Monday, October 27, 2014

So... my grandma died...

I wasn't sure how to start this post, so might as well throw it right out there and get that shit over and done with.  My Grandma Jean died, and it's terribly, heart-wrenchingly sad because she was one of the sweetest, kindest, weirdest, most interesting, most amazing women in the entire world.   

Here is a (non-comprehensive) list of the things that made my grandma the best:
  • The only time my grandma drank was when she ate pizza.  She would always tell me that the two went together.
  • My grandma was a belly dancer.  Take a look at that picture and let it sink in for a bit.  Yep, in her younger days she belly-danced.  She told me that she never let my grandpa watch her practice, though, because "it turned him on too much." 
  • My grandma had 10 kids.  Apparently, Grandpa got to watch her belly dance every now and again.
  • Grandma and Grandpa were married for 61 years.  Try to wrap your head around that.  Sixty-one years is a long time to spend with anyone, and they were just as in love now as they were when they met.  He is broken without her.
  • When Grandma and Grandpa eloped, her marriage wasn't recognized by her Catholic church, and her parents were more than upset about it.  So, they stopped making payments on her accordion.  Yes, that's right.  They stopped making payments on her accordion, and she had to quit her polka band.  That's the price she paid for love.
  • Grandma and Grandpa didn't have much, but Grandma was a giving soul.  She made stockings, quilts, scarves... you name it, she could make it, and she did.  And she gave them to everyone.  My Christmas stocking is the prettiest, though.  Just so you know.
I'll spare all the details, but just know that Grandma passed in peace, and though I know that she is at rest with our creator, I am selfish and I wish that she was here with us.  I wish that Grandpa could be with his love, that Henry could know his Great-Grandma like I knew mine, and I wish that she was here with me forever. 

I won't spew some bullshit like "God had a plan for her" and that "everything happens for a reason" because that's not why she died.  She died because her heart wasn't great and it couldn't hold out any more.  I will tell you, however, that she is singing with the angels, and dancing like she's never danced before with my Great Grandma Evelyn and happier than she's ever been in the presence of Jesus. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

That Time I Broke Up With Facebook (Day 6)

Did you know that if you don't log in to Facebook for a while, it will start emailing you?

I do, because I've broken up with Facebook. 

I know, I know, it's the modern day equivalent of saying that you're going to run away from home, but then just standing on the corner with your suitcase looking sad, but hear me out. 

In the last few weeks, I'm come to realize that I really don't like Facebook.  I don't like attempting to keep my opinions on gun control and Candy Crush Saga, and welfare to myself as to refrain from upsetting my husband's cousin's girlfriend.  I hate that I'm the person who posts statuses about my kid's recent bathroom successes (number 2 at Target?!?). 

I mostly hate that I care so much.

So, when I came across 99 Days of Freedom, I decided to give it a go.  Okay, well, not at first.  First I had to finish my Thirty-One Party so I could get some wicked awesome free bags first, then after another person irritated me, then I logged off. 

It's been 6 days now, and honest to goodness, I don't really miss it.  You know what I really love?  I love that I've been able to show people photos of Henry and tell them stories and they haven't stopped me and said, "Oh yeah, I already know.  I saw that."  I'm having real life conversations!  I'm sending photos to my mom and texting with her instead of just posting them!  I'm *gasp* putting my phone DOWN!!

But, of course... there are still 93 days left...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why I'm not a Soccer Mom, part 2

I used to be one of those people who would say, “If I have a boy, I’m never going to push him in to sports or cars or trucks or any of that stereotypical boy stuff.  He’s going to have dolls and tea sets and he can play with whatever he wants no matter what.”  Well, Henry does have a doll, somewhere.  I’m pretty sure it’s buried under a pile of balls and trucks and all of the stereotypical boy stuff that now fills our home.  We’ve never pushed him in to any of that, he’s naturally gravitated toward it all.  He would watch sports all day long if we let him, and our days are filled with threats of, “do NOT throw that ball at me when I’m not looking at you or I’m going to take it away!”

I was sure that my future would be full of practices and games, and loading up vans full of little boys off to a tournament somewhere, and I couldn’t wait.  That was before we learned of Henry’s gross motor issues.  Even still, I’ve held on to that dream for him, knowing that he’s really doing relatively well, and that he’s the most stubborn kid I’ve ever met and that if he wants to play sports of course he’s going to. 

When you see Henry playing by himself, you wouldn’t think there was much wrong.  He climbs stairs, he runs (sort of) and he does most things that most kids do, just a bit slower.  When we enrolled him in soccer this summer, though, we could see that he was a lot slower:  painfully, terribly, measurably slower.  Soccer is great for Henry.  The running and kicking is the perfect thing to help strengthen his weak legs, and his differences didn’t seem to bother him, though it bothered me.  As parents we want to see our children succeed especially at things they love.  Plus, it’s easy to forget his imperfections when you’re not reminded of them, and soccer was one big, huge, ugly reminder.

Last Wednesday, all I could do was chuckle at him while the kids ran laps.  Mine was the one all the kids passed, then lapped, as he slowly and carefully ran on that black line.  As had happened at every other practice, Henry got in about ¾ of a lap when all the other kids finished their two laps.  When the other kids did jumping jacks, Henry waved his hands in the air, unable to jump quite yet.  My heart hurt for him, but I was sure he was having fun.

But then, as I watched him kicking the ball with the other kids, I noticed something was wrong.  The other kids kicked their soccer balls and they flew across the gym, hitting the wall on the other side.  Henry kicked his, and it barely went a couple feet in front of him.  This happened again and again, and watching him I realized he was crying.  Sobbing, really.  Had he been kicked?  Hit by a ball?  I went out to the middle of the gym and kneeled down in front of my little boy, “What’s wrong, Henry?  Are you okay?”

I have never hurt as much as I did when he looked at me with his eyes full of tears and said, “I want you, Mommy.  I can’t do it.  It’s too hard.  I go home now.”

I should have encouraged him.  I should have told him that he is strong and perfect and that he could.  I should have told him to get back over there with the other kids and to work hard.  I should have told him that it’s not so hard and helped him one-on-one and made it through that practice.  But, I didn’t.  Instead, I broke down with him, right in the middle of that gym, with all the other parents watching.  I cried for him and for me, and for all the times I know that I will have to stay strong for him and to tell him to keep trying even though it’s not as easy for him as it is for the other kids. 

No, I scooped him up and carried him out of there and made it all go away for him.  That won’t always be a choice, and will most likely never be the right choice, but in that moment it was all that I could do.  Though Henry’s tears were long dried, I cried all the way home, and cried to my husband who was waiting for us when we got there. 

Next week is our last week of soccer practice, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to take him again.  Though I know better than to make this about me, I just don’t think that I can handle it again.  Henry may need to strengthen his legs, but Momma needs to strengthen her resolve.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

More actual conversations with Henry:

"Mom, are you straight?"
"Um, what?"
"Are you straight?"
"Yes... are you?"
"No.  I'm right.  And Daddy's left."
(apparently, anything in the middle is "straight":  left, right, straight)

"I had something HUGE in my nose!"
"Really, what was it?"
*points to giant booger he wiped on the cart*


Okay, so if you know me, you know that I love surprises.  You know how stores sometimes throw a bunch of junk they can't sell in to a bag and sell it all together as a grab bag?  Yeah, I am physically unable to walk past those without purchasing one.  Impossible.  Who knows what's in there?  It could be a fabulous prize!  A marvelous something!  I must buy it now!!!

That is probably why I love Influenster so much.  You register on the site, you take some surveys, you connect your social media, and VOILA... sometimes you get super awesome surprises in the mail to try out and review!  YES!  Grab bags in the mail!  What could be better?

So, last month, I got the Vita Vox Box in the mail, full of wonderful stuff to make me feel wonderful.

I was pretty stoked to get some Pure Leaf tea in the box, but then the husband saw it and it turned out he was even more stoked than I was.  He's channeling his inner Duck Dynasty and drinking a LOT of sweet tea lately, and the bottle I received was sweet tea.  He claimed it pretty quickly.  It wasn't as sweet as he would have liked it to be, but that is because he usually drinks his with a 1:50 tea to sugar ratio.  Seriously.  I don't know how he drinks the stuff he makes.  It's disgusting.  I can feel my teeth rotting and my blood sugar rising with every sip.  The Pure Leaf tea was 100 times better than what the husband makes.  It actually tasted like tea, with just the right amount of sweetness.  I thought it was delicious!  I've had their un-sweetened as well, and I have to say that I do prefer that over the sweetened.  That's just how I roll, though.  I'm sweet enough already without adding extra sugar to my tea.  (do you believe that??)

Bottom Line:  Join Influenster, get free stuff.  Buy Pure Leaf tea, because it's delicious.

Enjoying some Pure Leaf at the NewBo City Market.
Pure Leaf is donating $1 to Wholesome Wave for every photo tagged at your local farmer's market... pretty amazing.