Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Keep swimming

You know those days where you're at the end of your rope and its not even noon? (Heck, some days I don't make it to 10 and my boys wake up at 9!) Those days when the kids are goi g at it during breakfast and don't stop for a moment. The days where you sit in front of the TV all day and just let Sesame Street play on an endless loop because frankly, those Muppet puppets keep your children entertained when you just really don't feel up to it. You know those days right?

I have one of those days usually once a week, and never always on the same day. Like this week, today was that day, Tuesday was that day. It started good, everything was going good. We hung out with our neighbors for a while and then went shopping. Shopping always ends with 2 cranky boys and a frazzled momma. It was all I could do to keep the morale up, smiles going and the boys in the cart. 

Once home, everything erupted into a fit of tears and fists. Danger didn't want to go in the house, so I was leading him with my hand on his back. He hated going in the house but hated it even more when little brother started pushing him. He turned and shoved Colonel. Colonel got up fighting and started punching Danger. Danger got sent to his room with a swat on the tush, and Colonel also got sent to his crib with a swat on his tush. Momma also got sent to timeout. 

Sometimes everyone just needs a timeout, away from everyone else. Colonel ended napping, and once I explained to Danger that momma was in timeout he backed off and let me be in timeout. He was pretty cute when he asked "Are you still in timeout, momma?" 

Another thing that made today hard was Shark's schedule. He's been on this crazy project, and with our 2 week vacation coming up, he's been stressing. And his summer is ending, so his brothers have been making plans, but it seems like all their plans happen at night. Crawfishing. Frog hunting. So last night Shark, his brothers and Danger went frog hunting. So it was a late night for them. He's been exhausted lately and going frog hunting didn't help, but man, when they walked in the door, they were both smiling ear to ear. He was so happy.

Today Shark didn't get home until late. I have an app called Find My Friends, where I can track his phone. Danger and I "check the map" to see where daddy is on his way home. It's something that both of us do for fun as daddy comes home. Today I couldn't find Shark on the app, it never showed him, and suddenly he showed up at the house.

I was exhausted today, and just spent. Out of energy and out of patience. Heck I still am. But I've found some things to calm me down, help me collect myself.

I crochet.

I read.

I watch tv.

I like things that I can just shut my brain off and do. Now, I can't just sit and watch TV, my brain gets bored, so I usually crochet and watch tv. Reading allows me to shut my brain off to MY world and enter a new one.

Sometimes everyone just needs a break. Sometimes everyone needs to be given a break. Sometimes everyone needs to be reminded to take a break.

One thing I've learned : no matter how hard today was, the fate of tomorrow is NOT dependent on today. I can make tomorrow into something completely new.

Just keep swimming. Just keep trying. Just keep being.

Monday, April 20, 2015

New obsessions

So basically it sort of started at Christmas when I got my FitBit Flex. I absolutely LOVE it. l immediately started searching about it. And I learned as much as I could about it. I downloaded the app to my Android phone and immediately changed all the stats and created a profile. I started searching for and adding friends. I even linked it to my Facebook and set it to make a daily stats update to my timeline. I never do that, I hate having apps post stuff for me. But this whole exercising thing was awesome. I felt I was truly doing something to help myself and even though it wasn't a whole heck of a lot, I still felt it was something.

I bought a treadmill in January, call me a New Years Resolutioner or whatever, but I was determined to get into shape. Not that I felt I was particularly out of shape, but I was exhausted. I have 2 little monster boys that keep me on my toes, but I felt I shouldn't be out of breath after going up our half flight of stairs to help my 3yo go potty. That just wasn't cutting it for me. I got a pair of used running shoes at the thrift store for $3, good find, but we'll have to see how they hold up or if they even really work for me. My husband's family decided to do an Atkins diet starting in January (right before my birthday!!!) so I joined it. I also decided to join in a DietBet type thing called The Meltdown Challenge, and even though I totally won and lost my allotted amount of weight (I lost 15lbs!) I forgot to do a final weigh in, oh well. I was getting my steps in almost every night, and if I didn't get them, I walked on the treadmill and watched a show. And I've got this last bit of momma-pooch I'd like to get rid of. I'm not looking to lose 50 pounds, just a few, and I'm more worried about getting into shape and getting healthy!!

Last month, I went in for a cardiac cauterization and the doctor enlarged one of my ventricles with a balloon, to help with the blood flow. Shark talked to the cardiologist because he had some questions.

1) Would exercising help strengthen my heart, and essentially give us more time before the heart transplant, or would it weaken it and make the heart transplant happen sooner?
-------Yes, exercising would strengthen my heart, it would give me more energy, it would also give me more time, but it wouldn't really make a difference.

2) About how long we were looking at until I needed a heart transplant? What was the time frame? Single digits or double digits?
-------About in there. Around 10 years is when they will really start to look at it, unless something else starts happening....

So call this a new exercise obsession, call it me trying to gain control over something I have NO control over whatsoever, call it a last ditch effort, call it what you want. I guess I feel a desperate need to change something and right now, I have all the tools to get fit and get in shape and exercise and run. Yeah my ankles and calves are burning but I am so proud that I've started something and that I've done it 2 days in a row.

I downloaded an app called C25K- Couch 2 5k. And I am so excited to use it and started jogging/running. In reading over the details of the training, I guess I'm not supposed to run on days back to back but I didn't see that until last night/this morning, so I'll be switching to either just walking tonight or yoga or Zumba or something. Part of me also feels like if I take a day off, that'll be the end of my jogging run...

I signed up for a 5K in May. My sister and I are going to do the Color Me Rad. Danger said he wanted to do it with us, we'll see how that goes. I'm not planning (nor even thought about) to RUN or even JOG the 5k, more like a brisk walk, that's all I'm aiming at. I got Danger some shades and a bought him a Color Me Rad shirt from the clearance section when I registered, he can run free. I'm pretty excited.

I know in the past, I've used my heart condition as a fall back, "Oh, I can't do that, I have a heart condition." "I can't do all those setups, run that whole mile, I have a heart condition." But when I think of the recent past, I gave birth! I've been shocked (cardio verted) like 5 times, I've hiked up mountains, I've done all sorts of things. Why on earth would my heart condition hold me back from exercising? So I'm done making excuses, I'm just going to DO!

I also feel like I have no other options. I guess part of me feels like my life is a stake, and running could be the answer... And if that's the case, than that's a pretty easy answer. So that's my plans and that's why I've got a sudden obsession with running.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

You beautiful mom, you

Oh moms. Oh women. Oh ladies.
I'm going to be honest and real with you. I'm gonna level. I'm not a real big fan of how I look. I never really have been. (Ok, I thought I was smokin' hot on my wedding day and in my bridal photos!) The photos I'm sharing today, yup, not my bests...
I don't know where my negative view of myself came from. My family always said I was beautiful, ok my mom said it, my siblings did not really help build that confidence until AFTER high school... Middle school and high school were rough on me. I got picked on, ridiculed almost mercilessly. 
I was always more interested in the engineering side of everything. I loved wood shop and drafting. I helped start an archery club. I wore my brothers clothes. I didn't wear makeup or really do my hair in any style other than a ponytail. 
I was the only girl in my wood shop class, and got called a lesbian. It was hard to be made fun of for doing something I loved so much. Plus I was freaking awesome at it. I hold those projects and creations so dear. I still love building and making things. I love talking with my husband about what he's building (propellers right now) and I love drafting and design. I followed that dream and became a professional draftsman. I was the only girl on the drafting side of the projects. I got tougher though. 
As girls, we are told from birth how beautiful we are. How pretty we are. How special we are. We are told that we can do anything we can possibly think of, as long as we try and do not give up. Our families, and sometimes complete strangers, help build our confidence and strengthen us, build us up. 
When do we stop hearing that we're beautiful? When do we stop gaining that confidence? When do we stop building ourselves? When do others (and ourselves!) start the demolition? When do those sharp words and thoughts start flying?
At what point in our lives, do we, as beautiful, confident, amazing young women, allow those negative voices, thoughts, and words creep into our hearts and when and why do we ever start believing them? 
 
I'm not always (hardly ever!) happy with how I look. I'm not good at the 1-and-done selfie pic. Trust me, I take like 10 and then pick the one that I look least "offensive" and it's hard cuz my boys are only available for 1 pic! 
I'm not confident in how I look and feel in my own skin. When I sit and think about it, it's sorta sad. Look at all the abuse my skin has taken from me over the years:
-2 open heart surgeries
-countless skinned knees and elbows
-broken arm
-those years of learning to shave my legs
-my inability to remember sunscreen
-carrying 2 baby boys
-going years (probably) being technically dehydrated
-the copious amounts of superglue on my fingers
-and hot glue
-and all the pins jammed into my fingers
-my experiments with makeup
-all those greasy burgers
-all the grocery lists on my hand
-the tattoos

Yeah, skin, you've done good. I shouldn't be ashamed of you, and in all honesty, I'm not. It's just sometimes, I'm not happy looking at my skin. 

Look at that list again. Most of those are some pretty amazing things to put my skin and body thru. I should feel good about most of those. 
My body creates PEOPLE! And darn cute ones at that! How can I not be happy and confident with something that is a miracle? 

My heart is all messed up and backwards, but I'M STILL HERE! How can I not be happy and feel so blessed with something that technically and anatomically should probably NOT have functioned past my birth?
There are times I don't like how I look. And I know I am not the only one. I'm going to share some stories with you. Events that I witnessed, that made me so sad. 

#1 : I was visiting a friend, she was getting ready for work, and this friend hasn't felt good in years. Her health has been in a slow decline for a while now but she continues to push thru and she is absolutely amazing and wonderful, she's a beautiful mom and grandma and she is an incredible woman full of strength and faith! Anyways, she was doing her hair and she kept apologizing to me for how her hair looked. Honestly, it was not bad at all. She looked great! But she didn't think she looked good. It could have been that she was sick, and didn't feel good at all but she looked good! After all she had been thru, she was so sorry for how she looked. 
#2 In talking with a friend at church, she was reading a story about a "super attractive" woman, and she instantly quipped "Oh, and I didn't write that!" She totally could have written it and everyone would have agreed! She's an amazing mom to a little boy, her husband is going thru school and I'm pretty sure she works outside of the home. Why would she think she's not super attractive? If there's one thing I know about husband's and offspring, they LOVE mommas. Husbands will do anything to get "under the covers" with their wives, and children will do anything to hug, hold and kiss their mommas! These humans, who you interact with on a daily basis see and know how beautiful you are, and they don't hesitate to tell you. Why don't you believe them? Your husband picked you. He picked you to look at every day for the rest of his life, he chose you to wake up to - morning breath and bed head included! You are super attractive, trust me, if you don't trust me, will you trust them?
#3 A friend posted a picture of her awesome shirt, but she put an emoji over her face because she thought she looked awful, had just woken up, and didn't want others to see. If I looked that good waking up, there'd be way more "good morning" selfies. She's a friend of mine who married another friend of mine, and they are an awesome family and I love them. She had her 3rd baby a few months ago, and her husband works long hours, I'm not sure if she works outside of the home.  (This one goes along with #2) Those children LOVE her. I know as soon as I see my boys in the morning, I'm showered with humongous smiles and giggles and that is ALL before I have a chance to rub the sleep from my eyes or use the bathroom. Children don't care if your makeup is on, hair is styled, or even if your socks match. They just care about you. My big boy will come up and give me hugs and tell me I'm beautiful. I love that. He'll look at our family pictures and pictures from our wedding and say how beautiful I look and how handsome dad looks. He loves us. 
I want my children to be confident and strong. To know they can do ANYTHING they want to. How can I teach my boys to be confident, if they don't see me being confident? Where are they going to learn it from? 

There are qualities in myself I'm working on, patience is one. I had written on my mirror : 
The boys watch everything you do. 
Be who you want them to see.  
This momma, this one in the pictures, is the momma my boys will remember. This one, with the weird smile and sometimes lazy eye, and at some angles, a double chin. This is the momma my boys and my husband think is beautiful. This is the momma they are desperately trying to convince that she's gorgeous. Even if she's just in a t-shirt and jeans. I shouldn't have to wear my wedding dress to feel gorgeous. 

My husband LOVES looking at me. LOVES how I look. LOVES what carrying and giving birth to our 2 children has done to my body. LOVES me because I love him. Even after 7 years! When he looks at me, I feel loved, I feel beautiful. And I am so grateful for the love my husband and my children show me. 
We are beautiful creations. I know, God created each of us, with His own hands. And I know that because of how I personally am put together. It is only by some miracles that my heart functioned for 11 days before the doctors preformed surgery. It is only by some miracles that I was able to give birth to my children. I know that each of us is here for a reason. I also know, one of those reasons is to HAVE JOY! We are to be of good cheer. Not wallowing in self-doubt and low self-esteem. We are beautiful. We need to start seeing how incredible and amazing and beautiful we are. We need to start seeing how incredible and amazing and beautiful others are. We need to stop mom shaming and self shaming. Weed need to show compassion rather than criticism. 
 
 

 I also speak to myself. Please, please, PLEASE, NEVER lose that confidence and strength in yourself. If there is anything to believe in, it is most definitely YOURSELF. You, yes you, are freaking amazing. You do and can do wonderful, amazing, difficult things. You are stronger and beautiful. You are super attractive, you are incredibly smart and knowledgeable, you are amazingly strong. 

Please continue to believe in you. I love you.

From the deepest part of my broken, backwards heart, please know that you, yes YOU, are freaking beautiful! 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It's been a while

Yeah, so it's been a while....I'm sorry that it's almost March and this is my first post. Well, I had one written, and drafted it but never published. It's a little too personal, which is odd cuz this is my personal blog... But I'm not ready to share it yet. Maybe, down the road, maybe. 

But there has been things going on. My boys are growing up. They are getting so big. So strong. So tough. They are amazing. But they are growing up too fast! 

The Colonel is 1 day shy of 11 months. He's crawling everywhere. He stands up on everything. He babbles and talks and is learning to make all kinds of sounds. 
His little personality is shining thru and we're learning very fast that it's not a little personality at all! 
I love watching my boys together. The littles play so good together. They laugh and giggle. If one giggles, the other will burst into fits of laughter. And what's even funnier, is it's obviously fake laughter. And then it turns into real sincere laughing. I love it. 
Danger is a little doer. He's always fixing things and repairing things and throwing things. He's always running and jumping. Always digging, always driving trucks. And he's started really digging into his imagination. It's wonderful to watch. 
He's been having some emotional days lately. He will just burst into tears randomly while Shark is at work or school. Like, inconsolable. And the only words I have gotten from him in these moments is : dad, school, work, gone, help. He sobs, breaks down, tears stream down his face. All I can do is hold him. Stroke his hair, rub his back, and tell him that his dad is working/schooling and will be home soon. 
I desperately am trying to help him to understand that his dad will always come home and play with him. That neither mom or dad, will ever leave him. We will always be there, always. 
I've also been trying to destress our lives. Destress the boys' lives, not rush them, not put too much of a schedule on them. Which also helps me not to stress. It just takes a load of my shoulders to not HAVE to rush around all day. 
I've been trying to take more pictures and to take more HAPPY pictures with my boys. Which also turns into being HAPPIER with my boys. It's wonderful. 
Now, the past 2 months haven't gone by without hiccups or events. 
We got Danger signed up for preschool in the fall, and we're so excited. 
My sister Megatron stayed with us for a bit, and we have taken trips to see her down south. It's been very very fun, and wonderful to have my family close. 
February started off great, and Shark and I made Valentine's plans, but had to abruptly cancel them because my heart went into flutter again. No idea why, but it happened. 
They didn't cardiovert me out of it this time. They used my pacemaker to pace me out of it. They sent a burst of beats to my heart which, more or less, "spooked" my heart so that it started beating at a normal rhythm again. 
We were literally saved by my sister, Megatron, because she drove me to the hospital while Shark was at work, and watched the boys while we were at the hospital. She was amazing!
But after that all happened, the boys got sick. With 2 different illnesses. Danger has a cold. Colonel has some type of flu. But now, Danger's cough is just a lingering cough and Colonel has gotten over his weird flu and is back to normal, aside from the weight he's lost. 
Here's a hospital pick. This is the 1st ER visit. There were 2. One Friday night/Saturday morning, and one Saturday evening. Megatron and I were making bracelets when my heart rate jumped to 220... 
The boys like riding in the basket. Colonel loves it cuz he can stand up and see everything. He thinks it's awesome. Only problem is : I can't buy as much stuff as I normally do. Wait, is that a problem? 
Cheese!
Chilling with dad. 
Sicko snuggles. 
Emotional day cuddles, and momma's new haircut! 

I love these boys. I'm working on being a more patient mom and showing more love towards my kids. I'm trying to improve myself and my thinking. I'm trying to strengthen my relationship with my Savior by learning as much as I can about Him, and doing that also means in learning how He sees me. I am a Daughter of God and no one can take that away from me, nothing, anybody says or does will ever change how much He loves me. And that includes what I say or do. 

Knowing this and thinking this every day has been amazing and uplifting. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014

Now we say goodbye to 2015. Here's how we ended this year. The boys visited with Santa. Danger asked him for a scooter (apparently he was on the Nice List cuz he got one!) And it was the Colonel's first time seeing the Man in Red. No tears, just chilling. Maybe it was cuz his strong, brave big brother was there. 
I *love* to see my boys together. I love the smiles, I love seeing how much they love one another. I see how much Shark loves being a dad and how much the boys love him and each other. 
We went to Santa's Village to look at the lights. Danger LOVED it. I swear, he ran around in circles, around the trees for about 15 minutes. 
I get to wrestle with these boys all day. Some days it's good, some days it's bad. But I generally enjoy it. :) I like being their momma. These silly boys are so cute and fun. 
We took the train down to the airport to catch our flight to WI. It was stressful but it was such a relief to not pay for parking. 
My cuties on the plane. They loved watching the workers outside the plane, loading our luggage, the plane being towed to the runway. They loved it. 
Shark, Danger and my old man out looking for a practice arrow. Danger LOVED hanging out with grandpa and dad. 
Danger doodled on the white board. This is a picture of him. 
Colonel looking hopeful at the snow outside. It was a white Christmas. 
And what's a trip to WI with a hospital visit for Mom? Just my heart freaking out again. It lasted about a day and then was gone. 
Aunt G getting cuddles from Danger. 
Colonel just chilling at brunch. 
Saying goodbye to grandma at the airport. 
Family photo 2014!
Making pizza for our New Year's. We held ours on Tuesday because dad had to work on the 31st. We went all out with fondue, pizza, sparkle juice and games. 

It's been a wonderful 2014. Colonel joined our family, Danger started preschool, and is now potty trained. It has been awesome and amazing. 

I am so excited for 2015! Bring it on.