Friday, July 29, 2011

24 Thoughts on Turning 24

  1. When I was little, 24 was the age I was most looking forward to turning. I have no idea why. I just liked the sound of saying "I'm 24". Now, it kind of scares the shit out of me.
  2. In 6 years, I will be 30. I remember being 15 and thinking "In 15 years, I will be 30" and that thought scared me.
  3. I always thought I would be married by now. Now, if I am married before one of my kids graduates high school I will consider that a success.
  4. Someone once told me "On every birthday, think back to where you were and what you were like half your age ago. So if you're turning 20, think back to when you were 10, just for fun." Half my age ago I was 12. I was just starting 7th grade, I had terrible insomnia, I was nerdy and socially awkward which I made up for by being overly outgoing and loud. Not much has really changed.
  5. 12 years ago my dream husbands were Ron Weasley, Jerry Maguire, Richard Gere from Runaway Bride and Robert Redford. Now, my dream husband is someone that will come home when he says he will and not roll his eyes when I freak out over black bears, zombies and penguins. Or zombie penguins.....A girl can dream.
  6. It kind of makes me sad that my 20's are almost half over, and I haven't accomplished half of what I thought I would by now.
  7. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what love means, and if I will ever be any good at it.
  8. Part of me is still holding out for Prince Charming. Only my Prince Charming arrives in a fast car, throws open the passenger door and says "Get in". He likes zombies, Parks and Recreation, my kind of music and excessive sarcasm, and he pulls me in really hard when he kisses me.
  9. I am still afraid of the dark.
  10. I have to date, never, ever, ever had a boyfriend on my birthday. Something about that makes me sad.
  11. I still don't know what would happen if you had a big swimming pool full of jell-o and jumped in. Would you belly flop, or sink into the middle and get stuck? It's maddening.
  12. People watching me unwrap gifts makes me super anxious and uncomfortable.
  13. I haven't had a birthday cake since the year I turned 14.
  14. Two birthdays ago, I got drunk at Dos Gringos and kissed a Hawaiian baggage handler I'd never met, then skinny dipped in my boyfriends pool at his apartment. My last birthday, I got drunk at Dos Gringos, drank out of a plunger (a clean one) and cried because the guy I liked didn't tell me I looked pretty in my dress. This year, I am not fucking going to Dos Gringos.
  15. Handmade gifts are the best ones.
  16. I miss blowing out candles.
  17. I've always wanted a birthday cake with sparklers instead of candles, actually.
  18. When Tiny turns 24, I will have just turned 40
  19. I became a legal adult 6 years ago. I moved out on my own, and started my life. And now, looking back, my life as an adult feels like a car that it's taken me 6 years to learn how to drive.
  20. Sometimes I think that I still don't know what the fuck I'm doing.
  21. If I could be any age again, it would be 8.
  22. Every birthday I have, I wonder what it will be like to look back on it by my next birthday. If things will be any different. If I will be surprised by how much has changed, or depressed that I am still in exactly the same place.
  23. All I want for my birthday is to know that everything is going to be ok. Oh, and midwifery supplies.
  24. Every year, more than happy birthday, I really want to hear someone say that they're really glad I was born.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Top Ten Funny Life Stories

Before I start this trip down memory lane, I want to let you know I stole this idea from my friend Emily's blog, Simple Home Loving.

Considering the childhood I come from and my pension for being overly outgoing while simultaneously uncomfortably nervous, you can imagine that my life is a bustling farm for comic gold. Today, I will unearth some of those little gems and share them with you. I advise not drinking any beverages while reading this post.

  1. When I was in 7th grade I had a huge crush on this kid named Mike. Pagers were all the rage at the time, as was 3-way calling. My best friend Cassie had a pager, and she had taught me all these cool paging codes that meant different things. Like paging someone 143 was supposed to mean I love you. So one night I started paging her all these crazy pager codes, and when I ran out of legit ones, I just started making them up. I started paging her 144 over and over. When she finally got home from wherever she was, she called me and asked "What the hell does 144 mean?" pretty much as soon as I answered the phone. With a huge grin on my face, quite proud of how clever I was, I announced that it meant "I like Mike" at that moment the phone went silent, Cassie started giggling, and a deep boy's voice said "Hi Sarah". Cassie had 3-way called me with Mike on the phone, and didn't tell me. I damn near peed my pants.
  2. Or how about again in 7th grade (7th grade was not a very good year for me) when I was swimming in my best friend Marie Mullen's hot tub at her house. I was pretty hardcore in love with her older brother Easton. We're outside, swimming, minding our own business and gossiping about the boys we liked. I started going on and on about Easton, in a very embarrassing way, gushing about his eyes, his smile, his muscles, on and on and on. I noticed Marie was smiling at me funny, so I turned around, and of course, there was Easton. Laughing at me, not two feet away. I tried unsuccessfully to drown myself the rest of the afternoon.
  3. My freshman year of high school when my friend Meghan and I decided to try smoking pot for the first time. She came over while my dad wasn't home, and we smoked what I realize now was the closest to an unsafe amount of pot humanly possible. It took so long to feel anything, we just kept smoking more and more, trying to feel some sort of effect. Finally, while watching Monty Python's Holy Grail, it all kicked in at once. I experienced several thoughts and emotions in a very short amount of time, and remember thinking "Oh-oh God, you're violently fucking high." After eating an entire bag of pretzels, laughing at Meghan for 30 minutes because she looked like a bunny, and getting in the shower with all my clothes on, we passed out on my bed and slept hard. Maybe an hour later, I wake up to a pounding on my window. My first thought, of course, is that there is a sea of cops outside, guns drawn, waiting to exact a tactical invasion of my house and arrest me for smoking my dad's pot. Not for smoking pot, for smoking my dad's pot. That's worse. Finally Meghan woke up and had the common sense to realize it was her mom. No-THAT'S WORSE. We got up and answered the door, and her mom stood there, bewildered, holding out Meghan's contacts case. Being the quick thinker that I am, I decided she wouldn't suspect anything if I had a nice pleasant conversation with her. So I started talking. And couldn't. fucking. stop. I talked for a good 15 minutes, about what, to this day I cannot remember, and her eyes grew wider and wider, and Meghan hid behind the door, begging me to stop. Finally Meghan pinched me, or I got hungry or something and told her mom quickly-and loudly-"Meghan has explosive diarrhea and I have to her" and slammed the door in her face. Nice save.
  4. Have I told you about the time I was taking a nap with my mom when I was 5 or 6 and my sisters, being the awesome sisters they were, wanted to make me pee my pants? Well they tried everything, but alas my bladder held strong, and after soaking my hand in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes, they got desperate and just poured the water on the front of my shorts. Then woke my mom up and told her I peed. I got in trouble. The best part is they didn't tell me I really didn't pee, until I was 18. Thanks guys.
  5. How about the time when I was pregnant with Tiny, and her dad wanted to give me a piggy back ride? Why he would want to give a piggy back ride to a 7 months pregnant girl, I have no idea, but he did, and I let him. Halfway through he was making me laugh so hard, I had to pee. I yelled for him to let me down, because holding it when you're pregnant is fucking impossible. He wouldn't. He grabbed my legs tighter and kept going, cracking jokes and tickling the backs of my knees. All of a sudden he stopped dead in his tracks and said "Are you peeing on me?" and dropped me like a sack of bricks. I ran to the bathroom, crying and yelling "I told you to put me down! I said I had to go!" When I came out I had to face the huge pee spot on my boyfriends back, and a good 3 months of endless teasing about my accident. Jerk.
  6. When I was 20 I joined a gym with some friends on the agreement that we would all work out together. There were 3 girls, and 3 guys. The 3 guys pretty much spent the entire time lifting weights and talking about protein powder. When one of them started taking these muscle building supplements, the smallest of the three guys got super excited and wanted to know where to get some so he could take them too. He was 25 and didn't have an ounce of muscle to call his own. Being the evil jerk I am sometimes known to be, I told him he didn't want to take them. "Why?" he asked, his face all aglow, just begging to be fucked with. "Because" I said "you have to take them rectally." I explained. He looked confused. "They're anal suppositories bro. You put 'em up your ass and let them dissolve." I explained further. Then, the guy who was taking them did something that made me want to kiss him right on the lips. With a completely straight face, he said "You have to take like six a day." Thinking this had to be enough to keep little scrawny from taking them, we all forgot about it, until 3 days later, me and the muscly one were hanging out when we get a call from scrawny, who is distressed. "Bro" he says, his voice a crackin and sounding very perplexed. "They won't stay in man. Those muscle pills. They just keep falling out, all half dissolved. My girlfriend thinks I have some weird disease." And that my friends, is why I am the very worst kind of person.
  7. When I was 18, my boyfriend took me to a Suicide Girls show, and I fell in love. Not in a lesbiany way, but I just so totally wanted to be those girls. All beautiful, all unique, all pierced and tatted up. Yes! I was skinny, had only 2 tattoos to call my own, and not exactly porn star material by any means, but I wanted to be a Suicide Girl. Bad. To apply you have to send in pictures of yourself, along with a story of why you wanted to be a Suicide Girl. My best friend Lucia and I decided we could so totally do this, and agreed, being the super close BFF's we were, that we would take each other's pictures. What was the big deal? We'd seen each other in our underpants before. No problem. Yeah. What resulted was 120 of the most awkward, uncomfortable, half naked pictures to ever grace the memory card of a camera, and Lucia and I not being able to look each other in the eye for weeks afterward. Life lesson girls: don't ever agree to take softcore porny pictures of your bestie. Ever. It's just.....wrong. Needless to say, I never sent in the pictures, and I am still not a suicide girl.
  8. When I was 18 I got pissed off at a party and drunk dialed my mom. Classy, I know.
  9. I used to get drunk and sit on my friend Meghan's back and ride her like a sled down my stairs. In my defense, it was fun and I really wanted to do it.
  10. When I was 6 or 7, my family had like a million cats. I am not even sure that's an exaggeration. We had a few cats that my parents never fixed, and they got pregnant, and had more, who got pregnant and had more, until our backyard was like Land of the Kittens. Our cats lived outside, and were dusty and dirty all the time, and at one point we had probably 10 that were little kittens. One day while playing with my friend Jaime, who was a serious animal lover, we decided to start a club. The club was something like an animal advocacy club, basically, dedicated to helping all the poor, lost, sick and mistreated animals of the world. We were 6, we didn't know about the ASPCA yet. Anyway, I convinced her I was already a part of a club like that. A bigger, cooler, international club, and I could get her in if she wanted to join. I want to stop here, and preface what I am about to tell you with the information that Jaime was super annoying. She was an only child, she was bossy and bratty and she always smelled like wet dough. Anyway, Jaime was over the top excited, and wanted to be in my bullshit club more than anything. I told her she would have to pass the "Dedication Test" to prove that her life's mission really was to help animals. Practically salivating at the chance to prove herself, she hastily agreed to do whatever I asked. Her mistake. I went outside and gathered up 9 or 10 kittens and brought them to my room. I told her the kittens mommy has died, and if they didn't get a bath, they would die too. Jaime, bless her annoying little heart, looked like she wanted to cry. She suggested we put them in the tub and bathe them, but I was way ahead of her. I said if we put them in the tub, they would panic and have heart attacks and die. "Jaime" I said in the most serious, Robert Stack-ish voice I could do "They need to be tongue bathed. They need to be tongue bathed to survive." And poor Jaime, poor sweet Jaime, didn't even hesitate. She grabbed a kitten and started licking it's back, belly, face and legs. She was coughing and crying a little and said her tongue burned, and lucky for her, my dad walked in during the middle of kitty #5's tongue bath. I'm sure the scene looked back, me sitting there trying not to laugh, while Jaime clutched a screaming kitten and licking it's face. He made Jaime go home, and told me she probably shouldn't come over again. The next day at school, I told her she couldn't be in the club, because she didn't finish all the kittens.
And THAT is why I am the very worst kind of person.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How Do You Know?

How do you know when it's right?

Not how do you know when you're in love. I know that. I mean, how do you know when it's the right love? When it's the love that is worth taking risks and making bigger than normal sacrifices for? The love worth really fighting for?

Maybe the answer is "All love is worth fighting, risking and sacrificing for" and in a lot of way, that is very true. Call me a big vagina, but I have always been a believer in love. Love has been almost like a life purpose for me in some ways. I truly believe, in the very core of myself, that without someone to love and give your heart to as completely as possible, what's the point of all this? The madness of this life we all live, what is it worth, without the bond that's shared between two people who truly and deeply love each other? In my opinion, there is no higher calling than real love.

BUT, with all of that sickly sweet romantic bullshit aside, I have been hurt by love. Ok, not love itself, because love doesn't hurt us, the people we love hurt us. So I guess I should say, I have loved too many of the wrong people. As a side effect, I have been let down, disappointed, betrayed, lied to, cheated on and left behind in so many ways you would think there is some club out there who's purpose is to find different ways to fuck me over emotionally. That sounded a little victimish....sorry.
With all of that in my past, I try really hard not to be jaded. To approach each relationship as if it were my first, and to give everyone a fair chance. And I think for the most part, I really do. Once I decide that I am not going to be scared, I dive right in. I let myself feel whatever I am going to feel, fall however far I am going to fall, and I hold nothing back. I don't let myself be scared. I accept the risk of possibly being hurt-nay, crushed, in the hands of the person I am falling so deliciously in love for, and I venture forward into that great Unknown. Hoping of course that they will venture with me, and we will love each other through all the dark, all the scary, all the difficult and wonderful moments in life. Seeing as how I have two kids by two different fathers and a list of exboyfriends behind me, and here I sit, single, one can safely presume that's never worked out the way I planned it.

So how do you know when it's right? When the person you're falling for is someone you should be falling for, someone who deserves your love and attention, someone who WILL love you back, and mean it when they say it? Someone who isn't just saying what you want to hear to be with you/fuck you/because it sounds cool/because they're conartists, etc. How do you know when the person you're falling for is going to fall too, and this time, they won't rip your heart out and eat it in front of you?
Is it right when it's realistic and responsible? When the person you're falling for is mature, stable and considerate? Because I've done that! Case and point: The relationship I was either in or chasing after for the last two fucking years. And that didn't work out so well. I mean, duh, I'M STILL ALONE.
Is it right when you fall in love with them easily? When being with them is effortless and natural and your feelings flow forward and onward without any hesitation or question? Because I've done that too. Anyone remember Zombie Justin?!
Is it right when you have both been together for a "reasonable" amount of time, know each other to a certain predetermined point where it is acceptable to say you know them, and can therefor love them? Cuuuuuuz I've so totally done that.
Is it right when they seem to match your feelings, are nice to you, kind to you, do what they say they're going to do and don't (seem) to lie to you? Does that mean you won't find out later it was all a solid brick of bullshit?
Or is it right when you feel indescribably drawn to someone from the moment you lay eyes on them? And not in a 100% sexual way. When you feel like you would give anything to be able to talk to them every day, after 1 conversation? Is it right when you've known them a week and you feel like right or wrong, good or bad, you could see yourself marrying them and finding a way to make it work, even though it's a little crazy and probably stupid? Is that when you know you've found someone who is good and right and safe to go ahead and love?

Or do we never ever know? Do we just feel what we feel and never have any way of knowing if it will all end in a big burning pile of shit somewhere down the road? And if we don't know....if we have no indication of what's to come, in any relationship with any person ever, (aside from the obvious clues that they might be a shitbag, like outright lying, cheating and beating you) then how do you know what the appropriate response is? How do you know when or if it's ok to say 'I love you' or let yourself really commit your feelings to this person? How do you know when you should get more serious or if something is too soon?
I mean, what if you fall madly in love with them a month after you start dating, they ask you to marry them, and it feels right, 100% right, but it's only been a month, do you say yes because you're following your heart, or do you say no because by society's standards it's too soon?

If we don't know what's going to happen, all we have to go off of is how we feel. Is there some magic guideline to when we should and shouldn't feel something, or who we should or shouldn't feel it for? Is there a chart somewhere that tells us what is an appropriate level of risk to take for a certain person at a certain time? Or are we really supposed to just jump in feet first, and go with exactly what our hearts tell us, even though we could be emotionally demolished at the end of things if our feelings turn out to be wrong, or if their feelings change, or if they were lying from the very beginning?

I don't know exactly what the right answer is, but as for me, I've always been a feet first kind of girl.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

An Update from Crazytown

Things have been crazy and stressful around here lately, and my patience has been tested beyond what I consider to be reasonable limits.
I'ts frustrating because just when I thought I had come so far and achieved so much in the area of emotional maturity and self awareness, I am taken completely aback by the actions of others, and the reactions of my own, and I don't know who's right, who's wrong or if what I'm feeling is justified. I doubt and question myself constantly. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Regardless, we're all still here, we're all still breathing, the kids are still clean, fed and happy and I don't have any gray hair, yet.

Tiny starts school in two weeks, and as much as I am looking forward to it, I am also kind of sad. She's going to be in second grade. She's going to turn 8. She's growing up. And it never stops. Eventually she is going to be 18, she is going to be starting college, she is going to be moving out. I know, in like 10 years, but eventually, it's going to happen. Shit.
The Jedi is still.....The Jedi. A loud, crazy, loving, stubborn, happy, talkative and imaginative boy. Growing up, learning things, talking more, doing more and outgrowing all his clothes. He's still not too big to get in my bed at 3 a.m. though, for which I am very very grateful.
And Sarah? How's Sarah? Sarah is doing what Sarah does best. Surviving. Making it work. Making mistakes. Doing her best. Hoping for the best. And planning for the future. I turn 24 in two weeks from today. I am almost halfway through my twenties. I have had two children, I have had 5 homes since I moved out on my own, I have worked at 10 different jobs in my lifetime, started a business and an apprenticeship toward the license that will grant me the career I've wanted since I was 5. I've done a lot, and I still have a lot more that I want to do.
The clearer that the picture of my future gets in my head, the easier it is to make decisions I once found impossible. Decisions to eliminate or allow certain people in and out of my life, decisions to sacrifice where I didn't want to before, to take risks I was too afraid of in the past, and keep moving, even when I am so tired I can barely open my eyes, let alone take another step.
I am almost 24 and I have lived a lot in the last 24 years. I am hoping to make the next 24 years the happiest of my life.
Sarah is doing ok.

The Swell of Uncertainty

There is something fluttering in my ribcage

And pounding behind my ears

Something lingering in the back of my throat

Something dissolving in my tears

There is a voice that barely whispers

And the wind has started changing

I can feel the road start tilting

Pulling me East instead of West

My wings beat furiously against my cage

As all the questions explode in my chest

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

All These Buckets of Rain

Today's blog post is brought to you by the word: Change and the number C.

In the last week I have been repeatedly tripped up, thrown off and spun around by how quickly things can change. Change in ways I may have seen coming....Change in ways I never expected....Change from the only thing I have known for 2 years...and change back to a place I seemed to be 10 years ago.

By nature I am someone who is freakishly used to change.

My life has changed more times and in more ways than I even care to count anymore.

But lately it's been more than I can digest all at once.

I'm overwhelmed.

In the last week I found out my roommate of almost two years, the famous and faithful Roomie, will be moving out. Moving away....
At first when it was brought up-nay, more like discovered, it was supposed to be down the road, a couple months, blah blah blah. And while a couple months still wasn't very far away considering how long we have lived together here in this crazy little condo with these crazy little kids as....I shudder to say the word....a family, still, I thought I had time to get ready for this. But now, he's leaving in a month.
In one month, he's leaving....It's a lot to take in. This is gay, this is corny, this makes me a HUGE vagina, and I totally know that because The Roomie is not my boyfriend, he hasn't been in like two years, and he's not the father of my children, and he's not the person I want to spend my life with, but he's my best friend. He's been a better friend than I've deserved at times, and a better friend than I expected, and even when we were at each other's throats, he was always there. And that's a hell of a lot more than I can say about too many other people in my life. He was always, always there. Blood relation, DNA and legal marriages or romantic relationships aside, we were a family. That's something I've never had, and always wanted. Just thinking about what this place will be like without him, without his voice, without seeing him walk in the door everyday after work and smile at us, rush into the kitchen and eat whatever I made for dinner, watch T.V. with before bed, and talk to when I've had the worst day ever (I can tell him anything)....It's too sad.

Another huge change that has come my way has been with my business. It's slowed, way down, and at this point I am looking at going back to work in a "normal job" after quite a while of working for myself. What is this going to mean? Do I have to give up my apprenticeship? Do I have to stop taking clients altogether? How do I attend births and work a full time job at the same time? And what about money? Paying for daycare is no easy feet, that shit is expensive. And Tiny starts school again soon. Who will get her either to school, or from it if she's not in part time daycare? So that means I'm paying for daycare for two...full time....And in case you didn't know this, I don't get child support. Yet. That's another thing I need to tackle. Another huge change. Communicating again with my children's fathers....asking them for I deserve, and the kids desperately need, but still, money all the same....possibly even court hearings.

My goodness....

And finally, the last and most interesting change of all...The way something that has been long gone for ten years, something you thought had disappeared and would never return, the way some old part of you can light up again after so long, and change everything....

It's all just so....interesting. I guess we'll have to wait, hope and see where everything goes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Paleo Friendly Enchilada Chicken Boobies

Just an FYI, the soundtrack for preparing this meal should be something along the lines of Taylor Swift's Fearless.

For those of you who don't know, I recently started eating the Paleolithic Diet. If you don't know what that is, you can find more info here. Essentially it means eating like a Hunter Gatherer, not an agriculturalist. Fruit, veggies, nuts, meat, fish, poultry and healthy fats. No potatoes, no beans, no grain, wheat, flour, corn and obviously no bread of any kind.

Since starting this diet, I have lost an awesome amount of weight, and haven't really had any problems with being too hungry or having crazy sugar cravings. I honestly don't even really miss bread that much, except when I'm super pissed off or upset, because really we are addicted to bread like we are addicted to cigarettes and booze. True story.

One of the only things I have really, truly missed since giving up all those foods is Enchiladas. My chicken enchiladas are famous house with me and my kids, and I used to make them like weekly. I used flour tortillas, which I know is so totally white of me, but I did, and we would gobble them up like little fatties and ask for more.
In an act of Sarah-like rebellion, and a stalkeresque desire for enchilada goodness, I decided to invent Paleo Friendly Chicken Enchiladas.
Here's how:

What you need:
  • Boneless skinless chicken breast, washed and trimmed
  • A very sharp knife
  • 1 tub of Santa Fe Style cooking cream (with the cream cheese)
  • Shredded cheddar or Colby Jack cheese
  • 1 can diced green chili
  • 2 cans of red or green enchilada sauce
  • Sour cream (the sour cream technically isn't Paleo, but I make an exception for a small dollop of it)
Preheat oven to 375
Rinse the chicken breast, trim off any lumpy or dangling pieces or any fat, and butterfly down the center, long ways, until it opens like a hot dog bun. DO NOT CUT IT COMPLETELY IN HALF! Mix the above ingredients, except the sour cream, and spoon into the little "envelope" you've made out of your chicken breasts. Close them, and secure with a toothpick if you do so desire.
Place in the bottom of a 13x9 glass casserole dish that has been sprayed with a light coat of Pam.
Repeat this process over and over until you have used up all your chicken breasts.
Cover the chicken with the enchilada sauce and remaining shredded cheese, and bake for about 45 minutes, if you have 1.5 lbs of chicken.
Serve with sour cream and a side veggie of your choice, and enjoy!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

To Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, and back again Pt. Two

So, when we last left off, we were all crammed into a car, with four kids under the age of 7 and 3 very tired adults. The Jedi had pooped his pants, and we had been driving for about 4 hours from Kansas City, Missouri to Greenville Illinois.
At this point, the kids (well, my kids anyway) had pretty much settled down in the back, and were doing pretty well. But The Roomie's poor sister was in the middle seat with her 2 year old and her 2 week old, trying as hard as she could to maintain her sanity and keep her kids entertained. She sang them songs, we listened to the radio, and she let all the kids play Angry Birds on her phone. What a saint. I don't think I've ever had 1/4 of the patience she showed on that long long drive.
Finally, at 10:30 that night, we rolled into Greenville and relief filled the van-or at least the hearts of every adult in that van. We were finally there. But, the first day of our trip was gone, and we'd spent it primarily in the car.
We came in, got hugs all around, introduced everyone to my very tired, very shy children, and put all the babies to bed. It had been a long day.
By the next morning when we woke up, The Jedi was being exceptionally crabby, cranky and difficult. Then, he peed his pants. Having accidents is pretty unusual for The Jedi, who has been potty trained for the last year, and at this point, with two accidents under his belt and a very bad attitude, I was getting concerned. When nap time rolled around, he asked to be put down for a nap. Now I know something is wrong. But what? He looked ok....maybe just tired? Maybe just the change of his environment? Maybe....but maybe not.
3 hours later, when he woke up from his nap, he woke up screaming. I mean, balling, screaming, crying his head off, and he had to pee. I took him to the bathroom, and realized his armpits were blazing hot. When he sat down on the potty and started going, he cried and said it hurt. Thats when I noticed how weird his pee smelled. He had a UTI, I just knew it. To be sure, I called Anne Marie, our naturopathic doctor and my preceptor, and she confirmed my suspicion. Lot's of Vitamin C, lots of water, bathroom breaks every half hour, cranberry juice, and baking soda mixed into his water or some ice cream to neutralize the acid in his urine. With any luck, we could get through this without antibiotics.
The next three days, from Friday to Sunday night were filled with a lot of sitting around with a sick, cranky and hurting baby, watching Harry Potter movies, reading, sleeping and keeping him hydrated. You'd think it'd be easy. Just drink this EmergenC all day, which he loves. Eat this ice cream with a tiny dash of baking soda in it. Nope! Any food or drink that you tell a child to eat or drink, even if it's their absolute favorite, you will be met with nothing but stubborn obstinance.
We couldn't go anywhere, and we couldn't do much with him because any physical activity would spike his fever up to 102 or higher, and he had to have constant access to a bathroom within 30 seconds of realizing he had to go. That pretty much rules out the fair in St. Louis, the zoo, hiking, nature walking, lake trips and anything else we had planned. For three days.
Finally by Monday he had turned the corner, and we were able to take him out for the 4th of July celebrations on the park nearby with the rest of The Roomie's family.
At the time, I wasn't much looking forward to going, to be honest. I am not crazy about 4th of July, and I think part of that is because it's my dad's favorite holiday, and he's always forced me to make a huge deal out of it, whether I wanted to or not, and if it didn't go the way he wanted it to, there was emotional hell to pay.
But, alas, there were about 10 other people who overruled me, and the kids wanted to go, so off we went. The park was something out of a movie. Some stereotypical, movie quality American 4th of July celebration. Admission was free, the park was beautiful, and we got a spot right on the edge of the lake, right across from where they shoot fireworks off the bank on the other side. The food was cheap, and delicious. About $10.00 to feed me, the kids and The Roomie. Not bad!
The kids got sparklers, and were so excited they were like horses twitching at the gate, waiting for fireworks. Finally it got dark. Everyone started cheering, and clapping, and they signaled the start of the show. We all lay down on our blanket, and there it was. Right over head, as close as I've ever been to fireworks, they started exploding in beautiful bursts of colorful light. They sparkled, and shimmered. They turned colors, from blue to green to red to gold. They made huge clouds of brilliant light, then faded into dust and smoke, leaving silhouettes of what they once were on the inky black night sky. The kids snuggled close, and I watched each explosion light up their faces. Halfway through the show, I hear Tiny sigh, and whisper, maybe only to herself "I am never going to forget this. I hope I never forget this."

And in that moment, all the flying, the driving, the pooped in pants, the peed on bedsheets, the fevers, the strange beds, the lack of privacy, all of it, was so inexplicably worth it.

I won't ever forget it either.

All the chapters to come

Sometimes I think about all the things I want to do in this lifetime. All the books I want to read, all the books that exist that I might like to read, that I never will because I just don't know about them all, all the places I want to go, all the poetry I want to hear, all the places I want to live and things I want to do and be and experience, and feel sad because I know most of it will never happen.
Opportunity, cost, the fact that I have children, responsibility, all of that aside, most of it will never happen, just because of the sheer magnitude of all there is to see and experience in this world.
One lifetime just isn't going to be enough.
I want to read hundreds of books, and poems and plays. I want to hear the words of Dylan Thomas slip off the lips of a lover, beneath a star filled sky somewhere in the wild, where humans rarely go.
I want to live in a third world country-several third world countries actually. I want to wake up in some impoverished, war torn somewhere, and know what it's like to be truly thankful for each day you have.
I want to learn midwifery in rural Mexico, in India, in Indonesia. I want to see how women really give birth in Africa.
I want to live in California, in Hawaii, in Italy, Greece, Ireland, Spain and Turkey. I want to live on the beach, in a cabin, in a tree house and on a boat. I want to learn to fly a plane and how to knit a blanket. I want to speak other languages, and grow my own food. I want to start a commune, a birth center, and learn all the secrets of my own femininity.
I want to study religion, read with monks, pray with spiritual leaders, meditate, and question the existence of Heaven, Hell and the absurdity of my own mortality.
I want to raise my kids in hundreds of places, show them hundreds of thousands of things. I want to teach them to be humble, accepting, worldly and strong. I want to teach them compassion, kindness, and how much the human heart can endure. I want to teach them to explore, and to wander. To always look up at a night sky and feel awestruck. To always question, always study, always thirst for more answers, but also respect the divine mystery that pulses through this Universe, and understand that love is something that there are no logical answers to.
I want to do so much. And knowing that just because of how much there is to do, and how little time there seems to be for me to do it in, and all the other things that need to be done as well, just makes me sad.
But it also keeps alive in me the spirit of adventure, and the hope that just around the next corner, any sort of magic could be waiting.

It is a very dangerous business: walking out one's front door.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

To Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, and back again Pt. One

We got home today from our incredibly long, brave and ambitious vacation around....well, the entire midwest it seems.
The trip was long, especially for a vacation with two small kids, totaling 11 days.
Eleven days away from our home
Eleven days away from our beds
Eleven days away from the kids normal routine
Eleven days with no privacy
Eleven days with someone else's family who, to put it simply, is nothing like anything I am used to
Eleven days in very. very. very. small towns.

No big deal, right?


The trip was good, don't get me wrong, and I am very very glad that we went. The kids don't get out much, and this was an awesome experience for them. They got to see and do a lot of stuff that they have never seen or done before, and I am sure they made many many new happy memories. But their kids. They don't know what went into that awesome time they had. What it took to make that happen.
I do.
So let me tell you....
Our story starts on Wednesday, the 29th of June. We're supposed to leave that night, and since we're flying on The Roomie's flight benefits, we're flying standby, which means we have to pick a flight with the most open seats to try to get on, show up, and hope we do actually get on.
The problem here, is that the flight we were planning to take, the flight we've been watching for a week, the flight that has been wide open, is suddenly full. No, overfull. Overbooked, completely. Well...fuck. So we start looking at other flights. Maybe we can fly into Indiana, or Chicago, or somewhere, anywhere we can get a flight to. It's all full.
There is one flight that looks halfway decent, and it only has 3 open seats. There are 4 of us. It flies into Kansas City, Missouri, where luckily The Roomie's sister lives, so she can pick us up and take us into Greenville the next day. The flights a long shot, but we try anyway. We race to the airport, haul the kids in, get their hopes up, deal with their bubbling over excitement and borderline crack addicted monkey level of hyperness, and run to the gate, hoping we can get a seat for all of us, but knowing we might not.
There we are, standing at the gate, and The Roomie tells us there are three seats. One for me, and my kids. He can't get on this flight, but maybe, (MAYBE?!) he can get on one to St. Louis and meet us in Missouri. Maybe. Ummmmm so you're asking me and the kids to get on a plane without you, fly to Missouri and chill with your family, just hoping you can get a flight out? Awesome. So the kids and I are moving toward the gate, looking back at The Roomie all sad and dejected, while I freak out because I suddenly realize: I am going to be flying alone with two kids. ALONE. Sure, I know it's possible, but I am not very good at traveling. I am sort of travel retarded, and this is a huge step for me...two kids, one airplane, alone. Shit! We get on, and the plane is packed. They put us (of course) in the very back, so we have to bump and shove past a completely full flight of people, me carrying all three bags, and trying to keep my kids from knocking some helpless old lady down or stepping on someone's luggage.
Finally we sit down, and what do you know? There, in the front of the plane, is The Roomie, loading his bag in the overhead compartment, and taking the very last seat in the front of the plane. Hallelujah! Somehow, a friend of his who works the ticket counter got him a freakin seat, and my life is saved. I am literally still in shock that I didn't burst into song, I was so happy and relieved.
Once the plane took off though, I was still sitting there with two kids by myself. The Jedi was beyond excited, and could not resist playing with, pushing on, kicking and banging the back of the seat in front of us, occupied by a poor lady who was trying so hard to sleep and not turn around and smack him. By the time we landed, there were safety pamphlets and magazines all over the floor, 3 empty water bottles, 2 empty juice cups, half a personal pizza and most of my sanity on the floor in front of our seats, and I was in tears.
The next day, we all packed up and got ready to go into Greenville with The Roomie's sister and her two little ones. And when I say little, I mean tiny. Her daughter is two this month and her son....her son was two weeks old. Yeah. One car, four kids between two weeks and seven years old, and 3 adults. Her husband had to stay behind to finish a job he was working repairing a roof.
No problem! I think. We got this! Then The Roomie looks at me and says "It's only a five hour drive to Greenville." ONLY?! Keep in mind, Roomie has no kids of his own, and has never traveled with young kids that weren't his siblings. This should be a real treat for him....
The trip to Greenville wasn't so bad, except that it took more like seven hours, there was lots of crying and tantrum throwing, and when we stopped at a McDonald's in Boonville Missouri, The Jedi shit his pants.
There was a moment, while standing in the Men's room in McDonald's, cleaning my 3 year old sons shit covered ass, underwear and pants, crying and trying to keep him from screaming and throwing a tantrum, where I wondered if this trip was a little too ambitious for us...
Once back on the road, we cranked the music and hit the gas. We were so ready to get there.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Missing Home!

The trip to Greenville has been fun, interesting, educational and full of new experiences for the kids. Plus, it's been a solid week of me looking like Don King because of the humidity. Fun stuff.
The trip is drawing to a close, and we are heading to Michigan tonight for the last leg of this adventure, before coming back home to Phoenix.
I have had a lot of fun, even though traveling with kids is never NOT stressful, and I feel really happy that the kids have had such a good time, but I definitely am pretty ready to come home.
I miss my bed.
I miss the office where Anne Marie and I get to hide from the world and geek out over birthy stuff two days a week.
I miss my fuzzy pink blanket.
I miss my own shower with my own soap, shampoo and conditioner.
I miss my lame little routine, and my lunch date every week with Meghands.
I miss Batman, and Zombie Justin, and time alone.

Traveling is awesome, vacations kick ass, but there really is no place like home.

Off to Michigan we go, then dear condo: here I come!!

P.S. Wish me luck getting through a 12 hour drive with 4 kids.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Postcard from the edge #1

Sarah's first postcard home:

Dear home,

I am in a McDonald's men's room in Boonville, Missouri-seriously. There are four kids in the car and we have been driving all day. I have heard the song "Rolling in the Deep" 923982985985 times, and The Jedi has shit himself. I miss you very much.