Thursday, June 14, 2012

My favorite non essential but now somewhat essential purchases...

Please note that I have received NO compensation (or even recognition) for telling you about the following purchases, but I would totally take money or free products if they were offered to me. Just sayin'...

My Keurig.  How I love thee.  Before this purchase, I actually had to brew a pot of coffee, and wait.  I had to scoop grounds, use a filter, fill up the water and WAIT for percolation to occur.  No More. Awesome cup of coffee and practically any flavor or roast in a minute.  When I first got it, my husband thought it was a waste, Now he is in love with it too.

My iphone. I know, I know. Phones are for making phone calls. But I love my smart phone.  It is smarter than I. It also entertains my children with games and keeps me from getting lost and can find any phone number I might ever need, and then dial it with one touch.  I can text and not actually have to engage another person in conversation, and I can do fancy things like "check-in" and post pictures of my adorable children instantly.

My Nook. I love love love to read.  I love Barnes and Noble. Because I love Barnes and Noble I decided on the Nook rather than a kindle. I now have the Nook Color.  You can buy virtually any book and have it in your library and downloading in about a minute.  Not to mention  apps like Angry Birds and Frogger...(I have three kids and they don't share the iphone well). There is a free book every Friday and you have the option to loan certain books to your friends and vice versa for no charge.  I also have Netflix on it and fully intend to wastch every episode of Downton Abbey very soon. And maybe The Tudors.  If I ever have time. And can get it away from my kids.

Annual Zoo Family Membership.  Kids never get tired of Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my. Or of anteaters and stingrays.  And there is a train and a carousel. Score!   My kids are at the perfect age and they have a ball everytime we go. Even when it is 94 degrees and I am sweating to the point that I have pit and underboob stains. Gross, I know, but true. This is Florida after all.

Annual Beach Pass.  Get this...we drive the mother-Trucker right on to the beach. Park there and then pop open the trunk, unload towels, coolers, buckets, etc.  Walk about 10 feet and plop down in front of the ocean.  Awesome.  No hiking back and forth from the public parking lot blocks from the beach with three little kids and all of their accoutrements in 95 degree heat covered in sand and miserable.  Nope, easy peasy.  My kids are also at a great age to jump in the little waves and search for shells and build castles.

Highlights. And I love my salon. You walk in to the lobby and wouldn't you know it? You are greated by a Keurig.  And the scent of coffee mixed with Aveda products. And then I get pampered with a scalp massage and an hour and a half of undivided attention. Plus, highlights are pretty.    And Vain? Possibly, but that's ok. They make me feel a little less soccer mom and a little more va-va-voom. cha-cha-cha if you will. You know, hot. As hot as one can be with underboob sweat.....

Monday, June 4, 2012


I drove into the parking lot and parked as close as I could without being noticed by my kids. I wanted to observe them for a few minutes. Watch them play and interact without knowing I was there. As soon as they saw me they would come running and have stories to tell me, so I just wanted to watch them run back and forth, between the bouncy house and the water slide. Wanted to see how much they played with each other as well as the other kids and their teachers. They were getting so big. So independant. It was the twins last day at pre-pre-school. They were care-free and having so much fun. In the fall they will start school 5 mornings a week.  This makes me choke and my breathing staggers. I felt my heart rate increase and my stomach roll. They are just babies. Babies who I was told would never take a breath. Babies who I held onto as long as I could while stuck in a hospital bed for 8 weeks. Babies who each weighed less than 3 pounds when they were born.  Covered in tubes and wires. Constant beeping in the NICU and too tiny to hold. Oxygen levels dropping, heart stopping in fits of bradychardia.  So much chaos and so much uncertainty. And when they finally came home, 2 months after they were born, they were still smaller than most babies at birth. And an oxygen tank like a bomb came home with them and sat in the corner of the nursery. As well as a heart monitor which went off all hours of the night. And in the car. Always in the car, on the interstate, on the way to this specialist or that check-up, the heart monitor would go off.
 No one can take care of these babies like I can. No one understands. No one really gets it.  And now they will be in the hands of someone else every weekday morning. Someone I don't know. And even though I think I am "over it" since they are healthy and perfect now,  I realize that I am still going to be racked with panic attacks brought on by seemimgly normal events. I will never completely recover from being told my babies would die, from watching them almost die, from living in a state of limbo that bordered on Hell rather than Heaven. Transitions in their lives will never be effortless for me. I will always be overly anxious and even cryptic when it comes to my children, even though I am a happy and positive person.

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger".  We hear it a lot, right? I'm sure I've even said it before. But now I'm really thinking about it. Reflecting on it.  Taking into consideration things I have been through, things friends have experienced, different versions of Hell through which we have walked. And I can't be sure.  Are we stronger because of it?

There are a lot of broken people out there. A lot of good people who have been traumatized and shaken and defeated.  And they recover and persevere. And they are wiser and more grateful. More appreciative, more gracious. More empathetic and sympathetic. But all of that doesn't necessarily equal "stronger". Because those people are also scared and scarred. And relieved, but cautious.

Sometimes we experience things that never leave us, that haunt us. They shape us, but they also disfigure our psyche.  Things that leave us gasping for breath years later with little provocation.  Things that have us looking over our shoulders. Things that make you realize that sometimes it is almost too scary to love other people. Some experiences make us terrified to hold on too tightly, but just as scared to let go.

I am a believer that things happen for a reason. Good and bad. But I cannot even fathom that reason at times. I am also a believer of intercession and miracles.

Our worst experiences make us realize we can live through things bigger than us, and worse than we had previously imagined. And they put things into perspective for us.  But they also make us vulnerable and aware. Sometimes knowlege isn't power. Sometimes it's debilitating.