About six weeks ago my email inbox dinged and an evite popped up from our friends who live down the shore. They were having their annual garage sale and were opening up their front yard and driveway to all of their friends and our crap.
We have so much crap. Too much. WAY. TOO. MUCH. I knew we needed to get rid of some of it and fast. A garage sale was the perfect way to do it. I felt like where we live is too secluded from everything and we wouldn't get many people so I didn't want to do one at our house. (Ironically enough, there is a development wide one happening in our development the same day as the one down the shore. If it were a different weekend, I'd be all over that! Two chances to get rid of our crap!?!? That'd be GREAT!) I considered having one at my parents but, again, kind of secluded and not the greatest are for one. I just didn't think the response would be big enough. Down the shore would be perfect. Multi Family. Lots of different crap to bring in lots of people. Potential for us to go home with lots less stuff!
I've been posting on craigslist. I've been posting on garage sale websites. My friend put an ad in the paper. She's hanging up signs everywhere. We are advertising the hell out of this garage sale. No one wants this crap in their house anymore.
It's funny, at one point all of this junk meant something. At one point, it was all seemingly necessary. At one point, we wanted it enough to buy it and keep and allow it to take up space in our lives. That is no longer the case.
Every time I walk into a room in my house I scan it. I look around and pull things off shelves and put them into boxes or into the garage. I take things out of closets and cupboards and storage boxes only to put them into other boxes or bags that will make their way into our van tonight and eventually on to our friends' lawn and hopefully into someone else's car. I've been cleaning house and it's really starting to feel good. It's cathartic. It's refreshing. It's what needs to be done.
I'm cleaning out baby stuff. The stuff I knew I had. to. have. as a first time mom and the stuff that never got used as a second time mom. The stuff my son loved and my daughter turned her nose up at. The stuff that got used and loved and protected my children and now needs to be passed on because it won't be any good if we have more kids down the line.
I'm cleaning out toys. Lots and lots of toys. My son acquired an enormous amount of toys. Way. Too. Many. Seriously. Just way too many. We have two or three boxes full of toys in our garage. Tonight the husband and I are going through all of the toys. We are paring down our children's supply after they go to bed and we're doing it hardcore style. They will wake up tomorrow morning, get loaded into the car and head to their Aunt and Uncle's house and watch as their toys get sold to make other kids happy. This should be completely traumatic. I have a feeling we might be stopping at a Target on the way home to buy each child a new toy. Yeah, I'm that whacked out.
I'm cleaning out clothes. Fat clothes. Skinny clothes. Pregnancy clothes. Bad choice clothes. Hoochie Momma clothes. Any clothes that have not seen the light of day in at least a year are going. They are hopefully going to a new home where they will be worn with love and care. If they don't go to a new home tomorrow during the sale, they'll be going to good will on the way home. I'm not coming home with them.
I'm cleaning out books. I love books. I love supermarket books. I love good books, bad books, any kind of books. I have a crapload of them and they are coming with me tomorrow. If I have to they are going to be a nickel a book. They are not coming home with me.
I'm cleaning out video games and vhs tapes. We still have a VCR but we rarely use it. We use it to watch our wedding show and that's about it. And we haven't watched that in more than a year. We have a ton of videos that just need to go. We don't watch them. The kids watch DVDs, maybe occasionally a video here and there. We also have an XBox that has not been used since the Wii entered our home. The PS2 gets used quite a bit and as much as I'd like to be bringing down a PS2 and an XBox, we will only be bringing and XBox and all the stupid games that come with it. I'm not coming home with it.
I'm cleaning out our lives. They have been cluttered and crazy for far too long. This garage sale is giving us a great opportunity. We are being given the chance to simplify. To clean out. To get rid of. We're being given the chance to turn the things that were once treasures to us into treasures for someone else. Garage sales are often thought of as opportunities to just clean out and get rid of but they can be so much more. This is going to sounds CRAY-ZEE but they are almost spiritual. In cleaning out all of this shit that has been cluttering our lives we are cleaning out ourselves. We are making more room for each other by getting rid of the material junk that so often weighs us down. We are making room for new experiences and new people to enter and replace our junk with memories and friendship.
I don't think our friends had any idea that the evite they sent that day would so dramatically give us an opportunity to change and clean out our lives. I don't think they realized that the simple act of having a garage sale would be so much more. I didn't think the simple act of having a garage sale would be so much more. I am grateful for the things I have been able to acquire over the years. We have been fortunate. I am even more grateful for the opportunity to get rid of the things we have been able to acquire over the years. It's time to make room for change.
Friday, May 30, 2008
About six weeks ago my email inbox dinged and an evite popped up from our friends who live down the shore. They were having their annual garage sale and were opening up their front yard and driveway to all of their friends and our crap.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 8:44 AM
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I try to stay away from political posts for a myriad of reasons. But I saw these pictures when I opened my paper this morning and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. On the one hand, I think it's great that these guys have this memory with a President. They have these awesome pictures. These are men who will most likely go off and fight for our country. On the other hand, well...I have no words.
The top one is my favorite.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 8:23 AM
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I rarely talk about my husband on here. I talk about my kids. I talk about my friends. I talk about myself. I talk about things that bother me. But I rarely talk about my husband. Really, I rarely talk about my marriage. This is not a purposeful avoidance. I just don't think of things to talk about regarding my marriage.
My husband does not deal with stress well and he turns into Mr. Negativity, aka Eeyore. I can't take it. He gets hormonal and bitchy and snappy and just all around completely unpleasant to be around. Last night it just came to a head. And rather than arguing about it, as we have in the past, we talked about it. I channeled the inner counselor in me and we really talked.
My husband comes from a father who almost never has anything positive to say. My FIL tries. Especially with my kids. But it's like this big black cloud follows him around. To be quite frank, I don't know my father in law all that well. Maybe he has a lot to be negative about. But I can't always be around people who cannot find positives in anything. I have been trying very hard to find the positive in almost everything. I'm not miss happy sunshine but I am trying my best to move away from Eeyore and head towards Tigger- except not as hyperactive. I am bringing my husband with me.
I loaded up the dishwasher and very bluntly told my play station playing husband that we needed to talk. We needed to talk about me feeling underappreciated. We needed to talk about me feeling like he was the king of Negative Land. We needed to talk about everything. He is not the only stressed out individual in our household. He is not the only individual working full time and going to school full time and taking care of the kids full time. And I am not completely without flaws or fault.
He listened to what I had to say. We did not yell. We did not scream. We did not cry or hang up phones or storm off. We talked and worked together. I explained what I needed and talked about how I know that while I'm asking for certain things, I don't always give back the same things and I need to work on that. We talked about the fact that I can't live in Negative Land anymore because it's just too much. And I don't want our kids living there. I don't want them getting negative ideas about things they have never experienced before because of something one of us said or did. He agreed.
The past few years have been rough and I feel like we've taken them out on each other. My husband has a very hard time dealing with illness- his own and that of those around him whom he loves. When I say his own, I mean when he gets cold he can't deal and he's convinced he's dying. Not really, but that's how he acts! ;) (Many of the men in my life act as if a cold is going to take them down.) When I found out I was "sick" and the ball started rolling I think my husband went into his own world. He was there when I asked him to be and when I broke down and when I yelled but he has NO CLUE how to be there all the time. He becomes too afraid. He does not know how to act. Or react. He was 15 when his mom died and that has never ever left him. Understandably. But he is just now learning how to work through it. He is just now learning how to deal with illness and tragedy and pain. He ran from it before. The past few years have been riddled with illness or some form of familial stress and upheaval- mine, our unborn child, our oldest child, his father, his brother.
The past few years have been riddled with stress and coming down off of that is hard. Sounds crazy but it's true. Living in the midst of stress, when you've become accustomed to it, is easy. You roll with it. Coming out of the stress and dealing with all of the shit that is left as a result of that stress is hard. But it can be done. And it doesn't have to be done by taking it out on everyone else.
When we got married we knew it would be hard work. Some days I wonder if it could get any harder or when it might get a bit easier. Most days it's constant work. Most days it's normal. But some days you have this moment where it doesn't necessarily get easier but all of a sudden it becomes clearer. All of a sudden it makes a little more sense and you grow a bit and you change a bit and you come together. All of a sudden the work makes sense. All of a sudden you see the potential for change in yourself and in your partner and you're able to kindly and thoroughly articulate that. And things improve and get better. And the days go on. And hopefully 6 months from now things are still getting better and changing because the change came from both and from within and from words not shouting. And it's good.
This was a hard post for me to write. I wanted to write it and share it because I think part of who I am as a mom and woman has to do with my marriage. My marriage is not always roses and candy and champagne. If yours is, fabulous for you. I think you might be lying or fooling yourself but maybe not, maybe it is just that great. I hope so. My marriage is not bad. Actually, I think it's pretty good. Could be better. Could be much much worse. My husband is not a jerk- most times. That's part of what this was about. But what it really was about was that the work is really worth it. That's what makes it good. The hard times come and we don't always deal with them in the best way or with our best selves but the work and the talking and the sharing is what makes it good. And it is good.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 11:19 AM
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Many of us celebrate this weekend, this beginning of Summer, with bbqs and parties with friends and family. We drink, we eat, we take for granted. This holiday is about those who have given their lives and fought for us. It is about remembering.
I forget that.
I went online this morning to read the paper and found that one of the area papers was featuring excerpts from a diary of a father whose son was in Iraq and is currently a Marine. I was engrossed by it. Couldn't stop reading it. Couldn't stop crying as I read.
You can be anti-Bush, I am. You can be anti-War, I am. You can be and believe whatever you want but I think all of us must be grateful for the job that these men and women have done and are doing over there regardless of why.
I may be anti things but I am 110% pro soldier. Pro Troops.
Check out the diary if you have time and if not just stop for a moment today or tomorrow and give a word of thanks and maybe even a prayer for them.
Half My Heart Is in Iraq
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 7:51 AM
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I'm going to lay it all out here....I cannot listen to my son speak for one minute more!
I. AM. GOING. CRAZY.
He has not stopped talking and going and singing and imagining since we got home this afternoon! Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful, I know I'm blessed, I'm lucky to have a child that is capable of all of that and more. But OH MY GOD! Just two seconds without sound coming out of his mouth would be heaven.
I hit up Babies R Us this afternoon with the kids and my mom. We needed a new double stroller. My mom is taking ours. We got a new one. Grandma spoiled the kids, as usual. I don't think they had been in the store more than 5 minutes and each of my children had a toy in their hands. My son had a DVD to match his toy. I listened to the Backyardigans on the way home because the wireless headphones aren't working. I think Pablo is my favorite. I also got interjections from Toodles and Mickey on my son's new flashlight. I think it's fabulous that my kids get spoiled so. I was spoiled by my grandparents when I was little. Even as I got older I was spoiled. My kids are so lucky to get spoiled they way they do. I am so fortunate to have parents that are so involved and who are so willing to provide new toys for my children as we prepare to clean out the old ones and sell them.
While at Babies R Us I decided to purchase a bathing suit for my daughter. My desire was to find a tube top bikini. I think babies look cute in them. Nothing p0rnographic or too revealing but something modest and cute that shows off some belly! I wore a bikini as a baby and while the photos are somewhat embarrassing I think they are also cute. My friend J and I found a bikini at the Disney store the other day while we were out cruising the mall. (Like all the cool moms do!) It was terrible! The top was teeny weeny. It was essentially a string bikini for an infant. Perfect if we were cruising the Riviera but down the shore, I don't think so. I found an adorable one at Babies R Us and now I can't wait for summer to get here so I can put her in the suit and take some photos. I may have to do a pre Summer photo shoot soon!
Have you noticed I'm in italics still? I have. I can't get rid of it for some reason. Weird. Whatever.
The husband and I had a list laid out for this week of things we needed to get done before the weekend. He did great on his portion of the list or on the days he was home. I, on the other hand, managed to stick to the menu I laid out. Oh and I did some laundry. And the boy's room is clean. Other than that...the living room....not clean...the steps...not vacuumed.....the kitchen...not cleaned....the furniture...not dusted. Tomorrow night and Saturday should be fun.
Just for the record, some of those things were part of his part of the list. He did good but not that good!
I'm taking an Abnormal Psych class this semester as part of my Summer session. So far it's pretty interesting. I actually just really enjoy sitting there reading the manual of all the diseases and disorders out there.
I'm also taking a multicultural class this semester and we're required to keep a journal. I hate journaling and in my first journal entry I told my professor that. And then I told her I write a blog. I wonder if she googled me. I may post my first journal entry because I manage to spend a good page or so bitching about journaling and then talking about how I enjoy blogging. Thank God this class is over in August. It's not so bad, I just really hate to journal.
The last class I'm taking? Orientation to being a counselor. I am super excited about this class. It's all about getting set for licensure and filling out the forms necessary to apply for my license and actually obtain it. I'm attempting to ignore the 3000 hours of practicum I'm going to have to do and just focus on the fact that I'm actually finally approaching my goal. Finally.
Is it problematic that my 3 year old son likes to sing along with the Yaz commercial AND the Subway commercial? He knows all the words....perfectly.
Tomorrow is Friday. YES! We have a packed weekend and as busy as it will be, I'm really looking forward to it. This has been the longest four day week of my life! I'm really looking forward to Monday and sleeping and not having to go to work. I love the end of the year.
I'm going to put my child to bed because it's 8:30pm and it's time. It's time for him to go to sleep. It's time for him to stop for the day. It's time for me to exercise. It's time for me to get ready for Grey's. It's time for me to put together our new stroller. It's time for me to stop for a little bit and relax. It's time for the day to wind down. And it's really time for my son to STOP TALKING and start SLEEPING! Keep your fingers crossed that he stays in his bed tonight.....please.
I really am blessed to have this full of a life and this active of a child. I know that. I thank God for that every single day.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 8:11 PM
Sunday, May 18, 2008
I went to church this morning and sat behind two pews of people who were all related. They ranged in age from a newborn little boy and his roughly 3 year old sister to their grandfather who must have been at least 60. In between there were a few aunts, cousins, parents and uncles. It was really nice. It was lovely to see this family worship together and made me think of my own kids and why they weren't in church with me.
I don't take my kids to church. I just don't. Church, for me, is an experience between God and I filled with music and prayer. It is also about the community and having an experience of prayer with them but lately, for me, it has been more of a singular experience. After the debacle that was my daughter's baptism last summer we switched parishes and I'm still getting used to this one and getting settled. So, really experiencing the community is difficult when you're still getting used to it.
Yet, again, I digress.
When my children were infants I took them to church occasionally. Not much. Church was an opportunity for me to get out of the house alone and have 45 minutes to an hour of peace. As they have grown older I have questioned my decision not to bring them to church with me and lately it has been bothering me more and more. My husband does not come to church with me unless I beg or it's a special occasion. He has "issues" with God. Some of these issues I understand, he is angry at the death of his mother. Some of these issues I think he uses as convenient excuses. We used to go to church together one Sunday a month and he was doing really well with it but with the introduction of our children it became more difficult to continue this. If I were to take my kids to church with me and not have my husband there I have a feeling it would end badly for all involved. I have visions of my three year old running across the altar or screaming out some random obscenity and my one year old cheering emphatically as her brother put on the show.
I've talked to a number of people about this who sit on both sides of the line. The people who took their children to church from the very beginning. The people who somehow managed to subdue their toddlers and babies long enough to participate fully and prayerfully in the mass. The people who claimed they did not use cheerios or toys to get their little ones to stay calm and involved. The people who sat in the front pew so their children could see it all. Then I talked to the people who brought their kids to church but either put them in baby sitting or sat in the "cry room" aka petri dish, with their kids. These are the people who were at mass but admit that participation was difficult because they were so focused on their children, whether they were in baby sitting or punching out another kid in the cry room. The people who brought every form of snack food with them to church and their children still freaked out. And the people who sat in the front pew and received dirty looks from the presider and those around them. I'm still uncertain.
I can remember going to church as a young child. I can remember playing in church but I can also remember paying attention to the mass and experiencing and understanding. I can remember being at mass with just my parents some weeks and other weeks with my extended family. Those experiences at church with my family are what helped to establish my faith base and make religion important to me. I don't want my children to miss out on that. I would love for my kids to experience church with their grandparents and me and their father. I think it would make it easier. I think it would help them to stay calm. I think it would make religion a vital part of their lives. We talk about God and faith and heaven. We share faith with our kids but the more I think about it the more important it becomes for them to share in church with us. I just don't know how or when, yet.
I have a feeling there will come a time when my children will be in a pew with me and my parents and my husband and we will be experiencing mass together. I'm sure we'll be in the front row and I hope that they will be captivated by the experience of it all. I'm hoping they won't be eating cheerios and there won't be a mad dash across the altar at any point. I want them to experience church in the ways I did as a child and I think that needs to happen soon.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 9:49 PM
Friday, May 16, 2008
My husband brought out eldest child to school this morning with his lunch in a mini Talbot's bag. Yes, the bright red and black bag with the Talbot's logo blazoned across both sides of it. I felt a little bad about this because normally his lunch goes into school in a lovely reusable Diego lunch bag, which he loves! But today is different...or it was supposed to be. Today, our son was going on his first field trip.
They're going Monday. He'll probably have the same Talbot's bag on Monday.
I was quite nervous about this trip. They're going to the zoo. Nothing far, nothing exotic, nothing crazy, just some small petting zoo by us. They're going on a bus. Without car seats. To a place where I won't be.
These trips make me nervous. I have a feeling they will always make me nervous. My son is three years old. I love that he's getting to go to a zoo that he's never been to but I don't know how comfortable I am with him going on a bus and with minimal chaperons. I am sure the teachers and the parents who are attending will be all over the kids and the zoo is used to little kids so they know to keep an eye on them, but I am still nervous.
Again, worst case scenarios abound.
Last year I witnessed a bus crash. A pretty bad bus crash. A dump truck ran a light and slammed into the side of a school bus full of kids. It was bad. I had the boy with me and I was newly pregnant with the girl. I pulled over and began to help out in any way I could. I did all that I could, gave my name to the police and went to work. I cried my whole way to work. All I could think of were the parents who would be receiving phone calls saying that their son or daughter was taken to this hospital because they were in an accident this morning on their way to their field trip destination. The feeling of fear and sadness for those parents. The uncertainty of not knowing what they would encounter when they got to the hospital. It was overwhelming.
All I can think about are the possibilities. The idea of a bus crash has crossed my mind. The idea that my son will get lost at the zoo has crossed my mind. The idea that he will get hurt has crossed my mind. All of it has crossed my mind.
Then I woke up this morning and saw it was raining and I was sad for my little guy. He was looking forward to the zoo. And now it's raining. Yes, he'll get to go on Monday. And yes, he'll have fun. But still I was sad for him- slightly relieved for me. The worst case scenarios may abound but I am so excited that my son is going on his first field trip. I am so excited that he's getting to experience the zoo with his classmates. I am just so excited for him. I wish he was going today. 1) I'd be able to abandon my anxiety and not have to think about it over the weekend and 2) I would have wonderful stories to hear of all types of animals when I got home from work.
Monday will dawn. We'll pack his lunch in a Talbot's bag, again. And he'll be off to the zoo. I'll spend my day thinking of him and wondering if he's ok and imagining him feeding a goat or touching a cow and I'll smile. The worst case scenarios never outweigh the thoughts of fun and happiness. Well, almost never.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 8:39 AM
Thursday, May 15, 2008
The internet is a bad bad place.
I curse Al Gore for ever inventing it!!
Yes, the internet has led me to some lovely ladies who I am proud to call friends. And it has helped me immensely with purchasing Christmas gifts, and sending flowers to friends and family, and doing research for classes, and it's even helping me to finish my master's degree. But the internet has the potential to be evil and suck you in without even realizing it.
There is just way too much information out there. Allow me to elaborate.
I google everything. People. Places. Events. Topics. Diseases. Symptoms. Questions. You name, I'll google it. I actually google all of my doctors, especially the new one and the specialists to make sure that they haven't removed a wrong body part or inadvertently given someone bird flu. So, when symptoms pop up I google them or I head over to WebMD and see what they have to say. Most times, it's not a big deal. And it can even be exponentially helpful. When the husband came home with a red, puffy, itchy eye WebMD was the backup I needed to get him to go to the doctor and have his pink eye formally diagnosed. When I forgot to ask the important questions regarding my radiation treatment last summer, the internet and the Thyroid cancer web pages provided me with the research based and personal experience based answer I was searching for. When I needed an outlet for thoughts, feelings, words, anything, the internet beckoned me. Lately, it has driven me mad.
You see, for the past few months I've been having what we'll term "Lady Problems". Nothing major. Nothing too scary. But enough that I've decided I should maybe get it checked out. The logical answers are not solving the problems. The blood tests that I thought would indicate why certain things were happening, were perfectly ok. So, my doctor decided I needed to see a different one of my doctors. My Lady doctor.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Lady doctor. She is an incredible doctor and has seen me through two tumultuous pregnancies and taken care of me in every way possible. She even cried the morning my daughter was born because she was not there to deliver her. It was sweet. She then sat with us for a good hour and talked as if we were old friends. I guess we kind of were considering the nature of her profession. But getting in to see my Lady doctor is virtually impossible unless you are pregnant. She is that good. I would not even consider going elsewhere.
I called months ago and got an initial appointment but ended up having to change it because of work commitments. The next appointment they could give me was a month later. Oh well. Had to take it. The extensive waiting period offered me the opportunity to research. To read. To ask questions and find out more about my symptoms. And where did I turn to take advantage of said opportunity? The internet.
I went to WebMD. I went to Google. I searched and prodded. Looked at web pages, articles, message boards, all in search of an answer to what might be ailing me. WebMD has lost some credibility with me because it initially diagnosed me with Anorexia. WHAT?!? Don't misunderstand me here, I wholeheartedly believe that Anorexia is a disease and it is dangerous and maybe, just maybe, some of my symptoms may mimic side effects of Anorexia but it was laughable for me. I ignored that initial diagnosis and kept perusing. My symptoms didn't really change but they increased in number and as I plugged more in I got diagnoses that seemed more likely.
Let me stop for a moment and clarify something. In no way do I rely on WebMD to provide me with reliable medical diagnoses. I take their information and I read it and it freaks me out and I take it to my doctor and she or he, depending on the problem, explains to me why it couldn't possibly be that and then gives me an antibiotic and my problem goes away or ups my medication and my symptoms lessen.
So, yes WebMD provided me with a diagnosis, actually a few of them. And actually, some of them made sense. Some of them I could potentially hear when I finally get in to see my Lady doctor on Monday. But until then I have all of these things bouncing around in my head. And really I'm not worried. If I think about it too much, yeah I freak myself out. Yeah it bothers me. But really, I don't think about it all that often.
Until last night.
I could not get things out of my head. I could not stop thinking about the worst case scenario, which I don't even know if it is the worst case scenario because I don't actually know what's wrong. I had horrible thoughts of cancer, infertility, hysterectomies, oophrectomies, anything you could imagine I thought of. Then I went to sleep and dreamed of those things. I'm still not worried in an outward manner. I don't think I have anything to be worried about. But I guess subconsciously, I cannot get the possibilities out of my brain.
I curse you crazy internet and your mad hatter of a creator, Al Gore.
*I am well aware that Al Gore did not, in fact, invent the internet*
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 11:35 AM
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
This is my 200th post...it's nothing incredible....
I love this commercial, I love this song, it's just so happy go lucky.....it makes me happy and it's just a commercial! And it's got Mike Rowe in it!
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 9:33 PM
I have a number of post waiting in the hopper. I've started them. One of them I think is finished, it's rough. It's random. It's choppy. It's weird to me. I don't know why I haven't published it, I just haven't.
The other post? Not finished. Started. Talks about high school. Talks about reunions. I don't know where I want it to go from there. Do I want to remember the nasty things that some of these girls that I graduated with did or do I focus on the fact that it's been 10 years and surely, we've grown? I sporadically keep in touch with many of these girls, some of them have not grown. I don't know, the post just isn't what I want it to be right now.
None of my posts are what I want them to be. Things are hectic. Not necessarily bad, just hectic. I just started Summer session, I added on a third class. The work of grad school is extensive, it always has been. Coupled with the end of the year at work the two have become all consuming. It's too bad because I'm taking Abnormal this semester. I'm so fascinated by it. I sit and read my DSM-IV and look at all of the disorders and their treatments and their causes and I'm engrossed. The day I received the book I opened it and turned right to Night Terrors. I needed some guidance. I need some info. I needed something besides my wonderful pediatrician telling me that it's ok for our son to keep joining us in bed each night. The DSM confirmed her instructions, I never doubted it would, but it also explained the disease to me. It explained why my 3 year old child was suffering from these horrible episodes. It explained how to deal with the episodes in a manner that would help to lessen them and bring my son out of them. It made dealing with the Night Terrors intellectual and systematic. It helped.
I digress. As usual.
Things are just hectic. I am ready for summer. I am ready to take my kids to the beach. I am ready to sit outside and feel the sun and watch my children laugh and have fun. I am ready to not be in my classroom. Yet, each morning as much as I hate waking up at an ungodly hour, I love going to work. I really do love my job. I can't always stand my students but I love my job.
So, I'm scattered. I don't know why. I feel like some days I'm in a holding pattern like an airplane. Like I'm in line to land but I haven't been cleared by tower. I'm not depressed. I'm not sad. Although I did watch "P.S. I Love You" the other night and wept through the whole thing. Well, on and off. Things are good just hectic. Because of that I have this feeling that I can't put into words which means I can't put any posts into words which means I sit in front of my computer and think about what to write about. I think I'm overthinking it. If I let it come, it will. I think I've read that somewhere else. I think it just needs to happen.
My bf M told me today that I have talent. I really thought that was nice, I was really touched and honored. Another bf, H, told me the words I wrote on her blog were wonderful. Again, touched and grateful. They know me better than anyone, except my mom, and I value their words. It's wonderful to know they value mine. It's wonderful to know that so many of you value them, too. I mean, you must. You keep coming back. You share me with others. My numbers keep going up. My comments don't always. Maybe I should allow anon comments again, then the comment numbers will climb. ;) Or Not. I appreciate that you value my words and I'm sorry if they seem scattered or not as coherent. I think I'm in overload and overtired mode.
Stay tuned....brilliance should be coming any day now....maybe.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 7:59 PM
Monday, May 12, 2008
I'm Over Here today....just for a visit.....
I may be here, too.
Hope everyone had a great mother's day!
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 8:45 AM
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I wrote about plans changing and it upsetting me. I wrote about plans changing and learning how to go with the flow. I wrote about plans changing and they've been changing left and right.
As I sit here, this Mother's Day afternoon, my husband is walking to the dumpster with our son. He will come back and get our daughter up from her nap and then we'll prepare for our family to come over. My husband called out sick today. He went into his "regular" job this morning and then walked through our door around 12:45 this afternoon, arms full of flowers and cards. He is recovering from a cold and pink eye. He decided to stay home today. Today, I get a Mother's Day. Sure, I'll still have to cook and prepare everything for today but my husband is home, my entire family will be here, my Mother's Day will be really nice.
I think I'm beginning to love when plans change.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 1:05 PM
Happy Mother's Day
to All of the Fabulous Moms Out There!
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 9:45 AM
Friday, May 9, 2008
I am an athlete. I always have been. I always will be. I may be out of shape, at points. I may not always be on a team. But I am always an athlete. Being an athlete brings with it responsibility and loyalty. Being a part of a team teaches lessons that cannot be learned anywhere else and should be carried to every part of life. This story is incredible. Not because it was a home run. Not because it's about women succeeding in sports. But because it shows true sportsmanship and support for the team environment, even when it isn't your team.
Why aren't we carrying each other like this in our lives when another falls? Why aren't we stepping up for those in need, whether friend or foe or stranger? Why do we forget that, really, we're all on the same team, sometimes we just wear different uniforms?
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 9:34 PM
This topic has been bouncing around the internet and even other media sources quite a bit lately. If you popped over to Classy Chaos the other day you may have even watched this clip
from the Today Show. It's all about Mommy Bloggers and their growing popularity. It's interesting. Try and put aside KLG and her complete ineptitude as a television "journalist".
It's a fascinating topic. One that I've pretty much avoided and not for any reason in particular. I didn't start my blog for it to be one way or another. I started my blog as an outlet. I started my blog because I saw Dawn's blog and wanted to try it for myself. I had no direction. I thought I would be just as funny. I thought I would be able to regale you with stories of how hysterical my kids were in their daily doings. I thought I would share stories of poop and vomit and ER visits and everything that goes along with raising kids. And I did. I have shared some of those things. I never imagined I'd be talking about friendships and ppd and everything else I've shared on here. But I am. I am talking about those things. I've talked about my faith. I've briefly mentioned my political affiliations. I've talked about my opinions of certain TV shows and world events. I've shared open and honestly and for your responses and respect, I am grateful.
I never considered myself a Mommy Blogger. I'm a mom. I blog. I guess by those characteristics I'm a mommy blogger. I guess because I blog about my kids and my husband and my daily life where I juggle all of those responsibilities and commitments and add in everything else I am a mommy blogger. For some reason I guess I just never associated myself with the title or term. Then I read other blogs about being a mommy blogger. I saw Heather's interview on the Today show and I read OhMommy's post. I am a mommy blogger and I'm proud of it.
I am not looking for fame. I am not looking for money. I am not looking to exploit anything about myself or my family. I was looking for an outlet. I was looking for a community. I was looking for something that I couldn't put my finger on and I believe I have found it. I don't sit on my computer all day scouring blogs, looking for things to comment on and topics to write about. My computer is on all day because I'm at work and just about every facet of teaching life is now computer centered. I will blog from work during a free period or at the beginning of the day or the end of the day. I will also blog from home. I do not neglect my children or my husband or my family life because of my computer. I write because I enjoy it. I write because I know there have to be people out there who have shared at least one piece of my experience. I write because too often I found that I was need of someone who understood what I was feeling and I could not always find that.
The coverage of Mommy Bloggers has been mixed. There have been highlights on the negatives and there are highlights on the positives. People have lashed out at mothers and fathers who have chosen to blog about their children and their lives. Who have chosen to share their stories with anyone who will listen or read. You are entitled to your viewpoint. You are more than welcome to share it. I respect that. But just as there has been a need for parents to stop judging other parents because they choose to do things differently, I think there is a need for judgment to end on this front. It is my choice to blog. It is my choice to share what I share and why I share it is my prerogative. You have every right not to like and to comment on that. You have every right to your feelings and to share those with me. You have every right to speak out and voice your opinions for all to hear. I encourage it.
I am proud, in a sense, to be a part of a community of Mommy Bloggers. I think there is a lot of wisdom to be shared and a lot of humor to be enjoyed. I think having an understanding that we are not alone is an incredible feeling. I enjoy hearing what others have to say and write. I enjoy the fact that the words that I have shared on here have grown into something greater and have fostered something more. If you think it's all just too good to be true that our words have formed this supportive community, that's ok. I am grateful that my words have led me to the people that they have. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to sit and write whenever I want. I am blessed to have the experiences, good and bad, to share with others who need the support or just want to read about. I am lucky to be a part of a community that is growing and ever changing. I am proud to be a Mommy Blogger and to share myself and my life with all of you.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 12:13 PM
Thursday, May 8, 2008
I did something yesterday that I have not done, well, ever. I deleted a post. I wrote it. Published it. Deleted it. I think the only person that may have read it was OhMommy. I don't know why exactly I deleted it. I wasn't thrilled with it. It sounded whiny to me. I wasn't impressed with what I had to say and I felt like it was completely without direction. So a few keystrokes later and it was gone. Never to return.
I really haven't had much I've felt inspired to write about although I feel like things are brewing. I would like you to head over to Classy Chaos and read OhMommy's post about MommyBloggers. She and I share many of the same sentiments in this category. I do plan on addressing this in the next few days but she does such an excellent job of it that I want to make sure everyone gets to read it!!! And just for the record....Kathie Lee Gifford, total CRACKPOT in the clip from the Today show! Way to be a journalist KLG!!
Today is Thursday. Tonight is Grey's. I don't know about the rest of you but I love Grey's. Seriously. I was a little put off with the end of last season and then this one began pretty slowly and in a crappy fashion but it appears that the writers' strike has done some good! I am actually excited to see tonight's episode. This is the only night of the week that I don't bring home work to do as I watch TV. I also use Grey's as my workout motivator. I won't allow myself to watch it unless I've worked out for the day. Incidentally, that works out quite well because I TiVo it and then fast forward through all the commercials!
So, a few weeks ago my dad had me chained to a pole in their basement to help clean it out. Not really, DUH, but he had been begging me for weeks to just go through some of the junk down there and get rid of the stuff I don't want. There was a lot of baby crap down there and stuff from high school and college. Stuff I didn't need, nor did I want any longer, but just had not gotten around to cleaning it. My parents are re-doing their basement so that they can turn it into a playroom for their grandchildren. I think it's a great idea. We used it as a playroom growing up then it got nasty down there and we stopped. So, we took a Sunday afternoon and headed into the hole to clean.
I'm a point in my life where I do want to de-clutter. I'm finally getting rid of those clothes that I said I was going to sell on eBay. They're going to Good Will. I'm selling off baby items that will expire, safety wise, before we have our next child. If we have a next child. I'm cleaning out. We have too much unnecessary stuff that has just accumulated over the years and I'm fine with tossing it. My father informed me that all I had to do was point to what needed to go in the garbage and what needed to be stored in the attic and what needed to go into my car to come home with me. That last category, totally the smallest amount of stuff! So, anyway. This was going to be easy. I knew most of it was getting chucked. I started pointing and saying the word garbage over and over again. He, for whatever reason, found this frustrating. Apparently, he thought I was lying when I said 90% of that crap can get tossed. I was not. I do not need every single stuffed animal that I have ever owned. I do not need the picture collage made by my friend from my 16th birthday, even though I loved it. I do not need the pictures from Christmas parties as my old job or every single book I ever purchased during my lifetime. I do not need them. I do not want them. I do not have time to sell them. GARBAGE.
We got a lot accomplished that day. A LOT of stuff went out. I recovered my thesis research on Rape myths. I found some old textbooks that will come in handy during my counseling classes. And I found the GIANT book of CDs that I thought for sure had been stolen along with the rest of my possessions and my car on my 21st birthday.
That CD book is precious! Apparently, I was way into Christian rock. Which if you don't know it's Christian rock does not sound like Christian rock. It makes sense. I was hardcore youth group as a teen. Many of my closest friendships, or the ones that have maintained throughout my life, became stronger because of youth group. It was a really good time in my life and I cherish the incredible memories I have of it. As I was flipping through the book I found my RENT CDs. I LOVED RENT. I saw the original Broadway production just after it opened and it was INCREDIBLE. It is probably my favorite Broadway show. I haven't seen many but I've seen enough and I've seen the good ones and I just LOVE LOVE LOVE RENT.
I took the CDs out and I've been listening to them. The words and the music are just phenomenal. I think listening to it now has moved me more than it did when I first saw the show. And I am incredibly disappointed that it's closing. I'd like to see it again before it closes. But apparently, the original cast is getting back together for a tour and I think I may like to see that more. ANYWAY, I digress, again! So, I've been listening to the CDs in the car for probably the past two weeks. And yesterday the best thing ever happened. My three year old son began to dance and sing along with the music. Knowing the words. Knowing the beat. Knowing it all. It. Was. Fabulous.
I never wanted to be that mom who had Barney and Raffi playing in my CD player. For awhile I was. I had every Laurie Berkner song memorized. My son had them memorized. It was the nature of the beast that is children's music. Then I stopped it. I couldn't take it anymore. I would rather have my kids walking around singing Skynard or Billy Joel than Berkner. Don't get me wrong, she's great, but I want my kids to know the Beatles, and the Eagles and Zeppelin and the Barenaked Ladies and all kinds of other music, and of course some classical. Needless to say when my child started rocking out to RENT yesterday it brought tears to my eyes. I thought it was the most fabulous thing, ever. He really enjoyed himself. He loved that I thought it was great and he just kept singing and dancing from his car seat. Now, if I could just break him of that nasty Yo Gabba Gabba habit, we'd be set!
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 8:26 AM
Monday, May 5, 2008
I know that not all of you were disappointed with my lack of a Friday Randoms but I did get one or two people expressing some sadness at the lack of Friday Randoms, so here they are- on Monday.
I haven't had much milling around in my head lately so these will most likely be boring.....
Thanks so much Alison! I love it! I suppose I should pass it on......
I could pass on to many more....everyone makes my day when they comment, seriously. Well, just about everyone!
Randoms over. Told you. Boring.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 1:20 PM