Archive | July, 2010

Dream Big

30 Jul

It’s funny seeing the world through a three-year-old’s eyes. I watch her watch the world with marvel and wonderment. I’m awed by her innocent views and the confidence she carries everywhere. I love that she notices the clouds and that she puts flowers in my purse when I’m not looking. I love the kisses on the cheek that she gives without being asked…the affection she shows freely and often. Mostly I love the conversations we have. Her view on life is amusing and inspiring.

We were in the car the other day and we had to stop by the house to hang curtains up. On our way there, we had the following conversation:

Me: We have to stop by the new house and hang up curtains.

Ava: Can I help you?

Me: I’m sure you can.

Ava: Oh yes I can. Mom, these hands can do anything!

And she was serious. She believes that. She believes that her hands are capable of anything. And it got me thinking about how we all believed at one point. As children we believed we could do anything…we were encouraged to believe that. As we get older, we come in contact with people who change that. They tell you tell you things that make you doubt you’re adequate or capable. The big dreams we had are replaced with self-doubt and negativity.  

My hope for Ava is that she never stops believing that she can do anything. That she continues to believe those three-year-old hands are capable of whatever she desires to put them to use for. I know that she will have to deal with many different personalities in her lifetime but I really hope that she continues to dream big and not be tainted by anyone who has doubts about what she’s capable of accomplishing.

The Expected Meltdown

28 Jul

I have been a bitch the past two weeks. There’s no way to sugar coat that. My fuse has been short and my temper easily flared. I have not been easy to deal with. I know this. I have been dealing with so much. Anyone who has bought a house can understand the amount of work that goes into getting this transaction to the end stages. My day consists of reading emails, printing attachments, signing attachments, scanning, emailing back. Then there’s the whole setting up utilities, carpet install appointments, mold remediation estimates. Meeting people, talking to people, fighting with people. I feel like Gumby right now. I’m pulled in a million different directions all day. I’m an excellent multi-tasker but this takes multi-tasking to a whole new level.

I work a full-time job, have a 3 1/2 yo at home who never stops talking and a husband who calls me a lot. So this buying a house business has just tipped my balancing act right over. I had a meltdown of epic proportions this morning. I’m stressed. I am. Did I mention Mike is out-of-town for work and we are closing on our house this week? Oh dear God. So I’m a single parent right now. My emotions are frayed and my brain hurts.

SOOOOOOO….this morning. I actually get Ava and I out the door on time. That should have been my first clue that the morning was going to unravel. We are leaving for Napa on Friday morning and I decide that since I have a few minutes, I’ll clean all the boxes out of my trunk to make room for luggage. It’s not 7:20 am so I’m still doing okay on time. I get in the car, Mike calls…I answer. I’m still happy. Then I turn the car on and a light comes on. It’s a triangle with an exclamation point in the middle. WTF is this??? It can’t be good. I open the owner’s manual for the car and learn that it’s a tire pressure warning light. What???? My car has that???? So cool! Wait…shit…that means something is wrong with my tires.

So I get out of the car. Mike is still on the phone. And sure enough my front tire is low on air. Argghhhh! Here is what happens next:

Mike: Just go to the gas station and put some air in it.

Janice: How much air do I put in it?

Mike: It should say on the tire.

Janice: I can’t find it. (Frustration now mounting)

Mike: Just take my truck.

Janice: But what about my tire! What if when I get home tonight it’s flat!!!! Is the car seat in your truck? I’ll just go put air in my tire. I’m gonna be late for work now.

Mike: Just take my truck. What if you take your car to work and it goes flat in the parking garage.

Janice: I really can’t handle anymore. I’m so stressed out.

Mike: I don’t know what you want me to do.

Janice: I want you to be here. I’m handling all this by myself and it sucks.

There were some more words exchanged…it ended with us both being pissed off and saying “I’ll talk to you later.” Then the tears came. Big, fat, I can’t handle all of this I want my mommy tears! And I couldn’t stop them. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t stop crying. And I was crying for no big reason, just a bunch of little ones. I was crying because I’m now late for work. Once I get to work I have to tell my boss that I know I showed up late, and I know I’m leaving early but now I also need a 1/2 hour to run to the bank and wire money so that I can close escrow on a house. And I hate that.

I think at some point I looked towards the heavens and said, “Really? A flat tire? Today? Not cool, God, not cool.” Mike called back and said he just felt bad. And I did too…he’s been awesome through all of my moodiness and short temperament. He said it best when I said, “I’m a guy and guys want to fix things. His “fix” was for me to take his truck since he couldn’t be here to change my tire. And it makes sense…guys are like that. They don’t understand emotional, crying women sometimes. They just want to stop the tears and most of the time, there’s not a whole lot that can be done to stop them…sometimes the tears just need to fall out. Damn woman hormones.

What was the last thing you cried about?

Have you ever almost been eaten by a shark?

26 Jul

So about twelve years ago I took a trip to Catalina Island. Catalina is right off the coast of California and has some great diving sites. So, my boyfriend, at the time, took me there for an anniversary. I love snorkeling, so it was assumed I would love scuba diving. I’m slightly massively afraid of being eaten by a shark. I’m convinced I’m what’s for dinner each time I get into the ocean, but since I love the water so much I face the fear often.

 So here we are at Casino Point. I’m not a certified diver…the ex was. So we find a guide to do a guided dive. I get all geared up. We get in the water, snorkel out and start to descend. I paid attention to the instructions on how to equalize your ears, but my left one didn’t cooperate and at 27 feet down, I felt a pop and a stabbing pain in my ear. I gesture to the guide to go up.

My head pops out of the water and I’m bleeding out of my left ear. This is bad…really, really bad. Because not only am I bleeding out of my ear, I’m in an ocean where there are great white sharks and I’m BLEEDING OUT OF MY EAR!!!! The only way this story could get better is if I had steaks tucked under my arms. So anyway, I hear screaming…lots of it. I look towards the shore and all of these people are screaming for us to get out of the water.

In this instant, I was convinced that Jaws was behind me and if I wanted to live I should swim like crazy to get to the stairs to get out of the water. So I did. All the while I’m crying because a) I’m in pain and b) Jaws is gaining on me and I don’t want to die!!!!

I get to the stairs of the seawall, I step up, relieved that I’ve made it out alive, only to forget I have a weight belt on. I quickly proceed to flip over backwards right back INTO THE WATER!!!! I was certain at this point I was just going to land right in the shark’s mouth…why not, right?

After we get out of the water, we find out that a diver had gone missing. He had done a solo dive (not smart) and had been under far longer than the amount of air in his tank. This story has a sad ending, I’m afraid. At the time we came up, they needed people out of the water so they could find his body. It was a very traumatic experience on all levels.

As for my left ear…well, I’ll never be able to dive again. I ruptured my eardrum that day and once you have a ruptured eardrum it’s nearly impossible to get it to equalize while diving. We spent 3 hours in the emergency room and then the rest of the day watching them try to find the missing diver. He wasn’t found until the next afternoon.

Donating Dreams…Kinda

23 Jul

In preparation for the impending move, I’ve decided it’s best to get a head start on cleaning out my closet. The top shelf of my closet is reserved for all the jeans that no longer fit but that I hope and dream will fit again. They are my pre-baby jeans. If you know me well, you know I’m a jean whore. I have close to 50 pairs of jeans in my closet. I love jeans like a fat kid loves cake. So last weekend I donated my hopes and dreams to Goodwill. I pulled all of them down, folded them up and gave up. Almost.

Before I got pregnant with Ava I was 125 lbs. Six months after I had her I was 128 lbs. Three pounds is not alot of weight by any means, but my body changed. My hips changed and as much as I didn’t want to admit it, I finally have. No matter how skinny I get, my hips (that I love) will never be as narrow as they once were. These hips have birthed a child and there is no getting around that. And I’m okay. I really am. My body did an amazing thing and my hips serve as my reminder of that.

Remember that “almost” up there in that first paragraph? Well, there are one pair of jeans I couldn’t part with. They are my first pair of designer jeans. The first, but not last, time I was silly enough to drop $200 on a pair of jeans. I loved those jeans. I wore them every damn weekend for five years! The jeans have been on dates with Mike. They have been to San Francisco, Austin, Houston, San Diego, Vegas, Florida, Mexico and places in between. They have been wine tasting with friends. I have karaoke’d in them. There’s even a picture of me doing cartwheels in those jeans…really…cartwheels. I wore the jeans when Mike proposed and again at our engagement party.

After I had Ava I hung the jeans on the bedroom door to keep myself motivated to fit back into them. Thee jeans made my ass look fabulous. So no, I will not part with them. We have been through too much together for someone else to wear them…for someone else to take my memories with them. So even though I know I will never button them again, they will always stay with me. I simply can’t part with them.

Addiction Sucks

22 Jul

I’m having a bad day. I’m having an “I want to smoke so bad I should not be trusted alone day.” I hate these days. I try to avoid people because in doing so I can avoid stress. If I avoid stress, then I avoid frustration. If I can avoid frustration then I feel pretty safe here on my ledge.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Addiction is addiction regardless of what it is you’re addicted to. And if you’ve never suffered from addiction, please do me a favor and don’t tell me you understand. Because while you can empathize, you can not understand how the two things I want most right now are to smoke and not to smoke. That doesn’t even make sense, does it? It seems they shouldn’t go hand in hand but they do.

 On days like today it’s a gamble…I’ll leave here and drive by the store. Will I stop or will I not? I certainly don’t want to stop. And so you say, “So then don’t.” Oh…if it were only that easy it wouldn’t be called addiction now, would it? And it is absolutely mind over matter. I know that. I know that I just have to have some control.

When I feel like this…overwhelmed and unsure, I read the following, take a deep breath and remind myself that learning to live without punctuation is hard but achievable. I just have to rewrite the rules.

 Posted by Gummer:

I was thinking about smoking… about how I used to do it constantly…whenever ANYTHING at all happened in my life. Hungry… Tired… Angry… Happy… Bored… Indigested… Sick… Scared…Excited… every shift in mood, no matter how subtle, called for a cigarette. My life revolved around smoking. In fact, smoking became the punctuation of my life.

It means that by not smoking you suddenly remove all punctuation from your life… all the periods, commas, capital letters… All those cigarettes that represented pauses, and exclamation marks, and question marks in your life just disappear overnight… everything that has guided you in the past is suddenly gone. So it is not then surprising that you might feel lost temporarily, or uncomfortable, or out of sorts. Of course it takes time for you to become accustomed to a new way of reading your life. But in time you do.

Try reading a book in a mirror… or remove all punctuation from a paragraph, and you will find it hard to decipher the words at first… but given time and practice it all becomes natural again. That is what quitting is like. A big change, but not an insurmountable one. And above all quitting is something very achieveable if you give it the necessary time. Patience, persistence, and practice… and a little perspective. That`s all you need.

Rules of the Game

21 Jul

I have a few rules…if only the rest of the world would catch on…

Women Rules

  1. Always, and I mean always, wear a bra out of the house. Unless you are an “A” cup, your boobs are going to look saggy. I promise.
  2. Do not, and I repeat DO NOT wear a white bra under a white shirt. A white shirt magnifies the white bra and only serves to make you look trashtastic. Nude bra ladies.
  3. Do not let your thong hang out of the back of your pants. It is NOT sexy. It’s trashy.
  4. Do not wear a size smaller than you are. I don’t care how great it makes you feel that you fit into a size 6, if you’re not a size 6 you now either look like a sausage stuffed into a casing or a muffin. Neither are sexy. Ever.
  5. Confidence is the sexiest thing you’ll ever put on. Hands down.

Life Rules

  1. Never let another person determine your worth.
  2. Ignore people who doubt your goals. These people do not wish you to succeed.
  3. Stand up for what you believe in but respect people who don’t share your beliefs. There is a way to respectfully disagree.
  4. Always seek challenge and change….it’s how we grow.
  5. The words you speak in anger can NEVER be taken back. The hurt that you hurl with your words will remain with that person regardless of how many times you say, “I’m sorry”. Speak with care.

Mom Rules

  1. There is nothing wrong with getting an epidural. I promise there are no awards at the end of a tough labor without an epidural.
  2. Do not compare your child to other children. Your child is unique and wonderful.
  3. Do not question your ability as a mother. You are doing it right…even when you’re not.
  4. Be consistent. Regardless of how you discipline…be consistent.
  5. When your child wants to stop to pick a flower, look at the sky, watch a butterfly, count cracks in the sidewalk, sleep in your bed, snuggle for a few more minutes, give you one more kiss…stop and participate. One day…in the not so distant future you’ll be saying, “I remember when…”

If We Were Stuck in an Elevator…

19 Jul

My lovely blogger friend Jenny talked me into doing the ProBlogger 31 Days to Build A Better Blog challenge. Ha…as if my blog could get any better, right? Oh…right…it could totally use some help. I know.

The first “challenge” was to develop an elevator pitch for my blog. Basically the purpose is to write an overview of my blog that could be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride. This overview is supposed to make YOU want to come back and read MY blog. But really, my friend Xavier said it best the other day. I wish I had saved what he said because it was pretty awesome. He told me he loved reading my blog because in three back-to-back posts I made him misty (he’s gonna kick my ass for that) with my anniversary post, inspired him on my post about racism, and made him laugh with my post about the home buying process. And that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to let people know I’m here, I’m real and hopefully you can relate.

For the record, I hated this assignment and for the first time in a really long time, I’m not super happy with what I wrote. I would totally give myself a C on this assignment.

Lights. Camera. Life.

Real Mom. Real Wife. Real Stories. Real Life.

Lights. Camera. Life. is about my journey raising a hilarious little girl, while being married to a class clown. My life didn’t stop when I got married. Nor did it stop when I had a child. Instead it got a hell of alot more interesting. I blog about what really happens when two people fall in love, get married and raise a child who recognizes the Starbucks sign quicker than a Toys R Us sign. I don’t sugar-coat. I say it like I see it, and write it how I feel it. I’m sometimes funny, slightly crazy and always real.

Everybody Poops

18 Jul

I’m about to share some not so dinner friendly conversation about one of the joys of parenting. Consider yourself warned. I’ll start by saying everybody poops. Yes. Even you. We don’t need to talk about it normally but I have a child who has suddenly decided she’s scared of pooping. I recently spent the weekend in Vegas and I get a call from Mike and this is how that goes:

Mike: How do you get her to poop?
Me: I just hold her hands and give her hugs and tell her to just push. (lovely, huh?)
Mike: She won’t go. Maybe I should just give her a suppository. (at which point Ava starts screaming bloody murder)
Me: I dunno what to tell you. Try and get her to go. If that doesn’t work, then go the suppository route.

Well, he ended up having to give her a suppository. Fast forward to today. She tells me she has to go poop and then starts crying. She’s holding it in and saying, “I need to go away.” She physically thought she could run away from pooping. At which point all I can think of is that Southwest slogan “Need to get away?” Because apparently Ava needs a vacation from bodily functions.

So I sit in the bathroom with her trying to coax her to go. No luck. So then I grab my laptop and put on the “Everybody Poops” song. Here I am sitting on the bathroom floor playing a poop song on my laptop. You know you wish you were me! Not one of my favorite parenting moments. So here’s where it gets fun. I finally decide I have to give her a suppository. I will not go into the gory details but it’s horrible having to do this. She hates it. I hate it. It takes two of us to hold her down and that part just breaks my heart. She’s screaming bloody murder and yells, “Get your finger out of my butt!” I’m pretty sure my neighbors are going to call CPS on me.

P.S. And my finger was NOT in her butt. I feel like I have to point that out. The suppository was in her butt.

Wordless Wednesday – Happiness

14 Jul
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July 8th is now officially declared "No Bad Shit Can Happen Today" Day

9 Jul

July 8th is now officially declared “No Bad Shit Can Happen Today” Day. So put it on your calendars. Right. Now. The first bad thing that happened on July 8th was my best friend getting diagnosed with breast cancer. This was 7 years ago. She has now kicked it’s ass, so we thought we were good with July 8th. July 8th also happens to be Mike’s birthday, which, to clarify, isn’t a bad thing.

Yesterday was Mike’s 40th birthday. On top of forgetting his birthday cards at work (I’m a jerk), I also did not make him an awesome dinner (bad wife). We find out yesterday that Mike has to work a 24 hour shift on Friday starting at 10:00 a.m.

So Ava has had this horrible cough for a month now. We took her to the doctor two weeks ago and she said, “Come back if it isn’t gone in two weeks.” Last night…July 8th…husband’s 40th birthday…needs sleep because he has to work 24 hours straight. Still with me? Ava starts hacking. I mean it’s horrible. I give her some benadryl hoping it will help. It doesn’t. At 11:30 p.m. she starts throwing up. If you’ve had a child throw up when they’re half-asleep in your bed, you know how fun this is. I finally get her all changed and get us all back in bed. At this point Mike decides he’s going to sleep upstairs because he NEEDS sleep. So he goes upstairs. Ava and I are in my bed and all of the sudden she starts twitching. And by twitch I mean I think she’s having a seizure. I sit up, stare and her, check her breathing, she seems fine. I try to lay back down and she starts doing it again. I get up and decide that it’s time to take her to the ER.

I load her up and we get to the ER, which is packed!!! WTF???? It’s 1:00 a.m., how are all these people here? So I get inside, tell the nurses what’s wrong and proceed to wait and wait some more. I’m observing the people in the ER and it’s a weird place the ER. Everyone is sick. Everyone is pissed because they have to wait and EVERYONE is over-exaggerating their symptoms in hopes to be seen quicker. Don’t worry, I have an example. This guy is there with his wife and kid. I’m assuming they’re there for the kid. He’s laughing and talking with his wife and gets up, goes to the registration window and asks for an ice pack. They give him one and he puts in on his shoulder and I hear the nurse ask him, “On a scale of 1-10, where’s your pain level.” Dude says, “A nine.”

Clearly, this man does not understand the question, because if you’re pain is a 9, you are not smiling. You are not laughing. You are barely able to function at a 9 pain. Trust me. I know. I had a baby. And I would still only put my pain at a 6 or 7 before the epidural. And that was “OMG, I’m going to crawl out the car window, with the car moving to escape this pain, pain.” True story…I actually tried to climb into the back seat on the way to the hospital because I wanted to get away from the pain. Pain like that makes you not able to think straight. Seriously…how in the hell would I get away from the pain in the back seat? He was NOT a NINE! NOT EVEN CLOSE!!! Sissy!!!!

Anyway, so then an ambulance arrives and brings in a dying man. Ava is awake and alert and here’s this man on a stretcher (he was really old) and he’s making the sounds that only dying people make. And Ava’s all, “What’s wrong with that man?” I had to think quick so I just said, “Oh, he’s having a bad dream honey.” She was cool with that.

Anyway, they finally took her back, took her vitals, told me her oxygen levels were good and that she was probably twitching because of all the coughing, her body was tightening before she coughed so they said it was probably in response to stomach muscles, etc. But that if I wanted to confirm the diagnosis with a doctor I could wait three hours. At this point it’s 2 a.m. There is no way in hell I’m waiting here until 5 to see a doctor. So I left and will take Ava to her pediatrician on Monday. Let’s hope the rest of the weekend runs smoother.