Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A day in my life.

Taking a cue from another mom blog, I decided to document "A Day In The Life". She's a stay-at-home mom with four(!!) kids so her life is very much the opposite of mine. I think it's great though. We're all different; we lead different lives, have different rules, beliefs, parenting styles.. but at the end of the day-- we're the same. We are all just doing the best we can for our kids.

When people find out that I'm a single mom, the first thing they usually say is, "I don't know how you do it." Well.. this is how I do it. I do it because I have to. If I didn't do it, who would? I'm a mom. It's a job I take very seriously. I do it because I want to. I do it because this little human depends on me. He loves me more than anything in this world (expect maybe Minecraft). Sure, it is not always easy. We argue, we fight, he talks back, I lose my cool. Sometimes I throw a tantrum. Sometimes there are tears. However at the end of the day, we are a team. We have done this together for the past seven years and I think we're pretty darn good at this thing called Life.

So anyhow, I documented a day in our lives.

6:30AM - My alarm goes off. I hit the snooze button and sleep another 10 minutes. Sometimes hit the snooze button for another 20 minutes of sleep. It just depends. 

 

6:40AM - I roll out of bed because my dog is jumping on my face. He knows that when my alarm goes off it's time to get up. I put on some flip flops and a sweater, put the leash on Henry, and take him to do his business. I absolutely hate this morning walk as the days get cooler. We come inside and I hop in the shower.




7:15AM - I'm out of the shower, done with my make-up and drying my hair. I decide to get the kid out of bed. As I open the door to his bedroom, Henry runs inside and jumps in Luke's bed then proceeds to lick his face and hop all over his body until Luke comes to. The kid is a deep sleeper. He is also NOT a fan of mornings. Sometimes I let him sleep until 7:30 just because I know he'd rather sleep. I'm the same way.



7:20 - He's finally out of the bed and has face-planted on the sofa. Henry is right next him waiting for him to get up. Henry is a lot of help in the mornings. I've laid Luke's clothes on the sofa next to him and after telling him a few times to get his clothes on, I'm now almost yelling. I turn on the TV to Spongebob and he's awake. I got back to straightening my hair although I'm not sure why as it's raining outside and it's just going to curl again anyway.



7:30 - I'm done and I do a quick check to make sure Luke is still awake. He is and he's dressed. I take some detangling spray to his head and brush it. The kid has the worst bed head you can think of... but I can't bring myself to completely re-wet it every morning. Detangling spray is a life - and time - saver. I ask him what he wants to eat which usually means a Kudos bar. This is the part where other moms start judging me. That's ok. We aren't big breakfast eaters but I feel better knowing he has something in his stomach. Again, we value sleep over breakfast. He eats it and brushes his teeth. He has tennis lessons today after school so I make sure he takes his racket.



7:40 - I lock Henry in his kennel and leave Nickelodeon on for him to watch during the day. He stays in a kennel because he's only one and while he doesn't have accidents in the house, he has bad separation anxiety and finds comfort in his kennel. I leave the tv on because I'd hate for him to get bored. :)



7:45 - We are already at school. We usually walk to school but this morning I have a parent/teacher conference so I'll need to head to work directly after. We hug, he goes to his classroom from the carpool line.

8:05 - This morning is different. I check in to the office of his school and head to my conference.



8:40 - Conference is over (it went great) and I'm heading to work. I work in Buckhead and while it's technically 5 miles from my house, it can take 45 minutes to get there. Thank you, Atlanta traffic. This morning there's a car stalled in the turn lane and there's nothing I can do about it. It takes 40 minutes.




9:20 - I arrive at work. I have a flexible schedule so as long as my work is done, no one minds when we come and go (if it's reasonable). I can also work from home which I'm super grateful for especially with Luke's sickly lungs.

I fire up my computer and head to the break room to brew a chai latte. (I'm not a coffee drinker.) With my drink in hand, I check my emails and check my tasks for the day. I then read cnn.com and npr.com because I like to know what happening in the world.

10:00-12:45 - I start my to-do list and debugging some code I wrote. I also do a QA on another person's work. I also attend some meetings.



12:45 - I decide it's time for lunch so I grab my food I brought and head to my car in the parking deck. I know it sounds strange to spend lunch -alone- in my car but I enjoy it. It's my time to decompress. It's my "me" time. Sometimes I use this time to take a nap. Today I called Luke's old pediatrician to get his medical files transferred to his new doctor. This is also the time that I call my mom. Depending on her schedule, we sometimes talk the whole hour. Today we talked the full hour.



1:50-4:50 - I go back to work and attend some more meetings and finish building a responsive email for a client and send it to project management. Tomorrow is our company halloween party and my department is dressing up as pacman and the monsters so we decide to build the pacman costume out of cardboard.



5:00 -  I pack up to pick up the kid from school. Traffic from Buckhead to the Highlands at 5pm is touchy. Sometimes it takes me over an hour to get him but since it's a Wednesday, it's not so bad. During this drive home I usually call my mom again and we chat. In case you didn't know, she's my best friend. Talking to her also calms my road rage.



5:30 - Arrived at Luke's school. I gather his things and we head home. He's upset because I've forgotten to grab a drink for him before I left work. "I NEED my drink, Mom." Again, we live five minutes away. I think he will survive.



5:35 - HOME. Unload the car, take Henry for a walk, and come back home. I decide what to cook for dinner and begin cooking. While it's cooking, I set Luke up at the table to finish a project he has due Friday. He's not happy about it. He'd rather be watching tv or playing a game. I understand, kid. Lucky for us, his after-school program does his homework with him so usually all we have to do is read a book and study spelling words. Not this week. This is his first major project and he's over it.



6:00 - Dinner is done. For Luke's hard work I cook his favorite: fresh corn on the cob (cut off for me), baked potato (he eats two), steak, and a salad. Luke's happy to take a break as am I. Lets be real: when your kid has a school project, you also have a school project. There was a lot of googling about solids, liquids, and gases. Also, my dinner table looks like a hot mess because of all of the project fun going on.

6:30 - Dinner is over and I tell him to continue his project so he can finish it today. His reply, "But it's due Friday!" I know this however, I teach a class on Thursday nights and I don't get home until 10. It must be done tonight. He concedes. I help him finish it up and give it a once over for accuracy.



7:00 - THE PROJECT IS DONE! We started it Monday and we've finally finished. I feel like I can breathe. I tell him to go do whatever he wants for an hour. He decides to put on his Halloween costume and practice being Luke Skywalker. WIN. I feed Henry and start making Luke's lunch for the following day.



7:15 - Henry's full. Luke's content. Lunch is packed and now I start doing the dishes. I don't have a dishwasher so I have to hand-wash them. Sometimes I hate it, most of the time it is my quiet time.



7:30 - Dishes are done, kitchen is clean. I realize we haven't studied his spelling words or read an AR book. I interrupt his play (I HATE doing this) and go over the words. He misses five out of twenty but I don't care. The test isn't until Friday and we both need a break. We also decide against reading a book and I only feel partially guilty.

8:00 - I sit down on the sofa. This deserves it's own time slot because it's a huge part of my day. I know it won't last long but it's refreshing. I watch an episode of whatever show is on. The World Series is messing up my tv schedule and I don't appreciate it. Side note- Tuesdays and Thursdays are my tv nights. I make it a point to sit down at 9pm on these nights and watch the shows I love.

8:30 - I start threatening Luke if he doesn't get in the shower. 8:30 is his last chance. He almost always uses his last chance and he's finally in the shower. Naturally, he's yelling from the shower for me to come to the bathroom. I get up. He just wanted to tell me something cool about Minecraft. I go back to the sofa.

8:45 - He's out. His teeth are brushed. He's watching his last YouTube video before bed. I pour a cup of soy milk and ask him what cereal he wants. Shredded wheat it is. He eats a bowl of dry cereal every night while in bed. Again, not a battle I'm going to fight.



9:00 - Lights out for Luke. I take Henry out for a bathroom break and head back in. Sometimes I use this time to clean the house, do the dishes if I haven't gotten to them, watch tv, etc. Tonight I'm writing this blog post and grading projects and providing feedback for the students in my class.

11:00 - I go over my code I'll be teaching tomorrow night and make sure I have my own lunch and dinner packed for tomorrow. Thursdays are busy day. I work at my full time job then teach from 6:30-9:30pm. My sitter has been out of town and so my mom is picking Luke up after school tomorrow. Have I mentioned how amazing she is? Last week my friend Ben watched Luke for me. I have really great people in my life.

11:30 - I watch Jimmy Fallon/pay bills/go over my to-do list/worry about whatever is on my mind.



12:00 - I do a once-over Luke's homework folder to make sure I've written a note to tell his teacher he will be a car rider tomorrow as well as make sure he has all of his paperwork for the next day. I pack his snack and decide to take a shower. I shower at night to get more sleep in the morning. I showered this morning because I had a conference.

12:30 - I *need* sleep. Henry and I head to bed and it's lights out.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

.

The thing you can't talk to people about is feeling lonely. I know that when people talk to me about feeling lonely, I never know what to say. But sometimes all someone needs is for someone to listen.

Tonight I saw Men, Women, and Children at the theatre... by myself. After the movie, as I was walking to my car, the wind was blowing relatively hard and the air was cool. It's definitely feeling fall. Fall happens to be my favorite season and also the season I feel a bout of seasonal depression. I don't know what it is about the cool air. It just makes you want a partner. I'll say it time and time again- I'm content with being alone most of the time. But sometimes... like walking out of a movie theatre on a cool night and getting in your call all alone, the feeling of loneliness is almost palpable.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

To my Granny.

My Granny passed away a little over a month ago on the 7th of September.  It's taken this long to open up the editor to this blog and attempt to write a post about it.  Anyone that has ever met me or my family knows how close we are. The older I get, the more I realize how rare this is. We still have Sunday dinner at her house every Sunday. Do you know how many people still do that? I haven't met anyone. 

It's funny. The people I haven't talked to in years - some since high school - that have texted or emailed or called to let me know how much they loved her. All of friends or boyfriends had the opportunity to meet her. It was important to me that they knew her. 

The difference in her passing and the passing of Grandpa is that we knew he was suffering. We knew he was at the end. I think mentally, we had time to prepare. Don't get me wrong, it was still difficult. I was a Grandpa's girl.  With my Granny, she was fine. My mom was spending the night when she called out for my mom to say she couldn't breathe. We knew she had a bad heart but she'd been fine. Her version of fine. So my mom called the ambulance, she was admitted, they gave her lasix.  Within an hour, the fluid had drained and she was back to her old self. She was mad she was in the hospital and she was ready to go!  

My mom told me not to worry about coming down from Atlanta because she was fine; she was going to be discharged on Monday. Thankfully I've never been one to listen well. I surprised my grandma and mom in the hospital. I'm forever glad I did.  We laughed, we talked on that Saturday night. She told me she thought for sure that the boys would be knocking down my door in Atlanta. She was upset we wouldn't be having Sunday dinner the next day. We were watching TV and she asked me what hazing meant..... these little things I never want to forget. Luke was with Brent and was suppose to meet me the next day to see her. 

She was fine. My mom even went to work the next day.. I woke up to a text the next morning to a text from my uncle that said, "Mom just passed...."   I literally fell to my knees in the floor.  I couldn't even process what was happening. I immediately called my mom's work number but I could tell the receptionist didn't know what to do... She didn't know I already knew. My mom beeped in while I was waiting and I listened to her weep. 

My mom and I are incredibly close. She and her mom were also incredibly close. I don't even want to imagine how she felt/feels. It's safe to say she has taken it the hardest out of everyone.  I raced to the hospital after calling Brent. Luke decided he wanted to see her so he met me there.. in her hospital room. I'll never forget that they placed a picture of a sunset on her door to signify her passing. I took a picture. 

Luke has taken it well. He cried once.. at the funeral.  We made sure to include him in everything. He was a pal-bearer and even her obituary included her name he gave her, "Old Granny".  My mom is just "Granny".  She loved him. He was the last grandkid she babysat. 

There's so much I could say about that amazing woman.. but I'll just include the eulogy I wrote.. and I've also included the video that played at her visitation.



I have the distinct honor of being Granny’s first grandchild.

When I think of Granny, I think of her cheese grits in the morning, her bowl with Donald Duck on it that she kept her medicine in, all of the birthdays we celebrated on Sundays at her house, picking muscadines off of the vine in her backyard, her moving the cars so I could skate the length of the driveway. I remember her as Old Granny- the name Luke gave her.

I think of the special relationship she has with my mom and how grateful she was to her.

I think of her checks she had with a rainbow on it and the caption, “Ask me about my grandkids” and how proud that made me. I think back to when she and my grandpa took me on vacation with them if my parents weren’t able to.

I remember calling her every night when I was in school to ask her what the weather would be like the following day so I knew how to dress.

Growing up when there were problems at home, she was my person. I went to her house and she made everything better. I can remember being mad at my mom in my teen years and getting in my car and heading to Granny’s house. Granny was always there to open her heart and welcome you in.

I got my personality from my Grandpa but I got my strength from my Granny and mom.

What I will forever be grateful for is that she taught us all how to love.  If you think about the ideal mom, she is kind, compassionate, forgiving, non-judgmental, and a little tough when she needs to be. That completely and accurately describes her. She taught us that love should be unconditional, without judgment. She loved us even sometimes when we didn’t appear to deserve it.

Granny was made to be a wife, a mom, and a Granny. She excelled in all.

If she found you sad or wounded and she couldn’t heal it completely, she made sure to stick by you and love you through it.

Sure you might say, what grandma doesn’t love on their grandchildren.  When you know Patsy Stephens, you know that the same kind of love was extended to many over and over – she didn’t reserve that love for just family.  She welcomed all of my friends over the years as her family. When I posted on Facebook that she had passed, two of oldest friends from childhood messaged me to say their heart was hurting. She was just that special. She was Granny to everyone.  But anyway.  She loved the company. You could stay at her house the entire day but when you were leaving she’d say, “What’s your hurry?”  I wish I could hear her say that one more time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

.

wednesday is here and i am still digging through
my coat pockets for
the words i scrawled on a paper towel,
the letters that spelled Change and Beginning.
i suppose that
is where all of us are hovering.
but my fingers
can't reach in that far. i've been letting them
   glide
 over the tops of freshly lined paper
 with the blue ink still burning
but i cannot penetrate my own audience.
         sometimes i feel lost
      in the language of mass cultures
      and in the surrounding heart beat of
      people i've never met.
i only want to touch something
inside your chest or on the small of the back,
and carve there
 some kind of legitimacy.
i want you to pretend that
the small things matter when i enlarge them like this.
i still don't have the words to
describe being infinite, or the discipline
to pick out individual instruments
from a song. from the very first note
they crash together like bodies dancing
  to form a single period
   at the end of a life-long sentence.
the songs are all the same
with a beginning and an end,
except for the hushed secrets
            that live in the quiet parts.
            the silence between falling down
               and getting back up again.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

weddings! braves! etc.

Things of late: 



We went to a Braves game and Weezer played an after show. WOO HOO! My high school self was doing cartwheels. They were so good. Luke and I danced together and met up with friends for the show portion. It was on a school night so he felt extra "cool". 


Samantha got married:



Luke  was the ring bearer and I did the music. I have the blisters on my feet to prove that I had a great time. So . much. dancing.


Tomorrow I start a new job and of course I'm overwhelmed, nervous, and excited. I'll miss my co-workers at Think but I know that I'm making the right choice. I am a little concerned about working in Buckhead (traffic!!) but there's always some give and take. More money, for the win.

After being put on a new medication recently, I've lost 16 pounds in a month.. woo!

I'll write something better later. I've been so busy with freelance projects. I can't complain.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

illness.

Over the last two weeks I've collected a few autoimmune disease diagnoses.  Pair that with being alone in Atlanta for the summer as well as three bald spots and you've got yourself a view of me throwing a few too many pity parties.  I'm just thankful for friends that realized this without me having to tell them and pushing me to go out and blow off some steam.  Sure, I didn't really want to go out to eat or go swimming or be social at all.. but I did and I felt so much better after it.  Tomorrow starts a new lifestyle change (hello gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free life) so hopefully I'll be able to feel better and maybe "normal".

I found this letter on the internet and I think I was doing fist pumps inside as I read it. It's the most accurate thing about one of my issues that I've ever read.

I Am Hashimoto's 

Hi.  My name is Hashimoto's.  I'm an invisible autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid gland causing you to become hypothyroid. I am now velcroed to you for life. 
Others around you can't see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me.
I can attack you anywhere and any way I please.
I can cause severe pain or, if I'm in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over.
Remember when you and energy ran around together and had fun?
I took energy from you, and gave you exhaustion. Try to have fun now.
I can take good sleep from you and in its place, give you brain fog and lack of concentration.
I can make you want to sleep 24/7, and I can also cause insomnia.
I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal.
I can also give you swollen hands and feet, swollen face and eyelids, swollen everything.
I can make you feel very anxious or very depressed, too. I can also cause other mental health problems.
I can make your hair fall out, become dry and brittle, cause acne, cause dry skin, the sky is the limit with me.
I can make you gain weight and no matter what you eat or how much you exercise, I can keep that weight on you. I can also make you lose weight. I don't discriminate.
Some of my other autoimmune disease friends often join me, giving you even more to deal with.
If you have something planned, or are looking forward to a great day, I can take that away from you. You didn't ask for me. I chose you for various reasons:
That virus or viruses you had that you never really recovered from, or that car accident, or maybe it was the years of abuse and trauma (I thrive on stress.) You may have a family history of me. Whatever the cause, I'm here to stay.
I hear you're going to see a doctor to try and get rid of me. That makes me laugh.  Just try. You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can help you effectively.
You will be put on the wrong medication for you, pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given anti-anxiety pills and antidepressants.
There are so many other ways I can make you sick and miserable, the list is endless - that high cholesterol, gall bladder issue, blood pressure issue, blood sugar issue, heart issue among others? That's probably me.
Can't get pregnant, or have had a miscarriage?
That's probably me too.
Teeth and gum problems? TMJ? I told you the list was endless.
You may be given a TENs unit, get massaged, told if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away.
You'll be told to think positively, you'll be poked, prodded, and MOST OF ALL, not taken seriously when you try to explain to the endless number of doctors you've seen, just how debilitating I am and how sick you really feel.  In all probability you will get a referral from these 'understanding'  (clueless) doctors, to see a psychiatrist.
Your family, friends and co-workers will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and just how debilitating I am.
Some of them will say things like "Oh, you are just having a bad day" or "Well, remember, you can't do the things you use to do 20 YEARS ago", not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago.
They'll  also say things like,  "if you just get up and move, get outside and do things, you'll feel better." They won't understand that I take away the 'gas' that powers your body and mind to ENABLE you to do those things.
Some will start talking behind your back, they'll call you a hypochondriac, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially if you are in the middle of a conversation with a "normal" person, and can't remember what you were going to say next. You'll be told things like, "Oh, my grandmother had that, and she's fine on her medication" when you desperately want to explain that I don't impose myself upon everyone in the exact same way, and just because that grandmother is fine on the medication SHE'S taking, doesn't mean it will work for you.
The only place you will get the kind of support and understanding in dealing with me is with other people that have me. They are really the only ones who can truly understand.
I am Hashimoto's Disease.

Monday, June 30, 2014

bucket o' list.


  1. try creme brulee
  2. go for a hot air balloon ride
  3. visit the following places: 
    • london
    • travel the west coast from seattle to southern california
    • austin
    • new york, again.. many times 
    • tampa (move there?)
    • costa rica
    • boston and more of the northeast 
    • austraila 
    • france
    • disney world
  4. achieve my ideal weight
  5. solely freelance
  6. see the braves at another stadium - out of state, not cobb county
  7. drive PCH (see places to travel)
  8. go camping
  9. see a live jimmy fallon show  
  10. learn how to show feelings
  11. sit on a jury
  12. fall deeply in love -- helplessly and unconditionally
  13. karaoke?
  14. find the perfect drink for me
  15. give up soda
  16. ask someone on a date
  17. say what i really feel in the exact moment i feel it
  18. write my will
  19. ride the london eye
  20. forgive my dad
  21. volunteer with cancer kids
  22. make the first move
  23. visit Auschwitz
  24. and the Anne Frank museum
  25. and the holocaust museum in DC
  26. catch a ball at a Braves game