Tragedy and Thank you.

Monday, May 31, 2010

When I sat down at my computer tonight I was going to write about the sun about the pool about the weather about gee well so many inane things. I was thinking about writing about "Little House on the Prairie" now I am not. Not now.

One of my friends posted about another woman, another mother, who is going through hell. Her son her amazing, talented, sensitive son died.

He had struggled with addiction. His mother fought for him. She did everything to help that she could think of.

So this is an open letter to her and to my mother. Thank you. Thank you mom for fighting for me. Thank you for sending me to Provo. Thank you for not giving up.

You know what I did is not your fault. But I'll say it again: my struggles are mine.

Thank you Mom. Thank you for helping me, finding me the help that I needed to find my way out. I very very easily could have ended differently. Without your help I would not have made it.

To the other mother. I am sorry. I am so sorry. I wish that your son had a different ending.

Your son and my story are different. He used drugs I used food or lack of it. But the ending could have been the same: destruction.

Thank you for having the bravery to talk about this. It says nothing negative about your parenting. It says how much you love your son for you to fight for him.

May Giveaway!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Yay! I have a fantastic giveaway for May. Seriously.

I buy hair accessories for my girls way too much. So did these ladies- except they had a really great idea: they went into business doing it.

So they are sponsoring this giveaway.

Here is a description of the prize:
One White 4.5in crystal center peony clip
One Lime green 4in crystal center daisy clip
One Sweet-pea Pink crocheted stretchy headband
One Chocolate Brown Kiss crocheted stretchy headband
One Mini-Red Roses on Vanilla Cream ready to wear headband

And the photos:

What is super about these headbands is you can mix and match the interchangeable headbands and flowers... you can do pink and green or white and brown whatever.

Here is their Facebook page All about M.E. Bowtique

Check out these talented ladies's work. My girls love their bows and are after me to get more.

The nitty gritty:
leave a comment (duh)
Facebook this giveaway- and tell me you did in another comment
Twitter the giveaway- and tell me you did in another comment
'Like' All About M.E. Bowtique on Facebook - and tell me you did

If you do not have an email address associated with your blogger profile- either email me at or leave it here.

The giveaway will run from when I post this until next Friday (June 4, 2010) at 11:59 pm central time. At that point I will use to pick a random comment number and that is the winner!

When I contact the winner you have 7 calender days to get back to me or I will choose another winner

When wishes were simple

Yesterday I had my litter of kids out for a walk/bike ride/ scooter ride. It was an amazingly beautiful day. Blue sky, gentle breeze, just perfect. Stinky was riding his Cars bike a bit ahead of me and suddenly SLAMMED on his breaks. I wondered what had happened. He hopped of his bike and ran into the field next to us and picked two dandelions that had reached the fuzzy seed stage- wishing dandelions. He gave one to me and told me to make a wish. I took it made my wish and blew. Apparently I did it wrong, because he told me, "Mama, this is how you do it. Watch me. This is how you make a wish." He clutched the stem of his wishing dandelion closed his eyes as tightly as he could and said with passion, "I wish, when I grow up, to be a train driver" then he heaved a huge breath for his little body and blew. Then he watched in wonder as the little fuzzy seeds were carried away on the wind.

"That is how you do it, Mama. Try again?" I said sure I'd try again. He picked me another wishing dandelion and I held the stem and made my wish in my head. Then blew. He asked my why I did not say my wish out loud. I told him that I always believed that wishes worked best if they were secrets. Then he threw his little arms around me told me he loved me and that he wanted to make my wish happen.

If only it were that simple, Stinky. My wish was more for non-tangible stuff. But I wish all of my wishes were as easy as that. I wish that I could still whole-heartedly believe that wishing on a penny, a dandelion, birthday candles, a star, or an eyelash would bring my wishes to fruition. That doesn't stop me from making them.

To this day, I am guilty of wishing on stars, throwing change into fountains, wishing on candles, and half a dozen other things. Wishes are fun. And sometimes they even come true.

Six years

Monday, May 24, 2010

The days leading up to Christmas as a kid seemed to take forever. Like years maybe. The past six years I may have slept through because they have gone by in the blink of an eye... my first born, my little girl is a six year old big kid.

She has gone from a preemie who we used to coo to and talk to- to an astute six year old observing social issues and having her own take on them. It is a lot to put on a little girl- but she saved me from an implosion of epic proportions. I am eternally grateful for all she has brought into my life.

Today- we celebrate welcoming her into the world. She arrived with fanfare.

My wish for her is joy. I want her to be joyful. I see in her an authentic genuine joy. A joy that is contagious. It is wonderful that she is true to her heart. I desperately want to encourage that to continue.

So thank you Princess for all you have taught me. You have taught me more lessons than anyone and about many more things than the art of a quick diaper change.

Parks and Poles

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Since starting pole dancing I have a whole new reason to like taking the kids to the park.... I get to play on poles. Now, of course, my living room has a pole but until recently, I had to wait until Tuesday or go to a park that has a pole.

I was exceedingly sad to see that the park around the corner from my house does not have an acceptable pole. However, the playground at the neighborhood elementary school does, though somehow I would not anticipate the PTA being entirely supportive of using a pole that supports monkey bars to practice inverting. Nor would they, I am sure, be thrilled with my very nearly six year old tutoring her friends on proper form for certain moves.

So when I take my kids to the park, I look for poles. I also tend to visit the parks that I know have poles to play on. Who says kids are the only ones who can play at playgrounds?

What do some parents look for in their perfect park? Bathrooms (not port-a-potty...ewwww), shade, tables, away from the road, good cushioning.... and poles.

A little awkward.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I am not a good socializer. I get nervous terribly so- around unfamiliar people and do not generally leave a good impression. Really, I am nice, and reasonably within the bounds of 'normal' I just have trouble with people.

This was obvious last night. I have NO freaking idea what to talk about. What to say! I did not know the ladies very well and I am afraid I made an ass of myself because I am just not good at it.

Even around people I know really well- I am just awkward.. *sigh*

One time that this was very very obvious and actually quite a painful experience was at a get together for a message board a few years ago. It was so awful- even a few years later I still think about how bad it was. The women judged me after hardly knowing me- based on my admittedly poor social skills.

stay tuned...

this week I'll have a may give away!

The immortal fish is no longer immortal.

Friday, May 21, 2010

AKA: RIP Uncle Joe.

Immortal seems to be a poor choice of words for this as 'immortal' to me at lease directly relates to humans. Whatever.

He died. By suicide- or carpacide. For some reason we have lost what seems to me, to be an inordinate percentage of our fish via carpacide. They jump out of the tank. Then die. They also seem to do this when no one is around. Particularly at night.
More than once I have discovered an unfortunate fish by stepping on it in the morning after it is all dried and stuck to the floor.

It was kind of sad to lose him. Uncle Joe has been a part of our family for quite sometime so now to have an empty tank has left me kind of confused. Do I get more fish that seem to be destined to leap from their tank to their death? Do I start adding Prozac to their food if I get more? Do I disassemble the tank and enjoy having one less thing to be responsible for?

I am leaning towards the later.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So this is my typical post pole reflection.

Last night was an odd class. Not odd in a bad way just... well odd. So many of the girls were missing and that was sad. I missed some of the dynamic that we have. Also Karyn was there as was another girl in our class training to be an instructor and yet another instructor training.

The woman who is normally classmate led meditation. I started out very antsy. I have a hard time being still normally- add stress and I am a ball of nervous energy so there was a lot stacked against me to release. But this woman did a fantastic job of reminding me to breath and be conscious of my surroundings and in tune with my body. She is a natural.

Here is today's introspective observation. Self Deprecation. If someone compliments me I am compelled to deny it. I cannot seem to say or acknowledge I am good at something without feeling I am bragging or being boastful. It is exceedingly hard for to accept anything good said about me. I pick on myself incessantly. For example: last night was learning to to a thigh hold and I said I had to get the pole in the right spot- over the thigh flab. Why, why, why do I immediately go to do that? WITH EVERYTHING? In truth, I will tend to use humor or self deprecation to mask my insecurities. Which does not help. Because then, it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy. But saying I am good at something is darn near impossible for me to manage.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stinky helping Pixie

Peas looking cute

Princess at her 'dance'

Google as a verb

In our house "Google" is a verb. "to google" is the infinitive form. It is conjugated as follows:
I google
you (singular)
he/she googles
we google
you (plural) google
they google
Simple Past tense is: googled.
Past Perfect: had googled
Present Perfect:have googled
Future: will google
Future Perfect: will have googled
Participle: googling.

There are 30 odd auxiliary tenses and frankly I am to lazy to conjugate through them (see Ma I was paying attention in Grammar.) My point is though: Google is pretty new.

When I was a kid 'google' was used primarily in reference to a really big number. Not as a common search engine. In fact- I can even remember a time BEFORE Google and the common use of the internet. The library growing up did not have the internet until I was in my teens. We also had actual paper card catalogs- I learned how to use the library with them.

Now if my kids have a question that I can't answer or do not feel like explaining they simply request to 'google' it. What did we do before this? I doubt there is a book full of obscure questions that kids ask like why ice floats that one could simply go to and find an answer. We went to the library or found someone who would know as a result of their job or education and asked them. Or we went to the library.

I thought the librarians were pure geniuses. They knew how to find everything. Which is still a bit that baffles me. They always knew where to go to find answers. Now all that one needs to do is type in search terms with some approximation of correct spelling, press enter and up pop 30,000 hits in half a second.

Frustration revisited

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A few times recently I have posted about my frustration and exasperation with Peas. I need to revisit it as I have had time to consider it further. What I have failed to remember is that Peas is just as frustrated as I am. She has thoughts and wants and needs and no way to communicate them to me. Heavens, she is trying but I do not understand and that would be enough to make me lost my composure too! Imagine you couldn't get someone who you loved- who was your whole world to understand something that you were trying so hard to express- wouldn't that make you a little frustrated too?

When I think more about it- my frustration is stemming more from the fact that I cannot communicate with her effectively. That I cannot understand her needs to meet them effectively, nor can I communicate my position to her. So.. my exasperation- while initially I thought was just the way it was- truly is something that I can do something about. I can improve our communication so we can meaningfully communicate thereby reducing frustration and stress on both of us.


Weather Snob

Friday, May 14, 2010

Last week the weather was amazing. Warm, sunny; in short: amazing. Which has done a few things. Started me on outdoor projects and turned me into a weather snob. A few short months ago temperatures above 20 degrees would have be bundling up my herd and heading outside. Now 60 degrees seems chilly. I want my mid 70s back! I want warmer! I like it HOT.

This is the primary reason that I love the Midwest. All four seasons (sometimes in one day). For example on Wednesday we were wearing coats (not jackets- coats) and still cold the highs were mid to upper 40s. Thursday- it was 73 degrees and we gave the dog a bath in the hose. All of the seasons have their good points; by the time the seasons change I am ready for the change. In August or September I'll be ready for the crisp cool of Autumn. For now though I would really like some Chicago summer weather. I am ready.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

I love this show. Love it. Love Love Love it. Granted TV is not my thing, this however, I do watch.

A few months ago the ran an episode that featured a Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing (HoH) choir and a few thing have been bugging me ever since its airing.

I loved the concept; I was less thrilled with the execution.

The Deaf choir sang and signed "Imagine" by John Lennon. An amazing song. But, some of the actors appeared to not really be Deaf or HoH- as their signing was, well not, smooth- much like an actor doing a poor job of an accent or dialect. Also, during their performance the Glee kids went up and started singing/signing with them. It was like the HoH/Deaf choir was not good enough- and that bothered me a lot. Sure, I would love to see a collaboration between the two but not when Glee kids were essentially interrupting them. I did love the signed applause though, I got teary.

Then they used a lot of cliche characteristics for the HoH choir director. Him being socially awkward, speaking loudly, misunderstanding, the phone thing (Mr. Shu told him that his phone was ringing and the director did not hear it- then was shocked to see he missed two calls.)

This is all odd because typically this series tackles some pretty heavy social issues.. Sexual orientation, self esteem, teen pregnancy, bullying to name a few- but on this one because *I* feel they handled it clumsily.

Pole dancing as therapy

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

If you have read my blog much you know that I have an eating disorder. My weight is steady now and I actually eat somewhat normally (what mom eats normally??).

When I first started at Tease I would look in the mirror and see fat and flaws and I could name a million other things that are 'wrong' with me. One thing I was actually worried about was talking negatively about myself given Kristin Hubbard's "no negativity" clause- yes I signed it- yes I was more concerned with that than falling and breaking my leg.

A while ago at Tease before class I was stretching and I looked in the mirror. My self talk- did not go immediately to flaws. I actually was content. Which has not happened since I was maybe 8 years old. But I was proud of my body- my strong legs that play and chase and run. I saw my stomach- not the skin that is a little extra but the body that fed and grew my children. I saw my breasts as sensual also I admired them for feeding my children.

It took me a second before I realized what was happening. That I was not critiquing that I was admiring and being thankful. Again I do not remember when that EVER happened- not even after years of therapy. But 9 weeks of Tease?? yep.

So Kristin is not compensating me in anyway for this- but I would gladly accept if she were to offer- please please please try these classes. What they have done for me they can do for you. Give it a try. What do you have to lose 90 minutes-- you lose that in traffic. Try it. Please.

working without a wire.

Monday, May 10, 2010

my anxiety is running high. My shoulders are around my ears. My eye is twitching. I feel like I am walking a wire balancing-juggling. My mind racing a thousand miles ahead trying to look okay not quite sure what to do. Part of my wants to just drop everything and implode for a few days...but the decimation from my implosion gets harder to rebuild.

the noise is the worst. just the extraneous noise (no, not voices or anything).

Trying to hold it together because if I let it go I am not sure I can get it back.
But I will get through it. I have faith. I have help. I have grace. I am not alone, even when I feel like I am.

Mothers day

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ok not my favorite day. This year it was extra awful. And all my doing. I hit a parked car with my car. I feel like utter crap. I feel so stupid and such an idiot and all sorts of awful things. I want to go hide and bury myself and not come out for a long time. I want to do something I know I shouldn't but I want to. I can look at the scars on my arms and remember that the dark is not taken away by them- but it does not change my impulse.

It does not take much to knock me off my precarious balance between dark and not so dark. So now I am sinking swiftly..drowning in the dark really-without the energy or desire to fight for it.

You see I went to refill my prescription and decided to kill two birds with one stone I also stopped at a friends house and dropped off a card. I swear I put the car into park- but I didn't. It rolled into their car- both are damaged. It will be fixed. But I can't really afford the deductible. I know it was my fault. My neglect. My problem. I am not asking for sympathy. I am not asking for anything really. Just saying this is where I am- and for it sucks.

She's got personality

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Each baby/kid has their own. I can tell you a few quirks for each. Princess sucks her blankie- only 2 sides- she liked to match her shoes up.

Stinky despised being cold. Even in the summer he would not settle until he was nice and cozy. He also would talk to keep himself awake as an infant.

When being burped Peas needed to be patted enough to know she was being patted- none of the light touch for her. She also twirls hair; my hair, her hair...she twirls it.

Pixie is no different. She likes to have her tummy patted when she is dozing. She also sings herself to sleep. When she is on my back, on my chest, next to me, in her swing wherever when she is going to sleep she sings her lullaby.

I love these little parts of them that make them unique on such an intimate level. Sure one loves strawberries and the other blueberries- but these characteristics have been unique to them since birth. Watching them grow is so much fun.

Stripper Poles Are Not A Design Asset

Friday, May 7, 2010

So I love pole dancing. So much so that I took the plunge and invested in a pole. You may remember my concern that the pole at home would take away from the sanctity of Tease (yes, I referenced sanctity and pole dancing together). I figure worst case I sell the pole.

There is a stripper pole in my living room. I love it. Now I want an awesome speaker/stereo to play my pole dancing playlist.

I have had one unexpected issue with my pole. I have to fight the kids for it. Seriously. Peas loves to walk around it shaking her little tush. Princess has quite a few tricks in her bag and can climb to the ceiling like a monkey. Even Stinky has 'cool moves' on the pole.

The pole pops down and pops up in seconds so if, for instance I decided not to terrify some people coming over I could always take the pole down, but I think a stainless steel pole from floor to ceiling in my living room surrounded by toys makes an excellent conversation starter, don't you??

Couldn't you just see it in my ultra Christian community? The missionaries going door to door and seeing my stripper pole right there in the living room- ideally with Peas dancing? They could think "Hooo boy- we got a project!" I can see it now: trying to ignore the pole much like an elephant in the room- sneaking glances at it- blushing...

Warm up

I have been somewhat absent the past few weeks/days. I have just been so busy- since the weather is warming up we have been outside. A few days ago it was super warm- I bought a new sprinkler (one shaped liked a globe, about three feet tall) which was a decided hit with my kids and the neighbor girls.

Stinky is already working on his tan. By the end of the summer he looked like a California beach bum. His hair was so white it almost glowed in the dark.
Peas had chub roll tan lines and Princess had tan lines from bandages for skinned knees. I can only imagine that this summer will be more of the same.

But being that it is summer in Chicago- weather never stays one way for long.
Today it is cold and rainy. Which is really sad- because outside is so much more fun when not getting struck by lightening.

But it was fantastic while it lasted. It has just given me a taste for more warm weather.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

So I am done. Pixie does not feel well and has been fussing (screaming) for three hours. ALL of my Tylenol is on the recall list. Peas is feeling her two-ness. Stinky is not letting up. I am tired. I want so badly to go hide and sleep for a few months.

When most women I know feel frustrated and overwhelmed they can cry. I can't. I get angry. Like mean angry. It just festers. Why can't I cry? Why? Which makes me frustrated and the cycle continues. Vicious.

At the pediatrician the doc asked if I have help- and I laughed- help? Really??

Pole dancing

So if you have been reading my blog you know that this pole dancing journey has been much much more than a new work out class for me. It has been just as much an internal journey as it has an external one.

If you have wanted to try it (and you know you do), you live in the Chicago area, and you are female (over 18) you need to run on over to DuPage Mamas because Kristin Hubbard has been exceptionally generous and is giving away 2 teaser classes and holding a private teaser class at her studio, Tease. You will not regret it... even if you do not win- it is soooo worth the $40 to take the class.

Parenting Co-op

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Things are so much easier when people co-operate. Thankfully, I live in a fantastic neighborhood with a neighbor who's husband is not home much so we kind of co-op the parenting thing.

The kids pretty much have free rein in our yards. Toys are shared. Responsibilities shared. Clean up is shared- she and I even share some yard work - Ok- well she helped me weed.

The other day when Peas was having a hard time- she made the kids lunch. Last night, I fed dinner. It works. The kids have fun playing and absorb their exuberance and the positive peer pressure to eat is great.

What my point is- is that parenting is hard- it is exhausting- it is never ending- having people to help shoulder it and laugh with make it fun for everyone.

This neighborhood is fantastic- and the neighbors make it even better.

In the summer there will be a herd of kids in our neighborhood- slightly sun toasted- giggling- squealing and having a wonderful time.

Breakfast food

Monday, May 3, 2010

Really am not a fan of it. I do not care for pancakes, eggs, etc. Just not my choice. What did I have for breakfast today?? A turkey and cheese sandwich. Delish. Eggs? eww. The only way I like eggs is with TONS of hot sauce and ketchup.

Ok- I need to rephrase. I love breakfast potatoes. Hash browns, etc. Yum.

What foods to you have an inexplicable distaste for?

Its getting hot in here

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Another new experience for me. Hot Yoga.

Some parts of me are bendy some parts of me are really not so bendy- this was very obvious.

I have been spoiled by Tease in my exercise. I have such a fun time there I forget am exercising. It is a safe place. It is comfortable and feminine and words that I cannot seem to come up with to describe it when I go in there. I love working out with just other women- I feel much less self conscious.

One of the things I enjoy most and get the most benefit out of at Tease is the encouragement to be mindful of the connection between mind, spirit, and body. Living in the moment, experiencing things as they are, and paying attention to what is happening in my body at the moment. For someone who, like me, is hyper-kinetic, this is a challenge.

So it was a different environment. There were-gasp- two men there. However- the lights were dimmed the aroma therapy was flowing and soon I was lost in the poses. Feeling my joints open and stretch- listening to Susan guide us through the series- reminding us, encouraging us to focus inward- focus on your breath- focus on what is going on in your body and exploring that. Going somewhere calm and peaceful in your mind. Using your internal energy to stretch and release your body.

The heat helped me stretch- it softened my muscles and tendons and allowed more flexibility.

This class again gave me new appreciation for my body. For how strong it is. For what it does and what it can do. I get caught taking it for granted- all too often.

I thoroughly enjoyed it.