Tag Archives: Thankful thoughts

A Thank-You to My Readers for a Great First Year

One year ago today I published my first blog post (it took me about a year after I thought of starting a blog!). I take my time thinking things through, what can I say? One thing I didn’t have to think long about was thanking my readers for being loyal, for commenting, for liking, and for coming back. If you have a blog, you know how scary it is to write that first post. You know how exciting it is to get your first subscriber, your first comment, and to suddenly start feeling like you have a sense of community.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started blogging, but I wanted to write all the thoughts that flow through my head as I shower each day or drive down the road. I had put writing on the back burner for a long time to deal with two young kids who always needed a snack, something from the top shelf, or something wiped. I desperately wanted to write again and for some reason, I wanted to do it publicly. I think I thought blogging would force me to write every week and work at it. It has, and it has never felt like work.

I’ve pushed myself in ways I didn’t think I would. I’ve been inspired by other bloggers I’ve met along the way. I’m thrilled to have all of you here. I just wanted to stop between posts and say thanks for reading every week. Thanks for giving me an audience.

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Filed under About Mom

Mom with a Migraine

BoomBoom. BoomBOOM. My pounding, screaming head throbs with each beat of my heart. With migraine in full force, life as a mom has just gotten complicated. The afternoon whirlwind of kids throwing bookbags to the floor, fighting over who gets to wash hands first, snack orders, and relaying the day’s events tumbles through my head like rocks in a dryer.

I manage to smile, request quiet, and get them upstairs to play so I can crawl under the covers for a nap. Sometimes they play and leave me alone. Sometimes they need the toy at the tippy top of the shelf. And they need it now. Sometimes there is screaming followed by tears. Still, it is better than when they were young and I couldn’t nap at all. I lay on the floor in misery as my nine-month-old used me as a trampoline while I willed myself not to vomit.

For nearly 30 years, migraines have racked my head with pain and my stomach with unending nausea. I spent many Friday nights of my fourth-grade year in bed with a migraine. Many times I threw up. I gagged on horse-pill-sized extra-strength Tylenol, once coughing one across the room. I’ve missed out on countless events. The ones I suffered through, I missed out on in spirit.

I’ve spent many hours lying in bed with an ice pack on my head, pitying myself, wondering what I did to deserve this curse. I’ve bawled, wanted to bang my head against the wall. I’ve begged and pleaded for mercy and done everything short of making a deal with the devil for the pain to go away. There are certainly some things I would rather not have. Even when I was younger, I knew I’d rather go through a lifetime of this than have something far worse.

I’ve tried massage, biofeedback, and TENS, which is some kind of electrical stimulation that frankly just freaked me out. I’ve tried lots of medicines, and most don’t work. There are some I just won’t take because I still have to drive my kids around. I know my triggers: stress, weather changes, hormones. Things mostly out of my control.

Friends offer to take the kids off my hands while I sleep off the effects of the medicine, but I always say no. I appreciate it. Everyone has their own problems, their own days when they don’t feel well, and I can’t have people rescuing me every time I feel bad. It would be often and I’d spend all of my good days repaying favors.

I deal. I muddle through the afternoon, take the kids outside, struggle through homework, put something that resembles dinner on the table. It may be a box of mac and cheese and a bag of carrots. It may be some leftover limp pancakes. The kids know. “Mommy has a heddik.”

I wish my family didn’t have to deal with this several times a month. But this is my life and this curse has made me who I am. A curse can be a gift. For every head-splitting migraine day, there is a next day. And that day after, when I feel good, I don’t take anything for granted.

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Filed under About Mom, Everyday Life

Thanks a Lot

This is the time of year when we’re supposed to stop and count our blessings. As parents, we know better. Most of us pause several times daily, thankful for every little thing we have.

In honor of this holiday, I’ll tell you some of the many things I am thankful for.

I'm grateful for seeing the beauty of the world through my kids' eyes.

My husband. My partner in the perils of parenthood. I can’t count how many times he has walked in on the tail end of a flaming tantrum after work, and instead of walking out the door, he takes it like a man, often the hero of the hour. “Daddy!” All is often suddenly good with the world. He does the dishes, then plays with the kids for an hour before bed. No computer, no cell phone. Real quality time with his family, whatever the night may bring us. I am grateful for this man.

I am thankful for the two spirited, smiling beings who have stolen an incalculable amount of sleep from my life and nearly every inch of freedom with their demands and the insane amount of thought I feel compelled to give them. My kids, who from day one have been harder to figure out than any math class I have squirmed through, have upended my life so incredibly that if I really knew what having kids was about, I may have never wanted to have children in the first place. The rewards: Just hearing the word Mom is good for me.

As a mom, I’ve wished away many fevers, cuddled sick babies, and worked myself into a frenzy over the countless horrible diagnoses I’ve given my children from the Internet. I’m thankful that my children are healthy.

I’m secretly grateful for hurts only cured by Mommy’s hugs, books that are better read by Mom, and unexpected hugs. When my kids give me their worst, it’s these little things that get me through. I am grateful for every one of them.

I am so incredibly thankful for friends who can relate, who can laugh at our misery, and who don’t even flinch when I tell them we’ve just infected them all with strep.

I am thankful for the food we eat, the meals I slave over that the kids sometimes stick up their noses at and squirm in their chairs over and make an otherwise lovely meal unbearable.

Our home, though often cluttered and never glamorous, keeps us warm, comfortable, and safe. It is filled with love and silliness and often more dirt than I can keep up with. But I am ever so grateful.

I’m thankful for laughter. We make time together as a family. We play together. We eat together. We do so much together that we drive one another crazy, but we can always make each other laugh. It’s the unexpected that keeps us going, like when my husband tries to lick the cinnamon roll icing off his plate without being caught or jumps in the car and locks it during a rollicking game of tag. (Well played.) Or the many moments when the kids say something so out of the blue, there is no other choice but to laugh, no matter how inappropriate.

I’m grateful for family. We don’t have any family nearby, but emails and phone calls keep us connected until we can meet in person and remind each other of why we’re all so crazy. Darn those blood lines.

Being a mom has been so much more challenging and sometimes more painful than I ever imagined. I honestly thought it would be a breeze. Then I realized you can’t mold people. They’re already who they are and you have to learn to deal with their idiosyncrasies from the start. But I’m grateful that every day is new, my kids don’t hold grudges, we forgive, and we love.

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Filed under I Love Those Darn Kids