Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Stinging like a bee, I earned my stripes...

A quickie:

I don't know how it is already Wednesday night. This past week has blown by without my getting half of the things I planned to do done. This is mainly because I spent much of last week cleaning up after our leaking kitchen ceiling and leaking 4 year old son, leaving me with an ass-ton of laundry to catch up on and my to-do list from last week still hanging in the wind.

Speaking of the Boy, he is just about fully recovered from his stomach big last week. For a few days, he didn't not venture very far from the couch or his bed, which is a major departure from his usual state of being! Tuesday through Saturday were pretty rough on him, but by Sunday he had turned a corner and was off to school on Monday.

I. Love. These. Kids.
Friday night, I had a Bad Mom Moment and, despite the fact that PJ was still not feeling well, took him to get his cheer team photo taken. Their uniforms were in and there was no make-up opportunity for the team picture, so I bundled him up and loaded him into the car. He was a little subdued (ie, totally miserable) but I am so glad the he was there for the shot! This program has done so much for him and I just wanted this little token of all of his work and all of the friends he has made. A few people were missing, but it's a fantastic picture and shows all of their enthusiasm and joy! Look at those faces! Er, well, except for PJ! This program has been such a positive experience for us, and it was worth the Bad Mom Moment to make sure PJ was in the shot!

I finally managed to get one of our competition videos uploaded!



Things aren't always perfect around here, and sometimes, the road we walk with PJ can be tough. Still, when PJ was diagnosed with Autism two years ago, we never imagined that our road would include seeing our baby on a stage, loving every second of it, while people cheered for him and his amazing friends. Hell to the yeah.

As for the ceiling, it turned out that a burst pipe was the cause of the impromptu waterfall that sprung forth in our kitchen last week. An old radiator pipe was never closed off and drained properly, so when the temperatures dropped so dramatically, the pipe froze, and then it burst. This means that the water was old, gross, had-been-stagnant-for-God-knows-how-long water. Fucking. Gross. It took the plumber all of an hour to identify and fix the problem, thank goodness, and three hours for me to deep clean the kitchen after it had been splashed with all of that germy goodness.

Thankfully, everyone is back on track now and getting back into our regular routine. I can't believe that January is over in two days. PJ and his teammates have their second cheer competition this Saturday, so keep your fingers crossed for the Twisters! As for tonight, I am off to bed...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday, I don't care about you...

{things on thursday...}


...The snow. I just can't with all of the snow. I prefer the kind that falls gently from the sky and melts the second it touches the ground. The kind that looks pretty from the window of the coffee shop while you drink a peppermint mocha with your girlfriends, and you had no trouble at all getting there because it's pretty snow, not shovel-y snow. I will admit to a slight fondness for the kind of snow my son can play in, because as it turns out, PJ and snow are likethis. But on the whole, I am over all of this...weather. I am longing for springtime, our town May Fair, playground play dates, open window sleeping, and buds on the trees. This has been a particularly winter-y winter, and after a few mild ones, it's a bit of a shock to my system.

...I don't think I mentioned it yet, but my husband very generously gifted me with a fancy dSLR camera for Christmas. It was something I have wanted forever- I love to take pictures and "see" so many gorgeous things I would love to capture all the time- so I was very excited to get a Canon in my hot little hands! There has been much picture taking of PJ, the cat, and random things around the house as I attempt to learn how to operate a "big girl" camera, but when things settle down a bit, I am really looking forward to learning more about photography.

...My poor PJ has been sick the past few days. Congestion, coughing, and some GI issues have turned my energetic Boy into a limp noodle the past few days, unable to do much besides lay on the couch. Today he let me know he had to go potty, and then he asked me to carry him there! The poor thing is just wrung out and this mama can't wait until he's back to his old self. Even if his old self goes back to throwing things into the toilet. :-P

...Speaking of the Boy, this school situation has me crazed. It's hard to know how much to push or when you've pushed too hard or how to understand what is best to help your child succeed. And I am pretty sure I shouldn't start screaming at the top of my lungs. All I can do is trust our instincts as PJ's parents and trust the advice from the supports that we are so lucky to have and trust that there is no way we will let the world fail our son. So if ya have 'em to spare, send some good vibes our way.

...Today, I heard water dripping and got up to find water pouring in through our kitchen ceiling. No damage, thankfully, just a mess thus far. But, really?

...And to round things up, last week, the Oldest/Bestest friend (aka Randi) ran in her first marathon last week. I remember when she started running over a year ago, and have watched her go fro struggling though a mile to running her first 5k to celebrating her first marathon finish. I am so ridiculously proud of her. Randi gets up at the crack of dawn to fit a run in before going home, getting her kids ready and off to school, and then taking her two hour commute to work. She's one bad ass chick and I am fully inspired by her! Or, at least, I had better be inspired, since that bitch signed me up for my first 5k in April. Hold me.

Hoping that you had the Thursday of your dreams....






Monday, January 20, 2014

Look into the mirror, who's inside there...same old me again today.

Beauty is a word that I have always had a strange relationship with. I see it everywhere. The light that comes through our park when the sun is going down. The perfect curve of PJ's cheek. The sounds and smell of a thunderstorm. There are so many beautiful things, everywhere.

It took me a long time to find a beauty within myself. As soon as I was tall enough to look into a mirror, I viewed my reflection with a critical, unforgiving eye. It's certainly not something I was raised to see- my parents made it clear that the sun and moon revolved around my sister and I. But I was never able to look below the surface, and I wasted a lot of time worrying about what everyone else saw. Or rather, I wasted a lot of time worrying about what I thought they saw.

Finding my own beauty has been a struggle. It takes a lot of wisdom to truly understand the components of beauty, to peel back the layers and get to the important stuff, and if I never said I was beautiful, I sure as hell never said I was wise, either! What I am is older, and while it's not likely I will ever see myself as a beauty, there are things that make me feel beautiful.

When I am patient with my son, I feel beautiful.

When I am wearing my Mom-Mom's diamond earnings, even with a sweatshirt, I feel beautiful.

When I am singing, and something lovely comes out of my mouth, I feel beautiful.

When I am laughing with my friends, the kind of laugh when no sound comes out and you pee a little, I feel beautiful.

When it's humid out and I am having a great hair day, with perfect rings, when everyone else is praying to the alter of their hairspray, I feel beautiful.

When I wear a long dress, despite the fact that I am entirely too short for them, I feel beautiful.

There's still a long way to go. Miles. And although I find more within myself the older I get, it's likely that I will run out of years before I run out of criticisms. There are places within me and roles in my life that need to have their beauty drawn out, but I'll be damned if I know how to do it. There's still a long way to go, but I have found a little of my beauty as each mile has passed. Fingers crossed I can find a little more.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

If I don't get some shelter, oh, yeah. I'm gonna fade away.

Today...

...was one of those lazy, snuggly, stay-in-our-pajamas-all-day type of days. We don't get too many of those, and I relished every slow, relaxed second of it.

...my Erin Condren planner arrived! You should know that I made it get here with my mind, because every day after I ordered it, I would stalk it on her website. The shipping date was listed as January 20th, but I obviously was able to bring it here with the power of my wills because today is January 18th and it's here! It's here, and it's awesome. It's so pretty and practical and I spent a blissful hour organizing my schedule into it. I am pretty sure that there is no other appropriate way to record one's schedule and I don't know how I ever existed without it. I'm sure my sister wishes I would wax this poetic over makeup, but, eh. It's all about the planner. Amen.  *nerd alert*

...I loved spending time with PJ. I have my days where, by five o'clock, I am desperately counting the seconds until bedtime. With his new penchant for throwing things in the toilet, those days come more often then I'd like to admit. Today, he made me smile. Lately, despite the fact that he threw my favorite moisturizer, my bath scrub, and a pair of my earrings into the toilet, I find myself constantly entertained by this personality that is developing. PJ is so funny and loving and even in his limited ways comes up with stuff that just slays me, like when he started singing R. Kelly's Remix to Ignition the other day. Inappropriate? Yes. Hilarious? Totes.

Tonight...

...I let PJ stay up past him bedtime so that we could watch a movie (Chicken Little) and "camp out" in his dinosaur tent. I don't know that I have found any greater bliss then having my freshly bathed, clean pajama-ed son snuggled up to me. With PJ being four, I wonder how much longer the hugs and cuddles and kisses every time I request them will last.

...I watched "20 Feet From Stardom" again. Pete and I watched it last night and I found myself riveted by the stories of these women. If you are a fan of music, then it is very likely you know so many of these voices, and yet you might never know their name. Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fisher. Powerful voices just floating from these amazingly charismatic women and by some twist of fate, they ended up behind the stars. This was a beautifully done piece of film, and I would say that if you are someone who loves music, this is not one to miss. Listen to this clip of Merry Clayton's isolated backing vocals to the iconic Rolling Stones hit "Gimme Shelter". Chills.



...I am thankful that it's a long weekend for PJ, and that Pete has Monday off. Even though he will need come time to sleep off his shift from Sunday night, it will be nice to have some family time. We talked about what kind of plans we could make for PJ's next long weekend and his spring break. It's still a very fine thread we balance on within my little family, but there's still a future to make plans for. Yay for hard work. I see its paybacks in little ways, more and more, every day.

Tomorrow...

...will be here before I know it, so it's time to get to sleep.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

So many things, things, so...so out of range, sometimes so strange...

Hello, blog.

It's been awhile. I know. Blogging breaks are not at all unusual for me- sometimes, I kind of fall out of the habit. The holidays, of course, with all of its busy and errands and hoopla, create a perfect storm of excuses to lay on the couch at night instead of blogging.

I intended to start fresh in the new year. I felt full of new dreams and new attitude and a new flex in my fingers, begging to type. But, the perfect storm rolled in again, this time in the form of illness and school meetings and, as it turned out, an actual storm. So while we're a little ways away from the New Year, today is a Wednesday, and the new episode of Honey Boo Boo hasn't aired yet. Close enough.

As is typical of the time, Pete and I are treading around a bunch of New Year's Resolution-y things. We on a kick of keeping things neat around here, going to join a gym next week (although that's less New Year's Resolution-y and more having very recently found out that his employer offers a very sizable discount to a very, very nice gym), and getting serious about saving money so I can live in a home unattached to others as I have grown too old and bitchy to live in close proximity to people we can purchase our first home. World without end, Amen.

While I haven't sat down a keyboard for nearly two months, there has been a wealth of self-discovery, of truths and ideas and lessons and all of those resolution-y things that January brings:

- Truth: We have hit an impasse in PJ's schooling. It's been a difficult road the past few months, trying to figure how how best for my funny, bright, amazing boy to best succeed in school. The process of trying to find the right balance for PJ has been like walking a tightrope at best, and, at this point, we are trying to decide of it's better to invest in legal assistance by way of retaining an attorney and dig in our heels, or simply move to a school district that offers better, more appropriate services. I'll tell you, it would seem that the latter is the cheaper option.

- Idea: I am not an organized person by nature, in fact, keeping any semblance of order is a daily struggle for me, which is why I have always kept such a meticulous planner. Between PJ's therapies, Pete's work schedule, and all of our family activities, I needed something to help me keep it all straight, which is where Erin Condren comes in. Or, at least, one of her planners. It will be here this Saturday and I am pretty sure that it will revolutionize my life. Pictures, and likely a very moving, heartfelt tribute, to come.

- Lesson: Marriage is fucking hard. It's hard and it's a little bit like being stabbed. But, you can either bleed out, or be all Wolverine on that bitch, and Pete and I are trying our best to be Wolverine (Mmmmmmm....Hugh Jackman. So hot..... Oh. Wait. Where was I?). It gets....not better. Our scars are ones we will wear for a very long time. Better isn't exactly the word. I don't think that our marriage in and of itself is what has changed but rather how we approach it. We try harder to work together and although it's far from perfect, it has made all the difference to decide that our marriage, our life, and our family are worth it.

I am not sad at all to see 2013 go. It was a difficult year, And thankfully, we don't ever have to go back, and hopefully, the key to not repeating any of the many Mistakes of 2013 will be to remember my truths, bring some new ideas, and do something with the lessons I learned. It's mid January, and the resolutions are getting off to a slow start, but they are coming.

In the meantime....Hi, blog. It's good to be back.

Something else...if you avert your eyes to the right, you will see that the very cute and talented Elle over at Dig Deep Studio cleaned up my sidebar and made it all organized and pretty! {standing O}