A chronicle of the ups, downs, and in-betweens of my thirty-something life. Seeing life through many different eyes...parenthood, step-parenthood, marriage, approaching middle-age (argh...can't this one wait), all while attempting to find my significance in this world.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bump in the Road....or shall I say huge boulder

I am stricken with grief. My mom is dying and I am so heartbroken, that I am numb. I take time to visit her maybe once a week with her two beautiful grand-daughters, which is the highlight of her days but isn't nearly as much time as she deserves. I have such a hard time with this because the illness and approaching death makes my mom unrecognizable to me. She is a shell of the strong woman that I was raised from. I am actually reading about how to grieve because I feel like somehow I need an instruction manual just because it feels so wrong. The anticipation of her death paralyzes me with the reality that one day I won't be able to even hug her anymore or more importantly, she won't be able to hug me.

My mom has a slew of health problems that include the latest of which is thought be tumors in her lungs. She is not strong enough to perform a biopsy on because she has congestive heart failure and she has stopped breathing the last time they tried to biopsy. Three separate radiologists have given a prognosis that the tumors are cancerous. She is loosing about one pound a day consistently with a day or so when she may gain a few ounces. The doctors have said that the tumors are leaching protein and nutrients from her body and regardless of how much she eats, her body will not retain the nutrients. So basically she is starving to death and now is suffering from malnutrition at this point already.

I don't know how long she has. It could be days, weeks or even months. The agony of watching this is so difficult but the realization that she will die and not be here anymore is even more unbearable. Believing that the person who gave me life and sacrificed so much of herself to give to me instead, will be gone from my life some point soon just kills me. My mom is the one person in the world who loves me more than anyone could and life without that love leaves me so empty and naked. It really takes my breath away. The invisible safety net that my mom provides will be gone for me and I sure hope that I don't fall with nothing to catch me.

The crazy thing about this is my logic kicks in and says "We should all expect our parents to die one day because everyone dies right? As the joke goes, the only certainty in life are death and taxes so why is it so damn difficult to process?" My emotions kick in and say "This is my mom for Pete's Sake, it is quite normal to freak out during this type of trauma." I am sure that I will experience many more face offs between my logic and my emotions and at some point they will meet and agree. Until then, I will remain a mess. I need to get this off my chest and into space so I figured blogging about it would be a good way to do that. I might change my mind tomorrow so don't think you are crazy if you see the post and then you don't. So my little bloggy world, you may become on occasion that which I release my inner strife onto.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

"Everything will be just fine as long as you do what I say"

"But if you don't, this is what happens"

Friday, May 28, 2010

Look Mom! I'm a Winner!

Last weekend, we had the pleasure of watching our little one compete in her very first competition ever! I know, I know we are little late in getting her into training gear for the Olympics. We should have started her at 2 years old. Nevertheless we stood by and cheered her on as she swam the length of the pool in 3 different races. Look out Phelps...you have some competition comin'.

When I introduced the idea of the competition to my daughter, who of course is the most competitive little thing I have ever seen, she said in her charming little way, "Oh, mommy is that the thing we go to and win? I definitely want to do it." Well, I wasn't going to break her little heart and tell her that she may not win so I just left that part out, seeing as though she was excited and all.

The day came, and she could hardly sleep the night before so I knew she was excited. Her first event was the freestyle, she swam her little fishy heart out. Just jumped in and went for it. She was one of the last to finish and she was so freakin cute. She climbed right out of the water and yelled (in her biggest ever outside voice) "I WON"! And she really believed it too! It was one of her proudest moments. I just smiled real big and of course everyone around her was smiling too (laughing really) because of her enthusiasm. We all clapped and the day went on and she carried that moment with her. It is really amazing that if you just believe in yourself as a winner, you will be. She believed she was a winner and therefore she is. Her last event was the butterfly. She was so tired, could hardly get her arms up each stroke but she finished! I have to give that girl credit. She has the confidence of a Lion and the perseverance I admire so much. I am still shocked every day that I learn so much from her. When I began this journey of motherhood, I always thought it was I who would teach my daughter, but on the contrary at times, I find it she who teaches me.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A week of Summer Camp for FREE ....What?

I love to have my kids involved in some kind of summer activity that takes them out of the house and I prefer that it be educational or physically active. This is not only because I love it when they come home totally wiped out from a day of fun and exciting adventures but also it helps me keep my sanity. That time has come when our kids will have more free time on their hands than we or they know what to do with. In my Saturday blogging travels I came across a giveaway for a One Week of FREE Summer Camp (half day) from Champions Science Adventures at The Mom Reviews. I love this site by the way , tons of awesome usable giveaways. This is one of those giveaways that I really didn't want to alert the press to if you know what I mean. I was hoping to keep this fabulous find all to myself. But in order to reap the full benefits of my possibilities to become the winner of this most awesome contest, I decided to partake in the extra 5 entries that blogging about this event would give me:). Now that the truth is out and you know my true motives here, I'll get on with the details in the interest of bloggy mom's valuable time.

For more information on this camp and details on the contest all you have to do is head over to The Mom Reviews and check it out. Champion Science Adventures has camps all across the county. I found 3 locations within a few mile radius of my house and at least 10 within a 20 mile radius so this contest is one that most can benefit from.

But remember, this is our little secret.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Expectations versus Reality

Photo Courtesy of NBC.com
There haven't been many shows in the past several years that cause me such excitement and anticipation as the newest addition on NBC. I can hardly wait for the next week's episode to be aired. The new Parenthood show just clicks with me. It's a show about a family threaded with individuals that make up the sometimes crazy, intolerable, vulnerable and funny family. Each individual has their own struggles and triumphs. Blended together it shows the reality of each person's decisions affecting the entire family unit.

I love how they portray the messy parts of life. Most shows try to fulfill this imaginary unrealistic safety zone that allows people to escape their reality. Some people (not me of course) even grew up thinking and expecting life to be like the sitcoms. Boy was I Boy were they wrong. When we are taught to expect perfection from life or that having our desires fulfilled, life has another lesson to teach. Reality is messy and sometimes scary, sometimes horrible and sometimes awesome. To expect anything less is not real. This show touches on that in a way I have not seen before.

What I like about this show is that it is real, bearing wounds and all. The reality is refreshingly relatable. They touch on real life issues like the first diagnosis of a child with Asberger's Syndrome and all of the obstacles that go with it. The entire family is affected by a teenagers decision to remain abstinent or not. Each of the characters have a story behind them and you can understand why they are the way they are. Kind of like real life.

It is rare for a series to portray characters that are complex and have a history. My favorite character is commitment-phobe Crosby, who finds out he has a son 5 years after the fact. He becomes an instant Dad and goes from chronically single man living on a boat docked in the harbor to Daddy in a matter of days. His attitude about life is hilarious!

If you haven't already checked this show out, I highly recommend it. It's on Tuesday nights at 10pm Pacific Standard Time. For more information visit NBC's website. You can watch all the back episodes and catch up!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Follow!

I am participating in Follow Friday Blog Hop hosted by Rita @ One 2 Try, Tami @ Hearts Make Families and Lynn @ Midday Escapades. I found many new bloggy sites and friends last week, so I am excited to do it again this week. If you are interested in taking party follow go here and link up your site. Please let me know your blog address so I can properly introduce myself and I follow you back. Thanks and Happy Follow Friday!!!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Growing Pains

Our 13 year old daughter has become a teenager in the last 2 months at an all too alarming rate or shall I say warp speed. It seems like she went from adoring her stuffed animals to shopping at Hot Topic and fully immersing herself into the desparaging world of dark and sometimes rage-filled bands and their music in a matter of days. Music is a great outlet for emotions but there is an unwritten rule somewhere that states "parents must abhor the music their kids listen to". I was certain that I had an open mind and that I was still in fact, young. (So unlike my parents) Well ladies and gentleman, reality is here and I have been shocked to learn that I am now a full fledged adult. In other words, I have turned into my parents. Argh.... This means I am not longer welcome in the young cool kids club anymore. I can't relate to the music my daughter listens to and try as I might, I don't like it. I can't understand it. The dark demon-like screams actually kind of scare me. I have crossed the threshold from young to old in less than 2 months and let me tell you, it sucks. 

We have become the parents that we couldn't understand (or just couldn't understand us). We won't let our daughter dye her hair (unlike her friends as you can see above) and wear eyeliner (except on special nights like school dances or holidays). She is in 7th grade and I think if we start this too early there will more extremes that will be asked for. She has already expressed an interest in piercing her lip. Wow! That was a shocker because she was too scared to get her ears pierced.

A few days ago, our new teen asked to go to a concert in LA (45 minutes away) on a school night and the concert started at 8pm. I actually considered it for a millisecond. I looked up the venue and saw they had a full bar so immediately, a memory from my own drunken concert past flashed up, (AGHHHHHH), I was not ready to expose our daughter to this type of environment. It just helped my case that this concert was on a school night and late at night. Our answer was No. (Refer to reaction we are used to getting in above picture-pouty face is all too familiar) I was surprised to learn that 2 of her friends, both the same age, were allowed to go. One of their parents decided to take them. My daughter was, of course devastated. It turns out that they didn't get back home until midnight which is really late on a school night. I feel like I am in unfamiliar territory with the ("strict", my daughter claims) rules. I believe in promoting an environment that allows my kids to explore and express their emotions, talents and interests but I'm not willing to forgo boundaries and my own common sense in order to get there. Unfortunately, I think this is only the beginning and we will have many more battles before her teenage years are behind her.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Monkey See....Monkey Do

It is amazing how many times I have overlooked the impression I am making on my children. I am not saying I throw around adult language like it was candy, but the small every day habits and unconsious displays that I would not want my children to embrace as their own are coming to my attention more and more these days. Although it is impossible to guard against all negative impressions that our children pick up I have been irrefutably slapped in the face with a few of my impressionable habits coming out in my kids. My husband was handling double duty on his laptop and cell phone this morning when in walks our 5 year old daughter inconspicuously mimicking the scene my husband was in at that very moment. I had to capture this to remind me to try to live as I want my children to. I know my parents always told me to "Do as I say and not as I do" but I just can't wrap my mind around the negligence of this statement. Although they thought this was the "right" way to raise a child and they were good parents in their own right, I just can't live in that world. The road of accountability is a much harder road and the outcome or ROI is not yet determined but I am determined to live by the demands I place on my kids (yes in my theoretic, perfect world I must add because I am sure that I can make up a million excuses why things are ok for me but not my kids)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Am I there Yet?

Have you ever felt like that hamster in a cage running on that exercise wheel? Running and running and running but not going anywhere? This is has been my life’s challenge in my 30’s. Busying myself into a frenzy but not moving. I clear my plate and then slowly but surely, one at a time, I start adding things and before I know it BAM! I’m right back where I started with too much to do and not enough time to focus on any one project to make any significant impact. I think this is a very common pot-hole that women fall into. We are great at multi-tasking so we ask ourselves, “Why Not”? I can handle this. Until there comes a point that we can’t. Usually this is not something we want to share with anyone. “I Need help” is not in our vocabulary. This equates to “I am a failure” so of course we try and try and try again. My continuous goal is to focus on projects I can handle and work on asking for help when I need it. I think we all want to make a mark in the world and we all want to be significant so this will be my journey with you.