Since Curls and Red have birthdays five days apart, this year we did back to back sleepovers the first weekend after school started. Our friends told us we were crazy. They weren’t wrong. But we were crazy armed with our medicine. And that made all the difference.
Before Prozac, just one kid sleeping over would make me anxious. A series of questions would run through my brain. How do I tell a kid the rules in our house without upsetting them? Will they tell their parents and then an angry parent will call and yell at me? When is it okay to tell them to go to bed? Should I just let the kids stay up and resign myself to a night of no sleep? Anxiety doesn’t just attack my social skills. It also tells me that I am uptight because I can’t stop cleaning while the party is going on. Just leave the damn food, plates, and anything else alone because people are having a good time. Don’t make them feel bad for enjoying themselves while you pick up.
Now that I am taking my Prozac, I am equipped to handle them. This past weekend’s sleepovers consisted of 4 kids staying each night, not including Curls and Red. But instead of my subconscious bullying me, I was able to enjoy their personalities (funny, polite, and sweet) and let them do their own thing. I let them know when they needed to wash their hands before meals and dessert, throw away their own trash, and keep food and drinks in the kitchen. I also made it clear that if they needed anything at all, to just let us know. They were there to have fun and we wanted to make sure they were comfortable in our home. I also didn’t stress about what time they went to bed as long as they played quietly past 10 pm so the neighbors wouldn’t call the cops (let them save that ruckus for their twenties and college).
If I started to feel my body hum with nerves, I would throw away used paper plates and napkins. I would wipe down counters, put shoes by the door, pick up stinky socks, and wipe down bathrooms. Cleaning calms my brain and centers me and I need all the tools in my brain arsenal that I can get.
Were back to back sleepovers still tiring and difficult? Hell yes. But hubby and I teamed up, planned well, and tried to have humor and patience. I hope the kids remember the party as a great time and not crabby parents asking at 2 am to keep it down.
If you’re a parent, do you do sleepovers? Do you love or hate them? My BFF does sleepovers pretty much every weekend for my niece and nephews and I would like to nominate her for sainthood.
I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!
A lion is known for being powerful, courageous, and fierce. They have strong personalities, are very social, and live in groups. The male lions are filled with vitality and affection and protect members of their pride. As you turn nine, you are all these things. You are the lion of our family.
When you started a new school this year, we never worried about you making friends or adjusting. You showed strength and courage and now have a group of friends you can be silly with and even took an after school comedy improv class (which you loved). You will talk to pretty much anybody once you are comfortable in your surroundings. Your strong personality means everybody knows who you are from teachers to parents to kids. If somebody is in your circle, you will make sure that person knows they are loved. Hugs and arms slung around shoulders for your friends and kisses for mom, dad, and puppies. And you will stand up and protect friends and family without even thinking about it.
Your new favorite video game is Undertale and you haven’t even played it yet (but Fortnite is a close second). Tacos are still life but you have made room for bean and cheese burritos. You were brave and tried jalapenos in Seattle this summer and it didn’t end well for you (don’t worry, you will laugh about it when you’re older).
At 9 years old you are the most energetic person we love. But when it’s time for bed during the week you obediently turn on your Legend of Zelda meditation on YouTube, pull down your bed, lay on your back, close your eyes, and are asleep within five minutes. You do chores for the most part without having to be asked more than once. You still want to be a video game maker but could just as easily be center stage hamming it up.
You are a ferocious lion that loves his video games, tacos (with a side of bean and cheese burritos), and his friends. You have a heart of gold. Happy birthday Red. We love you.
You are 11 today and you will be receiving your letter from Hogwarts, even though anybody who knows you already sees you as magical. You like to draw characters from the books you read while listening to Panic! At the Disco. You take BuzzFeed quizzes all day and LD Shadow Lady, Thomas Sanders, and Percy Jackson are on your rotation on YouTube.
Your favorite is still mac and cheese, especially Red Robin. When we went and got ice cream at Thrifty’s after we saw Eighth Grade, you informed me mint chip is the best. You are at the beginning of figuring out your way in life, even if you remain tight lipped about it (which is normal but drives your mother crazy).
You are starting to embrace your womanhood with your love of cheese and bread. You also announced that you wanted a a cat and said hairless would be fine when we told you Mom and Dad are allergic.Things that you are impressed by are dope or legit and will playfully tell me to “get wrecked.” I can see hints of the teenager you will become when you lose your temper or I do anything that will embarrass you in public.
I tell anyone that will listen how smart you are. But when your dad called you a social justice warrior recently I realized how right he was. When you see something on the news or social media that you know is not right, you get angry. You hate to see people being mistreated and have no problem vocalizing that. You aren’t leading protests or standing up for the rights of others just yet but I see that in your future. Being a good person is who you are. Don’t ever forget that.
We have thrown a lot of change at you your 10th year and you have handled it well. We are proud of our smart, funny, and strong girl. You are dope af.
On Monday, August 13, 2018, I will have a fourth and sixth grader. Summer will continue to make us sweat buckets, visit Soak City, and eat all the ice cream. But our Summer Bucket Listhas been completed and there were many lessons learned during #WilsonSummer2018. Curls and Red started summer camp for the first time this year and it is the GREATEST. A side lesson from that is I now know that it is practically impossible to write when the kids are home (for me at least-props to writers that can do that!). And I will never ever regret doing anything and everything with my kids (and be incredibly grateful that I can):
Father of the Bride (1950) in the park
Red went on his first plane ride this summer and he was a PRO
His name is Filson and he is just another example of why dogs are the greatest and we will never be good enough for them. We exchanged addresses in Seattle and will become life long paw pals.
Little Lending Libraries remind me of the good in the world
My crowning achievement as a mother will be that I raised readers (even on vacation)
This was the first summer my anxiety didn’t take over any time Curls and Red were near water. Two thumbs up.
I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!
Last week marked the one year anniversary since I started taking Prozac. I have changed so much in that time. My brain before Prozac was the house that lay dormant with sheets covering all of the furniture. Prozac has gone around and turned on all the lights, removed the sheets, and aired it out by opening the windows. The more sunshine that comes in, the more I feel myself. I feel as if the parts of me that needed fixing are starting to mend. I have more patience, I am more open, and I am not beating myself up on a daily basis. When anxiety starts to build up I am more often than not able to reign it in.
It’s exhausting being defensive and thinking that when a friend, family member, or even a stranger acts negatively towards you that you automatically think you did something wrong. But I did just that for 42+ years (and honestly don’t know how I’m not taking a nap right now). Having that disappear gives me the opportunity to be empathetic. I’m taking my time back and using it for more positive things. Prozac and mindfulness have done that for me.
Social media is still and probably always will be a struggle. There are days where I want to share my life, good and bad. I want to engage with others, other days I just want to hide from it all so I can’t be judged (which is mostly coming from inside my own head).
I want to be an author first and always. I have focused on getting through my anxiety by writing. When I get overwhelmed with mindfulness, putting thoughts down on paper has helped. But I also have felt selfish and self centered by writing about this. Who am I to play the victim and be sad about life? But ultimately I have realized I needed to go through this to come out on the other side. I sometimes still feel alone in my feelings. Prozac has taught my brain that is not the case but my heart still feels different. I am not pushing for a change of heart as I know that wall will become even stronger the more my brain tries to huff and puff it down. It will change in time and that will have to be enough.
The Should and Shouldn’t Have families are starting to wear out their welcome as I am putting on my pajamas to give them the hint. Just in the last few weeks I have started asking, “Well, why can’t I do that?” or “Why do I have to do that?” It sounds so corny and cheesy but I am starting to like myself. It’s a foreign feeling for someone who is constantly thinking of new ways to improve herself. I definitely should have sought help sooner but strangely I don’t have any regrets. I am just so happy that I finally feel “normal.”
I have learned that my emotions will change day to day. One day I will feel on top of the world, ready to accomplish anything. Others I will be frustrated with life and feel like I will never achieve anything. I know I am not alone in this and that in itself is huge. Now I can focus on finding the strength to keep going. I know I can write a book that will be successful. It’s holding onto that thought day in and day out, that is my goal.
I don’t know if I will change anybody’s mind about mental health, but getting the help I needed has been life changing for me. Thank you for reading.
After a week apart, the cousinsand their mom came down to California to spend some more time with us:
Swimming at Grandma and Papas
Our favorite water park, Soak City
Downtown Disney (there is a lot of construction going on due to Star Wars land so it was wonderfully quiet. And if you haven’t been to Wonderground Gallery, make sure you check it out the next time you are there)
Anaheim Packing District
Selfies at the mall
Churros and ice cream at Churroholic
Do you go on vacation with family? Do you like to have a set schedule or do you just like to relax? I am definitely ready to relax on a beach next summer!
I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!
Cousins will remind you of the dumb stuff you did as a kid. Cousins will be there for you when you need them. Cousins can be somebody you consider to be a friend and not just because you’re related. And cousins can also grow up to be family that you want to go on vacation with every year, no matter how near or far you are. For Curls and Red, I hope it is the latter. For a second year, the hubby and I took the kids on vacation with his sister (who is also my BFF) and her family. They live on the East Coast so we don’t get to see them as much as we would like. We met up in Seattle for a week and then they came down to Southern California for another five days. The kids got along like no time has passed and had a blast.
The Seattle Center is where the Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture, Pacific Science Center, and Chihuly Garden & Glass are all located. We used our CityPassthat we had purchased beforehand to help us save on the cost.
Seattle Center’s “Artists at Play” (A really cool play area that all the kids loved):
Museum of Pop Culture (a place we could have spent hours in and it wouldn’t have been enough):
Pike Market (a Seattle staple):
Pioneer Square (We did a lot of walking in Seattle-35 miles-and this was one of the coolest areas we walked around after we did the Underground Tour):
Cruise (A very informative and relaxing cruise but I suspect most of the kids were more interested in the snacks and Italian sodas that were made for them):
First ever Starbucks (Long line, same drinks, nice employees, and added to my growing cold drink cup collection):
Seattle Great Wheel (I can boast that I was the only adult in our group brave enough to go on with the kiddos):
Pop Funko Headquarters (a 45 minute bus ride to the town of Everett where the kids ran from section to section which included DC, Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc. They also made their own custom Pop Funko):
Stay Tuned until Friday where we show them our favorite places in Orange County!
MY GIRL MET LD SHADOW LADY AND SHE WAS OVER THE MOON
PRACTICING OUR FACEBOOK REACTIONS IRL
SNEAK PREVIEW OF TEEN TITANS GO TO THE MOVIES
You know that part in Pinocchio where he goes to Pleasure Island and sees the boys having the time of their lives and then they start turning into donkeys? That’s what VidCon reminded me of (minus the donkey tails). My Curls got to meet and listen to her favorite Youtubers. Red went crazy for all the obstacle courses. It was a Winter Wonderland, Carnival, and Disneyland all brought to you by sponsors looking to catch this generation’s attention.
I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!
It has been a jam packed summer at the Wilson house. We did Seattle at the end of June, followed by Fourth of July smack in the middle of the week, and then cousins from the East Coast came to visit last week. It didn’t leave much time for writing which left me grumpy but grateful for vacations, holidays, and family.
You know how when you walk into Target/the mall/the grocery store and you have that talk with your kids? The “we are only here for ___________ and that’s it?” And they nod like they are actually listening and understand what you are saying?
But five minutes later you are a fire breathing dragon screaming, “No, you cannot have that!”
Well parents, I have the convention for you. From June 20th til June 23rd, VidCon enthralled kids of all ages at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. VidCon was created by Vlogbrothers John and Hank Green as a conference for online video creators. Tickets are not cheap (we did the early bird special and they were $100/each but Red was free because he is under 9) but what we got in return made for a magical experience. And my favorite part was that all I had to pay for was parking and food. Everything we saw, everything we did, and everyone we met were included in the cost of our tickets:
STUFF WE DID
DOUBLE DARE OBSTACLE COURSE (MY EXCITEMENT MAY HAVE EXCEEDED THE KIDS)
CURLS LIVING HER BEST LIFE PLAYING PIE FACE
READY FOR BATTLE
DREAMS DO COME TRUE
INVISALIGN HAD A TRAMPOLINE WITH GLITTER AND IT WASN’T WEIRD AT ALL
LARGEST INDOOR INFLATABLE COURSE (ONLY A YOUNG MAN’S GAME, FYI)
Check back on Friday for Part Two and have a great Hump Day!
I handed the girl the picture from the magazine with a hopeful smile. She set it down on her station and started running her fingers through my hair. I was 13 years old and had been growing my hair out for a few years. I was excited for my new style after being tormented at school about what my hair looked like (I will never forget a boy coming up to me just to say “your hair looks terrible”). I kept my eyes closed as the stylist cut, dried, and applied product. And when she announced, “I’m done,” I looked in the mirror. I wanted to cry. It looked nothing like the picture. It was feathered, not straight. I didn’t look like the girl in the magazine. Were my expectations too high back then? Definitely. But I was an awkward teen with braces and glasses and just wanted to feel pretty.
Over the years my hair has been down the middle of my back long, pixie short, and everything in between. I have had bangs and no bangs. I’ve dyed my hair raspberry pink (for my sister’s wedding no less to make sure I never forget it), had blonde highlights, and am currently considering letting the gray take over to finally accept that they aren’t going anywhere. I have had some great haircuts but also a lot of bad ones.
Finding and loving a hair stylist is where my anxiety likes to take over. When I go to a new salon I have done my research (via Yelp) and taken recommendations from friends. I explain what I want and hope for the best. Some times I love it and say so. But if I don’t, I give a nervous smile, pay, and don’t schedule another appointment.
I know getting a haircut can be a trivial act in the grand scheme of life. I should be able to voice my opinion when I’m not happy. But I immediately go back to being that awkward teenage girl and just focus on not crying until I am in my car. I will eventually accept that I have to start over and grow out my hair again. And this is coming from the girl who went to the Vidal Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica in the late 90s and asked for the “Rachel.” It ended as well as you would expect and 20 years later I can laugh about it (a little).
Do you have a stylist you trust? Do you like to try new styles or color?