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.

 

 

Literal Labor Day


Yesterday was my birthday!!! September 4th!

Which means my mom was LITERALLY in labor ON labor day! I’ve always thought that was hilarious.

I love my mom. She’s a crack up and anyone who’s ever met her knows she has the biggest heart in the world. She means well in everything she does and truly cares about people.

In fact we always joke that she adopts homeless people. Not literally. Although we own a gas station and its goes in phases of being bum central. One lived in his trailer behind the store the entire time I was in high school. One lived in the bathroom for at least a month before my mom asked him to leave.

My favorite used to come and just hang out to talk to her. He was nuts. Exactly what you picture when you think of a homeless man. Finger-less gloves, talks to himself, has a dog. The only thing missing was the stick with the bag hanging from the end. I’m pretty sure I remember actual cartoon smelly squiggles coming off him.

Tangent number 1 complete.

My mom is sweet that was the point of that. She also used to joke that for my birthday she should get a present because it was, after all, her labor day.

I used to make fun of her for this. “Okay mom. It’s your world we just live in it” as I rolled my eyes. Or I’d sigh and say “it really is all about you isn’t it”. What a bratty teenager I was.

Now after being in labor for 36 hours myself I fully understand what she meant. Labor sucks no matter if it was a C-section or you pushed that giant thing out yourself. So funny to me that we always ooh and ahh over how tiny babies are. When your the mom who just pushed it out that thing is massive!

So it took 30 years but I finally understand what my mom meant. So when its your birthday. Don’t forget about what that day means to your mother. Because while we are all thankful for that day you were born… it was a rough one for your mom.

I used to think my birthday was amazing because it was labor day weekend and all the parties and fireworks were all for me. Wow sometimes I open my mouth or write something down and my mother comes out. This is the apple barely even falling from the tree!

So yes the parties were for me and there was always something to do.

Now at 32 there is nothing to do!

I’m sure there are still parties and lakes to go on but at this point in my life with a toddler I don’t wanna be around people.

I wanna go to the lake. Labor day weekend? Way too crowded. 

I wanna go out to eat. Forget it everywhere is packed.

I wanna go out-of-town and do something. So we can drive in traffic and take 3 hours to get anywhere decent where again there will be too many people? Nope.

My birthday this year was fantastic! I got to relax at home with my family and see my friends at different times throughout the weekend and even got to make some headway on the week. Yes, planning and cleaning made me happy on my birthday. I know I”m not alone in this.

Times have changed and I’m not the person I was at 21. Or even 30. I was so freaking fun back then!!! I’m still working on myself because we should never stop doing that. But this birthday has given me a great chance to stop and look and check in with my life. I love it!

I could list all the things going right in life but I won’t because… well barf. Who really cares. The point is I’m so grateful for everything I have and most importantly the people I have in my life. I’m surrounded by amazing people. A few weird ones in there but who doesn’t have a few crazy friends? Keeps me on my toes! Or maybe I’m the crazy friend?

Either way crazy or not I hope everyone had a great Labor Day and enjoys their birthday as much as I did. Don’t worry my birthday isn’t really over… I get the whole month of September. It’s just getting started.

Cold Showers

I don’t have much social media. I don’t do Facebook, I don’t have Snapchat, I don’t tweet. I have Instagram and that’s it. I like pictures.

I used to have Snapchat and I think that’s where I read an article about a 30 day cold shower challenge. My first thought was “what an idiot” which is exactly why I had to read the whole article. She mentioned that at first it was death then she would get used to it and her body would adjust. My second thought was “liar”. but none the less I kept reading and it kept my interest.

I have always taken offensively hot showers. Like I want my bum to be bright red when I get out of the shower. So the thought of taking a cold shower made me shudder.

Then I read that it would clear up body acne, make my hair shiny, and help speed up my metabolism. Okay.. Keep talking…I’m considering it now.

I came to work super excited about this new information and a coworker said she’d be interested in trying it out as well. Okay now I have a buddy to try this with. Moral support not actually taking cold showers together. Just to be clear.

So we started the 30 days of cold showers! Thank goodness it was the start of June and already warm out.

I started with just cooler water than I was used too. I tried going straight cold and was instantly mad at the world. I decided to ease into it. I don’t wash my hair every day because I don’t have to (thank you Jesus!) so when I wouldn’t wash my hair I would go as cold as I could.

It took a while but after about a week or two I started to really enjoy the coolness of the shower and was slowing inching the water colder and colder. Finally I didn’t

No joke I really did notice a difference. My skin was clearing up and my hair did look super shiny. Probably because the bathroom wasn’t so steamy and when I would blow dry it wasn’t creepy muggy in my bathroom. I didn’t notice a difference in my metabolism but that’s a whole other issue I don’t expect cold water to fix.

The biggest surprise to me is how crazy clean I felt afterward. Seriously deep clean. Probably has something to do with the fact that the bathroom isn’t steamy and humid once you get out. Either way its amazing to be clean and feel super clean.

BONUS of the cold shower? I got ready super fast! No steamed up mirror to work around. It was like a nice pleasant surprise every time I got out and could start getting ready right away.

I continue to take cold showers now and its super refreshing every time I hop in and I find that my body has started to warm up and it doesn’t feel that cold anymore. I really don’t think this is all in my head either because my coworker has also fallen in love with and has continued with it for the last 2 months.

So while its shocking and sounds ridiculous give it 30 days. I take it back… give it 2 weeks. Usually by then you’ll know if its something you could handle or not.

I’m not sure how I’ll do when winter hits but I’m excited to have one more thing that makes summer less like a few months in Hades.

 

Fear of Failing 

Do you believe in signs? Like from the universe? Signs from God? Something pushing you to something you didn’t think was in your plan?

That might be a little dramatic interpretation of what was happening for me but I like to think if you listen to the universe it will guide you the right way.

I LOVE podcasts! I want to start my own. I’m just working up to it and in the process. In the mean time I love listening to other ones. I have an extremely wide range of ones I listen to from mom podcasts to finance to self encouragement and happiness motivators. I even have some kid ones and story telling ones.

Yesterday I did a lot of driving so I was able to listen to Lori Harder interview Dave Asprey and it was amazing. He discussed his coffee and books and motivated me to want to try it all! He’s truly amazing and I can’t wait to get it all ordered. As soon as I budget for it. So probably next month!

My first sign of the day came from Dave saying that we have to give up our fear of failing. It’s okay to fail it doesn’t make us bad people it. I’ve heard  it before that failing is not the end. That it’s a learning experience and a stepping stone but something about the way he put it was super motivating.

It was freeing to think that people will support you no matter what. Most of them anyway. Like for me with this blog. I have no idea how it will come along or if I’ll eventually get my podcast. I know that I will work hard for it and keep pushing along. Even if no one reads this I’ll still write because its fun for me. So failing isn’t a fear because I’ll be okay either way. Success is preferred but I will enjoy the ride either way.  So thank you Dave Asprey!

The second sign pushing me towards letting go of fear was from one of my favorite authors and podcast Melanie Dale . In that link she interviews Kari Sowers who also comes up with the same advise. Get rid of that fear of failure.

TWICE in one day that was preached to me and I’m extremely grateful. That’s the purpose of these podcast and the message was received loud and clear!

It was exactly what I needed and what I hope to pass on to anyone who reads this!

I’m going full force with my budget planning and continuing hard-core on the debt snowball. For some reason that was a fear in my head. That we would put in all this hard work on becoming debt free only for something to happen. But losing the fear of failing is freeing in that sense too. Who cares if we have a set back! So what if it takes longer to pay everything off! As long as I don’t stop and don’t let fear hold me back I can see the future of financial freedom!

On my minimalism quest, one day at a time and I can’t fail. Yes my minimalism has gone from a journey to a quest! But no fear in this quest! Cleaning things out and getting rid of things on purpose! Not being scared of failure. If I fail and I’m not a true minimalist by a certain date that I haven’t even set yet… its okay. I’ll survive with plenty of time to keep getting rid of things.

All of this isn’t to say that we should just be lazy and cavalier about pursuing our dreams and goals. But more that we should do it with even more enthusiasm and excitement because if we fail, guess what? It wont kill us!  Strangely enough that’s also become my parenting style of an almost 3-year-old… but did you die? Another post in itself.

Another thing Kari Sowers said that hit hard was about making sure you are paying attention to the things that are priorities to YOU. Not to someone else, or what you think should be a priority to you, but what really matters to you. If having a clean house is important make it a priority. If spending time with your family is more important than do that.

I don’t have Facebook. It’s not a priority to me. I find ways to talk to the people I care about. Whether that’s instagram or Voxer or leaving my sister-in-law super annoying voice memos over text messaging. Her voicemail is always full so I force my voice on her anyway I can. (Just wait till I have my own podcast *evil laugh*)

Also losing that fear of failing means losing the fear of what other people think. In a big way! Because true friends and good people will not look at you different if you fail. They will help you get back up. They will encourage you to keep going and often times its them who wont let you fail in the first place.

Anyone who would judge your or think differently of you for failing doesn’t belong with you anyway and is probably holding you back. In which case failing and getting rid of them is actually winning and growing! So high-five, head up, moving on!

Leaving you today with my favorite quote from Jennifer Lawrence “Not everyone likes me… but not everyone matters”. Well said celebrity spirit friend. Well said.