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!

 

“Minimalist”

IMG_1155It’s a normal Tuesday afternoon, Pat and I are starting on dinner while Rylan is playing with her toys in 3 minute intervals before coming and wanting to help cook or help wash dishes. At 2 and a half there are a lot of things she can do. There are also a lot of things that I just want to get done because, honestly, who has 3 hours to do the dishes to then have to re-do them and clean up the water that’s flooded the kitchen while she was “helping”. Some days I do. This Tuesday was not that day.

So while Pat and I take turns distracting her from each other so we can get stuff done, I’m also trying to clean out and reorganize the whole kitchen. Not because this sounded like a good idea but because for the last 3 months I’ve got this wild hair up my bum that we are going to become….wait for it…. minimalist!!!!” (me with a giant smile and jazz hands, *cue husband eye roll*)

So I’m doing dishes, working on dinner, rearranging cabinets, throwing things away and trying to entertain a toddler. Looking back I can’t believe my meltdown didn’t end in a hospital visit with some bad ass drugs. Okay… .Deep breaths… just keep going down the list. Start clearing off the table. There’s no room for anything until we get the new smaller table with hidden storage.  I had successfully cleaned out one area and dinner was in the works when the sink started to back up. Meaning I couldn’t do dishes.

I slam my hand against the faucet turning it off, dry my hands way harder than necessary and slam the paper towel in the trash can. Super reasonable reaction. I then start slamming drawers and literally throwing things in the trash not even caring that I was still using that spatula. Minimalist now we only need one anyway. Pat comes in from being outside on the BBQ and just stops in the doorway. He gives me that look like knows whats coming and even though we’ve only been married for 4 years he really does know me that well to know it’s not safe in our kitchen.

“I hate this kitchen. I hate our tiny house. I hate that we aren’t trust fund babies who only work for fun.” I’m still slamming things and throwing things away but he doesn’t comment on that. He simply takes Rylan back with him to the BBQ so I can meltdown in private. Which of course makes me feel like a total psycho! Awesome. Just once when I’m being completely irrational I’d like him to come in and start screaming with me and get in on the meltdown. Couples who lose their shit together, stay together. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that on a hallmark card. Then again I’ve always thought I should do the writing for them…. sorry I’m back.

So I’m in the middle of melting down while my husband is being all reasonable and supportive (ugh), when it hits me…. I don’t have to do this right now. I really don’t. I can only do so much and quite frankly I’m killing it when I am rational enough to actually think about it. I work 3 days a week as a human verbal punching bag (I mean receptionist), I teach Les Mills classes on the days I’m not at the hospital, I’m starting a blog and trying to start a podcast, I have a toddler, and trying to reorganize our whole lives. Not to mention trying to work out our budget and follow the Dave Ramsey plan. Nope I don’t have to do this right now.

My very wise sister-in-law once told me that I should put a timer on for 15 min each day and work on a certain area for that 15 minutes and only 15 minutes. So that’s what I’ve been doing and in the last week I’ve made some progress. I’ve gotten my closet organized to the point where I can close the closet doors (don’t judge me, I’m making changes), the foot of our bed is no longer a disaster, and the bar in our house if finally cleared off. Although that’s a daily task that takes a lot of effort on all of us.

Luckily for me Rylan has Aunty Jen’s genes and likes to be clean. For a toddler she can be super helpful when it comes to keeping her toys in her room and wanting to take baby wipes to clean the baseboard. Yup my kid cleans the baseboards and I still have a cluttered house! I’m actually judging myself so don’t worry about it. She’s good at her tasks it’s when she wants to help with mine that I lose patience and become snippy mom.

I’ve subscribed to a few different podcasts to help with the daily motivation of staying clutter free. The truth is when I can walk in my bedroom at the end of the day and see my nice pretty bed made and walk around to each side without having to dodge a Barbie, dog toy, or even a pair of my shoes, I can breathe easier. When I walk into the kitchen to start dinner and the counters are clean and there’s no dishes in the sink its like a weight lifted off my shoulders. Even better when I open the cabinets to find whatever ingredients or cooking utensils I need and its right there, easily accessible! It’s not quite better than sex but its towards that end of the spectrum.

Its becoming clear to me that this is not something that’s one and done. My new “minimalist lifestyle” is an ongoing, constantly changing beast of its own. I was never the best at keeping my room clean but now as adult I am learning that I can breathe easier and am more productive when things are clean and organized. One of my favorite podcast does audio classes on Minimalism for Real People and High Five To Your Future Self. Seriously the best thing for me. Its sparked that fire and has truly been so helpful. When I think of giving my future self a high-five it makes me want to prep my coffee, lay out clothes, do all my dishes the night before and get everything prepped for the next day, week or even the next few hours.

So hopefully between a super helpful husband and child, podcast motivation, and the general drive to give my future self a high-five, I’ll be on track to having a nice clean grown up house. Until then the journey is super fun and while I hope there’s no more tears in the kitchen I’m sure there will be. That’s what makes its great.  I’ve listed some links to podcasts that I really like and that have helped me. But if you come over and my kitchen is a mess is my fault not theirs 🙂

Picture is our house the first christmas we moved in. We are in fact “tiny living”. We do have half an acre and since then my husband has gone full blown Clark Griswold.

Girl Next Door Podcast Link

The Home Hour Kitchen Episode

Friendship Landscapes

Mom: “who’s your best friend?”

12 yr old me: “I have a few but I don’t think I have a best friend”

At 31…32..no I was right 31 years old I look back at my pre-teen self and am proud. At such a young age I already knew the value of having many friends and the different strengths that came from all the different types of friendships you can benefit from. I thank my mom for that. She always had such a great group of friends around her and really was a great friend herself. She would do anything for anyone and always felt everyone should be included.

I didn’t learn that part until I was at least in high school. We had a close group of friends in elementary school but there was always that one girl who you thought was your friend but didn’t realize until later she was just a mega mean girl. I could do a whole post on that but don’t worry won’t. I recently listened to a podcast I think it was Coffee and Crumbs… I’ll post the link if I can find it, where they talk about friendship landscapes and how certain times in your life that landscape looks different and it’s always changing.

There will be times when you are closer with certain friends more than others or just because life happens you may not talk all the time. Sometimes you are both going through the same thing in life and its easy. Or sometimes one of you is having a baby throwing up with morning sickness while the other is throwing up hung over from an awesome party the night before. Probably not at the peak of the friendship landscape. Doesn’t mean it won’t come back around to being besties taking selfies and crying over a good cup of coffee in the future.

But it doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes friendships really do break apart at the seams. It could be fast like when my dog gets a new stuffed animal and goes savage trying to get to the squeaker, flinging stuffing around and leaving my living room looking like a stuffed animal crimes scene. Those seams my be harder to repair but I will never say anything is impossible.

I could happen incredibly slow to the point where you don’t even really notice until one day you go to call or text but can’t quite figure out why there’s pit in your stomach and a burning behind your eyes. Those are the worst. Because there’s no falling out and nothing to be angry about it’s just… weird. Uncomfortable. It would be better if she did something to cause this feeling. Stole from you, slept with your boyfriend (personal preference but husband is unforgivable to me), or betrayed your trust. That way at least there’s an incident to fall back on  when you start missing them. “that’s right she was such a bitch” could be super helpful in moving on.

But the slow pull apart is painful. It could be for a million different reasons and I don’t have that kind of time or creativity to think of them all but no matter what happens it’s always hard.

Here is a passage that may be something to think about courtesy of JoLynne Whitaker:

“As you grow, your circle will change. This too is part of growth,. Not everyone can go with you. Not everyone should….

Elevation requires separation. Awaiting you at the next level will be new allies, new connects, new friendships, new opportunities to be apart and connect with. Yet, I exhort you to embrace the peace, benefit  and power of a season alone with your Savior.

But one must detach from the ones who cannot see, respect or accept your vision. One must detach from the ones who choose not to grow. This is part and parcel of your walk with Christ; this too is development. Elevation requires separation. Selah 2 Corinthians 6:17”

Yes I got a little Gody. Take what you will from it leave what you don’t. whether you believe or not you can take something about friendship and growing from that passage and I encourage you too.

Yes I’ve personally lost friendships. Not a lot because once I love you I always love you and will always be friendly and nice when I see your hear about you. But I also appreciate the feeling of freedom and growth that comes with letting go. Yes its hard. If it didn’t hurt there’s a lack of caring there for that person, in which case it’s probably a good thing the friendship isn’t on the landscape. But if you cared of course its going to hurt. and that’s okay. That’s good.

Yup leaving you with a super grown up mature quote from….. Whinny The Pooh!

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”. well said Pooh.