Keep In Mind…

What’s a blog without one mention of the election? A good blog you might say!? I figured I would add my thoughts as it will be 4 years before I get the chance again. And who knows if this blog will be around then??

So, it’s that time again Every 4 years, the eve of the big election. Some of you may hide in a closet and wait for it to be over. For others, this is like the political Super bowl- regardless of who or what you’re voting for.  For me, I love watching all of this. I hate politics normally, but something about watching the electoral votes come in is just purely fascinating to me. Of course I’m sure there are people that would just like to watch TV without a political ad popping up. Either way, here are a few things I want to mention- and I will say- this post is candidate agnostic so you don’t have to lecture me about whatever party you hold near and dear. There are some observations that I’m trying to keep in mind.

 

  • Regardless of who you’re voting for, it’s not okay to demean people because they do not agree with you. On November 9th one of those candidate will be elected by our democracy to lead our country. And guess what, we all still live here! We all still have to work, shop, worship, etc. with one another. Consider life beyond November 8th.
  • In regards to the previous item, if it’s frightening, you know, life beyond November 8th– then GO VOTE! Whichever way you go, be part of the process and don’t leave it up to everyone else. As far as I’m concerned, I have no room to complain if I don’t participate.
  • At the end of this process, we are all still Americans. We may not agree with one another on everything, but that is what makes this country special. That is why, over centuries, people immigrated here for a better life. A life that is not oppressed, where they can practice religion, culture, and live their life outside of whatever cultural norm may have been oppressing them before. America is a melting pot of people and heritages that survived world wars, depressions and recessions, terrorist attacks, and countless things that would have, and people thought, should have, torn us apart. But we were resilient. Let’s not let our own democratic process divide all of us.

 

Enough of my soapbox, you get the idea. Even after this is all done, I still have respect for my fellow Americans. If you want to make a difference, participate! Treat people kindly and allow the process to run its course. And either way it goes, I’ll be celebrating on November 9th that it is finally over!!!

Bag Balm

Bag balm. We have a love hate relationship. It’s an AMAZING ointment to use for baby bottoms (it’s official use is for milking cows, but whatever). Seriously. My sister-in-law first told me about it when she had my nephew 11 years ago and we’ve been believers ever since. The stuff will fix diaper rash in no time. It’s not exactly great smelling, but it gets the job done. And when you’re dealing with a raw baby bottom, anything is worth a shot. The trick with bag balm, aside from its ability to moisturize, is that it is a protectant for the skin. So it is really hard to get off. You can wipe away the excess, sure. But just know there will be a little coating protecting that lovely epidermis of yours for a few more wipes or washings. It’s great. No need to reapply multiple times.

That’s where the love story ends however. Our first battle was several years ago when our sweet Aden was about 3 years old. He had the most adorable, fluffy, big curls ever. They were thick and fine and they fit his personality just perfect. aden

Aden decided that Bag Balm apparently looked like a “hair cream” and managed to wipe half a can into his delightful hair before we saw what was happening. Oh. My. Goodness. I didn’t know what was worse at first: the fact he had it in his hair or I would have to get it all over my hands just to get it out (as opposed to using baby wipes or a Q-Tip on their bottoms).  I mean, what’s a little extra moisture in his hair? Especially compared to having antiseptic smelling hands for a week? It couldn’t be that bad right? Oh, it was. There was NO way out.

aden-bag-balm

First, we scraped. That got the large chunks out, but it also mushed the remnants into his hair even more. We tried shampoo. Nope. We tried dish soap. That’s supposed to cut grease right? Nope. We tried homemade concoctions we found online. Nothing. Not a single thing was working to get that layer of grease out of his hair. So, the final option, a haircut. I was devastated and Aden, of course after being practically water boarded trying to get the stuff out of his hair, was not about to sit for a haircut. It took some patience, but my little innocent, sweet toddler went from his sweet 3 year old self to a small child after that haircut. He just looked so much older! And, it still took a good week to get that last layer of grease out.

aden-after

At the risk of totally humiliating myself, here is the rest of the story. Bag Balm and I stayed on speaking terms but had grown apart as the big boys were out of diapers and we thankfully didn’t have a lot of intestinal bugs. Well, until recently. Thankfully the most recent episode wasn’t as traumatizing as the first (at least not yet I hope). You see, it works great on babies, but really, it works great on all ages. When the big boys get a bug where they’re wiping a lot and it’s getting uncomfortable, we bust out the Bag Balm. Same with the adults. And recently, it had hit me. I don’t have the time to sit in a nice warm tub for hours on end (as much as I would like to), so we move to option B- option Bag Balm. Well, of course that day I had errands to run and quite honestly, I have about 2 options for clothing right now- maternity yoga pants and work pants. So, I opted for the comfy route (the yoga pants if you were wondering) and headed to the store. I wandered around Target, enjoying a rare moment at the store by myself, in no huge rush to get back. The bum was feeling better so why not take my time right? Well, I get home and we’re unloading groceries and hubs says, “Hey, you have a grease mark on the bottom of your pants”. I figure it’s just from chapstick someone left in the dryer. I look in the mirror. Nope. Not. At. All. I had a dark, wide, and quite obvious mark up the seam of the pants, basically covering the crack. I either had the sweatiest crack ever for a cool October day or had wet my pants and it had traveled up the seam. Nice. And, to make matters worse, it was a rare day where I was wearing a maternity shirt that didn’t cover my butt. So, the entire time I was at the store, I was walking around with my grease mark hanging out. That’s where it could get worse, I suppose. Maybe someone took a picture of me, unknowingly, and will post it online. Heck, maybe it’s already out there. So if you see it, just let me know. I want to be able to at least benefit from whatever ad money they’re making!

At the end of the day, I know I won’t break up with Bag Balm. Not with another little one on the way and one still in diapers. It’s too valuable not to have around. I just need to remember to keep my bum covered!

 

 

Why I Needed New Pajamas

I alluded to the 911 incident in my earlier post about hubs being away for the month of May. Here was what happened….

We drove hubs down to the course facility, about 8 hours away, and made it a fun family weekend. While there, we get an email from the landlord indicating that they will be replacing the roof on our town home the coming week. Of course it’s the first week hubs will be away! The last time roof work was done in our complex was the one and only time a unit was broken into. However, based on the police report and feedback, it was likely a person who knew the family that lived there, just a coincidence that the roofs were being replaced. But, it was still in the back of my mind. Heck, we leave our outside lights on just to help brighten things up and deter any shady activity.

Well, the first day of the roofers working, I was working from home with a sick kid (of course someone is sick while hubs is away right!?). In my many comings and goings throughout the day, I saw a worker walking around with a large bucket picking up debris. he was quite, but always had that bucket. Around 9pm they finished up for the day. I got the boys situated and hopped into bed earlier than I had expected.

At about 1am I heard something on the roof and then I heard something on our porch. I bolted up in bed, heart racing, listening for any sound. I heard a few other little things so I decided to peek out of my bedroom window. On the sidewalk, at the bottom of my porch stairs, was that same bucket carried by the debris guy, sitting upright. My heart was pounding. Is he here on my porch? Why would he be here at 1 in the morning? What do I do? Do I call the police? Do I wait and see if I’m just freaking out for nothing? What if someone is in the house? Do I get the kids before calling the police or after?

So, I called the police. Within about 10 minutes I saw the flashlights outside the window and then the doorbell rang. I confirmed it was the police and opened the door. Apparently, the bucket had been left on the roof, rolled off and had so gracefully landed right side up- making it appear that someone had just set it down. Nice. Well at least I had peace of mind. Oh, and that was also the moment I decided I needed some better pajamas. Worn maternity shorts and an old t-shirt from high school are not the nicest thing to answer the door in. So, I went back to bed (and thankfully slept) and made it my mission the next day to find some better pajamas.

Ode to Single Parents

For the month of May, hubs was out of state for an exam prep course. He was gone for 4 solid weeks. Four solid weeks of just me and the 3 boys: school, work, soccer, repeat. A lot of people were horrified that he was away, often remarking, “What in the world are you going to do!?”. Really, I had it easier than most. My advantage is that I knew ahead of time that he was leaving. There are many moms out there that are thrust into single parenthood without notice. If I don’t plan well, that’s on me!

I’m not saying there were no bumps in the road. We had an incident where I thought the house was being broken into and had to call 911- read about that here. We of course could not go 4 weeks without a sick kid. Seriously, enough with the fevers and ear infections already! And, in the thick of it, I had to travel for 5 days to my annual conference in Las Vegas. It was all a whirlwind. I could not have survived without hubs mom who visited often to help out (i.e. check on my sanity), or my mom who came to stay with the boys while I was gone (I’m pretty sure she will never, ever do that again!).

At the end of the month when I was thinking over everything, I was shocked at how fast it went by and also that I survived! I felt so accomplished! The last time I felt that accomplished was when I pushed a watermelon sized baby out of my body! But, I only did this single thing for a month, I had time to plan, and I had family to help in a pinch. All I could think about  were all the single parents I know that do this every day- many without ever complaining- and they’re kicking butt! I have such respect for those folks. Sure, I can toot my own horn and act all giddy that I made it one whole month without hubs (it was really just by the grace of God that we made it through!), working full time, with 3 boys. But, that was only 1 month. I knew there was an end. I had that to look forward to and keep me in a constant adrenaline rush.

So, to all my single parents, kudos to you for making it happen, all day, every day. I have so much respect for you. And when hubs is in residency and we see him maybe 3 hours a week, I may be coming to all of you for advice!

Full Circle

Almost 1 year ago- to the day- I published my first blog post. I really wasn’t sure what would happen with it. Would I post once and walk away having checked an item off my bucket list? Would it become a sensational piece of writing and I could retire young? Okay- I really wasn’t holding my breath for that one. Would I even continue on to be able to celebrate 1 year of therapeutic writing? All kinds of questions came to mind. I can actually remember it, vividly. I remember it because I was sitting in a hotel room in Las Vegas, having been at a conference all day for work, and decided on a whim it was time for ME to have a “hobby”. Something outside of work that I can use as a medium and voice I wouldn’t otherwise have. So, here I am, full circle, because I am sitting in a hotel room- in Phoenix this time for work- thinking about what I should do. I like writing, I’ve been told by some that I’m decent at it (thank you by the way- even if you’re exaggerating!). It’s been interesting to share some stories along the way that I feel are entertaining, and even educational at times. So, in honor of this blogiversary, I am listing a few things I have learned over the last year.

  • Any posts written about hubs and/or medical school always had the most views. I make 2 conclusions from this. The first is that hubs is a pretty awesome guy (which is why I married him!) so he of course would be interesting to read about because who goes back to medical school at our age?! The second is that perhaps most of the people reading those posts are friends/classmates of hubs and that is what drives the traffic. That kind of makes sense, except that I thought all they did was study in med school. Maybe I was mistaken…
  • Having a blog is like having a business, without the need to for taxes. I feel like there is some component of marketing and customer interaction but I don’t have to worry about filing taxes and I have free reign in what I say. Kind of awesome if you ask me!
  • There is a very dedicated group of folks who write often, interact often and have a ba-zillion followers through all of the different avenues. I am not one of those. I made a commitment to myself that I would post at least once a month and I have done so over the last year. I may try to do more but why put the pressure on and make it not fun?
  • I was able to write about the relevant, irritating, entertaining first world problems that we encounter on a daily basis. I am not changing the world with this blog, but I hope that it can make someone smile. And perhaps, in a small, butterfly effect kind of way that can have a positive impact the world? Am I grasping for straws?
  • It made me realize that an item on my bucket list, writing a book, is actually a possibility. Now, I didn’t say it would be a GOOD book, just a book. Someday. Not now. Med school and book writing are akin to mixing oil and water.

So, it’s not a profound list, just a few notable items. I will truck along and see what the next year of writing brings. Hopefully less writers block and more entertaining topics to share! Thank you to all who read, encourage me, and tell others about my writing. I’m always open for suggestions and really do value your input! Happy reading!

Empty Threats

You’ve probably heard it before, you’re out at the store and there is a mom who is just about at her limit with her screaming child. She finally blows her top and tells the child that they’re never going have candy again if they don’t stop crying. Next thing you know, the kid is picking out a candy bar while waiting in the checkout line. That kid knows how to work the system. I’m talking about empty threats. Everyone does it some time or another. It might be in the heat of the moment and you say they will never get a toy again in their whole life. Yeah, that is probably not going to happen, but I get it, we all have those moments. I’m talking about continually doing that. It’s about keeping credibility with the kids. They need to know that you will do what you say you will do. Continue reading