Yo.

cropped-image-7-20-17-at-8-07-pm-1

Hi, y’all!

I’m Christy.  I’m a 4th grade teacher from Wisconsin, where I live with my husband (also a teacher) and my 6 year old daughter, A, and my 4 year old son, E.  I have always loved to write and make people laugh, and lately it seems combining the two has brought some joy!

Before I had A and E, I got pregnant with twins after suffering from infertility. They were born too early and died when I was 24 weeks pregnant.  Since then, I have looked at life so differently-I try to be grateful for the little things.  When things get overwhelming, I also try to remember that I have lived through that, so I should just take a deep breath and keep going.

I love life, even though it’s messy, and I like laughing at the really silly parts of it.  Almost always when something is happening to me that feels really awful, I think to myself, “Well, at least this will make a good story later!”

So, that’s what I’m here to do: tell you those stories.  Hopefully you can relate to one, or something I say resonates with you and you think,”Oh, if this is happening to me, at least it’s happening to Christy, too.”  I think there is such a big power in just having that, “Oh, you too?” moment.  With everything going on in our lives, it’s nice to just have that connection.

I’m a busy mom and I work full time, but I care about you-so drop me a message or a comment whenever you can!

In the meantime, it’s nice to meet you!  Let’s get to know each other!

I Hate Hot Dogs.

You Guys.

Most of the time I have so many ideas for blog posts in my head that it’s almost scary.  As in, I have to shake the thoughts outta my head so that I can focus on my day.  I always thought writers were totally making it up when they said that their fictional characters “talked to them” or whatever.

I know I’m not a “famous” writer (Although I have been “recognized” at both Subway and the Y, so I mean … ).  It’s kind of self-depricating to say that I know I never will be, but—well, you know.  But at the same time, I already feel a responsibility to this blog and Facebook page.  I haven’t made a dime off of it-I’m guessing I never will.  Instead, I spend my very little extra money to “boost” posts, or host giveaways.  The funny thing is, I’m not quite sure why.  I’m working on growing my followers list because…well, because in a little way it makes me feel like I’m doing something.

People can relate to me, I’m told.  People connect with my words.  I can feel that.  I love it.  I do!  But, I also have to be so careful with my words because I don’t want to sound egotistical or rude or dumb or selfish.  Just like all of the rest of my life, I want you all to like me, and I know some of you don’t.  Or won’t.  And, in my experience, most of the blog posts that hit the Huff Post, the kind that are shared a trillion times on Facebook, they’re shared because they are one of those things.  They strike a nerve with something and they’re the kind that make half of us scream, “Oh, HELL NO!” and the other half scream “Amen!”  That’s what makes something go viral.

So, since I know this won’t be making the rounds on the Huffington Circuit, here is my list of random thoughts:

 

write-for-yourself-2

  1.  I’m afraid that my kids are turning into unselfish, ungrateful jerks.  I try so hard not to buy them everything they want, and I say no a lot, but they expect it anyway.  I feel disappointed, mostly in myself.
  2. I saw myself in a full-length mirror today.  I cried.  My husband made me eat ice cream bc we are on vacation and it was a famous ice cream shop and it was homemade, but I just hated myself the entire time.
  3. I’m on an “adventure” ( I refuse anymore to call this a vacation) with my family to Omaha, Nebraska.  We love it here!  But, let me tell you.  On an average day, my kids say my name 45,000 times.  On a trip?  7,893,782, 012 times.
  4. Diet Cherry Limeade from Sonic.  Yep.
  5. I’ve read so many books, though!  Everything, Everything was so good.  At first I thought it was going to be just like the Fault in Our Stars, but it wasn’t and I loved it.  I finished the second book in a YA series, something like the Throne and Glass or something like that.  I’m hooked.  Don’t know why they call it YA, though.  I read “Final Girls,” my book of the month club pick, and I loved it.  Now, I’m reading a memoir by Sherman Alexie and I’m absolutely riveted.  (We spent a lot of time driving)
  6. My husband has taken to playing Candy Crush.  This makes me SO happy.  I don’t even know what that game is, but hubs is a chronic workaholic, so to see him mindlessly playing on his phone is AMAZE! (He just exclaimed, “YASSSSS!  My piggy bank is full!  Ohhhhh, you have to pay to open it?  That is BULL!) LOVE!
  7. I hate continental hotel breakfast.  Everyone bumps into each other. Everything has gluten.  My kids over-eat.  Stuff is stale.  But, you know….free.  So, yeah.
  8. Admission fees are, like, over the top.  It costs us $150 bucks to go to the zoo.  We had fun and stayed all day, and blah, blah, but whatever.  That included the IMAX, where my kids were terrified of the Great-White Sharks they showed in order to teach us that we’re not supposed to be afraid of them.
  9. I found a tiny local bookstore called “The Bookworm” and I was so happy.  I found a beautiful copy of Gone With the Wind and I’m so excited.
  10. My kids are playing with some other kids in the hotel pool while I write this.  It is SO FREAKING AMAZING when you don’t have to get in the pool with them anymore unless you want to.  WOOHOO!
  11. Hubs just yelled, “Oh, yeah, baby!  Chocolate Mountains are done!” and did a raise the roof gesture with his hands.  So, we’re kinda stuck in the 90s.  Whatever.
  12. I will always, always feel like I’m never good enough.  There is something ALWAYS tugging at me.  Which people from work still hate me?  How do I be around someone who doesn’t want to be friends with me anymore?  Why will I always be fat?  Why am I not asked to be on stuff at work anymore-I’m just the “average” joe, and it bugs me!!!  Why did I spend so much money?
  13. Today, my son told me, in his adorable 4-year-old voice, “Hey, mama?  Astronauts wear diapers, Bay-BEEEEEE”  No clue.  Anyone?
  14. I am depressed that I missed Big Brother this year.  NEED DVR BACK!
  15. And, last but not least, I hate hot dogs.  I have always hated them.  I will always hate them.  Why do they just assume that everyone loves them?  And when I was a kid I just at the bun (I know…) but I can’t even eat the damn bun anymore.  DOWN WITH HOT DOGS.

Peace out, yo.

The Pain Olympics

I feel so sad that I lost my job.

Well, at least you had a good one for a while, I’ve been unemployed for months.

Ugh, I’m lonely.

Welcome to my world.  At least you…

My baby died.

At least you got to be pregnant.  At least you didn’t get to know them first.  At least you…

I can’t tell you how many times in my life I have heard “At least…”  We are so good at making everything about ourselves.  Well, that and just making a feeble attempt to make someone feel better.

I find it incredible how many ways we passive aggressively insult people.  From “Oh my gosh, you have WAY too much time on your hands” when someone is sharing their passion, to “Oh, no, not me, I would never/could never do that.”

(My favorite was when I was so sad about going back to work after my maternity leave ended and people said, “Oh, I could NEVER leave my baby and go back to work.”  Well, lady, I kind of want a house to live in.  So, there’s that.)

The constant battle to be better than everyone else, or to let them know that YOU have it worse is so tiring to me.  I think we’ve lost the ability to just support each other.  We have lost the ability to be happy for each other and think to ourselves, “How great for her.  My time will come.”

When someone is hurting, “I’m sorry. That really sucks,” goes such a long way.  Figure out what will help the person and tell them, “I’m going to do this for you.  Let me know if there’s anything else I can do.”

I mean, ok, we all have those people in our lives that seriously just complain about anything and everything.  “OMG, you will NOT believe it.  The phone rang JUST as I was starting to file my nails.  Now when will I do it?  I mean, the one is just so bad right now.”

Complainers aside, as humans we need to vent.  Sometimes it goes such a long way to just say aloud what is bugging us.  However, we need to vent somewhere where we feel safe.  Where we know that the person we are spilling to won’t just turn the whole thing around and remind us about how tough their life is.

And honestly, maybe their life is tougher.  We all have a story, right?  I remember that I was TERRIBLE at this after I lost my twins.  In my head I was always thinking, “That’s what’s wrong with you right now?  My babies are dead.”

This leads to the biggest problem, though, which I like to call the Pain Olympics.  Who is hurting worst?  Who needs more attention?  Who needs to be comforted more?

Just like any other kind of comparison, it’s hard not to do it.  It’s CRAZY hard not to do it.  But, we need to try.  We need to work so much harder at being active listeners and remember that most of the time there are much deeper issues than what the person can put into words.

And I do understand that sometimes we use at least to try to help the person put things into perspective.  There are times when someone just really has it wrong, and you mean well.

But, if you ask me, it’s time to stop qualifying things with “At least.”

What do you think?  Has someone done this to you?  Have you done this to someone else?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Pinterest, I hate your guts.

Um, you guys?  Let’s talk about all the reasons why I hate Pinterest.

  1.  It’s ruined kid birthday parties for all moms everywhere.  Gone are the days of throwing hot dogs in a crockpot and buying a yellow bag of lays and some Hi-C and letting the kids run around the backyard.  For both of my kids’ 1st birthdays, I did the whole Pinterest thing.  What did it get me?  A bill of like $600, 100 hours spent making crap on my Cricut, a baby who slept through almost the whole thing, and a lot of leftovers because no one wants to eat things like “Owl bet you love gummy bears!”
  2. I am a teacher, and I tried to use it for cute lesson ideas.  But, you know what?  Every time I find something I could actually use, I click it and either takes me to a) a page where I have to buy the damn thing, or b) a blog where I search for 45 minutes and still can’t find the thing I actually want.
  3. Workout videos RIGHT next to dessert recipes.  Need I say more?
  4. Flourless, sugarless, only-made-of-air desserts that are AMAZING OMG????  Um…not amazing at all.  You can’t fool me.
  5. Get fit in 7 minutes a day with these easy workouts?  BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
  6. Halloween.  Halloween has been totally turned into a giant burning pit from Hell.  All I want to do is get a white sheet from a rummage sale, cut some eye-holes in it, and say my kid’s a ghost.  Um….have you seen what “ghosts” look like now?  You need $250 in supplies from Michaels and a blow torch to make it.
  7. Oh, wait, back to being a teacher.  Apparently, now at things like Open House, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and the last day of school, I’m supposed to make something cute that matches a saying.  I am “Bursting” with excitement for this year!  Here are some hard starburst that I dug out of my kid’s Halloween candy from last year!
  8. It puts so much pressure on you to do everything yourself.  Some of us REALLY should just buy the stuff.  Some of us just don’t do things the way everyone else wants us to.
  9. Pinterest projects keep you awake at night.  How, might you ask?  Well, here we go.  Last summer I had this brilliant idea that we should try to get to as many of the 50 states as we can as a family while we can travel.  So I wanted to buy this framed map thing with pins, but my husband was all, “Omg, we can make that.”  So, I ordered a map of the U.S. and he went about bought like trim or something from Home Depot and some cork board squares.  Oh, and double sided tape.                            Well, guess what?  It’s fallen and slid down behind my bed like 10 times.  And then.  And THEN!  Last night.  My husband’s out of the country, so I’m sleeping in here alone.  Suddenly, in the middle of the night I wake up.  I look at my phone and it is 2:30 a.m.  Why am I awake?  Did a kid cry?  Is there a burglar?  Wait…what’s that sound?  It sounds like….um, YEAH IT SOUNDS LIKE THE SOUND OF PLASTIC RIPPING OFF OF DOUBLE SIDED TAPE.  So, I try to fall back asleep, and I am dozing off when….oh, yes.  You guessed it.  THE WHOLE DARN THING FELL RIGHT ON MY FACE.

Here is where it should be:IMG_5965

And, where it is now, after I ninja chopped it off my face in the middle of the night.

img_5964.jpg

In closing, I, Christy, solemnly swear that I am DONE with Pinterest.  We are breaking up.  And I won’t be mad if you do, too!

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

There’s nothing like a wedding to make you reflect on your life, right?  (Or, maybe that’s just me and the rest of you are like, “Uh, weddings mean cake and free beer, yo!”)  This weekend I stood up for one of my best friends as she married the love of her life, and I’m telling you, I did NOT stop crying.

And, here’s a little secret. Mostly, I was crying of happiness.  But, sometimes I was crying because 1) I know I’ll never see my babies get married, and that sucks, and 2) I just absolutely adore this family, and I kinda sorta wish I was actually a part of it.

I have always wished I could be part of a big family, or even have a big family of my own.  I wanted lots of siblings, and a crazy uncle to do ridiculous things at Thanksgiving dinner for me to complain about.  My husband and I both have pretty small families, and we’re not really close with anyone except our tiny, nuclear family.  Holidays are usually just us and our tiny little group.

What’s hard as you grow into an adult with your own children is that you want them to know their family!  Our extended families have never even really met my kids, except through social media.  I think about my own mom, who makes sure to care for her cousins and aunts and great aunts and I think…my kids will never know them.  We don’t live close, and it’s not convenient, and there’s a myriad of other excuses I could give you, but really, none of us are trying too hard.

I think that many of you with big families are probably reading this and going, “Gurllll, you should be thankful you don’t have to put up with crazy Uncle Joe and his drunken monologues over a burnt turkey with my cousin’s racist boyfriend spewing insults.”  I totally get it.  Grass is always greener, right?

I do, however, know this big family.  And they humble me every. day.  I don’t know that I’ve ever met anyone who has so many loyal friends as this family.  They have taken me in, making me feel so special, and loved, and kind of like an honorary member.  Everyone I was introduced to over the weekend went like this, “This is Christy.  We love her.  You totally will, too,” and I was greeted with a GIANT, GENUINE hug.  Do you know the kind of hug I’m talking about?  The REAL hug.  A hug with meaning.  Where you can feel the love and acceptance coming right through it.

It was like this with everyone.  How does one family have so many friends who are so genuinely kind?  Well, they are genuinely kind.  They are fiercely loyal, and brave, and they so deserved this weekend of pure love and happiness.

Reflecting back on my own wedding, almost 11 years ago, now, it’s hard to think about some of the friendships and relationships that have been lost throughout the years.  I know that’s normal, and expected.  We grow and change.

But, mostly, it makes me think about the word family.  And you know what?  I have seen all the memes and read all the quotes about it, but I have finally decided that it’s totally true.  Family is MUCH more than just the people you are related to.  As we grow, we create our own families.  Our friends are also our family.  And I am so lucky-even though I wish for a closeness with my relatives that I don’t always have, I have family everywhere.

I think of my people.  The ones who have been here, by my side, through every sad or happy event.  Those who reach out to me over and over to make sure I’m ok.  How lucky am I?  I mean, come on!

 

I totally do have a big family.  It’s made up of all sorts of people I’ve dragged along with me as I navigate through life.  And sometimes we kind of grow apart, and back together, but we still grow.  And the pastor reminded me during his words that there is NO way we can stop the bad stuff from happening.  We just can’t.  But, we can make sure that we have people there to support us through it all.  Together, you can make it!

Like I always say.  We’ve got this, yo.  We’ve got this!

 

Buttons

Today, my 4-year old son pushed EVERY button that I have.  I swear, there are days when he is like a little tornado and he breaks or hits or spills or ruins EVERYTHING in his path. By dinnertime, my patience was completely gone.

And when my patience is gone?  Everything just gets worse.  So, instead of me saying, “Oh, that’s too bad that you spilled your milk again.  Please clean it up and now you can have water for the rest of dinner,” it turned into me yelling, “SERIOUSLY?  I swear all you did all day was make giant messes for me to clean up!  GO get a towel, right now!”

So, of course, instead of cleaning it up, he pounded his fist on the table and screamed, “EH!!!!” and gave me a look.

His sister looked up from her dinner plate and quipped, “Geeze, mom, it looks like E is not listening to you at ALL today.  Are you going to take his lego train away?”

Daggers.  DAGGERS in her direction.  HOW, oh how do kids get so sassy?

Then, of course, and I bet you can guess what I did next, I yelled, “I have had enough!  It’s time for a time out!”

You guys.  I don’t even use time outs.  I don’t even really think they work in the way that people use them.  I think a break from something or time away can work, but the way I was handling this was failing miserably.

2 minutes later, we were both sitting on the floor, hugging each other, and crying.

What I know:  my kids feed off my attitude, my demeanor, and my actions.  I also know that my son is very physical and busy and he spills and breaks things all the time and I know that he (almost always) doesn’t do it on purpose.  I know that I need to show him that I’m serious and show him that he can’t push me, but that I still respect him.

Right now, my husband is in another country, and he’s going to be gone for 3 weeks.  My anxiety is high, I’m not sleeping, and I don’t have another adult around to coach me (my husband and I coach each other or tag team when things get rough, so we don’t have things like this happen).

But, now I’m sitting here, feeling like I’m the worst mom on the planet and wondering how I was ever allowed to have kids.  I’m debating whether I should write out how I really feel, which is a failure.  A complete and utter failure.

A friend of mine once told me, “Be careful not to take too much credit for what your kids do that is great, because if you do, you’re also taking responsibility for their mess-ups.”  I totally loved that when I heard it, and I try to remind myself that only so much of what I do has anything to do with how they act.

But, then, there are days when all the parenting articles and books I’ve read and all my teaching experience just gets thrown out the window, and I’m sitting on the floor, hugging my kid and sobbing.

I would tell anyone else, “You are a GREAT mom!  We all mess up!  Go easy on yourself!” and I would mean it.

But, not for me.  For me, I think, “You suck so bad.  How can you do this again?  You’re going to ruin your kid for life and now he’s crying because you can’t even handle being a parent.”

I’m tired, tonight.  Weary.  Right now we’re watching our 3rd episode in a row of some terrible show on Netflix because we tried to do art and I got out all the paint supplies and my daughter painted her brother’s face and he threw his paint brush at her because he was mad.

Tomorrow will be a new day, though, and after they go to bed I’m going to watch 2 episodes of Scandal without anyone saying “MAMA!” and eat some chocolate, and attempt to get a good night’s sleep.

And tomorrow I will remember that although I’m not perfect, and although I mess up, my kids are going to be ok.  Maybe even great.

Just need to breathe-we’ve got this, you guys.  Whether your struggle is with your spouse or parents or children, just take a breath.  Give yourself a pep talk.

On we go.

 

Notes from a 24-Hour Trip

  1.  That whole thing where the kid asks, “Are we there yet?” over and over and over and over?  Yep, it’s legit.  NON-STOP.
  2. My children refuse to be convinced that their dad is ALSO in the car with them.  I’m telling you, I heard, “Hey, Mama?” 1,456,800 times in a 2.5 hour car ride.  At one point, one of them said, “Mom, why is Dad going on this trip, again?”  I swear.  Somebody should follow me with a camera to freeze my facial expressions.  I said, ever so calmly, “I don’t know.  Maybe you could ask your dad, who is sitting next to me.”  No, lie, I got:  “Mom, can you ask dad why he’s going on this trip?”  irritated.gif
  3. Swimming in a hotel pool….I mean, it’s just never fun.  Either other kids are acting a fool, or your own kids are being naughty, or you’re certain by the look on an adult’s face that they’re actually peeing in the pool.  Also, I have been reading/listening to WAY too much stuff about True Crime, because this morning, I saw this man with an approximately 12-year-old girl, and I was convinced he had kidnapped her and I spent the whole morning trying to make eye contact with her so she could let me know she needed help.  I’m just now realizing that they probably thought I was trying to kidnap her.  Huh.  Oops.
  4. Rest stops.  They make the perfect place for kidnapping.  And for my son to decide to throwback to his 2-year-old days and whip the stall door open while I’m in mid-wipe.  Awesome.
  5. Children’s Museums.  These are the places where I can see a microcosm of everything that’s wrong with how we’re raising children.  My kid can’t play because all the good toys are being used by the grown-ups.  My kid can’t get to the toy because the grown up is “helping” their child use the toy (i.e. doing it for them).  My kid takes a toy from someone else, or does a normal asshole kind of kid thing, and the parent wants to have a fight.  I mean, I want to let the kids work it out, but whatever.  Then someone’s kid does something to my kid and the adult apologizes to me 87,000 times and I’m like, uh, it’s totally fine.  Today I saw a grown man holding his 8 year old so he could slide down this hill thing.  UM LET THE KID FALL THAT IS HOW THEY LEARN.
  6. Diet Coke.  Girl, you know it’s true.  Ooh ooh oooohhh, I love youuuuuu.
  7. And….early bedtime tonight, yo.