He’s Still My Best Friend

Not all people are animal people. But we are. Hard core. Our dogs are like members of our family. Yes its me saying this. The same girl who considers locking the cat out in the cold.

Just for the record the cat is now a family member. Now that I can let her out and she comes back and is actually calm and relaxed. She also comes in from being outside when I call her which is a bonus. So Reba can stay. And maybe snuggle me at night.

Anyway, Barry was 13 years old. Possibly a little older and had started to really slow down. The only thing harder than thinking about a pet dying is trying to prepare your 3 and a half year old. She’s pretty dang smart but kids have a way of surprising us.

I tried prepping her and holding her telling her “bubbas” was getting older and one day he wouldn’t live with us that he’d pass away and go run around with Jesus. She said “so we’ll just get a new bubbas”. Okay clearly I went about that wrong. So I just let it go.

Then Wednesday the 9th we had to put him down. He couldn’t walk and was clearly in so much pain it was hard to watch. He was having trouble breathing and wouldn’t even get up when I got home. He only attempted to walk when Pat got home.

It was the worst. I mean it was wonderful the way they have it set up. Our vet is the best and they have this beautiful yard you go to and they lay down a blanket and you get to hang with him for as long as you want while they sedate him first. Anyway its still the worst!

Pat and I were beyond devastated and still a few weeks later I’m barely able to write about it.

We had to tell Rylan.

I pull her in my lap and say “sweetie Barry passed away and went to heaven to be with Jesus”

Rylan: “so we’ll go visit him?”

“no sweetheart he’s up in heaven we wont be with him for a long time” I pull in her for a hug and tell her I know he was her best friend but before I can finish talking she pushes me away very angrily and yells  “HE’S STILL MY BEST FRIEND MAMA” and runs off down the hall.

Tears in both mine and Pats eyes we go to comfort her,except she doesn’t need it. She’s playing with her toys and is totally fine. To her Barry is still her best friend. That doesn’t change just because he isn’t with us in our house.

The last 3 weeks have been a grieving process roller coaster. Some days you remember things about him that make us smile. Some days Rylan comes in the house and says “I miss Bubbas”.

We picked him up from the vet where they very sweetly gave us his paw print in a ceramic circle the way new parents do their newborns feet. Ironically we have the kit to do Rylans and have never done it! Rylan looked at it with us and asked if Barry sent it to us from heaven. I’m letting her think he did.

Bailee our 7 year old lab was so devastated that Pat thought it was a great idea to go get another puppy. A 7 week old English lab we have named Hank. No matter how hard I protested that I wanted to name him Marshall, Rylan and I were out voted.

Hank has brought joy and is so fun but we are still devastated and learning to live without Barry daily.

Rylan is absolutely right. No matter what, no matter where, Barry is still our best friend.

Sick Parenting

If you haven’t given your sick toddler fruit snacks for breakfast when their sick just so they’ll eat something, are you even a parent of a toddler?

That happened this morning. We spent Saturday in Urgent care and yesterday in the doctors office followed by the Emergency Room. Diagnosis: Pneumonia.

I learned a lot about our family in this Emergency process. I learned  my 3 year old can play opossum with the best of them. That’s right faking lethargy. I mean she was sick and tired and just wanted to cuddle but she wouldn’t even react when the doctor is listening to her lungs or to the pulse ox on her finger. Didn’t lift her head from my chest when a doctor or nurse was in the room.

When we leave the office she’s instantly Chatty Kathy asking pat where he was, and what took him so long to get there, and if we are going home, is he coming, why is he riding with us, and the best…telling us she’s fine and just wants to go watch Goldie and Bear. Opossum.

What I didn’t learn and am still trying to figure out is how do you parent a sick child? Where is the line between giving the fruit snacks for breakfast and totally losing control of your French parenting lifestyle goals? We try to be French and have a frame work of rules. I know we fail a lot but we have to have goals right?

For the most part we do okay. She listens pretty well and knows when we are serious about things. She gets time outs and yes I’ve patted her on the but before. But do you spank a sick kid? Do I put her in time out because she’s crying over the wrong color gummy vitamin? That seems a bit harsh since she clearly doesn’t feel good. On the other hand eat the damn gummy or cry in your room mommy is also tired now too.

Still this is a struggle for us. When you do stick to the rules and when do you let things slide because quite frankly when I’m sick the rules and expectations of me can suck it.

Its been a few days since I started writing this and I’m no closer to figuring it out. The only thing I can say is that she is a champ at taking medication! Even yucky antibiotics. She takes it herself and I feel like she’s in training for tequila shots. She takes the meds, has a juice chaser, and gets a gummy vitamin treat right after. Lick the salt, take the shot, suck the lime? I swear I’m a good mom! We can get concerned when she starts asking for chasers.

I think our saving grace was that I can use “doctors orders” for a lot of things! Threatening with having to go back to the hospital has also worked really well in my favor when trying to get her to do things. So bribes and blackmail is what it sounds like. Basically no different from my normal parenting style. Awesome.

To be clear there was a ton of cuddle time in my house. It was the silver lining that when she’s sick she just wants me by her side snuggled if the couch. Can’t complain about that one bit her snuggles are the very best. My hair can wait a few days to be washed anyway.

I found this podcast and am obsessed. Sounds like a tangent but its relevent I swear. It’s a parenting podcast and seriously the best one I’ve found yet! Here are  two links that literally had me laughing out loud while I was doing dishes and driving to and from work.

This is on sick day hacks   the other is on Whats up with toddlers

Seriously I feel like these girls are my spirit parents. One is great with research and both are just hysterical and so real. Refreshing and great with advice. Better advice than bribes and blackmail!

104 Degree Panic Attack

“Where the thermometer? I think she has a fever!” I yell to Pat as I’m changing Rylans diaper.

“She doesn’t have a fever we just checked it an hour ago” Pat rolls his eyes as he hands me the thermometer.

I love that he can roll his eyes while doing what I want. No matter how ridiculous he always humors me.

That was a little less than 3 years ago. Every new mother has a thing. For me her thing was her temperature. I can feel the judgment from here, yes I’m sure I had more than one thing but at this point the fever was my biggest obsession.

I took her temp constantly and was always worried about her having a fever. She ran super hot all the time. Mainly at night and that hasn’t gone away. I’ve just learned that if I have to question if there’s a fever or not… there’s not.

Which brings me to this past 2 weeks ago. She woke up crying and when I picked her up there was no doubt she had a fever. We snuggled on the couch and she was so warm I considered turning on the AC.

I took her temp and as expected it was 102. It ranged from 100 to 104 for the next two days. I know I should have taken her to the ER right away but I work in a medical office I know how this goes. It’s a virus and there’s nothing they can do but alternate Tylenol and Motrin and keep her cool and do baths…yadda yadda yadda. So that’s what we did.

Come Thursday morning her temp had started to go down on its own but we made an apt for her anyway. Turns out it was a double ear infection! One of which had possibly ruptured! Awesome job mom.

Nothing makes you feel like a worse mother than NOT taking her to the doctor, only to find out she has a ruptured ear drum. I will no longer question whether or not to take her in. If I’m thinking about I’m doing it. Bring on the hypochondriac comments I’ll take the punch.

My 3 year old sassy pants did not even complain this whole time. The same kid who threw herself on the ground and screamed because I tried to put the wrong pants on her never once mentioned that her ears hurt. That’s the only thing saving me from really believing I’m a terrible mom.

Not even a week after this happened she’s feeling better and wanting to read stories before bed time again. We were reading the book “The Sleep Fairy”. To whoever bought that book for me I think you owe me money for it. Who busy a book as a present that makes the parents buy their children presents every night they sleep in their bed by themselves? We are on a budget! I’d rather her sleep in bed with me!

Luckily for me my kid is a little weird and after listening to the whole story cuddled in to me very concerned. She put the book down and said “mama, if the sleep fairy tries to come in my room and put something under my pillow while I’m sleeping….I’m going to scream.”

I’ve never been more proud! Glad she’s feeling better and back to being feisty. Next time we are going to the doctor. Then I’ll buy her a present!

Hard is Hard

Rylan is less than a year old and I’m trying to get her down for a nap while visiting my sister-in-law in Chico.

She’s flopping around and trying to talk and crawl away and is refusing to nap. I get frustrated and finally give up and take her to the stroller because I know that works. I’m frustrated and don’t have the energy to force it.

I come out of the room huffing and puffing and go to take her outside. My sister-in-law asks what happened and I start to tell her.

She laughs. “So she’s not crying or fussy, she’s just….awake?”

Me: “well yeah but its annoying I know she’s tired and going to get cranky and she needs to nap.”

I get why she’s laughing. It sound ridiculous when I hear it back to me. Later over a glass of wine we talk about it. She makes me feel better by reminding me that even though Rylan is a great baby and I have no idea how easy I have it, my hard is hard for me.

So while she can handle things and has infinitely more patience than I do, to me… this is hard.

Fast forward to Rylan being almost 3 and still I know how lucky I am.

She listens well and reasons for the most part. She argues at bed time and I want to pull my hair out. I’m sure there are a million moms that would look at our bed time routine and laugh at how frustrated I get. But its hard to me.

We all have no clue what going on in each other life and its so easy to look at every situation and say how you would do it differently. But you know what? It might not work. We all have to do what we know how to do and make changes where we need to in order to make things work for us.

For instance my hard right now (aside from bed time) is a kitten. Who would have thought that something that weighs just over 1 pound can make want to drink. Given, it was 3 weeks old when we were gifted it.

Gifted is a strong word. It was a trash can kitty my cousin found and my Aunt asked if we wanted it. I didn’t. At all. My darling, sweet, animal loving husband was supposed to be the bad guy and say no… he didn’t say no.

We’ve had it a week and its slowly getting better. Not going to lie, the first couple days I was cussing out my aunt dreaming of dropping it off on their doorstep knocking and running away.

The ONLY saving grace was how happy this damn kitten made Rylan. I mean they are buds. Rylan will sit and watch her iPad and this stupid kitten will cuddle on her back and sit in her lap and just snuggle. The smile on my kids face made me realize I couldn’t drop her off at the fire department. Wait is that kittens too?

So my point is everyone’s hard is hard. It doesn’t matter if we laugh at it and dismiss it or fully understand we could not handle that its hard. We all have support systems you just have to find yours. Find your people, your tribe, the one you can open up to about locking the kitten in the bathroom and turning up the radio so you can’t hear it cry. Thankfully my tribe is pretty big. They all understand me.

They also laugh at the fact that now that the kittens getting older and getting a personality she’s turned into a total little psycho.

I’ve had to delete 3 paragraphs from her stepping on my keyboard and throwing me off. In case you are wondering why she’s still living with us here are a few pictures.

 

 

Riding the Dragon


Me: I hate this kitchen!

Husband: Why whats wrong with it now?

Me: nothing it’s just a freaking mess! How did it get so messy we weren’t even here this weekend!

Husband: well it’s not even that bad. Its been way way worse, and it was like this when we left I don’t understand why it’s suddenly so bad.

He’s right. On our quest to become minimalist the kitchen has been cleaner than normal lately. I could do without him being right once in a while. But I take this as a sure sign that I’m changing as a person. The fact that some fruit, a bottle of wine, and the groceries that I just bought, on the counter is sending me over the edge. I’m turning into a cleaner person.

OR… The much more likely explaination is I have PMS. DUN DUN DUN *cue dark music and thunder clouds*

I have always had PMS ever since I was a teenager. If I have to explain what it is you are reading the wrong blog post! I’m not saying I get it every month. But once in a while there’s a month like this one that scares my husband, my mom, the dogs, and even myself just a little.

I can’t be alone in having little things send me over the edge. Little things like a dirty kitchen counter making me want to move. My husband not writing back fast enough results in a series of WTF texts and passive aggressive messages including but not limited to “its fine forget it I can go to the grocery store later. It’s not like I don’t have enough to do”.

I can’t be alone in thinking for 1 week that the world should revolve around me. That’s right the whole world! How dare people have other lives and not wait around for me to want to do something. Only to cancel on them at the last-minute because I want to be around people but don’t actually want to be around people. How can people not know that?!

I can’t be alone in being COMPLETELY irrational and out of control of my emotions. Its like seeing a red light and knowing, logically, that I need to slow down and stop yet I hit the gas anyway. I know its wrong, I know I’m not making any sense and that whatever I’m feeling/saying will be different in a week, but it doesn’t matter. I have no control of the irrational things I’m thinking/doing.

This is where getting rid of things can be a good thing. Its good timing when you’re irrational to throw away everything and get rid of anything that is in your way or doesn’t change you mood. Which is everything because there is no help for this mood!

People will tell you “exercise and get rid of caffeine”. Ummm what? Don’t drink coffee? I’m sorry we can’t be friends anymore. That’s the worst idea ever! When you are the most tired and need all the help you can get…. don’t take it.  Exercise really does work. I also know this to be a fact. However, when I’m in the middle of a mood swing and some one suggest exercise, they better start running themselves because I want to throat punch them.

Did I mention I have PMS right now?!

I also have to say that getting yourself to exercise during PMS should be worthy of an award. Or at least a gift card. People say gift cards are thoughtless but let me just tell you… give a Day-o or Sephora gift card to a woman with PMS and she will switch moods like a toddler who just got their way.

To the women who think you don’t get PMS…. Yes you do. I’m sorry but its true. Its okay don’t be sad. Even if you truly think you don’t get it. You just don’t realize it. Again, it’s not your fault. Chances are your PMS has taken over your thought process and the bitch is lying to you. You are forgiven. Or maybe you really don’t get it and I just think you do because I have PMS and think you get moody when really its me.

See this whole thing is just one giant tornado of irrational thoughts and snarky comments. This is my disclaimer to anyone dealing with me this week.

I’m sorry.

 

Traditions

 

In a world that’s rapidly falling apart and dividing itself, there are still a few things I find comfort in.

  • My morning coffee.
  • The fact that Rylan will argue over bedtime.
  • Nana will get us pajamas for Christmas.

It’s the little things in life.

When I was growing up we always had traditions. Thanksgiving was celebrated with Nana the Sunday before so that she could have everyone there. No excuses. For Christmas it was always Christmas Eve. That one is a touchy subject so we’re just going to breeze by it for now. Sorry mom xoxo.

The holidays have always been a really big deal in my life. Example: Nana used to own a Santa costume and would pay someone to dress up and come to the house Christmas Eve. It was magical. Even the year it was Granny Doris and I realized Santa wasn’t real. I was older than I care to admit!

So as the weather starts to cool off, the leaves start to change, and bedtime is now getting earlier, I’m starting to think about the holidays. Rylan is going to be 3 years old this December and I want her to grow up with the same traditions that I had. I also want to make our own traditions with her.

Which leads me to my question: How do we find time for all these traditions? How do we make new ones while respecting the ones we hold close to our heart? How do we blend traditions with our in-laws? When do you throw you hands in the air and go on vacation for the holidays instead?

I tried suggesting that we make it a destination Christmas this year. After some thought and discussion Nana informed us that we won’t be vacationing for Christmas this year. Or as long as she’s alive. Clearly she values the traditions and I respect that.I had to laugh at the fact that Nana vetoed not only this Christmas but every foreseeable Christmas after that.

I’d like to bring back Santa so if anyone has a Santa suit let me know!

My cousins and I actually have started our own tradition of taking family pictures every Thanksgiving. I was doing them myself with my professional camera but that took a crap on me this year so I’m not sure what we’ll do. I don’t really want to pay for professional pictures but am considering it as gift to all of us.

Other than that I don’t even know where to start! I have this constant tug of war going on in my head. Its like tiny bad mom saying “ugh who has time for that? Aren’t the holidays stressful enough?” then a tiny Martha Stewart slaps her across the face with a homemade, one of a kind stocking and says “because traditions are wonderful and it gives us something to look forward to and pass down to our kids so they can remember us when we are gone”.

I’m afraid tiny Martha wins. I want that. I want Rylan to grow up with the same happy memories I had. I want her to remember things from Nana and Granny. It’s special that she’s gotten so much time with her Great Grandparents so why wouldn’t we want to emphasize those traditions?

So its my goal to prioritize the traditions we have already and along the way make new ones. Of course I’ll have to put my own spin on things so maybe instead of having new pajamas we all have onesies and look ridiculous together. Maybe make a signature cocktail to have at Christmas dinner? I’ll keep thinking.

We used to go in Nanas room and re-wrap gifts we had given her in years past because she never even opened them. It took her longer than she cares to admit to catch on to that!

I’m just blessed I have the family that I do and the in-laws that I do. Everyone has a sense of humor and gets along and truly loves life. And fun. And cocktails. Rylan is pretty lucky too.

I’m aware I didn’t solve any of the my questions so if anyone has suggestions let me know!

 

LITERALLY Sick of Summer


“I want to punch you” my sister-in-law Jen says to me one day while I’m whining about being  a parent.

“I know, I know, we have it really good I’m just saying this is way harder than I thought it was going to be”. I try to justify myself.

My sister-in-law is the best. I scored big time! I’m not just saying that incase she’s reading this either its the truth. Anyone who knows her can vouch for that. Anyone who knows me knows I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.

She’s also totally justified in wanting to punch me for complaining. My husband and I live in our home town where we were born and raised.  When we first met I lived on “family hill”. My grandparents live right next to my parents, and I lived 3 houses down. My husband lived on “family court”. Lived in his parents down stairs close to his aunt and uncles houses but also one street over from my  aunt and grandpa. I swear our town is not as po-dunk as I’m making it sound.

Anyway when I went back to work after Rylan was born I was blessed with not having to find child care. Rylan was with my mom on Wednesdays, Thursdays my grandma and mother in law would share the day, Fridays she was with my dad. I’m shocked my sister-in-law still talks to me actually.

Jen lives in Chico and while she has family there (aunts and cousins) they all work full-time and don’t have the luxury of taking entire days off during the week to help her. So yeah, she’s allowed to hate me.

Friday of this week I got a sore throat. Like couldn’t talk, kind of sore throat. It quickly escalated to a runny nose and into body aches, hot and cold flashes, and an 80 yr old smokers cough.

I was pretty bummed it hurt so bad to talk because I was really looking forward to calling my best friends and singing Phoebe’s rendition of “Smelly Cat” in my sexy sick voice.

Not only did I have it but Rylan got it too. Which meant our weekend and the first Sunday football of the season was spent in bed being taken care of by my husband. Thanks to the TV in my room I got to watch my Raiders win. Thanks to DayQuil and Alieve I didn’t have to watch my Niners lose. I beat my other sister-in-law in fantasy so, you know, glass half full.

But come Monday Rylan and I were both sick and my husband had to go back to work. Never had I wanted to parent less in my life. I finally got a glimpse of what Jen deals with on a regular basis. Rylan couldn’t go to school because she was sick, my parents were both at work, Pats parents were both in Chico (well-played Jen haha), and I wanted to die. Not to mention no one wants to babysit a sick kid.

Of course my kid is sick but also has energy to run from her bed room to the living room, grabbing a bite of food, then back to her room to watch her show on her iPad. Yes she got it all day because I was dying. No mom shaming or Karma’s going to bitch slap you with my cold/flu.

Any way we survived on power aid, Dora the explore an over the counter medication. Oh and an offensive amount of essential oils. If you even walk by our house right now you might sneeze, feel, relaxed, and have your mood lifted all at the same time! Maybe give it some time though we were all just sick.

So ending the summer with the worst cold in history and sending Jen my sincerest apologies and promises to help more in the future. More trips to Chico, more taking her kids when I can, more nights out without the kids when she’s here. That last one just makes sense with so many babysitters in town we can have some much needed fun.

Side note: looking for cute sister-in-law quotes or pictures on Pinterest to add on here…. there aren’t any! They are all so mean! Once again bragging about how blessed I am. But thank you Jesus for two great sister-in-laws that don’t make me post horrible thing about them. So you got a picture of Rylan and her cousins instead.