Where does your motivation come from because I don't have any and I'd really like some of yours.
I love hearing about people getting in shape and seeing their before and after pictures.
I love seeing when someone I know has transformed their body and themselves and lost weight.
Sure, there's a jealousy there but it's not a malicious jealousy but rather this feeling of, "well I can do it, too. they did it, I can totally do it."
And then they talk about their desire to look better or feel better about themselves. That desire propelled them and kept them away from the frosted brownies from Shop-Rite. That motivation to feel good and be healthy helped them put their sneakers on each day and head to kickboxing or out for a walk or a run or propelled them into Zumba.
And I know none of those were easy. I know it wasn't all rainbows and teddy bears for them. I know they had to work at it each day.
I know it because I've done it. I've motivated myself. I've been so unhappy with myself and uncomfortable in my own skin that I've lost weight and gotten in shape. And it was hard but I did it and it felt great for so many reasons.
But now, almost a year (like two weeks away from a year) after my twins were born , I'm unhappy in my own skin. I'm uncomfortable in my "fat" clothes. I live in baggy t-shirts and yoga pants- sometimes for two or more days at a time. I can't keep myself away from the frosted brownies from Shop-Rite. I can't bring myself to head out the door each day to exercise or at least walk for a bit or, um, anything.
And please don't tell me to be easy on myself. Sometimes, when there is hard work to be done, you don't get to be easy on yourself. You don't get to mill around and take your time. Sometimes you have to get your ass in gear and just do it.
But I can't seem to do that.
I feel like the weight of the world has been on my shoulders lately. And, like every good emotional eater, I've allowed the weight in my ass to show how much the world actually weighs.
And while other areas of my life are pretty good, I am unhappy with myself and I can't take control of that.
Like everyone who struggles with food issues, I'm in control when I dive into those frosted brownies. Luckily, they rarely make their way into my house. And right now, they are gone from my house because, well, my 7 year old and I just polished them off for dessert.
I think that I literally just stumbled upon my own issue as I was writing this post.
I am not in control. Sure, I make our bed each morning so that I have some semblance of control in an otherwise pretty out of control life with 4 kids and an overworked husband. But other than that, things are out of control. And I don't mean spiraling downward or anything to that extreme but just slightly above normal chaos.
I am not in control when one or both of my twins are screaming for no specifically known reason. I am not in control when my 7 year old talks back and not only gets me angry beyond belief but also makes me think that we're doing this whole parenting thing wrong. I am not in control when my 5 year old has ANOTHER tantrum because she hasn't gotten her way about something. I am not in control when the doctor calls to let me know that one of the girls has a severe food allergy. I am not in control when my thoughts and weekends are occupied by things that weigh me down more than I need or want right now.
I am in control when I put the food into my mouth. More often than not, lately, I'm putting the wrong foods into my mouth and I'm not meeting those extra calories with exercise, as I know I should be. I am in control when I send my 7 year old or my 5 year old to their room indefinitely for their behavior and then leave them there 5 or 10 minutes more than they actually deserve. I am in control when I allow the twins to cry just a little bit longer or louder than I probably should because I need to sit in the bathroom for a few more minutes and gain just a tiny bit of peace. I am in control when I turn my phone off or ignore a call or a text or a message or anything having to do with anything that I just can't or don't want to deal with it right then.
I am in control of everything but me and what I need to feel good. And that is extremely upsetting to me. I have completely let myself go and brought about my own unhappiness and I just don't know how to get control of it all.
And the biggest worry of all, is that sometimes I just don't care.
My kids are fed, healthy (for the most part), happy (I think), and getting used to life in a new school and town. My house is not always clean but it's becoming more and more organized (sort of) and clean (sometimes) as the weeks go by. The seemingly important things, my family, my marriage, my home, our health, are intact.
It appears though, and again this is an almost instantaneous realization, I am not.
And the fact that I even wrote this and put this out there shows that I do care a little, but I really struggle to care. And that upsets me.
But I'm not sure if it upsets me enough to do anything about it.
Or if I'm just seizing control of something by choosing to ignore it and hope that `it all gets better on it's own.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Where does your motivation come from because I don't have any and I'd really like some of yours.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 7:44 PM
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
*Warning: Uncharacteristically sappy post ahead*
Not to brag, but we've been pretty lucky with our kids and their sleeping. I know some of you are going to read this and get out your voodoo dolls and start wishing pain upon me and my children for this but I won't hide the fact that I'm grateful for their sleep patterns. My older kids were both sleeping through the night by 3 months- my 5 year old was sleeping through at 6 weeks!
When we brought the twins home I was prepared for endless months of babies being awake and feeding. I envisioned one baby being awake and screaming and then just as she went down, the other baby waking up and the whole thing being a vicious cycle. And that cycle did exist, briefly. I would say the number of times where one baby would go down and the other would promptly wake up was less than 15 total but they were some long nights. Luckily, though, the girls started sleeping through the night at around 12 weeks. Later the our other two but let's remember the twins were ripped from my womb, rightfully so, about 7 weeks too early!
Now that the girls are turning 11 months- TOMORROW- our sleepless nights are even fewer and far between than ever. We're in the lucky minority, I know that. Our sleepless nights with the older kids usually involve vomit, nightmares or fevers. With the girls they involve fevers, teeth or growth spurts. Last night was an example of a night that involved teeth, growth spurts and playtime.
And I am feeling it this morning.
Despite the fact that I got maybe 3 hours total sleep last night, I woke up this morning (to screams of anger from two hungry babies) in a surprisingly good mood. (Talk to me around 6pm this evening and I may be singing a different tune). Last night was actually pretty special and emotional for me.
The girls woke up just as I was heading to bed...that was around 12:45 in the morning. First it was our little firecracker and I promptly removed her from her crib to our room in the hopes that her screams wouldn't wake her sister. It didn't work. For the next 25 minutes the husband and I changed diapers, made bottles, sent our 5 year old to our room to sleep, rocked babies who had big, wide open eyes and searched, in vain, for our Vicks Vapo steamer to help with the girls stuffed noses. It was at that point that I sent the husband to bed and hunkered down in my 5 year old's bed and attempted to get the girls to sleep.
I spent the next two hours singing the same song over and over and over again. If you've ever watched "Sesame Street" you know the song "Sing". This song calms all of my children like you wouldn't believe. It's a song from my childhood, something my grandmother and my mother sang to me. Something my mother and father sing to my kids now. It's a special song with a great message. I love it and so do my kids.
So I sang it....for hours.
And I took turns rocking each of the girls. I patted bottoms and gently rubbed heads. I bounced and swayed and ssshh'd. And they did finally quiet down and sleep...after I had fallen asleep and they had sufficiently played in their cribs.
In those hours that I sang the song over and over again I routinely teared up. The line, "Sing of good things, not bad...sing of happy, not sad" brought tears to my eyes almost every time through.
The girls are turning 11 months old tomorrow and just yesterday I placed the order for their first birthday party invitations. To say that I thought we might never get here is an understatement. And I don't mean because their first year was impossibly hard- it wasn't. It was hard but it didn't break me, as I thought it would. But a year ago when I was pregnant and worrying about whether or not my girls would be born early or have issues I would routinely go to this place where they were the worst case scenario. And I know that's not healthy and it's pessimistic and a whole host of other things. But when you're pregnant with twins and you've got information and statistics and stories flying at you from every angle it's hard not to go there.
I never imagined that our first year would fly by as it did. And as I looked into my littlest ones big blue eyes last night I thought of all of the possibilities that could have been and that weren't. And I realized, again, how incredibly lucky we have been.
Every. Single. Child is a miracle. Our girls, and our two older kids, are incredible miracles- for so many reasons not spoken here. But these babies, these twins who were so unexpected and who changed our lives in so many ways, have brought us so much since entering our lives on the ultrasound screen so many months ago. And last night as I sang them to sleep and thought of good things, not bad, happy things, not sad, I couldn't help but get all misty eyed thinking about how far they've come and how far they've brought us.
There's a whole new set of sleepless night that lay ahead of us in the next 18+ years. There are still challenges ahead that could be easy to overcome and some that could very well be almost impossible to tackle. But if the past year is any type of indicator, the strength and joy that we derive from these little people- all four of them- is what will propel us through those times of challenge and will bolster us through the times of struggle. And they'll only enhance the already ever-present moments of laughter and love and joy.
Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad.
Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.
Sing, sing a song
Let the world sing along
Sing of love there could be
Sing for you and for me.
Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 11:57 AM
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
This was the text that I sent to one of my best friends last night as I sat in a Sports bar surrounded by men all drafting their Fantasy Football teams: "Hah! I'm so pathetic...I needed to get out of my house and away from my kids so badly that I am subjecting myself to this....and using up my cousin's goodwill and free babysitting".
I tagged along with my husband last night for his draft. A few of his friends were there, there was beer and bar food and the Yankees on just about every screen in the place. Really, it could have been much worse than it was. And it wasn't bad, at all. Just not what I was hoping for.
I didn't tag along to check up on my husband, as I'm sure some of the "men" there assumed. I didn't tag along to make sure he didn't spend too much money on trades and drafts. I didn't tag along for any other reason than I REALLY needed to get out of my house and away from my kids (OH THE HORROR AT ME BEING A TERRIBLE MOTHER AND NEEDING A BREAK FROM MY KIDS!) And I figured it would be a bit fun...you know, sports bar, the husband, his friends (whom I like) and beer and terribly bad for you food.
And it was fun, for awhile. And then the guy next to me gave me one too many disapproving looks and made some backhanded comment about me being there. And then I knew it was time for me to drown my beer and head across the parking lot to Target.
A win-win, for the most part.
While my jaunt through Target was enjoyable, it didn't produce any fun results. Normally, my Target runs result in a fun new 'something' for me or the kids to play with. Last night's Target run resulted in baby wipes, MiO drink mix, diaper rash cream and squeezable baby food.
Wild and Crazy....I know.
My Target run, though, is not the point. Neither is my experience at the Sports Bar. I'm not here to whine about the draft and being surrounded by men who, probably, didn't want me (the only woman, save the waitresses, in the entire bar) there.
I'm here because I am the self-portrait of pathetic. Or I was last night.
Like I said, I needed to get out of my house. And don't go thinking my husband keeps me under lock and key. SO NOT THE CASE. Lately though, my days seem to run together. Saturday is the same as Monday which is the same as Wednesday which is, you guessed it, the SAME AS SATURDAY!!
And this is not a bad thing. For the most part.
I know three weeks from now, when soccer is in full swing and gymnastics has taken a hold of our lives and school is the center of some 7 year old boys' universes, I'll long for these days of no difference. But right now, they are making me a little nuts.
And forcing me to stoop to somewhat pathetic lows to get out of my house.
And as understanding as my husband is about me needing a break (he really is) I don't think he gets, or got until I unloaded it on him last night, how much I sometimes need a break. And sometimes, I even want him to come with me on said breaks. But babysitters are not cheap and our regular sitter is a soccer player and soccer is back in season. And I won't take advantage of family, as I sometimes fear I already have. And the state frowns upon you locking your children in their rooms with food bowls, adult diapers and maybe a bottle or two.
So, more often than not my breaks consist of runs to Shop Rite or Target. They are quick blips on the radar where I rush into the local library and grab a book they have on hold for me. Or a spontaneous run to the local ice cream store to grab a sundae for the husband and some for myself.
And for the most part, those usually suffice. But as of late I'm so pathetically in need of a break and some time away that even I'm willing to subject myself to an inordinate amount of testosterone and disapproving looks from "men" who were clearly using their fantasy football draft as a means to get their own breaks.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 9:32 AM
Monday, August 27, 2012
When I quit my job back in June it briefly crossed my mind that come September there was a very good chance I wouldn't have to prepare for anything. I wouldn't be worried about lesson plans or a syllabus or seating charts. I wouldn't have to think about cleaning my room or organizing all of the beginning of the year bullshit paperwork. I wouldn't have to do any of that on top of making sure my kids were transitioning into their new school well.
I felt melancholy back in June. There was a slight sadness that made me take pause and wonder if maybe quitting wasn't the right thing. That pause was very very brief considering the different events and occurrences that came with the end of the year.
This morning all of my former co-workers began their 2012-2013 orientation. Tomorrow they start seeing students. This morning I slept until 8:45 while my husband took care of the kids. Then I woke up, made a phone call to my local board of ed transportation department and got my kids' bus stop changed to- wait for it- OUR DRIVEWAY. Then I ran to Home Depot because, really, what's a Monday if it doesn't start at Home Depot. Then I got in 30 minutes on the "new" treadmill in my basement. And now I'm sitting here, while the twins nap, the older two take these last few days of summer to attempt to finish off one another, and I drink my coffee and there is very little, no there is NO melancholy to be seen.
I'm fairly certain I got more accomplished between 8:45 and 11:45 this morning than I would have in this first week of school, anyway.
While I am uncertain of the future and I am worried about paying bills and making ends meet and finding a job that will give me a nice paycheck along with advancement, I am no longer uncertain about my choice to have picked up and left my teaching career.
I miss my students. I miss less than a handful of co-workers. But I do not, in any way shape or form, miss my job or my former place of employment.
I have had a few people, since quitting, tell me that they admire my bravery or my choice. They could never walk away from their jobs into the unknown. I don't think I'm brave. Actually, I think I'm a little bit stupid at times for having walked away from a steady paycheck in a crap economy. But I'm beginning to get what they mean. I'm beginning to see that my walking away wasn't about my job or my co-workers. It wasn't about being fed up with getting paid crap wages for and excessive amount of work.
My quitting was all about me and what I needed in order to feel good about myself and get back to who I know I can be as a woman, a mom, a wife, a friend and a professional.
For the first time in a pretty long time I don't feel sad about what's ahead. I'm pretty scared because that's how the unknown works sometimes, but I don't have that feeling of melancholy mixed with, "Holy shit I quit my job and I have no idea what's next!"
I just have this feeling of waiting anxiously and excitedly for what's next. That feeling just before you get on the roller coaster and you know it's going to be an incredible ride but you're nervous because what if you get stuck upside down or your safety harness fails.
And I also have a feeling of pure and utter relief at not having to prepare lesson plans.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 11:52 AM
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
I've been making our bed every morning lately. If you know me, and know my thoughts on this, you know this is shocking.
I don't make beds, I think it's stupid. You're going to sleep in the bed again later on that day, why are you making it?! But as of late, I've been making it regularly.
Like, I literally just made it before I sat down to write this.
I don't know what started this "trend". I don't know why it's sort of important to me now to make our bed but I'm doing it and I feel good about it.
I get to the end of my day and before the husband and I are about to get into bed I can say, "Well, I may not have done the laundry or sorted all of the baby clothes or gone food shopping or made it to the gym or, you know, anything else, but I did make the bed....so that's something."
And it really is something.
I feel like some days the sense of accomplishment and pride and something else that I just can't describe, is enough. It's just making the bed but knowing that it got done and it makes our bedroom look like it's semi-put together and neat makes me feel better about everything else. The day may have been insane....as today is shaping up to be....but at least the bed got made.
There's a part of me that really wants to delve deeper into why making the bed is so important to me all of a sudden but the other part of me, the part that thinks this importance is a sign of something not so right with me right now, won't let me. So I don't.
And I just take pleasure in the fact that while my dishes may not be done and my kids may not be bathed and our playroom may look like disaster central, my bed is made and that's enough for me....today.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 10:45 AM
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
I was going to write this carefully crafted post about talking with a friend about our kids and how refreshing it is to find that I'm finally surrounding myself with people who are honest and sincere. I was going to talk about how it's so wonderful to finally have people whom I can call and talk frankly about my day and my kids' behavior rather than people who sugarcoat their lives so that they seem like it's so much easier and better for them. I guess you could say, I was going to blow smoke up all of your asses and be ok with hitting publish.
Then I read Marty's blog. I've been reading Marty since the very beginning of blogging and while we've never met I consider her a friend. And I consider her a very honest and true writer. Someone I definitely admire. Marty gave some advice to new bloggers today and as I was carefully crafting my above mentioned post I thought of her and what she wrote. And then I hit delete.
And now we're here.
So I had a conversation with a friend of mine who just had a baby and she told me how much she doesn't really like little little babies. Which I get. I happen to like little little babies. She likes when they're a bit older and can actually do stuff. I, on the other hand, find that in between stage where they can sort of do stuff and interact but aren't even close to self-sufficient to be one of the most frustrating parts of having little ones.
You know what? I can't freaking stand that stage. And lucky for me, I have two kids in that stage right at this very moment.
Our twins are a miracle- every child is. I have found myself really enjoying them a lot more than I did my older two kids. I don't know why. Maybe because we had to "fight" for them and they had to fight to live those first few weeks. Maybe because we're older now and I'm not nearly as uptight as I was. Maybe it's just that I'm finally finding myself in a place- physically and emotionally- that is far healthier than where I was with my older two. It really doesn't matter, the point is that our girls are a gift (just like our other two) and I cherish and appreciate more moments than I don't.
But holy crap, right now there are some days where I am convinced that if we put my kids and criminals in a room together criminals would confess to every crime an atrocity they've ever committed. Because by the end of those days I'm ready to go out and commit a few crimes.
The girls can't walk yet but they make up for that by plotting late at night and planning for the next day. "Ok, tomorrow morning you wake up super early and cry no matter what she does. When she gives you that bottle you make sure you scream until she takes that thing and warms up that milk. Don't let her slack and give you that cold ass straight out the bottle shit." Says my skinny little firecracker Baby A.
And the response of my food and bottle loving Baby B, "Ok, but you make sure when she puts you on the floor with me you watch where I go and then you go the opposite way as fast as possible. Make sure you find that one random juice box straw wrapper left on the floor and put that in your mouth. She really jumps when you do crap like that. We got this...she'll be drinking by 11am, no doubt!"
They are cute, to be sure, but they are some of the biggest troublemakers around and when there are two of them it's insanity. Factor in a 7 year old who loves school so much that he begged me to go to summer school and cried when he found out that school was really over for the summer and has since decided to whine his way through June, July and August. And, of course, our 5 year old pre-menopausal daughter who has perfected the art of the temper tantrum and pout session. And some days it seems like solitary with a dose of the prison laundry wouldn't be so bad.
But to be fair, there are the days when I lay my head down around 1 in the morning and think to myself, "Today was a good one. The screaming was minimal. The girls napped together, ate together, played together and really it was fun. The older two played outside and read their library books and ate exactly what was put in front of them. It was good. I win at today." And those are the days that outweigh others even though they seem to be few and far between right now.
But see, that's the thing, now is only temporary. My friend's baby will not be little little forever and she knows that and cherishes the time she does have while looking forward to the months ahead when the baby will be a bit bigger and more interactive. I can't stand this stage where I feel like the girls have me held prisoner in a lot of ways but I know it's fleeting and there's more about this stage to love than there isn't. So, I cherish this time and remember the good parts and laugh about the harder parts...usually over a shared glass of wine with a friend.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 9:23 AM
Thursday, August 2, 2012
I'm heading out in a little bit to do some shopping. My kids, you see, are going to public school in a few weeks and what's interesting about that is the fact that my kids have NEVER been to a public school before. While I could easily be concerned about the adjustment for them from private school to public school, I'm trying to keep that at bay. So, I'm using this time to focus on something a bit more fun....BACK TO SCHOOL CLOTHES SHOPPING!
I shop at a small variety of stores for my kids- especially my girls. I've found that finding clothes that are cute, stylish and not, well, trashy, can be difficult for little girls. And then when you throw in affordable...forget about it!
Since my son was born of the stores that I've frequented the most was The Chidlren's Place. Their variety, their ease of shopping, their prices and their sales have made for one very happy mommy and a usually pretty stylish, and comfortable, kid. When my girls came along I naturally turned to the Children's Place and was not disappointed- especially in their baby items and dressy clothes. I was beginning to feel, though, as my oldest daughter moved out of toddler sizes and into big girl sizes that we were going to need to put her in garbage bags in order to keep her covered up. And that was not always a function of The Children's Place, but it was EVERYWHERE I went to get her clothes!
Well, it appears the tides are changing and the trash is going out with the undertow because The Children's Place and their newer design team has been hard at work and putting out clothes that are, well, AWESOME. (And secretly things I'd like to wear on a regular basis- especially the sequin boots!!) Last night I went into NYC for an event with The Children's Place and MomTrends to preview the new Holiday line from the Children's Place. LET ME TELL YOU OH MY WORD! If I could have taken all of the clothes and put them in my purse for my kids to put on I would have because, you guys, I can't wait for this line to hit the stores!
I'm already imaging what pictures I'm going to take and where my twin girls are going to wear the hot pink and pale pink rosette dresses with faux fur boots! And I cannot wait to show my 5 year old daughter the different sequined sparkle boots and skirts and winter hats! The girl can rock sequins like you wouldn't believe! Oh, and my son...let's not forget about the child who adores wearing a tie and a button down shirt to any and every event and outing! The vests and the hats and PLAID! OH MY GOODNESS!
The holidays are a crazy crazy time for us and we spend the weeks in between Thanksgiving and Valentine's day with family and friends all over the place and coming up with things for my kids to wear is sometimes, well, a pain in the ass. With the clothes that I saw last night not only will my kids be some of the best dressed little divas out there but I'm going to have tons of fun dressing them!
*I was not monetarily compensated for this post. I received a delicious night out in NYC, a Children's Place coupon and a goodie bag but my opinions are ALL MY OWN!*
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 11:34 AM
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Is it a conscious decision that we make to phase someone out of our lives or is it something that simply happens? Are those friendships which we held most dear 5, 10 or 15 years ago and now no longer exist not there because we willingly and knowingly walked away from them or is it something far less decisive and simplistic in that we simply drifted apart from those friends and those relationships?
I think about the friendships I have now and the ones I do not. Some ended of my own decision and choice. Some of them ended because I made mistakes and ended up ruining, permanently, what we had. Some ended because someone else did something wrong that ended the friendship. And some, well, they live in this in between place where there is no reason or explanation.
I cannot pinpoint the moments in certain friendships where they ceased to exist and for many of them, I'm ok with that. I believe in the idea of forever friends and I also believe in the idea of friends who drift in and out of your life for specific reasons. I guess the thing that I'm struggling with is the idea that certain friendships I was sure would be forever friendships and have ended up drifting away with little to no explanation.
Those are the friendships that I'd really like reason for.
These are not the friendships where I am at fault or the other person is at fault. These are the friendships that were once talk everyday and see one another as much as possible and then they drifted into less frequent talking, occasional emails, maybe a text or two. And then the canceled plans and unanswered emails and ignored texts and eventually there is no communication.
And I'm left to wonder how the friendships that are maintained for that person are more important than the one we had. I'm left to question if I did do something wrong. I'm left to wonder how it all got away from us and if the other person feels the same way.
And I'm beginning to doubt that very much.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 10:28 PM
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
How do you make the really big changes?
I mean short of walking away from your career of 9 years and taking some time to be home with your kids. And then very quickly realizing that while you really do love staying home you need to find a way to bring in some cash. Because, holy crap, medical bills and student loans and, oh, hey, that electric bill comes every month and when it's hot it goes way way up!
But seriously, that change was easily in comparison to what I'm thinking about and needing to do now.
The husband and I have committed to bettering our family and home life. We have committed to stop being lazy parents who yell and while that sounds so perfect to say out loud and it's so great in theory. It's super crazy hard. Because when you've been doing what you're doing for so long, changing it is hard.
I've also been living in a semi-funk where I tell myself I'm trying as hard as I can to lose all of my pre and post baby weight. I wake up each morning and I track my points and I do my best not to indulge in all of those things that I want so badly. Except sometimes I do and I slip and I do it so royally that I erase so much of my previous progress that I find myself in a vicious cycle.
So, I stepped on the scale this morning, after a two day binge and a one day of eating under my points and an evening at the gym and I was upset with what the scale showed. Except that it showed two VERY different numbers. And in this case, and this case only, I blame the scale. Needless to say, I'm buying a new scale this afternoon!
But I digress. I'm making these changes in so many areas of my life and the one place that I'm not changing is within myself for myself. I know how I feel when I'm healthy. I know what it feels like to slip into the clothes that I packed away over a year ago when I first found out I was pregnant. And I know how it feels to go clothes shopping only to put on clothes in a size that I promised myself I'd never be again.
But be gentle with myself is what I keep hearing. You just had twins less than a year ago. Be kind to your body, your body takes longer to adjust than other people's bodies because of your history. Remember, you're in your 30s now, the weight is there for good. (Thanks for that last one, doc, I really appreciate your help and guidance in trying to get back to my "healthy" weight.)
To all of those comments I give a big F YOU! They are excuses. I was kind to myself for the first few months. My body needed time to adjust to having just give birth to two babies at once. My hormones and levels needed to readjust themselves. I needed to be ready to do this all over again.
And having setbacks seemed to be the norm. The biggest one being that I'm not supposed to run anymore. And I told myself that was ok. I hate running. It hurts, it sucks, I'm not the fastest or the best. Well, I was wrong. I'm not supposed to run anymore- my knees are RIDDLED with arthritis. I'm gearing up for needles to be stuck into my joints to help make them better, or at least tolerable, until I can have another reconstructive surgery. But even with all of that, running was the one thing that 1) kept the weight off and 2) gave me piece of mind.
So, now I have to figure out how to change all over again. Changing myself, beginning with leaving my job, will hopefully help to dovetail into more changes. Better things. And those better things have to come at a price and that means sacrifice.
The big changes happen when you give up the little things that keep you where you are and where you've always been. Those little things mean no more late nights and no more binge fests with food or booze. Those little things mean getting up before my husband leaves for work so that I can get to the gym or go for a walk/run. Those little things mean that I have to stop being ok with we being averagely normal and go back to making myself and my life and my family outstandingly unique.
So, just like I try to sacrifice the things that taste so good- like french fries and milkshakes and full fat ice cream (on a regular basis) I now need to start sacrificing part of myself so that I can remake those parts into something better than what they are.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 12:06 PM
Friday, July 13, 2012
One of the things I was really looking forward to with regards to our move was settling in somewhere and really connecting to the community and to the people within the community. Now, I am fully aware that this cannot happen overnight. And I am also fully aware that sometimes it's hard to do, especially when so many people have been here for so long and are already connected. Plus, working full time and spending a lot of time working on our house hasn't helped with being out in the community. But, I was confident that it would happen.
Part of me was really looking to connect with local moms and expand my small group of friends in the area to something a bit larger. Something where our kids were playing together and we could coordinate playdates and spontaneous weekend BBQs- you know just like happily ever after TV stuff. I realize that this, in and of itself, is somewhat unrealistic and ridiculous. I don't mean the playdates or BBQs, but rather the idea that it would happen easily and right away.
The other part of me was extremely excited for my kids to start making lifetime friends. As of right now, we have no future plans to leave this area. I'm currently unemployed but all of the positions I'm considering would not require us moving. And my husband, while employed but hunting, is not looking for something that would require relocation. We want to settle in for the long haul and that's why we chose this area. That being said, I want our kids to settle in and start finding the friendships that they will have with them forever.
I think about the women that I'm friends with now. Some of them are friendships that are no more than 5 years old. Some of them go all the way back to Kindergarten. There is something about each of the friendships that is special and unique and important. I want my kids to have that.
And I'm worried that they won't.
I watch my kids and how they interact with other kids and I worry that, in some way, we've failed them. My son especially. My son is so smart. I mean like, I used the word exceptional to describe him to someone at the school district a few weeks ago. And as a result of his being such a brainy kid, I worry that he somewhat lacks the social skills that will help him make friends. Plus, we've had him in two different schools in the past two years and I don't think that has helped matters. Hopefully, the fact that he will be in his permanent school starting in September will help. But the other day at the lake I had to hold myself back from pouncing on another kid as I witnessed an innocent interaction between him and my son.
The kids love the lake. They would play in it for hours if I let them. While I'm not even close to a lake person, I love that it's steps from our house and it's easy and wonderful entertainment for my kids. So, needless to say, we spend a fair amount of time there. Me on the beach, them in the water. We were down there for swimming lessons and my son was watching this group of boys play with a football in the water. He was only a few feet from their game and it was obvious that he was not included in the game but I really think he wanted to be. (He says he just wanted to watch). So, I'm eyeing the scene and trying to rationalize why these kids, who were maybe a year or so older (if that) than my son weren't asking him to play. And then this red headed kid turns around, says something to my kid and splashes him in the face. As I type this I want to cry, just as I did that day. It hurt to watch this kid do that to my kid. It made me upset. In some ways, it actually brought me back to my own childhood. Within minutes of the incident there was thunder and we had to get going.
So, we left and as we walked I asked my son about the incident. I asked him why this other kid splashed him. He said he had no idea. I asked how he responded, he really didn't. And that's when I told my kid to do something I never, ever, thought I would say. "Look, bud, the next time something like that happens you turn to the kid and say, 'I really didn't like that.' then splash him back and walk away."
My son was dumbfounded. And so was I, really.
His response to me, "But two wrongs don't make a right."
"Well, yes, you're absolutely right about that but you also need to stand up for yourself. That kid had no reason to splash you or say whatever he said to you. You have to stand up for yourself and for what is right. Don't EVER let anyone treat you like you don't matter."
Do I know if my advice was right? No. As a matter of fact, it probably wasn't. But I REFUSE to watch my kid get treated like he doesn't matter and I refuse to watch him be excluded simply because he's not Mr. Personality or Mr. Sports. Those kids don't know what they're missing in him.
So, I sit on the beach now and as much as I don't want to, I watch him like a hawk. I want to make sure that he's not being excluded. I want to make sure that no one is treating him like he's not even there. I also want to make sure that he's standing up for himself.
And then I watch as his sister, surrounded by a group of girls, comes to his rescue and invites him to play with them. His response?
He splashes them and walks away.
Clearly, we have a bit of work to do.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 3:30 PM
Friday, June 29, 2012
When I used to teach, I say that like it's eons ago and not just two weeks ago, I used the book and the video "The Last Lecture" each year in class. We would start off the school year and I would make my students talk about their hopes and their dreams. I would question them about what they wanted to be when they were younger. As is to be expected from sophomores in high school, who were trying to remember what they wanted to be when they were 5 years old, I got answers such as a baseball player, a doctor, a garbage man and, of course, the occasional velociraptor. As the year would continue on we'd talk about how their hopes and dreams change and evolve and become something far more tangible than what they were at 5 years old. And we also discuss how every single choice they make each and every day impacts how close they get to or how far away they get from those hopes and dreams.
I sit here now, having walked away from a job and a paycheck that, at one point, I loved, and I have no idea where I might be going. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up and, as I told my students who informed that they really didn't have any hopes or dreams, that makes me so very sad.
As a child, I wanted silly things. I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, now I just want the Cowboys to go down in defeat on a regular basis. I wanted to be a lady that worked in a bar, now I look back at the 7 years of working in a liquor store and can pretty much say I'm good on working in the liquor industry. As I grew older, my aspirations changed. I found myself drawn to law and politics and my desire to work in the political arena took off. I looked for opportunities to spend time at events where women in politics were involved. My mother and my aunt even took me to Washington D.C. for a women in politics event that proved to be interesting but overwhelming. The trip itself was an experience like no other and the very best way to describe it would be to say that I saw A LOT of Dupont Circle that weekend.
When high school ended I entered college with the idea that I was going to into working with young people as a youth minister of sorts. I majored, briefly, in psychology and I did all that I could to avoid the field of education at all costs. My major soon changed to sociology and I grabbed a psych and Theology minor along with a concentration in secondary education. I had no direction or idea where I was going but I would have my degree and that would at least be something. There was no overwhelming desire or dream to chase after anything extraordinary, I was going wherever the road led me and as long as I had some type of job I'd be ok.
I dabbled in retail, again, briefly and was then offered a position in marketing. I enjoyed it until I didn't anymore and then it was time to pursue what I thought was my dream- counseling. Until it wasn't and I realized that maybe sitting in an office all day long taking in people's problems wasn't what I really wanted. During that time I began teaching and deep down inside I really felt like I had found this career that was going to nurture me and hold me and keep me safe at night. It maybe wasn't going to pay me all that well and maybe, just maybe, I was working for an organization that was going to end up screwing me in the end but I really thought I had found my calling. My hopes and dreams.
I had avoided education like the plague but it seemed like it was the one place I belonged.
Until I didn't.
I walked away from education for a variety of reasons. There was the low pay and the overwhelming workload at a job that I really wasn't happy in anymore. There were the working conditions that were less than favorable or comfortable. There was the difference in what I wanted to teach and what I was allowed to teach. And there was the fact that I was not giving 110% of myself as I had in the past. And that's how I knew it was time to go.
I walked away because I wanted to be able to say to my children one day, especially my daughters, that I always gave all that I could and did my very best at everything. I walked away because I never wanted to look my kids in their occasionally sweet and angelic faces and think that I had overlooked them and their needs for a job that treated me like garbage and that I was unhappy at. I walked away because I didn't want to have any regrets about the paths I chose and where I ended up in the end of everything. I walked away because it was time and it was what was right.
But now I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
I want to be the heroine like Nora Ephron said. I want to show my children, my girls most importantly, that women can do anything they set their minds to and that taking risks- while unbelievably scary- is an extraordinary thing. I want to show them that living a life in service to others while taking care of yourself if completely possible and healthy. I want be something that I love. I want to look in the mirror each day as I ready myself for the day and be able to say that I really do love my work and I believe I'm making a difference and I want my kids to know that, too.
So, I sit here and I think about all of the things that lay ahead of me and what is possible and what is not and I recognize that I am lost in a lot of ways but at the same time I am just finding what is mine. I have achieved so many hopes and dreams and I've discounted them as nothing more than mundane- and they are FAR from mundane. I have a beautifully healthy and loving family. I am surrounded by people who are supportive and kind and funny and giving. I am awake each day trying to actually live the life that I have been blessed with. And I am holding on to the hope that somewhere within living those hopes and dreams I will figure it out. I will discover the next step and see what it is that I want to be when I grow up because as it is, I don't think the Cowboys want some 32 year old mother of 4 Giants fan on their cheerleading squad.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 1:36 AM
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
So, the hottest day of Summer so far has come and gone and I decided- with seeing it approaching- that I would spend it on the top level of a double decker bus cruising the streets of New York City with tons of women in bathing suits!
Isn't that how you'd spend the hottest day of Summer? (so far).
In all seriousness, though, I spent last Thursday with Miraclesuit and Momtrends on a bus in NYC for a blogging event to let everyone know all about the fabulousness that are Miraclesuits. And let me tell you, they are pretty fabulous!!
Fifty women bloggers were invited to spend the day in the city learning about and getting people excited for Miraclesuits and Summer. And judging by what could be seen from my sunny seat on the top deck, people were VERY excited!
About 30 of the women were chosen to model the swimsuits and they did so perfectly! I don't care what size you are, getting into a bathing suit and riding around NYC for everyone to see you in said bathing suit is beyond brave! The "models" for the day did a great job getting people on the bus and on the street super excited for a summer spent in Miraclesuits.
In case you don't know, Miraclesuits are the bathing suits that are guaranteed to make you look 10lbs lighter in 10 seconds and while I was not (thankfully) chosen to wear a suit, the women who were wearing them easily attested to the company's claim! The suits, as they put it, "Sucked them in at all the right places while still feeling comfortable and looking great." These suits were NOT your grandma's bathing suit, nor were they the typical "Mom" suit.
As part of the event, the bloggers on the bus- both in the suits and out- were given Miraclesuits. I haven't received mine yet but I am super excited to get it and try it on. As a mom who, less than a year ago, gave birth to two babies at once, a Miraclesuit is a great asset. I'm not a big fan of bathing suits because, like a lot of women, I'm not completely happy with my post-babies body, but knowing that Miraclesuits promise 10lbs light and they deliver is exciting to me!
Hopefully, in a week or two I'll have my own experiences to share with you of my own Miraclesuit and it's wonderful sucking in and slimming down. For now, though, I encourage you to check out their website and take a look at the photos from the hot, but fun day, in the sun of NYC!!
*I was compensated for this post with a Miraclesuit but my thoughts and opinions are all my own!*
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 1:09 PM
Thursday, June 21, 2012
One of the great things about never really having established myself as anything other than a blogger who talks about being a mom or a teacher or a wife or anything, actually, is that I can write about just anything I want!
Today I'm heading into NYC for a blogger event coupling with MomTrends.com and Miraclesuit . Tomorrow I'll be telling you all about my day and my bus trip tour with the bathing suit that makes you look 10lbs lighter in 10 seconds!
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 9:46 AM
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
There is so much going on right now. It's really unreal how much is changing and how nerve wracking that can be and how exciting.
I quit my job. Which I'm pretty sure I put out there awhile ago. But now it's really done. I'll still get paid until early August but then that's it. I will be unemployed.
And that is scary. But exciting.
There was so much surrounding my leaving my job and I don't feel like much of it was positive. The last few weeks were torturous there and I really could not wait for it all to end. And when the last day finally came I found myself angrily leaving my job because, once again, they had made it seem like I was incompetent and under skilled in every which way.
I didn't leave my job because I couldn't handle having 4 kids and a full time job.
I didn't leave my job because I didn't like very many of the people there.
I didn't leave my job because I was burnt out.
I left my job because it was time for me to move forward past an organization that was constantly holding me back and asking me to compromise who I am and what I thought. For a not so awesome paycheck.
But it was still a paycheck. And I'm still going to miss my students, and a few of my co-workers.
So, now I move forward.
As I try to figure out where we go from here I look for signs in everything. Sometimes too much. I'm a big believer in signs.
And I do believe I'm finding them.
I was having a particularly difficult evening last week because of work and I happened to turn on "The Daily Show" and Colin Powell was on. Now, I could take or leave him really but I decided to watch the interview and it was all about his new book. He focused on being positive and optimistic. And recognizing the good in order to gain success.
And in that moment I decided that's what I needed to do. And, really, it's made a difference.
The past week or so, I've found things to be happening in a good way- slowly- but positively. And I can only hope they continue.
As I readied myself for my last few days I did begin to doubt my decision. Maybe walking away from my paycheck, as crappy as it was, wasn't the best idea with 4 kids and bills. Maybe I just needed to suck it up and deal. Stop being a baby and be an adult.
And then my husband asked me when my official last day was.
"Monday." I said.
"So, after Monday that means we'll get to see you smile and laugh again, right?"
And in that moment I realized that I wasn't doing what I should be doing. And walking away from my job was the right decision. And taking the risk of going after something more and something better was far more important for me and my family than taking in a crappy paycheck and being miserable.
So, now I look for the signs- whether they are on TV, in person, in my dreams or driving down the street- and I move forward with the risk and the hope that something new and better is right over the horizon.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 9:43 PM
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
My five year old daughter informed me last night that she wants to play the violin and be an athlete.
She wants to do BOTH.
First, I'm not so sure my ears or the ears of all of her siblings can take the violin so we may try to redirect her instrument choice. But I will not deny her desire to play one.
Second, this statement made me so incredibly proud, happy and anxiety ridden all at once that I had to choose whether to cry tears of joy or get into bed and attempt to sleep for the next 16 years.
(For the record, I told her absolutely and then forced her to go to bed!)
She loves music. I mean LOVES it. Singing. Dancing. Playing the drums (which will not be our redirected instrument choice). Anything musical, she adores it.
She loves sports, too. Truthfully? She's really good at them, too. Soccer is not her sport, but good Lord can the girl swing a softball bat and golf club like she was born to do it. She has instinct and drive. She belongs on the field and in between lines and I refuse to ignore that.
As her mother, as her parent, I am required to foster to any idea that she wants to try- within reason.
And I am more than happy to do that.
Watch that video. Go ahead, I'll wait. It's a good one. Moosh in Indy actually introduced me to it and it instantaneously made me cry.
I quit my job about 3 weeks ago. Well, no, I gave my notice that I would not be returning next year. And I did it for a variety of reasons. Some of which have to do with my kids and many of which do not.
Do I think it's going to be hard? Oh, hell, yes. The fear of not having my paycheck is a reality that keeps me up every night and it's the excuse I use for not getting up at 5am to go to the gym....I'm just too tired from laying awake all night thinking about not having a paycheck.
I am fully aware it's not a good enough excuse.
I watched that video and through the tears all I could think about were my kids and what the next year would be like for them.
MY plan is to stay home for a year. I have a few things in the fire in terms of bringing in some extra cash. And I'll be working on my MBA. I will be keeping busy.
But my ultimate goal with the next year is to be there for my kids. That means spending the majority of the day with my twins. That means being able to make it to programs at the kids' school. That means driving to dance classes and soccer practices and softball lessons and everything else that may come down the pike.
Essentially, it means being more present in my mom role than I am now. And after watching that video, the thought of that is exciting to me.
It does not mean losing myself in the everyday but rather finding who I am within my role as a mom, a wife, a student, and a professional. In every capacity.
It means organization and chaos. Late nights and early mornings. Lunches made and lunches bought.
It means all the things I want it to be and all of the things I cannot possibly know that it will be.
When my husband and I got engaged all I wanted to do was be married to him because like the line from "When Harry Met Sally" goes, "When you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start right now."
I quit my job about 3 weeks ago and all I want is for the rest of my life to begin right now.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 9:06 AM
Friday, April 27, 2012
I have this tendency to act out of emotions more often than I care to think about. I allow myself to get wrapped up in the moment and I act upon it.
Sometimes the outcome is good.
More often than not the outcome is not good.
And it's not things that put people in danger or anything like that but rather instances where I have acted in a way that I thought was best only to realize that it was not.
I have jumped and reacted before actually thinking or allowing an idea to sink in and I ended up with my tail, rightfully so, between my legs.
When it came time to sign the paper stating my intention for my job next year I had to think long and hard about things. Something occurred that caused me act almost instinctively and pushed me out my classroom door and down to the principal's office to quit on the spot.
Thank God for buffer zones and the guy next door.
My desire to leave and quit was not wrong, nor has it gone away, but to do so in the moment of anger and hurt that I was feeling would have been wrong. And Stupid.
I needed to assess my situation and determine the course of action that I felt was best for my situation.
I need to do that for all situations and I'm not very good at it.
What's funny is that I'm not nearly this impulsive with less important things. The things that don't boil down to emotion and acting upon them, I usually think about.
I'm not the type to go out and buy a new car or expensive item because it's something I NEED to have. I'm not jumping on an airplane to fly anywhere and everywhere at a moment's notice because I want to or I can. (I really can't, what with 4 kids and all)
Why, then, do I allow my emotions, in the more important situations, to make the decisions for me? Where does my common sense and intelligence go in these situations?
I honestly don't know.
But I know that hindsight is 20/20 and, like Karma, it is often a bitch. And one that I'd like to avoid.
So, here's to more thinking and less impulse. Here's to more common sense and less reactionary sense. Here's to trying to make the right, most logical and intelligent choice rather than the one motivated by emotions of the moment.
Here's to taking another step away from acting like an adolescent to acting your age.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 1:30 AM
Thursday, April 5, 2012
It's almost 2 o'clock in the morning right now and I am awake, in my
bed, having just shut off the TV and turned off my Kindle/iPhone. My
husband is snoring peacefully next to me and I can hear my babies on the
monitor next to my bed.
And my paranoia is at an all time high.
Earlier this evening, a co-worker who lives in the same town as my family and I do now, texted me to let me know that their home had been almost burglarized for a second time. (Actually, the first time the thieves got in and took a bunch of stuff, this time they didn't get in.) And when the cops showed up to investigate they mentioned that there had been two burglaries in my development today.
Now, our development is fairly large and we live on a pretty busy street and one that is routinely patrolled by cops but still, my spidey senses went up and I went into high alert. Every window needed to be locked. Doors needed to be bolted. The key we once kept outside for family and friends who stopped by when we weren't home, now brought back inside. And a hammer next to my side of the bed- only because my Louisville Slugger has not made its way to our new home yet.
And as I laid here after all of my technology was shut down (before I sprang up and decided to write this) all I could think about was, as long my family was safe I really didn't care what anyone took.
Well, that's not completely true.
The family part? Absolutely true. The other part? Not so much.
The only other thing I would really care about would be my laptop and my phone. And if you're my husband or my parents and you're reading this, it's not for the obvious reasons. It is not because of my addiction to them.
It's because they hold the evidence of my memories, our memories as a family.
Would I be upset if someone came into my home and took my TVs and game systems and jewelery and clothes and anything else? Yes, I've had the majority of my possessions stolen before and it's quite possibly one of the worst feelings ever. But was I able to replace all of those things? Yes.
Yes, there are things that have sentimental value but they only have that value because of the memories attached to them. I will ALWAYS have the memories. I can somehow find a way to replace the THINGS.
Not having my jewelery or TVs would be upsetting and hard to deal with, at first, but we have insurance and it's there for this type of thing. We don't NEED things, we just have them.
Again, as long as my family was safe- it's all that matters.
But my phone and my laptop, why those things too? They hold my photos. They hold the tools I use to capture my memories. Yes, I could replace them. And, Yes, I should be backing them up to an external drive but I haven't yet. So, right now they hold on to all of the photos and moments that have been important, that I've wanted to capture.
They hold first birthdays and weeks spent on the beach. They hold ultrasounds that reveal two babies instead of one and they hold images of car seat challenges and first smiles. They are technology and it's not their physical presence I worry about but the purpose that they serve.
So, I sit here awake in my bed and think about how much I'd love to climb into bed with my 5 year old and snuggle with her while I listen to the even breathing of her and her two sisters and I realize that all the things we've filled our house with mean nothing without the people, memories and moments attached to them. I carry those with me all of the time and I always will.
Having our things here never made this a home, it has been the memories that have made it such. And no thief can ever take that, nor do I think they'll try.
But, I really do think I'll feel a bit more "Homey" if I had my home run machine slugger next to my bed, as it always had been.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 2:13 AM
Friday, March 16, 2012
In case you didn't get the memo, we have twins. And when we had twins we immediately went from having two children to having four children.
And apparently, that gives everyone the right to comment on the size of our family, the amount of work it must be, how tired and broke we must be and how glad they are that it isn't them.
Well, first off, I'm glad it isn't you, too.
Second, let me tell you a little something about how we came to have twins. No, I didn't go through IVF or any other fertility treatment, but thank you very much for asking me that in line at the local grocery store, I found your question to be totally appropriate and welcomed considering we've never met before. If I had gone through fertility treatments I probably would not have told you that, though, because in reality it's none of your damned business.
We have twins because we decided to try and have a third baby. And we got pregnant. And then we weren't pregnant. And then we decided to try again. And we got pregnant.
And then we had an ultrasound.
And then we found out we were having twins.
And while it was quite possibly one of the scariest things we've ever encountered, it was not the worst thing in the world.
And it still isn't.
Is it a lot of work? Sure, but so is one kid or two or 22.
Are we broke? OF COURSE WE ARE BROKE! We have children and I am a teacher. I know some of you are under the false assumption that teachers pull in the big bucks but I'm here to reassure you, WE DO NOT. AND anyone with kids, one or 42, is shelling out a lot of cash each month for kid related things and that often leads to trying to figure out which bill you can let slide until next month and which one you have to pay RIGHTNOW. And, yes, sometimes cable wins out over everything else.
Are we tired? This might be the dumbest question ever. Both my husband and I work full time, he actually works two jobs, and we're trying to remodel and paint our new home. Yes, we're tired. But I have yet to meet anyone who isn't tired these days- kids or no kids.
So, there are your answers to all the questions and assumptions you've made, except for one. The worst one of all, actually.
I am SO TIRED of heard people say to me, "Well, we're thinking about going for number 3 but look at what happened to you guys....I just don't know what we'd do if that ever happened to us!"
First, let me say this, when we found out we were having twins I was terrified. Terrified of being pregnant with two kids at once. Terrified of raising twins and the cost of it all. Terrified of all of the implications that these two new babies would have on our lives.
But never once did I ever think to myself, "Oh, why did this have to happen to us?!"
Having twins is NOT the worst thing in the world. It's not even CLOSE to the worst thing in the world. And I don't think that saying something to the effect of, "Look what happened to you guys..." is an appropriate thing to say or even think with regards to children.
Any time anyone says this to me I want to look at them and say, "Really?! Because it sounds like you're equating my children's existence to being in a car accident or losing your home or getting some awful disease. Is that really what you think?"
Do you understand what a gift I have been given? What my family has been given? And what you would be getting if you were lucky enough to have twins?!
No, because if you did then you'd keep your f-ing mouth shut and not say something so insensitive and rude.
Did I enjoy being pregnant with twins? Nope but I didn't enjoy any of my pregnancies. And you know what? I'm not in the minority. There are TONS of women who don't enjoy pregnancy. Yes, it's wonderful to know you're growing a human or two or three and when you feel them move it's amazing but, I didn't enjoy pregnancy at all. That doesn't mean that I didn't want my children.
Was it a large adjustment when our twins came along? Of course! We all of a sudden went from a man defense to a completely penetrable zone defense and we're still trying to figure out the full court press that we need to maintain order.
But, my God, I wouldn't change a thing. And having our twins was not something that, "happened to us". It was something that not many people will ever get to experience and holy shit am I grateful for that.
Having our twins has been an incredible roller coaster of emotion and chaos that many days is hard but exciting and exhilarating.
And you know what? If you really look at us and base whether or not you should try for another kid on the fact that we did and ended up having twins than I implore you, don't try for another kid because you're not going into it for the right reasons.
If you end up trying for another kid and you end up with twins I hope that you recognize how incredibly lucky you are. Really, you're lucky no matter how many you have. I hope you also have the opportunity to look at your babies on the floor one day and smile at the fact the you have two adorable kids who are making life so much fun and so much more work that it makes you exhausted at the end of the day. I hope you get to think to yourself one day, "Wow! Everyone should have two babies at once because this is actually a lot of fun!" And then the projectile vomit will hit you and you'll, maybe, reconsider that for a moment but only a brief moment because the baby that vomited on you is now laughing at you covered in their predigested formula and cereal!
The worst thing in the world, for me, would be if we had never had our twins and then I really have to wonder what would have happened to us then?
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 5:09 PM
Monday, February 27, 2012
This was an email I sent out to a friend this morning and as I was writing I realized that this was something I wanted to share on my blog. And so I told her that at the end of the email. I think sharing it not only helps to give me accountability but I feel like if I put it out here, there, wherever, it's reaching people who might be able to give me ideas and guidance.
I've determined I need a life coach.
I think I'm pretty good at helping others to figure out what they want to do but I need someone to talk me through what I want to do.
I enjoy teaching but I think I've allowed myself to become satisfied with it because it gives me a paycheck and I've got a tiny bit of flexibility and it's different everyday. But I don't think it's what I want to be doing forever. I need to find something that allows me to create in a different way. And I really do believe the quote I put up the other day about finding what you love and then doing it and the money will flow to you. I love all this crap with pinterest and blogging and baking and making things. I really do. I lose steam, though, because I'm working full time and I'm in school full time. And I have 4 kids and I just moved and life is life. I won't give up school because I firmly believe that whatever I end up doing an MBA will help me. But I really need to find a way to make my creative side and drive my full time job....where I get paid. In cash money.
I don't like this feeling. I've always felt very in control of where I was going and what I wanted. I sort of feel like I'm too old for this shit. I'm 32 years old, shouldn't I know what I want to be when I grow up by now?!
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 11:24 AM
Thursday, February 23, 2012
There are some days where I could literally take my two hands and
wrap them around my husband's neck because he drives me so insane that I
don't even want to be around him anymore. And yes, I'm aware that I
could simply leave the room or the house or the state instead of
attempting to strangle him but then he'd get squatters' rights to the
house and we can't have that happening.
Other days, the man keeps me so grounded and in check that I have to do a double take and see if it's still him that I'm married to.
We moved into our new home this past weekend and let me tell you, it's a shitshow over there. I write about that more on my other blog, but let me quickly lay it out for you....we're sleeping, sort of eating, showering, and watching TV in our new house. I don't consider us really living there yet because we're still making it home. If that makes sense.
We have been wanting, anticipating, hoping for this move for quite some time but that didn't change the fact that come Monday night when all was said and done and the majority of our crap- which is A LOT OF CRAP- was moved into our spacious new basement I felt a sense of sadness and anxiety. And my kids saw it, and my parents saw it and my husband saw it and I tried really hard to contain it. But truth be told, change- even when hoped for, wanted, anticipated and instigated on your own- is really freaking hard.
There wasn't much to leave at our old home. Yes, we left our house which was brand new when we bought it. Yes, we left our neighborhood which was a dead end street where our kids could run without too much fear of cars. Yes, I left one of my very best friends who lived right across the street. But other than that, there was nothing there for us.
We took our memories with us.
We came to a neighborhood where our new neighbors greeted us with a box full of goodies for us and our kids on our second night there.
My friendship didn't end simply because I don't live across the street from my friend anymore.
But the sadness and anxiety I felt, and still feel a bit, was more about the change from the familiar to the unknown. It's scary to change. To move. To walk away from what you know to something totally different. And to walk into a home that is not new and needs work and sweat. And then to have your son tell you that the house feels weird and doesn't feel like home. Well, it really makes you question your choices.
And then you cry. And then your husband steps up and makes you realize why you married him and put up with his maddening and annoying ways.
He reminded me that our brand new house wasn't all that great in the brand new and building department. Sure, we got to pick our countertops and no one had ever lived there before but the house was poorly built. And we lived in a development where there was nothing for our kids or for us. Now we live 6 houses from the beach/lake and 5 minutes from my job. He also reminded me that my friend works only 10 minutes from us and has solidified her place in our lives as the Godmother to one of our children. There were so many positives that he pointed out that I was not recognizing because I was allowing my anxiety and fear and sadness to overwhelm me. And then he gave me the greatest gift of all, after our kids, etc., he told me that my color choices and decorating ideas were so much better than he realized and that he was giving me free reign over the entire house.
And then the tears of happiness flowed.
Well, not really. But that was only because he asked me to stop crying because it made him sad and he didn't like seeing me sad and then he told me that I could go sleep at the old house if I wanted. But I had to lug the bed there.
So, we've moved and I've been reminded, one again, how lucky I am to have the husband and family that I have. And each day, I'm looking at things from a more positive light and seeing more and more that helps to reassure me that our choices and our change are good good things. Even though they are hard.
The very best things come out of the hardest circumstances.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 11:09 AM