clothes can tumble 15 min more while you get some extra play time in. And understanding nobody on this earth is perfect and that we are all flawed .. is beautiful knowledge. So ask your spouse for help, take that extra coffee break and give yourself a break. "Be patient and loving with yourself. You weren't meant to be your biggest critic, but your biggest fan!" by 'Emily Kinney'.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

desperately tribe-less

Let me say that I have two friends that I feel are my ride and dies. I would do anything for either one of them, their spouses and their children.. without question or hesitation. I also feel that they have my back the same way. 
Five long years ago I thought that becoming a Mom would help me create life long friends. I was wrong. I've never felt so isolated in my life. While I love my kids and I wouldn't go back and change a thing.. I hate being so alone. I look back to my teens and recognize that I had a great tribe in high school and of course I was too young to see that. I was too young to understand that friendships need work and have a lot of give and take. I took their presence for granted and wasn't always the friend I needed to be. Although I am friends with two of them, and a facebook stalker friend with another, our relationships have drastically changed.
In my 20's I knew this girl, who probably will read this and that's ok, who I desperately wanted to be best friends with. Our relationship is what I used to call, seasonal, we were only friends during the Spring/Summer and we were distant during the Fall/Christmas. I have no idea why but that's they way it worked for over 7 years. I also felt like I wasn't enough, I didn't add enough, I didn't have kids so I couldn't be the friend she needed but I tried. I'd drive out of my way to attend her church and her gym just to be near her. My life was in shambles, I was so unhappy and heart broken, and her life seemed so put together. I was envious and I wanted to be close to something I felt obtainable but that's not what happened. There were times I tried to explain my side of the fence and I wasn't heard. I am sure that I wasn't there when she needed me and I know she wasn't when I needed her. I take the share of the blame but I wish that that friendship had really been able to blossom the way I prayed and willed it to. I wish I could have been like the ladies she did become good friends with and is still friends with. I wish I could understand the problem but I was so desperate for that relationship that I held on when I shouldn't have. Maybe if we had had a 'real honest come to Jesus moment' I could have been different but again I was so desperate that it wouldn't have been heard.
Then I moved to the isolating state of CA. Where nobody is really friends with anyone and it's where the unfriendly people live. hahaha, sorta joking. Being a military wife you make friends and they move. Some friendships don't stand the distance and others weren't worth saving anyway. People here are so judgemental, military aside, it's not worth the headache. Military is a big competition of rank, that we - the spouses - don't even have. I don't care about what your husband does or his rank - I just want to get to know you. I don't tell a lot about my husbands career because it's his. I run errands and see these two women pushing strollers with their child in their carts and wonder.. "why not me?" "Why can't I have this?" "Why am I a social parana here?" I feel deep in my bones that if I moved back to the South I'd find my tribe.. but people from the south are stationed here too. So where are they???! (haha again you can hear my desperation). I have two  great military spouse friends. Both have received new orders and will be moving on soon.. and that's heart breaking.
Why is it so hard to make friends as a adult? Why can't we be honest and grown up? Why are things always a competition? I don't wanna compete with anyone.. so I don't. I just don't understand the friendship dating guidelines because obviously I'm not making the cut. Ha, I'm a good friend. I have baggage and drama like everyone else. I struggle to keep my house clean, my husband happy, myself taken care of.. I struggle. I'm open with my struggles and faults; maybe just a little too much. Oh lord I like to complain about my husband b/c I want to be a better wife and I don't understand why we argue. My parent's fought all the time and I swore that wouldn't be me.. but here we are.. ok, we don't fight all the time. I don't share my troubles to say that i want to leave my husband.. I want to understand and make it better. I guess that could be a turn off though.. I feel people like drama and like hearing the bad side of things instead of the good. I don't. I wanna hear your good, your happy, your proud moments along with the bad. I'm going to tell you like it is. I'm going to tell you that you were a bitch to your sister. I'm going to tell you that shirt isn't flattering or those painted on jeans just don't flatter you. That's me... now.
I was reading that you can be desperate in any relationship. You can throw yourself at a person to be friends/close with them and it rubs people the wrong way. That after one 'outing/date' you are smitten  and will do anything to have that relationship... ding ding ding! That's me!! I will try so hard to be your friend that I come off really creepy because I'm so lonely!! I also don't feel I have a lot to offer. I was consumed with becoming a parent & I didn't make time for anything else. I like things but I'm not passionate about them. I haven't found my path.. but I'm trying!  I am desperate for a relationship, for someone to come over for coffee in my choais. I want to talk on the phone instead of texting. I want to shower you with flowers or your favorite book for your birthday. (because birthdays are important to me) but I want that back too. Maybe one day I'll bump into someone who is meant to be apart of my tribe. Maybe someone will see that my kids & I are worth the investment and that I have great intentions. Maybe one day I'll have that pray answered and find a friend to help guide me through this crazy life.

How do you make your friendships last? What are your qualities in a friendship?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Wants vs Needs - Chapter 2&3

It's been about a week since a amazon truck has stopped at our house. I wonder if they worry when they don't visit our house? I mean we order, ahem I, order on a bi/daily basis. Before that we were in Texas for two weeks.. I'm surprised I haven't had anyone knock on my door to make sure we are ok.
Joking aside - around Christmas I wrote that I wanted to go a year without Amazon and obviously I failed. I wanna blame Little Miss for all her baby needs but honestly.. I'm weak. I mean getting three kids out of the house just to get a pacifier vs having it delivered to my door... well you can understand why i'm addicted to the little online cart.
We have worked SO hard to pay off all our 'extra' bills. We have done SO good! We went on vacation and basically paid for our whole trip from credit card points we had earned.. honestly. We went from six credit cards and two car payments to just having two credit cards! We have sacraficed a lot to make that happen.  Those will be paid off before Christmas. Aside from bragging rights.. I want to say that I had to really sit and prioritize my Needs from my Wants. Yes having some T-Shirt dress delivered to my door vs dragging three kids to go clothe shopping (which always ends up with them outfits and nothing for myself) is a regular thing I do... but it's not a NEED. I had to really buckle down and prioritize. What happened is that I also came to realize that my house is so full from impulse buys that I've actually wasted money. Yea it taste bad typing it.. I wasted money. I might well have thrown $600 in the street and burned it. What do I have to show? A 3rd generation Cameo that has been used ONCE.. but I just had to have it! I also splurged on a Bissell crosswave.. that literally just sits in a corner in my kitchen. (It's really hard to clean out EVERY TIME you use it with little kids... so I just grab the vaccum or the mop and move on).
My living room has two half shelves that are filled with kids toys. I have buckets of toys, books, stuffed animals.. not to mention little villages. It's not a brag, it's a explaination. Before Little Man was diagnosed with autism I bought anything he showed emotion or interest too! I was so desperate to find that toy.. that magical toy he'd play with. He just wasn't interested in anything.. so instead of selling it - I kept it. Then we found out we were having Little Man and now Little Miss and we haven't added a toy into this house in two years. Seriously. No lie. We have parties for the kids and ask people to NOT bring the kids anything because they have everything. We are also going to skip Christmas again for the same reason (plus the kids are small they will never know). From hand rattles to outdoor toys.. there is not a shortage. If you ask about a toy.. we probally have it.  Again not a brag. It's disgusting. Little Miss is about to be six months so now we, ahem I,  can really start purge through the toys and down down down size the mess. Little Man wants books.. he's all about books, Little Dude is all about trucks.. and Little Miss is well.. all about her feet.
Don't be fooled here..I do a lot of bargin shopping. I go to re-sale shops, I love garage sales and the marketplace app on Facebook is my newest love. After visiting so many houses on our trip I have realized that my husband is right and I have a problem. I've always wanted to be a minimalist. Like if you are and I visit your house... I envy you. I want five items on my counter.. just 5. SO referencing my new book 'Girl, Wash your face' by "Rachel Hollis" she says that we buy stuff to 'fit in for people we may or not even like simply to fit in' and I can see that. Another point is to follow your own rules or others wont follow your rules.. and that fits this portion of my life too. I'm sure if we scratch deep it's about my childhood somehow, most things are.. but I've got to put a stop to this. Just like in Chapter 2 when she decided that her Diet Coke had to go and she did it.. I must declutter and stop impulsing purchasing. My husband is all about saving money.. so this would help me get what I want and him get what he wants.
I also like that the book adds on that if we can't complete or own tasks and desires for ourselves - it's hard for others to do that too. So by not completing my to do list - its my fault. It also teaches myself that the things I say are important, ie: de-cluttering but then purchasing more stuff, my brain knows I'm lying. So with that lie creates the unwillingness to complete this task.
So my solution is .. I'm having a garage sale. I'm going to really go through cabinets and every nook and remove the clutter. I've already started donating but now it's time for the HUGE push. I set a date, I've been putting things aside (which is actually creating more clutter) and bought garage sale stickers so that I can label as I go. What doesn't get sold will be donated THAT weekend.
This is my omission to my need vs wants. This is my inner cry for de-clutter and organization I so desperatly want.  I also NEED to stop this urge for impulsing purchasing. It creates a huge issue in more then one compartment in my life.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Amy's journey of change.. chapter 1

A good friend of mine recently downloaded the audible book "Girl, Wash your face" by 'Rachel Hollis' and called to tell me that I had to read this book. Crazy enough - a month later I bought the book and I'm through the entry and the first four chapters.

I struggle with keeping it all together. I am having a hard time balancing cleaning the house, taking care of kids and staying on top of everything else. I never get a break.. and at times that causes chaois in the home.  The husband can relax and just lounge around all weekend. HE can play with the kids at his leisure and 80% of the time he takes the easy tasks. Don't get me wrong feeding and changing the baby is very helpful but I'd rather he change out the dishwasher and the washer/dryer while I feed the baby. While he is making our kids scream in delight and giggle.. I'm making dinner and missing out on the fun and y'all that makes me a little bitter. Please don't take this as an intro to "count the ways I hate my husband" because that is far from what I'm saying.  In addition to never feeling like I get a break.. I have a tendency to compare myself and make myself feel lesser then. Like "how can Susie's house look so perfect all the time? She has three kids.. I have three kids.. my house looks nothing like Susie's. What is is she doing that I am not?"  This very question passes through my head more then 100x a day and makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. 
In Chapter 1; pg 4 of this book she says "I want you to understand, my sweet, precious friend, that we are all falling short.""We live in a all or nothing society that says I need to look, act, think and speak perfectly or just throw in the towel and stop trying all together."  here is the part that made me literally break down... "some of you feel so overwhelmed by your life that you've given up. You're a piece of jetsam being tugged along with the tide. It feels too hard to keep up with the game, so you've quit playing. Oh, sure you're still here.  You still show up for work, you still make dinner and take care of your kids but you're always playing catch-up. You always feel behind and overwhelmed." <-- nail on the head this is exactly how I feel.  Pg 5 goes on to say that "this is your life. You are meant to be the hero of your own story." "When I say I'm unhappy, I mean discontented, unsettled, frustrated, angry - any number of emotions that make us want to hide from our lives instead of embracing them with arms wide open like a Creed song." 
I wanted to jump up & down with a big neon flashing sign and say "YESSS! This is exactly how I feel right now!" This! I wrote my friend and started saying exactly what I just typed above.. because I have never heard anyone else say this. It was so liberating to know someone else feels this way. Let't be honest - all social media is snipets of things that have made us happy that we want to share. People don't get on social media share a picture of their kitchen with dishes stacked up, piles of crap on the counters and laundry on the floor  and say.. "I just can't today folks.. I'm just gonna play with my kids in the backyard".. because we'd get ridiculed right and left.. be called everything from lazy to bad parents.. because we are so quick to judge what we don't know. You don't know what I go through  but you do know I have three small kids. You know I love them more then anything and fought to have them but you don't know that I struggle daily. I struggle with making daily 'to do lists' that never get completed, I struggle with feeling alone and isolated. I struggle with not having a tribe to ask for help and I struggle for the mom shaming that comes with asking for help. I mean heaven forbid I ask someone to watch my kids so I can get a break or just take ONE to the Dr without taking all 3. As one person told me.. I chose to have three kids so I should take the responsibility and take care of them and not expect other people to step in and help. Umm so that told me 2 things.. she wasn't someone I wanted in my inner circle and she was wrong. She is wrong in the fact that I don't expect help but it would be nice when I do ask. I don't expect  you to clear your schedule to help me but I don't appreciate you sending me the link to 'care.com' either.
At the end of the chapter it says: (PG 8) "You become who you surround yourself with. You become what you consume. If you find yourself in a slump or feel as though you're living in a negative space, take a good hard look at who and what you see every day."... ton of bricks.. there is just one problem.. I'm surrounded by my messy house and my kids. The kids bring me joy and my house gives me heart palpatations (slightly joking). My husband doesn't help me the way that I need but he does help me. My brother & SIL aren't expected to help but it's nice when they do. So it has to be the 'what' portion of this passage more then the 'who'. So I decided to limit my interactions on facebook and instagram.. maybe that will help the comparisons of others. Also on a passive aggressive note.. it's not like anyone talks to me anyway. Three or Four people tag me, comment or simply reach out to me anyway. It's not like me staying off facebook would change any interactions.. so again.. I feel very alone. I also think that I need a new facebook circle all together because I shouldn't feel this alone with 124 'friends'. I thought having kids would make me become more included but actually it's make me more isolated. Crazy.

I love my kids, I love my husband but things get overwhelming at moments. It would be nice to have a tribe to go to for strength and support. It would be nice to be able to get help when I need it and not feel so strapped. She is right in the fact that this is my life and I need to be my own hero in my own story. 

I hope you join me in reading this book, i hope this helps others jump in a share their feelings... and just maybe it will create a cool little tribe for us to go through this together.. i dunno... maybe.

Chapter 2&3 tomorrow.

Friday, September 7, 2018

We Survived our Road Trip

We survived our road trip!! We went from San Diego to Victoria, Texas and then down to Houston, Texas and back to San Diego. By car with 3 kids 3 and under and the kids did so great! They loved the hotel stays, which were plentiful, and they loved the attention from family. We had such a great time & I wish we could have stayed a little longer in the Lone Star State. Don't get me wrong, we had some bumps and bruises - even a urgent care visit for Little Dude - but overall the trip was great. I also discovered that the overall way Texans vs Californian's hold themselves is SO different. Meaning.. Texans are WAY more conservative in all manners then what we have been immersed in for 8 years. I think my eyes and heart really needed to see and digest this. I'm sure it will be a while before we take that trip again but it wasn't nearly as stressful as I thought it was going to be.



Now we are back home, back to the messy house, the crazy schedules and have fallen into the same routines in less then a week. Problem is .. we didn't have a great routine to begin with & my house stresses me out. A good friend came over yesterday and I was saying how I barely felt like I was surviving, like my head was barely above water, and my chore list just keeps growing. How my cluttered counters and my unchecked chore list are making me feel inadequate. She told me this.. "you are doing great! You have three kids who are happy & and fun to be around. You have a full house but who cares what your counters look like. If people are coming to see all the things that you don't do instead of all the amazing stuff that you actually do - they shouldn't be coming over in the first place!" I needed to hear that. I get so stressed out that I don't complete a daily chore list, and yes I make one for myself everyday, because of one reason or another. I'm going to keep working on that because I need to give myself a break but I need to hold myself accountable at the same time .. that's the hard line.


I think it's easy to fall into a routine with your spouse & forget to tell each other how great they are doing or how important they are. I lean more on being annoyed 24/7 because I feel I do more then he does and it leaves me jaded. I also don't hold into account that the works away from the house & he goes to college classes 2x a week. I really need to work on NOT being so hard on him b/c when the chips are down he's got my back.  I also don't think about the way I look much, until I see myself in a picture. I hate the way I look in a picture! "OMG is that really me?!" If I just stayed away from cameras I'd have the best self esteem - lol. Truth is.. I need to get back to the gym to simply take care of myself. It isn't to drop 30 pounds, which would be amazing, but to take care of me. To have that little carved out me time, to do something that benefits my whole family. If I get sick or hurt .. it's gonna hurt them all not just me.. and I want to set that example to my kids.

That's all I got this am folks. I gotta start getting these smaller kids up and start our day. I have been looking up a trip to 'schlitterbahn' in San Antonio, Texas as our next family trip but that may be a couple of years down the road. I think Little Miss needs to be almost 5 before we take that trip.. so we have a while. Hope y'all have a great weekend!