Posted in Calming the Voices, Word Therapy

Sometimes Joey McIntyre is Who it Takes

Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Ethnic cleansing. The White House. Is there anything in the news today that doesn’t stress us out? When the Oklahoma City bombing occurred I remember bawling while watching the television coverage and my boyfriend asking me, “Why do you care so much? You don’t know them”-he exited not long after. With anxiety and depression I have learned to identify when I’m feeling bad as a result of them. The next step has been learning to get through it and how. I have had to develop a certain set of skills for this.

Taken GIF

From ’07 to ’12 we moved a total of seven times. I had moving down pat. I didn’t get rid of moving boxes. I became obsessed with purging stuff so we could have less stuff to move. I even had a moving checklist on my hard drive. With our next move coming upon us, I can feel the pressure looming over me. I am in full coping mode: taking deep breaths, taking it one day at a time, and making ALL THE LISTS. To do lists broken down by day and week, address change notification list, what to purge, donate, and sell list, and my favorite-but-gives-my-husband-heart-palpitations list: What to buy for the new house.

As a child I used reading to deal with being bullied. When I would have a bad day I would daydream about a NKOTB member (preferably Joey) taking me to the Oscars where I would win for best actress and look perfect on the red carpet with my perfectly straight hair and fabulous formal gown. As an adult I still use reading to cope while my hubby takes me on dates that no red carpet or fabulous gown could measure up to. I would prefer to lose myself in a Stephen King novel than watch Sarah Huckabee Sanders be rude to the press during her daily bullshit briefings. If I want to be relaxed and focused, I meditate. Running stimulates my mind and helps me be creative. And all music makes me happy.

We all need coping skills, depressed or not. I am proud to say that my daughter will go to her room to color or read while listening to music if she gets annoyed with her brother or overwhelmed. This is in contrast from last year when she used to yell at anybody within shouting distance. Wesley chews his fingernails (he is a work in progress). Setting her and her brother up for success at a young age on how to deal with life’s obstacles is a gift I hope I can give them.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. If you are sad or feel alone, you aren’t. Here is the link to NAMI for you or anybody that you know is struggling:

https://www.nami.org/

I would like to leave you with a performance of “You Will Be Found” by the cast of Dear Evan Hansen. The show deals with teen suicide and the song makes me feel less alone every time I hear it.

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Posted in Word Therapy

Stepping Down

 

Having it all: A good job that is fulfilling and decent paying, a happy family, and just being satisfied with life in general. Ever since my daughter was born 10 years ago, I can honestly say that even though we have had our troubles, our family life has been a good one. I adore my husband. He is my best friend, my love, and still makes me laugh 18 years in. My kids are great. Hubby hasn’t been out of work since we left Arizona and even though we don’t live an extravagant life style, we don’t want for much. My current role is being head of the household. I plan all meals and shop for them. I clean the house, daily and weekly. I volunteer for the kids’ school and make sure homework is done and signed for. If they seem to be having trouble in any aspect of their life, I’m all over it. Talks with them and/or no electronics are punishment when necessary. I exercise five days/week to be healthy for them and myself. I love being a wife and a mom. But with medication, exercise, and meditation comes clarity. I want more.

I have been writing on and off for 10+ years. I start and then stop. I let life get in the way. I tell myself household and family responsibilities can only be done by me, which translates to I want it done my way. I worry that if I don’t spend more quality time with my significant other, he will leave me (anxiety is a bitch that way). I fear my kids will fall behind in school if I’m not on top of them to get their stuff done. I stress that my house will be a total mess if I don’t follow the schedule I have set for every day. As I am writing this I realize how tight I have the reins. And in order for me to finish that book I have been writing in my head for years, something else has to give.

Official Notice to the Wilson Household: It has been brought to my attention that I do a lot of work around our home. I clean, cook, shop, and make sure everybody is living a comfortable life. Your needs are my needs. You want something specific for your lunch? I will buy it. You want a particular deodorant? Got it. You need help with a homework assignment? Done. I love you all. Some days I live for you. But mom/wife needs time to be Stephanie. It is time to fulfill a part of me that is ambitious, creative, and hard working. I suck at asking for help. But if you will assist me, I can get better at it. And in turn, you can feel good about helping somebody you love achieve a life goal.

Do I think it is possible to “have it all”? Hell no. I’m always going to put my family first, even as I let go. But bringing myself closer to the front will fulfill me and bring me happiness and pride.

Posted in Word Therapy

My Not So Little Man

The day after you turned 1, you cut your chin on the TV stand. At 2 ½, you gave yourself an Indiana Jones style scar when you landed on your chin in the bathtub and split it open, warranting a trip to the ER. A few months later, you were potty trained in 3 days. My favorite part was your excitement at going in the portable potty, picking it up to show me, and getting a splash back of pee in the face. A year later you were riding your bike with no training wheels and chanting, “I can do this!” You did all of these things with your sweet chubby cheeks, golden brown eyes, and a handful of freckles. Today you are 8. Gone are the squirrel like cheeks and in its place is a tall, handsome kid.

You’ve grown so much this year. You want a meal and dessert to yourself when we go out for dinner and the hell fire will rain down if you are forced to share:

You love tacos, tacos, and more tacos. You have become more adventurous with what you will eat. You would eat yogurt with every meal if we allowed it (preferably strawberries and cream flavor). You still love your video games, especially Minecraft and Mario Kart. You will sit and watch Minecraft videos on Youtube and yell, “Mom! You have to watch this! It’s so cool!” You binged Lego Ninjago over the summer and want to be one of them for Halloween. You like to read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and anything that says Minecraft and Adventure on it.

This year brought out a sullen side of you that I expected but not so soon. You don’t take kindly to the word No and are the king of muttering under your breath. These are growing pains that we will get through together because I know my Wesley is still in there (somewhere).

You get along with everybody you know because of your easygoing and confident personality. Your mind is always moving and if you aren’t playing video games on the Wii U, you are drawing, creating with Legos, or making obstacle courses in the play room, American Ninja Warrior style. You still operate at a volume of 11+ and can shake your booty like no one else. You found your love of performing by participating in choir, making me cry with that sweet voice.  And you are the biggest giver of hugs, kisses, and compliments.

Wesley Hamilton

No matter how big you get, you are still my little boy. You hold my hand wherever we go. I can tell when you aren’t getting enough rest because you are GRUMPY. You try to convince me that Slenderman is real (nope) and that you aren’t afraid of him but you will be damned if I turn off the hall light at night.

Wesley Knotts

Happy 8th birthday, my sunshine of freckles.

 

 

Posted in Word Therapy

The Cool Girl

Harry Potter. Percy Jackson. Star Wars comic books. This was the year you became a nerdy badass. You found joy in books, movies, and television shows like Stranger Things. I am always afraid of pushing what I love on you but watching you grab onto these things and discovering a passion you didn’t have before has thrilled me down to my toes. You read Percy Jackson in fourth grade and you love it so much we have been informed that you want to learn Greek. You talk a mile a minute whether it is about why Professor McGonagall’s first name is Minerva (Roman counterpart to the Greek goddess Athena), why you need a Yankees hat for your Annabeth costume for Halloween, or who Luke is married to in the Star Wars comics. You don’t let anybody tell you that you shouldn’t like these things because you are a girl. Your closest friends are boys. You like to skateboard, ride your bike, and talk about Anne of Green Gables. You’ve already decided at 10 that drama is not for you and you walk away from it as opposed to engaging.

Scarlet Birthday 2

You are becoming more beautiful every day but could care less as it is even a fight to get you to comb your hair or wear a shirt that isn’t dirty, especially if you love said shirt. You have priorities and that is listening to music (Maroon 5 and Fallout Boy are new favorites), going to the library and leaving with no less than 5 books at a time, Minecraft, and Musicly. You fight with your brother 98.2% of the time but have endless patience with the little ones in our neighborhood. Macaroni and cheese still has your heart and Red Robin is your favorite restaurant. You started collecting Pop Funkos this year and have them arranged in alphabetical order on your dresser if there was ever a doubt that you are my daughter.

Scarlet birthday 1

There is no doubt that you are growing up. You want your independence and do not like being told what to do. I understand that need. You are capable of doing so many things on your own. But as your mom I want to protect you and hopefully make sure you don’t grow up too fast. This is a new chapter in our relationship and I hope that we will remain a team of not just mom and daughter but friends that love and understand each other even when we don’t agree.

Scarlet birthday 3

Scarlet, you are whip smart, enthusiastic, hot tempered, messy, determined, and sweet when you want to be. And when you are older I will whisk you off to a girls’ weekend at Comic-Con instead of a spa. It will be perfect, just like you.

Scarlet birthday 4

Happy 10th birthday my girl. Love you more than Eggos.

Posted in Word Therapy

Friday Favorite (aka Where I blabber about what I love): Mother’s Day Edition

As a mom I:

  • Limit electronic time
  • Make my kids read on the weekend and during summer
  • Won’t allow them to have phones until they are in middle school
  • Yell and cuss
  • Still use time out for sassy talk (with a side of no electronics)
  • Make one dinner and one dinner only each night
  • Don’t share my desserts
  • Forbid social media like Facebook or Twitter for now (Music.ly is allowed with many limitations)
  • Tell my kids, “I’m okay with that” when they tell me I’m mean

But I also:

  • Make sure my family of four eats at home together at least 5 nights a week
  • Love to sit and read with my kids
  • Put my phone down as much as possible
  • Volunteer at their school
  • Chase my dreams so the kids know they can too, no matter how many obstacles get in the way

Every day I feel anger, fear, happiness, contentment, frustration, adoration, and exhaustion. As much as my anxiety tells me otherwise, I know I am not the only mom who feels this way. So for Mother’s Day I am going to give myself a break and realize I am doing the best I can. I love these kiddos and never take for granted the time I have with them.

Mothers Day 3

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Word Therapy

That Time of Year

 

Summer countdown

 

I am equal parts terrified and excited that we have 13 days of school left until summer. Sleeping in, no schedule, and no homework sounds perfect. Kids fighting, not so much. So for our sixth year in a row, the Wilson Summer Bucket List will be taken out of the hall closet. You can read about our previous years here and here. Last year we were lucky enough to take our first family vacation to Austin, TX. This year we will be having a staycation. But since we live in awesome California, we have plenty of places to visit, stuff to do, and food to eat. Below is a list for the summer, where we always leave room for the unexpected:

Traditions

Knotts Berry Farm-our budget Disneyland. We don’t have Mickey or Minnie but we have Charlie Brown, and isn’t he cuter anyways? I wrote a long time ago about why we love Knott’s so much.

Waterpark-we have one less than 10 minutes from our house and Knott’s has its own Soak City right across the street from the park.

Beach-I mentioned awesome California, right?

Ice Cream for Dinner-Scarlet has already asked if we can do this more than once.

80s Movie Education-Last summer we did The Last Starfighter. At Christmas we watched Gremlins. On the schedule this year: WarGames and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Museum-We love The Broad and LACMA.

Rollerskating-The kids skate for free and they each have their own skates. Enough said.

Movies-DUH.

Read, Read, Read

New

Hiking-no Joshua Tree during the summer but here is a list of places that we are considering.

Universal Studios-Harry Potter Wizarding World for us Potterheads.

OC Fair-$12 beers, corn on the cob, 80s bands trying to make a comeback, and an ocean breeze.

Angels Game-my little ball player is excited for his first professional baseball game.

Impeachment March-Fingers crossed we won’t have to do this because the impeachment will have ALREADY HAPPENED.

2017 Summer Bucket List

What do you have planned for this summer?

Posted in Word Therapy

Friday Favorite (aka Where I blabber about what I love): The Hate You Give

It has been a long 3 ½ months. I’m angry. I feel helpless. Reality is like humidity with its oppression. The first month I stayed strong. I donated. I was an armchair activist to the nth degree. I marched. But as time has gone by I find myself going inward. I still donate when I can. I share stuff that I feel is important on social media (calling your reps, bringing attention to special elections). But with the investigation of Russian’s involvement with the election dragging, it’s hard to stay motivated. What I have continue to do is to stay informed and read. This week I finished The Hate You Give by A.C. Thomas.

The Hate You Give is the story of 16 year old Starr. One night she is leaving a party with her friend Khalil when they are pulled over by a police officer for a broken tail light. By the end of the encounter with the officer, Khalil is dead and Starr is the only witness.

The book is a young adult novel. A lot of popular YA novels have white female protagonists (Katniss, Bella, and Tris just to name a few). Starr is black. She lives in a run down neighborhood that has seen better days. And her story could have come from this week’s news. It is a story that needs to be heard and not denied. The epidemic of black kids being killed by police officers has been around longer than I have been alive. With social media and body cameras these days it has become more high profile. But yet this is the first time I have picked up a young adult novel and read about a teen black girl and what she faces.

I read a review of The Hate You Give and decided to check it out. It is a good book. I cared about the characters. The story made me sad but I wasn’t shocked by the events because I read the news. I hate reading that anybody has to feel afraid when they see a cop. Or that their mom and dad have to teach them how to act around police officers so nothing bad will happen to them. I was brought up believing that they are here to protect us. I don’t believe that all cops are bad. In fact, I know that the majority of them aren’t. But why isn’t that same viewpoint given to people of color?

I want to scream how unfair it is and throw a temper tantrum. But I know that won’t do a damn bit of good. So I will continue to read, listen, and educate myself. I will donate to those organizations that are affected. I am only one person. But if I can change my perspective and hopefully pass that onto my own kids, I know I can keep fighting.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!