Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

I think September is my favorite month.  Actually, December is probably my first favorite, with September closely following.  October is squeezed in there, so it hold a special place in my heart, too.  We have been busy doing all things fall and Halloweeny lately, and I even caught some of it on video!  Check out BBZ and his first try at pumpkin carving!  What I wish I caught on video was when he started singing "happy birthday to pumpkin!" when we said we were going to put a candle in there. Too cute!

Here we are at our friend Laura's party.  We were looking forward to hanging out for a while, but BBZ started saying that he wanted to leave over and over for about an hour before we finally just said ok.  He's usually so social!  I guess he just didn't feel like hanging out because we were home before his usual bedtime!

I was a zookeeper, N was a evil banana and BBZ was a monkey.

The cutest monkey around!

He fought us a little about putting on the costume, but once it was on he was ok.


My mom is in town, so she was able to come with us to N's sister's house.  We ate great food (including bat wings that N made which are just chicken wings with BLACK sauce), played and went trick or treating!

But not before indulging in a "pup cake", which is about the cutest thing I have ever heard.

N's sister and brother-in-law won a contest for their great costumes!

Grandpa Z showing BBZ how to take a picture.

He just jumped right in with his cousin and her friend.

BBZ got the hang of it quickly and certainly enjoyed getting the candy.  The high light of the night though was when one of the houses (I don't think it was this one) gave him 2 tiny tubs of Play dough!  He LOVES play dough and I don't get it out much because it is too messy.  It was the best thing that has happened to BBZ in a long time, apparently.

At the next house rather than saying "trick or treat" he said..."do you have play dough for ME?"  It just cracked me up!

I meant to get a picture of him playing with the play dough when we got home, but I forgot to get my camera out.  Here he is enjoying his very favorite candy of all time, M&Ms.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween!!!!

Mama, I'm Coming Home.

Where do the weeks go?  How can it be that so much happens and I have so little time to blog about it?  So here we are with an update from last weekend...

Last weekend I went to my college reunion.  I graduated in 2001 and hadn't been back since 2002, when my previous roommate graduated.  My best college friend was driving up for her 10-year, so if she was in the same state as me I had to drive there and meet her.  It was a crazy fun night and brought back a million memories.

Here's me and C, back in 1999 as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb.  Actually, it was exactly 11 years ago today as this is Halloween.  Good Times.

Here we are last weekend, tailgating at the Football game, which we won.  Apparently, we are pretty awesome as a NAIA school right now.

C picked up her old roommate H and had company for some of the drive.

Here they are standing in front of their old dorm room window.  C is from Texas and used to have a huge Texas flag in that corner window.  The building just never looked the same after she graduated.

In side Mac Hall

My old room!  I think.  I have this reoccurring dream that I am back at college and I can't find my room or remember which one it is.  It felt weird being back here and actually remembering which room was mine.

My freshman year,  I had to use community bathrooms...these to be exact.  I'm pretty sure I have passed out on this toilet.  Not one of my better moments, but they contribute to who we are, right :)

I was pretty pumped to see that Mac Hall is accessible.

The President's Office, which I think looks really nice!

These stairs are about a million years old and I swore that each day when classes let out and everyone walked down them the same time that they would surely collapse.  Apparently they haven't yet.

I could not remember which mailbox I had.  I only lived on campus for 1.5 years, so it was a really long time ago.

Ah, the TKE house.  Man, A LOT of partying happened in this frat house.  All of my guy friends lived in this house.  It was the. place. to. be.  What great memories I had walking through this house.  I remember learning about Napster in one of these rooms and listening to song after song.  Good, good times for sure.

Ahhh, Hustler's.  I drank underage so much in this bar.  I didn't turn 21 until my senior year in college, but I did not wait that long.  I guess this is kind of incriminating, huh.  Anyway, the bar was always crowded, so my friends would build a wall of bodies and I would sneak along the wall and get in behind the guy carding.  I was so bad!

C and H, before the shots!

Me and was like we just saw each other, even though it had been a little more than 2 years.  She is a free spirit and a very dear friend.  It was a fantastic weekend!

One thing I didn't get to do is drive by the house I rented the last 2.5 years of college.  That house was awesome.  We didn't have time that night to drive by and I woke up at about 7am ready to be home with my boys.  The drive wasn't bad and I was home by 10am.  I really wish I had driven by the house, but next year is my 10-year, so I'm sure I will head back that way.  I just can't express how crazy it was being back there.  I have so many memories of that time of my life.  It's such a time of self exploration, and excitement, and lack of responsibility.  The school and town were pretty bad, so the friendships and people who were there made it what it was.  The park!  I also didn't get a chance to drive through the park.  That park was amazing.  There was a particular place that we would drive to watch the sunset.  There were more stars in the sky during our late-night drives on the gravel roads than I have ever seen.  That night I went back there and took a trip down memory lane.  It is full of sweet memories of times that helped me become who I am now.  I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything in the world.  Love ya, Marshall MO.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Let's be Honest...I am not Perfect.

I may or may not have mentioned that I am co-facilitating a group of young adults with disabilities at work on Wednesday evenings.  We are actually about to finish the first of three 10-week sessions of the group, which is called the Living Well Young Adult Group.  I began working with these young adults as a way to get more face-to-face time for my PLPC (I need 1200 F2F and 3000 total hours).  I have never been involved in any kind of group therapy before, so this was very new to me and admittedly, somewhat scary.  I was also concerned because I was to be the only member of the group without a disability.  Questions such as...

Will they like me?  Will they compare themselves to me?  Will they assume my life is better?  Will they accept me?

...flooded my mind.  These are not emotions or questions I was prepared for because after all, I am the (co) leader, I will be different from them.  I will have a different agenda.  I am just...different.  That could not have been further from the truth.

And that leads me into the next topic.  Truth.  Honesty.  Two words that people use so very often, but what do they really mean?  I imagine that they mean very different things to different people.  One of the biggest things we emphasize in our weekly meetings is being honest with ourselves and with each other.  I have come to trust the members of this group more than I have trusted many of my friends.  No offense to my friends, but when you are in a room with strangers who have taken a pledge to not judge, to support each other, and to listen, and I mean really listen to each other, you see what truth can really look like.  I have tried to emulate these factors in my relationships outside of the meeting.

I had my feelings hurt by a friend a week or so after these meetings began.  Because of my commitment to honesty that I have with this group, I confronted the friend about it.  The result was perhaps not what I had hoped it would be, but what I got out of it was the truth.  Finally, the truth.  Isn't that what we all really want anyway?

A few weeks ago I read this post.  This guy at Single Dad Laughing is a little bit of a schmuck.  That is completely my opinion.  I enjoy what he writes, and so does he.  And he is not afraid to tell you so.  I will take what I want from his writing and leave the rest.  Just consider yourself warned if you start to poke around his blog.

So anyway, that post is a bit long, but completely worth your time.  I promise.  There is a disease called perfection and it plagues us all.  At work the other day, a woman called me perfect.  The scary part is that I really think she meant it.  I really think she thinks I never make mistakes and always have it all together.  I started to think, could some of that be my fault for always acting as though I have it all together?  Is my desperate attempt at perfection forcing those around me to feel less than perfect?  Just in case, here are some reasons why I am so much less than perfect.

I become easily frustrated and quickly very angry with BBZ.  I am sometimes afraid that I might hit him out of anger.

I spend money on things I don't need, then complain about being broke.

I procrastinate at work, then complain about having too much to do.

I am an aggressive driver.  I have had more middle fingers thrown my way than I care to admit.  I also yell choice works often while driving.  If BBZ starts dropping the eff bomb I will not be able to blame N.

I'm afraid everyone has noticed that I've gained weight.

I'm afraid that some of my frustration with BBZ is that he, in fact, isn't perfect either.

My biggest fear is that one day everyone will see that I'm not really a good person and I'm not very good at my job and I'm just a big, fat phony.

So there, I am certainly not perfect.  What I am is human.  I am realizing that I get the most upset with BBZ when I am trying to make him do something that he doesn't want to do.  I tried a sticker chart this weekend that truly is more for me than for him.  I needed a way to get him to do what he needs to do without me having to physically force him, which seems to be what gets my blood boiling the worst.  It only works about 50% of the time, but that is 50% fewer anger-inducing fights.  There is hope.  The other stuff is just stuff.  Most of the time I do feel hopeful and positive, but these things do plague my mind.  I have things I do that help me feel better about myself and ways to cope with the things in my head.  But nevertheless, they are still there.  They are in all of us, and that is nothing to be ashamed of.

There is something else I learned while in the group...I am most effective with connecting to people when I am my real and open self.  When I let down the wall that says I have it all together and talk about how scared I am for BBZ at his new school.  How hard I try to fight back tears and not cry in front of others.  When I let down these walls and show the people I am trying to help that I, too, have things I struggle with, I can truly connect and maybe even help them.  Acting as though I only have something to teach and not something to learn gets me nowhere.

That guy was right about one thing, admitting my imperfections does feel freeing!  But also very uncomfortable, which I suppose is a good thing!  I think Not Me! Mondays are definitely a more fun way to share my imperfections...maybe I'll start that up again next week.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Zoo!

This is my second blog today, so don't miss the first one that catches up from last weekend!

Does anyone else absolutely love the new way we can upload pictures to Blogger?  I could seriously get used to this.

This weekend continued to be unseasonably warm, so we headed outside to enjoy the beautiful weather.  After I spent the morning shopping at a local trunk show (and snagging a sweet deal on some handmade awesomeness) we spent the afternoon at the first birthday party of a little girl of a fellow LLL member and friend.  This little girl is just the picture of beauty.  She seriously is like a little porcelain doll.  The party was full of like-minded mamas, home-brewed beer and good conversation.  After the part we headed to a friend's house for pizza and playtime.  BBZ loves hanging out with the kiddos at our friend's house and had a blast.  He wasn't in the car 5 minutes and crashed!  We took the front off of his crib after some debacle with the crib company and just put on a store-bought bed rail.  Friday night he woke up at around 3:30am and I was too tired to try and get him back to sleep so I just brought him to bed with me.  Last night he woke up again at 3:30am but this time I was able to get him back to sleep.  We all slept in until 8am, and when I looked at the video monitor I didn't see BBZ!  I kind of freaked out and ran upstairs, but his door was closed.  I sat there and wondered for a minute but decided that he was apparently still in his room.  I heard him a few minutes later and when I walked into his room he was cuddled on the floor outside of his bed.  I don't know what he was doing!  I moved the video monitor camera so I can see his bed and the path to the door.  How funny!

So anyway, after that strange occurrence this morning we decided to take a random and unplanned trip to the Zoo!  We got there right as they opened and got a pretty good parking place.  We also went to the Children's Zoo, which I haven't been to in years.  BBZ got to pet some more animals and we got some exercise.  We hate to bring the stroller, so we all got a workout!  Even BBZ because he had to walk a lot.

I suppose this one deserves an explanation.  N and I saw this guy fall over backwards and were sure that if he were in nature he would be totally screwed...not so!  He was able to flip back over!  Crazy. 

He started out crawling up this hill to get to the top of the slide, but eventually he decided to just walk up the steep incline.  He's so brave!

Of course he adored the train.  He didn't want to ride it though.

This is what was so tiring.  He has been eating like a horse and is almost too big for me to handle!  My legs are so sore!  It's that good sore though, the kind you get from a good workout.  And I didn't even have to leave him at a sitter to go to the gym!

After fighting a nap all afternoon, BBZ finally crashed around 3pm and is still sleeping at almost 4:30pm!  Hopefully he will be able to go to sleep tonight.  I have some blogs written in my head that I would love to get out, but this will have to do for now.  Perhaps this week will provide me with some time to get them out out and onto the blog.  We'll see!  Have a great week, everyone!

Backyard Camping, Grant's Farm and The Pumpkin Patch!

Well, I didn't win the Bumgenius contest, but I did *meet* the winner!  Jill is a very creative mama who surprisingly lives very close to me!  It's crazy what a small world it is, seriously.

So I have been slacking on the blogging lately, which is not a big surprise if you know me at all.  It has not been for lack of content though, we have been so busy!  I love pictures, so we will catch up the weekend with some photos...

Friday 10/8, all of our friends traveled to Kansas City to see Widespread Panic, the band that we used to follow.  N and I reluctantly sat this one out, but we certainly found something to keep us busy!  Our first backyard campout!

BBZ loved the tent.

Is it just me or does he look way too much like a little man in this one?

And no campout is complete without a campfire.

Oh, and some goldfish, too.

BBZ and his fierce independence wore me out on Saturday morning and I didn't feel like fighting with him to put his clothes on.  So instead I grabbed my camera and started snapping!

Little stinker.

After our photo shoot, and when he finally put some clothes on, we headed to Grant's Farm!  I forgot my camera, but my phone caught a few shots from the beautiful morning. 

The best part of this trip was that N and I both had the same feeling that we could have another baby one day.  While I really know I want another child, I still worry about how we would handle two.  N and I both had an overwhelming feeling that something (or someone) is missing from our little family.  Maybe we'll have to do something about that :)

The fun didn't stop there...after a nice afternoon nap, the whole Z family (Delilah included as it was her birthday) packed up the wagon and headed to our neighborhood flower nursery to do some pumpkin-patchin'.

What a fantasic weekend we had!

I can't say the same for this past week though.  My week was as bad and as busy as anyone can imagine.  I had to work late twice and do a lot of someone else's work on top of my own and manage everything at home all while being super stressed and over tired.  Let's put ot this way, I had to apologize twice to BBZ for becoming angry and once to someone at work.  I am feeling much more refreshed today and hope that this week will be filled with an overabundance of patience and positive thinking, both of which I could use more of. 

On a positive note, BBZ is doing wonderfully at his new school!  He cries a little when I drop him off, but he stops by the time I sign him out and peek back in.  He is always so happy to see me when I get there in the evening.  His teachers have such nice things to say about him and spend as much time as I want at the end of the day filling me in on what he has been up to.  It's always the same teacher, so I get good and thorough information.  I am thrilled with our decision to move him and happy that we made it through those first few weeks.

I have another blog coming today because we spent another fun day around town.  Watch out for it!