I hate the age 2-4 years old.

I am writing this during my almost 3 yr old darling boys “nap”. It’s 2:19pm and I am just praying that he will sleep for like 43 minutes so he is not a total______ by 5:03pm.  We are also in the mist of potty training. ” MOMMMMMMMAAAAAAA. MOMMMMAAAAAAAAAA. I got to poop again (his little head up close screaming in the camera) !!!!!” This is the 3rd “poop” cry for help. I have no clue if he is actually pooping because he closes the door for “pri-a-ceeee ( privacy) and flushes the toilet before I can see what is going on. Which is hysterical since I have not went to the bathroom by myself in like 22 months ( Ok- I take that back… I did pee very very quickly during the Chicago marathon at mile 17 in a porta potty. Oh heaven!) I have also been in his room to fill the request of water, one more hug and room being too hot. This guy is a master manipulator with his blonde hair, blue eyes and eyelash for days.

I fear we are in the almost phase of no more naps. I can’t imagine how I will function with out this 1-3hr respite that I so very desperately need. DD napped until kindergarten and even then, she would sometimes come home and take a little 45 minute siesta ( she was half day kindergarten). I will be super excited for no nap in the summer when we are at the beach, park or waterpark. Its still March in Cleveland. Its 28 degrees today with rain expected for the next 13 days. Momma needs her time. Bad. My brain can’t play anymore trains, hockey or hoops.

2 weeks ago we got rid of the crib. He is now in half of my husbands bunk bed with is new Rogue One Star War sheets. I cried a little at the sight of him in his “Big Boy Bed”. G will be 3 in June. Preschool papers are in. He is registered to start the Tuesday after Labor Day. G will be going to the same place that M went. As I met the director to give my enrollment form and the downpayment, she was shocked that he was already preschool age. I also cried then. I will probably also cry when I no longer need to buy diapers ( maybe not now that I am thinking about that).

Why did I cry?  Is it because G is our last? Is it because I think I should have been more active with him- taking G to the zoo, park, beach more. Could I have been more patient- read one more book, given that 60th hug?  Maybe its because the ages of baby to preschool scare me. I feel like I have no control somedays ( most all days). Is it because this is solid factual truth that I am getting older? Am I where I should be at age 29 ( ok 37.)?  37 doesn’t seem too old but geez…I guess 40 is knocking on the door.

Every day I wish I could be more. More patient. More healthy. More of a fun mom. More of a better runner. More of a better friend, wife, daughter  ( insert the list that could keep going here_______).  I was just mediating before I started writing to attempt to distract me from G not napping. As I was setting up to type, something happened to let me know that I am enough.  ( This is my favorite saying from one of my favorite humans Glennon Melton Doyle). My daughters teacher ( whom I am OBSESSED with!) sent me an email today to let me know that they were talking about the meaning of the word brave. Each student had to give an example of this word. M said ” My Mom”. She went on to explain that I was brave because sometimes her brother ( G$) was mean but I still gave him hugs and played trains with him even after a timeout. She also mentioned that I was brave because I ran marathons.

Wow. I needed to read those words at that time. Thank you M, the universe and God. I needed the reminder that God ( or whomever you believe in) made me a mother to M and G for a reason.

Age  “almost 3 ” is not my favorite age but neither was mile 21 at the Chicago Marathon.  I finished that damn thing with a huge smile on my face and no doubt being transformed into a stronger person. This stage for me will be tackled how I plan to tackle the next marathon. Stay in the mile (minute) that I am in, rely on support to get me through  ( husband, family and friends) and lots of beer at the end ( same.)!

 

Letter to my almost 7 year old daughter

Dear M,

Hi. It’s me, Momma. I just wanted to take the time to write you this letter because sometimes in the quiet of the night when I lay awake, I think of things that I want to tell you. When morning comes, we get in to the hustle of the day and moments to share some of my insights are replaced by asking you if you want peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and honey sandwich for lunch.

You, my darling, are simply incredible. You love with your whole heart. I still will never forget the day that I just realized how truly loving that you are. You were 3 yrs old and in the mist of hand, foot and mouth ( In my opinion, THE worst virus ever). I had rented a few DVDs from the library for you to watch. We were watching Clifford and I went to get you a popsicle from the freezer. When I returned, you had tears streaming down your face. I thought your throat was super sore and asked you if you wanted another cough drop. Your 3 yr old self then explained to me that you were sad for Clifford. The episode was  the one where Clifford ran away from home because he thought Emily Elizabeth and family could no longer afford to feed him because he eats so much food. Your heart hurt for Clifford. You didn’t want him to feel sad.

To this day, you still display this kind heart ( thats what I call it). Currently, in first grade, there is 1 student. A boy. He has no friends. The other classmates exclude him. He is a little rough around the edges and is often aggressive in his actions. YOU have made him a little softer . His mom, who is very much aware of his behavior, pulled me aside recently. She told me that this boy has had a really ,really bad year. They had to move in the middle of the night to escape an abusive situation right before the school year. The father has never been in the picture. Mom is working 2 jobs and going to school at night. She told me that this boy gets up in the morning just to see you at school. He tells her that you are the only one that is nice to him, besides your amazing teacher.

I am beyond proud of you.

Of course I want you to get good grades and exceed in school. Of course I want you to participate in whatever physical activity and try your best ( pretty please sweet baby Jesus make my gal a runner so I have a partner to run with!).

To me, being kind and spreading love in this somewhat scary big world tops anything successes that you may accomplish.

Its easy to teach skills to make you a great student and practice will take you to higher places in sports BUT it is hard to teach being kind. That is in your soul. In your being. Being kind, caring, loving and giving will take you farther in this life than anything.

My hope is that as you continue to grow, your kindness will grow with you.  The older you get, the bigger the kindness may be needed. Maybe it is to help a friend out who is in bad spot. Maybe it is for going against the grain and standing for what you believe in. Maybe its leaving a relationship that is no longer good for. (Being kind to yourself is critical as well).

Regardless, I am here. I am here to walk with you on your journey. Step by step. Always.

Thank you God for choosing me to be M’s mother. I just know that she will teach me more than I will ever teach her… she already hasmads-kind.

Sing it, Johnny!

Don’t you want to enjoy whatever Christmas means to you?

You guys. Don’t tell my husband but… I am listening to Christmas music. I know. I know. Its early. Thanksgiving is 2.5 weeks away. I am usually “allowed” to start breaking out my Frank Sinatra Christmas CD the evening that we are decorating the Christmas tree.  Now, I am a sucker for some traditions, so ole blue eyes will remain in the dusty CD storage until the Coleman Christmas tree enters. For now, I am using Pandora ( which still blows my mind that you can get free amazing music).

Before you know it, I will be losing my ever loving mind trying to clean and get ready for us to have Thanksgiving.  We took on this tradition a few years ago and I do love it! Husband is a bad ass cook and I love to bake ( and drink wine!).  Usually I head downtown to do the 5 mile Turkey Trot but this year I may just run with some of my favorite running buddies local.  This is also the time that GG ( my grandma but the kids call her GG for Great Grandma) comes up and then stays with us during the winter months! We also started a family tradition of playing Apples to Apples were one of my BFFs ( S) comes over after her family dinner to have just ” a little bit” of wine and some laughs! Its usually a long fun night ending in more wine by the fireplace.

What I don’t love is what happens the day after. Now, I am not referrering to Black Friday where people much braver and motived than me ( and maybe a tad crazier) go stand in line for hours upon hours to get a pair of pajama pants for $5.  What I am taking about is the text, phone calls and emails from the family asking what my darling little angels would like this year for Christmas. I am forced to copy and paste some bullshit that I find on toyrus. com just to make the texts and emails stop. As I am giving them these ideas, my mind is focused on the fact that this is just more stuff. More mind numbing toys that my kids will like for maybe 5 minutes and then they will be off doing what they love most- asking me for snacks and refining the definition of fight club for our home with  the “hockey stick” addition sprinked in with “hula hoops can also be used as a weapon”.

Here’s the thing… I LOVE the family ( welp. most of them.) and they are all so very generous when it comes to Christmas and the kids but we do not need more stuff. In fact, I am in a scurry just to try to declutter the house now before GG arrives and before the holidays. This includes all toys, clothes, books, etc.

What I want my kids to have our memories and experiences. Come and take Madeline out to a play and lunch. Grant is obsessed with trains. Take him somewhere we would never take him to have an adventure. Don’t want to spend 1-1 time… then gift cards to movies, the aquarium, Disney on Ice ( shoot me, now) , an Indians game next spring, or a day pass to go tobogganing. Money towards monthly gymnastics fees or swim lessons. Let’s think outside the box, here. Teach my children something I can’t.  Can you sew?  Great. Teach my daughter. Master Lego builder?  Awesome. I will drop Grant off for 2 hours with snacks.  In fact, I want to do the “4 things for Christmas” for the kids ( want, need, wear and read) along with a few fun stocking stuffers.

And while I am at- I am done this year. Done. Done with doing brunches and dinners and breakfasts just so we can cross it ( as well as so you can cross us) off the “Holiday To Do” lists. Everyone can feel how forced, awkward and awful it is. No one wants to be there. Everyone is counting down the minutes until its over. Why?  Why are we doing this year after year after year?  I want to spend this time with my darling friends. I want to have a Christmas Holiday pajama party with hot cocoa, yummy food and fun holiday movies with my kiddos and some friends. I want to use this time to reconnect with friends that I have lost touch with over marathon training and “momming”. I want to sit by the Christmas tree with husband drinking an amazing red while Frank belts out all of my favorite songs. I want to bake cookies with my MIL, SIL and daughter.

Its time to Coleman this Christmas.  I encourage you to do the same.  Hate mailing out Christmas cards? Stop. Got to travel all day long for Christmas just to be in the car more than someones house? Stop. Buying pointless gifts for someone just because that is how it is always been done? Stop.

What if this is your last Christmas?  Your last holiday season with those that you love. Don’t you want to enjoy whatever Christmas means to you?

The big C

I thought we would beat the odds. I had no clue when we were at the playground just over a month ago I would eat my words. ” You know. We are so blessed to have healthy kids.  They may drive us crazy from time to time but we are very lucky”.  This was said to one of my best friends, K.  Now, not even 4 weeks later her world was rocked with what very well may be the worst news she will ever receive.  Ks daughter P ( 5) has Ewings sarcoma.  It is a very, very, very rare form of bone cancer. P has already started chemotherapy. P will be not be going to kindergarten that starts tomorrow. P is no longer doing gymnastics. Just overnight, their world has been flipped upside down. Playdates have now turned into doctors appointments. Sleeping and eating is not happening very often. Tears, screaming and more tears have taken the place of joking and making plans of getting the band back together (that is what we call getting all of us out for a date night).

Of course we have other friends and acquaintances that we see but in the “band” there is 6 of us. Each has claimed their role in the friendship and  we all play our part very well. The 6 of us is made up of me, K and S and then our husbands. Our kids is everyones kids.  You see my kid acting a fool.. feel free to correct their behavior.  Husband working late or going  out of town… come over for dinner. Sad, Angry, Happy, Blah, Sick, Tired- whatever… lets get together to talk about it.  The band is not just friends- The band is my family. My core. My support.

P’s diagnosis has stopped us all in our tracks. Of course we are doing everything we possibly can to help but we can not take this away from them. This nightmare that keeps reoccurring daily. Waking up knowing the truth and the long road that lies ahead. Praying, talking, crying, yelling and praying some more.

Why is it that in life it takes something like this. Truly life changing to make you dig in and dig deep. Things that used to over take life ( laundry, mowing the lawn, and dusting) is now replaced by ice cream for dinner, board games at night and that one extra story during bedtime.  Getting up to run at 4am is now seen as a privilege not a chore.  I now thank my body after every run. Thank you for holding me up and propelling me forward.Thank you for making me feel alive. Thank you for my heart beating out of my chest. Thank you for my legs pushing and pounding the pavement away. Thank you lungs for helping me breath hard and deep. Thank you God for another day that I am alive and healthy.

When its quiet, I cry and lose faith and then pray to get it back. When I am having a good time with my kids, my heart aches for K who is in the hospital with P. This never leaves me. Its always in the background. The fear of what will be and the mourning of what was.

P is not my child but she is. K is not my biological sister but she is.

I keep reminding myself that God has a reason for this. A silver lining. Something that we can all look back at have a ” Ahhh. Thats why”. I am not there yet. I am trying to believe and to not question. But I am not anywhere near here. I am trying and I will keep trying. Praying. Mediating. Crying. Yelling. Repeat…

But for now- I give myself permission to cry, scream, to be angry and to still pray for hope and understanding and guidance. Life can be ugly and beautiful. Life can be filled with joy and sorrow. Adulting fucking sucks. Being a parent is harder than hard. My heart can not even imagine having a sick child. How this is now your new life that you never planned on having. Never would wish on your worst enemy. Why God?  Why children? Why P?  Why them?

I will walk every step of this nightmare with my best friends. I will show up everytime even if it is hard and emotional. I will say inappropriate things to get laughs. I will cry with you. I will have one too many glasses of anything with you. I will rally the troops when needed . I will guard you and your family like a momma bear. I will keep asking you daily what I can do for you or your family. I will worry deeply about you when I am supposed to be sleeping. I will dedicate my runs and mediation to you. This is my role in the band.

And I will play harder and better and more amazing for all of you and all of us.

cancer sucks

 

Finding the flowers amongst the weeds.

To say that the last two months the Universe has been testing me is an understatement. Now, I am aware that many other humans are suffering and going through shit storms that do not even compare to what I feel has been a trying time. Please note, that my perspective and disposition is typically Positive Polly although I do (sometimes) show my old  “waiting for the bottom to fall out” circa embryo to about 5 years ago.

I will not go through the entire list that keeps circulating in my head when I think back to the beginning of May to the present.  That will only make this time stay with me longer. Reliving and giving these events more energy is just like feeding a Gremlin after midnight.

Earlier this week, I met my yoga teacher/gal pal E for a short 3 mile run, dinner and drinks. E is my safe zone. I am my authentic self. Sometimes 100% crazy oversharing me. Sometimes the positive polly. Sometimes negative nancy. Sometimes quiet. One of the several traits that I admire about E is that she “gets on my level”. She listens with no judging when needed and sometimes judging when I ask her too. E and I were talking about how much we love “Hands Free Mama”. After we read this blog, while wiping the tears from our eyes and snot from our nose, this blogger gives us the motivation to become a little bit more. More patient. More loving. More real.  E sent me the link to one of her favorite “Hands Free Mama”posts.  It came at a perfect time. My new mantra after reading this is to find the flowers amongst the weeds.

 

Weed: My Uncle Gary took his final breath May 9th. He was 59 years old.

Flower: Besides no more suffering ( severe depression, CHF, COPD, diabetes), my cousin has returned to our hometown to live  in order to handle the path of destruction that my Uncle left behind. J, cousin that returned, was not doing so hot. Drinking to numbness became a daily (not nightly) occurrence.  J recognized this and took himself to AA. The strength to do this is admirable. I am not sure J would have came home without his passing. J would have stayed in his current situation and the spiral would have continued.

Weed: My Grandmother took her final breath June 4th. She was 89 years old.

Flower: Again, beside no more suffering ( Alzheimers, renal failure) and living in a nursing home that she despised, this side of my family has re-united after not much contact for the past 5-30 years ( depending on which family members/ different relationships). We all look older but the same personalities still shine through. Personalities and dispositions are timeless. Sharing what life has been like ( marriage, kids, divorce, marriage again, more kids, troubles with the law, getting clean from meth, retiring, moving, grandchildren) were just some of the lives that we have lived that none of us knew about. My hope is that this death has now brought life to our family again.

Weed: Earlier mornings. Later nights. Less “fun” ( I am being very picky with who I spend my time with and the events I attend).

Flower: I am training for my first marathon.( Eek. Gulp.OMG.) 4:30am is my alarm for tomorrow. Yes it is a Saturday and the Cavs are playing. I am finishing this post ( and my beer) and hitting the hay. Training for this marathon will keep me disciplined and I am only choose events that I truly want to go too. My BRFs are telling me that this training will be life altering. I can see this already. If it was not for running right now, I think I would be a hotter mess. Thank you to my body for holding me up when all I want to do is lay down.

Some more weeds have occurred in my flower bed but from now on, I am only admiring the growing, prospering and beautiful blooms.

 

 

The Sounds of Summer

{DISCLAIMER: To my dearest hubby and MIL (Grammy)… I love being a SAHM and I adore our little nuggets. The following post is just me using my not so funny/midwest Amy Schumer humor.}

“Moommmmmmmmmmmmm  Grant hit me. When is lunch. Why can’t we go to the pool? I wanna wear my Easter Dress. What can I do next? Can we have ice cream today? I don’t wanna read. Mommmmmmmmm Grant pulled my hair. Why do I have to go to the bathroom? Can I have screen time?  Can we leave the house? Why do I have to clean my room? Mommmmmmmmm Grant threw sand in my eyes…….

Mine. Fruit Snacks. No. Mine. Fruit snacks. No. Mine. Fruit snacks. No

This is my current sound of summer. M (6) is represented in the first paragraph and G (2 years old in 19 days) is the latter.

The day before M ended kindergarten I was on a summer high. I had images of glorious beach trips filled with the perfect amount of sun and breeze not dropped ice cream cones and a bird that attacked my head 3 times. Visions of bike rides with quiet content and nature filled smiles not fights over who gets to have the water bottle.  Dreams of blowing bubbles,  sidewalk chalk and picnics at the park. Instead, I am faced with my very own fight club, a never satisfying breakfast and without any official application or promotion that I am aware of, I am now a cruise director that must have activities planned for every waking second of every day (including back up ideas in case it rains).

I have reached out to my squad- other mommas, really at this point, the mail lady and I are BFFs ( just to talk to another person over the age of .. just anyone) to plan at least “one a day” playdates to get us out of the house. Just getting out to the house is a task that requires a to-do list. Water bottles. Sunblock. Snacks. Lunch. Snacks. Diapers. Wipes. Fruit Snacks. Coffee for me. Change of outfits. Legos. Coloring books. Crayons. Cell phone. Keys. Snacks. Beach toys. Ball. Beach towels. Money for daily ice cream trip because I am weak. More coffee. More water. More fruit snacks.

Today  I have 3- yep you read that correctly- 3 playdates planned. During one of them, G is going to the drop in sitters for 2 hrs. M is going to a friends house to play.

My to do list for these glorious 2 hours looks like this: grocery store, go get new running shoes, clean the entire house, read a book, go get nail out of the tire, fix an amazing lunch to enjoy outside with lemon water because you are fancy, watch 1 episode of Scandal, nap, take the dog for a walk, laundry, bake some banana bread, perhaps a bike ride….

I will probably be able to do two things from this list- get nail out of the tire and grocery store. Woooohooooo. But- I have already thought of how to make both of these tasks mo betta.

The place I go for all car stuff has this amazing waiting room with FREE  keurig coffee. I will take my book and make myself a cup or 3 while the nail gets removed. At Aldi, I will take my headphones and listen to a new podcast while sipping lemon water because I deserve it and I am fancy.

Oh gawd- I think they are awake. Time to take a 2 minute shower and brew another cup of heaven.  God speed to all the humans that are home with the kiddos for summer break. I am with you in spirit and sending you all the good juju.

 

Blossoming

I have made the decision to cut the cancer out of my body.  To stop watering the flower that will never bloom regardless of the amount of sun, water or soil.  The door needs to be shut and locked.  It may remain shut forever or not.  For now, it needs to be shut.  And stay shut.  No more opening just a little bit and peeking inside. No more pulling it all the way open in hopes of seeing something different on the other side of the door. My heart knows what’s on the other side (or what’s not).

To mourn a relationship with your parents while they are still alive but dead is a tough feat. To continue hoping, praying and begging for love from them is harder.

God wanted me in this world and they are the mechanism that brought me here.  They didn’t want to be parents.  They still don’t want too.  And thats ok.  Coming to face with the reality of this is making me accept, forgive and even love them for who they truly are, not for the ghost of what I longed for them to be.

Looking back, I have always been an orphan of sorts. I had to be an adult many times when I should have been a child.  I have had to be the parent when I was just a daughter. Joy, happiness and love were replaced by fear, rejection and doubt. I may have not had a childhood but I am choosing to have an adulthood.

While I can not undo, redo or take back … I can move on.  The time is now.  Now I will move on, leaving behind a relationship that is no longer serving my highest good.  I will be brave with my head held high knowing that I no longer will need to live in a state of wondering what can I do to be loved, accepted and good enough. I am loved, accepted and good enough.

Sometimes flowers don’t bloom and we don’t know why. Even after more water, new soil and a different place to grow.  Instead of focusing all of my energy on the one flower that is not growing, I am now choosing to nurture all of the other beautiful flowers around it.  And the most beautiful flower of all- myself. spent-flower-bloom