Friday, December 17, 2010

'Tis the Season.

Back in November I set up some guidelines for Holiday season sanity, to refresh:

-No crying (at least not of the sad, we-have-no-money kind, tears of joy are allowed.)
-No stressing (aka no skipping the gym for this girl.)
-No present buying for anyone but the 'rents and the kids. Period. (I have a problem with gift giving...I enjoy it way too much.)

I can't say I haven't cried since this was posted, but I can say the times its happened has been because of my job/my own personal I guess that's a half-hearted success?

I may have given up on going to the gym where I work every night but I've been on the treadmill in our living room at least 3 times a week (and that will change to at least 5 times a week since I'm off work starting Monday til January 3rd...not my choice, but my employer's who is hemorrhaging money and cutting our budget with furlough) and I can tell it is keeping me balanced. Who knows, maybe I'll start 2011 5 pounds lighter....but I won't know, since we don't own a scale (because I would obsess every fluctuation) so I'll just have to pay attention to the way my pants fit. Which I already do that pretty obsessively anyways. Good times.

We definitely have only shopped for the kids and the parents. So good job us. Even if I am being a baby and am secretly really sad for no presents from the husband. They are always my favorite at Christmas time....but we have so many Christmas futures, and when I think about it that way, it is not a big deal. Just the fact that we get to spend so much time together this year is pretty awesome. And it probably won't happen again for a long time so I'll enjoy it while I can.

The husband is on his 3rd interview for one job, and is waiting on a call back for a teaching position he open interviewed for last night AND a friend of ours just emailed him about a possible opening at his work. There is a good chance he will have something by January, which would be a great way to start 2011.

Now, if the insane baby dreams would stop, I could have a freakin' Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ('s Eve Party....New Year's Eve is my FAVORITE.)

Til Next time.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Do step-parenting support groups exist? If so, I need to know when and where and if there isn't, I should start one.

It is not an easy job...being a part-time-sort-of-parental-type-person. You (think you) know what you are getting yourself into, but at the same time, you don't at all; every family is as different as its individuals.

You have to remember why you chose to be with your partner AND their child(ren, in my case) when the going gets tough. You are allowed to provide basic care (ie: feeding, grooming, purchasing of things to feed and clothe them with) but beyond that, it gets murky, especially if the child's other biological parent goes out of their way to be difficult on a regular basis.

You can love the child(ren) immensely, but don't expect to be well received if things come up about how they are being raised and/or taken care of when with the other parent. You can worry about them, but you can't do more than volunteer solutions to your partner when it comes to problem solving issues with the other parent.

I always said I didn't want kids, but here I am, step-parenting away, which I am honest-to-goodness starting to believe can be harder than parenting in its own way. I am convinced being a parent is the hardest role anyone can have in life, but emotionally step-parenting has to be at least, on the same page as parenting, if not more confusing at times. At least I could be 50% of the decision making if they were biologically mine. Right now, I'm about 10% of one half (I suck at math, so you figure that one out) and all I can do is give my opinion to my husband, whether he takes it or not is completely up to him....and even if he does, the mom still has veto power.

My husband and his girls were a packaged deal from day one, and I thought long and hard before we got serious about how him having kids adds an additional layer of life-complicating situations. I wouldn't trade my life right now for anything, but some sort of step-parenting manual would be helpful. Perhaps there exists a "Step-Parenting for Dummies" manual? I need to research this.

Bottom line: It is hard to care so much but keep your mouth shut at certain times. It is something I am still learning how to do 100% of the time. I try my best to be a positive role model for the girls, and enjoy the fleeting moments we get to spend as a family of four; every other weekend never seems to come soon enough.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dear Uterus,

I would REALLY appreciate it if you stopped making me yearn for something I have adamantly opposed as long as I understood the concept. It is really annoying and it is giving me crazy ass dreams to boot.

I'm a logic person, uterus, and the cons of reproducing always out weigh the pros for me, so in case you didn't get the memo, I DON"T WANT TO USE YOU TO GROW LIFE, EVER.

So if you could please stop making me weepy over babies' photos (besides my niece, I'll allow that) it would really help me....also if you stopped nagging at the back of my brain day and night that would also be nice. The rest of my brain does not agree, nor does it appreciate the constant conflicting ideas.

Mrs. Melberry

PS- I know you know what "they" say....but I'm on to you, so I'm going to contradict you til the cows come home.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day Thirty: Letter.

Dear Me,

Somewhere, somehow you grew up. You became self-reliant and (even more) independent than you had always been. You make sure the bills are paid and that there's food to eat and even though it has become apparent how grown up you are, I love how you remember being a kid, especially where your step-daughters are involved.

In the past year you have began to learn how to worry less and live more; you have learned that how you envision something is very rarely ends up in real life.... and you have accepted that you might as well stop thinking ahead on EVERYTHING. You can only plan so much, because then life happens and things will be different. Often things are so different, but still fabulous.

I love how you are learning to embrace the used to say you enjoyed it, but the truth was it terrified you, now you see uncharted territory as endless possibilities.

I love how you have began to be comfortable with who you are inside and out...which isn't an attainable goal to you but something that is a skill to hone and change as you change. I love how you have began to look at exercise as part of your lifestyle, not as something to do for a certain time span to achieve weight loss. I love how you have finally admitted you may never be smaller than you were on your wedding day, but that is okay.

I love how you focus on the positive and in an effort to make the negative melt is too short to remember the bad times.

I love how much you go above and beyond for the people who are most important to you; that you know the best thing you can do is compromise when someone doesn't see eye to eye with you and that you are slowly but surely learning how to admit you were wrong, and mean it.

Basically, I love how you have opened up to change....most people don't like change but you have admitted to yourself that people can change for the better and things you used to think you didn't want for your life are starting to make more sense....even if they scare you. A lot.

You have so much living left to do, so don't be afraid to forget the details (for once) and live in the now, because it passes faster each year.

Much Love,

So although it took me a bit longer than anticipated, I completed the 30 Days of Truth thing. I think it was a learning woo-hoo for personal growth.

Day TwentyNine: Change.

Change happens all the time, whether you like or not....whether you want it or not. I know I am different than I was a year ago, two years ago etc....although at my core I'm the same, or am I?

Driving to work this morning, after I dusted powdery snow off my car, I wasn't a ball of nerves like winter's past. The car I currently drive (and the previous one) is very compact and while I have good tires, it still isn't exactly made for snow. The past couple winters have been pretty snowy and I spent many mornings/evenings taking the long way to work; being nervous when it comes to driving in inclement weather. Not today. It didn't even hit me that I should be worried until I was almost to work on my local NPR station was broadcasting school delays. Then I didn't bother.

I want to continue this change in me....this letting go of constant, nagging worries that consume me to the point of sickness from time to time. Life is too precious to whittle it away with worrying. I'm just glad I've FINALLY accepted this, and now I can move forward and enjoy each day, even the mundane ones, to it's fullest.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Saturday Little One came to visit and to see her sister for the first time since 2007. It was a good day, besides being a little weird. Husband and I both talked to Kiddo after Little One left and she admitted it was strange, but we told her over time it wouldn't be.

I can't wait until it is just the 4 of us again....Saturday included Kiddo's Mom and my in-laws, just to cushion things a bit. The best part was when Little One asked "can I sit with you?" and we took the picture of the two of us. It is funny to think how she used to sit with me all the time when she was just over a year old....

Day TwentyEight:Prego.

What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?

According to my subconscious, I'd birth a boy child, be sad for a second about it being a boy and argue with my husband over the name (he wanted Tyler Joseph, I wanted Tyson Joseph, we would call him Ty for short, in the real-awake world, I don't even like either.) Yeah, I had my first real, live I'm pregnant dream this week. I woke up sweating and relieved. And freaked out, because of how happy I was in the dream.

I've been sitting on the procreation-is-not-for-me wagon since my girlfriends started talking about having babies when I was a teenager (not having them 16-and-pregnant style, but you know, after they married some dreamy guy, while wearing big poofy dress). I still feel this way. All the pressure to shape someone's personality and oh the worry....I can only imagine the anxiety. I worry enough about my step-daughters, and they are even babies anymore. I have a laundry list of reasons of why I don't want to be pregnant/do the mom thing and won't go out of my way to put myself in that situation, but if it were to happen unplanned is completely uncharted territory.

I used to shrug it off and simply say, I don't want kids, until people sort of got what I meant (or I just completely avoided answering if it were someone I didn't know well) but now....I have no friggen idea what I would do.


It has started simply enough. I admitted to myself I am jealous there are two women in the world who have something with my husband that I don't: offspring. It is in the back of my mind 95% of the time.

Then I remember my own childhood. The teasing and name calling and bullying and the self-hate that started at an age in the lower single digits. I don't want my (proverbial) kid to go through anything like that.

Then I remember how amazing it was to see my niece all tiny and pink minutes after she was born.

Then I think about this: what's the point of having kids and then paying someone else to watch them 40 hours a week? While at the same time thinking: I would lose my damn mind being a stay at home Mom....then I think, well, maybe I would work part time.....

Then I think of how amazing my husband is with his girls and my heart nearly explodes because it is something I really love about him.

Then I think about how fantastic our marriage is right now. And how a new study just came out that 90% of parents reported decreased marital satisfaction after having a baby. That doesn't really bode well with me.

I will admit to being a bit of a control freak. I like to plan things. Babies (once they are conceived) can only be planned in naming and preparing for them but there are so many variables: you could have a fantastic pregnancy where you feel amazing all the time or you could be puking for the first two trimesters (like my sister). Your baby could be pretty much perfect (like my niece) or a mean baby (like one of my sister's friends little one, I swear, she was scowling at my sister in a photo, no joke) you could be supremely happy in the months/year following delivering a child or plagued with postpartum depression.

So I guess I can say, in all honesty, I have absolutely no clue what I would do if I got knocked up tomorrow. And since I've been on the pill for years now....the real question is: what would I do if I WANTED to get pregnant tomorrow? And the real answer is freak the eff out, cry, and tell my husband. That is all that is for sure.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day TwentySeven: Best.

I feel like the best thing going for me right now is the compilation of all the small things going well, considering our circumstances. Or perhaps my ability to accentuate the positive? Either way, here's a list of the good:

I have a job with decent benefits that is paying our bills. My family is amazing and the fact that tomorrow my oldest step-daughter will be seeing her sister for the first time in 3 years makes my heart swell. It won't be long until we get to spend time as a family of four again.

I have some of the best friends anyone could ask for. We recently pulled off a surprise benefit for one of the sweetest women I know who is battling cancer where we made over $6700. They keep me laughing and remind me of how important it is to let loose and have fun sometimes.

I've convinced myself exercise is something I just need to do each day, sort of like brushing my teeth in the morning and before bed. Just another part of the routine. This is already helping my mood, which usually takes a nose dive when it gets cold...and then another after Christmas, since its cold AND all the holiday crap is over and there isn't much to look forward to besides spring, which sometimes doesn't come until April or May. Since I've started now, I'll continue through the dead of winter and who knows maybe even drop a size or two in the process.

You see, its all good, if you look at things in the right way.

Day TwentyFive/TwentySix: Life.

(I tend to suck at writing over the weekends, so here is two more posts to keep me on track)

The reason you believe you’re still alive today.

Besides the biological fact that my body is functioning and keeping me alive? I think I am still here because of a few very important people.

First, my bff since the 8th grade. Adolescence was hard on me, but having one person who always took my side and often defended me to others really made things bearable. Now that we are adults (so weird to say still) and I look back and feel so damn lucky to have had her. I don't know if I would have made it through high school without her. Her house was my second home, and her mom is my second mom. We don't see each other nearly as often as either of us would like, but when we do get together it always feels like it used to...besides that we work 40 hour weeks and both have husbands.

Second, my sister. I remember being 6 years old and I got to ride along with her on a errand to the grocery store (she was 16 at the time). I didn't talk much, because I didn't know what to say to her but I remember thinking to myself, someday we'll be great friends and have so much talk about. And then we were. I was 16 and she was 26 and I would spend the night with her on the weekends mostly to not have to worry about a curfew, but also just to hang out. And to get advice on things I couldn't talk to our mom about. Now I'm 26 and she's 36 and I talk to her every day, either on the phone or through messaging. She's a mom and I'm a step-mom but I sometimes spend the night at her place still, but now it's so I can play with my niece. I'm pretty much obsessed with her, and I feel like I am supposed to be here to support my sister as she raises her.....but I still get advice on things I can't talk to my mom about.

Third, my husband. I've written more times than I probably should about how we met and how he balances me so well so I won't go there again. We don't have much money, we have more scheduling/event planning issues than a conference center and our relationship isn't perfect by any means (he does this pouty-child face while he stares at the floor and doesn't say anything whenever we have a disagreement, it drives me nuts) but at the end of the day, we love each other and we face all the problems together and that makes all the difference. I still get excited to see him when I get home from work every day. He has brought me more joy than I've ever known and he's allowed me to be the part of two little girls lives in the process, which I feel like is another part of the reason I am here. I know it can't be easy on kids when their parents are not together, so I really try to be a positive influence/role model for them as much as possible and I feel like that is part of why I met the husband, it be a positive female in the lives of these little girls.

Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

Yes. Junior year of high school and because I was very depressed.

Looking back, I wish I could have known then what I know now....about how much stuff in high school doesn't matter, but I didn't. And it did matter back then; it was all that mattered. All that matters now though, is I didn't give up, I made it through, and life is so much more than 4 years spent in high school.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day TwentyFour: Playlist.

Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow-Isreal Kamakawiwo'ole
You've Got a Friend-James Taylor
All You Need is Love-The Beatles

Dear Lilly,

Growing up, I read all the Wizard of Oz books and watched the movie more times than I could count. That being said, Somewhere Over the Rainbow is a song about wishes and dreams and how great it would be to make those things come true. I hope it reminds you how important it is to dream and how wonderful dreams can be.

You've Got a Friend is a guide to knowing when someone you meet is truly a friend or foe. If this song applies to them, then you are lucky, because sometimes good, true friends can be hard to see through the fake ones. Listen to the words and then you will know.

I'm sure you will be well educated on the Beatles as you get older, but All You Need is Love is a song I hope you remember when things get rough. I hope it reminds you of where are you from and of what is truly important in life: the relationships with the people you love.

I can't wait to watch you grow up.