the boy, his arm and the guilt.

the boy has been bouncing on the trampoline for years.  since he was a small chubby little guy.

 

he has always gone out there on his own and would just jump, up and down on his own for the longest time.  it has always been like he goes in a zone, time in his own head, scheming and imagining.  it would calm him, it has always been his go to when he got shooed outside.

well, yesterday was the day that came to an end, snap.
the boy broke his arm.

yes, it was bound to happen
yes, trampolines are an accident waiting to happen
no, there is not a net around it
yes, i am an awful mom

so now that we have gotten that out of the way.

it went down like this, the first day of summer break, the boy got shooed outside and off fortnite. jumping away he goes, and attempts the cardinal trampoline sin, a flip.  doesn’t land the flip and snap, just like a pencil snapping as he would describe it.

Clean break of both bones in his forearm.

where am i? work.
i get a picture message of the snapped S shaped arm, ummmm so gross!  i will spare you posting it here. gross, and not what you want to see pop up on your message from your kid.  him laying his head on the table with his S shaped arm = mild heart attack.

at that exact moment i was out and about running errands, not in my car i might add.  so i need to get back to work.

this is when it went by really fast.
I am: 
trying to pull over to try to talk to him
he is in route to the er
i am calling the ortho office
sending a picture of the insurance card
my boy is in pain and i am not able to get right to him.

by the time i get back to work and i can get to my car to make the 30 minute drive to the hospital, the boy is being numbed up and are ready to cast him.
so no point in me racing there, he is on his way home with a quarter pounder.

i finish up my work, head to drug mart to get him some necessities and head home.
i walk in the door, he comes right up to me before i am in and just hugs me.  he is a wreck!  my boy is so upset…queue the mom guilt, like a water pipe just burst and the mom guilt is shooting directly at me.  my boy is so stinking mad at himself for this injury.  he had big plans this summer.

The numbing is wearing off, he is in pain and he is beating himself up.
I am beating myself up
+
I have allowed the trampoline all these years
=

I am the worst mom in the world 

I wasn’t there when it happened, I wasn’t there to take him to the hospital, I wasn’t there to have him squeeze my hand when it hurt, I wasn’t there when they gave him the Novocaine shots, I wasn’t there when they showed the xray, I wasn’t there to tell him it was going to be ok, I wasn’t there when he picked his cast color, I wasn’t there when they casted it, I wasn’t there to make the follow up appointment, I wasn’t there to get him the quarter pounder meal after (that is probably a good thing).

yes, it is dangerous, honestly my whole back yard/home is a danger zone.
we have:
a climber set
an above ground pool
scooters
basketball hoop
bikes
slip and slides
sprinklers
pogo sticks
the list goes on and on.

Every single time they walk out that door to play, an accident can happen.  I cant switch my mindset to wrapping them in a bubble and sending them off, unless they are those fun bubble balls you slam into each other in!

Accidents are always going to happen, I just have to
pray
pray
pray
and have faith that they have been raised well enough to make decisions that can keep them safe as possible.  Yes, a flip on the trampoline is a dumb decision. the rule is no flips.  An accident happened, it could have been worse, it could have been better.  Either way I cant lock him up.  I want him to live, I want him to do his thing, get dirty, take risks (not crazy risks, but some risks) and he learned from this risk.  So I will take a broken bone and the lesson he learned.  I don’t have to punish him, he is doing that to himself.  A great lesson in choices, because he is going to be making choices for the rest of his years.

As for me, the guilt is going away, it wasn’t like he drove himself to the hospital, he was in good hands with his dad, who is calm, calm, calm in these situations.  There is a reason I wasn’t there, because I most likely would have yaked, cried and been a wreck.  That being said, the mom guilt is still strong and hopefully in 25 years, when they are grown and visiting me at my beach house, (because that is the only way I will get them to visit me) this will be a mom guilt story i will be crying tears of laughter from.

the quiet time

i dont have a zenny candle burning
i am not drinking a warm mug of tea or coffee
i am super comfy on the couch. 


i got up early this morning to run and since there was a sprinkling of precipitation, i just could not go outside and do that.  i am a complete fair weather runner, always have been, and running in the dark and rain, well i just dont do it.  i need to have really good conditions. 

so i am taking that time to sit and listen to the rain hit the side of the house, the splashing sound when the cars fly by, which they do a 5:34am and my favorite, the birds tweeting waking up the sun. im hoping the sun comes here soon or maybe it is just going to be a rainy day.  

either way i am thrilled!  i am up early, showered and taking some quiet time.  i am hopeful in 20 years i will be able to do this often, and if all goes as it is in my master plan, it will be waves i hear crashing in the background not splashing cars, but for now this is one of those things i wont take for granted.

generally, i just dont wake up well, i am a snoozer, i love to hit snooze and the next thing i know i am running behind in time, so rushing people and myself along.  

i also do not get many moments where i can just sit here on the couch and listen and be. it is pretty much never that there isnt a person here with me on the couch, or dancing around in the kitchen or heck, even yelling from their bedroom.  most often someone is telling me what is needed, where i am supposed to go, or what it is they would like to do. 

i highly recommend this, waking early and taking in the day. it needs to  something i do more mornings.  wake early and relish in the morning, the morning waking up with me.  

upstairs the people are beginning to stir, alarms are starting to go off, sleepy, shuffling steps are being taken.  sleepy chewy is looking at me like, it is time.   i am hearing the mumbled annoyance in voices that will lead to raised voices to ‘get up!’ and then even louder ‘i am!’ 

today i am grateful for this morning, i was able to sneak down the stairs and have an early morning chat with Alexa:
‘Alexa, hallway light 50%’
     ‘ok, hallway light 50%’
‘Alexa, level 2’…jeeze why does she yell at me so early!  dont wake the people! 
‘Alexa, play quiet music.’
     she responds in a whisper, ‘here is mellow folk, from amazon music’.
‘thanks, Alexa’. 

she never gets the thanks, Alexa, since i am saying Alexa second, i hope she  knows i am thankful.  

 

Road Tripping

Wow… we just pulled in from a great, warm sun filled vacation.  The last days unexpected twist was the road trip part of it all.  I watched airfare for the past month, looking at every combo of days and cities and for the number of people to fly, well it was just not in the trying to pay off everything budget.  I really did not want to give up my week in the sun, so grateful for the generous company I work for we had the house in Naples for 7 sunny days pool/beach side was what I very, very much needed.  More on that  in a later post, this post is all about road tripping with 4 kids and how to make it manageable.

This wasn’t our first OH -> FL trek. We have driven there multiple times to Disney, but we were going a bit further this time, Naples, so adding another 3-4 hours on the trip.  Also, in previous trips the kids were smaller, not just in age, but in height.  We have driven to Hilton Head several times, but 12 hours is a lot more doable than 22, but like I said, I was determined to get to the sun.

Here are some tips when traveling with big and little kids, since it is a mix in my car: get on the road when they can sleep.  Not everyone agrees with this one, but it works great for us.  they are excited to go, happy to wake up in the middle of the night and shuffle into the car.  I always have great intentions to be packed and ready to get sleep and then start the trek, but well, my intentions are always good.  Either way, the plan is usually to leave about 3am and it ends up being 4.  I drive first, pop headphones in and tune into a podcast, this trip I was getting caught up on this one, started this one and this one I just love! 🙂

I get us about 5 hours in, just into West Virginia and watch the sun come up over the hills, we then need gas and make the switch.  It works well and we are well into the journey by the time any kids are stirring.  Any other driver switches are done on the fly, usually at a gas station while filling up or just pulling off an exit, a quick run around the car, and back onto the freeway.  It is like we are a well versed pit crew.

stop for 1 meal –  like get out of the car and stretch those legs.  Most times we are blasting right through, this trip was a bit different on the way down, we were heading to North Carolina to check out all of the One Tree Hill spots, so we were just plowing through to get there.

On the way out we ate on the go, in the car.  I loaded up on Spark for the second half of my driving and we blasted through.  On the way home we did it a bit different, drove all night, again, blasting through, so we did do the early morning stop for breakfast at Bob Evans.  Everyone slept on and off through the night and was stirring with about  4 hours to go in the trip, so it was a perfect time for a breakfast break.

put the bigger kids in the way back –  I love my car, and one of the things I love is the 2 captains seats in the middle row that allows for an aisle down the middle.  The 2 big kids, which now means they are taller in height too, head straight for the back.  They switch on and off stretching their legs down the middle and falling into a nook in the floor, but it works for them back there.  Yes, there is always the argument of someone’s feet coming up into the front 2 seats to the younger kids,  J is mad at someone for touching her arm rest with their foot, but overall, having the 2 bigger ones in the back works best.

devices, just let them have them –  They do all pick movies and watch  together, but iPod’s, iPhone’s & iPads are in high demand during the travel.  Yes, I could be that mom that finds the fun travel games, license plate bingo etc, but honestly, that is going to end bad.  Someone is going to think they saw it first or it will get too competitive and a fight will break out.  We are on our way for quality family time, so I am totally on board for them to have their head in a device on the road.  It turns out they don’t use them the whole time, actually, they get bored with it as with everything else.  Chargers are key here, portable chargers that can be used to reload those batteries during movie time and chargers for every outlet,  keep those devices charged.  I cant tell you how many time in our 50+ hours in the car did I hear, I need to plug in.  Pull out all the cords, all the portable chargers you have picked up over the years and get them all in a big ziplock bag to keep handy and keep charging.  Rotate the devices and the chargers and don’t let the device with the GPS get low!

speaking of ziplock bags, keep some in the glove box –  Those mountain roads get curvy and if it is during the day and a kid is coloring, while expect the car sickness and puking to come soon after.  I learned this one the hard way years ago in Virginia which had me running into a Target in flip flops buying some new pj’s.  Keep those wipes and ziplock bags handy in case the car sickness strikes.  Nothing worse that a packed car that smells like puke.

my favorite part – there are more laughs than tears.  I love that they are having sibling road trip memories together, squished in together, sometimes actually snuggling, laughing and watching movies (usually a Disney movie!) together.

Looking that rear view mirror and seeing them together and knowing they have these memories, stories and treasures in their heart to tell years later fills my heart so stinking full!  I can picture it now, sitting on the outdoor patio, together, years later, they are in college probably one still high school, tears of laughter rolling down our faces as they tell the war stories of traveling 24+ hours in the car together.

get out in South Carolina – Just do it, it doesn’t matter if it is a rest stop, Starbucks or shopping plaza, getting out in South Carolina and taking in that amazing, fresh smelling, moss in the trees, salt water air is so so good for the soul, or at least mine.  Each and every time I have crossed into South Carolina a sense of peace falls over me and my heart feels full.  If you are heading that way, do yourself a favor and stop off for a breather in South Carolina.  It can be simply for just minutes, just take in that air.

what I expected


22 days in alcohol free, which is

3 weekends and 12 basketball games.

so there is that, but what i am most shocked about is the expectations i had on this journey and how off i was! let me preface this with I always have the most ginormous expectations, with anything.  with people, with events, heck any darn day of the week, I have ridiculous expectations.
here are just a few that have me shocked thus far on this journey.

expectation #1:
relaxing, I mean what can be more relaxing then being sober and not having the stress of drinking and mom shame?  i had thought being sober would be the answer to that question!  being sober is NOT relaxing me, not one bit.  there was just something about getting that first drink in me after a game or anything that had me stressed out or had caused me anxiety.  right about when the first glass was empty and moving through my blood stream and the second one was on the way did I start to ‘unwind’.  how awful is that?  the first week in, the first basketball game into this journey was a close one, a frustrating one, an extremely frustrating one.  at the end I was annoyed, angry, and completely tense and stressed out.  I had anxiety not only my own but for my kid, which if you have kids, you know, is even worse.  I was worried about her, stressed about her, stressed for her, concern for her, every mom feeling when you know your kid is struggling with multiple issues was moving through me.  my head was not stopping, thoughts and conversations were running through my brain and I have said it before, inside my head is not a fun place to be, it just doesn’t stop.  the usual crew was going out after the game and I wanted to go.  I was and still am determined I am going to still do the things I did prior to 1/1, just not drinking and this was going to be my first one.  my goal is to be the most fun sober person you have been around!  I went, I ordered my water drink and I missed that release, that release off the glass of wine and the stress subsiding. although the time did come when the stress subsided, it is defiantly longer, like a day or 2, but drinking or not drinking that stress returns, and goes right back to where it was, so clearly the alcohol does not end the anxiety, just dulls it a bit, but i will say it is nice not having 2 sets of anxiety the next morning, meaning the stress being back and the anxiety of the day/night prior. 
   

expectation #2, well this is more of a miss:
I miss the funniness (is that a word?) and/or stories.  I am not certain how to describe this.  one of the main reasons I wanted to stop drinking is I didn’t want that to be my identity.  that being said, last weekend when I was out with a friend people were giving her shit because she was hammered the night before and everyone was laughing about it.  I got a pang of… im not going to call it sadness or jealousy, but a pang of ‘oh that is not me they are laughing about’.  which doesn’t even make freaking sense, that was one of the main reasons I wanted to make this shift and then here I am kind of sad I wont get to have a funny, snarky come back to a drunk story.  when that was me, and it often was,  I always felt shame, silly, like what is wrong with you that everyone can go out and hold their booze.  I was having all those feelings for her when the dialogue was happening.  but I was also having a ‘ohh I want a funny story, that is why they hang out with you and they are not going to anymore if you dont do something fun or silly’ feeling. it was almost like I was having ‘the grass isn’t greener on the other side’ feeling, but it is supposed to be greener because I am doing something that is better for me and my family.   this one has me super confused and I think will evolve over time.  goodness knows that I can still have the your stupid story the next day without booze, I will have it from saying something stupid, booze or no booze I will piss someone off I suppose.  anyway, stay tuned on that what I miss. 

expectation #3:
how about drink ordering, I thought I was going to be all sly with this one.  I didn’t want not drinking to be a ‘hing. I didn’t really even want anyone to know I wasnt drinking anymore, my goals was to just slide under the radar.  I had planned, I knew what I was going to order and it was going to look like a drink, so it would never be questioned.  it didn’t work out that way.  I feel like each and every time I ordered a drink prior to 1/1 no one was paying attention.  I always just spoke with my server and asked for what I wanted just her and I.  now it seems that is still the process, oh but now it gets dead silent while I am doing so!  everyone I am with stops talking and waits, then hears my drink request. they look at me and say, ‘oh, you are doing that cleanse thing.’ so that makes it just kind of ok.  that is the perception of how this started, because i am committed to the one/80 I am just not drinking.   I just never validated or explained anything more, so I am still on that cleanse thing as far as they are concerned.  So 22 days into my ‘cleanse’ and doing great.  but then I eat, like not the healthiest and they say ‘oh good cleanse’ again, I just do not validate or explain. 

expectation #4:

I had the ridiculous expectation that on january 2nd I would wake up feeling amazing!  as with anything,  I wanted instant results, just like I do with pretty much everything in my life.  I say I am eating clean, my expectation is the next day I will be down 10lbs and look and feel amazing, this expectation was no different than any other I have had.  I am done drinking alcohol, therefor I will feel amazing the next day, right?

wrong.

I felt worse and honestly 22 days in and I am still not feeling great.  I am tired, forgetful, chubby and just blah.  I feel like I am in a state off fogginess.  
why?  
I am supposed to be all rainbows and sunshine right now.  I am doing something with only positive results,  why do I feel like shit?
expectation #5

sleep, i am going to sleep so well.  at night, I get my diffuser going with lavender and/or some type of peaceful, calming blend.  I have passed up the melatonin for a meditation app, I listen to my podcasts but still sleeping terribly.  
I have tried sleeping more,
I have tried sleeping less 
I cant fall asleep at night
I sleep very restless
I wake up during the night 
and then when the alarm does go off I feel awful and not rested so I sleep late.  I cant get myself out of bed early, which is what I want.  I want to take advantage of the quite hours in the morning and start my day with a quite sunrise, maybe reading something to inspire me for the day, get a morning workout in and I just cant do it.  I want to, like I really, really want to but the long and the short is I slept better before.  that is frustrating to me. 
expectation #6

how about skin, and health wise.  not that sleep isn’t health but not drinking, again, I thought I would just feel better.  I thought my skin would glow since I would be so hydrated from drinking water all night.  seriously, when I am out I am drinking over 100oz of water, I mean that has to be flushing some serious toxins out of me, right?  nope, not feeling that way.  surprisingly I don’t feel bloated the next day, but I don’t feel great either.  when I was drinking I would wake up the next day totally dehydrated, of course.  I would be woken up in the middle of the night with the death cotton mouth in search of my water bottle and chug every last drop.  that next day, I wouldn’t feel terrible, getting hung over didn’t happen to me often, really often times I felt great and was super happy because the scale would be down, a significant amount of pounds down. after a good night out or an awesome weekend I would be feeling great because I had lost a good amount of weight.  while I understand it was just my body dehydrated, it was something.  my stomach was less bloated, my pants fit better so in turn I felt better.  that feeling is gone and I am fully hydrated the next morning.  I expected that, but I was expecting to feel great too and have some glowing skin.  not happening, so again frustration. 

what i love:
I do love not feeling remorse the next day

I do love not having any type of feeling sick the next day

I do love not wanting grease when I wake up 

I do love my bar tab, although I am just playing more keno now, so there really isnt much of a win there. 🙂

I do love my water drink mix

I do love I can drive home

I do love coming home and going to bed feeling proud of myself

I do love coming home and talking to my kids

I do love that they may just seem proud of me or maybe I should say not annoyed with me when I get home.   
Prior to 1/1 when they would call or text asking when I would be home, I would start to have the shame and guilt set in, the I have to switch to ‘focus so you don’t sound confused, focus and articulate’.  heck, now I may be making zero sense to them and still disappoint, but at least I know and they know, I am doing it alcohol free.

Im not sure how this journey will go, I will say,

as with anything it hasn’t been as expected, but as I have learned, it is a journey of day by day. 

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