*ahem* and hello.

*clears cobwebs*

COUGH COUGH

Oh, hello. You’re still here? Bless you.

The past few months have been tricky. Not particularly hard but very hard to put into words.

Vivi will most likely grow up to become either a serial killer or the next Ke$sha, regardless, there is a freezer full of glittery dead hobos in her future.

Addie? Well. Addie had a really rough August. She has started to show signs of chemical depression and anxiety and it hurts me more than I can even comprehend to know this may be a struggle she faces for the rest of her life.

Cody is hunky as ever with his big strong man hands and fear of bugs.

Me? I’m okay. I really am.

I’d like to be back here. I want to be back here.

This is the first step to doing just that.

Racing stuffs.

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Flumas Regrets, Whooping Cough Prevention.

A special thanks to Walgreens for sponsoring this post.

I’m pretty relaxed about the gross things kids do. Sure! Eat that tomato that fell on the floor! Five second rule! Playing at the playground and you just licked the monkey bars? Gross, but you’ll live. Hey! LEAVE THE POTTY STOOL IN THE BATHROOM (WHY is this one so hard for toddlers?)

It’s not until I’m sick that I realize every living breathing human around me is leaving behind DNA, mucous, air, and germs everywhere they go. I begin to wonder “How did I get sick? Was it that dollar bill I found on the ground? Was it from hugging my friend that had ‘allergies’? HOW DO I KEEP ALL THESE PEOPLE IN MY HOUSE FROM GETTING SICK TOO?” It’s terrible. I go from not caring to OCD-hand-washing-ninja in under a minute.

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Feared and Fearless Leader to Friend (sponsored by Hallmark)


Growing up, I believed my mom was invincible. She always had the best clothes, the best hair, the best lipstick, an answer for everything, and was the prettiest mom anyone had ever had. As I grew into my teenage years however, I was convinced I had the most strict, most hands-off mom of every single one of my friends. While their moms would bring them forgotten lunches or pick them up from school if it was raining — my mom was working full time to support herself, my sister, and me. If I wanted to go to a friend’s house, I walked there and found my own way home. If I wanted to take dance lessons, I learned the bus route. If I forgot my lunch? I went hungry. If I didn’t do my homework? It was my own fault.

The Old Days

When I see all these reports of moms being arrested or charged with neglect for letting their kids go out into the world unattended, I think back to the way my mom raised me (she would have gone to jail FOR SURE.) But guess what? I’m fine. And you know what else? Public transit doesn’t scare me. I’m okay traveling by myself. If I don’t know how to do something I figure it out. Plop me down in the middle of nowhere with a map and I could find my way home. Even though my mom never had warm cookies waiting for me when I got home — she raised me to be self-reliant.

Now that I’m a mom with a school-aged child I realize that perhaps her end goal wasn’t to raise us to be self-reliant human beings (although I’m certain that factored into things.) I have to believe a lot of the parenting she did was simply single parent survival. She couldn’t risk her job to bring me a forgotten permission slip. She didn’t have several hours a day to drive my sister and me around to various houses, classes, and lessons. I don’t doubt that she could have run herself ragged trying to keep all of our loose ends in check as well as her own, but she didn’t. She knew her own sanity was just as important as her children’s happiness. That’s something many modern day mothers seem to have forgotten, to take care of themselves first.

I still go back and forth with a little anger, jealousy, and resentment that she wasn’t June Cleaver. But knowing myself the way I do now, I would have turned out terribly had she not thrown us from the nest with complete faith we could fly (or at least figure it out on the way down.) My relationship with my mom is not one of flowery and scripted sentiment, it is one of deep appreciation for what she did with what she was given. Just as I had no idea how to navigate being a teenager, she was never handed a manual on how to parent one. It was both our first and last time being in those roles and we crashed and burned, hard and often.

Eastern Caribbean Instagram Cruise, July 2013

I already have moments when I know the best thing to do for my girls is shove from the proverbial nest and let them fly. It’s hard, but I know it will be worth it. My sister and I are good. I do however try to work a plate of warm cookies in here and there, but when I look back at the way my mom raised me — it’s not a bad way to raise good humans.

rock on.

And that’s really all we can do as parents — take what our parents did, brush off the ugly parts and hopefully recycle them for the greater good in our own children.

Several years ago I realized my mom and I are in a place where we can be friends. I don’t rely on her for anything, while she is still young and spry enough to enjoy life on her own. Perhaps someday the roles will be reversed, and I will find myself in the caregiver role — but for now my mom can be my friend. Something we know as parents we cannot do through certain life stages (and I assure you, my mom never tried to be my friend. Protector, provider, parent? Yes. Friend? Absolutely not.) I am able to continually learn from her, and hopefully she is able to relish in her grandchildren and the knowledge that my sister and I are happy.

So mom? You are one of my longest relationships, but one of my newest friendships. The love I have for you is deep and inexplicable. Even on the days I want to scream and yell that I turned out just like you, I want to thank you for giving me something so real to model myself around as a mother. I only get one biological mom, and I’m pretty glad you’re mine.

Most of the time. ;)

xo

*******

A special thanks to Hallmark for sponsoring this post. This Mother’s day how will you put your heart to paper and tell the mothers in your life how you truly feel about them? Write it down, say it all, even if it’s not all poetry and roses — because you never know when they’ll be gone.

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ABC, Meme With Me

Hey! Remember memes? They used to be all the rage when I started blogging eight years ago.

This one was on Facebook, and today, I’m feeling slightly nostalgic.

A – Are you single?

Not in the least, very happily coupled, thank you.

B – Birthday?

April 28, 1982

C – Crush?

Currently John Stamos for this Instagram photo.

D – Drink you last had?

Tropical Red Bull. It isn’t the necessarily the concept of Red Bull that I love, it’s the flavor. And the little can. It’s quite possibly my most favorite indulgence.

E – Easiest person to talk to?

Cody. I was wearing a shirt with penguins on it last night and he commented “If  your boobs were smaller, your nipple would give that penguin a boner.” I broke it to him that if it were 10 years ago and my boobs were still where they used to be, I could have accomplished the same feat.

F – Favorite song?

When I was pregnant with Vivi I listened to ‘Human’ by The Killers constantly. I’ll always be a sucker for Frank Sinatra, especially ‘The Way You Look Tonight’. There’s this song called ‘Blue Skies’ by Noah And The Whale that is a really good reminder that sadness isn’t permanent.

G – Good at?

Taking pictures of people, baking chocolate chip cookies, making laundry smell good, being a wife, making my kids laugh.

H – Hair color?

red and purple hair

I – In love with?

Cats, warmth, sunshine, boatcation, beaches, fall leaves, spring flowers, fresh baked anything, naps, good books, making out with Cody, warm socks, freshly made beds, sniffing freshly washed children, laughing, nice people.

J – Jealous of?

Long mermaid hair. I knew I had to cut mine last year, and besides, after two pregnancies and hormone treatments I don’t have a whole lot left anyway. Cutting my hair was a hard reset for my hair and while I still have good hair days, I miss my longer hair. Also, when my hair was long people often guessed I was in my mid-twenties. Now that it is shorter I get mid-thirties and I have even had a few people say forty. I’m 32.

K – Known as?

Mom, Mommy, Momma, Red, Babycakes, Doodlebug, Sissy, Baby, HEY YOU.

L  – Longest relationship?

As of today, 14 years 4 months and 4 days.

M – Middle name?

Beth. As far as I know my name has no significant meaning to either of my parents. However my dad did say there was a nasty nurse named Beth that was stationed with him and my mom over in Germany. Or something like that.

N – Number?

If I have to pick single digit, 8. Double, 28. Triple, 428.

O – One wish?

For everyone living in my house to be perfectly healthy until we simply die of old age.

P – Person last texted?

The mom of Addie’s little friend who lives down the street. A playdate was negotiated after homework and chores are completed. (UPDATE: Addie’s little friend was grounded before she even left her house. Better luck tomorrow!)

Q – Question always asked?

What is a moosh? (Answer: It was Addie’s nickname until she was about 5. We live in Indianapolis. Moosh In Indy.)

T – Time you woke up?

8:20 am which was actually 7:20 am because no one actually enjoys springing forward.

U – Underwear color?

White.

V – Violent moment?

Playing one of those knock-down-the-clown games at an arcade, I found I was much more efficient at knocking them down when I pictured them as Internet trolls.

W – Worst fear?

Very deep water and trypophobia (go ahead and do a Google image search on that.)

X – Ex you never stopped loving?

I actually had a dream the other night that I was snorkeling with every single one of my ex-boyfriends and Cody. They were all proclaiming their love for me and apologizing for getting married. I still chose Cody. I also chose not to go snorkeling because it was in very deep water (see previous answer.)

Y – Your last hug?

Vivi. She hugs a lot. When she’s not screaming at me, or kicking things.

Z – Zodiac sign?

Taurus. So is Vivi. Bullheaded is an understatement for both of us.

Vivi is currently my cat and i am the old woman who takes care of her.  ???????????? This stop drop and selfie brought to you by @sherry_lane and I now pass it to Paris with @piperkay and @designhermomma. Because Paris.

Now! Answer one (or more!) of these about yourself below.

I really like the favorite song and worst fear questions if you need a little poke.

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yeasty beastie and the three year itch.

(tmi ahead…you’ve been warned (dad.))

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about my vagina and all of her related accessories, attachments, and ailments. You see, I have had trouble down yonder since I was 18: abnormal paps, several colposcopies, two LEEPs, countless vaginal ultrasounds, a hysterosalpingogram, a D&C, a laparoscopy, endometriosis, and PCOS in addition to serving as an escape hatch for two babies.

Really my entire reproductive system should just be given menopause off. Like, “Okay ladies! You’ve done enough, go ahead and sit menopause out.”

The one thing I had never had to deal with, despite all the various things that have been shoved up there in the name of medical sciences, was a yeast infection. When you make it into your thirties without one you begin to think you’re immune to them, clearly it’s because you eat so much yogurt and believe in personal hygiene.

Then you go on a cruise to Mexico with your husband for a week without your kids and you end up with your very first yeast infection on the first day.

Only you don’t know what’s going on down there.

All you know is it feels as though your bits have been lit on fire — if that fire were made out of sandpaper, gravel, and bitter revenge.

Madrid on firephoto credit Montecruz Photo

I have NEVER been so consumed with the thought of my vagina.

GOODNESS THE ITCH.

Cody volunteered to take a look, since he’s more familiar with that part of me and the look on his face said “THERE IS A SQUID COMING OUT OF YOUR VAGINA AND IT HAS THE HEAD OF AN ANTEATER.”

So.

I went to the ship’s doctor and mumbled out “I probably have yeast infection and I need it fixed, preferably yesterday.”

The nurse slipped a three day regimen of suppositories in a barf bag, charged me $20 and sent me on my way.

Here’s what I learned about a yeast infection — it doesn’t matter how flawless your makeup is, how good of a hair day you’re having, how great your skin is, or that your dress fits you like a glove — your vagina has basically gone rotten and it overshadows EVERYTHING.

Firephoto credit Matthias Ripp

Our week long escape to sunshine and warmth without our kids was a total bust in the intimate relations department. Cody was very noble from the start “I didn’t come on this vacation to spend countless hours naked with you, I just wanted to hang out with you.”

I however had spent the last several months looking forward to countless naked hours with just him. No LEGOs on the floor, no cats watching, no knocks at crucial personal moments. THERE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SO MUCH SEX. (Let’s talk about this another time, but when you finally let yourself truly love and be loved by your husband? EVERYTHING gets better.)

By Thursday I was grumpy from frustration, not only were there no naked hours, I wanted to scratch off my own crotch, bury it in sand, then rub it on asphalt.

We still had a marvelous time. I read eight books, we thawed our bones in the sunshine, and made some new friends.

By the time we got home things had calmed down dramatically down there and I scheduled a follow up appointment with my doctor just to make sure there really weren’t anteater-headed squid, and to have my annual lady exam that I had been avoiding for 4 years. (Some people fear the dentist, I fear pap smears.) She declared me free and clear of squid, anteaters, yeast, and other issues THEN she informed me protocol had recently changed and now I only need to get a pap every three years. NO PAP UNTIL 2018 PARTY PEOPLE!!

But the yeast came back, the very next week. Oh, the yeast came back WELL I THOUGHT IT WAS GONE.

This is basically the yeast that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend.

I called my doctor and she informed me that sometimes those three-day treatments can just be a bandage over a bigger problem and she prescribed me a pill to hopefully eradicate the funk in my junk once and for all. So not only did I get my first yeast infection at 32 while on vacation, I GOT THE MOTHER OF ALL UNBEATABLE YEAST INFECTIONS.

I’ve had a lot of miserable stuff go on down there, and this has been the second worst (just short of that time Addie popped out of the birth canal so fast she tore me open in two different directions.)

I’ve taken my pill, and I already feel as though I could conquer the world in loose fitting pants made from natural fibers, and breathable 100% cotton underpants.

More than one crunchy friend told me to “Slap some yogurt on that thing ASAP.”  Literally, yogurt. On my bits. I swear if it happens again I’ll try it. But I’m going with modern pharmaceuticals this time and keeping my yogurt for granola, thanks.

We also need to rebrand yeast infection and pap smear immediately. Both of them are SO TERRIBLY NAMED.  Let’s not be so literal, science. Around these parts we have the ‘Seventh Circle of Squid Fire’ the ‘Lady Bit Pip’.

Feel free to incorporate them into your own vernacular.

The Spin #2
photo credit Vaidotas Mišeikis

Give me your yeastie beastie stories. I can’t believe some people deal with these on a regular basis and for their entire lives. NOPE. ALL OF YOUR VAGINAS GET TO CALL IN SICK FOR MENOPAUSE.

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these bug me, and that’s just the way i am.

There are two phrases in particular that light my fury on fire, perhaps there are more (I’m sure there are) but for now, let’s discuss these two because maybe they’re you’re pet peeve too or perhaps you say them yourself not knowing how much damage they can cause.

1. “Someone forgot their medication.”

There’s a difference between finding a prescription bottle someone left at a hotel and sarcastically accusing someone of irrational behavior because they forgot to take a supposed prescribed medication for a mental illness they may or may not actually have. It’s the latter of these two that cause my fists to ball up. For a long time, whenever I would have a bad day Cody would ask “Did you take your medication?” as if the little while pill at bedtime would control every emotion I possess. It drove me crazy because I felt as though he expected me to have no range of emotion at all and that he put all of his hope for a “normal, happy wife” into a pill. Knowing I take medication and accusing me of forgetting it is one thing, accusing a stranger you know nothing about? That’s entirely different. That’s how stereotypes are born and bred. It puts shame not only on mental illness (because clearly we could all be controlled if we were medicated) it is also an unfair judgement of the person being accused. Before claiming someone “forgot their medication” to the person next to you under your breath, take a step back and try to figure out why the person is distraught in the first place and acknowledge that you’re not always on your best behavior in public either. Does that mean you forgot your medication too?

2. “That’s just the way I am.” or “That’s just the way he/she is.”

People can change. I’ve seen it, I’ve changed myself. It’s one thing if I insist on giving my friends a hug when they’re crying, because that is the way I am. However it’s entirely different if you excuse someones a**hole behavior under the guise “That’s just the way he/she is.” No one gets to be a butthead to other people for no reason. “That’s just the way I am” is just an excuse and when you have people excusing your own bad behavior? Whew, that’s when you know it’s gone too far and it’s time to start working on being a little nicer/more understanding/less selfish in general. Vivi likes to hit, scream and cry when she doesn’t get her way. I can’t tell other parents “Oh, that’s just the way she is.” because the other parents would cry foul and Vivi wouldn’t have any friends. However when an adult throws a fit to get their way or uses some other impolite tactic of persuasion — oftentimes their behavior is excused or begged to be reasoned with “because that’s just the way they are.”

No.

We can all do better. Don’t excuse others bad behavior and if you find yourself excusing your own with “That’s just the way I am” really think about how you’re presenting yourself. I for one do not want to associate with people who are unwilling or unable to change, expecting instead for others to bend and accept their unacceptable behavior.

Now, let’s put this into practice:

OKAY: You see a prescription bottle in the back of a taxi so you give it to the driver and say “Someone forgot their medication.”

NOT OKAY: Someone has been waiting in line at the DMV for several hours when they are told they will have to come back tomorrow with more paperwork and the person gets understandably upset. Upon witnessing the person demand to see a supervisor you lean over to your seatmate and whisper “Someone forgot their medication.”

OKAY: I will always have fair skin so there’s no use in tanning — it’s just the way I am.

NOT OKAY: Your brother is being incredibly rude and condescending to your wife, you respond with “You’ll just have to forgive him. He doesn’t understand, it’s just the way he is.”

Are there phrases that chap your hide? (Like ‘chap your hide’ or ‘nail down the details?’)

 

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it’s been awhile.

How have you been?

I’ve been well. For once this long silence wasn’t a result of depression, it was just a result of me doing other stuff.

Nothing personal.

It also hasn’t helped that Vivi is the epitome of toddler in every sense of the word, and I have to be constantly present for that child or she will lose a limb, chop the limb off another living creature or do some other irreversible damage to something I value (like the button she found in the car that turned on a light WE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW EXISTED.) I decided last night that if we rounded up a bunch of our toddlers and put them in a glass enclosure we could charge admission, like a zoo with tiny little drunk people that are drunk on perceived power and the sound of their own voice. Today she started the day out by throwing herself to the floor because the notebook I gave her had lines in it.

When I asked her yesterday if she was all clean after her bath she stuck her hand in her butt, sniffed it, then proclaimed “YEP! ALL CLEAN!” in case you were curious about the personal hygiene standards within our home.

Today is the three-year adoptiversary of our cats. Three years guys, happy to have you, stop licking my face.

Schmoopsie.
Hopefully this little nudge will be the proverbial uncorking I need to get back to business as usual. Perhaps you’re familiar with the feeling?

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boatcation: puerto ricogram edition

San Juan
San Juan PR
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan PR
IMG_20140908_180443
San Juan
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
IMG_20140909_000115
Way better than the forts we build at home. #FortEnvy
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
IMG_20140908_235615
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
It's not gas, just a fort.
Morro wall
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Nothing wraps up climbing a bazillion 300-year-old stairs like buying pastries from the back of a truck on a street corner.

Old San Juan? We dig you.

(Pictured: Old San Juan, Castillo San Felipe Del Morro and Santa Maria Magdelena de Pazzis Cemetery)

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