It was going to be a good day. I was going to make sure of that. I like to take the days we go up to Devos for Zayne’s chemo pills as a little date for just him and I. Heading in we were listening to our inspirational music with our little Biggby hot cocoa. Well…of course I had a coffee. We arrived and went through the routine. Get our badge, up the elevators, check in, called back for vitals and finally in the room we go. I looked down at Zayne and realized I forgot his cream. Oh shoot. Ugh, mom of the year. Well he will be ok…it’s not an IV it’s just a little poke. Not gonna let this change my day. We are good. Sure enough they come into to draw blood. He doesn’t even notice that they don’t have to clear cream off his arm. The nurse rubs the alcohol on grabs the needle. “OWE….That was NOT one of the soft needles. You’re MEAN…you’re NEVER doing this again.” Yea…he was pretty ticked. “Buddy buddy….it wasn’t her fault it was mine. I forgot your cream. But look how brave you were. And it was just a little poke!! Good job!!” I could feel what I said register. “You forgot my cream? You did MOM.” I was laughing before he could finish. He did not find it so funny. But I figure I can laugh knowing that he is ok and won’t be scared for life or I could beat myself up and feel guilty which would have ruined the rest of our day. After that we got the good news from the social worker that an amazing company is going to give us a gift card to buy Zayne a bike that will attach to mine!! Which will make family biking a possibility!!! She also requested we get a soccer ball with a bell in it!! So he would know, even without seeing it, where it was. We grabbed his poke prize and chemo pills and left. In and out! Just the way we like it! On the way home Zayne was watching a show on the Ipad and my brain replayed the conversation with the social worker. I think I was more excited about that bike than Zayne was!! I can’t wait for family biking!! Then I thought about the ball and it took me to a memory of a couple mornings prior. Ayden and I were playing catch and Zayne wanted to join. He came and stood about 4 feet from me. “Zayne come over here by me and then Mom can throw it to both of us.” So Zayne trotted over to where Ayden stood which was about 10 ft away. “Ok..Ready Zayne?” I said getting ready to throw. He scowled and said “NO.” “Why not?” I said pulling the ball back into me. “MOM….You know I can’t see you.” He said pretty nasty. Which is what he does. Frustration or embarssasment always comes out as anger. “Oh gosh buddy, I’m sorry I didn’t know…but that’s when you just say ‘Hey mom I need to move forward a bit so I can see you better’ Ok?” He gave me his snarled nose and eyebrows down face. “MOM….YOU DID TOO KNOW.” And as quickly as that story entered my brain started from there. I wonder how he rides a bike. It’s crazy he can ride down the driveway without getting hurt. What if he goes completely blind? Do we move him to a school with other blind kids? It’s already a little hard to find friends his age and things to do that he can do. He doesn’t like to go to the movies because he can’t see it. He can’t play ball/catch with other kids. Going to a playplace isn’t ideal . He panics if he loses sight of Ayden. We stay home a lot because he knows where everything is, he knows where he can ride his bike, he can swim, and he knows our playset. Jake and I have noticed if we leave things out that aren’t usually there he runs right into them. I wonder if he will be able to drive? If he can’t he will have to use public transportation. What if he gets mugged because he’s blind? Will he live on his own? Will he ever marry? Ever see the face of his first baby? Before I knew it I spiraled into a depressed state. Tears fell freely. I was thankful for headphones, knowing my boy didn’t hear any of my battle going on in the front seat. Ugh….Jessie stop….It was going to be a good day. Thinking like this is NOT a good day. I tried reminding myself to be thankful that we weren’t in and out of surgery like other children. That we didn’t have to go to Devos every week for a drip, that we no longer had a port and a fever was just a fever. I tried to remind myself that if sight was the only thing we lost we were doing ok. And if we have handled brain surgery this should be easy. But it didn’t seem like it. Brain surgery seemed like a sprint but going blind… that was for a lifetime. I reminded myself that some parents lost their children and mine was still here. There is a lot to be thankful for. But my tears and emotions were not listening to reason. The night did not get better. I found myself waiting for bedtime to come so I could just let go for the night. I tucked this kids in and got real close to Zayne’s face. “Can you see me buddy?” He tilted his head slightly. “Yup…yea I can see ya.” He said with his adorable little boy head nod. I covered his good eye with the palm of my hand. “Can you see me now?” He looked around distantly. He did not make eye contact. “Not really…no.” I felt my shoulders droop. “What color are my eyes?” He looked around to what he thought was my eye. “Mom…I don’t wanna do this anymore.” I pulled my hand away. “Ok sweetie! I get it.” I kissed his cheek and felt his arms wrap around my neck. “Love you Mom.” He said in his little gruff voice right in my ear. Tears welled once again. What if he forgets my face? What he forgets all of our faces? I can’t imagine not seeing my mom’s face. I squeezed my throat gave him a quick kiss on the nose and told him I love him too. I retreated to my room. I couldn’t breathe. I just wanted it all to go away. I wanted to text my friends and ask for prayer. I wanted to call Reba and beg her to help me. I wanted to take my boys on a vacation somewhere where these haunting thoughts wouldn’t get me. But the reality was they were getting me…and they were winning. I prayed sleep would come fast and my dreams would be tolerable.
Memorial Day. A holiday that I certainly associate with the smell of the grill. Many of us take that day off work to get together with our family and friends. Today there was talk of politics on our ride home and my stomach sank a bit. I began to feel uncertain of what my kids would have to face in their future. Would health care be a problem? What would happen to the educational system? Would freedom’s be infringed upon? I realized my feelings were not the first. I remember as a young child, hearing my dad say, “Man, times are not like they were.” And he remembers his dad saying the same thing to him.
As a kid, it was hearing my dad talk about the simplicity of the past that I think created my love for an era I really knew nothing about. But poodle skirts and sock hops sounded so innocent. Baseball was America’s favorite pastime and there was nothing like a good Ball Park hot dog. I have always been drawn to the older music, somehow wishing I could transport my family to a simpler time.
As I gazed out my window, the talk of politics became the background to my thoughts as I looked out over the freshly planted field. I took in the beauty of the rich dark dirt, outlined with the green of the tall grasses and trees. I thought it funny, now I was thinking the very thoughts my dad expressed to me some 25 years ago. I began to wonder how long this trend of thoughts has made it. For how many generations has man expressed his worry about where this country is headed. Has the fear of the future been trending sense man made his first fire. And just when discouragement was about to wrap its grip around my heart, I thought, if this has been the thought of the generations before, then not all hope is lost. Because although we have had our ups and downs, the heart of the human race makes its way through the rubble. I believe at the very depths of our being, we are love. When all else fades, and we let go of offense or our need to prove ourselves, when we stop using fight or flight as our primary mode of operation, when we let our differences fall to the way side, it is then we value each other and even the worst of enemies can set aside their feud and hold each other up. Our country was born out of a revolution that took many lives, and then built on a foundation of values and principles that emphasize life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And although we all may have different opinions on how to best carry that out, I still believe that WE believe in that foundation. Even though our fears, offenses, and inability to care for each other at times, seem to hinder us, we believe in what America stands for and we will continue to strive for that. Valleys, mountains, trials and triumphs are all a part. Through our tragedies is when I see America go back to its foundation, back to the very basis of what I believe we are all made of, LOVE. It is then we are united together once again. It is in those moments we let our differences fall away and we see what so many have given their lives to secure. One nation, under God and INDIVISIBLE, with liberty and justice for all.
And today, as I enjoy the time with my family, I say thank you to those who have sacrificed. I say thank you to the fallen soldiers, your heart lives on through each and every American living in this land today. I say thank you to those veterans and those still in service, you have paid a high price for our freedom. I say thank you the families who have waved good bye to their loved ones who fight to ensure OUR freedom.
Happy Memorial Day…
Being that for the month of May, the blog has been centered around women and giving yourself a break. I asked a very dear friend of mine to write a blog to post. She is Life Coach with TurningLeaf Wellness Center and I love when we get the chance to work together. She is so brave, and I learn so much from her. Although life through her the curve ball of single momhood, not only does she pour her heart and soul into her children, she is showing them how to be confident in who you are and chase your dreams, by doing that herself.
I can see it…Can you.
by Leah Krispin
May is a month that brings up a lot of triggers of emotion and reflection of my three children. There’s the obvious Mother’s Day, that brings a mixture of emotions. Then the end of the school year rolls around, and I am hit with the realization that another year of my boys growing up has passed by in what feels like a blink of an eye. Then, finally, my youngest has his birthday, and I grow further and further away from when “my baby” was actually my baby.
I am in this stage of life that had seemed so far away to me, not that long ago. My boys basically are all now teenagers, 16, 13, and 12. The oldest and youngest have grown taller than me, and I now have to look up in order to look into their faces. Although my middle son has had to wait a little longer than his brothers, I finally now look straight into his eyes, rather than look down at that little boy he was once was. How did they get so big?
I can see them, as if it was yesterday, toddling around with their little legs, playing rough and tough on their bikes, and making those boy car noises as they played for hours with their Matchbox cars. Now I hold my breath as my oldest drives, I hear about the newest death defying scooter trick that was landed at the skate park, listen to the thoughts about girls at school, and hear about how the newest electronic devices are in fact a “need” rather than a “want”.
When they were 6, 4, and 2 life shifted, and it became just the four of us. I was paralyzed with insecurity and enormous amount of doubt of how I was going to be able to give these boys what they needed temporally and emotionally. Each day I woke up filled with all the reasons why I wasn’t enough, and saw the evidence that told me I was going to fail them miserably. However, they were my reason to keep going. At first I couldn’t see the “how” I was going to climb this mountain in front of me, but I had the why, and that was enough to put one foot in front of the other.
This climb I have been on has not been an easy one. I can’t say that there haven’t been times when I have tripped, or fallen, or just plain wanted to sit down and wave the white flag and cry out for mercy and declare “I have had enough! I give! I give!” But I can say that eventually each time I got myself back up and brushed myself off and started back up the path ahead.
All these years later I look at my sons who are now more young men, rather than the boys I once held on my lap, and I am filled with gratitude for who I see them becoming. It was the climb I resisted so much that has given us everything that we ever needed. I found myself for the first time, I became a better mother, and the four of us are stronger because of it.
So many times when “mountains”, or struggles, are placed in front of us on this path we call life we kick and scream, and resist. “Why me?”, we ask, why is this happening to me? We each have a mountain to tackle. They are all different. Some are large. Some are at times smaller. Some everyone can see. Others we tackle without others ever knowing. Mine, for the moment, is being a single mom. I have learned more than I can share in a short blog, but one that stands out the most is that through struggle we learn who we are. We learn, if we are open to it, that we are strong. We are capable. We are enough. I finally see it. Can you see it in you?
A conversation between me and my sis…never a dull moment…
“Jamie bring my bags of laundry back over here when you come, my washer is working again.”
“Ugh, are you kidding me.”
“Jamie, it’s 2 bags, seriously. (insert eye roll at Jamie’s drama)”
“Ok… I will bring them over as soon as I unload my groceries.”
I headed over to Jess’ to have a cup of coffee, and then we jumped in her car to go pick up the kids. Jess and I were gabbing a mile a minute as usual when she stopped mid sentence and said,
“Um, Jamie, is that my laundry.”
We both looked up my driveway at the 2 white bags.
I immediately started laughing. Jess on the other hand had a look of disbelief on her face ….the conversation continued.
“Are you kidding me Jamie!”
(Jamie still laughing)
“I mean….it looks like it’s been run over.”
( Jamie still laughing)
“So…I guess that backup camera isn’t doing you any favors huh?”
She continued to drive past my driveway, with the bags of run over laundry in it, and headed to the school, meanwhile, I am still trying to catch my breath.
We collect the kids and she pulls up my driveway to drop us off.
“JAMIE…..there are tire tracks on the bag….ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? You need a sign….you seriously need a sign. Don’t stand behind me while backing up…it could be fatal.”
I at this point go into another fit of laughter as she drives off shaking her head.
Never a dull moment for us!
PMS, when we read those words a certain subject comes to mind, but I am not talking about the time of month women lose their minds due to hormones. I am talking about Mom’s losing their Minds due to a disease I refer to as Perfect Mother Syndrome, which is what I am focusing on for the next couple of weeks. As I said yesterday, even Wonder Woman needs a break. We all need to take a little time for ourselves. This all sounds dandy and makes sense, I am sure. The question is, why don’t we? Well, my theory is PMS. And this PMS isn’t just a once a month deal. It is all the time!!! Am I a good mom? Am I raising strong kids, confident kids, kids who make responsible choices? Oh, wait, did I feed the kids. I mean seriously, they did eat, right. I know Bo had his shirt on inside out and backwards, Timmy needs a haircut, and Josh and Kate probably needed something signed for
As I said yesterday, even Wonder Woman needs a break. We all need to take a little time for ourselves. This all sounds dandy and makes sense, I am sure. The question is, why don’t we? Well, my theory is PMS. And this PMS isn’t just a once a month deal. It is all the time!!! Am I a good mom? Am I raising strong kids, confident kids, kids who make responsible choices? Oh, wait, did I feed the kids. I mean seriously, they did eat, right. I know Bo had his shirt on inside out and backwards, Timmy needs a haircut, and Josh and Kate probably needed something signed for school that I forgot, but DID I FEED THEM. I mean yeah, I did leave a kid at school last week and I haven’t cooked a real dinner in weeks, but did they at least grab a granola bar before they went to school, come to think of it, do we have granola bars? We run to the pantry…no granola bars! And then it happens, the PMS kicks in.
No granola bars, yelled at the kids yesterday, Bo ran out of clean underwear, you were late to Kate’s game and missed her throwing a player out at second, now she will probably need therapy as an adult you haven’t had Josh driving enough, he will probably be 50 before you send him through level 2, now that Timmy is using his inhaler at sports he is realizing what it’s really like to breath, you shoulda noticed his problem soon and done something sooner, oh and do you remember when you had him walk on his broken leg, seriously! You left a kid at school, forgot to sign Josh and Kate’s papers, Timmy does need that haircut, oh, and Bo had his shirt backwards and inside out yesterday, and today he is wearing the same shirt, only now it is turned right side out and on the right way. Ahhh, Yes, PMS! Perfect Mother Syndrome. It is our ability to criticize everything we do and never feel we are enough. I am not sayin, aim to be a horrible mom, then you won’t let yourself down, not at all!! I’m just sayin’ give yourself a break and be realistic. But this PMS, keeps us aiming for perfection, which keeps us chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, so we never have a chance to give ourselves a break, it seems as if we don’t have time for it. And in all honesty, when we accept our humanity, give ourselves permission to take care of us we are actually capable of more, and we are less stressed. This actually give us the ability to be more Present in the moment with our kids, which is a better feeling than hoping for that pot of gold.
Here are some quick ideas to get you going…
- Let them KNOW!- Let your kids know and feel your love for them. As long as they know that, they will forgive you when you forget to pick them up from school
- Be Real!- Face it you’re NOT Wonder Woman. None of us are. Be realistic with what you choose to take on. You can’t do it ALL, ALL of the time! Your kids will understand…well, not till they have kids…but someday I assure you, they will understand!
- Give yourself a BREAK!-We have our “Wonder Woman” moments, enjoy them! But we also have human moments, ALL OF US, accept them and laugh at them, and move on! Stop running a list of “shouldas” at the end of the day. This I challenge you with, start making a list of “I rocked it” at the end of the day. Because hey, if you have kids and you fed them…anything… well, every little bit counts. And ya know what else I am going to count. Today Bo turned that shirt on right side out and wore it again. But it was a different side, so I vote…CLEANISH. And cleanish is good enough for this week.
- Listen to this fun song.
And MOMS, if you want an a amazing series where you will see a difference in the way you feel in just 4 weeks. Check out the series that is now ON SALE!
I was on my way to see my sister-in-law’s new baby. When I left the house I knew I didn’t have enough gas to get there, but stopping for gas seemed like such a waste of time. “I just want to get there; I don’t want to take the time to get gas!” So I hit the road, thinking I would stop on the way, and then it might not seem so bad because I would be “almost there.”
Down the highway I went, my light flashed and I honestly can’t tell you what I was thinking other than I just didn’t want to take the time to stop. Now, I have forgotten to get gas before(just last week actually) but this was different. It’s like my brain was arguing with logic(although my hubby would say my brain ALWAYS argues with logic). All of a sudden I realized I was in trouble. The digital gage said 3 miles left! And I was sure the nearest gas station was 3 miles away, may more. Oh, the stress kicked in, 2 miles, then 1! I really didn’t want to call Michael and tell him I ran out of gas, in my new car that had a digital gas gage. Seriously, I have enough of a reputation. As I exited the highway I kept shifting into neutral hoping that would save gas, not sure if it does, but it made sense to me. And as I said before, me and logic, well our relationship is a bit sketchy.
With a sigh of relief, I rolled into the gas station as my gage read 0 miles left. “Whew.” What was I thinking? I mean seriously who decides not to take the time to get gas. As I laughed at myself, I thought how similar we can be when it comes to our own well-being. But it’s true, we have to take the time to fill up our own tank, or eventually, we will run out. We have to take the time to do what rejuvenates us or build us up.
What! What did that say take time for me? But I don’t have time for that, I mean sure I’d love to sit outside for an hour and read a book, just take a walk down the road, or have a week in Jamaica sitting on the beach listening to the waves crash and the sound of the steel drum. Yeah, Jamaica would be amazing, but really, a book and a blanket would be dreamy as well.
I get that life is crazy, hence why it’s May 18th and I am just getting to this month’s blog theme! “Even Wonder Woman needs a break” With May being the month of Mother’s day, I want to encourage all you moms to take a moment and invest in you. Take time to rejuvenate you!! Take time to fill up your tank!
This is my most popular series and it’s application helps you fill up your tank, so you can go where ever you wish!
For more information…
Unnecessary Stress Disguised as…. “They need me”
Another way we get trapped under unnecessary stress, is by falling prey to…They need me.
Yes, they do need you and you need them we all need each other and we all help each other out. The fine line deciphering between healthy relationships and codependent relationships can be tough to see sometimes. Where things get sticky is when we begin to derive our value FROM being needed by others.
To further explain this concept let me explain a core TurningLeaf Principle, and that is the Greatest Human Need is to feel Valued. As humans, what motivates many of our behaviors is our need to feel valued. We want to feel valued by our spouses, children, family and friends. But what we don’t understand is first we must realize that we ARE of value, simply by breathing in and breathing out. I like to ask people the question, what do your children have to do to be of value to you. Notice I am not asking, what your kids have to do to keep you from wanting to ground them to their room for the rest of their life. Because we all know that the latter is a loaded question. 😉 But seriously, what does your child have to do to be of value to you…. We all know the answer…absolutely nothing. And yet, we demand so much of ourselves just to be of value to someone else. We begin to depend on our successes to feel good about ourselves. We depend on our parenting, humor, or helpfulness to feel good about ourselves. But if you’ll notice, those are all external sources of our value.
It is a complex concept and sometimes this “need to be needed” piece in our life can be very well disguised. But if you are running yourself to the end of your rope, and still can’t say “no, that’s not going to work for me, please find someone else to bake 1,000 cup cakes tomorrow”, or “I can’t do that for you today, maybe next week”…well, that tells you there is some “unnecessary” stress going on.
As you learn to derive your value internally, you will be able to take on commitments that fit within a healthy lifestyle for you. Because last I checked, sleeping was still a requirement for all human beings.
I am not at all implying that the answer is to never be there for anyone else again. The key is be a healthy you, so you can then help others. And parents, YOUR KIDS NEED A HEALTHY YOU!!!
If you think you might have a case of “they-need-me-itis” ask yourself these questions…
If I don’t take on this task …do I feel like I am letting someone down?
If I don’t take on this task …do I feel like people won’t like me?
If I don’t take on this task…do I feel less of me, in anyway?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, and you would like some help letting go of that “unnecessary stress” contact me for an appointment. I can help you implement balance in your life and feel good about it!! There is a way to take care of YOU, so you in fact CAN HELP OTHERS.
Well I have been waiting for our sight to get fixed. For some reason it doesn’t allow me to post pictures :/ But it has been so long and so many people have been asking how Zayne is doing on the new chemo. I’m so sorry it has taken this long to post. Hopefully the site will be up and running and I can show you his journey!!! The first 2 months were great!! Ups and downs of course but nothing like the last chemo we were on! However month #3 was a little rough. He woke up with horrible stomach pains and puking so this month I think he is a little gun shy that is going to happen again that he is not able to swallow his pill. He got his first night down great but after that he struggled, and being the parent I am I didn’t let him try more than 3x to get down a wet soggy CHEMO pill. I was so afraid it was going to break open in his mouth. So we have struggled for 4 nights now. Every time he would have to take a pill he would say “Mom what if my tummy hurts like last time?” Poor guy 🙁 Things are still going good though. We will get through it! He has had an amazing last month!! We moved out of our beautiful first home on March 30 and are currently living with my mom while making plans to build….it’s been an adjustment for all of us but the boys LOVE having Nonnie live with them!! It has been a blast watching the boys ride bikes and trot to and from my sisters house across a little grass path in between houses. School is going GREAT for both of them!!! I love getting to watch them in there classrooms!!
We seriously cannot wait til summer!!! I can’t wait to have both my boys back with me all day long for snuggles, play time and LOTS of fun!!
I am hoping soon to have a little preview of Zaynes book up!! Kind of a tear jerker but I think it will be a great read in the end!! I hope everyone is enjoying the weather (when its not raining) and PROMISE to get better at posting!!!
Unnecessary Stress disguised as Diligence… Also known as, “Control Freak”.
Oftentimes we find ourselves stressing out over a situation of which we have NO CONTROL. So why do we stress? That is a GREAT question. Think about it. Let’s say for instance I hate the flu. Well, I actually do hate the flu, and I had morning sickness for 4 months with 3 of my children, so it’s not hard for me to imagine. But let’s say my best friend called me and warned me that she had come down with the flu and we just spent the entire day before shopping together. We even shared a dessert at our favorite restaurant. Oh, I can already feel my imaginary stress kickin’ in. What if I get the flu! Oh it will be horrible! I really don’t want the flu! I hate the flu, and then my kids will get the flu, and I hate to see them sick, it’s so awful. I am so worried! I was just with her all day yesterday! Ahhhhh that is prime exposure!
But you and I both know there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Yeah, I could slam some vitamin C and a few other immune boosters. That could help, but my stress and worry over it for sure isn’t gonna help anything. There is no magic formula that states Worry + Stress=Keeping away the flu. If anything, the stress with weaken my body’s immune system, making me that much more susceptible. Yet, many of us find ourselves spiraling out of control over similar scenarios. The scene may change, but what always remains is the Unnecessary Worry.
Now, things don’t seem as black and white when you consider the “scenes” that are more emotional and tied to your heart. For instance:
- Stress about what other people, including our friends, think of us.
- Stress about how someone we care about is handling their life.
- Stress about terminal illness, health conditions, brain tumors.
- Stress about the choices our kids make.
It is especially hard to let go of stress in these types of situations. And I am not saying there is NEVER something we can do. In each of these cases it is good to look at possible remedies or ways to make personal shifts when needed. But we must be careful to acknowledge what we ultimately don’t have control over and let it go, because “stressing” about it actually creates negative side effects as well. And goodness knows, if you are dealing with circumstances that may be less than desirable, you certainly don’t want stress reeking for havoc on things, so don’t add that to your list.
If you would like help with looking into situations that may be causing unnecessary stress, please set up a coaching appointment today. Sometimes it can be very helpful to have a trained coach to help you get a different perspective and lesson the stress load we carry.
The “Eye of the Storm” Series is on sale through the end of April.
Contact Jamie at…
Hmmmm. Let’s see, Taxes! Need I say more? I mean seriously, can a form be any more confusing. If you made 50 marbles put it on line B, and then subtract how many marbles you sold, did you pay taxes on the marbles you sold, oh do you owe anyone marbles, and in the partnership to do share your marbles or are all your marbles yours, and this year did you, by chance lose any of your marbles. If the answer to any of these is yes or no, please add that sum of that dividend to the 5 dominoes you started with and put the answer on line, LMNOP. Oh, and by all means, please PAY someone to do this for you, because we didn’t write the form in English, only those who speak taxes, can’t truly translate the form. Right?!