We’re all sick around here and it doesn’t look pretty. When I say “sick” I mean all three of us are still wearing pajamas, every horizontal surface in the house is covered with stuff and the floor is littered with toys, sippy cups, and chewed up important documents. Tiny-Small is roaming around with a runny nose getting into trouble with the dogs like a tiny toddler gang or something. Somehow, being sick doesn’t bother her as much as it bothers us “old” people. Once we recover from this illness I might just pack a couple of bags and move out. By then this house will need to be condemned. As you can imagine, I am feeling tired, cranky, and foggy (even more so than usual). I am also looking like death warmed over, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, and a mom who just doesn’t care anymore. I know! I didn’t think it was possible for me to put less effort into my appearance, but obviously I have hit a new low and found a new bottom. I have banned all mirrors from the house and avoid going into the kitchen at all costs. The dishes are piling up along with the soup cans, pizza boxes, and unopened mail. Tiny-Small watched her Elmo pets video at least 8 times in a row yesterday while I went in and out of consciousness. I am so grateful her dad was also sick and home to help keep our baby girl alive and out of harms way. This got me thinking about all of the other things I am grateful for on this fine Thursday (or is it Friday, no, it’s Wednesday?) morning. So, I decided to compile a list for your reading pleasure, 1. I am grateful we don’t have the kind of friends that just “stop by” unannounced so nobody can take blackmail photos of me with my red nose, unwashed hair, and pajamas stained with Tiny-Small’s liquid ibuprofen that she decided to spit all over me instead of swallow. 2. I am grateful that I stocked up on tissues, cough drops, and frozen dinners before we all came down with the icky-sicky. At least we don’t have to get dressed and leave the house, stand for more than a few minutes at a time, or use up all of the toilet paper blowing our noses. 3. I am eternally grateful for my Netflix subscription so we have something new to watch besides Elmo. I am also grateful that Tiny-Small can reach the buttons on the DVD player and hit play by herself over and over and over again (never thought I would be grateful for that one). 4. I am grateful for toothbrushes, vaporizing chest rub, and antihistamine. Also, I no longer need ear plugs because my ears are naturally clogged (What? Did you say something?). 5. I am grateful that Tiny-Small doesn’t mind eating snacks instead of real meals, that she can entertain herself (even though she is the messiest mess-maker I have ever laid eyes on), and that she still loves me even though I am like a bump on a log. 6. I am grateful that Jim got sick before me and is in the getting better phase while I am in the middle, I can barely function, phase of the illness that has invaded our home. Even when we are sick we still make a good team. 7. I am grateful for being sick now instead of later when we are going on vacation. I am knocking on all sorts of wood hoping I didn’t just jinks myself into getting sick again. Darn superstitions always get the better of me. 8. I am grateful for the Internet so I can complain to my friends via facebook and they can say nice things like, “Get better soon” and “It’s OK to let Tiny-Small watch a marathon of TV because you are sick.” 9. I am grateful that it has been sort of raining off and on so I don’t have to worry about watering the garden. 10. I am grateful that my illness is not a permanent one and will pass with time. I just wish it would pass a little quicker before Tiny-Small redecorates her room and makes “carpet” from all of the clothes she has removed from her chest of drawers. That’s my list for now. I am trying to be positive and optimistic and happy while sick. It’s an uphill battle and a struggle because I am feeling pretty miserable. I’m just hoping Tiny-Small doesn’t feel as bad as I do.
I haven’t written in a while. I think I have Spring fever, writer’s block or I-just-don’t-want-to-do-it-itus. I’ve started three different blog posts (one is a review of the Toxic People seminar I attended), but just can’t seem to finish them. I stare at the computer screen and my eyes wander towards the window, out into the yard and to the garden. I just can’t bear to sit in a chair, inside, and write about my mundane life. It seems a bit mundane because outside seems spectacular with all of the warm weather, blue sky, billowing, white clouds, and humming birds to admire. Plus, nothing all that funny, frustrating, or interesting has happened in the last week.
|Beets (With A Side Of Weeds) In The Garden|
Well, that’s probably not entirely true, but I don’t seem to care enough to actually sit here and write about it. I’ve had a couple of emails inquiring about my health and if, in fact, I was actually still alive. I suppose my silence is a bit uncomfortable since I am usually droning on and on about something. It’s unusual for me to have so very little to say. I am usually complaining about something, making fun of myself, or putting a magnifying glass to the circumstances of my life, even as mundane as those circumstances often are on most days.
I am writing this to prove that I am still alive, I haven’t abandoned the blog, and that I did survive the toxic people seminar. I think the seminar impacted me in a positive yet negative way. I am trying to take better care of my self. This, according to the instructor, is the best defense for encountering toxic people ( I have oh so very many in my life) and for not developing into a toxic person oneself. This means going to bed on time, eating actual meals, living in the moment, and doing things that put me into the “zone” which shuts off my worrying brain for a while (the best remedy for worry -for me- is deep, intense concentration). These are all positive things, but the one negative is I am not staying up half the night to write the blog, anticipating what I want to write for the blog or snapping photographs for the blog. My new found self-care approach to life has not exactly been great for the blog. I am too busy preparing healthy meals, getting to bed at a reasonable time, and focusing on what is actually in front of me instead of planning what I want to write about in the future. It’s hard to be a blogger while living in the moment (at least for me). In short, I have come down with a case of debilitating happiness and job-threatening contentment. I mean, if I actually got paid to write this blog, I’d probably have to go on disability just to make ends meet, or something.
|What Life Usually Feels Like|
|What Life Has Felt Like Lately|
I am sure this will wear off as soon as I go back to being a cranky, sleep deprived mom, it starts raining again, or I start skipping breakfast on a regular basis. Nothing fuels my writing quite like irritation and too much caffeine. I am quite certain my new good habits will wear themselves out soon enough, just like house guests. I mean, who can keep up with the pace a healthy lifestyle requires? I know one day of chocolate binging and facebook can be a slippery slope that lands me back in the up all night, eating junk food, complaining about my life (in a very public way) phase. I am just postponing the inevitable for as long as possible. I am enjoying the break extra sleep, real food, and outdoors time can bring.
Also, there aren’t too many dull moments around here so I have learned to take advantage of them when they come along. There aren’t any major problems to solve, nobody is sick, the neighbor’s aren’t complaining about anything and we have everything we need. It’s a moment to pause, sigh, catch my breath and be grateful. I know it won’t last forever, but it’s happening right now and I don’t want to miss it!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! A good percentage of my genetic makeup is Irish. My husband has some Irish in him too. Yep, that probably explains a few things going on around here. He’s got the Irish charm and hot temper. I’m the one making all of the jokes about the problems we face laughing off adversity at every chance I get. He’s a bit stubborn. I’m a bit stubborn. Our daughter is very, very stubborn. She’s like an Irish poster child.
Not only has she developed many personality traits associated with the Irish, but she even looks Irish. My mom said she was watching a documentary about Ireland and all of the kids looked like they were related to our Miss Tiny-Small. She’s tough and she’s not even two yet. People make jokes about the Irish being full of “piss and vinegar” and about how we can sure hold our liquor. What you don’t always hear about is our resilience, our hard working natures, or our stubborn devotion to overcoming any and all obstacles. Don’t step on our toes or we’ll find a way to “fix you’re little red wagon” and don’t ever tell us we can’t do something because then we will spend the rest of our days (and yours too) proving to you just how very wrong you are about us. We take a lot of pride in suffering, our accomplishments, and of course in winning when the odds are stacked against us. They don’t call us fighter’s on a whim. We are ready to fight to the death over anything we think is important whether it is as serious as winning a war or as inconsequential as whether the kitchen wall should be painted white or off white. Yes, we are sometimes that bad.
Our little Miss Tiny Small is no exception. She’s determined to do everything herself. She carries the firewood up and down the stairs with us. She stacks it in the log bin. She’d even try to light the fire if we let her play with matches. Of course we don’t, I mean, parents have to draw the line somewhere. We don’t let her use knives, cleaners, or any other dangerous objects, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t already know how to use them (her brain is a sponge) or that she doesn’t ask to use them (more like demand to) every chance she gets. She lives by the motto “If I can’t do it myself then it’s not worth doing.” How many times a day does she dive bomb the ground just because one of us dared to attempt to “show” her how to do something? Countless…and if she can’t do it she keeps trying, grumbling and complaining the entire time because she NEVER gives up. Not even once, at least not without a fight.
Tiny Small has been called “high strung” and “spirited” by people who know her best. We just call her Irish. It’s a little frustrating for us now, as her parents, to keep her in line. I mean seriously, she never gives up, she’s willing and eager to take on activities way beyond her skill level, and she wants to do it all by herself. That spells out T-R-O-U-B-L-E squared, then multiplied by infinity. I’m not much into math, but you catch my drift. I hope. Anyway, we have many battles of the will and on the days I am tired she is definitely winning. She keeps score better than I do too because her memory is long and vast and mine is dried up and shrinking at what seems a very hectic pace. She’s also got the luck of the Irish on her side. So far, with all the trouble she’s caused, she has come out relatively unscathed.
The weird part is I’m kind of proud of her for all of the trouble she gets into. When she grows up she won’t waste her life whining about what someone else did or didn’t do. She won’t depend on other people to support her or wait around for things to happen. She’ll be out in the world doing what needs to be done. She’ll be actively making decisions and setting a path for herself to follow. She won’t let anyone stop her. She’s too strong willed and tough for that. Yeah, she might be like me and hate to ask people for help. She might find herself in way over her head a few times. She might even push herself too hard and not know when to stop, but she won’t be soft. She won’t be a crybaby and she won’t just give up and stop trying because someone tells her what she is doing is impossible, or stupid, or boring. She won’t do any of those things because she is Irish and she is way too stubborn to ever admit defeat. I hope you all get to enjoy being Irish for a day and remember there is a lot more to it than drinking green beer and eating corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. This is also the day to “suck it up” and get on with things. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and say, “Watch out world because here I come and I refuse to take no for an answer!” Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone. Make it a good one!