It started as your run of the mill video and ended in whale cries. (*hint: they were mine*)
This 30 seconds right here sums up my parental journey.
It started as your run of the mill video and ended in whale cries. (*hint: they were mine*)
This 30 seconds right here sums up my parental journey.
When it comes to parties, ‘simple’ is not in my vernacular.
The one thrown for my four year old this weekend was no different.
A four year old really only needs a nice sugary cake and friends whom with to run around. Because she hasn’t had a really good party since her first birthday (and also because my mommy guilt is strong with this middle child), she was given a bash.
Invitations were ordered from Etsy and sent to 60 of our closest friends and family members:
Elle wasn’t sure if she wanted a general ‘Princess’ theme or a ‘Cinderella’ one — until she decided, we did the broader fairy tale type invite.
Once they were out and it was time to pick up the decorations, I asked her one last time what she wanted to do… Cinderella it was.
I made center pieces.
This kinda felt extreme, but Elle likes things to be pretty, and I enjoy making things pretty; so it worked.
Jars found randomly around my home to spray paint sparkly gold, and flowers and pumpkins were picked up from the Dollar Tree.
I find a good party is in the people. An exceptional party is in the details — things like a sparkly pumpkin or one of the magic cookie wands that my beautiful mother made for us. (Seen below)(Don’t mind my make shift ice bucket — my children destroyed the one and only that I had)I love the series of moments that make up a really good gathering. The quiet before the first guest arrives; the serious concentration of my daughter’s face as she opens her presents; or little pink boots that have been kicked to the side for some serious play in bare feet.
My ultimate favorite moment though was this:We had a special guest arrive after cake and gifts. Elle was completely humbled in her presence. One of the best parts of parenting is seeing the reaction of your little ones to something new. This was quite special.
Cinderella was sent to us by Kirko Productions (link at the end of the article). She led a sing along with the children and even brought a glass slipper for the birthday girl.
The girls also did crafts with the princess and had their faces painted. It was an eventful evening for sure.What’s a good party without a little something for the grown ups? My husband made sure there was a little ‘play’ for the big kids too. While I couldn’t participate as I was following a 2 year old or doing hostess things, it was awesome to watch guests of all ages join in some fun.Scooter got his volleyball game in (a few of them actually). We didn’t know if it would be possible, as the forecast teased us with rain — going back and forth, back and forth, until finally came the day, and the forecast STILL was unclear.
The evening ended with a few good people sitting around a table, the kids tucked in bed, and a gentle rain as the backdrop of our conversation.
I have to admit – I was pretty in love with yesterday.
Cinderella courtesy of: http://www.kirkoproductions.com/
I like to move through daily activities with a sense of humor, but tonight I find myself just so darn tired that there’s no humor.
No humor what so ever.
Typically, if I can’t be humorous, I can tap into some sort of nostalgia or whimsy. Trust me when I say: I’m all out of effin whimsy.
This was my first full week on the third shift (aka midnights (aka the graveyard shift)). While it started well, and it hasn’t ended poorly… I’ll just put it this way: at one point I found kielbasa in the toilet.
See evidence below:
When I wasn’t discovering that dinner has been literally chucked in the toilet, I was cutting holes into Baby J’s diapers… To make room for a tail.
Somehow in the chaos that is our life, we lost track of how old Lucy girl is now. When we realized that she was on her doggie girly time, Scooter and I had an ‘ohh yeah’ moment; one where we looked at each and realized that we’d been forgetting something. Surprise! Lucy’s officially a woman, and you two are officially idiots. How could we forget to spay her?
Eh, soon soon.
These are a few of the occurrences that unfolded between the planned events of the week. Events like: grocery shopping, eBay package sending, scrub ordering, preschool sign up-ing, parade walking, meal making, calorie logging, laundry folding, party planning, suit case packing, and night shift working.
It’s overwhelming, and I’m tired beyond being cute. Being a working mom is new territory and has come with a whole new group of challenges.
But it’s the same chaos as before. It’s my chaos, and whether I’m too tired to laugh about it or not…
I love my chaos.
” How old would you be if you didn’t know your age?”
The late Dr. Wayne Dwyer asked this question, and I have to be honest, I feel OLD.
I’d blame it on the minivan or the three kids that roll in it, but that’s not really fair now. Is it?
The truth of the matter is that I feel old because I’ve not been properly taking care of myself.
I recently started working at a health care facility for the elderly and those who can no longer care for themselve; it’s been eye-opening.
I want to be as healthy as I can for as long as I can.
And that’s why I’ve really made the commitment to set a solid example for those three kids rolling in that minivan.
I’m talking salads and workouts.
Hi there all. Well, in case you were wondering what would happen when you work out routinely for months and then stop with little to no movement for months, the answer is: it will feel like starting all over again. In my case, it may possibly be worse.
I’m currently on Day 3 of my 21 Day Fix…
and I am sore…My muscles are so stiff that I currently have the gait of a gingerbread man.
Now let me tell you: walking like a gingerbread man is troublesome enough when you’re alone, but when you have three hooligans (also known as my children) and a puppy running around your house, it’s a whole another ballgame. And I mean that literally. My son just hit my daughter in the head with a nerf football. My dog then soon snatched it up, chewing into foam bits all over our carpet. Super!
Normally, this would be a minor fiasco that could be extinguished in under 2 minutes, by because I am currently gingerbread Mom, I can’t move much faster than grandma after Christmas dinner.
So it should be quite the sight for my kids to see me as I hobble over side to side trying to reprimand and discipline, but let’s be honest here people: there is no discipline today. No discipline at all. These kids are running a muck, and I’m just trying to maintain survival for us all.
Wish me luck this coming week as I push through this discomfort. Today is “leg day”, and one of my last “leg days”, I tore the moulding off of the wall while trying to position myself on the toilet to pee. Elle told me I was like a robot monster (Yes, she busted into the bathroom to be witness to the whole thing.)
Today’s real challenge though…
It’s so damned cold in January.
Is it cold that I hate so much?
Or is it the lifeless, colorless backdrop in which I’m still expected to function?
My husband and I met in January. It was during a snow storm.
I still remember crawling into my car and starting it, turning the defrosters on, then blow on my own hands to warm them. He chased me out to my car to get my phone number, and I knew right then that he was worth keeping around.
Why was it in January?
I suppose I’m grateful because it gave us something to celebrate.
Two years later, we were married, in a snow storm.
Not in January.
But still, in a snow storm…
Four years after the night we met (almost to the day), our first daughter was born… in January.
Another something to celebrate.
It’s been 10 years since Scott and I first met in January.
Sophia will be seven on the 26th of January.
And I thank God that He gave me such beautiful gifts, in what used to be the worst month of the year for me: January.
I believe in food.
I believe food heals.
I believe the power of food is greatly underestimated.
For, food is what every living being wakes up for. It’s what they work for. Often, it’s what they go to bed at night, wondering where its source will come from (for many humans, this is still the case.)
Tonight, my husband and I cooked a meal. Shrimp stir fry.
He cut the tails off of the shrimp, while I prepped the veggies and other ingredients. During this time, we discussed our day. We decided what should happen with our youngest daughter. We even lightly touched base about opening our own business someday.
I had waited all day to see him, and he, I.
And this meal was our couple’s therapy. It was the mediator of our conversation.
“Can you hand me that cup?” One would ask, as if it were the punctuation of our sentences…
For us tonight, it brought two people, who each had separate days, living near separate lives, together.
I love food.
Oh, the shame for a 20 year old girl to say she loves food. Especially, the chocolate I would eat in secrecy. The fast food. The foods whose big, shiny advertisements brought me to the local grocer like a zombie looking for a brain.
*Must. have. Oreos.*
But that’s not food.
I understand that now.
Oreos and other substances that deem themselves “food” are addictive and deadly. They are not what I love.
Things with shiny, advertisements often do not heal.
Our skin should glow! Our hearts should fill with vigor! Our veins should coarse with energy not diabetes.
You can’t have the conversation we had, when you’re eating a bag of cookies in the dark. To eat this meal that was made with love and feel its nutrients making you stronger, you must know that another, flashier meal won’t do the same for you – when even the ants will not consume it.
When did food become devalued in our world? What kind of organism purposely poisons itself? What other mammal on God’s green earth does not spend their time looking for sustenance.
Because in our world, sustenance of food is also sustenance of soul.
I dreamt of you the last night
and I knew it wasn’t true.
I saw your smiling face last night,
woven with years of being you.
You beamed at me, so confident,
and I knew it couldn’t be true,
but your voice, like leaves,
rustled in my ears last night.
Could it be you?
I knew of dream’s deceit last night
I knew it wasn’t true,
I saw you laugh last night.
Could it be you?
Through words, through imagery,
through pictures of my youth.
I knew it was a dream last night,
but perception is the truth…
For, I thanked God this morning
because through Him, I saw you.
* This was written before Lydia and Jax entered our lives, and before Scott left this earth. *
It was a gift.
A woman, of about 60 years, came through the vestibule, wheeling her son into the restaurant. They had visited The Country Inn before, and it was always my assumption that he was born with a disability of some sorts.
It’s the kind of disability that makes one uncomfortable no matter how kind of heart you are. For this poor soul, this grown boy had no voice. No speech. He wailed out once in a while, his tiny arms coiled under, tucked into his frail white body. He had a head brace and flailed about every so often. For me it was difficult to see. I wondered if he suffered.
So Wednesday they came in, and Wednesday this boy (We would later learn his name: Chris) was in a particular disarray. He grunted loudly, wailed, and flailed his wrists. We even had another couple stop us to ask if we’d box their meals up, “We can’t eat with all this noise.” (As servers, we granted their request. As human beings, we wanted to tell them to grow a heart.)
Approaching the table of Chris and his mother, I saw a woman caring for her child. I saw myself in her, “Why are you so unhappy today, baby? What can Mommy do to calm you down?” She looked at me, “Maybe some ice cream?” She was directing her thoughts aloud to me.
“That sounds good,” I said, “We have vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry.”
“Mommy’s going to get you some ice cream. Ok?” She said, cupping his head in her hand, “We’ll take a little bit of vanilla please.” She was sure to smile warmly at me, but her eyes looked tired.
I brought the ice cream out to her, while holding my own tears back. My heart swelled to see such love between a mother and a child. I left them to their dessert, watching from afar in pure admiration and awe as she spooned the ice cream into his mouth to the tune of a lullaby.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy, when skies are grey.
Coming by to take her order, she spoke before I could ask if she was ready, “He wasn’t always like this. You know.” I didn’t say a word. What would I say? I was just called upon to listen, “When Christopher was six, we lived on the canal. He was outside tagging along with his uncles when he fell through the ice.” My eyes flooded, “but they rescued him. They sure did. He would have died. It took them 20 minutes to get him out from under there, but they got him.”
“Oh my goodness.” They were the only words I could manage to get out.
“Yes, when they rescued him, his lips were blue. He aspirated. That’s actually what cut the oxygen supply to his brain. He hasn’t grown since then,” She spooned another bite of vanilla into his mouth, and I looked into his brown eyes, wondering what his thoughts were. Was he that six year old little boy trapped in a completely disabled body, unable to talk, walk, or smile? “He’s actually 31. Believe it or not. It happened 25 years ago, and he’s been my little boy all this time.”
“Bless you.” I said and quickly walked away so I could cry and pray.
And she sang on…
You’ll never know dear.
How much I love you.
Please don’t take
my sunshine away.
I kissed my daughters about a hundred times that evening. Since then, I’ve snuggled with her to the very second she’s fallen asleep at night. If she wants to read a second, third, fourth book, I’ve done it.
Because it’s more time with her. Precious time.
I don’t want to generalize everyone, so I will only speak for myself. I know I tend to take life for granted. I make plans around growing old and complain about happenings that are outside of my control; Petty things that won’t matter five years from now, next year, or tomorrow.
What I’ve never known though…
What Chris’ mom taught me is…
I am not guaranteed to grow old.
Everything I’ve been blessed with in this life…
it isn’t mine forever.
So I kiss my daughter a few extra times before I leave her, and I tell the ones I love that I am happy to see them because I am. I don’t take for granted that everyone knows how I feel any more. I tell them.
Sophie and I have a thing we like to do at night. We take turns telling God what we are thankful for that day. My wish for her is that she grows up, knowing how precious life is and how lucky we all are to experience it.
Chris’ mom has a remarkable love for her son and her inspiration will have a warm place in my heart forever.
“As much as you’ve wanted to, you can’t control the future, Megan,”
A notion I heard countless times before, yet never was able to wrap my heart and soul around its concept. Even still. Now. I remind myself that it is not a concept. It is a truth.
The future is out of my control.
Me: comfortably mediocre since I was an adolescent. In my own way, I thought by never doing much, I could never lose much either. I’ve been in limbo for years. Quietly panicking about the future, I’ve slept in a constant state of ordinary, not knowing what else to do. Throughout my life, if I couldn’t control it, I put no effort into it…
He awoke someone who had lived within me, dormant for so long. The woman who does what’s good for herself, who believes in herself… a woman who is happy… I couldn’t understand her before. Someone, once frightening, is now here and alive.
She is me.
He awakened the woman who puts the effort in…
And this is the point where I cry.
For years, I’ve been trying to put into words what Scott does for me. It’s like everyone else talks to the mediocre me. Scott speaks to that sleeping woman within me.
And she listens.
December 1, 2007. I will become Mrs. Megan Bajorek, but it’s more than that. It’s the day that I embrace that sleeping woman who he sees. It’s the day that I deny the girl who is fine with ordinary.
“…you can’t control the future, and neither can I! But I have you here, and I want you to be there in my future, by my side. That’s what I do have control over.” ~Scott, 2006
*EDIT– I wrote this by hand, before blogging and social media were gigantic. It was later posted to my MySpace, but I thought I would share it here.
Scott passed away in a car accident last month and reading this brings me both pain and gratitude. I wish I could have one without the other, but apparently, all good things come with a price.
The pain needs no explanation. He was the love of my life.
The gratitude is to him…
Leaving the school parking lot today, two moms power walked past my van. Sweet ladies, laughing and carrying on… I smiled, while wondering what they were gabbing about.
They’re probably talking about their diets, or the shape of their butts, or recipes they’ll be trying this week. They’re probably complaining about their picky eaters at home. These thoughts streamed through my mind and then one floated to the top. They’re probably complaining about their husbands.
I used to complain about my husband.
“He didn’t…” “He forgot…” “He’s so…” “He’s too…”
I look back now on these statements and see how oblivious and spoiled I was.
Me. Me. Me.
I was given such a gift. My person. Someone who not only understood me in a world that couldn’t, but he also asked me to be brave. He encouraged, almost demanded, that I be myself. He loved the ‘me’ I worked so hard to hide. All of that, and he gave me three babies.
I miss being the sweet, spoiled, oblivious wife, but I know that’s just a distant fantasy now. My prayer is different. I pray to God for one statement: thank you.
I want to give all those mindless complaints back to speak those two words to him.
I plead for it daily.