A military spouse lifestyle blog. Stories, tips and how-tos from behind the ACUs.

Challenge 1: Day Five

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


As my weekly challenge came to a close on Day Five, I was optimistic about remembering to stay present in the moment by sitting in the seat of self.  And boy was I tested early Friday morning.

After breakfast, stress rose when Brandon and I did a quick scan over our mega First Birthday List.  We still had many things to get done before Kennedy’s party on Sunday with only two days left to complete everything.  Thankfully, my husband is incredibly supportive, and he was eager to help me out.  As soon as we loaded the kids in the van to make a mad dash to Sam’s Club, he handed me the keys and said, “I think you should drive.  You need to go to your happy place.”  He’s a big joker, so I gave him a sarcastic smile because I knew he was just trying to get out of driving on the first day of an army holiday weekend in lieu of Columbus Day (typically bad traffic).   But I also knew that he was half-sincerely helping me clear my head so that my tension would reduce.  As soon as we pulled out of the driveway little miss birthday girl began her screaming.

I should pause here to say that Kennedy is a super screamer.  Since the day we brought her home from the hospital, she will scream until she’s beat red in the face, and she won’t stop until the car stops.  True story.  Some babies zonk out as soon as the car hits 11 miles-per-hour.  Not my daughter.  Nope.  She screams.  She has gotten better over the last few months, but she still has many of these car tantrums – and it sucks.  There’s no other word to describe it.  We live 30 minutes away from everything – I do mean everything.  Ok, so we have a hillbilly grocery store just down the road, but to even get to a decent grocery store or to do anything besides be at home, it’s a 30 minute drive.  It’s not so much fun when your baby is hollerin’ bloody murder directly behind your seat for 30 straight minutes.  Sure, we’ve tried stopping the car to put the pacifier back in, or to try to feed her, or to give her a snack, to hold her, etc. etc. (we’ve tried it all).  Nothing stops her from crying when she gets on that kick.  She simply has to mellow herself out.

Anyway, back on topic: Brandon handed me the keys to go to my happy place, but then as soon as the key hit ignition, Kennedy turned on the tantrum.  It’s these particular moments that will take time for me to master finding the beauty around me by sitting in the seat of self.  These moments that, when they happen only once is no big deal, but when they occur regularly they tend to really ware on you; these moments when you just want the crappy moment to pass.  However, as I drove with my baby screaming behind me, I noticed my 3-year-old gazing out the window.  I began to wonder what she was looking at.  Children see the world so much more vividly than adults.  Whitney manages to see the teeniest, tiniest objects anywhere we are.  Brandon and I will look incredulously at each other and, without saying a word to one another, know that the other is thinking, “How the hell did she see that?”  Whitney was simply looking at the beauty as it passed outside her window.  She went to her innocent, happy little 3-year-old place regardless of her sister’s temperament.  Whitney teaches me so much about the world, and on this day, my last day of the weekly challenge, I remembered that I don’t have to let my good mood be affected by someone else’s bad mood.  It’s hard to do when you have kids.  I mean c’mon.  Mamas want their babies to be happy and when they’re not happy, mama ‘aint happy.  But I think it’s ok to find unconditional happiness even when I know my baby is unhappy.  I don’t know.  Maybe that’s an idea for Challenge 2…

The weekly challenge has come to a close, and I am thrilled that I saw it through.  Even with today’s post a few days late, I still did my very best to find the unconditional happiness – and I plan to continue the journey and see where it takes me.

By the way, the party on Sunday was a success.  Miss Kennedy was the belle of the ball, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.  But, I will not be hosting another birthday party at our home for a long while –  too much work to get the house “company clean”…

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