Resistance to Mom Friends

I love my friends. I’ve talked before about my friendship landscape and how it’s ever changing with the peaks and seasons of life but one thing that stays consistent is my love for my friends. That being said it’s a hard transition when you start growing up and changing and people start popping out babies. I’ll be honest my friend and I were concerned when the responsible one got pregnant. Who was going to take care of us? Make sure we got home okay? Didn’t go home with strangers? Yes sometimes we needed to be reminded of that! Who was going to be our voice of reason and slap us when we were being ridiculous? Who was going to drive us to get new clothes? Who was going to drive us everywhere? We needed some serious taking care of and she was the best at it. We were incredibly happy for her but selfishly concerned.

She’s super-mom/wife/friend so of course she managed all of her capes just fine. WAY better than I did when I had Rylan.

I was worried when I got pregnant about my changing friendships. I had friends like Super mom who made it look so easy so I knew it was possible but then you have other people (mostly strangers or distant acquaintances) who would make comments like “oh yay join the mom club”, “How great you get to be in the mom groups”, “get as much time with your friends cause then you have to make new mom friends”.  It’s not that I’m antisocial but I’ll be honest I dislike anything that makes me feel limited to one group. I instantly get and attitude of “nope I’m not going”. It’s the same attitude that keeps me away from any of the multilevel marketing groups. I don’t like feeling associated to only one thing. I feel claustrophobic. I feel tied down. I feel like I’m a cow being herded into a trap.

All my friends were super supportive when I got pregnant. It was a shock to everyone because I had always said I didn’t want kids. Sorry Rylan mommy loves you! When she actually came into the world I started to get a sense of the mom group thing. It’s not like the cow herd feeling, its more like a support system of people who have been there. I call super mom all the freaking time. I also had a few other mom friends I’d call, my sister-in-law included. We call her Dr. Jen because that’s how we treated her. Like our own personal on call doctor.

Our other friend is a doctor and I swear the only conversations Pat has with her is when Rylan’s sick. Even now at almost 3. We should really take her out to dinner to say thank you!

Rylan was about 6 months old and I took her to the pool with a group of friends who had kids too. Some around the same age but most were older. We sat them up to take a picture and I was way more confident in Rylans ability to sit up than I should have been because right before we took the picture she tipped over. Smacked her head right on the concrete.

Panic is an understatement. She cried, I cried harder. She was fine after a few minutes and it was the mom friends more than the doctor who made me feel safe that day. I wanted to rush to the emergency room. These girls did the best job of making me feel justified if I took her in but also reassured me that I didn’t have to and she would be fine. They also all shared similar stories to make me feel like I wasn’t alone.

Funny how much it makes you feel better to hear that your friends screwed up too. I know its cause we feel like we aren’t alone but still makes me laugh.

Friend: My kid fell off the couch at that age.

Me: Oh thank goodness.

Not an easy thing to do… making a new panicked mom feel like whatever decision she makes is the right one.  But they did. That’s the power of mom friends.

We didn’t go to the ER. But I did pull over about 12 times on the way home to make sure she was awake and alive. Then woke her up a million times throughout the night. Yes she slept with me that night. Judge away I don’t even care!

Mom friends are there to share stories with. and make you feel better about parenting.  It’s helpful to hear that your fear is also something other people worry about. It feels good to be validated that a mom friend would do the same thing.

Sometimes you just need someone to say its okay to hate your dogs while you kids are young. You need that one friend who can high five you when you call your kid an ass under your breath. The friend who calls from the closet because they are hiding from their kids and its perfect timing because you are head to the grocery store just for some quiet time. Those are the mom friends that count.

I read the book  Women Are Scary  It’s about making new mom friends and its hilarious. I recommend it to all new moms for sure. Sometimes you need something like that because lets face it, women are scary!

So while I was hesitant and leery of it, I’m happy that I have my mom friends. I’m also happy that I haven’t lost my other friends. It’s the beauty of the friendship landscape and its ever-changing ways. I’m also happy and grateful for all my mom friends and their many different parenting ways. One of my favorite things about the mom friends is the lack of judgment. Everyone is all just supporting each other and its fun to watch the different ways people do things. It makes us all better parents and better people

 

 

F You Migraine

Migraines are the worst! For those of you who have never had one it feels like there is a part of your brain that is tied in a knot and rapidly swelling and there’s nothing you can do about it. For me its right on my forehead usually over one eye making me feel like I’m having a stroke. Add to the razor-sharp pain and pressure the fact that light makes you feel like you got punched the face by Mike Tyson and any sound feels like you got hit with a bat by Hunter Pence.

I started getting migraines when I was in 7th grade. First one started when I was in class and suddenly couldn’t everything. I’m close to blind anyway so this would normally not be a shock but it was different. if you look straight ahead it was like there was a quarter of the picture missing and when would look somewhere else a new section would disappear. Terrifying for a 7th grader. I asked to lay down. Then the sharp pressure pain started. I was taken to the emergency room and given a CT scan. After confirmation of a migraine I was given a shot.  I can’t remember anything after that!

So why wouldn’t you just go to the ER for a shot when you a get a migraine? Well for starters you can’t drive yourself. I always love it when people are out and about functioning in daylight and say “oh sorry I have a migraine”. No a-hole you don’t. Grocery shopping, socializing, driving, functioning in light of any kind, adulting is all out of the question when you are in the middle of a migraine. Night clubs…. puh-lease. It’s not a migraine its a headache. Shut up.

It could be the start of one… that I get. Sometimes you feel them coming on while you are out adulting and being a human. But you better take something asap and get the hell home!

Anyway I also don’t go to the ER for them because there’s medication you can take for them. One I was on started to lose its effectiveness. The only other one that’s ever worked for me also scares the crap out of me. I took it on our way home from a BBQ one summer when I started to get one. Drove home, woke up 8 hours later changed in bed with no memory of driving home. No thanks. What else ya got?

Excedrine migraine and really any over the counter migraine med does generally work…. IF you take it at the very first sign of even a headache. I can’t take excedrine anymore but Alive works fairly well for me if I take it early enough. Again I have to take basically predict the future and take it if I feel like I MIGHT be getting a headache.

Last night I didn’t take it early enough. I didn’t think we had any for starters so I waited it out and put Peppermint oil on my head and neck like your supposed to with essential oils. Which actually worked for the just headache. But an hour later when it turned into a full migraine the oil can suck it because it didn’t even touch it. I take that back… it distracted me from the migraine pain because it kind of burns like a mother!

At midnight I woke my sleeping husband, who has to wake up at 4 am for work. All I had to say was “babe, migraine” and he was out of bed going to his truck looking for medication. God love him! He gave me 2 Alieve (the recommended amount) and was scratching my back the way my mom used to when I was little and would get them. The only kind of touch I can stand when in that much pain. I’m sure it only took 30 min but it felt like 2 hours.

During the time it took the meds to kick in here’s what happened and when through my head, some of which I’m sure I asked Pat out loud. I wanted more meds, he said no. I prayed a lot. I considered taking knife to my forehead because I truly felt that it would relieve the pressure and feel better. I dry heaved because I felt like I was going to throw up. I was sweating hot. I was freezing. I wanted a cold wet towel on my back. I wanted the blankets on top of it. I considered trying to push my face in the pillow so hard I couldn’t breathe, but that felt like a lot of work. Normally I’m curled up around the toilet with no clothes cause its cold and feels good and I can throw up there. It’s too freaking hot for that. I thought about going outside naked but I wouldn’t last in jail.

They are truly the worst. I had flash backs of being in labor. Of course it’s not the same but I’ve done both and can fairly compare. At least when you are in labor it comes in waves. You get at least a minute recovery to breathe. Migraines are hours on end with no release. No mercy.

They the leave you feeling hung over the next day without the fun. Body feels like you ran a marathon only you didn’t get the medal or bragging rights.

At least 8 times last night the F You Thunder song from the movie Ted came in my head. only in my version it was F You Migraine. Couldn’t remember the whole song but the few parts I could brought me a little joy while in hell.

Book club!!!

Okay I’m doing it! Well kind of. I’ve always wanted to have an amazing book club until I realize I have to get people to read the same books and then get together at a time when we’ve all read this same book and can actually meet up. A lot of work and super hard to do. Although it’s a great excuse to get my best friends together we normally start with “okay did you like the book?” “yeah it was pretty good” ” I thought so too. Wanna go to Pinecrest Tuesday?” End of book club.

Having this outlet and pre-podcast I figure I can do a form of book club right here!!!!

So I’m giving out 2 book suggestions that I’m reading right now. Yes I’m reading two books at once. Not because I’m an over achiever but because I have one paperback book I can’t put down, and one on my kindle so I can read at night while the tiny one falls asleep at the same time as my arm.

So Book choice 1: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah Click here to order

This book was given to me by Pats Aunt and I’m so happy she did. I haven’t been able to put it down.

Book Choice 2: The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict Click here to order

This one is the book club book for my favorite podcast. So I’m kind of hijacking their book club. But not really because you should listen to them they are funny and sweet and I feel like we’d be friend if I lived in Phoenix. I give them the Brittany Stamp Of Approval. (high-five How I Met Your Mother Fans!!!!)

So They will be airing their podcast book club for The Other Einstein August 16th available on iTunes.  I’m super excited about this book and can’t wait to listen to that episode! Also if anyone’s interested in meeting up for book club about this one or The Nightingale let me know!

 

The Angry Receptionist

IMG_6462

I used to be a people person. People have ruined that for me.

In all honestly  I do consider myself a very kind person, or at least I try to be. That being said, I have worked with people for the last 10 years. Yup. 10 years of being a human punching bag. The dumping ground for other people’s blame. The scapegoat to their lack of planning. On the receiving end of venting sessions that have nothing to do with me. The highly underpaid therapist. The shoulder to cry on. I swear I’m not bitter.

I work in the medical field and completely understand that anything to do with doctors and illness is scary. I’m not unsympathetic to that fact. However, it does not give someone the excuse to be a total dick. ESPECIALLY when you are needing something from the receptionist. Listen very carefully….. you will get much further if you are nice. What’s the saying? You get more bee’s with honey than vinegar? Its true.

Another little tip for you. Your lack of planning does not make it an emergency. Let that sink in for a second. Yes, it sucks you forgot and you need it tomorrow but your apt isn’t till the end of the year. Guess what? There’s nothing I can do. I can not reschedule other people who have been waiting 6 months because you forgot. Flip that around and imagine you’ve been waiting 6 months and I had to reschedule you out another few months. Imagine its due to someone not keeping track of things and it could have been prevented had they thought ahead. You’d be mad right? So please don’t get mad at the receptionist for not being a magician.

Another thing the receptionist can’t do… make a doctor magically appear to work on a day that isn’t their day. They are people too (shocking I know). They get vacation time and sick time just like the rest of us. You think you’re mad they had to reschedule because their sick? Imagine the receptionist who had to call 27 people just as mad and rude as you were. We don’t like it. It’s not fun to have to reschedule sick people. Especially when we have nowhere to put them.

Guess what else is NOT in our control? How many patients we can fit in the schedule. We only have so many spots open for people because the doctors can only see so many people in a day. They can’t be in two places at once. While you may view it as a “quick check”, on our end to make sure everything is done right, we have to do everything for a normal check. Which means it’s not quick. Again you would be mad if your apt was late due to someone getting added in last-minute when you’ve been waiting for your apt.

Something we’ve learned working as a receptionist: Common sense is not very common. Its true common sense goes out the window when you are scared. But here are things that are never-changing and should be remembered. If it’s an emergency there is a room for that. Your doctor’s office is not equipped for emergencies. Yes yes yes I know you’ve had a bad experience at the hospital and would rather die than go back there. Well that is your other option. If it comes down to it and its a real emergency you’d go to the emergency room. If it’s not a real emergency it can wait until we have an apt to see the doctor. Lucky for some there are areas where they have “urgent” cares. Not quite an emergency but needs to be treated that day. Go there. They can help you. They are also medical professionals!

We know you are scared. We know you have questions, that you want answers to whatever is ailing you. We hear it every day and you know what else we hear every day? The answers to the same questions over and over again. Kind of like in school when you are learning something so you go over the same information over and over again. So forgive me for being a little annoyed when the conversation goes like this:

Patient: is there a nurse or doctor I can talk to?

Receptionist: They are currently with a patient at the moment is there something I can help you with?

P: you probably wouldn’t know you’re just the receptionist. Can you take a message?

R: of course. While we are on the phone why don’t we make a follow up? Yes I can get you scheduled for 2020.

Never ever have this conversation with us. Its truly offensive. Unless you are a doctor or Nobel Peace prize winner you are also just something. After this conversation you are just a pain the ass. Yes we are a receptionist but that is an extremely hard and trying job. We are exhausted at the end of a the day and while we are here with the patients best interest at heart its super hard to want the best for an ass hole.

The link below was the inspiration for getting things off my chest. He’s way more brutally honest than I could be for fear of losing my job.

My Idol The Angry Pharmacist

IMG_6461

 

 

Pluviophile in the world

IMG_6397

A Pluviophile is someone who loves the rain and finds peace and joy in the rainy days. This is me through and through. I love the word, I love the meaning, and I love my rainy overcast days.

Some days are hard with a toddler. We are teaching her how to be an adult. How to deal with frustration, how to soothe herself, how to recognize when she’s wrong and say sorry, and while she’s learning and so excited during the day to do things on her own there comes a point in the evening when she becomes my velcro baby. All she wants is her mama. Its hard when there are things around the house I need to get done and I find myself frustrated and growling (wow wonder where she got it).

She’s always been a good sleeper. The last two years she’s fallen asleep in bed with us and we easily transfer her to her crib. She loves to snuggle and get “comfy cozy” as she calls it. She’s just like me in that she needs something on her. She wants ALL the blankets on her even when its 110 outside. So we use the sheets and her thin baby blankets that she wasn’t into for a while but are making a huge comeback. Once she’s asleep we put her in her bed. Easy peasy.

The last week all she wants is me falling asleep in her toddler bed with her. Cramped because it’s still the length of her crib I shove myself in to snuggle her. I’m not going to lie the first two nights it was pretty comfy and special to hold her like that then escape to my own bed. It was like she was my tiny baby again.

Tonight it was hot and cramped. Have you ever waited for a toddler to fall asleep? It’s physically painful. It’s staying really still and keeping one eye closed. Its repeating “its night night time, close your eyes and relax”. Its getting poked in the eye because she’s making sure you are going to sleep too. Its feeling her start to drift off and moving at a glacial pace to get your arm out from underneath her without waking her up. Its hitting the floor like a bomb went off and crawling out of the room like a ninja when you hear her move before you’ve made your escape. Then that satisfying feeling of silence in the house.

Isn’t that the literal part of being a pluviophile though. Learning to find joy in the rainy days of life. Learning that tonight was rough and there were tears and raised voices and what that really means is we have a family who’s growing and learning together. Everyone enjoys and “likes” pictures of the sunny times that are easily captured by the camera and looks good to post. I do it too. I get a good picture and post it despite the fact that there were tears and flying shoes not even 30 minute before the smiles and posing. We do this because that’s what we want to remember. No ones wants to look back and remember the tears, yelling, pouting, and flying shoes. We want to remember that even though everything went horribly wrong and we all fought that we pulled together and were able to smile through it. Sometimes those are the best memories when things fall apart and come back together.

I’m thankful for my little family, in our little house, in our tiny town that’s hotter than hades right now. I’m thankful she still wants to cuddle with me for now because I know the days are numbered. If it was truly raining I’d be happier but I’m thankful our town cools off at night and I’m able to get cozy under a sheet and still snuggle with my husband.

Not every day is going to be my ideal rainy day. Some days we are going to melt and get sunburned. That’s why there is soothing lotion and essential oils to help us recover and get back to the lake.

To Prep or Minimalize?

IMG_6401

That is the question!

I’m not a prepper myself but my coworker Terri is. Its no shock that this debate comes up a lot. I’m trying to be a minimalist, she’s a prepper…. we have lots to talk about.  I’m ultra fascinated by prepping. I have a lot of weird things I get fixated on so just add this to the list. I love the idea of being prepared and after talking to her I am happy that we live close enough to each other that I can crash her house if crap really hits the fan (she hasn’t invited me but I can assure you that’s where we are going).

This is not a new theory. People have been starting to prepare for the worst for sometime now. I’m pretty sure there was a reality show of people who built bunkers for preppers. If not I watch too much reality TV and have imagined it.  You could spend an whole workday on Pinterest getting prepper ideas and tips (not that I have… not the whole day anyway).  Watching the news and thinking about the state of the world makes me want to build my own bunker and start prepping for the worst.  When I think of “the worst” I don’t really think hiding… I think Hunger Games. I should really start running more. At least be able to run to Terri’s house.

So while I’m on my minimalist kick Terri and I have had conversations all around getting rid of things and having a nice clean look and living simply. Terri is much cleaner naturally so I’m sure her house looks great all the time. It’s taking some serious work on my part. But that lead us to the question: Can you prep and stay a minimalist?

Sounds like something on Shark Tank.

How do you do it? How do you live with just your essentials and still stay prepared for a disaster? I guess it depends on what you are prepping for.

Currently Terri is prepping with at home survival in mind. So she’s preparing for power outages and injury care, and being able to stay home and be self sufficient. In a case where everyone is fleeing she’ll be fine staying home for long periods of time. With me, uninvited, showing up on her doorstep. I may have to get some weapons or start stashing cash on my own so we have something to contribute so she’ll let us in. An incentive to help keep us alive.

She’s educated me on some prepping things I would have never thought of. For instance she keeps cases of water in the basement (water bottles) that she rotates through so they don’t go bad down there, but that she’s always fully stocked. Forget Shark Tank lets just fund Terri to figure this out for us! The list of things she has stocked includes gallons of water, cases of the water bottles, canned foods, frozen meats (would only be a problem in the summer, winter we get snow), paper towels and toilet paper, bathroom essentials and a box of paper goods so there’s not need to do dishes. Again add me to your head count Terri! She’s also fully prepared with big rubber maid containers full of first aid supplies band aids, suture kits and a whole other list of things I would not know what to do with. May need more than money for her to let me in.

So she’s got a lot of stuff to store and manage which leads us back to the original question; how do you have a minimalist lifestyle and prep at the same time?

Here’s my thoughts.

If you have a basement or garage or a legit bunker, first let us know where you are so we can head that way during the crap storm. Second, you are pretty much set. You have your basics in your living space and your disaster kits in your storage areas. Then you can make your house nice and minimalistic with only the essentials of everyday non apocalyptic living.  I’ll have to check with Terri but I’d think you would want to plan ahead with that too and make sure you have space if you need to stay in those spots or make sure you can easily get your stash to your living space without dying.

If you don’t have the space there are “minimalist” prepping ideas you can make. You can do “mini prep kits” and keep the essentials you’d need in a large trash can or one of the big totes that store ridiculous Christmas decorations (that’s what we have them for, not sure what the real purpose is). Keep all you can in those so you have a mini prep kit you can keep it behind the garage or find somewhere it fits without being distracting. Also keep in mind the smaller the kit the smaller your survival time and its good to have a plan on what do to when that kit starts to run low. Don’t find Terri though I’ve already called dibs on that prepper.

Keep in mind we are mountain people and have no clue what this would look like for people in the city or in apartments. Also we are not experts or anything and are COMPLETELY unqualified to be considered a “source” of any kind. This is for fun for us because we’ve been talking about it lately. If you die in the zombie apocalypse its not our fault. We wish you luck and may the odds be ever in you favor.

 

Raining Cheerios

When is the best time to travel long disftance with a toddler? Answer: NEVER

Okay that’s a bit dramatic but seriously after 3 1/2 hours in a car with a 2-year-old thats my current suggestion.

Rylan has always been a good traveler. She would fall asleep in the car and be good till we got wherever we were going. Before she was 6 months old she had been to Santa Cruz twice, San Jose, Tahoe, Bucks Lake, and I feel like there was more but I’m recovering from traveling right now and can’t think. She is still a fairly good car kid. Around town she falls asleep when its nap time and transfers so great! My kid is amazing overall but that’s probably my favorite thing about her. If she falls asleep in the car 9 times out of 10 we can pick her up and get her in bed with out a fit or her waking up. Its like magic. (knock on wood…. seriously, please).

We normally travel with someone. Pat is always with us or my mom likes to plan stuff for us to do together. She’s WAY better at making sure we get to do fun stuff than I am. Especially in this heat. I have 0 motivation to do anything other than complain. Anyway this trip I decided to go alone. Pats family has a cabin at Bucks Lake. Right on the water and drop dead gorgeous view and adorable true cabin feel. They all go every year in July and my poor hubs can’t go in the summer because of golf course grass or something. I swear I’m a decent wife!

This year they planned the trip and I looked at mine and Rylans schedule and yes we could make it happen for a little bit. Not realizing that the road was closed to get there and we would have to drive an extra hour and half on top of the already 4 hour drive. Awesome. So to make the trip less cringe worthy my mother in law and I drove 3 hours to stay at her brother’s house before waking up to travel the last 2 hours.

We left on a Thursday night because we wanted to get there, sleep, wake up and finish the trek to the glorious Bucks Lake. If you’ve never been there I’m not exaggerating how amazing this place is. Add it to the bucket list STAT. So we load up in the car and Rylan is super excited to see her cousins and has no clue the amount of time her tiny bum will be strapped to that seat.

The first hour and half we listened to Toddler Tunes. She did great. Sang her songs, ate her fruit snacks, and was doing fine. My head was starting to hurt from wheels on the bus on repeat but overall was feeling pretty proud of myself.

Then things started to change.  *dun dun dun* She threw her water, which I can not reach while driving. She wanted the iPad, which we do not give her in the car because she’s never wanted it and didn’t know it was a thing until recently. No iPad meant she had to do something and asked for Cheerios. High fiving the crap out of my future self I had packed snacks and had them in the front seat ready to hand her pre-meltdown. Sounds like a good idea right? WRONG!

Still mad over not getting the toys of her choice and me not pulling over every 5 seconds to pick up all the things she threw, she took the open bag of Cheerios and dumped it all over her lap.

“Seriously Rylan?!?! You know better!” I swatted towards the back seat while trying not to swerve on the freeway.

Then it happened…. it started raining Cheerios in my Yukon! Yup you read that right. from all angles cheerios were flying! Down the back of my shirt, bouncing off the windows, even flying towards the windshield only to land down in the air vents.

Determined to make it to Oroville without stopping, I just stopped yelling. I stopped swatting at her while driving down the freeway cause, well… I choose life. I waited it out and was thankful that I hadn’t stocked the reachable ice chest with anything alcoholic. (I would never really drink and drive especially with my child in the car so hold the AA emails) But after experiencing a car cheerio rain storm I’ll also be withholding my judgement on drunk moms.

We made it to Bucks Lake. Right when we got there I could breathe easier. I opened the car door, took a look at that gorgeous cabin and lake, and took a deep breath. Then I put a beer in the freezer. That’s one thing I can appreciate about summer, when its miserable out (anything over 75 degrees) there’s always a gorgeous lake just sitting there waiting for you to come and join the higher elevation, and take a deep breath.

Of course Pinecrest is also beautiful and only a 45 min drive.

I’ve listened to podcast and read blogs on traveling with kids and tips to make it go faster and this trip has led me to give you advice of my own. Mother to mother. Are you ready, cause it’s really good advice? You should write it down. Here it is: Let dad drive and put on a sleep mask and noise cancelling headphones with a good audio book!