Metaphorical Memorial Day Baseball

Monday was Memorial Day, and being a government employee, I was off. Josh, being a government employee for the city police department, has to work some holidays, depending on the rotation of the schedule, had to work.  So, it was the mommy and Bee show, and I had this great plan of what we’d do and how we’d do it and it was going to be glorious, a day to remember for years. If you haven’t realized it yet, I’m still new to this mom-of-a-toddler thing. I’m also just slightly delusional when it comes to planning things because I’m a type A personality and plan everything down to the detail ,and I always get disappointed ever so slightly. So, needless to say, the days didn’t go eaxactly as planned.

We left later than I wanted. We went to Walmart to buy the last of our father’s day stuff, and the card machine didn’t want to acknowledge my tapping of it at check out and the lady stood over my shoulder going, “You need to push in!” That was strike one. Then we went to Cracker Barrel because we’re (still) in the process of looking for Plex the robot from Yo Gabba Gabba to complete the set before next weekend. They didn’t have it there which made me mad. On top of that, my child, the glutton, knows Cracker Barrel and knows they feed her there and tried to run into the dining room multiple times during our short visit and screamed when I made her leave. That was strike two. Then I realized I forgot to get cash to get into the park and had to find an ATM. So I went to Kroger thinking they’d have one. Oh they did, but it was inside ( I have no idea why I thought there’d be a drive thru ATM at a Kroger). Well, everyone and their mother was at this Kroger and everyone and their mother was walking in the middle of the road. So I went across the street to the Walgreens, drug the kid inside, and luckily, found an ATM…which only gave out $20s. They don’t like $20s at the park. So, I broke it and got Bee an apple juice. All of this was strike three, and all of this was before we got to the park. But I wasn’t ready to call it a strike out. I was determined.

Once at the park, we had to wait in a long line to get in. There was a park ranger who came over to help the guy in the booth and he helped the guy in front me and then he told me to move ahead. So, instead of being helped right then, I had to wait another 5 minutes on top of my already 10 minute wait to buy my day pass. Once in, everyone and the mother seemed to follow us to the park. There were no parking spots. People were everywhere. There were dogs without leashes running around and people were literally playing chicken to get spots. Finally, we found a spot a little walking distances away. We walked up to the pavilion (because Bee insists on walking whenever she gets the chance) and this family of four behind us kept nearly running over my kid, and when we moved over to let them around and they wouldn’t go around us! So, we finally got up to the water playground and the lifeguard tells me we have to have a wrist band to get in. This was not the case last year, but she wouldn’t let us in. So, I went and stood in the snack food line where only one window was open and waited. For 15 minutes, I had to hold a 25lbs angry toddler who was hot and had seen the water and didn’t want to wait in the line either. Finally we get up to the window and I tell her we are under 2 and she tells me we don’t need a wristband because we’re under two. I thought my head was going to explode. Strike three, four, and five. But we weren’t out. Because as soon as she hit that water, everything else was forgotten.

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Who cared if we didn’t have Plex or if we were there 30 minutes later than I had planned. This happened and it was exactly what I had planned.

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Now, looking past the fact that my kid gotten flattened by four different people (not just kids, an adult too) and the fact that some monster with a mustache coming in who was clearly too old to be in the playground purposely sprayed me with water and kept following me to continue to get me wet, it was perfect. Sunny and warm and Bee giggles – this is what I will remember.

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My happy girl.

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So after the fact who cares about the strikes? I hate baseball anyways.

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Old Leather

Leather.

I have always wondered where these weird year associations for anniversaries came from. Last year, it was cotton. Year one was paper. This year we are on the leather anniversary. Leather. I don’t know if there’s anything less romantic that leather. It makes me think of bikers. And Leatherface.

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Hardly romantic.

It also brings to mind cows which makes me think of cows saying “Moo” which makes me think of Maisy.

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Again, hardly romantic. Moo.

So leather. I had a tough time making some sort of cutsie connection with this one. And it bothered me all night. So, I did a little research. See I honestly don’t know much about leather other than it comes from cows, it’s used to make couches and purses and coats, it shrinks when you got hot (at least according to Friends and Ross’ leather pants), and football helmets used to be made of it. So, here’s what I’ve learned about leather: it’s tough. It’s more difficult to puncture than you might think, and it outlasts most synthetic materials. It doesn’t often show wear and softens with time, but it stays strong.

So, actually, it’s exactly like a marriage. It’s rough and sometimes it hurts, like breaking in new leather boots, but once you’ve stuck with it awhile they get comfy and become your favorite pair of shoes. The wear of time actually makes it better, just like a marriage. We’ve made it through the hard times (they do say the first year you’re married is the hardest) and now we’re comfortably coasting along. Life is gonna throw us curves, but we’re still tough and ready to go. And all those rough spots, they don’t show much. They’re in the past and we’re moving full speed ahead. Plus, a few blemishes here and there adds character.

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So, moving past the weird leather idea, I’m excited to go forward into our fourth year of marriage. Three has been a good year for us. Our baby has become a toddler. Our house has become even more of a home. Jobs have come and gone. New jobs obtained. Foundations for future plans have been laid.

I think this next year is going to be a fun and exciting year full of lots of new things. We’re looking into and working on finding a house big enough that we can continue to grow our family. We’re starting to save for the future. We’re trimming the fat, sorta speak, when it comes to crap around our house. We have some big decisions to make as we move into the next big step together. We are going to be making decisions that will ultimately decide the next 20 or so years of our lives. It’s scary and exhilarating, and I am so lucky to have my best friend by my side.

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Josh:

You’re the peanut butter to my jelly.

            The mac to my cheese

            The raviolis to my nap

            The beach to my ocean

            The Joker to my Batman

            The companion to my Doctor, or

            The Doctor to my Tardis (depending on which Doctor)

            The Hedwig to my Harry

            The Mr. Darcy to my Elizabeth

            The Rhett to my Scarlett

            The Andy to my Conan

            The Spidey to my Gwen

            The chimichangas to my Deadpool

            The bag and board to my comics

            The flip to my flop

            The grump to my grumpy

            The Rory to my Amy

            The oreos to my milk

            The Beast to my Belle

            The personal flurry to my Olaf

            The Gabba gang to my DJ Lance

            The Walmart to my dinner date

            The Bonard to my Hazel

            The Oob to my Flerm

            The gay sparkly vampire to my lack of expression face

            The Ross to my Rachel –no, wait…

            The Chandler to my Monica

           The Tony to my Pepper

           The Coulson to my Skinny Steve

           The Banner to my Hulk

           The Geek to my Nerd

           The Wario to my Baby Peach

           The MUCHISIMO to my BIG AS THE UNIVERSE

           The  Murder Song to my “damn Disney song”

           The Jericho to my Bellini

          The daddy to my mommy

          The Pooh Bear to my 2nd Grade

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I love you, Joshua Neil. Thanks for picking me. ❤

Treading Water

I remember when I was younger we took swim lessons in the morning at my daycamp. It was always freezing because the sun wasn’t up yet and the water always felt so cold. We all still loved it though. Any reason to be in the pool. Once we were older, we were allowed to jump off the diving boards in the deep end, but first we had to pass a swim test. So, for 5 minutes, we had to tread water in the 12 ft deep water. It was hard to say the least. That’s a lot of exertion for a little 10 year old body. In the beginning, you would use all four of your limbs to hold yourself really high up out of the water. You’d kick your feet and flap your arms back and forth under the water. Then, you’d start to get tired, and you’d sink more and more into the water until only your face was sticking out for air. You’d get so tired that you’d have to start switching between your two set of limbs. You’d keep kicking your leg, and, when they got tired, you’d switch over to using just your arms for a few seconds before switching back. It was absolutely exhausting. Finally, you reached a point where you didn’t know if you could keep going any longer, and your lungs felt like we were going to explode, and the lifeguard calls time and you can stop. You passed. You survived. You get to jump off the high dive. You’ve proven yourself.

And that’s my life still. Treading water. Constantly treading water. It’s figurative water, of course. It’s bills and work and cooking dinner and changing diapers and finding time and money. It’s all those grown up things they warn you about as a kid, but you don’t listen to. It’s the deep end. They just throw you into it after college and just expect you to know how to swim. And maybe you can swim in the world, but most of us can’t. So we tread. It’s the only way to survive.

Josh and I are both working at real jobs for the first time since we moved in together. It’s put us in a completely different tax bracket. No more 1040-EZ for us. Yet, we are still living paycheck to paycheck and we still scrounge around to find money for food and gas each week. We scourer around the house weekly looking for something , anything, we can put on Craigslist so we can buy diapers. We are treading as fast as we can, and it feels like it’s never going to be able to stop. My student loans just came up and it feel likes 1000lbs weights have been attached to our ankles on top of everything else. I don’t know how we can keep afloat, but we just keep treading.

Motherhood is a constant battle as well. It’s uncharted waters for me. I have to learn to hold my temper which is hard when the tiny human I’m dealing with has a temper that matches. She’s started fighting us on everything. Bedtime is hell some nights. We’re hardly ever home. She gets 2 hours at home before its bath and bedtime. She’s a grump in the morning because she likes to sleep and can’t. She’s a grump at night because she likes being home and playing with her own toys and being with her animals and she doesn’t get to do it enough. She’s hard headed and plain mean sometimes. Couple that with the stress of money and it makes treading harder. With her though, I get little moments of relief. She insists on sitting next to me on the couch and she lays her little head on my shoulder and talks to me or sings me a song and the water doesn’t seem to be pulling down so hard. It’s a revitalizing breathe of much needed fresh air. It makes it worth it to keep kicking my tired legs.

Life is just a constant battle of staying afloat. My house is a mess. The inside and the outside. But what am I suppose to do if my kid wants to play with me after dinner? Say, “No, mommy needs to clean instead.” No way, jose. I’d rather have a dirty house. The dishes, the laundry, the vacuuming, the animals, the toys that are everywhere, it’s all too much sometimes too. It’s life though. And life sucks sometimes. Josh and I have plans. They are had to be put on the backburner. We are just kicking and flapping and panting and praying for someone to call time. It feels like we’re always waiting for someone to call time. It’ll come. I hope so anyways.

Just keep swimming.

Easter

So, once again, I find myself very far behind on my life events. That being said, I’m trying to catch up. So, enjoy my easter post a month late 🙂

I love Easter. About as much as I love Christmas. Not as much because, let’s face it, Christmas is much bigger deal. I mean Christmas starts in October anymore. And Easter doesn’t have any awesome songs. So Christmas takes the top spot.

Still, I love Easter. Candy and bunnies and bright colors and pretty outfits. It’s all so happy and cheerful after a long winter. It means spring is finally here. 1001958_10100536835300060_5375752680215292406_n

And this year, I got to be promoted to Easter bunny. Last year, there wasn’t much we could do with Ellabelle. But this year, oh this year, we did it all.

We planted magic jelly beans. 1441_10100541239044920_7088289642397442794_n What are magic jelly bean exactly? Well they are special jelly beans that bloom into lollipops on Easter morning. BUT they only do this on Easter.

10246277_10100541239049910_790189440310976608_nI mean you can’t just plant jelly beans in August and expect the same result. Just sayin. 1560397_10100542228142760_5083804327819838899_n

And we had two Easters which is kinda the norm around here. Fake Easter usually happens because my uncle who lives out of town comes in before or after Easter. This year it was before. We had breakfastand we looked for eggs 10174781_10100536831901870_5044781350230324265_n

1374944_10100536834960740_7059915025423732622_nAnd played with Auntie Ang’s toes 10012470_10100536835384890_6619271090017609070_n cause we’re a little weird. (And by “we” I mean “Ellabelle”)

And we had fun because get togethers with the Fulmers are always entertaining. 10155939_10100536833773120_1203286569118442081_n

And there was real Easter. I remember the (what felt like forever) process of my mom putting curlers in my hair the night before. And I passed it on to Bee. She looked precious (of course). photo

We hid eggs in the front yard. Josh took it as a victory in the whole inside/outside egg hunt debate, but, honestly, I didn’t feel like cleaning the living room just to hide eggs. (Don’t judge). 1947623_10100542228107830_6896377047633409292_n

10157305_10100542228382280_1975734315108636895_n1623688_10100542231525980_4079559893324682468_nWe had brunch with Oma, Opa, and Auntie Ang at the same hall Josh and I got married at almost 3 years ago. It’s cool to be able to go back there so often. It’s where our whole journey officially started.

Afterwards, we colored eggs at my parents house. Ellabelle did surprisingly well. She broke the shells of almost all her eggs but didn’t try to drink the dye so I’d say she did pretty dang good. 1800323_10100543060664380_2711893907527142924_n 10259952_10100543060988730_6584499197924030999_n

She and daddy took a nap. This somehow always happens whenever we go over to do anything at Oma and Opa’s. But then again we all took naps. I just happened to take mine on the couch, and Oma took hers in her chair.1896749_10100543061612480_3782418073882980675_n

So, my love of Easter has grown. It’s somehow more fun to be the Easter bunny than it is to be the kid. Then again I always ended up hating the Easter egg hunts because I am awful at finding things. Give me a poem and I can pull hidden meanings out of it like it’s nobody’s business, but put a colorful egg right in front me and forget about it. Watching Ellabelle laugh and run across the grass and then the look of excitement when she’s found an egg was so much better. I can’t wait til next year when she will hopefully understand that is coming and there can be more build up to the holiday instead of just some weird day where she got to hunt for candy.  10274036_10100542231640750_5177490893142572455_n

Glimmer of hope

The past two days have been filled with sadness. Has anything happened in my life? Directly? No. Everyone is happy and healthy and thriving. We are beyond lucky for these simple yet oh so precious things. The sadness has been a shared sadness with people I haven’t ever met. We share a very deep and common link: we are parents. And as parent, we love our children so fiercely that it hurts sometimes and we can understand and feel the ache for one another when a child is lost. 

What if it had been my child? It easily could’ve been. Just this evening, Ellabelle was running around the driveway while I looked on. She could’ve easily stepped off of the curb at exactly the wrong time and my story could be that of a momma grieving on instagram. In a matter of two days, over 20,000 people have reposted and shared her loss (#redballoonsforryan). We can’t be there with her, but we can let her know she’s not alone. It could’ve easily been one of our children instead of her sweet, wild-haired 3 year old that stepped off that curb.  

Uncertainty is the scariest part of parenthood. There are so many things out there we can’t control. Here is this perfect little human we made and when their body turns on them its scary because theres absolutely nothing you can do to help them. Ellabelle has had allergies since spring started trying to make its arrival. My heartbreaks for her when she’s upset and hurting because of the congestion. I can’t even imagine the agony of watching your child fight something as awful as cancer and knowing there was nothing you could have done to prevent it or to cure it. There’s a video making the rounds on Facebook about a sweet little boy who recently passed who was huge WWE fan. The video alone reminds me why I still have such tremendous respect for the WWE as a company and as a whole. They made this little boy so happy when there was so little to be happy about. Again, people who don’t know each other reaching out to help one another in a time of need, in a time of grief. And you don’t have to be a WWE fan to appreciate the kind acts shown in the video. If you have a heart, it will touch you.

go here. watch it. grab tissues. well, you may want to grab the tissues first. then watch it. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2053642-wwe-releases-tribute-to-young-fan-connor-the-destroyer-who-passed-away

These stories have made me cry, but they have also brought me hope. The world is such a dark and scary place most of the time. These little rays of human compassion that sneak through from time to time remind me that not everything and everyone in the world is bad. There is good out there. People still care about each other even in a disconnected digital age. Most of us will never meet these grieving parents, but their stories have touched many of us and have made us better because of it. 

Because of these two sad stories, I have tried to focus less on stress and more on happiness. It’s been a rough couple of days for us personally. I feel like everything has been falling down around me, and then I realized its not that bad. It sucks, but it’s not that bad. I can’t control what happens in life. I can only enjoy what time I have been given with the people I love. Thats why I let Ellabelle run around in the driveway tonight. And why I let her steal my cup and drink all my pop. It’s also why I took lots of video of her these past two pays. I just want to soak in all of her that I can because I am lucky enough to be able to. So hug your babies. Call your mom. Give your dog a treat. Whatever it is that makes you happy, be happy they are still here.