Renn Faire Privateer Gone Mom.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Resolution Schmezolution

It's almost that time again and I'm ready to field the 'What's your resolution' question:

I'm not making any.

Oh, I have goals, to be sure.  But I'm not going to limit those goals to 2013.  I will keep on keeping on.  A few years ago I made the resolution to stop sacrificing my happiness and sanity for the sake of others, and it's mostly working.  We'll be staying the course there, attempting to make it easier to get past the knot in my stomach when confronted with people I don't want to spend time with, or doing things that I know won't be appreciated.  

There are things I'd like to see happen, like get my blog going a bit more, teach Cabin Girl some sort of string or cloth crafting skill, start cloth diapering again, get pregnant with our last Cobb baby, and finish up some house projects, but those aren't things I can do by myself

THOSE are things we will be doing as a family.  Family projects are definitely something we're missing.  Definitely something I think we would all benefit from. 

So, an early Happy New Year to you and yours my friends. 

What are you hoping to see happen in 2013?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why I will indulge this holiday season.

Every year, it's the same tune:  "I don't want to gain 10 pounds this Christmas."  "Oh, I better take something healthy to this party so there will be something there that I can eat."  "Ugh, I shouldn't eat this cookie..."  And yes, I'm guilty of singing all of them, plus many more.  But this year is going to be different.

Maybe it's because I'm trying to focus on living in the moment.  Maybe it's because I have a healthier relationship with food, and my body.

So I will have that cornbread casserole that is most likely made from non-organic corn from Monsanto.  I will eat my mother-in-law's cookies.  I will sip eggnog and have a cocktail with family and friends.  


Because I refuse to sacrifice the experience of enjoying myself just to avoid extra calories, or a few extra pounds.  Weight gain comes and goes.  Experiences are things to be cherished and I won't feel guilty for not enjoying myself because I was so focused on what I wish I could be eating, what I shouldn't be eating, etc.  Guilt over what's on my plate and in my glass will make our various holiday gatherings a negative experience, and that's not what this time of year is about.

Yes, food is nourishment.  But food is also a social experience.  Food is a means to show your love, comfort, and care for your family and friends.  

I don't want to miss out on the love being manifested for me and mine this year.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Too many candles, too many prayers.

I can't get away from myself.  What do you do with yourself when you want to gather too many tragically lost souls into yourself and give them one last burst of love and joy?  I will hold my children tight.  I will cry tears of joy that my beautiful daughter is still around to dance at her ballet recital tonight.  

And I will beg people to stop pointing fingers.

There are so many things we CAN NOT understand about the tragedy that occurred in Connecticut today:  We can not understand the grief of these families.  We can not understand the terror of the children and faculty.  We can not understand what the motives of this young man were.  We can not understand why anyone would feel the need to take out their issues on a group of young innocents.

With so little understanding, how are so many people screaming about what needs to be fixed?

Take away guns.  Why?  So that we can have a civil war?  So that the ONLY people with firearms are the ones who obtain them illegally, for nefarious purposes?

It's Obama's fault.  Really?  Just like it's your parents' fault you broke their household rules and got into trouble as a teen?  They 'allowed' it to happen?

It's the parents' fault.  Well, the parents are, as of now, apparently dead.  Happy?  Is that justice for you?

WHY DOES IT MATTER?!  We want someone to pin the blame on, to make it easier to focus our grief and outrage, but you know what that does?  It perpetuates the cycle.  It fuels the fires of hate, discrimination (how many people have called out this man's learning disabilities, asking how a 'retard got hold of a gun in the first place'?), and paves the path for more people to be hurt, all in view of the public eye.

Things need to change.  Yes, gun reform is on everyone's lips, and that is something that needs to be addressed before another tragedy like this strikes.  Yes, help for mentally disabled needs to be made easier to access for people and families that need it.  

But most importantly, we need to love.  Love yourself.  Love your family.  Love your neighbor.  Love your playgroup, church, or school.  Love your town, county, state.  Your country.  Love your fellow human beings as you would love your children.  Love them like it is the only chance we have of redemption, because it just might be.  ONE PERSON'S LOVE may have been the redemption of this sad man, those amazing teachers, and those poor, poor children.

I'd like to share something my friend said that inspired this post:

We no longer value each other. We value our hollow interactions and ourselves more than other things. We have traded our compassion for iphones, and our friends and neighbors for luxury cars. America has lost its true sense of community and the feeling of responsibility that should go with what is right. I am hurt in the deepest parts of my self today over the tragedy in Conn. We need to stop talking about being better to each other and actually start being better to each other. Practice mindfulness of your friends, family, and even strangers. Be the spark of love wherever you're at... That is the only thing that will change the world. Be well today. And remember the lost.

I lit too many candles today my friends.  I am saying far too many prayers.  But I will light another candle, and say one more prayer, that we can all show someone that we love them and be that spark.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

TMI: Hilarity

If you couldn't tell from the title, this is a possible TMI post. 

BUT, it's hilarious, so I feel the need to share.

If you're a parent then you know how hard it is to find time to be intimate.  There's always the chance of someone interrupting; either by walking in or crying because they have some sick sixth sense that you're giving someone that isn't them your full attention.  And, yes, this does occur out of a deep sleep, in the middle of the damn night.

So, since I've been getting up at 5 a.m. to work out I've been going to bed around 9 p.m., which doesn't allow for much kid-free time.  Which means that as soon as the kids go to bed, we *ahem* go to bed, too.

Well... the last time we 'went to bed' I forgot that there were still partially awake ears in the house and may have been a little... loud.

In walks Cabin Girl, wondering, 'Why are you scared, mommy?'

*end scene*

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Am I too late?

We're working really, really hard to become a healthier family.  The Captain's finally interested in Crossfit, which will hopefully make eating clean easier.  We have grains once a day tops, we've cut out almost all forms of processed and refined sugars and starches, and we do a lot of things to keep busy away from the t.v. and computer.  I've changed the way I speak about our eating habits from 'This is our diet' to 'This is what our bodies need to be healthy.'  I've stopped saying that I feel fat and/or lumpy.  I've started telling my daughter that I feel beautiful. 

We're in overhaul mode here, people. 

So today, while Cabin Girl and I were sharing a cookie and soda as a treat after her ballet performance this afternoon, when she announced that she wanted to drink all the soda and didn't care how fat it made her, I was devastated. 
I thought I had made it clear to her that we're making these changes to be as healthy as we can be.  To take good care of our bodies is important, and what we put in them matters.  It's not about how we look, it's about how we function and feel.

I know it's my fault.  Up until about a year ago I was more negative about myself than positive.  I was more worried about the number on the scale than the image I was giving my daughter.  I couldn't eat a certain thing or more than a certain amount because I was trying to lose weight, AND I TOLD HER ABOUT IT.  It's totally my fault that she views food and treats that way. 

I just hope I can fix it.  I just hope I can turn this around and teach her that the size of her waist and the number on her clothes doesn't define her.  She is more than the sum of her parts and, Damn It All, if I can't lead by example, what hope can I have for her?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This is a story...

...about a mom who was at her wit's end.

It was her own fault, really.  She got caught up in being lazy.  Sure, she was working out 3-4 times a week, she was making sure the kids got to school clean and fed, organizing parties and being charitable towards other families, being crafty to make a few extra bucks so that she could hopefully surprise the hubby with something this Yuletide.  But, she let other things go.  Like the kitchen.  Oh, it's not like she let it become unhealthy.  It's just hard to look at, or find counterspace.  Or the bathroom.  The mats are clean, they just haven't made it out of the laundry room to replace the 3rd set of towels that are on the floor to do the mats' job.  Or her 3 year old, who seems to think that, just because she ignored the fact that he was jumping off the couch onto the coffee table and back ONE TIME, he can do it all the time now.  Which knocks over the clean laundry this mom has had every intention of folding for a week... or two, now.  And, lastly, the play room.  This mom has asked, begged, yelled at, and pleaded with her children to clean it up.  "There are so many children who would love to have just half of the fun things you have down here!"  All to no avail.  Maybe because those kids can see that she doesn't take care of her stuff very well, either.

And so.  When her 6 year old had a half day at school, the mom decided that she'd had enough.  She would give each of her 3 children a box.  In that box they would put whatever toys they wanted to keep.  The rest would be donated to those aforementioned children that would love half of her childrens' fun things.  The mom, as well, would fill a box, or three, with things that were never used, constantly moved and never put back where they belong, and find a new home for them.  To remind her family that there really is so much they have to be thankful for.  To try and instill a sense of pride in the material possessions they all take for granted every day.

And maybe, just maybe, it would be the attitude adjustment her family needed.

...but we won't find that out for a few more days yet.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Serious moment: I'm not a prude and I'm not a pushover.

This whole 50 Shades of Grey thing has me thinking a lot about a topic that most of my friends and I don't agree on: Porn.  I'm not okay with it.  It's something I've never been comfortable with and the few times I've watched it I felt gross and dirty.  Rationally, I can see the appeal.  Emotionally, I just don't get it.  So when people hear that porn is not allowed in my house, and that it is a deal breaker for my marriage, they think I'm being unreasonable.  "Men need porn" is, in my opinion, a bullshit cop-out.  If you and your spouse mutually enjoy it together, good for you!  But don't judge the relationship my husband and I have just because I can't stand having it in my house.  To me, porn is sex, and sex is something that The Captain will enjoy with only me or he can GTFO.  Thankfully, he understands.  He can put himself in my shoes and can honestly say that he wouldn't be comfortable with me watching porn, either.  Maybe we're both a little insecure and, yes, we both know each other to be jealous types, but it works for us because we know exactly how the other is feeling.

So when I say I have no interest in becoming part of this 50 Shades of Grey craze because my husband wouldn't approve...  I'm not being a pushover or letting him control me.  I don't want to read it because he doesn't want me to.  Not because I'm a good-little-wifey that thinks how she's told to think, but because I am respecting his feelings the same way he respects mine.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What a Change...

I just finished reading through my past blog posts and, WOW... they were depressing!  But, sadly, that's where I was.  And now here I am, looking back on how I was feeling, marveling at how much can change in a few months' time.

Since my last post I have healed wonderfully from abdominal surgery, joined a CrossFit gym, dove headfirst into a strict diet and rigorous exercise plan, and I ran my second 5k (though technically it was only 2.45 miles).  I am up at 5 a.m. nearly every weekday morning, at the gym by 6, and home by 7:30, a happy and sweaty mess.  For the most part I have cut out grains, sugars, and starches again (with the exception of 2 weeks of birthday party, camping, and child-free vacation food).  Cabin Boy #2 is officially done nursing and we're getting the big kids ready to start school next week.

The changes I've made have been crazy, but the changes in the way I FEEL are truly amazing.  Looking back, my instincts that my depression was stemming from the chronic pain I was in were spot on.  And now that I don't have the excuse of being in pain to hold me back, there's no stopping me!  I've been more productive and making healthier choices in the kitchen, on top of my chores once again, more patient with the kids, and less of an emotional roller coaster.  Now that I'm on the road to reaching some of my fitness goals I feel better about myself physically, too.  Not because I want to look a certain way, but because I want to be able to say, "Yes, I'm fit!"  Of course, having a nice butt is icing on the cake...

We're getting into a new routine now, also.  It goes hand in hand with the extra productivity I've had.  While I'm at the gym The Captain gets the kids up, changed, and fed, and puts away the clean dishes from the night before.  Cabin Girl and I shower together, then she (starting next week) gets ready for school.  Starting next week we'll all have to be ready to head out the door by 8:45 to get CG to school on time, and Tuesday/Thursday is Cabin Boy #1's preschool day.  Throughout the day I put dirty dishes in the washer as soon as we finish using them, so I don't have a huge pile of dishes staring at me from the counter after dinner, I get my daily chore (alternates between cleaning the bathrooms, scrubbing floors, cleaning bedrooms, etc), and wash several loads of laundry.  When The Captain gets home he helps with the kids while I make dinner then we all relax/play together until bath time.  The Captain bathes and dresses the boys while Cabin Girl picks up the living room and I put together lunch for the next day for her and Captain, prep the coffee pot so all he has to do is push a button in the morning, and wash whatever dishes are leftover.  I'm hoping this routine will afford me the time to continue my Medical Transcription training and get some craft time in...  We'll have to see how CB1 adjusts to preschool and if CB2's nap schedule becomes more concrete.

All in all, I guess I just wanted to share my joy at being in a better place, mentally, emotionally, and physically.  I hope to share more of it soon!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Good vs. Great

Do you ever just get frustrated that you don't have something you're great at?  I know I'm good at a lot of things, and, given time and effort, I could be great at them as well...  But, I know myself.  I get bored easily, and what feels fun one week turns into a chore the next.  I am surrounded by such an amazing group of talented people and almost every single day I get jealous and depressed, because I haven't found my 'thing' yet.  How do I narrow it down to one, five, or even ten things that I'd like to learn and become better at?  I'm sick of waiting for it to come to me, yet I'm so afraid of wasting my time, money, and energy on something that I will eventually not like to do...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dear Person that I want to be.

I'm writing a letter to myself.  Specifically, to the part of me that I want to show up more often.

Hey, it's me, that part of us that you're leaving to flounder on a daily basis.  I know you're in there somewhere.  I know you can hear me.  I know you watch me break down when I finally get 5 minutes to shower by myself, every other day.  Where have you gone?  I need you.  

I need you to come help me finish these to-do lists that you thoughtfully mapped out for us.  I need you to kick my ass into following the budget plan that we agreed would get our family on the path to achieving our goals for the future.  

I miss your creativity, and the way you used to sing and dance in the kitchen while we would make something delightfully bad for us.  I miss the way you were patient with the kids when I wasn't.  I miss your productivity, and how it made me feel like a domestic goddess.  I miss your giggle and how it would peal through the room at the slightest provocation.  I miss the way it felt when you would suggest something fun and spontaneous to do with the kids.  I miss the way you could make intimacy with Z so much more than a physical connection.  

I hate who I am without you.  I hate that I can't be happy without you; we never did like being co-dependent.  

I hate knowing that part of me is missing and I don't know where to find you. 

Without you, I am sad.  I am sloppy, lazy, and I just don't care.  Without you, I'm just grumpy, impatient, and mean.  

Without you, I am not the mom and wife that I had dreamed and hoped I would be.

Please come back soon.  Please tell me where I can find you so we can all be happy again.



Thursday, February 23, 2012

Welcome to Baby Land!

I found out today that one of my friends from WAY back is expecting her first baby.  I'm super excited for her and want to drown her in congratulations and questions, BUT.

We aren't close anymore.  We have minimal interaction, even with the various technologies that make relationships a breeze now a-days. I don't want her to feel like now that she's having a baby she's suddenly worth my time and attention, but that's kind of how it is.  Not because I'm more interested in her baby than her, but because now we're on common ground.  

When you become a mom, it's hard to find things in common with other women that don't have children and it's hard to keep friends that don't have babies around the same time.  Where their worries include work, clothes, and friends, yours is baby, baby, and baby.  Where their fun is friends, parties, and spontaneity, yours is playdates, pat-a-cake, and nap schedules.  Getting together involves so much more than grabbing your purse and sunglasses and hopping in the car.

So, expecting and new moms, when a woman with children approaches you and seems to suddenly take an interest in your new life, I hope you don't take it the wrong way.  It's not the baby that makes you interesting, it's just that now we're on the same playing field.  

Congratulations and Game on!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Comeback challenge

A new leaf is turning.  Cabin Boy #2 is 6 months now and we're starting to sleep train.  I have plans, oh so many plans, to get things in and around the house into shape.  But, how to do it?  I'm challenging myself.  

I will do 1 thing every day that I can be proud of.  Tonight, while the hubby and I watch our shows, I will make a list of all the things I want to do, all the things I need to do, and all the things that I dream of doing.  Every day, I will cross one thing off of that list.  

That's all I have time for now, but I'll be returning... it's on my list.  ;-)