UPDATE TO Mrs. Flinger October 16, 2015
Because the Universe has a wicked sense of humor, after this delcaration, my blog threw up all over my last upgrade.
So I'm starting over using Craft. Turning 40 and kid entering Jr High next year, sometimes it's just time for a change. These archives will still exist in the way the last child goes off to college and their room is the same for 20 years, but it's just time to move forward.
The plight of the working mom Apr 14, 2010
Three year olds are assholes. It’s true. It’s been documented somewhere. Probably on twitter or a wiki or something. Three year olds make 13 year olds familiar. Moody. Cranky. Angsty. Parenting a three year old (or a nearly three in my case) prepares you for the upcoming hormonal swings and mood changes akin to knife fights in gay bars.
Working gives me some perspective. I’m able to look at my adorable children and appreciate their innocence. I can hear their whines and love them because I do not get enough.
HA! Did you read that? I almost didn’t make it through with a straight face.
In reality, yes, I get to shuffle my children to be RAISED BY OTHER PEOPLE YOU HORRIBLE MOTHER GOING TO HELL HULK SMASH. And while they are gone I think of them and their soft faces and their long long legs and arms wrapping around me when I pick them up. I worry less about them than I used to but still wonder if I am doing the right thing sometimes. The Mommy Guilt: Second only to Catholic Guilt.
The other day I crawled in to bed with my son to rouse him awake and prepare for the day. He opened his eyes a slit and looked at me. “You came back!” he whispered. “You came back…” he snuggled his cheeks in the side of my neck.
And then I died.
My son and his sweet Cherub face can control me like a marionette. “Play Wiff Me, Mommy!” and suddenly I find myself playing RAUR SMASH TRAINS. My daughter looks at me with the biggest blue eyes, eyes I can not fathom where they are from, and asks me to read with her. I suddenly forget what I was doing and find myself sounding out words in amazement as she reads whole books to me.
Take that!, Harry Chapin.
Balance is elusive. It will not exist. Should I be home, I’d miss working and while I work I miss them at home. I can’t decide if this is my being difficult or truly the Plight of the working mom.
Either way, I suspect I’m in for a long road ahead. Raising children isn’t for the weak. Or the sane.
The Next Time I Move, It Will Be Via Tornado Apr 13, 2010
We set up the wardrobes yesterday. This is a much better system than the piles of boxes we’ve been living under. In theory, that is.
I started setting up the different shelves, organizing all the things I thought so important to force my good friends to spend an entire day moving with us.
I started with undies and socks, you know, important things. Moved on to hang-up items, shoes, scarves, sweats, workout stuff, shit I don’t wear any more, shit I shouldn’t wear any more, shit I don’t fit any more, shit I never want to fit in to again.
That’s when it hit me: WOW I have a LOT OF SHIT.
People say things to me like, “You know, the one great thing about moving is that it forces you to clean out all your stuff.” To these people I reply, “You know, the great thing about a colonoscopy is that it forces you to clean out all your shit.”
We are undergoing one giant (echo: GIANT GIANT GIANT) colonoscopy here.
The next person to try to tell me how awesome moving is will be getting one, too.
Not that I don’t love it or anything. About the same way you love eating a large juicy burger and a “non-invasive” scoping procedure.
My Very Own Jillian Michaels Apr 08, 2010
Funny thing about Teh Interwebz: You just might find out someone lives 1.1 miles from your new home. And that someone just might be like SO SUPAH AWESOME that you trade emails and find out you’re eight thousand shades of the same. Maybe you even share the same tummy issues and love of wine and eating clean and working out.
So maybe you start hanging out.
Funny thing about hanging out with someone sorta like you: It freaks people out. You mean there are TWO OF YOU?! Yes! YES THERE IS. And that somone maybe happens to attend the same boot-camp class you do at the YMCA and probably has seen you there before but now you know to look for each other. And maybe you sort of wish you didn’t, but not until after the fact.
Last week I went to bootcamp with my new friend Ashley. We’ve exchanged tweets, emails, IMs and a few games of Facebook Scrabble, and a beer. Then, suddenly, I find myself knee deep in sweat and cussing at my new friend. Swearing, actually. To her face.
It’s a little surreal to have your ass kicked by a former twitter stranger. And by surreal I mean painful. But comparing sore muscles the next day and realizing what a great workout it was. The girl? She kicks my ass. In a good way.
There is an accountability when someone is willing to not let you lie to yourself. When someone is willing to see that you NEED to go harder, faster, longer. When they realize you can do it, you just .... don’t. She pushed me in a way I haven’t been pushed in years. To find a new level of expletives I’ve never yelled in .. years. To be so physically exhausted I could not push another jumpy out of my ass if I tried.
And oh, how I tried.
A week later I find myself planning to return. Call me crazy, and you will, but apparently I’m a sucker for pain. I’m in a battle with the bulge and right now the bulge is winning. That bulge has no hope against my new friend Ashley. Not a chance.
I’m just hoping I live long enough to tell you about it.
Given the Ability to Fail Apr 05, 2010
A common theme within our family conversations as of late center around the ability to fail. We, the Flingers, believe failure is not only acceptable, but completely necessary. Taking away the ability to fail creates a chasm between lessons ultimately preventing the ability to make the proper choice later.
We let our children fail.
We allow ourselves to fail.
We analyze, talk about, and come back from our failures.
Failing. Is. Ok.
It’s hard, as a mother, to allow your children to fall knowing you could’ve stopped it. It’s hard to watch them struggle when you can simply step in and complete it with them twice as fast. It’s difficult to hash out topics with your spouse knowing you’ll disagree or patiently waiting on a promise you’re skeptical will come true.
It is the same in my family. It is the same in my government. It is the same in the schools. Failing. Is. Ok.
My dad talks about how he flunked out of college. He attended Texas A&M and failed his freshman year. He went in to the Army, “played soldier”, came back and finished up his Bachelor degree. He went on to complete a MBA and a Doctorate. My dad flunked out of college and holds the highest degree you can attain. Had he never failed, he may never have pursued with such passion the education he now gives to other graduate students.
My undergraduate degree is in Exercise and Sport Science. My Dad, the one with all that insight, told me to go in to computer programming. I said no. I wanted to be a dietitian. I wanted to create workouts for people. I wanted to find my own path.
Ten years later I got a Masters in Information Technology because I failed at finding a job in Exercise Science. I failed at earning a living. I failed at having perspective. I failed at realizing what a passion I had for programming. Having that hindsight, I find myself working in a job I adore doing something I’m passionate about with people I enjoy.
It’s a strange concept, to allow failure. So many of us want to help, prevent, provide against it. As parents we cringe at our child’s decisions. We can guide them, we can shape them, we can offer our opinions, but we can not choose for them. It is their choice, it is their lesson, it is their failure.
And that is ok.
I’m trying desperately to allow small failures realizing it will guide them as they mature. Tiny ways of learning now: how it is cold without a coat, how you can’t drink from the other side of the cup, that stepping in a puddle gets your shoes wet. I’m trying to allow those tiny lessons so the bigger ones won’t be so harsh.
But sometimes I fail at allowing their failure. I am a mother. Sometimes I over-protect. I fail.
And that is ok.
P.S. Yes yes, Easter was lovely thank you. You want pictures? OKTHENFINEDAMMIT. Twist my arm.
I’m a Libertarian, not an asshole Mar 31, 2010
I was at the gym a few days ago when this commercial came on. Maybe it was the hormones, maybe it was the stress of moving, maybe it is me being all “woman-like” but I started to tear up right there at minute 11 on the elliptical.
Shortly after, I went to the weight room and saw a little old lady shuffling her workout mat back to put it away. The woman could barely hold herself up, let alone this large green workout mat. I offered to take the mat and put it away for her. She thanked me.
It wasn’t too long after that I turned on the car and heard the craziness that is now our country. People hating white people and not calling it racism. People lashing out. Others telling people to give is their duty and others fighting being told what to do.
It’s at this point that I realized, regardless of my political affiliate, I’m still not an asshole, no matter who you think I may or may not vote for.
I’m just a little bit sick and gottayam tired of people placing everyone is boxes. Little boxes made of ticky-tacky. I’m tired of hyprocicy. I’m tired of name calling. I’m tired of empty promises. I’m tired of the misunderstanding that spans the isle and I’m tired of people assuming.
I’m a Libertarian. Not an asshole.
I believe less government is a good thing. I want to decide ON MY OWN that McDonalds is not healthy, to select businesses with models I agree with, to let my decision effect and change the world, not the government. I want to see change and I want to see others helping each other, not because Big Boss Man said so, but because we are raised with the core belief to respect human life, however different from you that may be.
I want to see healthy discussion. I want to see honesty. I want to see a world where opinions matter and are not immediately deflected. I want to see my children become people who will accept a large variation of lifestyles not because the government mandates it so, but because I teach them we are different and that is OK. I want them to acknowledge and accept change while understanding core principals. I want them to love people for who they are not who they profess to be.
I want my son to be allowed to be a boy. To play too rough, to jump in puddles, to sleep in the dirt. I want a school system that encourages learning of all types and does not shelter nor prevent any one child from being more than another.
I believe competition is healthy. Striving for something better, to be a part of something more, is a part of growing up.
I believe failure is OK. I believe failing teaches lessons and without failure, there is no growth.
I do not believe it is the governments job to prevent that failure, or that growth.
I’m the kind of girl that will pick up your baby’s sock if he/she kicks it off when you’re walking. All I want in return? A smile and a thank you. I’m the lady that will stop to let you in if I haven’t been cut off six times since two blocks ago. All I request is a nod and a wave. I’m the lady who you are calling a racist, a homophobe, a biggot. All I want is a chance to discuss, ask questions, admit I have no answers.
I am the lady who will see a lesbian couple linking arms and think how awesome love is, and how we all need our very own person, whatever package that comes in. And I do not want to be judged for that thought. I’m the gal who hates being called racist simply because of my skin color. That, alone, is racist, is it not? Determining my opinion of you because of your skin color based on my own skin color, well, that’s just fucked up.
I’m the programmer who is humble enough to shrug. I’m the woman who will admit she needs help. I am the mom who knows my children will not understand or respect every decision I make but who strives to make decisions based solely on the fact that I make them out of love and in the belief they are the best for this minute for my children.
I’m someone who believes in small business, who has faith that the system allows each to rise to their inner potential, who strives to let free market be truly free. I’m the person who is consistently shouting hands off to most all things government. I’m the lady who believes jobs will cure an economy, put strength in people’s hearts and a backbone to this nation.
I am honest to a fault. I am torn by two parties. I am not an asshole.
I’m a Libertarian.
Drishti Mar 26, 2010
Life is chaotic now. I knew the change was coming but you can never fully prepare for it. It’s like a pregnant mother waiting for the birth of her child. She hears all of you telling her to “sleep while you can” and “Woahboy, your first, hu? Big change is coming!” but those words are simply words. They are not experiences until she is in the midsts of it, and then it is irrelevant.
Words can be meaningless.
Or they can change your world.
The other day my Yoga instructor kept telling us to find our Drishti. Drishti, I repeated in my mind. Drishti. I knew she was telling us to find our focus. Our point of concentration. I looked up the meaning and found this definition: “Drishti is the focus of the eyes in meditation. This is the focal point where one’s gaze lies to attain concentration alignment, and inner and outer balance. One actually does this to prevent distractions, but should be looking inwardly and not concentrate on the physical object. This could be the tip of your nose or in between your eyebrows, depending on your yoga pose.” (source)
“This is the focal point where one’s gaze lies to attain concentration alignment, and inner and outer balance. One actually does this to prevent distractions.”
I am a very distracted woman right now. I need to find my Drishti.
With the chaos at home, there is no zen. With the lack of Internet, work is sporadic at best. With the children in unrest, life is constant soothing, meeting their needs, not finding time to put their beds together because WHERE IS THE HARDWARE IT WAS IN THE BOX ZOMG.
Life… lacks Drishti.
So I find this word as powerful as the act itself. “Drishti.” I start planning ways to focus. I find ways to balance. I shift a bit left, a little right, a new list here, a meeting there. I work to re-compartmentalize my life in ways I can find peace and harmony.
And in the mean time, I remind myself words are only words until you are in the middle of the experience, however difficult that may seem.
Northwest Profile: Runs Barefoot In The Rain Gal Mar 25, 2010
You probably don’t know the “northwest profile” commercials from Pemco, unless you live here. Or you listen to Seattle Internet Radio in an effort to step up your coolness. Or you’re a seattle northwest wannabe. (Or, rather, soon-to-be Seattle-ites.)
However, if you’re from the Northwest, these profiles sort of hit home.
Really close to home, actually.
As in: Me.
Here she is, ladies and gentlemen, Northwest Profile #39: Runs Barefoot In The Rain Gal.
You can find her on a weekday morning or early on the weekend running along the Burk Gilman or Samamish Trails. She’s got her orange REI rain-repelling super-wicking fast-drying hoodie. She’s listening to acoustic angst folk music counting her miles with her Nike+. It’s fifty and pouring. And? She’s barefoot.
Runs Barefoot (In Vibrams) In The Rain Gal, you’re one of us: A little different.
Waiting for the Internet Birth Mar 24, 2010
Hey, remember that time I was all, “OMG WE GOT A HOUSE AND WE GET TO MOVE!”
Fuck that. Moving is hard, yo!
It’s not just the new-ness of the place, or the old-ness of someone else’s dirt, it’s the alone-ness, the “what are we doing-ness” of our lives.
Disrupting the routine is no good, people. NO GOOD AT ALL.
But not having internet? That’s death.
Monday was our scheduled day. “Your rep will be there between 8AM and 5PM Monday, March 22.”
Awesome. I can totally unpack and not have internet for two days in our new house right?
So I unpacked and I paced. I glanced out the window every few minutes. I kept the music low so I could hear the door.
It started to feel really familiar. Akin, if you will, to those last few weeks before I gave birth to my daughter. The “Due Date” was really a range of time. “Any day now” lasted weeks. I walked, I paced, I was uncomfortable, a little lost, stuck in anticipation, unsure. I re-lived those moments as I waited for the Verizon guy. And waited. And waited.
I called my husband and begged for him to do something. Not unlike the phone call at 38 weeks pregnant yelling, “JUST GET HER OUT. GIVE ME AN ORGASM. THEY SAY IT WORKS OHMYGOD JUST DO IT.”
I slowly gave up as the afternoon passed. I knew it wasn’t happening that day. I felt lost and betrayed and alone. I was sure it would be monday. Monday I would have my Internet Baby.
This is the point of the story where you tell me, “Did you just seriously compare waiting for the Verizon dude to having a baby?”
YES. YES I DID. This is how effed up I am in my world without internet people. I HAVE NO PERSPECTIVE.
So if posting here is a bit raw for a while, know it’s because I’m probably typing on my iPhone screen using auto-correct and yelling, “No! I didn’t mean to type stinks, I mean pink! DAMNIT!” And “Ate you going to the car?” translates in to “Are you going to the park?” And so forth.
And in the mean time, I’ll scouring the house for a 3 inch elephant because SOMEBODY will not be able to go on living without it. SOB DRAMA SOB.
See? We’re all sorts of non-perspective in our new, awesome, amazing house right now. Even if it is all those things.
Moving is making giving me the narcolepsy Mar 17, 2010
My body has a funny reaction to stress. You’ve heard of “fight or flight?” Well, I have “Fight/Flight or Sleep” with the latter having a weighted pull. I spent most of college sleeping. I never made it through an “All nighter.” Hell, I hardly make it through an “All Day-er.”
I find myself walking around our new house looking at things I want to fix. I walk around the empty house in circles. Living Room - Dining Room - Kitchen - Family Room - Den - Living Room - Dining Room and so on… I wander and pretend that I’m calculating the next step, the next priority, but really, I’m sleep walking in an effort to shut out the ToDo list.
And then I curl up on the floor and go to sleep oh.my.god. in the middle of the kitchen between the cabinets I want to stain and the refrigerator we need to move OH.MY.GOD.
I’m comforted by the sounds of laughter from the children digging in the dirt outside and my husband’s whistling as he measures for the brackets in the garage. It’s a lullaby to me, the sound of my head spinning with THINGS.TO.DO and the sound of my family being in our new space.
The children don’t really get it yet. They ask, “Can we come back to play here tomorrow?!” “Yes! You can come here and play EVERY SINGLE DAY for the rest of your lives!” My five year old’s eyes bulge. “It’s true! Our stuff will be here soon! THIS is our new house!”
Then they ask again, “Can we go back tomorrow?”
Yes. We can.
I remember my dad giving me words of wisdom when my parents packed our family up in the station wagon and left sunny Houston and my 12 year old boyfriend (dude, my FIRST BOYFRIEND) and brought us all to this place with trees and wet and cold. I remember my dad telling me, as I bawled in the McDonald’s parking lot somewhere in New Mexico, that “home is where your shit is.”
Profound, my dad.
I try to explain this to Mr. Flinger when he’s perplexed at the children, “THIS is our new house!” He beams with pride. They look confused. “Are we going home now?” they ask. They want their lovies. They want their toys. They want their shit.
Saturday our shit follows us to our new house. Saturday we get the U-haul and, with a little help from some pretty awesome people who wouldn’t let us hire movers, we take our entire lives’ belongings and stuff them in to a new place.
And then, then it will be home.
And I will have a bed to curl up on and rock myself to sleep with the sound of the to.do.list.oh.my.god.
In a good way.
But for now I’ll go pack those boxes and the childrens’ closets and the rest of the kitchen and the oh.my.god… zzzzzZZZZzzzzzz
Yesterday, we bought a house Mar 13, 2010
Funny thing: Buying a house. It’s not like buying a new shirt or a new car. It’s more like going to the dentist, having a tooth pulled, and being told all you need is “the gas” and you’ll remember nothing.
(Incidentally, I did that last week, too.)
Or maybe it’s more like courting a lady; A lady who plays hard to get and toys with your emotion. She gets you all hot and bothered and then backs away and it requires three cold showers to get back to thinking of anything except her, only to have her email you with some great news and get the process started all over again.
Or maybe it’s like buying a house.
I don’t know.
At any rate, our house is officially ours. We’ve stepped inside only three times total since October 11, the day we made the offer, but stepping inside last night felt wildly familiar. The smell is familiar. The house has memories of ours in it already, memories we have not even made.
Last night we started making our fresh new memories with some of our favorite people.
The house is already home to our first pizza picnic. It’s home to our first hosted dinner. It’s home to the first playdate with our children and their best friends.It’s home to hide and seek and laughter. It’s home to friends helping with house-repairs and it’s home to that time we had no heat and tried to build a fire only to find out we suck at building fires.
It’s home. Already? It is home.