Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm drained

I had a crazy weekend. Nothing happened the way it should have. I had concert tickets Friday night to see Ray LaMontagne. He was awesome. He's the kind of artist that can stand there with his guitar and sing. No gimmicks or strobe lighting needed. Just his soulful voice. He gives me chills. What didn't give me chills but rather REALLY annoyed me was tweedle dumb and tweedle dumber aka annoying Highland Park chicks who showed up extremely late and then proceeded to talk to each other and play with their cell phones during the concert. Why bother? Here is this man pouring his heart out singing at the Majestic and these ditzes are twirling their hair, smacking their gum and trying oh so hard to be seen. I saw you and I wasn't impressed. I realize that this isn't a nice statement, but really? Why pay money to ignore an artist and distract those of us who are trying to appreciate the show?

Saturday got all messed up as well. Cole & I had plans to take Nana to lunch for her birthday, and hit Boo at the Zoo later that afternoon...but Nana had an accident (thankfully she's okay) and wasn't up to it and Tobie decided to run away from home Saturday afternoon so I spent the afternoon looking for my Mutt. He was found and is okay. I called the ex to let him know Tobie was missing because he's still a contact for Tobie and listed on all of the vet info., He showed up to help look for Tobie and fixed the fence that fell down. I appreciated the effort. Can't say I appreciated meeting his new girlfriend and her daughter under those circumstances...The timing was just off. While I am happy that he has moved on and only want his happiness. I hadn't prepared myself for such a meeting. Or the "show" that had to happen with Cole, Tobie & I. It felt fake and while I think I manged myself pretty well being polite and offering beverages and making idle small talk..there I was with my ex husband, his new girlfriend, her kid, & Cole trying to figure out what would Emily Post do? It's a little violating for a meeting such as that to happen in my only home. It's over and done. Tobie is back and once again I had to console by boys as they watched the ex get back in his car and drive away..this time with someone else and her child.

While I'm making my own efforts to move on. I just think there's a way to handle things. I won't show up to drop Cole off to see his father with someone else in the car..but I'm still new at this and working on my own boundaries. In my opinion, the ex won't need to know about anyone I'm seeing unless I'm fairly certain that person is going to be around long term. Then I would tell him and let him know that this person is a part of my life and I'd like him to get on board. Other than that, the wounds are still fresh. I'll have a little respect for his feelings. Even when people part ways--why can't there be a continued respect? Have we become so insensitive as people that we can't think about how things might impact another person?

After something like this happens- there is a need to just say "what the heck?" You need a sounding board. Someone who will just listen to you talk through it. It can upset me even though I'm happy for him. It was awkward and draining. My sounding board sounded back with a lot of things I didn't really want to hear at that moment. Things that were hurtful and critical and not needed when I was already drained. The wound was open and salt was poured in.

Thankfully there are other people in my address book that helped me on my way. The good news is I think I now know what my calling is for the book I want to write. Divorce etiquette. I think there's a niche here. More than 50% of us are divorced and we need an Emily Post for the commitment challenged. Right? I think I have my first chapter in the "what not to do section"

Anyway, not a banner weekend. But I got my cup filled back up at church, I'm planning to run five miles (though not well) I've given Cole lots of love and have plans for a relaxing evening ... Once again my friends listened and comforted and another divorce hurdle was crossed I suppose. There really should be a handbook for this crap.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ramblings of My Crazy Two Year Old

Good times are had being a parent to a 2 yr old. I love that he can finally communicate to me what he wants and needs. Sometimes I don't understand what the heck is saying, but I suppose that's half the fun. I love that Cole is developing this super cute personality and really I think that overflows into his own little language.. Last night I dug out Cole's Thomas the Train trick or treat pale ...(Sir Cole is going to be a Train Conductor for Halloween) I said "Cole say Trick or Treat" fascinated with his Thomas the Train pale he said instead "Chocolate in My Choo Choo.."

Sometimes I'll say "Cole I love you..." and ask him to say " I love you too Mama.." instead he'll say " I love (long pause) ma"

Often he points at me & says "You Mama" and he can now say "ToBie" instead of "Togo" Every morning we rush out of the house and I say "go go go Cole" and then I say "bye bye Tobie" Now as soon as I say "go go go Cole" ... My little man begins his "Bye Bye Tobie" & heads to the door. When we get in the car he'll begin requesting "cars cars cars" and that's my cue that he wants to hear the song from the Movie "Cars" we start our day listening to "Life is a Highway" and I have to dance and act silly with him while he bobs his head and dances in his car seat. I look fairly spastic driving through my neighborhood every morning. What we'll do to make our kids laugh? We can't just listen to it once...he immediately starts in with "gin gin" which is code for "again"... here I was hoping for a dirty martini with all the gin talk.

Cole has an obsession with movies... his favorite titles:

"Super" = The Incredibles
"Sheak" or "Donkey"= Shrek
"Happy"= Happy Feet
"Choo Choo" = Thomas the Train
"Cars" = Cars the Movie
"Mimi & Maxc" = Max & Ruby

Other discoveries I've made in Cole language:

Outside= I want to go outside... we say this one a lot. The child would live outside if he could
Fries= I'm scared that he knows this one..Rhonda you wouldn't know anything about this would you?
Coffee= He knows what Coffee is.. I'm blaming the Wahlstedts : )
Cake= donut or desert looking stuff
diapoo= diaper
cycle= bicycle
boaple=fruit. usually strawberries or apples
more bat= he's not ready to get out of the bathtub
teeth= he wants to brush his teeth
night night is communicated when he is ready to go to bed
when he rubs his head- that's my cue to play with his hair to help him wind down before bedtime
nana papa (spoken as one word)= my parents...when he says their name..he's ready to give them a call..but then he won't actually speak
duck cycle= he wants me to read him his new favorite book before nap time "Duck on a Bike" thanks uncle Chris!

The cute little language that is all Cole is fun...but then there are moments when he doesn't get his way... he clenches his fists..the mouth gets square, he throws back his head, lets out this wail and I swear the veins are going to pop out of his neck. The drama of it all!! It's like a scene out of the Exorcist. I swear I think he's being possessed or something. There is no reasoning with him at this point. So I just look at him like he's crazy and ask "are you done?"

What has been really interesting is, that lately, when we get to the 3rd time of my asking him to do something and we graduate from my "asking" to "telling" and he can see the disapproval on my face that sets him off too (see above reaction). He gets his feelings hurt because he knows he has disappointed me. These instances get " Cole I love you so much but you need to do this for me.." and I usually get a "k" and he wipes his tears and we move on.

It's hard out there for a little guy....

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Life List

Shocking I know..but I do have a life list.. A list of things that I'd like to accomplish with my slightly sound mind, somewhat functioning body, & incredible desire to be content when I'm laying on my death bed & know that I put it all out there... To give you a peek at my list (in no particular order):

  1. Have a real and lasting partnership
  2. Travel to at least twenty countries
  3. Read the Bible cover to cover
  4. Be comfortable in my own skin
  5. Raise Cole to be an amazing man
  6. Sit at Cole's college graduation & know I've given him the tools to be successful in life
  7. Sky Dive
  8. Bungee Jump
  9. Take a Hot Air Balloon ride
  10. Own a convertible
  11. Go on a mission trip to Africa
  12. Have a career that is meaningful to me
  13. Always have at least five friends who I know I can count on
  14. Run a marathon...or maybe just a lot of races..(see further commentary below)
  15. Write a book..even if it's never published
  16. Become deeply involved in a charity that is meaningful to me
  17. Go on a trip alone... and find myself least three times in my life
  18. Make sure the people I love---know it...
  19. Buy an old house and restore it... (this one is becoming less and less appealing as I struggle to keep my somewhat new house from falling down)
  20. Allow myself to fully accept Grace
  21. Liposuction (ok I'm kidding about this one...)
  22. Own a beach cruiser bicycle (red of course) with a basket and ride around on it..even when I'm 80
  23. Own a home with a porch swing
  24. Learn to knit (I need something to do when I'm old)
  25. Learn to play the guitar...
  26. Matter to people
  27. Take lots of photography classes
  28. Live on the water at some point in my life
  29. Make it to the end of my life & be at peace

If someone had read my life list from several years ago it would have included a lot of career type or financial goals. I guess I'm just becoming a slacker in my old age? Or maybe I've just accepted that those are just accomplishments and it's more about the journey and the relationships I form outside of my profession that fulfill me? What really makes us successful anyway? I'm still wrapping my mind around this one.

I am proud to say that with the help of marketing boy I completed my first 5k race on Saturday (see life list # 14) Yes, I ran the whole thing and didn't pass out. I didn't even stop for water or to walk. So I was pretty pleased. I'm waiting for race results to be posted- but I know for a fact that I didn't finish last!

However, Tuesday reality set in for me when I couldn't really walk without pain. I twisted my back some sort of crazy way running over the weekend I think? After the back spasm my goal has become less about running a marathon because I just don't think this body is equipped to do that... so I'll settle for running a lot of races for charity and keep my acupuncturist, chiropractor extraordinaire Dr. Miner on speed dial..

Maybe I'll work up to a 10k eventually, but I'm thinking why in the world do I need to run more than 6 miles at one time? That's what cars are bye bye marathon aspirations. My back hurts!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Random Ramblings on Self Image

Another turkey sandwich on wheat at the desk. I had a rough meeting this morning and another one this afternoon.. so what I really want to do is go eat something comforting with a friend. But I'm focused on losing a few pounds (what else is new?) so I'll eat my little sandwich, save myself some $ and blog. Lucky you.

My meeting was rough because I got my *ss handed to me. Not really for something I failed to do, but rather a failure to foresee how this person would want the information presented to them. Perhaps it's hard to predict this because it constantly changes...the preferred method of delivery of information..who knows. Just give me my butt chewing and send me on my way. Next time I'll consult with the Magic 8 ball before submitting my stuff. I'm a big girl... I can take a butt chewing.. say my "yes sirs" and go on my way. I don't even cry..because that would prove me weak in the business world.

But being a little bitter about eating my turkey sandwich led me to some thoughts about self esteem issues and how most women I know are constantly struggling to conform to an ideal image of what a woman should be. In business she's assertive without being bitchy...At home the house is perfect and she's supportive of her family without being a doormat... In relationships she struggles to express herself without being perceived as overly opinionated or overbearing. It's a constant balancing act. No wonder we need a trough of Ben & Jerry's occasionally.

But we better not overindulge in the Ben & Jerry's because then butts will expand.. and as women it seems we're always struggling to be that "picture" of what beauty is... From a very young age we're shown through media, conversation, perception and experience..that society appreciates the tall, thin, blonde woman with perfect measurements. Trust me... I got sucked in at an early age too.. I'm still sucked in (literally) at 31. My expectations are a little more realistic I think, but none the less... here I am on yet another diet. In reality I will never be 5'10, barely weigh 100 pounds, and not have a physical flaw.

At 13 I came home and told my Mom I wanted to go on a diet...and oh by the way, I needed to get rid of my freckles..freckles aren't pretty. I really wanted to dye my hair too...but Mom drew the line at that. She bought me some products guaranteed to fade freckles, taught me the importance of sunblock and off I went to diet and conform. I didn't need a diet... I just needed another year to grow up instead of out... but I was convinced I was fat? The girls at school told me I was? I certainly didn't look like the chicks on Beverly Hills 90210. I lost 15 pounds... but constantly "watched" what I ate through High School... "watching" it became a little obsessive in College....

Recently, I have appreciated companies like Unilever and their Dove Campaign for Real Beauty as well as their efforts to positively impact realistic self esteem for young girls... If you have a moment check out these links :[cp-documentid=8354359]/[cp-documentid=8354359]/

Some shocking statistics.. 75% of young girls are unhappy with their physical appearance.. this scares me. I'm glad I have a son. How do you teach a young girl as well as yourself that beauty comes in all shapes, colors and sizes. That the beautiful women on TV and on the cover of the magazine have been nipped, tucked, sucked, airbrushed and photo shop'd until they are really just imaginary women... No wonder women are crazy!! I recently saw The Women with one of my best girl friends and it was a great film.. Annette Benning sums it up:

Now I'm 31.. I'm still worried about crows feet, gravity, laugh lines... stretch weight.. AHHH!! It's craziness. Even with all of these worries of aging and time marching on across my body.. I figure this body with red hair and freckles is really just my vehicle for getting through life. After 31 years, I'm getting pretty good at handling my vehicle and learning that maybe I don't need to trade it in for a better model? Somebody get me a cupcake.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Technology Sucks

Technology sucks. Okay maybe it doesn't... but I'm so frustrated with technology right now I could just scream. I'm over all these devices that are suppose to make my life easier giving me attitude. I want my Blackberry, Laptop, iPod, Oven and life to be normal again. Good grief!

I came back from a trip last week to boot up my laptop at the office, all ready to conquer the world and I get what I'm now told is the Blue Screen of Death.... I'm now on my 3rd re-imaged (what the heck does that mean) laptop...While they are at it can they get me a new image too?

I left my new Blackberry on the table at a wedding Saturday night...only to come back after "busting a move" to a huge crack across the screen of my new Blackberry Curve..our relationship has only just begun and I've already flawed her...hopelessly... that's what I get for dancing..

I get so frustrated when trying to explain IT issues to the crew at the office. I just want to turn the damn thing on and have it do what it's suppose to do. I want my files to be where I left them in "My Documents" and I want my Blackberry to NOT have a crack in the screen. I just got this one and now I have to process a stupid claim through the insurance provider, wade the bureaucracy at the office to get back on the Blackberry server, download all of my ringtones, pics etc., THIS IS MADNESS.

I'd like to take this piece of crap laptop out in the parking lot...throw it on the ground with the Blue Screen of Death still staring me down, start up my VW and drive over it... then get out, pick it up, and throw it.. then maybe jump up and down on it in my sassy shoes... piece of crap.. AHHH !! I just want my files back. I document crap and keep redlines of documents because I need them. Can you hear me now?

Damn you!- stupid, piece of crap computer... damn you! person who cracked the screen of my blackberry and didn't have the decency to own up to it... damn you! arrogant, IT people who look at me like I'm an idiot...damn you! oven at my house that makes beeping noises with F1 & F2 blinking on the screen and only stops after I hit "clear" what feels like 200 times.

I just want to bake something without with without drama.. and not get pissed off every time I look at my cracked Blackberry screen.

Wow. That was cleansing.. I feel better.

Please no comments about how I should back up my work, get a Mac, or get a life. Sell crazy someplace else...we're all stocked up here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It Takes a Village

The other day I was watching Cole play with his choo choos, cars, and favorite toys of the moment. It was his birthday not too long ago so we're still weeding our way thru all new toys. We stumbled upon one still in the package.. Cole was wrestling with getting the package open...
"Bubba can I help you with that?" I asked... "No mommy..I do it.."

God reveals our character to us by giving us children..who emulate us and our habits both good and bad. Then He chuckles when we struggle with being the parent to our character flaws. My Mr. Independent son was like a big dose of reality for me. I do own a T-shirt that says "I can do it!" I am really really bad at asking for help. I'm also really bad at accepting it or admitting that I need it, but I am getting a little better. Not so long ago I had an epiphany... I thought that I'm usually the person who helps out other people. I'll generally do what I can and show up in a time of need. I reciprocate. I give back...why can't I take a little too?

Someone really special to me frequently says " I don't need anyone or anything" half joking of course, but I usually respond with "Yes you do.." We all do. We weren't meant to figure out the journey by ourselves. Needing people and helping people, caring and depending upon other helps us make sense of this thing called life. I am frequently made better by the people who stumble into my life. So yes, I need them.

Which brings me to "It Takes a Village" which is a theory and book by Hillary Clinton. In it she basically advocates the importance of extended family and community to raise a child. I know lots of you don't agree with her politics, but she hit home for me with this. She's right. We need a Village. What has surprised me in the past year is who showed up for me in my time of need. My close circle of friends showed up for me in every way imaginable. My neighbors who are constantly looking out for me. My family. The new friends that have made their way into my heart and my life..

But there is one family that has really been there for me every step of the way.

I remember the day I realized that the "thing" I had been hiding from and covering up and ashamed of was my marriage. I was at church. The sermon was about letting go of these things.. of giving them up to God. My pastor had set up trays of sand throughout the sanctuary so that we could write it in the sand individually, pray about it, and let it go. I am guessing you can figure out what I wrote in the sand that day.

The following week I sought out a therapist. I met my pastor for coffee and began the process of trying to fix my marriage with the guidance of professionals because my solo attempts over the past year had failed miserably. I was given some very real challenges by my pastor and therapist. I did my homework. I learned the lessons and then there came a time where all I did (it felt like) was pray about it and I felt like God answered. I couldn't fix it by myself. I needed to burn my "I can do it!" T-shirt because I've learned I can't. Admitting it has been liberating.

I met my Pastor for coffee again one Friday morning...months later. He would be one of the hardest people to tell that I wasn't going to make it work, but I needed his insight on how to make sure that I made it easiest for Cole. How could I make sure I put him around positive male role models so that he would grow to be a good man? He never really answered me..other than to tell me that my focus needed to be on Cole and to pray. I guess on some level I expected to receive a verbal lashing and a reminder of the sin of divorce, but all I received was compassion and acceptance.

He never really answered me, but his amazing wife who's a pro with children now watches Cole during the work week. She just totes Cole everywhere and I love it. My pastor spends time with Cole.. Cole can now say "Starbucks" as it is a favorite hang out but I'm glad because since he began spending time with Cole.. Cole is no longer afraid of men, seeks them out and now openly gives hugs. Their daughters babysit for me all the time so I can actually have a break.... they took us in.

I have a pretty awesome Village. While there isn't the police officer, the construction worker, the Indian, the biker, or a military man and we don't sing "Macho Man" or "YMCA" there's me, Cole, and a lot of really special people who have accepted us along the way.

Alrighty.. I have a cup of coffee to finish. Holla!