Thursday, February 26, 2015

When did 2015 happen?

Good. God. It's been a while. I think mostly because I've been ranting on Facebook instead of the blog. Suppose I should stop doing that. This is where I rant. I mean, hell, that's what's expected of the blog, amirite?!

ANYWAY.

So many many things have been happening in Becky-land recently.
Hello!
First, big changes at work. So endeth the most stressful two years of my life. Now I'm able to actually do my job without the constant anxiety that weighed on my chest and raised my blood pressure every time I walked into the building. Pleasant side effect, coupled with much praise for how much more confident and happy and AWESOME I am at my job now, has officially gotten me back to LOVING my job. I'll take it.

Don't remember if I mentioned it, but we finally moved out of the in-laws basement and into our very own house. I cannot stress how amazing this has been for us. We've finally accomplished a major life goal and taken a huge step in providing a stable, normal life for the kids! Yay grown-up things! That was June 2014, so we're pretty settled at this point.








Two dogs. Yep. Two female Siberian Huskies entered our lives since we moved into the new house.

Sadie joined us in August, and it took a while to get her to be affectionate toward us (not sure what was going on in the first 7 weeks of her life, but she did a lot of hiding when we got her - which is atypical of the breed). Charlie joined us in January, and she was filthy and malnourished with a slight case of fleas. We were told she was 12 weeks old, but she was closer to 8 (by the vet's estimation). Both girls are doing great now and have filled our house with even more joy.


I decided to actually use my Elance account and try to pick up some extra work. My newfound confidence that I am actually good at what I do helped with that. Maybe I'll finish that novel and start the new play that's been bouncing around my brain...ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. (Like, maybe I can convince Ryan to do the same thing...)


The boys are both in school.

Ethan is testing at a 3rd grade level (in 1st grade), so we're dealing with some behavior issues in school (because he's bored), but open communication with his teacher (and a stash of chapter books) is helping a lot.

Logan is going to face the same issues, but he's enjoying Kindergarten and he has a fantastic teacher.

Of course if Logan could keep his hands out of his pants, that would make things even better.

(Seriously, kid, it isn't going anywhere.)


Did a play in the Fall, which was great fun. Was hoping to exercise my musical theatre skills (and break away from the heavy dramas), but - alas - was not cast.

Shake it off and move on, I guess. It was the only show I wanted to do this year, so I'm giving the stage a break for the rest of the season, though I will be directing a bit at the end of the year.

I am going to be doing some serious soul searching about how I need to be spending my free time moving forward.

Finally, while we have a lot of house projects to do, we're in a good place financially and think we're ready to take some steps on the family front. More on this later.

It feels good to be writing again. Let's see how long this lasts.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Why it's super awkward when you post about your upcoming wedding on Facebook...




















So, I'm just going to throw this out there.


If you have a wedding coming up, and you didn't invite every single person on your Facebook "friends" list, it may not be the most appropriate thing to do to put out a public post asking people to RSVP to your wedding.

If you have done this, I probably need to explain to you why it's not the best way to get people to RSVP.

I didn't get an invitation to your wedding, and I'm now wondering several things:
1.) Why not?
2.) Was I supposed to?
3.) If I wasn't supposed to....refer to question 1.
4.) If I was supposed to, how will I find that out so I can RSVP?

I would love to be able to find out the answer to #2, but there is no easy way to do that. I can't flat out ask you without putting you on the spot and possibly making you feel guilty for  not inviting me. You shouldn't feel obligated to invite me. It's your special day, not mine, and you have your reasons for not inviting me. I'm cool with that, and you have no obligation to tell me what those reasons are. I'm still going to be SUPER happy for you, and I might even hold my own satellite celebration. You never know.

But, if you DID mean to invite me, and I don't RSVP, it's sending you a message that I didn't care enough to send an RSVP, which is absolutely not true. I always RSVP. I don't want you to think that I didn't care about your wedding enough to even send in an RSVP. Seriously. Don't think that, because it wouldn't happen.

What you've done, though, instead of solving your RSVP situation, is generated a great deal of doubt in a large number of people who saw your post and never received an invitation.

GOOD NEWS! There is a way to avoid this!

Since most people who don't receive a wedding invitation (barring immediate family members and your best friend of all time) assume they simply weren't invited, you can avoid the awkwardness by sending a targeted message - or an email! - to the people you DID invite whom you haven't received RSVPs from. That way, the people you need to reach are reached, and the people you don't need to reach AREN'T.

Simple. Clean.

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

So begins another year!

Today marked two more in a long line of firsts. Logan's first day of Kindergarten, Ethan's first day of 1st Grade. I want to remember this day.
Ryan and I woke up at 6am, groaning, but I made us "hop" out of bed because that was the only way we weren't going to trudge through the morning like zombies. I went to wake up the boys. Logan was first, and he sleepily sat up, crawled into my lap, and snuggled me for a minute before I ushered him downstairs for breakfast. Ethan jumped up as soon as I touched his back, asked, "Is it morning?" and promptly hopped about chanting, "First day of school! First day of school!" before insisting he set his clothes out for the day and then running downstairs.

Logan chose his usual breakfast, cereal - today it was Cookie Crisp. Ethan turned to me and said, "Mommy, you pick out my breakfast this morning, I want to make sure it's a good breakfast for my first day of school!" We settled on oatmeal - Peaches & Cream. Ethan wolfed his down and bounded upstairs to put on his new clothes, Logan leisurely finished his cereal and then ran upstairs to join his brother.

They were both excited to don their new backpacks for pictures on the front step, grabbed their new lunch bags and hopped into the car, ready for anything today would bring.
Today was a special day, so Ryan and I both took the boys to school and walked them inside. Ethan's dropoff at Mrs. Spann's classroom was fairly uneventful, a hug and kiss from me (because he still lets me) with a promise to do his best, and a hug from Ryan, then he was off. Ready to conquer 1st grade.

Logan's dropoff was nothing particularly special, except for the extra effort the PTO had gone to, providing a "BooHoo, WooHoo" breakfast (which, personally, I feel made the transition a bit harder for some first time parents - get in, get out, that's the key....lingering makes things hard for you and your kiddo, but the thought is what counts and it was a nice gesture). Logan walked in with confidence, a gleam of subdued excitement in his eye, and I helped him remember where his seat was. He began to march over to put his backpack in his cubby - he knew what he needed to do, after all, he had prepared for this moment - only to be told they were all going to do that later. A minor setback in his plan, but no matter, he'd be ready tomorrow. Back at his seat, he allowed me a brief hug and kiss, promised to do his best, hugged Ryan, and sat down - looking around us at the board, because the morning news was starting and he wasn't going to miss a second of Kindergarten.

And off we went. No tears (though, admittedly, I felt them prickling at the corners of my eyes, and held them back). Other first-time Moms were handed packages of Kleenex by the thoughtful PTO as they left, weeping. I smiled at them, knowing how hard it is to watch your babies grow up. You're so proud of how far they've come, but you wish you'd had just a little more time to cherish those early years. Now they're at school, and their teachers are the ones who will see them through the majority of their days for the next nine months - shape their minds, comfort their woes, make them laugh, and then send them home to us to eat dinner, wrap up the day, and put them to bed so they're ready to do it all again tomorrow.

But the excitement on the boys' faces when I pick them up later, the squeal of their voices as they tell me all the wonderful things they did today, all the things they learned....that makes it all worth it.

It's going to be a great year.

Friday, August 1, 2014

These are the things that keep me up at night...

An overwhelming majority of Christmas movies are based on the premise that Santa exists, that kids may or may not believe, and something magnificent has to happen to restore their faith in him.

Which means the overwhelming majority of Christmas movies simply should not exist.

There is a very basic flaw in the logic here. The kids' parents are usually trying to get the kids to accept reality - that Santa doesn't exist. Except he CLEARLY DOES (in these movies) because SOMEONE has been leaving presents from Santa for your kids and it WASN'T YOU. Either that, or there's a worldwide organization dedicated to creepily breaking into every single house in the world every year to leave gifts. So you know, movie parents. You KNOW he exists. Therefore, there should be no reason for your children to doubt, and his existence-based-on-how-many-people-believe-in-him should never be in danger.

(But there's also this...stupid notion that Santa should be secretive about his job. Why? Do you want kids to believe in you? Is that how you are able to exist? Surefire way to make that happen is to let them see you! The end!)

Rise of the Guardians is probably the most blatantly annoying one of these. I mean, you have every mythical childhood holiday hero here. Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa - sorry Sandman, Pitch, and Jack Frost...you're irrelevant here. So, now we have the triple in-your-face realization that parents are jerks who allow their kids to believe that these magical things don't exist when they CLEARLY DO. I mean, the Easter egg hunt....ok parents, if YOU don't believe in the Easter Bunny, why didn't you hide a crap-ton of eggs for the kids to find? You organize this annual Easter egg hunt without planning to hide eggs because someone has done it for you every year so far...and you never wonder who?! Who the hell is planning these things? Way to let all the kids down LAZY GROWNUPS. Move on to the Tooth Fairy - if YOU aren't stealing your children's teeth and replacing them with quarters, WHO IS?! THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS. You have an organization of creepy pedophiles (we can assume) sneaking into kids' rooms and stealing their teeth, to replace them with money. WHY ARE WE DOING NOTHING TO STOP THIS?!

We already covered Santa.

So, you know they exist, and you allow your kids to stop believing in true things. Why?

Conclusion: Christmas Movie Parents are assholes.

The end.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bullying

Children are not born bullies. I believe this with all of my heart. Bullying is taught, or at the very least allowed through indifference - and it's not up to teachers or administrators to fix the problem. Because the problem starts at home, with parents.

Ethan is bullied. I get daily reports from him about kids at school or day care who pick on him, call him names, push, hit, or slap him. These are not actions of "kids at play," or "boys being boys." Ethan is kind of a nerd and socially awkward (how could he not be with Ryan and I as parents?), and so he is bullied.

And, to be clear, I LOVE Ethan and Logan's personalities. I LOVE that they are a little weird and nerdy, because they are so creative and smart and funny, and it's BECAUSE they're weird and nerdy. But I recognize that those things I love about them make them prime targets for bullying, and I will not encourage them to change who they are to avoid it.

I can talk to teachers and caregivers, I can talk to the parents of the bullies...I can even talk to the kids who are bullying him (but that's something you have to be very, very careful about doing) - but, especially in today's society, my abilities to fix this problem are limited.

To fix bullying, you have to fix the bully - and that requires parenting. Parenting and all that entails, which may mean getting your child some form of anger management, or counseling, or simply spending more time with them so they aren't seeking attention, or TALKING TO THEM and figuring out WHY they feel the need to bully.

Ryan and I do our best to remind, convince, and prove to Ethan and Logan that they are loved, they are special, and that none of the mean things that happen to them on a daily basis mean that there is anything wrong with them. We encourage them to be who they are, no matter how weird that may seem, because the people they really want in their lives will love them for who they are.

But bullying gets to you, it plants seeds of doubt and self-hatred in your brain that love, support and acceptance from your family cannot fully overcome.

And so the solutions starts at home. If you are the parent of a bully - and you know if you are, don't pretend that you don't - FIX it.

I'm also well aware that Ethan has his share of behavioral problems - largely due to boredom. But, rest assured, when we learn that he has done something he shouldn't have, we go to work correcting it.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Letter to My Sons

There are so many of these floating around out there, most of them are aimed at daughters for some reason. I feel like sons get left out of these...possibly because we don't feel they're vulnerable or at risk of being objectified or devalued by their significant others. But, that's just not true. Girls (and boys) are just as capable, and guilty, of making their boyfriends feel like they aren't good enough, like there's something wrong with them. So, while I don't want to minimize the need for little girls to understand that they are worthy of everyone's attention, I do want to say something to my boys.



Dear Monkeys -

You may think you've got it easy. You clearly inherited your Daddy's genes, so you'll probably never struggle with your weight. You both know how damn cute you are (even if you know it isn't going to keep you from getting in trouble...most of the time). You're smart, you're kind, you're funny (I like to think that was my offering from the gene pool). Honestly, you've got a lot going for you.

But the fact of the matter is, there will come a point in your life when you start to like girls (or boys...either is fine, and normal - but for the sake of simplicity in writing this letter, I'm going to stick to "girls") in a different way...a way that makes you want to be more than just friends. A way that makes you want to kiss them, like you've seen Daddy and Mommy kissing. Unfortunately, the girls you like may not always like you the same way - or at all.

That's ok. There's nothing wrong with that, sometimes people just don't feel the same way you do.

Unfortunately, when you like someone and they don't like you back, sometimes they're not very nice about it. I'll be honest, you're both kind of weird (which is AWESOME), so there's a good chance your unique personality may come up when the girl you like tells you she doesn't like you back. She might call you names, she might tell her friends that she thinks you're ugly...there are a lot of ways she might make you feel like you're not good enough for her.

There will come a time when you're dating a girl who did like you back at some point, but now she just doesn't. When she breaks your heart, it's going to feel like you weren't good enough for her.

This is where I want you to stop. Stop right there. Right now. Do not pass "Go," do not collect $200.

Don't you ever dare let yourself feel like you aren't good enough for another person to love. And don't you ever dare let someone get away with telling you you aren't good enough for them.

I'm not always going to be around to give these girls the karate-kicks to the face they deserve when they hurt my boys. And I'm not always going to be around to tell you, in no uncertain terms, what amazing boys you are.

The plain truth of it is this: You are good enough. You are perfect. You are worthy of everyone's love and attention.

You may just not be the right person for that girl to spend her life with. And that's ok. There is someone out there for you, and it's just not her. It may take some time to find her, and you're going to get hurt - a lot - along the way, but you will. While you're on that journey, the most important thing for you to remember is that just because you aren't the right person for that girl doesn't mean you aren't good enough for her.

So don't ever let her tell you that.

Now the flip-side of the equation. You are damned cute, you're funny, you're smart - you two are really the whole package. I know that during your teenage years, I will probably meet more girls than I'd like to...and I will have to deal with the fact that you're doing things I don't want to think about with those girls. I also know that you are going to break a lot of hearts yourselves, and those girls are going to feel like they weren't good enough for you.

Don't you ever dare make them feel like they weren't good enough for you. Everyone is good enough, and perfect, and worthy of your love and attention.

They just may not be the right girl for you to spend the rest of your life with. And that's ok.

While we're on this side of the coin, I want to make something very clear - relationships are a two-way street. There is give and take from both sides. And neither side should ever feel the need to "keep" their partner interested. You are worthy of your partner's interest just by being you. End of story. And they are worthy of your interest just by being them. Done. Never convince yourself that you need to change, or get fit, or quit a hobby, or act a different way to "keep her interested." On the flip side, don't you ever let your girlfriend feel like they need to "keep you interested." If there's something about that girl that you feel like she needs to change, then she's not the right girl for you to spend your life with. No one should feel like they need to change for you. When you fall in love with someone, you fall in love with everything about them - their quirks, their weird habits, their body, their mind, their soul - all of it.

This is going to get ramble-y here, so I'll wrap it up.

I love you both more than words will ever be able to express. You're my babies and you always will be, even when you grow up. There will come a time when I'm no longer the most important woman in your lives, and that's ok. But when another woman takes that place, I expect you to treat her like the most important woman in your life. Conversely, when you take the place of her father as the most important man in her life, she better treat you like you are.

You are perfect. You are amazing. You are good enough. You are worthy of everyone's love and attention.
And so is she.


Oh and one last thing: I love you. Even though you're weird.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

6 Things You Should Stop Posting on Facebook. Like, Right Now.



I read a post with a very similar title to this on The Stir yesterday, and to be honest, it was really negative. The author is clearly bitter about having to read all the happy things going on in her "friends'" lives. Honestly, the only self-censoring I do when it comes to posting on Facebook is making sure that whatever I post isn't going to get me in trouble at work. Otherwise, if I'm thinking it, it's going on Facebook.

I tend to get annoyed with people who complain about what others post - on their PERSONAL Facebook pages - because, frankly, get over yourself. If you don't like what I'm posting, hide me. I won't be offended. If my amazing children, wonderful husband, epic weight loss (30 lbs in 2013, baby!) or opinions (I have many) offend you for some reason, there's this cute little box you can click that makes it so my happiness (or snarkiness) don't show up in your feed. Done. So simple.


However, in light of her post, and to be as hypocritical as possible - obviously - I think it fitting that I identify a few things that I feel we all can agree have no place on anyone's social media page.

THINGS THAT SHOULD NEVER EVER GO ON YOUR FACEBOOK OR TWITTER - EVER.

1.) Description of your bowel movements.

Let's face it, there's a reason we don't discuss these things in civilized conversation, and that reason is that no one wants to know what's coming out of you. Seriously. We don't. Life is not "How I Met Your Mother," and no one outside of Marshall, Lily, Ted, Robin and Barney really want to know if your excrement represents an ampersand.
"To Know or Not to Know" - the episode in question, albeit a different moment.
2.) Passive-aggressive comments about some way you were wronged by a "nameless" person (but they know who they are...oh yes, they do).
The Oatmeal is a wonderful, wonderful site.
My passive-aggressive response to these passive-aggressive posts:

Truth.
3.) Talking about how high/drunk you are at that moment...or were last night...or last weekend. Or ever.

HAHAHA OMG I'M SO CRUNK RGIHT NOW I CAn BrAeLY TPYE TIHS OUT! HAHAHA!

Yep. That needed saying. We're all better for knowing that you were wasted. Also, what the hell does "crunk" even mean? I feel old.

Margaritas Make Spelling Awesome
Something tells me the spelling problems weren't the result of the margaritas.
Look, we all like to kick back and relax, wind down after a long week. Sure. I'll admit to drinking...more than I should...on more than one occasion. But, because we're all judgmental assholes, when we see you posting about it, the first thought that comes to our minds is not "Man, I wanna go party with that person!" It's "Well, they're making responsible adult decisions, aren't they?" Because, while we all do it, many of us also know that everything you post on the internet stays there for eternity - and getting wasted is one of those things you should keep between you and your cohorts.

Wise words.
4.) Analysis of the previous evening's sexual exploits.

Things you never wanted to know about people you barely know, #546.
This is really along the same lines of reasoning as the drunk/high posts. Honestly, it's all about adulthood at this point, and do you REALLY want your boss saying "Good weekend?" while half-smiling at you and possibly winking when you walk in on Monday morning? Because I sure the hell don't.

5.) Duckface selfies.

I don't care who you are, they all look like this. Just stop. Try smiling instead.
Because no. Just no. Seriously, no. I said no. NO MEANS NO. No.

6.) Posts that are clearly fishing for compliments you don't need because you're a size 2 and OMG YOU ARE NOT FAT WILL YOU SHUT THE HELL UP ALREADY?!?!?!?!

Bust Out the Rod and Tackle Box!
I always read these posts in a Valley Girl voice. It makes it easier to move past them without rolling my eyes so hard they get stuck.

You know who you are.

That was slightly passive-aggressive. Oh well, nobody's perfect.