Saturday, September 02, 2017

A Box of Journals


In my journey to get rid of stuff, I run into obstacles on a regular basis. My dad once said to me, "Ryann, everything we touch triggers a memory, but not everything has to be a memory." It was a revelation to hear him say that. Both he and I are intensely nostalgic and have detailed long term memories

Somehow, most of the Stuff I keep is paper. You can stash a whole lot of paper in a one foot by one and half foot moving box. Like, thousands of pieces of paper. Needless to say, I get emotionally burned out pretty quick when I'm trying to purge.

I opened a Box with the intent to get rid of the stuff inside only to find my childhood journals and some beautiful blank notebooks that I love (and want to fill up with writing). I can't get rid of those! Opening that Box triggered some depression (including crying). It can be demoralizing to have a strong urge to change, but are not be able to change very fast.

I've been pushing to get rid of Boxes, Stuff, and Paper  faster than I've ever done since we returned from our Epic Summer Road Trip. I realized that our lack of tall bookshelves is actually a major impediment to emptying Boxes (and subsequently, getting rid of the Stuff in them). After a few days of feeling stuck, I decided that I just need to unpack the blank journals onto the shelf next to my bed. I'm obviously not ready to deal with the journals. I'm getting better at getting rid of stacks of Paper in other Boxes, so I'm giving myself some grace on this particular Box.

When you are trying to change something about yourself, what gets you stuck?

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Importance of the Dumpster

An unexpected effect of spending a month away from home, was an increased desire to have less clutter and a realization that I could get rid of more of the Stuff I thought I still needed. I've been riding a wave of nesting energy from coming home with fresh eyes. I'm throwing away more than ever, and increasing my frequency of donation drop-offs.

But last Tuesday, someone threw a wrench in my system. Someone (or someones) filled up the dumpster bin at our apartment. Like filled up. To the top.

The day after it had been emptied.

There wasn't even room for the daily kitchen trash! We put the trash in anyway. (I made Darren do it. And the neighbor's husband jumped on the lid to try to squish it down.) But we were way above the "do not fill past" line. It really stressed me out.

It took me a few days to figure out why I was stressed. (Aside from the obvious: The kitchen trash stinks. I need it out of the house!) I couldn't throw things away because my trash bins were full. My de-cluttering momentum came to a full stop. But my nesting energy didn't.

It was the last week before school started and we wanted to have fun. We did have fun. We threw a birthday party and had dinner company. But I couldn't wait for the week to be over and trash day to come so I could move forward with cleaning things out of the house.

Trash day came. The truck didn't come at it's normal time. I checked the trash bin every hour (yes, I know that's weird). When the garbage truck finally came, I was so excited I think I hollered like it was Christmas.

How strange are the hangups we have when we're trying to change!

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Beginning! (Of the Epic Summer Road Trip)

Someone didn't want to sit in his car seat.

Friday, July 7 Drive from Home to Sacramento


Certain moments during the beginning of the epic road trip felt unreal. This was the first one. I almost couldn't believe that I actually had the car packed (and the trash taken out, and the fridge cleaned out, and the dishes done, and...). I found myself thinking, No way! This is it? I'm really driving away from my house and won't be back for a month? I can't believe I didn't have a melt-down!

My niece, who was staying with me for a few weeks, was helpful with Davey. I firmly believe that babies should be held as much as possible. I'd like to do that holding, but I don't have the leisure of holding Davey all the time like I did with Lilli. In order to accomplish anything, I usually have to have someone hold Davey. My niece did a wonderful job.

I started a few hours after my target departure time. But this is normal for me, so I didn't get stressed or upset about it. Google says you can make the drive between home and my grandma's house in about five hours. Darren can. And my dad can. But the kids and I can do it in about nine hours. Eight if we're lucky.







Saturday, July 8
Visiting Grandma and Friends


Darren has weekends off of work, so he came up from Modesto. We were so glad to see him! He took the kids to the library. We spent lots of time with Grandma and her foster pup, Cali. We also had Uncle Jason and his boys over for dinner and swimming. The kids played hard.




Sunday, July 9
Citrus Heights Ward

I love the church's LDS Tools app. We looked for the closest LDS chapel and picked the 11:00 Sacrament meeting so I could sleep in not get up early. I didn't think I knew anyone in that particular ward. I was surprised to discover that I knew, or had connections to, about seven people and families there!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Things that surprised me about being apart

We are two weeks into Darren's internship. So far it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. At least for me. I think that it has been harder on Darren being away from us.

I've been surprised at how much more I can do now that I can't depend on Darren. It makes me feel like I'm really lazy when he's around! Darren says that he misses taking care of me, which makes me feel better about myself (and kind of special). But I think it's good for me to have to depend on myself for a little while. Maybe I'll be a stronger partner when we're together again.

Speaking of stronger! It's been seven months since surgery and this past week I hit a new level of healing. I can jog again! (When necessary...) And I can bend over again! You don't realize how often you bend over until you can't do it. Pretty much everything below my waist has been effectively out of reach for the past year because the energy expenditure for bending over was huge. I bent over all the time, of course, because: kids, life, gravity, etc. It is so nice to be able to bend down (and stand back up) without a ton of effort. And I'm thrilled to be able to do a (highly modified) sun salute again. ♥


Another thing I've been surprised by is how hard weekends are. I thought the school days would be hard (I don't do getting up and getting out the door very reliably), and the weekends would be easy. But by 4pm on Saturday, I was out of my mind and the kids couldn't settle down and be obedient. Next weekend I'm going to try to have a little more structure... though I'm not sure how, because I'm really bad at routines and schedules. And I have to remember to give the kids one on one time more often. I think that will help.


One last thing that has surprised me so far, is that this summer apart is already turning out to not be anything like single parenting, or coping with a deployment. Yes, I'm physically without a partner. But I get so much support from him, constantly, that I'm not weighed down by his physical absence as much as I thought I would be. (Don't worry, My Love, I still miss you and can't wait to snuggle!) We are able to leave messages for each other throughout the day, and call frequently, Between text messages, Voxer, Marco Polo, Google Hangouts, and regular calls we probably communicate daily just as much as we did when he was only a few miles away at school or work. Also, he's not on the other side of the world, or the country. We get to visit him every other week or so.


There are still really hard moments. I yelled too much this weekend. And there are hours moments when I just can't pull it together. But there are angels all around us. They come and hold my baby, or have my kids over to play. So, this adventure is turning out to be a good experience so far.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Our Family Names


It's funny how names and titles evolve within a family unit. While I was growing up I always thought of my two youngest sisters as the Little Girls. But once they were in high school that name didn't apply very well.

When Darren and I were new parents we called each other The Daddy, The Mommy, and The Lilli. Then we added The Boy. And now we have two of The Boy and it is harder to tell who we're talking about.

When we're talking to 2Flowers, we can refer to The Boys or The Little Brothers. And when we're talking to Davey, we refer to The Big Kids (or Brother and Sister). But poor Oreo, stuck in the middle and part of both groups, doesn't have any characteristic that sets him apart and puts the other two in a group.

He also has to share some of the special names that Daddy had given him. 2Flowers was Little One (though now she prefers Munchkin, which Daddy never remembers, but which Uncle Jeremy always does), Oreo was Little Guy and, more recently, Buddy. But Davey gets called Buddy sometimes, which confuses Oreo.

Davey is still pretty new around here though, so I'm sure the names will evolve more and hopefully settle down with everyone having a unique term of endearment. At least from Daddy. I tend to call everyone Honey or Sweetie with no particular consistency. Even Darren lately!

Maybe I should look for something special to call each child. There are so many fun ones to choose from: Honeycomb, Pumpkin, Cupcake, Acushla (which means something like darling).

What do you think of Huckleberry for Oreo? For 2Flowers I like Cinnamon, but I think she would be in heaven if I called her Kitten. And for Davey, I think Honeysuckle has lots of meaning, but I don't think he'll like it later.

Or I could tap into the Spanish name:, Corazon, Muñequita, Querido/a, Pollito, Mi hijito/a, Mi chiquito/a. What about Bomboncito/a? I think the kids might like to call each other that given their current sense of humor and how it feels coming off the tongue.

I couldn't help but find a few things I might like to call Darren (who doesn't actually need a new term of endearment), like Cariño or Mi amado.


What do you call the people in your family?


Need ideas? I liked these lists:
Dictionary.com Terms of Endearment,
Oxford Dictionaries Historical Terms of Endearment,
Oxford Dictionaries Obsolete Terms of Endearment
New Republic Terms of Endearment
FluentU Spanish Nicknames
FluentU Spanish Terms of Endearment