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The wind beneath my wings- RTLF #36

I’m going to get so sappy here people. Grab some tissues. I’ll be so sappy that by the time I’m done, we will be a bucket of syrup. Eh? Oh yeah!

Do you have that one person in your life that will love you and do ANYTHING for you? ANYTHING? It’s hard to know what people will do when they are tested. But my mom is the person in my life who would do whatever I needed. She would. And it’s not whatever I want- no. It’s whatever I NEED. So if it’s tough love, sweet love, bail money, whatever…. she’s there.

Please know, that my husband is A-#1 in my life. His blog post is coming later.Trust me, he’s a saint.

Some things have become apparent in my life this week. Some ‘fan hitting shit’ things apparent. No, I didn’t rob a bank. Or cheat on my McSweetie. But I might as well, because I felt like dirt. I felt like pond scum and I don’t even know why I let myself get this way.

I’ve been a crappy housekeeper and financial planner for the family. If money is the root of all evil, I let it get in my way of running my family properly. That sounds so vague and weird, but everything is fine. I will be expanding on these items soon. When I can get the words. Because I know there’s a lot of you out there who feel the same way.

If there were some Oprah ‘A-Ha’ moments, this was the week.

A-Ha #1- I let myself get in a dark place of self loathing where I only focused on my aging face, my flabby body, and my feelings of inadequacies. (Duh, I know) Stupid? Well, why do alcoholics drink? Why do Anorexics not eat? None of it makes sense. Smart people do and think dumb stuff. This I do know.

Am I surprising you? I know. Happy little, funny Frugie was down in the dumps. Was it depression? I don’t know. I don’t have a professional opinion of what all this is. I just know I was destructive in my self-talk.

A-Ha #2- I married the best man on earth. He’s smart, patient, understanding and most of all- forgiving. And I think, gosh darn it, he loves me. He loves me so much he puts up with my fuck-ups, my female hormonal break-downs, and my prison pajamas. No, not an orange jumpsuit – gray sweat shorts and a gray t-shirt. Ala Target, it’s most unflattering.

A-Ha #3- My mom is the most selfless, giving, wise woman on the planet. Some of you already know this. I know this. But even through her struggles of looking after my dad, my sister, herself, she is there for me.

How lucky am I to be the daughter of such a woman?

My dad is recovering nicely after his broken hip. She will have her own health issues to deal with soon. And my sister is a disabled adult living at home. She takes care of all of them. The last few months have been a trial for sure. But she’s getting through it. We both are.

The woman is freakin’ Mother Teresa!

If I text her, call her, email her, with my woes- she lends an ear. Always.

Does she tell me straight to my face what I don’t want to hear sometimes? Yes. Does she still have the look in her eyes and that pursed mouth of when I was ten and I sassed her or something? Yes! The look. One look from mom and you knew! Oh, you knew!

She always reminds me of my gifts and my talents. She builds me up so I can go back to my job of mothering, wife-ing, volunteering, blogging… whatever.

I want to do so much for her. Because I know she’s tired. She’s worn out. But life keeps chucking shit our way, and then I need her too. So she gives and she gives. I’m still the daughter. I might be 40 years old. But I still need my mom.

And thank God she is there for me.

Are we sappy yet? Have we made syrup? I’m starting to cry in tissues again, so I’ll stop here.

There’s more where this story came from.

I’m fine. Really. And everything is great. I’m full of blessings and gifts I can’t take for granted. My mom helped me get there this week. She did. She is the wind beneath my wings.

<tissue please>

 

 

 

PET Scans and Ultrasounds and Dream Miles – RTLF #35

This is my one year anniversary of Reason To Live Friday (RTLF) and yes, it should read #52. Well, too bad I didn’t post one every week!  Okay? Geeze!

As you might remember, I started this series after some dark times and a friend of mine took her life. That same week, a fellow PTA volunteer at my daughter’s school died suddenly from a heart condition. And over the years, friends have lost their children to cancer. Life can be pretty shitty. So I wanted to remind myself that there is always something better and brighter out there to look forward to. Yes, living in the moment is pretty great. But what motivates me is having something to look forward to.

Last week I had an ultrasound. I knew something was wrong with me since each month it felt like my ovary was trying to kill me. As I’m doubled over on the bathroom floor shoving Advil down my pie hole as fast as I can, I’m cursing my monthly curse with  a raised fist saying, ‘damn you ovary, what did I ever do to YOU?’  Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but it was pitiful.

So my lady doctor, who is in fact, a lady, ordered an ultrasound. Now this is the fun part. No, it’s not. It was one of those ugh, I can barely type it, let alone think it, TRANS VAG INAL ultrasounds. With the long pokey thing that looks like a cross between a sex toy and a curling iron, but isn’t at all as much fun as either of them.

The doctor noticed my ovary loves my uterus so much it wants to be friends. Somehow it has attached itself to the uterus and isn’t floating out in ovary land like it should. So I guess I’m thankful for modern medicine to see these things for me and I don’t have to just make a wild guess at handling my evil cycle every month with more advil and more exercise. Which is what one doctor told me many years ago would help with my endometriosis. More exercise? I wanted to kick her in the taco.

Anyways, I don’t have a plan just yet. We’ll see if the IUD is the answer or surgery. Gee it sucks being a woman, doesn’t it?

PET scans. No, these aren’t where you take some kind of device up to your dog or cat. A Positron Emission Tomography scan is a really fancy test for cancer or where cancer is in the body. The definition includes the words gamma rays, so it sounds like Spiderman or something. My mom went in for a PET scan last week. I went with her for moral support. It’s a long process. You have to have a no carb diet for 72 hours, like seriously, no carbs. Not even an olive. It registers on the carb scale believe it or not. By the time I drove her to her test, she was weak and had lost 7 pounds. No wonder people swear by the Atkins diet.

We knew she had a spot in her chest that needs removing from uterine cancer she had 10 years ago. What we didn’t know if it was anywhere else in her body, or if it had grown bigger.

Yesterday she met with her oncologist to discuss the results of the scan. And. The news. WAS GOOD!! Just the same old spot from before that they’ll remove with surgery and it’s not bigger or anywhere else. Praise Jesus!!!

The fear of chemo or radiation in her future was underlying, and being able to virtually see in the body like that and know she only needs surgery, what a miracle of science!

And last on my list- The Dream Mile at Owen’s school. A tradition of 20 years where the fastest runners of the mile get to compete in front of the whole school. The top 12 boys and 12 girls are picked from their qualifying PE fitness tests. Owen qualified this year and was excited to race. He runs constantly with soccer practice and soccer games. This seemed like a piece of cake. Only, the catch was he hadn’t played soccer in about 3 weeks since he’s between seasons. The body de-conditions rapidly.

But regardless of his waning stamina, he was mentally ready! He was so excited. Even wore his new Nike lunar glides.

I went to the school to cheer him on along with the other parents. The whole school was out on the field and playground. Each class had made signs. Owen’s class made some for him. Now, I might have teared up and started to cry. It’s a good thing I was wearing sun glasses. I didn’t see any other parents crying!! But the cheering and fanfare for the runners was so special.

Just the gift of running and being healthy is such a huge wealth and I don’t take for granted my kids’ abilities.

The race started and I knew he was going to burn out faster than he hoped. But that’s okay. He ran strong, I could see he was fighting the pain of a side ache.  He came in 5th. I think he was a little bummed. But his classmates were supportive and he has already started planning his strategy and training for next year.

I was so proud!!

So there you go. My silver linings of the last couple weeks. I hope you can count your silver linings and look for the bright side.

 

 

It’s the Boy’s birthday! RTLF- #34

Today Owen is 10. Ten!!

I still haven’t lost the baby weight.

Owen was born with bright blond hair. Lots of it. He needed a hair cut at 9 months because he had a comb-over, it was so long!

Once my nether regions healed after birthing out this 8 pound 11 ounce child of 23 (22?) inches long with a 95th percentile head- I grew to realize that the ‘mama’s boy’ myth was coming true. He was in love with me and I with him.

I promise to not be a nightmare mother in law. It might be hard. He’s my golden boy.

I figured in honor of this day- I will post a few gems of previous Owen posts. He has always been entertaining. Including this one:

Also, I shall include last year’s post of when I share his birth story. It’s pretty good.

The Difference Between Sons and Daughters

Ha! Answer- HUGE!

Yeah, DUH!  I figure since my son’s birthday is coming up and I wrote a blog post about my daughter’s birthday, I should give him the same credit. Although, he is the second child and sometimes you just forget to do stuff for the next kid, like baby books, home movies, that sort of thing. The five second rule comes in to play a whole lot more. You don’t sweat the little stuff like you obsessed over the first time.

So, my story begins- I was about 16 weeks pregnant with my second child. I didn’t know yet if it was a boy or a girl. I kinda wanted it to be a girl. My daughter was 2 1/2, we had a houseful of girl things, I figured, I know girls. I’m a girl,  I can do girls. What do I do with a boy? Will I want to play with him? When he gets older, how am I going to deal with penis questions? (let me tell you now- I am always dealing with penis and testicle questions.) What if he’s hyper, what if he likes guns and wants to be an Ultimate Fighting Champion when he grows up? What is he going to wear? Boys clothes sure as heck aren’t as cute as girl’s clothes.  These were the thoughts that were spinning around and around in my head. Very shallow, but reasonable thoughts.

A friend of mine gave me a children’s book called “Love You Forever” about a mom so devoted to her baby boy and all his phases of growing up. She would tuck him in each night, she would watch him sleep. And then when he was a grown up she climbed in through his window and watched him sleep. Which is really weird. Then when she was an old lady, he watched her sleep and carried her when she couldn’t walk. And it goes to show you how much a mama loves her boy and vice versa. I thought it was a little creepy with the whole sleep watching part and I thought, “I’m never going to be one of THOSE moms that clings to her son.”

<<SNORT>> Yeah right. Fast forward 9 years from then- no girl is going to be good enough for MY boy!! No girl. Okay, settle down. I’m kidding. But I totally get the mother/son connection. My boy is a mama’s boy for sure. And he IS my favorite. I mean, okay, not really!! He’s just, well, he’s easy to love. So I joke about him being my favorite.*

In those early months of pregnancy, I read in a magazine that if your pee was tinged green you were having a boy. If it’s yellow, you’re having a girl. Of course, I was always inspecting my pee color those early weeks. And it was, well, pee color. I guess, I mean, sort of guess it was kinda greenish. It depended on when I took my vitamin, how much water I had been drinking. It was really hard to determine. Also, I heard that if you crave meats you are having a boy. I totally craved sweet baked goods when I was pregnant with Emma. And strawberries. I ate strawberries all the time. With Owen’s pregnancy, I craved vodka. What does THAT tell you?? I craved lots of seafood. I wanted shrimp and prawns all the time. And steak. So yes, I guess I did crave meat.

We had names picked out for if it was a girl or if it was a boy. Nothing written in stone. We just had ideas. I sure as heck had more options if it was a girl. I loved all kinds of girl names. Not that James agreed with me on most of them. Like, Cher or Genevieve, or Violetta. Something awesome of course! I kind of wanted Charlotte or Olivia. I thought that would go well with Emma. He didn’t want any part of that. Too old fashioned he said. I wanted Margaret or Kathleen. Again, too old fashioned. GEEZE, what did he want- Beyonce?? So we kind of, sort of, chose Sarah. But for the boy, we were leaning towards Henry. Love the name Henry. Yes, it was old fashioned, but we both agreed on it. Then low and behold his Great Aunt one day said if it’s named Henry, she’s calling him Hank. Well, stop the presses, because I’m not having a kid going by the name of Hank! Hank is a name for an old man wearing a wife beater shirt guzzling a Pabst Blue Ribbon in his lawn chair. No offense, I just had this image of what a Hank looked like, and it was NOT my son. So then it just came to us- If it’s a boy, it needs to be Owen, which is James’ middle name and his grandfather’s name on his dad’s side. And you don’t get Hank out of Owen. So Owen it would be. Or Sarah. We weren’t sure yet.

We went to the ultrasound at 20 weeks and found out we had a healthy baby. Brain, heart, all the good stuff- looking fine. And yep, a penis. There it was. The fifth appendage. They told us we were having a boy and I thought, well, okey dokey, a boy it is. Hmm, not sure how I feel about it. I wasn’t disappointed. And I wasn’t over the moon. I was just sort of, content. Yeah, content. Now I WAS convinced I was peeing green.

So the day Owen was born was very different, of course, than the day Emma was born. All birth stories are unique. With Emma, I had the perfect epidural after excruciating labor. With Owen, I experienced labor the way it was intended.  It ebbed and flowed and I got through it. I got the epidural but had to start pushing before it actually kicked in. He was coming hard and fast down the pike. They kept telling me it should be working and I shouldn’t feel a thing. Well, tell that to my burning vagina! I felt everything! I would find out later that the epidural worked perfectly if I was having leg surgery on my right side. Thirty minutes after I pushed out the placenta, I couldn’t feel my whole right leg. Gee thanks Dr. Anesthesiologist! Asshat.

So, I was scared as hell about feeling everything since I felt nothing with Emma’s birth.  You bloody well can bet I wanted to be numb for this one too. Well, I think I pushed maybe three times and out he came. Apparently, I push babies out easily. Despite their head circumference being the size of a bowling ball. What does THAT say about my hoo ha? Wait, don’t answer that.

Because I was more concerned with myself and the BURNGING RING OF FIRE sensation that just ripped through me when Owen came out, that when they placed him on me all warm and slimy, I remember thinking, “I did it!”. I didn’t feel that incredible connection to the universe like when Emma was born. I wasn’t as panicked about his well-being since he wasn’t in any fetal distress like she had been. Maybe because I was thinking more practically after having done it before. He had a full head of hair when he came out.  He looked like a surfer – kinda tan and with bleach blond hair. He nursed immediately. What a boob guy. He wouldn’t let go. The hoo ha survived, and latching on happened like it should have. And then, I fell in love with the little peanut. More like the little ham hock. He was 8 pounds, 11 ounces and I swear 23 inches, but the nurse said 22, but I SAW the tape measure. She totally short-changed him. But whatever. I know.

He cried, but didn’t fuss. If he was hungry- he cried. But honestly, if you held him, he was happy. Emma fussed. Sorry dear- you were a cranky pants sometimes. Oh and the colic! He never had that. He slept better, cried less and was just kinda chill. Maybe he was a surfer? I do remember him surfing across my spleen sometimes, or my cervix. He used to karate chop straight down the birth canal those last few weeks he was gestating in the womb. Holy fallopian tubes he would kick the wind out of me- from the inside!

Owen is a very typical child. He whines, he pouts, he doesn’t always do as he’s told. But 9 out of 10 times, he’s really good. He is always thanking me for doing things for him, taking him places, feeding him. He’s the most grateful child I know. He’s a goody two-shoes like me. Totally keeps track of any swearing or yelling by any family member. He really hates yelling. He likes things quiet. He loves to snuggle. And he loves James Bond and Harry Potter and drinks cups of tea with me. Really? What more could a mom ask for?

I can totally trust him. Emma is the story knitter. She can knit a story into a sweater like nobody’s business. How many times when she was in preschool I had to clarify to the teachers what was going on in our family. Whether she had said her dad broke his leg, which he didn’t, but she wanted the pastor (she went to a Christian preschool at our church) to pray for him so she decided to make up a story. Or when her teacher asked me how Disneyland was, and I told her that we hadn’t been to Disneyland. And she said that Emma had told the class that her Grandpa drove the family down to Disneyland in his RV. Well, Grandpa doesn’t have an RV and we didn’t go to Disneyland at all that year. So you get the idea.

I can look Owen square in the eye and he will tell me exactly what happened. If he got in trouble at school (this has happened twice in his whole elementary career) he immediately came to me with the note from his teacher. Guilty. He hates guilt. So he faces it head on.

The difference with boys and girls is clearly attitude. Emma throws me attitude like a logger at a Highland games. Just pitches it up to fall hard on me, Owen doesn’t do that. You don’t have to walk on egg shells around him. Emma is Miss Moody. Happy and easy-going one minute, in tears and hating the world the next. Typical hormonal pre-teen FEMALE. (*If you’re reading this ever in the future Emma, I think you’re awesome and the best daughter ever. Don’t hate me.)

Well, I could brag on and on about my amazing children, but I will spare you. My point is, despite my feelings while I was pregnant and anticipating a boy, wondering how to love it, how it will love me- I can’t imagine it any other way.  Two girls would absolutely kill me! Oh dear heavens, the estrogen would put us over the edge!! At least with Emma as the first born.  She is so Alpha that I can’t imagine another female between her and I.  Owen balances our family beautifully.

He really is my golden boy.

I pop out some damn cute kids, huge head and all.

All of a sudden, I’m the mother of a teenager

How did this happen? Grammarians, is it ‘mother of a teenager’ or ‘mother to a teenager’? I’m stuck. But either way. There’s a teenager living in my house.

Do you ever day dream into the future? I get caught sometimes jumping ahead of myself and thinking forward to the years of when Emma will be in high school. I have to almost catch my breath. I realize that I will blink and she will be off to college. Am I jumping the gun a little? Maybe. I remember when she was born, I fast forwarded in my head to maybe around her being 2 years old. And I thought, will I still like her? Gladly, the answer was yes. And still is.

Once upon a time, what feels not so long ago, I was anxiously awaiting the birth of this precious girl. I mean very anxiously. I had been on strict bed rest (not able to be on my feet for any more than 20 minutes per day) for the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy. I was ready for her to come out!

When she finally did, I felt the universe shift, my earth mother instincts kick in (okay, not really, sort of) and I could SMELL her. I literally smelled her when they placed her on me and she was the sweetest, most amazing smell ever. It was HER. I would smell her daily many times a day those next few weeks and months.

I miss that smell. Now I smell passion fruit or vanilla body spray or Dove deodorant. Maybe some Pink Sugar perfume or L’Oreal Elnett hairspray. Sometimes I smell some stinky armpits that smell like a Mexican buffet or her stinky shoes that smell like sour vinegar and Gruyere cheese.

When she was just a few days old, she was laying in her bassinet, asleep. She was on her side and her little profile was cherubic. Seriously, she was the most adorable baby. She looked like a painting. I burst into tears. My boobs hurt, my gut and crotch hurt and I couldn’t get over how amazing it was to have this child. I was the happiest woman on the planet, with the best baby on earth. Ever. That’s how it felt anyway.

I won’t sugar coat it (okay, I already kind of have) but there were moments of that first week of post-partum, I wondered what I got myself into. My nipples were torn open and bleeding due to poor latching on Emma’s part. Of course, I didn’t know any better and endured this for a whole week before the Lactation experts told me to get on a breast pump STAT and give my boobses a rest.

I was so tired I couldn’t see straight. Sometimes I would just cry for no reason. Well, duh. Of course there was a reason- I was hormonal and exhausted. Who’s brilliant idea was this??

Somehow I managed to get a rhythm to this parenting thing. The breast feeding finally clicked, it only took 3 weeks (pshaw), she never did sleep through the night, but I adjusted to her waking up at 4 am as part of our routine. She didn’t start sleeping completely through the night regularly until she was almost 5, that little stinker! Now I can’t wake her up for school. Totally figures.

When she was six months old, she was nursing on me. She took a bite of my boob and when I yelped in pain and when I looked down at her to tell her ‘no’, she smiled up at me. Oh boy did that push some buttons! I felt like she knew she was hurting me. Like she knew she was testing me. Maybe I was overreacting. But at that moment, I knew I had my work cut out for me and she would be a challenge. A good challenge. But definitely a crafty little thing.

She challenges me all the time. She keeps me on my toes. Sometimes she brings me to tears because she hurts my feelings. I know she doesn’t mean to hurt me. I know that I probably annoy the hell out of her with my goofy jokes, loud laugh and chit chat with the other moms. But still, she pushes my buttons like a college kid and a microwave. Beep, beep, beep. Pick a setting-’highly annoyed’, ‘ready to yell’, ‘losing my shit’; that’s how she can be to me.

So here we are. On the brink of another turning point. 13 years old. A teenager. Am I afraid?  A little. Am I excited for all the possibilities she has in store? Yes. More than anything.

I look at her and see a better version of myself. Like a 2.0 of a prototype. She’s already mastered social interactions and fashion taste and make up application far better than I ever did at that age! And don’t even get me started on her perfect teeth. Yes, she’ll eventually need braces, but she sure dodged a bullet and skipped the awkward years. Of course, Owen has made up for that and will need orthodontia probably before Emma gets it!

So Emma, if you ever read this, know how much I love you. Know that even though your heart might break a few times in life, or you don’t find yourself exactly where you thought you would be, you are the best you I could ever ask for. You make the world better. You shine your light wherever you go. No matter what you do, or who you are with, because of you- the world is better with you in it.

 

Do you see this perfection?? She’s ADORABLE! Okay, I’m biased, but COME ON.

Reason to Live Friday #32- 54 years and counting

So if there’s any reason for me to get up in the morning (hence the Reason to Live Friday posts in the first place), it’s my dear sweet parents who are rocking 54 years of marriage this week.

That’s right. 54 years. That’s almost 55 years, which is almost 60. Just stop. That’s getting ahead of ourselves.

1959 these two people married in another country, came across the Atlantic on a ship to New York, set up home in Chicago and made a living.

In 1961 they had my brother. Then in 1964 they had my sister. Then there was- two foster kids (who were black and Native American, and this was the 60s folks!), a trans-continental move aboard the Queen Mary to England, a devastating illness for my sister, another move back to the US, then came me in ’72,  then just years of living, thriving, earning a living, health, traveling to Europe to visit family, graduations, sending kids to college, cross-country move in a Ryder truck, weddings, battling cancer (both of them), grand kids, baptisms, two hip replacements and a new knee (all my mom), an emergency heart procedure (my dad) and somewhere in there- 10 cats – not all at the same time, but over the years.

They’ve been busy.

None of my life would be possible without what they’ve made. I’m humbled, grateful, and brought to tears.

This is the bedrock of my family. These two people.

Thank you.

 

b Positive Project and a free eBook

Awhile back I wrote about a really cool clothing company called the b Positive Project that uses their clothing for good not evil. Not that clothes can be evil, but every shirt and hoodie has a phrase of encouragement versus the opposite.

So then a bunch of us bloggers came together under the creative and fabulous helm of Anna from My Life and Kids and she put together an ebook on what keeps us positive. We partnered with b Positive, so you get a cool book for your Kindle or tablet, and you can order comfy clothes to inspire you AND a portion of the proceeds go to kids with cancer.

Holy cow, that’s a win-win if I ever saw one.

The book is laugh out loud funny. It is. Trust me, I wrote some of it. Example, “What inspires you to stay positive?” My answer- “Staying negative for too long makes me furrow, which causes wrinkles on my forehead.  I haven’t given in to Botox yet, so I refuse to furrow. “

 

It’s all in there, what helps us stay positive- from wrinkles, to depression – from parenting with humor to inspiring our husbands *wink* – this eBook might make you think. It might make you cry. It will definitely make you laugh out loud.

Be sure to use the coupon code in the book to receive 10% off your purchase at the b Positive Project. That same coupon code will help kids with cancer – for every 10 transactions, the b Positive Project will send 100 hats to kids battling cancer!

We’re also sharing 50 Ways to b Positive. Yes – punching someone in the face is included… so is praying.

Download the book from here- http://bit.ly/VETmwt

Order clothes from b Positive.

Tell your friends.

Smile.

Reason to Live Friday #31- Stuff the Boy says

Today I give you some Owen snippets. They are gems and he keeps me entertained.

Don’t forget to vote for me in the Circle Of Moms Contest. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

Reason to Live Friday- #30- We are going to be okay

I’m usually the smart one in the relationship. It’s true. Hubs has done some pretty stupid things. He’s trimmed the cord on the blinds once while they were up so when we went to close them, the cord was too short.

He’s used my dishwashing gloves for applying moss killer to the roof of our old house and then just put them back under the sink like it was no big deal. I thought he was trying to poison me, but then I realized, he was just kind of being stupid.

So when I do something dumb, I feel REALLY bad. And I did something dumb this  week.

Back over the summer I paid the mortgage twice in one month on accident. It’s easy to say, that mistake caused us to default on a few other payments since there wasn’t sufficient funds in the bank.

I felt awful. And you can’t just call up the mortgage company and ask for your money back.

This week I did something similar. I feel like a huge idiot.

Scene begins- McSweetie calls me up during his lunch break because the debit card doesn’t work. While he’s on the phone I log in to our bank to check what’s going on.

Oops. We have no money. And it was MY mistake. – AND… scene.

You would think that after 15 years of joint accounts and being in charge of the bills, expenses, household shopping, I’d have my act together and come up with a system.

How dumb does a grown woman feel asking her mom for a few bucks to cover groceries? Pretty dumb, that’s what. But a lot better than pawning my wedding ring or grandma’s candle sticks. Okay, it’s not THAT bad. Don’t panic.

What makes me feel even more guilty about my lapse in judgement was that last week I was in a major slump. I wasn’t sick, even though my family around me was. I was hormonal and cranky. But also emotional and lethargic. I had nothing in me. I couldn’t pinpoint if it was just Uterus Armageddon or winter blahs, or what.

I needed sympathy and cookies. I needed to be told I was pretty, even though I hadn’t showered and was wearing the same clothes three days in a row. My friends did this for me. They saw the bat signal distress sign, and came to action. I got to hear what I wanted to hear. Sure, maybe it was just to be nice, but they knew that I needed it. That whatever it takes to lift us out of the fog is necessary. What’s a few shallow compliments to keep me from drastic measures? Okay, apparently, drastic measures are spending too much and wiping out your bank account.

Maybe my mood and my actions are correlated. Oops- no shopping or bill paying for me during Aunt Flo! This will go in the marriage survival handbook.

My gracious husband last week was kind and let me order take out a few nights for dinner. He saw the laundry pile up and the sink stinky with dishes. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t even get mad over this bank account debacle I have caused for us. He’s taken Owen to soccer, run a Cub Scout den meeting and coached a soccer game at 8 am on Sunday morning. He stood out in the freezing cold selling cookie dough with Owen’s Scouts for a fund raiser.

Other people’s goodness and grace doesn’t make me feel bad about myself. It pulls me up out of the dumps and keeps me from wallowing in the sludge of self deprecation. Not the Tina Fey kind that entertains us, but the damaging kind that can be cruel and destructive.

If you’re feeling like the bottom of Charlie Sheen’s shoe in a strip club, or you know someone who is- send them a cookie, tell them their hair smells nice.

I’m so grateful for my support network. My mom, my family, my friends, even readers. When I need something, someone is there for me. I hope you have a safety net like that too.

And thank you dear spouse for putting up with my neurosis. I’m 90% awesome, and I know that when my game is off, it’s only for a short while. I appreciate your patience. I do. Feel free to watch a Bourne movie marathon this weekend, or Karate Kid. I know how much you like those.

 

 

 

Ice Cream Day- Remembering Kyle

Awhile back I posted Kyle’s Story. About a little boy that was a friend of ours who passed away from a very merciless childhood cancer. Please read his story when you get the chance.

Today would’ve been Kyle’s 12th birthday. On Kyle’s last birthday on earth, 4 years ago, he asked his mom if he could have ice cream all day. And he did. Kyle passed away a few short weeks afterwards from a Diffuse Pontine Intrinsic Glioma. A very rare, very deadly brain cancer.

We keep our friend Kyle alive in spirit with doing the things he loved. Remembering to find the joys in those we have with us.

So pick your flavor and dig in!

 

The following is the story Kyle’s mom posted to her blog after he passed away. Neither of us wrote it, so you know. But it captures loss and grief so clearly.

 

Waterbugs and Dragonflies

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in awhile one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.
“Look!” said one of the water bugs to another. “One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she is going?” Up, up, up it slowly went….Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn’t return…

“That’s funny!” said one water bug to another. “Wasn’t she happy here?” asked a second… “Where do you suppose she went?” wondered a third.
No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. “I have an idea”. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why.” “We promise”, they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broke through the surface of the water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn’t believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings…The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly!!

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurrying around, just as he had been doing some time before.

The dragonfly remembered the promise: “The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why.” Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water…

“I can’t return!” he said in dismay. “At least, I tried. But I can’t keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I’ll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they’ll understand what has happened to me, and where I went.”

And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air…….

Reason to Live Friday #29 I am ______ Who are you?

I am ____________ Who are you?

 

 

I’m stealing this idea from my friend Tara and her blog You Know It Happens At Your House Too, who took inspiration from the Self Worth Action Project from the blog Craughing- “Here is what I want you to do today.  Sit down for five minutes.  I know that is not always easy, but this could be the best five minutes you have spent on yourself in a really long time.  Open your computer, grab a pen and a piece of paper (ACK!  What is that???), open up an app on your phone. It doesn’t matter what you use, just use something that you can save.  This is NOT a mental exercise.  You must put this on paper (either real or virtual) so that you can refer back to it on those bad days.  Set a timer for five minutes and write.  Write using the prompt I AM ______________________.  Don’t edit, don’t proofread, don’t change it.  You are not required to share it with anyone, even though I hope you do, but keep it close by so that on those days when you are feeling really horrible about yourself (we all know that we have those days), you can look back and remember all the things that make you wonderful.  I will start, here is my list;” (text quoted from YKIHAYHT)

I am Rebecca

I am a daughter, sister, mom and wife

I am proud of the little people I made and their lives thus far.

I am a loyal friend and try to smile any chance I get. Unless it’s before my first cup of tea in the morning.

I am unassuming and will trust you unless you prove me not to.

I am generous and charitable. If you need it, I will get it to you.

I am a sucker for a cute furball. Even the uncute ones. I have rescued countless lost dogs and have even driven across county lines to get a stray cat to a shelter.

I am happy of the life I have made with my husband. Making that first phone call to him so he would finally ask me out was the smartest thing I ever did.

I am never getting into politics despite what my mom thinks I should do.

I am grateful and honored for the life my parents gave me and the people they are.

I am fiesty and proud of it. I annoy people I’m sure, but I’m pretty happy with my gumption.

I am proud of this blog and the people it’s brought me to and the possibilities to come.

That was fun! Now you try. I took five minutes is all and ignored the oven timer and the dog barking. Just kidding! I did this after the kids went to bed.

 

And you know the cool part? I could’ve added more. Yep, I guess I’m cooler than I thought.

Now share with me yours if you’d like. You can put the link of your blog in comments, but only after you’ve done the exercise. You can email me at frugalistablog@gmail.com or message me through my Facebook page.

I want us to feel our worth. Not get hung up on resolutions and shortcomings. But be happy today with the person we are. Right now.