The Third

A myriad of pain

I bequeath to others

Passed on to me with your last breath

A cemetery full of winter’s broken dreams

Cruelty and peace blending together seamlessly

Surrounded by icy softness

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Clutter

The worst part about coming home from vacation wasn’t leaving the land of sun kissed skin or saying goodbye to the sandy beaches of Siesta Key before I was able to photograph more beautiful, glistening seashells, wedged lazily between the waves of the Gulf and the sand. It was leaving the comfort of a condo being rented by my in-laws, forcing us to also keep it clean, and returning to… Yuck. Just yuck.

I physically wasn’t able to get into the backseat of our car because of the stuffed baby bag, plastic toy dinosaurs and general crap, and that was just leaving the airport.

When we arrived home a couple hours later we were disappointed to find that no cleaning fairies had broken into our house. Instead, the clutter we had left it in our hurried rush to escape the frozen tundra of our lives seemed to have multiplied over the course of a week. (Thank God they were clean) Dishes on the countertop. BB’s toys scattered everywhere. Bags of catnip, ripped and defiled, spread out over several rooms.

I’ve tried so many things over the years to cut the clutter and it always ends up coming back. I tried the different things I found on Pinterest. I’ve tried to purge. Recently I read a New York Times article about Marie Kondo, who seems to have a pretty popular following on how to declutter, and I’m going to try to borrow her book from the library eventually.

But for now, I just have this:

Clean linens and a bedspread, piled up in an uncomfortable and grotesque stalemate over laundry duty for the last 2 or 3 weeks; a bin of baby clothes I was supposed to put in the attic like 3 months ago plus other baby clothes that I had rewashed and I don’t remember why it was left out or what the hell I was doing with it(also the little boy I was putting clothes together for has now outgrown them); toilet paper and cleaning supplies that need to get put away; pictures that were taken down in November when we had furniture delivered, including a picture frame that broke; miscellaneous junk.

In typical fashion, it really bugged me on a night I was supposed to go to bed early:

Time to clean: 25 minutes. To be fair I mostly just put stuff away and threw stuff into the Hoard, but hey! It worked. If I can pick a corner to work on each night (or every other night, whatever), maybe my house will be clean by the time BB moves out.

If you have any suggestions or things that work for you please let me know, I’m all ears.

Marriage, the Jungle

Fighting at midnight, I can’t comprehend

Is this really the time that I just cannot bend?

Stress has built up, annoyance becomes rage

And I feel like a tiger escaping a cage

His normal demeanor turns defensive and mean

If we weren’t at home we’d be making a scene

The tension it rises, sarcasm and scoffs

As I hiss through clenched teeth about what set me off

No laughing or smiling or snuggling close

Sometimes it’s like I live with a ghost

Ungrateful and jaded, selfish and guilty

Of choosing our phones over each other’s company

In fairness he thinks the same about me

And it’s gotten much harder since we became three

But communication between us had always been tough

What is the point where enough is enough?

Here I am nagging and growling, I swear

Marriage would be easier right now with a bear

Who would eat me, or roar, or just sulk away

Instead we’ll ignore it, continue today

Waiting room

Staring blankly at the phone

Same thing we all do at home

Spouses, strangers, side by side

Our only comfort is to hide

Behind our screens our silence grows

Will we wake up? No one knows

But then again nobody cares

To do much besides sit and stare

Our children see and do and say

They’ll follow in our paths one day

Immobilized by interaction

Growing deep within abstraction

Sing

I listened to the baby sing himself to sleep tonight for almost twenty minutes, his high pitched toddler voice blazing across the reliable static of the monitor still plugged into both of our walls. He was making up its own words to replace the ones he hasn’t memorized yet in “Take Me Out To the Ball Game”, one of his favorite songs.

His sweetness is unrelenting, his music gives my life meaning.

Running Wild

Last year my husband and I, along with another couple, did an 8 week program to eat healthy & lose weight. I was able to lose about 18 pounds, even with the miscarriage in our 2nd week. They focused a lot on not giving into emotional eating.

Fast forward about a year: I’ve gained about 38% of the weight I lost last year back, most recently 1.2 pounds in 2 weeks (whoops). I’m not going to be super hard on myself since I did quit smoking (for good) 6 months ago, but my cousin’s wedding and a union conference are both in October so I need to focus on these to help me get back into better shape. I’m also thinking about taking the State Trooper’s Exam, and would like to pass the physical if called (if nothing else just to say I did it).

So in addition to trying to be more vigilant about using MyFitnessPal to watch what I’m eating, I’m also trying out the “Goals” section of MapMyFitness. I’m starting off small: walking 4 times a week (I can count the walk between my parking lot and office if needed; I opted out of the mileage requirement) and running and riding my bike each once a week.

For me, the hardest part is starting anything. Here’s a picture of me after I ran this morning:

I know a few people who exercise as a way to relieve stress, but I thought I was going to die. Between running and walking it took me about 17 minutes for 1.2 miles, which I didn’t think was terrible for my first time.

Even though I ate everything in the world at the Erie County Fair last night, I feel like running once entitles me to automatically drop 10 pounds and be in phenomenal shape. That’s how this works, right?

Let me know if you have any tips or tricks for staying on track with your health goals. Something tells me I’m going to need a lot of help.

Anniversary Poem

Tougher than leather

Love worn by design

I’m happy to have you

So grateful you’re mine.

In the years that will follow

The seas will be rough

But creatures like us

We’re strong and we’re tough.

Through chaos and calmness

Our love cannot sink

Our hearts beat together

Forever in sync.

It took me about ten minutes to scribble this on the back of his card after work; I picked the baby up late from daycare. I’m not sure he thought too much about it, or the love note I added thanking for being a kind and strong man. But he liked the belt.

Finding the ‘Why’

Very interesting… What are your thoughts?

The Gentle Parenting Institute

We often hear experts telling us to find, and focus, on the why…or the reason for a behavior.  But what exactly does that mean?  It seems like there’s COUNTLESS reasons for why our child is behaving in certain ways… how on earth are we to know what they are?  And how do we figure it out so quickly, so that we can still address it in the moment?

What if I were to tell you that all behavior falls into 4 categories of ‘why?’  Meaning, there are only 4 possible reasons for which someone is behaving a certain way.  Sounds crazy, right?  Let’s take a look:

The 4 functions of behavior are: Escape, Attention, Tangible, and Sensory.  Some may also add in Medical.  (Acronyms to remember these by include EATS, MEATS, TEAMS…etc.) **Please note that the following examples are simply that…examples…showing the different functions.  Ways to address and handle certain…

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One is fun!

My little cherub turned one twelve days ago.  Yes, already: the big ONE.  The closer we got to the date the more it stuck out in my mind, but i was living in denial, always able to push it deep down into the darkness of my brain.  It was all very abstract, even when it was standing inches away from me, screaming into my face.  I requested the day off weeks in advance and marked it on my calendar at work, but every time I stared at my scribbled BB IS ONE YEAR OLD!!! / OFF, there was always something more urgent to think about.   I didn’t allow myself time to process the reality. 

Suddenly it was the week of, and the more I thought about it the sadder I got.  The realness worsened. 

Despite some stressors with his kind of last minute, not half assed but definitely pin-worthy birthday party, everyone – but obviously most importantly BB – had fun.  It didn’t matter that I had been sobbing two nights before (I was battling a sinus infection, had my period, and my baby was turning one) or that my cupcakes didn’t go over super well, or that the wind outside almost blew over our tent a few times.  One was, and will continue to be, fun.  And there’s nothing I can do to stop him from growing up, so I may as well try my best to buckle up and enjoy the ride….  it’s going to be a wild/fast one. 

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