01 August 2014

On embracing the suck

I'm sure I've written about this before...about how Eric's favorite phrase for the year that he was gone  was "embrace the suck." It's funny how we continue to use that over things that do actually "suck" and the little annoyances. But every time I hear the phrase, I'm reminded of all that we've been through. Well, these past few nights I've had a different sort of lesson on embracing the suck. Last week we went to the farm... (enter small photo bomb..)
 Judge, judge, judge...I still haven't cut his hair...

 Now please don't mistake these pictures for suck. I don't think Eric was wild about going (errr...and paying an entry fee...thanks Babe!) but he indulged my need to do family friend activities on a beautiful Saturday. The day was great, B was in the bouncy house, all over the playground, in tree houses and even looking at the animals.

Now, that being said, I'm still trying to determine our little culprit. It could have been the slide, the obstacles in picture 3 up there, the bouncy house...or the fact that my child sucks on his hands...no matter where, when or how hard you try to make him stop. Don't believe me? See the last picture. This makes up the majority of his day when he's not playing or babbling. But when he's resting? Yep. He's sucking on them. These happy pictures were taken on Saturday...by Sunday morning he had a cold, and by Sunday night he had a pretty nasty cough. The cough would go away during the day, but just seemed to get worse at night. And by worse, I mean that I was doing 2 loads of laundry a night to keep up with the puke. I took him to the doctor mid-week and we quickly became acquainted with our first case of croup. Much to my surprise, the doctor said it's fine for B to continue to go to daycare, it's just a cough that would go away on its own. He sent us on our way after a liquid steroid that was supposed to help keep B from coughing too much for the night...(it didn't, in fact that was one of the worst nights yet). So this croup thing...lasts up to 6 nights. Tonight is night 6...so we had darn well better be near done. Last night, my angel baby was up until 10:30, scratched me, puked twice, wanted to be held but didn't want to be touched, was too cold outside but when I started a hot shower to get some steam going acted like I was trying to murder him. Eric was not home last night, and the text to him at 10 went something along the lines of:

"I think I'm on the verge of an emotional break...I'm at a complete loss, he's miserable I'm exhausted..." enter more complaining here but I think you get the point.

I've determined that one of the suckiest feelings in the world is being helpless. Knowing that you have a kid who can't actually tell you what's wrong but who is so clearly miserable with a terrible cough and there is literally nothing you can do for him (note to moms/moms to be: medicine doesn't work, it's a viral infection of the vocal cords) was absolutely miserable. After much coughing, shrieking, frustrating, tears from both of us and supportive texts from Eric, I forced Brady to bathe (and I have the battle wounds to prove it) and when I took him out all he wanted to do was put Christmas slippers on (don't ask). At this point, there was no sane reason to fight putting slippers on him. So the little man is wrapped in a towel and has slippers on, and I lay him down on our bed to diaper him...and then...a magical moment. The sandman must have come (albeit, 3 hours too late for my liking...) but it was nearly instant. Head on the bed, BMan out cold.

And you thought I was kidding about the slippers...

If I had a drink, I'd raise it to embracing the suck...because that picture alone and the cuddles that came after...was worth embracing the suck for.

21 July 2014

On Being Happy and Wishing

Hubs has been gone for the past week so I've had a lot of me time this week. Well, me time being that time after BMan goes to bed...where I shower, maybe clean up a little and then fall asleep before 10 lately. But in that quiet me time, I've had time to think. Think about how truly lucky I am. That I have the most amazing husband and son. That I can honestly say that I am happy. So many people walk around in life with no goals, no sense of what being happy truly means. That I know what drives me, what drives Eric and what drives our family...that everything we do, we do to ensure our family's happiness. That Eric and I work so hard every day so that we can give BMan the life that we're living today. And that for BMan, I used to think that all that I would wish is for him to be happy. But these past few days, I've come to realize that's not what I wish. Do I want him to be happy in general? Absolutely. Do I think he is now? With all of the cuddles, smiles and giggles, I'd say so. But is all I want for him to be happy? No. There are tons of people in this world who are "happy." So what, you ask, do I actually want for him?

I wish my son pain, suffering, struggling, humility, respect, influence...and then happiness.

I wish Brady pain - I want him to skin his knee riding a bike, experience the loss of a pet. To have his first girlfriend break his heart and feel a heavy heart when a coach or teacher tells him he's not good enough. I want him to know that life hurts, life throws you down, things aren't fair and nothing is free. There will be pain and hurt, disappointment and regret, but with the power of hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. Work hard and don't succumb to pain, you will be rewarded.
I wish Brady to struggle and to suffer...and to endure. I want him to suffer through the hardest parts of life so that when he makes it through, he can look back and know that he can take on the world and anything the world throws at him. I don't want Brady to think that he can coast on his parents' success or that the world will be handed to him. I want him to make his own way in life and in this world without having to rely on anything for anyone. I want him to understand that the only way to success is by hard work.

Some people get too caught up in the belief that a parent's role in their child's life is to give them the world. To give them everything one possibly can. Nothing, and I mean nothing that I've stated above is meant to hurt Brady...only to make him stronger than he knows he can be, confident in the person that he becomes and successful one day. Facing pain and struggle but enduring through it will make him stronger. When an asshole coach tells him he's not good enough, or a teacher tells him he'll just never get it and gives up on him, I want him to look inside himself and dig deep. To know that he can come to his parents for comfort but to know that we won't fix it for him. To know that they're wrong and that he can do anything he puts his mind to...he can do anything that he works at hard enough. He can push harder, he can fight harder and he can control his life. No one can tell him what he can or can't do (...including how to take a bath...enter exhibit 1)

I wish Brady humility. I want Brady to understand that no matter how good he is or what he overcomes, there is always someone out there who is better. Brady will never think that he is the rockstar of any team, because he needs to know that without his team, he would have no success...yet, I do want him to enjoy and appreciate being at the top of anything he does, because at any moment he can fall to the bottom and be in someone else's shoes.

I wish Brady respect. That includes respecting others but also gaining the respect of others. I want Brady to understand that you don't start life being respected, you have to prove that you deserve respect. I want him to know that you listen. Even if you don't agree, listen and give the same respect that he wants to others he might encounter.

I wish Brady influence. I wish that one day, Brady will inspire others, or even one person. I want him to be the one who stands up for the person being bullied, the one who does the right thing. I want him to stand up for himself and when he wins whatever battle he's standing for, to inspire others to stand up for themselves as well.

And finally, I do truly wish my son happiness. One thing I've noticed over the past week is that I am extremely fortunate to have a happy, joyful, independent and determined little boy. Though not my baby anymore (and though he certainly has his "moments"), this little guy fills myself with so much happiness time and time again, day in and day out. His little giggles, whether at lunch time or 2 AM melt my heart. I hope that this boy's giant heart is always filled with overwhelming joy and happiness. I hope that he finds joy in the small things later in life, as well. Watching waves lap upon his legs brings pure joy to his face today, I hope that in 20 years, he still finds joy in the small things in life. I hope that, one day, when he has a family of his own, this Thanksgiving table is full of laughter and happiness. I want him to live a life of no real regrets so that in his last days in this life, he can look back and know that none of the pain, suffering and struggling that was endured was wasted. That it was all for a purpose and that he lived a life full of love, joy, honor and integrity. 

And those, my baby boy, are my wishes for you. Follow your own path, but never forget where you're going and where you've come from.


May you always continue to grow and find happiness, my little BMan.

28 January 2014

There's this woman who wrote this piece...

In case you haven't noticed, I'm really not one for social media. Yes I have a blog...yes I'm on Pinterest. I have Twitter but I really don't even know how to use it at this point. I don't have Facebook. So when I read a blog post about this woman...who wrote this piece...I wasn't surprised I hadn't seen that it had already gone "viral."  I don't even want to tell your her name, or link you over to her post because thinking that she will get more people to read what she wrote puts a knot in my stomach. But my opinions are useless unless I do, so you're welcome, Amy Glass. If you haven't heard about it yet (do you live under a rock like me?) then maybe I'll just tell you the title. "I look down on young women with husbands and kids and I'm not sorry" Awww...well isn't that sweet. I guess the good news is that she sure as hell isn't instilling the values of tolerance and acceptance into any little ones anytime soon.

You see, I have a few problems with what you've written, Amy. Let me start by saying, I don't really have many opinions on Feminism. You want to stand up for your rights and prove that you can do everything a man can do, more power to you. But when you start to lump far too many women into one group there, and make judgments on them, that, my friend, is when we have a problem. What's interesting about the title of your little piece is that your main complaint is actually that stay-at-home moms add no [real] value to society (only doctors and engineers, right?). You say that a stay-at-home-mom and a woman who work aren't on equal footing. We'll you're probably right there, I mean, if it were up to me I'd be at home all the time with my kid, not only taking care of myself (like you do), but also my child and my husband. But we're not all afforded that financial freedom, sometimes you do what you have to do.

And Amy, my friend, you also make it quite clear that you have no experience with children. You look down on women who think it's hard to manage a household and raise kids. Let me tell you, from my own humbling experiences, that even on my days off, having one child at home to take care of and trying to manage a household isn't the fluffy life you've laid it out to be. Although, perhaps I'm going about my thoughts all wrong here. My apologies that I've been conditioned to this that these tasks are "stupid"...just as men do, which is why they don't bother with it (I've learned from reading your piece). I probably should have ignored everything, left the house unkempt and allowed our little family to live in filth. Doctors and engineers add so much more to society, don't they? I'm sure they don't manage households either. And why have kids and reproduce? That should be left for the folks who don't contribute to society, too. That will set us up for success in the future, no? How silly I've been. To think that I needed to clean this to help "manage" my household. Foolish. I probably should have just left it, since I've learned now that I'm above needing to clean and manage a house.
And your thoughts on a woman being unable to be successful if she falls in love, wow...you have opened my eyes. I've learned, from you Ms. Glass, that I will never be great at something, because I have fallen in love, have a husband and yes, that's right...a child. I'll never be a great mother by your standards, because I can't give it my all, I have to go to work. I can't be great at my work because I have a kid. Oh, and I've also learned that being a great mother or wife really just means I'm the "supporting cast" in my own biography...because I am that woman who has been brainwashed to believe that being a faithful wife to my husband who works equally as hard as me, if not harder, and giving everything I have to being a mother every moment that I can is "stupid." I know, if I had a mind of my own and loved myself enough I would just leave and work 24/7...no need for a family, or love.

What's ironic is that I, much like you (I know, you don't want to admit it, right? That you and I, Amy, are alike in any way) am also in love with myself. I'm in love with my life, with my husband and my little boy. You're in love with building your work, which you say will outlive you. Well, I'm in love with raising my son who, God willing, will outlive me. I'm in love with the thought that my husband and I have the chance to raise a brilliant little mind, instill upon him the values that we believe and live in our every day lives. I'm in love with building my relationship and making it stronger and more successful every day. You're in love with proving people wrong. I'm in love with proving people wrong, too. People like you, Amy, who think that because you are happy and secure and the center of your own world (and don't have a husband OR kids and only dedicates life to working), anyone who has or strives for anything but that is wrong.

I'm sure that you think my little blog in this little corner of the world is a facade. A facade for a miserable life where I try to plaster smiles all over the place to prove to other people that I'm happy. The thing though, is that I am happy with who I am, with who my family is, with the fact that I am in love with my husband. That together we work our butts off to provide for our son. To one day get to that point where one, if not both of us can stay home with our kids. Just because you love you and your lifestyle doesn't make me and my lifestyle wrong. I love me, too. And I love my life (husband, kid and all...the whole nine ma'am).
Now if that isn't the face of true misery....what an ugly facade.

21 January 2014

Vegas Part 2

We had all wanted to go to Old Vegas this time around. Eric's dad (Papa H) convinced us that we shouldn't head up there around dinner time, we should head up there a few hours before. We bought some bus passes and hopped on the double-decker bus all the way up to Fremont Street. We hopped off the bus and hit several of the casinos. Eric and I had been up there before and it's just so neat. Vegas in itself is so unique, but North Vegas just has a whole different air to it. It was still light out when we got there so you couldn't appreciate the full Fremont Street Experience just yet.

Binion's is a neat little casino. They also have $1 million on display. No joke....take a look:

We played a little Blackjack and a few slot machines. I remembered Mermaids from the last time we were there. Eric and I had played and we only put a few dollars in and probably lost money. But the slot machines there don't spit out tickets that you scan and cash in for checks. No, no. They dish out nickels! Eric's older brother and his fiancee were playing there this time and had the treat of catching about $20 worth of quarters that came out of the slot machine...it's quite the experience! After wandering up and down Freemont Street, we decided it would be fun to eat at the Heart Attack Grill.  I had never heard of this place, but apparently it's pretty famous, and not necessarily for great reasons! Either way, we figured eating there just once would be worth the experience!

The menu is pretty gross. You can't even order a diet coke here, only Coke. And the burgers...well here's a picture for ya...yep, "add bacon" means add FIVE slices of bacon on their "small" burger!

The burgers were HUGE. But the experience was pretty cool. They also had jello shots on the menu, and Eric and I decided that everyone we were with probably needed a jello shot. Before I show you the pictures, there are two things you should know about me. #1 - I had apparently never had a jello shot. #2 - I don't even like vodka. But I was a champ, don't worry, I finished the whole thing...but won't be revisiting that anytime soon! Everyone at our end of the table was pretty enthusiastic about them...their positive attitude must have just worn me down!

 I still had way more left than anyone else...

 The brothers with the girl who spanked them for being "naughty"...some boys didn't finish all the food they were served! I inhaled what was left on my plate after we saw another patron get spanked. This girl had NO mercy (trust me, this picture was before the spanking!!).

 Unfortunately, I'm still not good enough with the camera - I didn't even get "mid smack" shots, this is the best I got, but suffice it to say, they were all a little sore by the time we left the restaurant!

(no joke!!)
After dinner, we walked around, so the Toy Shack that's featured on Pawn Stars frequently, went to a sports memorabilia shop and then just enjoyed Fremont Street at night.

That little trip was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. The next day, we hit a bunch of casinos on the strip and ate at Burgr (Gordon Ramsey's restaurant in Planet Hollywood).  Eric and I had been there before, but it was a first for Dave and Jus...I think we all left the restaurant saying that it was the best burger we've ever had!

All-in-all, it was a fabulous trip. It was even better to know that we had this goober waiting for us once we got home!

We know we won't be going back to Vegas for quite some time at this point. Until we meet again!