Playing Catch Up

Goodness, it’s really been quite a while since I sat down to write anything. I’m not sure why I haven’t spent time doing this, but I’m here now… waiting for the words to come. This feels more difficult than usual. I can’t even recall where I last left off.

I guess I could fill you in on the year so far.

January was uneventful, as the start of the year always seems to be. It was an unusually cold winter this year with tons or rain. The kids had many opportunities to jump in puddles and get extra muddy!

February, I applied for my US citizenship. Not something I planned on doing, but now is as good a time as ever to do it. Things are already moving quickly with the application and I have my biometrics appointment this coming week. Calvin started karate and absolutely loves it! He’s made some friends and it’s giving him extra lessons in focus and discipline, much needed for crazy four year olds!

And here we are at March. March so far has been busy! Calvin is registered for TK (Transitional Kindergarten) for this coming school year, Mia has had her language evaluation for her speech delay, Curtis has been moved to a new station and I am in the hiring process for CHP.

 

Oh… and on Tuesday I’ll be 30… I mean 21, with 9 years experience!

News

I haven’t paid much attention to the news lately. When I do, I see so much pain, so much sadness. And, I suppose it has always been there, it will always be there, but right now it seems magnified. I try to pay attention only to the positive stories, the little glimmers of hope, of love…

Maybe I am the ostrich, with my head buried deep in the sand, wanting not to see the world in it’s grey and tarnished state. I want to see the world perhaps, through rose tinted glasses, as a child sees it.

I know Calvin and Mia only see love around them. I know that they have no concept of the hate of other human beings, or the atrocities committed in the names of so many. But I also know that a four year old understands strong dislike, they understand the idea that someone can be a bully, that bad behavior can hurt more than just someones heart. Isn’t that just a little bit terrifying?

I want to shelter them from the news, from hearing about the pain of the world and the people in it. I want to shelter my own heart and mind, pouring all of my love, all of my positivity into my family. So whilst the negative sometimes slips through the cracks, and I choose to read the occasional news story, to keep current, to know what it out there, I will continue to seek the positive. I will seek the love and the light.

It’s been a while…

I’ve not been in the right frame of mind lately to write much and things have been pretty hectic with moving house and working out a new routine with being further away from our usual amenities.

Holidays as well are always hard for me, which I have mentioned before. I am struggling with some depression, and haven’t been back to see my psychiatrist since the initial visit. Again, things have just been crazy around here!

We are finally moved into our new house though, everything is coming together slowly, but boxes are being emptied and a few days out of the many that have passed since we moved, my laundry pile has only been a small mound rather than its usual colossal mountain. Jinsey is acting his normal self now, he’s eating more, socializing and is completely off of all of his medication, including the anxiety meds which were making him act rather strangely. He will be on a prescription diet for the rest of his life, but it’s a small price to pay for his health and to have a happy cat snuggling up on the bed at night.

Christmas is literally a week away and I feel mostly prepared for it. I don’t cook Christmas dinner so I don’t have that worry on my plate, but I did host dinner for the family this past week. I’ve bought the kids presents apart from a few pairs of pajamas each and I already sent a small box of goodies to England for my mom, last month. Curtis and I don’t buy each other gifts, but he did get me a new jogging stroller so I can start running with Mia more often. I have taken it out for a spin a few times and now I just need to be consistent in my exercising to get the most use out of it!

Really life if just kind of a blur right now, the days are kind of melting into one another and I am hoping that the new year brings with it more clarity, more peace of mind and less anxiety.

However you celebrate this holiday season, I hope that you are not alone. I hope that whatever you do, you have a smile on your face and love in your heart.

Merry Christmas x

Awkward…

So how awkward was the video in my last blog post? I can’t even bare to watch it again, it’s so very cringeworthy! I don’t think I will be doing another of those any time soon.

I need to get back to blogging regularly. Everything has been kind of up in the air lately schedule wise, but we are finally settling into a new routine with Calvin starting preschool and an upcoming work schedule change for Curtis. I’m still really lost as to what to do with Mia on the mornings that Calvin is at school, but we are navigating through it together with lots of park time, running errands and snuggles!

I recently bought myself a book of 300 writing prompts, which I almost immediately regretted for the simple fact that by the end of day one, I had removed several pages due to the fact that I hate my hand writing. I cannot look at a page of my own handwriting for long before feeling the need to tear out the page, ball it up and throw it away. Is anyone else like that?

I’m not sure how other bloggers go about planning out their blogs ahead of time, it seems really difficult to me. I have more of a tendency to write from the top of my head whenever I fancy it, otherwise I feel like whatever I write is fake, or forced. I have far too much junk rolling around in my head lately, things that are too dark, too strange to share here. I’m not sure why I am in this particular predicament right now, but I’m hoping it’s just one of those stages in my life that will pass with time and effort to put forward a sunny disposition, or perhaps that in itself is faking it…

Anyway, I will be writing more often, and hopefully words of a positive nature. Now, go forth and be bold, be brave, be beautiful!

Happiness and Tears

I feel like growing up, for me, moments when I saw my parents cry were few and far between. I remember seeing my mom cry a few times after an argument (she’s an angry crier, as am I). She cried when Princess Diana died, and when my brother joined the Army. And in my adult life, she cried when my grandfather died and when my father died. I’m sure she has cried many times that I haven’t seen, but those are the moments I have witnessed, and the times my father cried openly, were as few. But consistently, saying goodbye at the airport has been moments of shared tears between us.

I don’t want to dwell on the tears we shared today in the airport, or the tears I shed as I drove home and the tears I will inevitably cry when the kids go to bed tonight. She stayed with us a month this visit, and I want to focus on the happiness that I have felt, the experiences we shared as a family. So tonight, I will flick through the photos we took, I will look at my kids smiling faces, and I will focus on the joy.

I hope you can find the happiness beneath the tears, as they can often be the most therapeutic and cathartic.

 

Finding Myself

Do you ever feel like you are adrift?

I’ve been feeling this often lately and I think I have touched on this feeling in past posts. I am Jodie, I am wife, and I am mother. But what else am I? I am incapable of placing my finger on the map of my life and really finding direction. This is a hard thing to come to realize when you are a planner.

I love spontaneity, but at the same time, I like organization, I like the details planned out so that I feel secure in the decisions being made. I learned to let go of those expectations a little when I became a parent. After all, how can you really plan ahead when you have two tiny humans who are chaos incarnate?

Our days are about to be shook up. Calvin will be starting preschool three days a week in August and Curtis is about to begin a new schedule, at a new station. And then there will be Mia and I, and I feel the need to fill those mornings when Calvin is in school, with activities for her and I. But with what? That direction thing again…

If life came with a compass, it would have no needle.

Dear Jodie

It’s time you made a change. Stop taking steps forwards and then running back to your bad habits. Look forward, stop falling into the same old traps, the emotional eating, the talking yourself into having one more bite and saying “It won’t hurt!”. It will hurt. Because the next time the scales don’t show the numbers going down, or you see yourself in the mirror and you are still fluffy around the middle, scrutinizing your body, you’ll hurt.

So the next time you reach for some chocolate or ice cream, stop. Grab an apple.
The next time you tell yourself “Just one more”, stop. Have a glass of water.
The next time you look in the mirror and feel defeated, or stand on the scales and see no weight loss… close your eyes, take a deep breath and move on.

The number on the scales has no correlation to your self worth. But the fact that it hurts you to be going through these motions, to not be moving in the direction you desire, that tells you that it’s time for a change. No more excuses.

You’ve got this. You aren’t a teenager, and your body has grown and birthed two wonderful children, so you’ve got to change up the game.

And you know what? GAME ON!

Lines, Dots and The Squiggles In-between

Parenting is definitely a learning curve, that looks something like a crayon squiggle across a brightly colored wall. So maybe it’s not a curve, but it sure has its ups and downs.

I’m learning a lot about myself in the process of raising these two tiny human beings. I’m realizing things about my personality, my approach to life and really feeling more connected to my emotions in the process. And trust me, for a British person to be sharing as much as I have about my feelings, is a big bloody deal!

Calvin is teaching me every day. He’s made me more patient, more understanding and shifted my perspective on what parenting would be like. We are taking this journey together. For example, today he went running off across the field at the park. Usually he doesn’t go far and knows that he needs to stay where I can see him. But in an effort to keep up with some squirrels, my calls to him to turn his little butt back around, fell on deaf ears. I chased after him. My immediate response was that I should be angry and tell him off. Then he opened his mouth and the excitement as he told me why he had run away made me put the breaks on. I listened. And although I still told him off for running and not listening when I called, we also discussed his interest in the squirrels and also the dangers of him being out of my sight. I could have blown up, him not listening really pushes my buttons. But I’m learning.

Mia although she can’t speak, is teaching me the power of communicating in different ways. She is the most communicative child I have met without having to say a single word. The looks on her face, her bodily response, speak volumes. It’s making me more aware of my own body language and behaviors. When I approach the kids with love, I want it to really show, and when I approach them with discipline, I want my expression to read as stern and not frightening as I fear it does right now.

Birthday

I joke that I’m turning into an old woman. My muscles often ache, my joints pop, crack and creak. And yesterday, I turned another year older with the big three zero looming ever closer. In reality I’m far from what most would consider to be “old” and I’m young at heart I guess, that’s something having little kids does to you. 

I don’t know where I’m going with this post exactly. Other than to say, although I refer to myself as old, and my body makes somewhat unnatural and unsettling noises, I’m thankful for every day I have on this blue planet and I’m thankful for the birthday wishes even though I rarely celebrate the day!

Change 

There are dishes in the sink, plates on the table and laundry to be done. But they can all wait. For the first time in a while, today I felt like I was just relaxing with the kids. We visited the zoo together, something we haven’t done very much in the past, but with new memberships, I hope we can do more of in the future. We set out bright and early and enjoyed the warmth of the first signs of spring as we toured the new African Adventure exhibit at Fresno Chaffee Zoo. I pulled the kids in the wagon whilst they looked at the animals, snacked and enjoyed the ride. 

  We got up close with some cheetahs which I think was a highlight for myself and the kids.

Calvin and Mia both fed the giraffes and giggled their heads off when the long tongues grabbed the lettuce leaves.
 Mia was mesmerized by the sea lions and Calvin loved feeling the sting rays drift past his fingertips at Stingray Bay. 

 

Today’s outing was a welcome break! We moved out of our house last week and into our little apartment that we will reside in until the limbo of having a new house to move into is over. It’s been a whirlwind of moving everything into our temporary home and into storage whilst Curtis has juggled work and I’ve juggled the kids. Luckily we have had some amazing friends and family to help.

I needed today. The kids needed today. Everything else can wait. We are busy making memories!