How to eat an elephant?

How do we navigate the obstacles of life? I’m not sure but right at this moment I feel weighed down with the obstacles. I was late today. As a rule I am never ever late for anything ever. I hate being late. I feel physical ill and emotionally guilty if i am late for anything whether it be work or play or anything. If i am two minutes late to Babies Love the Library I feel so guilty. I was actually late in something of a chain reaction this morning. First I was late to pick up my sister (oh the joys of sharing a vehicle), then I was late for my slot of sitting in the chapel for the all night vigil. One of those just sort of led to another unfortunately. There are reasons for my lateness of course. There are always reasons.

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It’s hard to be anxious while starting at that face…it’s also easy to be late.

When your life is encumbered by emotional, physical, and spiritual clutter any new thing can feel like an obstacle, anything at all might feel like one. I feel like my life is burdened down with obstacles that are taking too long to do away with. That’s not a particularly pleasant feeling and it makes everything seem harder.

Perhaps what I should get from this rare opportunity to quietly contemplate is that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. I need to stop trying to fix everything at once and just focus on fixing one thing until it is well and truly fixed so that I can move on from it. As well as I know myself it probably won’t be just one thing, more like 4, but not everything all at once.

Here’s to eating my elephant. Have a wonderful Good Friday and walk in love friends.

Kismet

Kismet is a fun word; much more fun than plain old fate. I mean really, who would want to say fate when they could say something cool like kismet.

So do you believe in kismet? And if so does that exclude the premise of freewill? I think that you can have kismet and freewill. The two should not be mutually exclusive. I believe that there are just some people we are supposed to meet, some events we are supposed to go through or witness, and that is kismet. It is up to us how we react, what we hold on to and what we let go of. I hate to beat a dead horse but I am about to be an under 30 divorcee and I would like to think that there is some kismet involved there and that while I have no idea why things worked out the way they did there is a reason somewhere.

Know when to hold em

Lent is one of my favorite times of year. I’m not sure if it is the promise of Spring or the spiritual do-over that Lent represents, but something about it is pretty stinking amazing to me.

How often in life do we get to relive the same moment, the same sort of event? I think it is rare. Sure we celebrate our birthday, and Christmas every year but no two years are the same. Friends that celebrated with you one year might be gone the next. Family that you opened gifts with every Christmas morning could change through death, distance or simple lack of affection. Lent and Holy Week are constants each year. One leads steadily to another and then finally to Easter and after that everything is downhill. I like that. I find it comforting.

Life has changed rather drastically in the last year for me. I had a kid and I am told that will change a person. I am getting (almost there) a divorce. I am adventuring again. I suppose I have been single for the past year or so, but it is really hitting me now. I didn’t plan to be single in this particular phase of my life but there it is. I’m not entirely thrilled about it but if the alternative is being tied to someone who clearly doesn’t want to be tied to me I will gladly take it. I can work on changing my singleness. I can’t change the hardened heart of another human.

That is the hardest part of any separation, knowing when it is futile to continue. Kenny Rogers was correct when he said that you have to know when to hold em and when to fold em. I’m folding. I am taking the initiative, ready to get this over with as soon as possible so I can move on to a better adventure because I have been stuck in this rut entirely too long. I’ve got no more tears, or sad thoughts, at least not at the moment. At the moment I am just done.

I love Lent, and Holy Week, because at the end of all that work and contemplative time is a great celebration and a new adventure. I went to a service tonight because I can do that all by myself and I am glad that I did. The message was good. Do something kind for someone, and not necessarily someone you like or even really know. That’s a pretty good message and one I will make happen this week. Go. Spread Kindness. Have an adventure. Be single and learn to enjoy it.

The war has finished but nothing has changed

It takes about 20 minutes to pump breast milk every time I have to pump.

It takes about an hour to make dinner, do the dishes, and feed the baby every evening.

Seeing a movie in theaters takes about 3 hours no matter the length of the movie

There are 24 hours in a day

It takes about 3 days to finish a moderate embroidery project.

There are 7 days in a week

It takes roughly 14 days to get paid.

It takes 21 days for a new habit to form.

A Caterpillar will transform into a beautiful butterfly in about 28 days

It takes 28, 30, or 31 days to get to a new month

A dragonfly will live for about 4 months

Growing a baby takes about 9 months

Some babies learn to walk in just 10 months

A chameleon lives for about 1 year.

Some children are potty trained by the time they are 18 months old

554 days

or

19 months

That’s how long it takes me to go from one step to another. That would be how long it takes me to from separation to actually taking another step. Good grief.

What?? Is it really 2016???

I’ve never been very good at starting a routine. However once I get into it I am really good at never changing that routine ever. To the point where I get stuck in it. I am much like a stubborn mule about some things and my routine (ok well pretty much everything actually) is one of those things. There are catastrophic life events, such as children, and aging, that tend to change that whether I like it or not. I will be 27 this year. That’s pretty weird. I will have a one year old this year. That is even weirder. Taking stock of my life so far I have a job, I have shelter, I will never get rich this way (and thats ok), I’m properly disillusioned about love and soul mates and all that crap, I’m not divorced…yet, I have adult friends, and mom friends, and I am a fairly happy person who has a sort of handle on her life sometimes.

Am I learning? Every single day I learn something new but I am actively trying to learn all I can about as much as I can as I try and teach a small human how to grow into a big one. So far this year I have actually taken steps to restore some of the balance in my life (go me). Am I growing? Extremely slowly. Am I changing? Not as rapidly as my almost 1 year old but yes I am changing. Its funny how life has seasons. About ten years ago I would go to bed early and get up extremely early and I was pretty much a boring old lady in a teens body. Now I do the exact same thing as an adult.  I don’t own my own home yet and I don’t think I will ever have an empire to rule over.

What do I want to do with my life? Once upon a time I hated that question. Now I dislike it but I don’t find it as rage inducing. I like what I am doing right now. I believe it has purpose. I like spending time being the one actually raising my child. I think that is really important. Why have a kid if you plan on foisting him off on someone else his whole life? I want to eventually do a little better than living paycheck to paycheck. I want to make things and live comfortably and teach and learn and play and have a great life. No one will write about me in the history books and I probably wont win any awards but I hope to make a small difference in the lives of those I touch. That is what I want to do with my life. I want to leave this earth a tiny bit better off than I found it.

Bring it on 2016. I’ve got plans for you!!

CArl and Mom

Tis the Season to reflect

I’m a holiday person. Did you know that their are people out there who actually do not like the holidays? Yeah. They are crazy. Thanksgiving to Epiphany are the best time of year to me. I wait all year for this time. I mean I love other times of year as well but this is my favorite by far which makes what I am about to say weird.

Every since I was a little girl I put a lot into ensuring everyone in my life has a magical and happy Christmas. I want everyone to have a nice gift, enjoy the food, laugh, have fun and get along. I want the decorations to be nice. I try and send a card full of holiday cheer to all those who have made a difference or had an impact on me throughout the year. I try to pick traditions and attend events that will make this year or that year special. The past five years or so I come away from Christmas and the holiday season strangely dissatisfied. I had fun at times, but there was always some sort of sadness attached to it. Perhaps my expectations were too high or I was celebrating with the wrong people but something just wasn’t right. Last year was a little better. I was still anxious and a little sad and it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be but it was better. This year I think will be the best yet and not just because I have a cute little bunny to celebrate it with.

This year I made a few changes. When I sent out my Christmas cards I sent them to the people I wanted to send them to and didn’t worry about any of the people I should send them to. I loaded those things full of cute Carl pictures and warm notes and I enjoyed it. I sent out probably half the cards I normally send and I am happy with that. Candy cane Christmas Carl

 

When I made a list of people to get gifts for it was shorter. I didn’t get a gift for my inlaws, except the wonderful Inez. I didn’t get a gift for anyone  I didn’t actually enjoy having around. How nice is that? I put up my tree when I felt like it rather than when I thought would make everyone else happy. I put three trees up and guess what, no one complained. My house is not perfectly clean, but it is decorated and it makes me happy.

This year is different and not just because I am separated (for yet another Christmas), or because for the first time in years I am not spending Christmas with my inlaws,  or because I have a new baby who loves all the lights and pulling things off the tree. This year is different because I have figured something out that I was missing before. I’m doing what I want to do. It is sad that things are changing, and that I won’t have that someone special to share everything with like in the Hallmark movies but I have a pretty good family, good friends and a cute baby and the realization that nothing will ever happen the way I think it will. And that’s ok. I am 26 years old and my life will never be a hallmark movie and I may spend the next 20 years celebrating the holidays with my sister and my little bunny and that will be grand. Its much more than many people have.

If you are, like I was, dissatisfied with the way your holidays always seem to go my advice is to do what you want and forget the rest. I guarantee you will be happier. Merry (early) Christmas and may the peace of the lord be with you and yours.

v

Some post labor thoughts

I have a few reflections that I would like to share in light of the fact that I have had a lot of time (six months) to think about the experience of labor and birthing a baby. Some people have told me that my labor was easy and short and that i should be grateful and to those people i usually try to keep my mouth closed because what i want to say starts with an F and ends with a U. Others have said that it sounds horrible and let me tell you that at the time it wasn’t a bed of roses. It hurts. The one good thing I can say about natural birth is that I was up and out of that bed within hours and my recovery as far as being able to care for the baby was much easier than some of my friends who have had to have csections or who had time to have an epidural.

Birth is not necessarily beautiful, but the results are wonderful. I know so many women who want to paint the experience as beautiful (they actually use that word for an experience where you bleed and poop on yourself) like a Monet or a classical piano concert and its not. Its scary and wonderful and a very unique experience but beautiful isn’t the word I would use. Awe inspiring maybe. The only way you can truly understand it is to do it. Much like i imagine landing on the moon can only be understood fully by astronauts, giving birth can only be fully understood by someone who has given birth.

In light of all that I have a few post labor tips for all you about to be moms;

  1. Post labor you are tired, and fuzzy headed and their are a million people or in my case about 30 who really really want to see you and the baby in the hospital as soon as humanly possible. my advice is to limit who you allow to see you in that first 24 hours and what is posted on social media.
  2. Pack a gown or something you can nurse in that is flattering because someone will take your picture that day and you will be bloated and feel gross and that will most likely translate on camera. See below:11155013_10206692387253520_7718902778280125210_o
  3. Be prepared to be inspected…roughly every three hours. A nurse will be asking to see your stitches, giving you vitamins, checking your blood pressure, or “checking on you” constantly.
  4. Get a baby app for your phone to record feedings, changings, etc. Not only do you have a nurse but so does baby who will constantly be checking in.
  5.  Bring your own snacks! Unless you like hospital cornflakes. If you are breastfeeding you will be hungry…all the time.
  6. if you want your baby in the room with you keep him there but there is no shame in keeping him in the hospital nursery. I kept Carl with me except for one night when Steven hadn’t returned yet and I needed a shower. I called the nursery and took him down there for about twenty minutes and then went and got him and brought him back to our room. All new moms could benefit from the occasional break.
  7. Enjoy it. enjoy every uncomfortable, sleep deprived, insane second of it and write about it. Write your thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams.

And now for some cute baby Carl pictures;

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Baby: Month 1

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Having a baby is great. Having a baby is messy. Having a baby is exhausting and terrible and wonderful and draining.The first month is a testament to how much a woman can go through and survive and help a new life to thrive. The first week is hard, but also great because for me at least there was someone there all the time. My mom, or Steven, or Faith was always there to help out. They grow pretty fast though. The best part of the first month is that once you find  rhythm, If you are lucky enough to have time off, it is a wonderful bonding experience.

month 1

I decided to breastfeed. It was a decision I made pretty early in my pregnancy and while I worried a little (a lot) after he was born about my milk coming in, I just kept on feeding him whenever he would open his mouth. That’s the secret in my opinion. Keep on keeping on until you get the hang of it. Breastfeeding is a commitment, like a job or a marriage or anything else. If you can hang on past the first few weeks where it hurts and is uncomfortable then you can definitely manage it when it is more of a routine.

Babies grow so freaking fast. The weirdest thing for me to get used to at the beginning was being solely responsible for a tiny human. Sure there are other people around, and you get help, but in the middle of the night most of the time you are the only one that little screaming human wants for comfort and food and to get him to sleep. Its crazy and overwhelming for a little while. It gets better though.

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A preventable tragedy

Do you know what a preventable tragedy is? It is a terrible event that could easily have been avoided. We all are responsible for, or have been on the receiving end of such an event. If I hadn’t gone parasailing I wouldn’t have crashed and broken my ankle. If I had locked my windows that intruder would not have been able to enter my home and steel my things and ruin my sense of security.  Sadly most tragic events are preventable but hindsight is what it usually takes to realize that,

Imagine for a moment that there was a man accused of a heinous crime. The man was old, weathered and seemingly homeless though he looked like he had recently had a good meal and a hot bath. The police brought him in and he seemed friendly enough but you never know what people are capable of. The jail was crowded. The other prisoners were loud and almost unmanageable. Some prisoners had been there a long time, but many came in just that morning. Because the jail was full, and the officers were busy they decided to take the old man out behind the jail and shoot him.

….This would never, ever happen. If it did happen people would be fired and heads would roll. Protesters would line the streets for days in unity against such a horrible and senseless act. This man, without time for an investigation, trial, or due process of any kind was murdered. Now imagine that instead of a person this was a dog. An older dog was picked up by our local Animal control, he was taken to the shelter, and before he was even allowed time to get comfortable and wait on his owner who would have gladly come to get him, he was euthanized. This dogs name was Lucky. Lucky was a retired bird dog who had dug out of his fence, as dog sometimes do, in the night and before his owners could tracks him down the next morning he was put down. There is no excuse. There is no apology that would make it right, but nevertheless an apology should be made. The Florence Lauderdale Animal Shelter and made a mistake. A grave mistake that cost the life of a beloved pet for no other reason than they had a busy morning and a lot of animals to deal with. Own it. I will never forget this and I will never support our local shelter until the leadership is actually held accountable for something.

Flimflam, its the word of the day!

Today’s word of the day:

flim-flam-1

Flimflam – To subject to deception or fraud

Flimflam, its the word of the day, What a fun word to say. Its not really a fun word to be on the other side of but it is a very fun word to say. One day, in the distant future that will probably be here before I know it I hope this is one of Carl’s vocabulary words. It’s funny, but actually fairly accurate that having a baby will change things. It changes your whole life. Just last year I would have been able to sit down and enjoy life while writing a blog post while being generally lazy before work. Now it takes a lot of planning to get ready for work, and get breakfast, and get the baby ready, and feed him, and make his bottles, and make sure his bag has been repacked, and clean up a little around the house all before I leave for work in the morning. Usually I try to fit in a little morning reading before all that happens and on a really good day I attempt to work on some project as well.

I wouldn’t trade what I have now for what I had then, fat thighs and extra weight and lack of sleep and all, but it is funny to reflect on the changes. However there are definitely things I would do differently. Too many times over the last year I have allowed myself to be flimflammed. Maybe it is my nature to just believe people at face value. I shouldn’t. I’ve seen the very worst in people but still I tend to want to believe that everyone has a greater nature and that greater nature will win out. Maybe it will. See there it goes again, that infernal optimism.

So flimflam. Use that in a sentence today!