The Last of Anything

I temporarily stopped blogging last year with the intent of only taking a month or two off…it became a year and a half!

So onto “The Last of Anything.”

I was staring into my fridge hoping to find something amazing had appeared since the last time I peered inside. No such luck. I decided to make a small salad to get me to dinner. To my surprise all of my desired ingredients were present. It occurred to me that very rarely, unless I make it clear with big BOLD letter on a takeout box or it being an item no one else likes, do I get the last of anything.

I guess that’s part of the Mom deal? Bowls of Special K Red Berries with no milk, cheese without crackers and jelly & bread but no peanut butter are pretty common. I know I could go to the grocery more often but I have so much free time *sarcasm* and it is always delightful to take a child that I just say “Whatever” and eat my potluck.

So next time you see one last Popsicle, dollop of peanut butter or find a lone Reese’s Cup (most likely hidden on purpose) ask the woman in your life if she would like it.

Job vs. Identity

It has been a while since I graced the interwebs with my opinions and feelings. Every since becoming a primarily stay-at-home mama to the Ramlet I have struggled off and on with my identity. I was no longer employed and no longer a college student.

I do my photography work when I can but must admit I have not been marketing and seeking out new business much lately. Needing a babysitter to work can prove to be a bit daunting. Mr. Ram-a-razzi works at 9-5 job and then does high school sports coverage for the local newspaper most Fridays and some Saturdays during the school year.

My identity right now is pretty much Mom. Most days I am 100% okay with that. The hours suck and being paid in half eaten fruit snacks can wear on you. When people ask me what I “do” it is often hard to tell them I stay at home with my son. I always throw in their that I am a photographer as well.

It seems that I am not the only one struggling to find themselves lately. Both of my parents are going through similar struggles in their own way. My dad retired from private practice & surgery about 5 years ago. He enjoyed the time to do woodworking, relax and do “retired stuff.” But now he has gone back to work part-time at a group practice. His identity was his job. We had a saying in our family that, “Dad could go to Mars and see someone he knew.”

My mom has been going through this struggle for a while now too. My little brother left the nest for college in 2010. He was the youngest and only boy in our family. He is doing amazing and loving living with his friends on campus. My mom’s identity was “Mom” for 26 years! She worked for a bit when I was little but her main job was “Mom.” She packed our lunches, washed our clothes, drove us places and attended our events. My brother was more popular and more involved in school than I was and so was she. She sold enough school spiritwear to clothe everyone in Uganda. She went to all of his activities/competitions/plays and was “Mrs. B or D’s Mom” (names changed to protect the innocent).

It isn’t until you don’t have one that you realize how much of your identity is based upon your job. It is not just how you pay your bills.

It really makes sense to me now hearing about all the people that worked until they could no longer physically work, even if it was volunteer work.

Perspective

I had seen this before and really liked it but didn’t really “need” to see it like I did when it popped up on my Facebook feed last night.

The past few months with my son have been trying to say the least. He is a little over two and really testing his boundaries. What is the most difficult for me is that when I speak sternly to him, take away a toy or a privilege I am often met with laughter or a part of his body assaults my body. Last night I was headbutted in the eye socket for telling him that if he did not sit down and watch the movie (as opposed to jumping on our bed) he had to go to his bed. I know he is only two and that seems like a complex request but he does understand because he got mad at the mention of going to bed. He was in between Mr. Ram-a-razzi and I, leaned over to my pillow and POW!

I have really been struggling. Sometimes I have a child who blatantly disobeys my simple requests just because he is able to. Other times I have a child who is just plain mean! If there is one thing that cuts me deeply it is people being purposefully mean to me. I was not bullied as a child beyond the typical teasing from time-to-time…THANK GOD! When a person I love so deeply intentionally hurts me (usually physically) it stabs me in the soul.

I try so hard to be patient and understand that yes, life is hard for a two year old. Lately I feel like I have not done so well. I am not angry or irritated but deeply sad. Tonight I just let my emotions go and what happened surprised me.

My son was taking his bath and I was washing my face, brushing my hair and counting down until I could get into my own bed. I all of a sudden hear a flood of water. I didn’t want to look. He had taken his cup that we use to rinse his hair and the bucket that his toys go into, filled them with water and dumped them all over the floor. After I confiscated the cup and firmly told him, “NO! No water outside the tub” I sat down on the toilet lid, my socks soaking wet. The rugs were soaked, the water was dripping down the vent and I lost it. I just cried. I looked at my son and cried. I managed to get out, “You made Mommy very sad” between helpless sobs. It was not about the water.

His reaction eased my pain. He just looked at me as I cried and listened to my words. He knows what the word “sad” means. He could relate to me. He knows what it means to cry. It occurred to me that maybe the answer is not trying to make him act grown up but for me to act more toddler. I try so hard to control my emotions, to be even-tempered and a good example.

It occurred to me tonight, soggy feet and all, that I am doing okay. I am not failing him as I struggle but learning with him as we both strive to be the best people we can be.

A Little Mother’s Day Humor & Reflection

321301_650589801623667_1780117073_nWith this weekend being Mother’s Day I thought I would do a little humorous reflection on this past year and a half that I have been in the “Mom Club.”

Being a mom is a full-time job, don’t get me wrong! But, just as with any other job there are time when you have to laugh or you will end up in a corner in the fetal position singing “Jesus Loves Me” while rocking back and forth.

Just a little whatnot about my life and the kid that lives across the hall.

  • When you are a Mom you regain that small child fascination with poop. This time it is not your own. Is it too much, is it enough, I don’t remember feeding them that, WTF! How did a Lego get in there?
  • It is a good day if you can leave the house with no food on them or you.
  • It is possible to sustain on caffeine alone.
  • Sometimes I have to walk away from my son’s tantrum because I am laughing. “I guess that magazine subscription card that fell out of “Marie Claire” was really special.”
  • You will consider becoming a nudist simply because your child makes more laundry than four adults.
  • You turn into a 3 year old boy. My favorite video of my son is when he farted at 6 months old and stared at his butt like “What just happened?”
  • You can go from classy to thug in 1.3 seconds, all it takes is for someone to talk $h*t about your kid or your parenting skills. Try me biotch!
  • You begin analyzing purchases in “amount of diapers.” A $300 Coach purse is no longer $300, it is 12 Jumbo boxes of Huggies when they are on sale at Target and you get a $5 gift card for buying two.
  • Going out to dinner used to be fun. Now the decision is based on which is worse, having to cook or having to wrangle a child to stay in their high chair and not to throw down the food they don’t want.
  • A “Girls Night Out” means dinner and Target or the mall without the offspring!
  • You know where those little fingers have been but happily take the mushy Cheerio they offer because they are finally getting the hang of sharing.
  • The best sound in the world is also the scariest…SILENCE! It’s all about the scenario.
  • It’s funny the first few times your child tells YOU, “No!”
  • It is okay to put yourself into time out! It’s oddly satisfying to put a child who is throwing a fit for no good reason into their bed with a few toys and step outside. It’s even better to smile and think, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”
  • Anyone who tells you they have never raised their voice to their child is a liar! “Yeah lady…and I bet the weight on your drivers license is 100% accurate as well.”
  • If you can’t laugh about the dumb things you have done then you are doing it wrong 😉

Your child(ren) love you just the way you are, just like you love them. They learn to appreciate that you try your best for them. Dinner might not always be amazing. No one has lost IQ points because their Mom said, “Today sucked, let’s just get pizza.” You will bleach a few colored items, shrink a favorite sweater, lose the “lucky” baseball socks or even walk them to the bus wearing fuzzy slippers.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the Moms, Grandmas, Step-Moms and Motherly Figures!

12 Things I Learned About Life During 2012

1. Life is never forever! Today a close friend of my BIL passed away from cancer. He was diagnosed with lung cancer less than 6 months ago. Just this week it was discovered that his treatments were not working and it had spread to his liver. He had just turned 30.

2. No matter how much they drive you crazy, your child(ren) bless your life. This year I have witnessed the struggles of women in my life, including a close friend, to have a child.

3. Stretch marks are OK. I don’t love them but I certainly don’t feel the same way that I felt this time last year. They will never fully go away so why worry?

4. It is okay to wear your pajamas most of the day. It is more important that my son has fun being a little boy. We roll around on the floor, play with the dogs, eat snacks and usually spill something.

5. Sometimes I need to just let it be and leave it alone! I tend to try to save the world but need to spend less time worrying about stuff that isn’t my problem.

6. Karma is a biotch…I hope! I have encountered a few less than moral and honest people in this past year that I made sure are not apart of my family’s life. After 29 years of living I still do not understand what goes on in some people’s head.

7. A cookie makes everything better, just ask my son!

8. Who cares what size your clothes are? Be healthy, do your best and don’t obsess.

9. Having faith in yourself is the most important part “being the best.” There is no best! The so-called best are just people who have faith in themselves and p

ursue their dreams & talents to the best of their ability.

10. The best gifts are not things. On Christmas night, Baby Ram-a-razzi planted a big wet kiss on the lips on me before bed. We never kiss him on the mouth. It was hilarious and adorable. It was the best gift I received.

11. You can never have enough AA batteries! I have dipped into my camera bag’s rechargables from time-to-time to power a favorite toy, Mr. Ram-a-razzi’s handy remote control and the occasional clock. Santa will be getting a request for the Costco sized battery pack next year.

12. Always get in the photo! It makes me so sad to say but if you look at photos of my son’s first birthday you would never know I was there. I was so wrapped up in documenting it that I am not in a single photo. I cried that night.

Sometimes You’re The Windshield…Sometimes You’re The Bug

I think today I am the bug. I don’t think yesterday ever really ended!

I had a full day yesterday with a doctor’s appointment, visit to my parents’, cooked dinner, regular Mama duties and even made it to the gym followed by the grocery. I was very ready for an awesome, drool on your pillow night’s sleep.

I didn’t get much sleep, let alone and awesome night’s sleep. The little guy is working on even more teeth and seems to have a bit of an upset stomach. He slept about 3 hours total between 11pm and 5am in increments of 30 minutes or so. He is working on having 13/20 baby teeth.

Today has been nowhere near as productive as I had hoped prior to not sleeping. I get a gold star on my “wife chart” for making dinner today. Pot roast with potatoes, carrots and green beans. I also prevented the house from being a disaster area but made no improvement to the tidiness or organization…I am just breaking even.

The dogs and the boy are in cahoots today! I feel like the only word I have uttered today are derivatives of “NO!” My brain hurts!

I’m hoping naptime works as a “reboot” for the wild child and his puppies 🙂

Disney’s “A Bug’s Life”

Lookin’ Curve-aceous

Sephora by OPI gelshine™ Gel Colour in Curve-aceous

No, that is NOT the message across the back of my sweatpants! I am wearing yoga pants 😉

I had a bit of a stressful day because Baby Ram-a-razzi is teething and Mr. Ram-a-razzi returns to work tomorrow after a nice, long Thanksgiving break. Put these two things together and you get a bit of a tense household full of pouting and the occasional hissy fit.

I thought it would be fun to pull out my Sephora by OPI gel nail color system. It was a complete impulse purchase at $159. To be perfectly honest, my Mom bought it for me. She wanted to try it out and said I could have it if I promised to do her nails a few times with it. She has arthritis so painting her nails, which she loves, is getting to be a bit of a pain and making them look perfect is almost impossible for the able-fingered.

The system takes a bit of getting used to. The first time I did it I spent almost 45 minutes. That is a bit much for a manicure, even if it lasts 2 weeks. I just did what was probably my 10th manicure with it and it took me exactly 16 minutes from start to finish. It seems like a lot of steps but it goes by fast.

I love it so much I now own 6 colors of gel. The kit comes with your choice of one color. In the kit you get:
– 0.29 oz gelshine™ Base Coat
– 0.29 oz gelshine™ Top Coat
– 0.29 oz gelshine™ Gel Colour (your choice of colors)
– gelshine™ LED Light
– 25 x Nail Pads
– 3 x Removal Nail Wraps
– 2 oz Nail Cleanser
– Buffing block
– 2 oz Nail & Gel Colour Remover
– 0.3 oz Brush-On Cuticle Oil
– Cuticle pusher
– 3 x gloves
– Instructions

Each new color is $17.50. That seems a little pricy but a bottle lasts 6-7 manicures from what reviews online have said. I have my base & top coats for 10 manis and still have about 1/2 a bottle of each. The color really does stay on for 2 weeks. That is not advertising fluff! It might last even longer but I soak mine off in acetone after 2 weeks due to regrowth.

I have never used the removal wraps, gloves or removal solution. I just use acetone on cotton balls and wrap each nail in foil. Old beauty school trick to get of acrylic or gel nails that I learned in my days as an esthetician.

Mama feels a little prettier and a mama who feels pretty is a happier mama!

Carter’s Holiday Outtakes & Coupons!

The joys of photographing kids 🙂 Sometimes they just aren’t feeling the photo love

Save 20% off $40+ or 15% off your entire purchase. Offers expire on 11/28/12.

Honey, you broke what?

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Kind of glad it broke! The metal one looks better than the cheapo plastic one

My husband spewed obscenities from the bathroom which is never a good sign. He flushed and off came the flusher!

I got to our little Mom & Pop hardware store with 20 minutes to spare, replaced the knob and he barely had to come inside from hanging Christmas lights to watch the little man. It wasn’t exactly how I planned to celebrate #SmallBizSat but it works. I also shopped smaller merchants online for some unique gifts.

Where is my SuperMom shirt? I own one 🙂