Truth!

In addition to cleaning out my closets, I have been cleaning up my blog.  I have a newly updated About page which you can read here:

ABOUT

I went through my first year of posts to edit the boys’ names.  I originally referred to them as Frick and Frack.  These were the nicknames my mom gave them when they were very little.  You could see how this could become confusing to a reader so I went back through and updated their names to Full Speed and T.Puzzle.  There are a lot of posts in that first year that made me laugh out loud and made my heart swell with love.  There are touching posts, posts about the loss of my mother and posts about how Mad Dog is always right (not really!) and as a married couple we never fight (no comment!).  There are some posts I read through where I cringed and broke out in a cold sweat.  It was like I was right back in it.  Reliving those vivid details of some of the epic power struggles I endured with my boys (especially T.Puzzle at the onset of his terrible threes) was not for the faint of heart.  After reading these I fully understand why I never felt compelled to expand my brood.  However, I am deeply grateful for the two that I have.  One of the biggest takeaways in terms of my parenting abilities is NEVER ASK ME HOW TO POTTY TRAIN!  I failed repeatedly and miserably not once but twice.  There was a point in time that I wondered if I should buy stock in Pull-Ups as I was fairly certain my boys would be wearing them FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!  Again, I could not do that again.  Two is my absolute limit.  I heard the Pull-Ups people were really bummed to hear that.

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T.Puzzle is stunned that he actually learned to use the potty.

There were some stand-out posts and there were some where I was clearly phoning it in.  However, there was one in particular that floored me.  It is the one I wrote on the year anniversary of Writes for All Mommies’ inception date.  Here is my favorite passage from it:

I think the biggest change for me has been coming to terms with motherhood. I think sometimes when we are unhappy with who we are, we blame our choices and our circumstances. I will admit, especially in the newborn years, I struggled with my all-consuming role as a mother. I thought that maybe if I had made some different choices, like continuing to work or if I was somehow parenting better, I would feel happier. Turns out, it wasn’t my boys or motherhood, it was me. It doesn’t matter what I accomplish outside of motherhood that determines my value, it is ultimately up to me to determine that. Whether I become a world-famous author or if all I manage is to raise two, well-adjusted boys, my value remains constant. I get that now.

Truth is timeless.  That is for sure.

You can read the post in its entirety here:

HAPPY BLOG-A-VERSARY TO ME!

From this I would like to take it one step further.  What if I actually don’t have to do a thing to prove my value?  What if our value is actually tied to who we are and not what we do?  Is it possible my value was already locked down before I even decided to have kids or pour my heart out on my laptop keyboard?

I now know this is not only possible, it is absolute truth.

It’s true for all of us.

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Sending love to you all.

More Vacation Lessons

1.  Champagne mojitos are still the way to go.  Trust me, I tried every variety known to man such as frozen, straight up, fruit flavored and what have you.  The golden (and delicious!) standard of the original Royal Carribean champagne mojito cannot be beat.

our first day aboard with Mad Dog's parents. They thankfully enjoy champagne mojitos as much as we do!

 

2.  Getting your hair braided in Coco Cay, Bahamas is just as much fun today as having it done in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico when Mad Dog and I got engaged eight years ago. 

3.  When you are a Mom who rarely gets time away from her kids, something as simple as walking down a street with no Hotwheels, animal crackers or wipes in your purse, or better yet, absolutely no purse at all, is extremely liberating.  It almost feels like your are breaking the natural laws of the world and it feels fantastic.

4.  Sometimes, after a few hours have slipped by, you may find that you kinda of sorta miss the kids you left at home.  This twingey guilt can be quickly remedied with another round of champagne mojitos (see Lesson 1).

5.  This vacation helped solidify exactly how much Mad Dog must love me.  He willingly posed for so many pictures, it is possible we may have set a ship record.  For a man who greatly dislikes being photographed, he obviously loves the woman he is posing with.  Thank you, Mad Dog!

one of the several posed shots taken by the ship's photographers

6.  This cruise was the best I have ever experienced.  I have several theories as to why this is.  The most likely being that if you have achieved a level of happiness and acceptance in the life that you are leaving behind for a few days, it only multiplies in a setting of rest and relaxation.  And this time, I was more content than ever to return home and continue my adventures of motherhood.  

It’s good to be home and even better to hug my boys.

picture taken at Picture Me Portrait Studios

Amazing Energy

hard at work, or something like that

The energy disparity between me and my boys has always been quite extreme.  Since my wisdom tooth debacle and following slow recovery, this energy chasm has widened.

As I slowly walked the boys over to a friend’s house to see if she could come over to play, I was amazed by two things.  The first being that since it was my first time outside in almost two weeks, the air seemed lighter and the sky seemed brighter even though it was drizzly with rain.  The second, as my boys rocketed ahead of me at intense speed, was how much faster they move through life than me.  Even when I was small and filled with that natural energy little people possess, I always stuck close to my Mom and was extremely introverted and quiet.  An exciting day for me consisted of listening to my ‘Annie‘ movie soundtrack, doing arts and crafts and lots of time spent alone in my own imaginary, wonder-filled world.   My boys are so different.  They are outgoing, boisterous and love anything rough and tumble.

Today it didn’t matter to me.   Yes, I’m the lady in the neighborhood with the two wild boys.

And that is perfectly fine with me.

In fact, it’s kind of amazing.

The Movies

Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, 2010
Image by erjkprunczyk - Happy New Year! via Flickr

 

Mad Dog and I took the boys to see ‘Yogi Bear’.  If I’m being completely honest, sitting through children’s fare, especially the type common to theaters in recent years, can be a bit taxing on your sense of sanity.

I tried to keep an open mind to the inanity of it all. 

When my attention wasn’t captured by the movie, which was most  of the time, I quickly became absorbed in thought.  How could I change my perspective and appreciate this movie, this experience and this moment? 

Well, it helped a ton to hear the unfiltered giggles emitting from each boy on either side of me.  It also wasn’t the worst kid’s movie I’ve had to sit through either.

I couldn’t maintain a zen outlook the whole time.  In the moments I could, I sat back and was more content to watch Full Speed and T.Puzzle enjoy their cinematic adventure.  And enjoy it they did.

I counted myself lucky that we live close to a theater, had gift certificates to pay our way (thank you, Grandma and Grandpa!) and Mad Dog available to join us.

The movie didn’t end up on any of my top ten lists,  but the company was divine.

That in itself was worth the price of admission.

Happy Birthday, T.Puzzle

T.Puzzle turns four today!

My baby is now officially in big boy territory.  Let’s hope like his brother before him, this increases his awesomeness tenfold.  Let’s leave the terrible ones, twos and threes behind us forever.

The birth of a child is always a vivid memory.  T.Puzzle’s stands out because I went into labor (after a solid month of miserably contracting for no reason) on the night of our third wedding anniversary.  I was in complete denial.  I can even remember the clothes I was wearing in great detail.  That’s mainly because I was so huge (T.Puzzle ended up being a healthy 9lb 7oz), I only had one semi-dressy maternity outfit that fit me reasonably well.  Black pants, with a huge amount of stretch no less, and a long-sleeved black tunic with red and white dots to top off this stylish ensemble. Pregnancy is certainly not about the fashion.

When I realized that the Braxton Hicks I was having were actually closer to the real deal, we went to the hospital where I continued to deny I was in labor.  I even got to watch an episode of Sex and the City on TBS as we waited to see if I dilated more.

Eventually, I couldn’t deny it any longer.  T.Puzzle came into this world and screamed louder than any newborn I have ever known.  I remember thinking, ‘baby, you’re suppose to be my easy one,’ and this only seemed to increase his volume.

Easy or not, he is the best second kid anyone could hope for.

Happy  birthday, T.Puzzle.  I love you!