Friday, July 30, 2010

Fridays: Sometimes They Suck It, Sometimes They Mark 1 More Week Until BlogHer

It’s Friday (my former least favorite day of the week) (although it’s kinda working its way back to that title), and I could focus on the sad parts like I wrote about here. Or I can talk about how an arrogant ENT told me that Marie has to go for a sleep study. He’s not sure if it’s Obstructive Sleep Apnea or Central Sleep Apnea. Although her tonsils are almost touching, because she’s not gasping for air at night after holding her breath, he wasn’t sure. Here is an excerpt from my efforts to learn more about Central Sleep Apnea after I told him Marie’s symptoms:
Arrogant ENT: (to Innocent Intern) Sounds like it could be central or obstructive. (To me) You will need to get her a sleep study.

Me: Why?

Arrogant ENT: Because I am not sure if it’s only obstructive even though her tonsils are almost touching.

Me: What would it be?

Arrogant ENT: Central Sleep Apnea

Me: What does that mean?

Arrogant ENT: Something centrally causing her apnea. (As a former English teacher, you should never use the vocabulary word as part of the definition)

Me: What does that mean? (Now I feel like Marie asking, “Why” a gazillion times).

Arrogant ENT: They’ll discuss this at the sleep clinic.

Me: (rather assertively) IF you don’t tell me, I’m going to go home and Google it. And scare myself. I’d rather hear from you.

Arrogant ENT: (rather arrogantly) Well, then don’t go on the computer. I won’t be able to help you then.

Me: (calm-but-don’t-fcku-with-me tone) Then tell me what does it mean.

Arrogant ENT: (mumbles) Your brain tells your body not to breath. Here’s the script. (Scurries out)

So a week after BlogHer, I get to participate in Marie’s sleep study. And since we are on the topic of BlogHer, let’s talk about that! I am so excited! So for those that want to track me down, here’s what I am doing:

Friday night, I am going to take my hair out of my rollers and have a drink with the Mouthy Housewives. I am so excited, especially since this is a last minute addition to my plans. This will be a huge night out since a big night for me is watching my DVR’d shows, The Real Housewives of New Jersey  and Bethenny Getting Married, back to back with an avocado/oatmeal face mask setting while drinking a Blue Moon (or a nice glass of Chardonnay). (And as I stated in another post, shows like this can be healing and have helped me find closure).  Needless to say, I am totally excited!!

Saturday, I am going to the actual BlogHer conference. When I bought my ticket in the winter, I didn’t want to commit to two days since I didn’t know what I wanted to do with blogging. Well, six months later, I have grown deeply attached to writing and blogging, so I am glad that I made the decision to go. I am also going to A Green Affair and Sparklecorn.

Also, this is what I look like:

Excpet now I am a tad bit bloner, and chances are my hair will be up.
 And I can't Auto Correct myself in person.

So if you see me, please say hi. I am petrified by the feeling of being the girl sitting by herself at the lunch table with no one to talk to. Also, my name is Erin if you missed that bit of info on my last post.

So tell me, Friends, are you going? If you are going, what are you doing between the last keynote speaker and the parties? If you are doing something, ANYTHING, let me know so I don’t have to eat a peanut butter sandwich in the bathroom all by myself while I make desperate, guilt-ridden calls to my Mom to make sure the Babes are alright.

Have a great weekend!

(And wow, did I add enough links in this post or what)?!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mama Got a Brand New Look!

Hello, Friends! Take a look around. Notice anything new? I went from brunette to blonde (my actual hair color)! I also have a new header, profile avatar, and business cards. I felt the time was right to update my look since I was getting business cards for BlogHer. And since I am on the subject of BlogHer, where my real name will appear on my badge, and we’ve known each other for a whole year now, I thought I would formally introduce myself. Hi, my name is Erin. So nice to finally get that out there.

Anyway, enough of the formalities. Who is to thank for this great, new look? Lyndsay at Paper Dahlia Design Co. She is incredibly talented, nice, smart, and funny. She is also very reliable. Lyndsay is very easy to work with. Did I mention that she reasonably priced as well? Not only did I get this lovely new look complete with business cards, look how she delivered it to me:

I LOVE her! Lyndsay is the total package; creative and organized. She exceeded my expectations. Check her out at Go to this site to check out what the whole finished product looks like.

As talented and awesome and creative as Lyndsay is, I don’t think she realized what her service really did for me. I didn’t even expect the feelings that came along with opening that beautifully wrapped box of business cards and media disk, along with coordinating tissue paper and satin bow. When I looked at those cards, it was like I was seeing myself in a whole different light. There it was, in pink and turquoise, I am committing to this path of freelance writer/ blogger. I felt like I wasn’t on the fence about trying this new path; I am on it.

I have mixed feelings about this adventure. I am excited to finally be pursuing a lifelong dream of writing. I am scared because I don’t really know what I am doing. It’s not like I am in college and can haul myself to the guidance counselor to make sure I am taking the right classes to finish The Goal of Graduation. To feed into the scared and insecure feeling is the fact that some people don’t really get blogging and freelance writing. Here is a conversation at a local shop that I was hoping to buy a business card holder for these new awesome cards:

Snooty Shop Keeper: What is your new business?

Me: Well, it’s not actually a business. I blog. I am also working on getting published as a freelance writer.

Snooty Shop Keeper: Oh, Mommy on the Spot. I have heard of stuff like this. It’s where other mommies get together and offer advice, right?

Me: Well, not really. I don’t offer advice on my blog. Mine is more of a personal blog.

Snooty Shop Keeper: (sniff) Well, that’s nice. (as she hands me back my card, with a tight lipped smile while desperately looking around her empty store for something else to look at other than my eyes).

Me: Well, I didn’t want any of your gaudy crap anyway because it’s ugly. My 4 year old daughter can do a better job gluing bling to this piece of junk. And it would come minus the elitist attitude. So suck it, Snooty Shop Keeper!

Well, I may have just said that last part in my head, but I like to think that sentiment was relayed when I handed her piece of shit business card holder back to her while I mumbled something about going to check another store.

Well, along with all self-doubt is a healthy dose of guilt. I feel t a nagging twinge that I even have the desire to pursue something other than being a mom. Writing this sentence sounds ridiculous, but the feeling can be overwhelming. It feels self-indulgent to be doing any of this; going to BlogHer, writing my opinions for the world to see (as if the world cares), getting business cards, even buying a new bra (for $10 nonetheless) since I hadn’t bought a new one for non-pregnant /non-nursing boobs in 6 years.

But I am going to ignore this voice that says my endeavors of self-discovery are silly. I am going to shut down that feeling that I don’t matter. Because I do. If I don’t take time to make sure that I am a person outside of care giving, then who am I? If nothing else, I want the Babes to feel deep down in their souls, when it’s time for them to leave the nest, I will be OK because I have taken care of me, too. I want them to feel the freedom that they deserve to be happy and do something that makes them feel alive.

So,Lyndsay, you gave me much more than a beautiful new look and a box of business cards. I feel that I got a license to follow thru on this dream of mine. If I ever feel like giving up, I just have to look at my card to remind me that I am Erin, Freelance Writer/Blogger.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Clarity and Closure With Help From The Real Housewives of New York City

As I stated in my last post, I struggle with liars and boundaries. I feel like my Inner Little Girl wants to be trusting with soft, mushy boundaries. But the Grownup Me has to explain to my Inner Little Girl that not everyone is honest and not everyone is meant to be my BFF. And then my Inner Little Girl asks for New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream for dinner, and then the Grownup Me caves because she was just a bad ass when it came to protecting Inner Little Girl that Grownup Me feels that she can bend this rule. It’s hard to be a bad ass all of the time, right?

Anyway, there are a few people in my life that have taken advantage of my sweet, innocent Inner Little Girl. I talked about that here. But long post short, I had trusted that some people had me and my Babes best interest at heart. In the end, I realized it was all about what they wanted. They had been so generous with us, and I thought it was because they truly loved me and my Babes. Come to find out, they do love us . . . as long as I followed their rules and boundaries, which were completely different from mine. For quite a long time, I felt confused by this and maybe even a little guilty. I mean, they had been so giving, why shouldn’t I let them do whatever they wanted with my family?

And during this past season of The Real Housewives of New York City, it all became crystal clear. I would like to preface this with the following statement: I am only basing this on what was actually shown in the show. I have no idea what was left on the editing room floor. I saw how Jill became outraged at Bethenny when she didn’t play by Jill’s rules. It appeared that Bethenny felt like she was being hounded by Jill, and when Bethenny wanted some space, Jill became angry. I don’t think that Bethenny didn’t want Jill in her life; she just wanted the room to create her life. Then Jill would throw all that she had done for Bethenny in her face, as if Bethenny owed her something. Jill “helped” Bethenny not because she truly wanted to be kind, but because she wanted something out it, either to brag about how great she was for helping and/or so that she can have some sort of control in what Bethenny does in her life.

And that’s when it hit me: these people weren’t helping me and being generous with us because they truly wanted to be kind. They liked show boating their help and thought they had a right to have some control over me and my family. When the boundaries had been redrawn, they weren’t interested in hanging around anymore. When they couldn’t have full control over the game, they took their ball and went home.

It’s a sad situation, but I find it humorous that I was able to find clarity and closure through a reality show. It was helpful to see a situation so similar to mine play out before me on TV because I was too close to mine to see it for what it was. It was also helpful to see Jill’s side; she really thought that because she helped Bethenny, she was entitled to some of Bethenny’s success. I had to see how Jill operated in order to get that her intentions were not good.

So thank you, Bethenny and Jill, you have helped me find closure and clarity on this troubling issue. Bethenny, after you reconstructed your boundaries with Jill I was able to see that it wasn’t a bitch move; it was imperative in order to live a healthy life. It’s tough when I realize that some people aren’t truly happy for me and try to make me feel guilty for evolving as a person. But in the end, there is no need to apologize for protecting myself from these kinds of negative people.

Next post will not be so dark and heavy because who wants to talk about that stuff when BlogHer is right around the corner?! I am so excited! There will also be some new changes to my blog in the very near future, so keep a look out for them!!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 16, 2010

When the Other Shoe Drops. . .

I have said in the past that I believe what people tell me. I think, for the most part, trusting others is a good trait. I think it’s a bad trait when someone tells me something, and when their actions don’t match up to their lip service, I blame myself for the “misunderstanding.” This has not served me well. It has served me even worse when dealing with a loved one who happens to be an addict.

And I hate that word addict because it sounds so dirty. I feel it doesn’t encompass what the whole picture is to me: a disease that one uses drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. I liken it to a diabetic: both are medical conditions, but there is still that personal responsibility to take care of oneself. The diabetic knows his body can’t process a stack of pancakes with extra syrup with a side of Dunkin’ Donut Munchkins, anymore than an alcoholic who can’t process alcohol. But either way you cut it, when being close to someone who is deep in his addiction, loved one live with holding their breath and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Well, the other shoe recently dropped. And this time, for me, is different. Usually, I go into panic mode and wring my hands and try to wave flags to get the people to see the severity of the situation. I feel like it’s my fault if this person doesn’t get help. I get frustrated and sad and drained when my words fall on deaf ears.

For the past 15 years, I’ve always been the whistle blower. And for the past 14 years, I have felt that no one has ever taken me seriously. The person in question has hated me for this, claiming I am a tattle tale. And everyone knows, no one likes a truth-sayer. The people most affected by this situation have told me it is not what it seems, that everything will be fine. But this time, I bravely accept that this situation is not fine. This time I stand strong that what I am seeing is not going to get better on its own. This time I don’t feel the need to scurry and rant and rave for others to see my point of view. Because, this time, I see the sad truth with kind of clarity only healing and time can deliver. This time, I have never been more grateful for the time and money that I have spent on my therapy. I am also grateful for the Don’t Get Drunk Friday posts by Stefani Wilder Taylor at Baby on Bored for helping me understand this disease. This post, and this post by Aunt Becky at Mommy Wants Vodka also helped me see the families of addiction more clearly. Thank you, both, so much.

I believe that although the other shoe has dropped, rock bottom has not yet been met. I love this person more than words can say, but I watch the situation from afar. Someone who is not well is unpredictable and lashes out; I am not ready for those emotional scars to be ripped open to bleed again. I can’t be drained like that again, not with two Babes, now one who is old enough to understand when something is not right. I help from behind the scenes, the person never knowing my involvement. And even though I know in my heart, these boundaries are the right and healthy thing to do, I feel guilty.

My hope is that one day this person will accept help and become the person he is meant to be. My hope is that he will want to be with his family and help create that special fabric only extended family can make. My hope is that the Babes will get a chance to know him. My hope is that I will get to know him.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Feel Good Friday – My Happy Place

This week has been a rough week. As much as I’d love to delve into detail, I decided to focus on the good. One of the prompts for Feel Good Friday is to write about my happy place. This is my happy place:

                         Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

This is the place of happy memories. With the lulling sound of waves crashing into the shore, I feel peace and tranquility, more than anywhere else on this earth. This is where I go in my head when I need to practice positive visualization, my happy place, if you will. Some people feel the need to go to church to feel the presence of a higher power; but this is my church, where I come to feel more spiritual.

And today, there is no place I’d rather be than here.

Have a great weekend, Friends!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Observations From My Family Vacation: Part 2

If you read my last post, you will know that I didn’t expect to walk away from an amusement park vacation with such deep insight into my upbringing and family dynamics. I did expect the post about my amusement park vacation would be a bit lighter. I thought the best way to express my observations would be in a letter to the CEO of Cedar Point.

Dear CEO of Cedar Point:
My family and I recently visited your amusement park. Although we had a great time, I do have some suggestions that may further maximize your patrons’ experience:

1. I was hoping that perhaps you could change the wording on the signs throughout the park to say, “No shirt No shoes No bra No service.” Let’s just say there were a whole lot of bubbies in tank tops and/or halter tops that needed a bit of assistance to be hoisted back up above the waist. Maybe you can sell some in your gift shops for emergencies, like you do with your emergency ponchos. It could be that these women were so excited to get to the park that they forgot to put on a bra. Who knows – stranger things have happened.

Also, many of these women really liked to wear super short shorts. You know, the kind that, if you do not have the legs of a 10 year old boy, they just don’t’ seem to lay quite right. So as the shorts are creeping further and further up, quite a lot of skin is exposed while seated on the rides. Do you think you can wipe down the seats with a cleaning solution like they have at the gym? I feel that if gyms find wiping off ass-crack sweat a necessary step in ensuring a sanitized environment, perhaps you can do it, too.

2. After watching the ice show “Everyone Loves Snoopy,” I felt that the title was misleading. I expected to see a show that was cute and fluffy and sweet. After watching that soft core porn production with brief appearances made by the Peanuts Gang, perhaps a more accurate title would be “Snoopy and His Strippers on Ice”. This title encapsulates the essence of the show: Girls Next Door-like outfits and sexy routines with Charlie Brown randomly skating across the stage (as if to remind you that this REALLY is a kids production). When Sally is day-dreaming of Linus, I am not sure that Charles Schultz would feel there is no better song to capture the innocence of that moment than Prince’s “I Want Your Kiss.” And when Linus says, “Happiness is a thumb and a warm blanket” Mr. Schultz may question why the natural choice would be Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” I sense the choreographer is probably a frustrated former Vegas producer that hasn’t truly embraced his lot in life as a kiddie ice show choreographer.

3. Please make sure that all lifeguards have these four words in their vocabulary: Stop. Go. No. Help.

4. On another note about Soak City, the life guard watching the kiddie pool was a bad ass. He was a take no prisoners kind of guy. If he saw a kid walking up the water slide, he was on that whistle, sounding like a frantic sparrow. If he saw an adult try and go down the 4 foot choo-choo train slide with her infant, he would come over there and tweet his life-saving whistle right at her. It then dawned on me that he is on the perpetual play date from hell. You know, the one when the parents (or maybe in your case, nannies) let their kids run wild and do whatever they want. Except the stakes are much higher – like drowning and death. I bet the correlation of kiddie pool life guards and over indulging in Jack Daniels is extremely high. Are extra drink tickets for the saloons in the frontier portion of the park an added benefit for these life guards? I do believe it would be in everyone’s best interest to make sure these lifeguards are happy and generously compensated for their live-saving skills.

Again, I truly enjoyed my experience at Cedar Point, but I think these points may make the park-going experience even better.

Ride On,
Mommy on the Spot