Smell Ya Later

Except if you’re me, then you won’t be doing any smelling. At all. And if you’re not smelling, you’re not tasting either. For almost a week, my sinuses have been staging some kind of revolt (again) and my combination of nasal sprays and rinses has rendered me smell-less. Which, as Peter pointed out, isn’t really such a bad thing around our house will all the poopy diapers, stinky feet and smelly dogs.

But not being able to enjoy food is annoying. You don’t realize how unsatisfying meals are if you can’t taste it – good or bad, hot or mild, sweet or sour. I decided I would turn this time into a super healthy few days because the food I wanted to eat didn’t satisfy so I might as well load up on lean protien and veggies.

The part I hate the most is the lack of connection to what’s around me. They say that scent is the strongest sense tied to memory – but I think it’s also one of the strongest just living life. I love the smell of Auggie’s head. Of Baylor’s cheeks. Of those stinky feet. I like dog breath (much as it pains me to say) and the smell of Peter’s shirts. There is a very strange feeling of disconnection from everything happening.

Yesterday morning was our “quiet day” meaning we didn’t have school, tball, swim or really any other plans for the day. So I whipped up pancakes. I realized half way through their cooking that I was getting the faintest scent of golden cakes crisping on the griddle. It smelled amazing. Sadly it was gone as soon as it came, but for a minute, I got to enjoy those pancakes!

I’m being patient that whatever is gripping my head will go away soon and that my sense of smell will be back in full “what is that smell??” swing soon. It’s coming back slooowly and I’m sure I will be longing for the days missing out on the daily scents around here.

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Successful What?

A friend once told me that successful people do 5 things before 8am. If my kids are up every 2-3 hours at night requiring water, clothing changes (vomit), bedding changes (you don’t want to know…), rocked back to sleep, patted back to sleep, tucked in – that is way more than 5 things we’re doing before 8am. And the fact that this pattern has been happening the last 5 nights that should make us really successful. The question is what we are successful at. At being sleep deprived? At being crabby? At being zombies? PW and I have yet to determine….

Just A Reminder

I had to chuckle when I opened a package from Amazon today. As if I didn’t remember I was on the slippery slope to 32…the contents of my order were a good reminder:

amazon

A second knee band because I’m now unable to run a 5k without pain in both knees…an elbow ice pack for the tennis elbow I’ve developed from lugging around a chunky 15 month old and sinus rinse. Holy. Moly. Add some Bengay and an AARP membership and I’ll meet you at Denny’s for the early bird discount.

Enough Already

If I read one more post, article or link about how to slow down, cut back on the to do list and or enjoy life, I’m going to punch someone.

No really.

Telling me to forget those dishes, stop running errands and don’t sign my kids up for activities is not only pointless, it’s down right mean. So my kids are going to be deprived of swim lessons, play dates and visits to the museum because it’s a lot of work? I should let the dishes, laundry and other housework pile up in the name of bonding time? How can I work more “efficiently” at my job in order to avoid having to multitask?

Also, these people clearly do not have a “spirited” four year old whom they stay home with who has ideas of her own and she. will. get. her. way. No matter how severe the consequences. So yes, while sitting down and spending time together is a good thing, there are days where if she doesn’t go to swim lessons, I might run out the door an never come back.

I get it. I do. I see the point these articles and posts are trying to make and in general, I agree. I do think there are limits on the day and what can get done – but while the message is clear, the call to action (or non action) is ridiculous. Show me a mom who is not stressed, worried or overwhelmed in some form and I’ll show you a mom who is not paying enough attention to her life. I’m not saying it’s healthy, I’m just saying it’s part of the gig. Learning how to not just survive but thrive is essential to make the most of your life and your kid’s lives. Quite time, unstructured time and alone time are all great, but they are only part of a fulfilling life. Getting kids dressed and out the door to church is annoying, but essential. Loading up for tennis lessons, t-ball games and riding lessons is difficult, but it provides the enrichment we all need. And let’s not forget our jobs. Fun as they are, they are necessary not only to provide for our families, pay for college and groceries.

So unless you’ve got a technique that will teach me how to thrive on 4 hours of sleep (how does Martha do it?!), spare me your warm and fuzzies. I’ve got work to do, children to raise and laundry to be folded.

Big Picture, Little Picture

I love weeks when I can see the big picture. I can see life for what it is and find joy in small things and have patience to turn bad behavior into teaching moments. I have the energy to tackle my to do list AND be a good mom. Get down on the floor and play. Get in the kitchen and cook together. Read books and go for walks. Make dinners and clean up the kitchen before 5pm. Get the laundry and ironing done. Clear my desk of bills, work and whatever else is lurking there. These are good weeks.

This is not one of those weeks. This is definitely a little picture week. I can’t see the forest for the trees.  All I can hear is a teething baby screaming, a puppy yelping and a smart mouth four year old. All I can see is the mess of toys, dishes and laundry. All I can think about is the pile of invoices that need to be created, put into envelopes, stamped and sealed.  All I want to do is look at the beautiful, smart, talented little girl in front of me and say “WHY??? WHY DO YOU KNOW WHAT MY BUTTONS ARE AND WHY DO YOU INSIST ON PUSHING THEM AALLLLL THE TIME?? WHY CAN’T YOU STAY IN BED AT NIGHT?? WHY WHEN YOU STAY IN BED DO YOU SCREAM FOR A PARENT TO COME TO YOUR BEDSIDE EVERY 2 HOURS TO FIX SOME NONEXISTENT PROBLEM??? WHY ARE YOU WAKING UP YOUR BROTHER??”.

Oh yeah, we aren’t sleeping right now. Again. It’s fun. I think B has a bet with Augg on how soon the men with the big butterfly nets are coming for mommy. It won’t be long little lady. It won’t be long.

My mom told me last week that I need to remember that her behavior comes from the fact that she’s bright. Actually, her quote was “It’s because she’s smart. If she were dumb, this would be a lot easier to solve”. And she’s right. Bay is no dummy. She’s capable of great things which is why I get so incredibly frustrated when she flat out refuses to do something. Or worse, pretends that she doesn’t know how (button pusher, party of one…). I’m not asking Hellen Keller to sign supercalifragalisticexpialidotious, I’m asking Einstien to add two plus two. So why can’t she just say FOUR and we could move on?!

I guess because she really wants to see if the men with the nets have white coats….

Joke’s on You

To the person who keeps stealing packages off of our front patio: when are you going to realize that we don’t order anything fun from Amazon? Just because it’s heavy, doesn’t mean it’s not shampoo. Or diaper rash cream. Or a fan for the dog crate.  So get it through your thieving little brain; we’re boring. We order boring things. Our kids are smelly and have diaper rash so we’re going to continue to order boring things. When you see a package on our patio, just keep walking. Unless you have diaper rash. Then you might want to consider snagging it.

Wake Up Call

I snuck away for a pedicure and was reading Self Magazine which was all about breast cancer and awareness. I read the statistics and a learned more about the risk groups and realized as I am now in my early thirties, I’m now at a higher risk and that it’s time to start taking those self exams seriously.

The next morning I got an email from a very good friend of mine. It started out apologizing for the mass email – as it began, I thought she was about to write that she and her husband were getting a divorce – I don’t know why I thought that, I love her husband and they have a great marriage, but it seemed to be the only logical piece of bad news she could be sending out. I literally felt my heart stop when I read that she was writing to tell everyone that she had breast cancer. 32 years old. Stage 4 breast cancer. My heart is racing as I write those words.

The good news is that she is crazy tough. And she is married to an amazing guy and they have been battling this awefulness together and she’s going to be ok. The road to recovery is long – she’s already endured several months of chemotherapy and despite it being successful, she is having surgery and then radiation. And all the while she has been open, honest about her feelings and making jokes. I will never look at arm pit hair the same way after she told me how excited she was to see hers growing back!

The part that makes my heart happy is that as I forwarded her email to our massive group of Phis, they all jumped in. They started a Meal Train so for the next several weeks, they will have dinners brought to their house a couple of times a week. There have been gift bags, flowers, emails, cards, texts and love going out to her. I know sororities get a bad wrap most of the time, but I’m proud to know my chapter has an amazing network of women who come from far and wide to help when a sister needs it.

I hate that this had to hit so close to home in order for me to pay more attention to my own health and risk. Take this as your wake up call to get your annual exams, do self exams and contribute to a charity/non profit who is working on a cure for such a miserable disease.