Posts Tagged With: YBW

how do you choose to cope

Yesterday YBW was standing at the kitchen sink washing out the coffee pot and he said, “I thought this would last two weeks and it would be over. I need to get into a routine like you.”

I think he’s realizing how unprepared we all were for the situation in which we find ourselves. In the beginning he likened it to being snowed in, we hunker down, stay put for a few days, then life resumes its normal pace.
Let me be clear. I am not saying he doesn’t take it seriously, he is acutely aware of the seriousness of this time of extended self quarantine.
It’s more like I’m in ECE mode and documenting his development. I am watching what he’s actively learning through his immediate and authentic experience. I see how he adapts based upon what he’s learning.

He saw me up, showered and dressed and going about the things. It seemed to me he realized the importance of these behaviors. I see he’s realizing how simple it is to stay in one’s jammies and be at the computer or in front of the TV all day long. How doing that helps create that snow day mentality.

Y’all, I made a concrete decision to get dressed every day. And I’m wearing jeans at least three times a week instead of comfy, around the house clothes like yoga pants or leggings. I’m doing the work-y things at the beginning of my day before I do the lounge-y things. This is how I’m choosing to cope.

I talked with him about why I made this decision. I did it because I want didn’t want my life to feel like one extended snow day. It’s easy to sit around in my jammies day drinking and eating all the live long day. I knew that would be bad for me. I chose to live differently in this time.
I know my limits. I know within which parameters I function best. So, I created this routine to keep myself safe and sane.
With nothing to break up the monotony of being stuck in this house, this routine makes every difference.

YBW is currently in his jammies drinking coffee in front of his computer. So, maybe the routine isn’t actually necessary for him. I mean, he does have his normal routine every other week. His regular life, in which he gets up, bathes, dresses and goes to work. So maybe for him the home weeks feeling more like snow days are what’s keeping him safe and sane?
He spent all last Friday pressure washing the deck. Yesterday, he patched a hole in the ceiling where Thing G’s shower leaked. So, he’s doing the things even if he’s doing them in his jammies.

Each of us had to adapt to the best of our ability to do what it takes to get through this while remaining safe and sane.
For some of us, that is day drinking.

Crowley is my spirit animal

For some of us it’s as much exercise as we can cram into a twenty-four hour period.
For some of us it’s cooking or baking.
For some of us it’s sleep.
For some of us it’s Netflix, Prime, Hulu, and Disney +.

Whatever you’re doing to keep yourself safe and sane in this time is none of anybody’s damn business. I mean, unless it negatively impacts another.
So if what keeps you safe and sane is locking someone in the closet, maybe you want to reevaluate. Unless they’re up your ass about some store brand cookies. Then I say, you do you.

I’m choosing to do what’s best for me. I’m aware my choice has no or low impact on others. I’d like to keep it that way.
But you know, I get antsy. I want to throw a temper tantrum now and again. Maybe that restraint is what’s keeping me safe and sane. I can only do me.

What routines are keeping y’all safe and sane in these unprecedented times?

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find joy every day

This is absolutely everything!

Happiness is not one great big undefinable thing. Real joy and real contentment actually happen in the concrete every day.
It’s the little things.
Those little every day things where joy resides in it’s simplest form.

These are my every day joys from the last week or so.

When fifth graders didn’t understand what I meant when I said, “Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.” at the end of the lesson.
Tuesday when Beau beat me at chinese checkers for the very first time!
Drinking wine with YBW by the fire at Naked Mountain on Valentine’s Day.

Finding the right calphalon skillet to replace the damaged one. And it was only $40!
Talking with Sally.
Being behind the lens of my camera.
This photo of Baby K laughing so I can see all her teeth!

Leaving the house at 7:30 am to get gatorade and soda crackers for YBW.
Taking Jessica’s birthday gift to the post office.

These are random every day things, but I found joy in each one of them.
(to be clear, I was not joyful my husband had food poisoning, I was joyful I could do anything to help him)

Y’all, that’s where the joy is! All you have to do is look for it.
Where are your every day joys?

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in the city by the bay

YBW and I spent a few days in San Francisco before we set sail for the Panama Canal.

I loved going to Alcatraz (or Azkaban) more than anything else.

We spent six hours on, and covered every inch of the island before cold rain sent us back to the ferry.
I was awestruck by the delicate balance of gorgeous abandoned decay, and living history.
I would go back in a heartbeat, and know without doubt, I’d discover more beauty or learn something new.

Drove across and sailed under this beauty.

We went across the bridge and through the precious city of Sausalito on the way to and from Sonoma and wineries in the surrounding valley.
The ship sailed under at sunset the night we left the city. It was cold and windy af, but absolutely beautiful.

Dragon’s Gate at the southern entrance to Chinatown.

This is looking out toward Bush Street from Grant Avenue, sort of looking out of Chinatown.
We enjoyed beautiful sunshine and warm (upper 50s – low 60s) weather as we spent our Saturday morning in Chinatown. I love wandering though the Chinatown of different cities, even though they’re all very similar, each one has something unique to offer.
YBW found a little hole in the wall for us to have lunch.

I don’t much like Asian food, but I gotta tell you, that was the best damn fried rice I’ve ever eaten.

We left Chinatown (freaking up hill, just like everyplace in San Francisco) headed for Coit Tower.

YBW’s parents honeymooned in San Francisco, and his mom used to tell the story about how she and his dad were ‘kissing in Coit Tower’ and people were commenting on how ‘in love’ they were. (I’m over here like, if folks were talking about it, y’all were straight up making out.) It’s one of my favorite stories, and YBW and I were determined to go to Coit Tower (and kiss) so we could feel connected with his parents.
We were gifted the warmest and sunniest day with which to take in the 360° views of San Francisco.
Something occurred to me as we sat at the base of the tower. (Y’all know I wear the wedding ring my mother wore while she was pregnant with me, and the wedding rings of YBW’s mom from the incident in which the diamond was lost in a soda cooler.) The thought I had was that this may be the first time these rings were in this place since YBW’s parents made out there on their honeymoon over fifty years ago. How precious is that!?!

We stayed at the edge of Washington Square Park in the North Beach area of the city. Out our window was the absolutely gorgeous Saints Peter and Paul Church.

My favorite part of staying near this church was watching parents walk their kids to school each morning.
Another wonderful thing about where we were in North Beach is that it’s also the ‘Little Italy’ part of the city. Y’all! We ate damn yummy pizza, drank gallons of red wine, some seriously perfect gelato, and I had the most stupid-delicious cacio e pepe at Barbara Pinseria and Cocktail Bar.

We walked up Lombard Street. (every single bad word I know, and some I invented on the spot, but you know, in my head because I was too out of breath to speak them)
We grazed our way through the Ferry Building.
City Lights Bookstore was everything I’d hoped for and more.

San Francisco is a strange city.
It rubbed me the wrong way, but I found it interesting, and rather beautiful.
I loved the architecture. And the plant life.
And I enjoyed experiencing it with my beloved.

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bon voyage

YBW and I are at the airport waiting for our flight.

Can you guess which coffee is which?
I’ll give you a hint…I don’t take cream.

We just arrive at the gate.
I’m going to journal for a hot second then crack open the first book. He’s going for a walk.

I’m going to miss all y’all! Plesse try not to do anything terribly interesting while I’m gone!
See you in three weeks! ❤

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and the momma lioness roars

No sooner than my post about cookies published, did I received a text from Thing 1 apologizing for causing drama.

I hate that because I expressed my frustration, my daughter apologized for starting drama.
The truth is that’s drama I started by writing about it.
She shouldn’t feel responsible for it.
I reassured her she did nothing wrong. That her comment was innocent and she was not at all responsible for any of it.
She said she shouldn’t have said anything about Christmas, and she was OK with me staying here with YBW for Christmas if that’s what I decided.

I told her I was angry at the mother being manipulative, and at Thing C for not being honest.
She agreed. She wondered how YBW was feeling about it, how he would choose to deal with it.
She said: It just sucks because nobody is fair to him.
She said: I can’t help feeling bad. I should have kept my mouth shut.
I replied: Your comment was innocent. The information was abused.

She said something that surprised me, the truth of it I mean.
She said: She’s almost as bad as dad

And that’s why she pushes my buttons.
She is so manipulative. She does it with such skill those she’s manipulating don’t even realize it.
Because I’ve lived with this type of behavior the majority of my life, I’m acutely aware of it.

She asked if Thing G would be alone on Christmas.
She designed her message specifically to push YBW’s buttons. She saw an opportunity to have her sons with her on Christmas day and used her words to manipulate the situation.
Neither YBW or I would leave the kid alone for Christmas. I mean, come on.

She invited YBW to come to her parents house for Christmas.
Now, to the casual observer, that seems kind and welcoming.
But with all passive aggressive, manipulative behavior each word is chosen with purpose.
She used those words to appear inclusive.
If questioned, the manipulative person can say, See! I said ‘this’, to be interpreted as appropriate. Knowing full well they were manipulating the situation to get what they want.
She wants what she wants and is capitalizing on an opportunity made clear to her by one simple sentence written by my daughter.

Is there drama because she creates it?
Is there drama because I’m overreacting to it?
In all honesty, it could be both.

I don’t want to feel the urge to protect my husband and my daughter from this woman.
I know they’re capable. I know they don’t need to be protected.
But I feel protective of them.
When my husband is being manipulated, and when my girl apologizes for starting drama, it triggers something deeply protective in me.

Categories: me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I just wanted some f**king cookies

It all started with a cookie recipe.

Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles

I love salted caramel, and I love snickerdoodles.
This recipe was a match made in Roby Heaven.
I posted it on social media and tagged Thing 1, asking her to make these cookies for her Momma.
She asked if I wanted them when she was here for Halloween, or when I was there for Christmas. (Um…both!)

Apparently YBW’s exwife, the mother of Thing C and Thing G, read the comment and texted YBW to see if he was going with me to Thing 1’s for Christmas and would Thing G be left here alone.

I’m over here like, OK, first of all…(actual content not fit for public consumption)

In the past, as part of their informal custody agreement, YBW and his sons mother have alternated holidays. You know, one gets the kids for Thanksgiving, the other for Christmas, and the swap each year.
Well, since the boys are adults, and one of them is currently living with his girlfriend, YBW is of the mind that they should do what works best for them. They’re no longer obligated to abide by the system in which they grew up.
That said, if they continued following the system, this year, holidays would be Thanksgiving with their mother and Christmas with us.

Baby K will experience her first Christmas this year. Both YBW and I want to share that joy, only here’s the problem with that, YBW just started a new job, and we’re going away for three weeks in November.
He has no PTO.
He’s figured a way to bank hours between now and when we leave to get through the first pay period, but the second pay period, with the exception of Thanksgiving will be all leave without pay.
Now, he was paid for his unused leave from the company he left, and it’s not like we’re going to starve or be homeless if he doesn’t get paid. It’s just that he’s trying to be mindful.

So we’ve kind of landed in the space that looks like me going to Baby K’s for Christmas, and YBW staying here and going to work.
I don’t love this arrangement.
But I want to be with Baby K for her first Christmas!
It’s so selfish though. She won’t know WTF is going on. She’ll just be her cute, chubby self. But I’ll know, you know?

Returning to the text…
It turns out that the mother already had a long conversation with Thing C about going to his grandparent’s house on Christmas. I watched him ‘song and dance’ around the subject with his father yesterday.
I felt at once sorry for this young man, and fiercely protective of his father.
Thing C is borderline incapable of making a decision when it comes to his parents. I’ve seen him do it more times than I can count. And it hurts my heart. He seems so desperate to keep the peace, to walk the line, that he won’t make a choice lest it err on the ‘wrong’ side of either of his parents.
He simply cannot be honest with either one of them.

As of last month, the plan was Thing C and Thing G would celebrate Christmas with their mother and grandparents the Saturday after Christmas, and we were considering celebrating together the weekend before Christmas if that didn’t interfere with Girlfriend L’s family plans.
Yesterday, Thing C was doing everything in his power to not admit he has decided to be with his mother and grandparents on Christmas day.
Their mother did send YBW a text inviting him to come too, so he didn’t have to be alone on Christmas.

I feel frustrated, and I’m struggling to distinguish whether or not it’s one of those things I can or cannot change.
YBW is more accommodating than most people, and I feel like he gets taken advantage of because of it.
It feels to me that his exwife saw an opportunity to get exactly what she wants and is doing what she can to take it.
It feels to me that his son is caught up in this opportunity, an accomplice, if you will.
That may sound harsh to call Thing C an accomplice, but that’s his behavior.
Meanwhile, nobody even considers Thing G.
I believe with my whole heart that their mother is pleased to be loosed her responsibilities towards that one. I mean, she loves him, but she is perfectly content that he’s here and she’s there.

So because I want to celebrate Christmas with our granddaughter, YBW is getting the shaft from his eldest son, who is actively following the plan concocted by his mother.

I am indignant!
They cannot treat him this way!

YBW doesn’t seem to think he’s being mistreated.
He seems to just kind of take it all in stride.
I suspect he’d rather be with Baby K for her first Christmas.

I am struggling.
Is this a situation I cannot change?
Is this a case of me needing to shift my whole ‘it’s the principle of the thing’ point of view?
I feel like YBW deserves better.
I cannot change the way other’s treat him. I can only control how I treat him.
I am seriously considering missing Baby K’s first Christmas to ensure he has a lovely Christmas.
I won’t disappoint the baby, she won’t know or care that it’s her first Christmas. I’ll be disappointed to miss it. But, I don’t want YBW to have a disappointing Christmas either.

Is this even about YBW or Baby K?
Or is this about me?
Do I just need to get over myself?
Is it just the principle of the thing?

I suspect if the girls and their father were treating me the way YBW’s son and his mother are treating him, YBW would feel defensive for me. I’m not sure he’s considered it that way. I’m not sure he understands how fiercely protective I feel about him. I mean, I know he’s a grown ass man and doesn’t need me to protect him, but that doesn’t stop me feeling protective.
He is my beloved, I want to help keep him safe.
If he did the kind of shit his ex wife does, she’d string him up so fast it would make everybody’s head spin.
But he doesn’t seem all that fazed.
I suspect it’s because he’s been conditioned.

I’m so disappointed in Thing C.
He will side with his mother every single time yet never actually own that to his father. He doesn’t want to hurt his father by being honest, yet hasn’t figured out that by not being honest his behavior is more hurtful.

It doesn’t have to be this way.
Yet this is the way it is.

I can’t control what they do.
I can only control what I do.
I can create and maintain healthy boundaries.

What I want to do is go full on flame thrower.
What I’ll most likely do is go be with our granddaughter, and trust that my husband will make the best choice for himself.
I know he can, and will.
I hate that he has to.
He is so precious to me! Even when he annoys me and I want to kick him in his face, I love him and want to help keep him safe.

I’m inclined to admit I’m getting worked up over the principle of the thing, but this is the principle of my husband, and I will get worked up over him until the end of time.
I love him and feel protective of him.
I believe he should be treated with more honesty and respect.

And then I find myself over here like, all this drama because I wanted some fucking cookies.

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summer gratitude

As we move into fall, I’m thinking about everything that filled my heart with joy this summer, and y’all, that list is long!
I have so much to be grateful for!

June:
sleeping in my own bed for the first time in six weeks
seeing Amber for the first time since March
date day with Mike and Josie
Describe the Night at the Woolly Mammoth (last play of the season)
impromptu trip to Williamsburg with Mike and Josie
two of my three alternative health care providers
dinner with Nora and Dale

July:
porchlife

all three of my alternative health care providers
dinner with Meredith and Beau’s family
celebrating Nora’s birthday (she and Thing 2 are birthday twins)
Thing 1, Thing 2, Husband N, and Baby K here!
pedis with my girls
Spending the day with Thing C and Girlfriend L
drinking bubbly with my girls
Bubbly & Baby party to celebrate Baby K being in our world
2 Silos with YBW, Thing 1, Thing 2, Husband N, Baby K, and Jessica
stopping cocktails on the way to the airport with Thing 2

August:
Thing 2 and Baby K here for two more weeks
model home tours
porchlife

going away party to celebrate Mike and Josie’s college bound daughter
all three alternative health care providers
Good Eats: The Return
drinking beer, cracking crab legs and peeling shrimp at Blue Ridge

the never ending road trip with Thing 1 and Baby K
seeing Thing 2 and Boyfriend J during a pit stop in Columbia
spending the second day back to school day drinking with Holly
shoot day with YBW
discovering Natty Boh with YBW
Vampire Weekend
YBW’s bestie from high school here with his fam
Nat’s game (Tony hit two dingers!)
finishing my paper

September looks like it’s starting out slow, but that’s fine by me, I’m learning to take it easy. I’m learning the journey is where it’s at. (Though, to be perfectly honest, I’m all about ‘getting there’.)
I’ve already got some stuff on the calendar for next week, but I’m curious to see what pops up.
I’m looking forward to spending more time with YBW as we move into Autumn.
Ready to make new so many new reasons to be grateful!

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an ‘outrageous’ shoot day

Saturday was a shoot day!
YBW and I took our cameras to Medowlark Gardens in Vienna.

The weather was glorious, sunny and breezy with temperatures between 77 and 82. The perfect respite to the summer heat we’ve been experiencing.

We went through the woods.

Around the spiral path to the gazebo.

Where the plants were gathered together to attract pollinators.

Down to the first (of three) ponds.

At the second pond.

I’m not sure how long we actually wandered the park, but I do know that when we left, we were both ready for lunch, so off we went to Red’s Table.

We sat on their porch overlooking the lake.
A cocktail for me, and locally brewed draft beer for YBW.
The view was beautiful.
The people watching was fascinating.
The food was lovely.

The server smiled at me and said, “Your hair is outrageous!”
I smiled and touched my hair and he left to put in our order.
I looked at YBW and said, “Outrageous?”
YBW assured me the server meant it as a compliment.
I actually agreed, but it landed so awkwardly in me.

I let my freak flag fly that day by washing my hair and letting it do its thing. It’s always a crap shoot, as I never know if I’ll end up rocking messy romantic waves, or look like I recently escaped from Azkaban.
I was fearful I had Azkaban hair because we’d been driving with the windows down.
I took a picture of myself to see what the server saw.

I’m over here like, Um…that’s just my hair, dude.

So I googled the word outrageous and here’s what I got:

I’m going with the second definition, if you please.

Anyway, it was a wonderful shoot day!
I love being behind the lens. I love being in the out of doors with my precious husband.
As we move into Autumn, I’m looking forward to more shoot days!

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little surprise for me

YBW brought in the mail the other day and stood at the kitchen island opening it.
A moment later, he handed me this:

Yes, I squealed!
Yes, I clapped like a little girl!
Yes, I jumped up and down while I did it!

What a sweet surprise!
And I was surprised!
I asked him if he wanted to go with me to see them and he declined. He texted me from his office the day they went on sale asking if I wanted him to buy tickets, I declined. I didn’t want to drag him to see a band he’s only mildly interested in.
Turns out he had other plans.

I’ve adored Vampire Weekend since their debut album in 2008!
They remain in constant rotation in my music.
I’m so excited!

What a thoughtful gift from my husband.
He knows what I love and he wants me to be able to have as much of it as I can.
His kindness never ceases to amaze me.
I’m so grateful. Not just for this lovely gift, but for him simply being himself.

What a wonderful way to end the Summer!

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a strange and unusual international week of the birthday

It’s International Week of the Birthday!
I honestly didn’t realize it was IWotB until yesterday when I received a gift from my darling friend and mentor, Jessica!

This beautiful glass globe has a tiny round opening on one side designed to insert small pieces of paper. The idea is to write a wish or some gratitude and insert it into the globe.

A physical reminder to pay attention to hope and examples of my thanks.
What a beautifully loving, and thoughtful gift.
Jessica knows what’s up!

When Birdie gets a birthday gift, Baby K gets a new bow!

Y’all, I am chock so full of hope and gratitude I might run out of little papers to write it!

YBW comes tomorrow! Thing 1, Husband N and I are all smiley and clappy about that!
(I love that my daughter and her husband are just as excited as I am to see my precious husband!)
Baby K didn’t quite understand why we were so joyful so we assured her that her Papa YBW is someone to be excited about!

My birthday is mother’s day this year. Thing 1 and I have talked about making sure to celebrate equally my birthday and this, her first mother’s day. She wants us all to go to the plant farm and out to dinner on Saturday. (the place she wants to go isn’t open Sunday) Then Sunday we’ll go to the the next big town where there’s a decent Mexican joint where we can celebrate each all over again!

This year International Week of the Birthday is much different than it’s been in the past. But I feel extremely fortunate to be able to be with my daughter as she negotiates this new strange and unusual time in her life. I love watching her learn to be a mommy to her own daughter. What a beautiful mother’s day gift for me to actively participate in this moment in her life.
I’m all about my birthday birthday! I’ve never liked when my birthday fell on mother’s day.
But this year, I’m embracing them as one.
I mean, come on. If I was never born, I couldn’t be a mom. And if I wasn’t a mom, I’d be missing out on this wonderful time with my daughter and her daughter.

It’s a strange and unusual IWotB…but after all:

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