Friday, June 26, 2009

The facade of happiness

I'm often baffled by the "better-than's" of the world. You know them, the people who have to have what you have, only a better. The people who simply cannot be happy with what they have and who they are that they constantly have to prove that they are superior to somebody else.

We've all dealt with them, maybe some of you are, without realizing it, those type of people. I don't know. But it really irks me I tell you. Irks me bad.

Unfortunately it isn't always involving material posessions. Usually the better-than's are so miserable that they will tell outrageous stories and skew the truth to make you think they are happier than you. It's downright amazing sometimes how some people appear to have absolutely no bad times in their lives, or if they do it was always someone else's fault anyway. They have a hugely overactive sense of entitlement and seem to get caught right up the little fantasy world they worked so hard to create.

Unless the better-than's are very careful, occasionally the truth will shine through and you just kind of sit back scratching your head, or maybe you muster a little internal chuckle, if you are like me. Such as when a better-than's teenager takes up smoking or when that teenager makes sexual references in front of adults. And when they realize that this doesn't quite match with the perfect little family they have created to the outside world, they rationalize it by falling down to a teenagers level and imitating the behavior themself. As if to say "see? I think it's ok that he says that.... so much so that I say it too". When you are pretty sure it's not something that any adult with any ounce of maturity would say, let alone to a child. I don't know, maybe I expect too much out of my children by teaching them respect.....

Ok so I'm straying a little. I can't help it, Craig and the boys are watching a movie and it's distracting.

It's too bad money can't buy contentment, isn't it? Money can't buy a lot of things. It can't buy love, it can't buy a family, and it can't buy happiness. Becoming comfortable with who you are and not allowing what you don't have prevent you from being happy with what you do is the key. It's something that in this world of instant gratification, money, greed, and materialism we have to think about daily, always reassessing and always taking inventory of what makes us happy. No keeping up with the Jones', not trying to be perfect, not trying to impress anybody... just being us and at the end of the day being wholeheartedly comfortable with that. There's a big difference in striving to be a better you and in creating the persona of a better you.... the latter is never satisfying.

People will often say that contentment is another term for complacent. That being happy with your current life is failing to try to improve it. And I can't help but wonder why they think that's a bad thing? Why does it always have to be better? Why do we always want more? We all have struggles in life and I guess for me it's about looking at those struggles and deciding what you would trade for them. No one has it 100% perfect all the time. Sometimes we live paycheck to paycheck and it can cause worry, but would I trade my 6 healthy children, my home, my husband, or anything else I have for the money I may not? Would I trade my fertility or time with my husband and children for the ability to buy $100 wicker baskets or foo foo trinkets for my dining table? No way! Sounds kind of silly to me. But Whatever.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Talking to children about death

Mama Outloud's post on talking with her daughter about dying got me thinking about how my own children learned about death.

Before Alex our family really had been fortunate in not losing family members until a ripe old age. A year before Alex was born big C's grandfather passed away. In telling the kids about it we used the same technique most parents do. "Grandpa went to heaven to live with Jesus and now he can do cartwheels and ...." was enough for them. They hadn't been close with him because of space distance and it wasn't very traumatic for them as such.

So after Alex died when the Child Life guy (our savior that day) told us that our children had arrived and were waiting for us a sense of panic washed over me. What would we tell them? "Just tell them the truth" said the Child Life guy. "Children have a keen way of making whatever you are upset about their fault" he said, "it's best to just come out with it".

So we walked into the room and Craig sat on the sofa and I sat on the chair. I just looked for a minute at my children, noticing the anticipation in their eyes. I remember thinking "oh no, they think it's GOOD news" by the excitement that seemed to be coming from them.

I don't know how or why, but I just blurted it out

"Alex had to go live with Jesus"

And the world once again went into slow motion. I saw Little C run over to his dad as the tears sprung from his eyes. Hailey came to me. I was numb. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, hands down.

"You did a good job" the Child Life guy said to me as we walked out of the room. But I felt anything but good. I felt like I had just single-handedly ripped my children's hearts from their chest. And I had.

That day my children gained a premature understanding of their own mortality. Children die. What once seemed to them like something that only happened to old people, now became something that could happen to them. In the blink of an eye their sense of peace and safety was gone.

Of course the youngest, Jack, didn't really get it. Always asking us to buy baby Awex whatever cute shoes were on the rack at the store and asking when Awex was going to come home. He was only 4, after all and the idea that people could go away forever and never come back was beyond what he was capable of understanding completely.

Could I have prepared my children better? I don't think so. I don't think they could have come even close to grasping the concept without living through it.

I do know that we chose not to shield them from any of it. I remember being a child and not being allowed to attend my uncle's funeral and as such I had no concept of death. I knew that he was gone, but I didn't graps the finality of it.

Our children held their brother's body. They wrote him notes and attended his funeral and burial. In being included in those steps they gained understanding, and maybe some acceptance.

If your children bring up the subject of death be as honest as you can be without scaring them. Take them to a beautiful cemetary and show them where bodies go when people die. Share your beleifs about the afterlife with them. Don't freak out when they ask questions you don't want to answer, accept the opportunity. I only wish I had taken the time to do prepare my children what little I could.

I think talking about death with children scares us so much more than them because we can't bear the thought ourselves that someday they might die. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's not suppose to be hot in Wisconsin

When you think of Wisconsin what do you think of? Cows? Snow? Ice? Hell frozen over? Well, would you guess Wisconsin has some killer heat too? And not just heat. Heat that makes southerners run for the ER because they feel like they are breathing water. Not kidding. I don't care what anyone says, it really isn't the heat, it's the humidity. Try this for me, stick your head in the sink and breathe. Yeah, that's kinda what it's like.

Let's see, what else. The pageant is on Friday! I know I said we wouldn't go through that hell again but Shay had fun, and at the end of the day that's all that really matters. This year Hailey is in it as well so I'm going crazy x2! It'll be a load of fun though.

We didn't end up seeing the Endocrinologist for Nate. We had a bit of schedule interference but I don't think I'm going to reschedule it since.......... he's drinking and peeing like a normal boy! Ok maybe a bit more than what I would consider normal, but nothing like he was.

In other good news Chris had his 4 month GI check up today and he gained 4.5 lbs since last time! It's not as great as it sounds since just before the last visit he'd lost 4 lbs.... but a gain is a gain and we'll take it. GI wants to see him again in 6 months.

Baseball is almost done for Chris already. His team is currently undefeated with only 2 games (I think) left before tournament. Maybe they can make it all the way!

Not much else to report. Boring is goooood.

Ugly baby

At breastfeeding class. Isn't my breastfeeding baby the ugliest baby ever?

But it's diaper is great!!

- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jon minus Kate plus 8= the show must go on!

Ok, so I've blogged about this family before HERE, you know my opinions on the family. But of course the world is a buzz about Jon and Kate going through the big D.

First I'll state that I think sometimes divorce is inevitable. I think there are some situations and some couples who honestly need to go separate ways to find happy. There are people very close to me who I've seen make an amazing transformation through divorce and come out the other side a little tattered and torn, but finally on their way to happy. There are people who try for years to make something work that doesn't have a chance, who make all the changes they can and look into every avenue to find out what isn't working and attempt to fix it. Sometimes it just isn't going to happen.

Jon and Kate. Am I the only one who sees the obvious here? I almost chuckled when Kate said "parents of multiples an 3x the chance of divorce". Not because it was funny, but because I instantly wondered if she had taken into consideration what the rate of divorce is for people with reality tv shows. Hulk and Linda Hogan, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey.... jeez really I can think of more families with reality shows who have divorced than who haven't. Has that ever really crossed her mind? That maybe that show is really at the heart of what is destroying her family? Cause I tell you what, seeing my husbands (and Jon's is pretty obvious) hatred for his entire life being played out in the media would have put that show #1 front and center on the list of "things we will change to save our marriage". But no.... Kate give up her cash cow? Kate be a "normal" mother and wife instead of a media whore? Couldn't happen!

Another reason her statement made me snort is that she always sees herself as this woman who was thrown into this and has all these things happen to her and this is why blah blah blah. Here's the thing. Do you know what the divorce rate is for couples who have lost a child? 50%. HALF of all couples (and unfortunately losing a child is much more common than having a litter of them) will part ways. HALF! This statistic and hers means one thing, those of us in these circumstances just have to work that much harder at our marriages. When the going gets tough we can't wait for it to get better, we have to throw everything else to the curb for a moment and address the problem.

Another thing that bothers me is when Kate was asked what bothered her the most (or something along those lines) her response was "the label". What?! Really?! What about the fact that your kids won't get to share their days with both of their parents? What about the look in their eyes when you tell them daddy lives somewhere else? What about the day when inevitably your children blame themselves? Because they will. They will because that's what kids do and those kids especially are going to think "wow, we must be a lot of work for them" or "daddy must be sick of us that's why he left". That's what kids do. I can think of a MILLION things that I would be far more worried about then the label. But Kate can't stop thinking about how she looks to other people, what other people thing. Kate can't, for once, put her family first.

I'm not saying Jon is innocent. Marriage takes two. It's not even 50/50 it's more like 100/100 because if you aren't putting 100% in, you are failing. I'm just calling it as I see it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Alex's story

Disclaimer: The following video shows Alex's story in it's entirety. If you feel you may be disturbed by sensitive images, move on. Blah blah blah.... End disclaimer.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Somewhere over the rainbow

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Empty nest syndrome... 16 years early?

So lately I've been freaking out about the idea that someday all my babies are going to be grown up and move on and not need me anymore. And quite frankly? This idea scares the shit out of me. You see, I've never been an adult without small children. Austin was born when I was 17 and a senior in high school. By the time I was an adult my existance basically was dictated by the next diaper change and well-baby exam. And with children born every 2ish years thereafter for a few years (went 13 years changing diapers STRAIGHT before getting a 2 month break between Jack's training an Nate's birth) I don't really know HOW to be a childless adult.

Today is really bad. My kids are spending the weekend at my moms. I came home from work to an empty house and here I sit, alone. I don't like it. Not one bit! Seriousely, commercials are making me cry.

Realistically I know that I have just about 16 years before empty nest will actually set in, but with Austin turning 18 in a short 2.5 years I'm starting to really freak out.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


So the doc called today with nathan's MRI results.... Perfectly normal! While this Is great news it means we still don't know what is causing his excessive third and now horrible moodiness. She reffered us to a pediatric endocrinologist for further investigation. Why can't anything be easy?

-- Post From My iPhone