Over sharing….all the time

CrossFit, Pregnancy, and some other random thoughts

When life kicks you in the tits December 1, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennie Yundt @ 2:03 pm

poolside-florida-croppedThere are only a handful of times in my life when I can remember feeling truly, truly sad. The kind of sad that you can’t shake off. The kind of sad where you sit in the shower and cry. The kind of sad where you just want everyone and everything to go away. The kind of sad that you could call despair.

 

Yesterday was one of those days.

 

My life is full of so many blessings, but it is also riddled with struggle. I do a fairly good job of maintaining a shimmering exterior of smiles and jokes, but it can fade in an instant and all you’re left with is a woman losing control of herself, and her 3 screaming children.

 

There are just some days that are so void of laughter, so void of joy, that it consumes me. The crying, yelling, screeching, bickering, hitting, mess making and general inability to be cool for like one fucking second is sometimes more than I can bear, and it buries me alive.

 

It doesn’t even matter what happened, or what the kids were doing. There is no way I could ever convey the situation properly so that you could understand how I felt completely lost. All that matters is that at 5:15PM I couldn’t tolerate even one more second of my duties as a mother. I left the kids inside with Bill, and without saying a word, I went and sat on the front steps. There was a small part of me that would rather have frozen to death outside than to have to “Mom” for even one more second.

 

Fortunately, without missing a beat, my husband stepped in and took over. He made dinner while I sat alone, crying, because he knew that’s what I needed.  After sitting outside for 30 or 45 minutes, I dragged myself inside and got in a hot shower. I sat on the floor of the shower letting the water hit my face, trying to drown out the terrible feelings I was having. I would have given anything for that water to wash away all the negative thoughts from my brain.

 

“I hate my life.” 

“I have no friends.”

“This is my life for the next 5 years until all the kids are in school.”

“My life doesn’t matter.”

“I am a terrible mother.”

“My kids are so bad sometimes, and it’s my fault.”

 

After the shower, I sat on the floor of the baby’s room, still crying and thinking terrible thoughts. I was willing myself to overcome these negative feelings, but I just didn’t have it in me. I felt like I was a column of ash left standing in place and if someone were to touch me, I would just crumble and blow away. Hollow. Fragile.

 

After an hour of sitting in the baby’s room, I heard a tiny voice in the hallway. “Mommy?” It was Avery. She and Brady had come to find me. Without another word, they both climbed into my lap. They didn’t know why I was crying, and they couldn’t possibly have known the depth of my sorrow, but they knew how to fix me. They just snuggled with me and let me cry all over their pajamas.

 

I’m not depressed, and I don’t suffer from any sort of mood disorder….I’m just a Mom who sometimes gets overwhelmed with her situation. I have always worn my heart on my sleeve. I feel ALL the feelings. I feel so many feelings, that I even feel other people’s feelings. And yesterday was a feelings emergency.

 

The good thing about a feelings emergency, is that they can sometimes resolve themselves. I put my kids to bed, ate green beans for dinner, went to bed early, and started over fresh this morning. I’ve always joked that lifting weights is my therapy, and that was never more true than today. My friend Gina showed up for our lifting session with homemade Christmas ornaments and instantly put a smile on my face.

 

I’m grateful for all the people in my life who have saved my sanity without even knowing it. I’m also grateful for a husband who understands how to let me fall off the rails, and then put me back on again. Because every MomTrain is going to derail. It’s part of life. Sometimes it’s worse to fight the derailment, than to just let it happen.

 

Before You Go July 31, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennie Yundt @ 12:46 pm

Kate graduation.JPG

TIME. Time is ticking by so fast. My beautiful Katelyn, there just isn’t enough time. In 10 days you’ll hop on that airplane and fly off to Arizona State University to start your college adventure. But sweetie….10 days is too soon.

 

DREAM. I realize you have to go. This is your dream and I would never, EVER stand in your way. Dream big baby girl. Dream big! But before you go, please let me snuggle with you on the couch and watch a movie. Let me share a few quiet moments with you sipping coffee and reminiscing. Let me watch you play with your siblings. Let me cook you breakfast. Let me enjoy your smile and your laugh. Let me believe that no matter how far away you go, we’ll always stay in touch. But most of all….please let me teach you how to properly back squat.

 

SQUAT. You see, in CrossFit, squatting is everything. EVERY.THING. If you ain’t got a good squat, well, you ain’t got squat. In all aspects of your life, you need a solid foundation to build a strong house. Going off to college is so much more than school, it’s about finding who you are as a person and starting to lay down your path in life. And whether you end up a pharmacist, or a street musician, your life needs a solid foundation.

 

RULES. So let’s head out to the garage. We’ll load up the bar and go over the basics. Weight on your heels, knees out, eyes forward, ALWAYS go below parallel. These are the rules you must follow when squatting. Keep track of your workouts, follow the progressions, and listen to your body. If you follow the rules and stay consistent, you will be rewarded. Squatting will reward you with strength. Muscle. Progress. “Body like Beyonce” as you always say.

 

LIFE. Life is no different than squatting. Weight on your heels – stay grounded, and remember you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. Knees out – don’t let life cave in on you. Stay strong, and fight the urge to fold and collapse. Eyes forward – keep pressing ahead to your future, don’t dwell on the past. ALWAYS go below parallel – do everything to your fullest capability. Don’t pull up short. These are the rules you must follow in life. And while squatting will reward you with muscle, life will reward you with success and joy.

 

REACH. Baby girl, work hard, be kind, and ALWAYS be humble. Squat heavy. Call your Mom every day. Love to your fullest. Build your foundation strong, and your tower will one day reach the stars.

 

All my Love Always,

Mom

 

Don’t Get Lost June 8, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennie Yundt @ 1:33 pm

hectic kids.JPGYOU. Hey, you. I see you. We pass each other in the grocery store once in a while. We don’t know each other….but I definitely know what your life is like. You have 3 small children with you. One is happily skipping along behind you, another is dangling off the side of your cart, and the third is safely tucked in a baby backpack.

 

BUSY. Your days are crazy. Your nights are hectic. You can barely find 15 minutes in your day for a shower, makeup, a meal you get to eat sitting down, or a bathroom break. It might have been 2 days since you looked in the mirror, because you have a unicorn sticker in your hair, and there is a mascara smudge ringing your right eye. You laugh when your friends talk about how they can’t believe it has been FOUR WHOLE WEEKS since their last pedicure. SUCH A TRAGEDY.

 

YOU. Somewhere in the swirl of your daily tasks, you are going to feel lost. You might even forget that you exist outside of your tiny people’s needs. The sticky hands, runny noses, refereeing fights, folding the laundry, feedings, housework, lawn work, more laundry……it can feel never ending. Don’t forget that there is still a you outside of all this.

 

FREE. Maybe you were a runner. Or an artist. Maybe you loved to read. What I want you to know is that you are still that person too. Sure, these tiny people take up most of your time. Once you are a Mother, there is no such thing as “free time”. Ask any Mom out there, and all time is precious and valuable….definitely not “free”. Gone are the days when you get to wake up at 10AM and stroll around in your pajama pants until lunch time. Gone are the days of “running a quick errand”. Hell, it takes me 11 minutes to get all my kids from inside the house, to safely buckled into their car seats.

 

TIME. I’m not going to say something generic like, “make time for yourself”. I have heard/read that advice on numerous occasions. I might have even repeated it once or twice. It dawned on me how silly it is to tell someone to “make time”. If it were that easy, we’d all be doing it, right? Absolutely. I’d make an extra 3 hours in each day to head out to my workshop and build something. Or stand in my garage and sing. Or get in an extra workout. Or maybe just take a shower without anyone dictating how long or short it has to be.

 

SQUASHED. Your kids will only be this little, and this needy once. Be brave. Be strong. Help your children have amazing adventures in your backyard. And above all else, don’t forget about the person who is still inside of you – the person who gets squashed back inside by the sheer amount of time it took to get all 3 of your kids in their shoes and out the door. The person who you would be if you could “make time” for yourself. Because what all those well-meaning advice givers really mean is, “don’t forget to be yourself”.

 

AGAIN. As I’m wrapping up my trip to the grocery store, we pass each other again in the produce department. Your happy group of children has melted into a crying puddle of grocery store dismay. Your oldest has thrown herself on the floor, the baby in the backpack is crying inconsolably, and your middle child is sitting in the basket of your cart, working his way through an open bag of chocolate chips. (I’m assuming you were buying those to make cookies) I won’t insult you by saying something like “you sure got your hands full!”, because that definitely isn’t how you feel.

 

SOUL. You don’t just have full hands, but a full house. A full heart. A full soul. These tiny people take absolutely everything you have, plus 10% more. Every.Single.Day. Instead of pointing out that it looks like you are struggling, I’m just going to put the baby’s pacifier back in his mouth, scoop up the trail of chocolate chips you left near the bananas, and continue on with my day. You and me…we are sisters in this battle to maintain our sanity long enough to get all of our kids safely through each day. Maybe down the road, our paths will cross again at the nail salon, once all our kids are in school full time. Until that time – keep up the good work, Sister. You are not alone.

 

 

To My Daughter June 4, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennie Yundt @ 9:03 am

kate laugh prom.JPGMORNING. Good Morning, Kate. I know you’re not awake yet, but I am. I couldn’t sleep at all last night. You see, today is the day that you are moving into your first apartment with your boyfriend. I know how excited you are. You have been planning this for weeks, and it’s the first time I’ve seen you truly happy and excited in a long time.

 

ADULT. But my sweet girl, you are unknowingly flinging yourself head first into the world of being an adult. Over night you stop being my 17 year old baby and you become an adult. I know you feel ready for it. But I don’t know if I’m ready for it. I can still remember that scary morning that you came bursting into my life. You were all gray and you were scowling and blinking at me. We looked at each other for a long time. It might have been an hour. And in those moments, I knew I would learn so much from you.

 

TEACH. You taught me how to love. How to care. How to nurture. I learned how to be a better parent, a better person. How to give myself fully to another human being. I held you when you were sick, rocked you back to sleep when you were scared, and helped you pick your outfit for the first day of school. I am truly blessed to be your Mother, because you have grown into an incredible woman.

 

HUMBLE. Our relationship isn’t perfect. For the past 10 months you have lived at your Nana’s house, and it has been the most humbling experience of my life. Watching you pack up and leave made me face the truth that I had failed you in so many ways. There was a gaping hole in my heart knowing that I didn’t give you what you needed.  We fought. We argued. Raising a strong, bright woman is one of the most frustrating and rewarding things I have ever done. And you are strong. SO STRONG. Always remember that. You are capable of so much more than you will ever know.

 

AWAY. And somehow, while you have been away these last 10 months, our hearts have found each other again. The time we spend together these days feels like we are old friends. We sip coffee and sit cross-legged on the couch and share stories about our lives. We talk to each other almost every day. I finally feel like I know you. REALLY know you. Your siblings greet you with applause and cheers of “SISSY!!!” as they watch your car pull into the driveway. And while I’m not jumping up and down cheering with them, my heart is cheering each time I see you.

 

CHANCE. And while I have never said it out loud, I want to say “thank you”. Thank you, Kate, for giving me a second chance. Thank you for being willing to work together and start over. Thank you for letting me back into your heart and trusting me with your feelings. Thank you for everything you have taught me and for everything you WILL teach me about life, love, and parenting.

So as you start your journey into the world of adulting, I have the following wisdom to share:

  1. Admit when you are wrong and apologize
  2. Give more than you take
  3. Pay your bills on time
  4. Don’t complain about housework
  5. Always wear sunblock
  6. Laugh more than you cry
  7. Your family is there for you no matter what
  8. Find people who inspire you
  9. Don’t settle
  10. Call your mom every day

 

With All My Love Always,

Mom

 

Dinner Disaster March 16, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennie Yundt @ 2:38 pm

IMG_8418 (1).JPGFOOD. I love to cook. LOVE. To. Cook. I find great pleasure in the smells, flavors, and even the messes that come with preparing a truly wonderful meal. Growing up, we always sat down together at the table as a family to eat dinner. I have these visions of sitting down for dinner with my own family…but dinner with my kids makes me want to fall on something pointy.

 

AMEN. Everyone comes to the table happy and eager. They climb into their chairs, fold their little hands, and we pray. But within 2 seconds of “amen”, the craziness starts. It doesn’t even matter what I do. I’ve tried everything. We’re all praying together, we say “amen”, and then this happens:

  • Avery claps her hands and cheers after our prayer is over, and spills her water
  • As I’m cleaning up the water, Avery stuffs the entire end of the salt shaker in her mouth. “No, Avery. No mouth.”
  • Brady is trying very hard to put pepper on his plate so he can dip his meat in it, and he gets pepper IN HIS EYE (WTF!?)
  • I get up to get Brady a cold rag, and Avery stuffs 7 pieces of meat in her mouth at once. “No, Avery. Small bites please.”
  • I get Brady his cold rag
  • I turn back around and Avery has decided she has too much meat in her mouth, so she spits the entire wad of half-chewed meat into my WATER GLASS
  • I fish the meat out of my water glass with my fork, and get Brady sat back down at his chair with the cold rag
  • Just as he sits down, whoops! He realizes he has to poop
  • I get Brady naked so he can do his business
  • I head back to the table, and Avery is banging on my water glass with her fork, and knocks it over
  • While I’m cleaning up water, again, Brady announces he’s ready to be wiped
  • I head into the bathroom to help him out. While I’m washing my hands, Avery takes her ENTIRE dinner plate and puts it on the floor and starts eating her food like she is a dog
  • Brady emerges from the bathroom, sees Avery’s stroke of genius, and copies her
  • Finley is fussing in her bouncey seat, so I grab her real quick
  • I sit down in my chair with Fin on my lap and take my first bite of dinner, while the kids eat from the floor like animals
  • As I’m chewing, Finley yacks up 4oz of breast milk onto MY PLATE.
  • PEACE! I’M OUT BITCHES! DINNER OVER!

 

HOPE. And every night, every SINGLE night, I have this tiny hope of hopes that my kids will sit nicely, eat their food, and my night won’t have to end with that crazy bullshit….but then the sad reality sets in. I go to bed disappointed. I mean, I love these little jerk-faces, and want to share a meal together!! Why do they have to make things so hard!? Why?! WHYYYYY!?

 

STARVE. Things have gotten so bad during dinner time, that I have actually threatened never to feed the kids again. “If you don’t sit nice and eat your dinner, I’m never feeding you again!” Needless to say, the kids called my bluff.

 

PEACE. Since I can’t seem to get my kids on the “manners train”, Bill and I have started having steak-and-ceasar-salad-Saturday. We put our little monsters to bed and stay up together grilling ribeyes, sharing a bottle of wine, and enjoying a non-stressful meal together. It has become the highlight of my week….closely followed in second place by Champagne Friday. In the end, I just had to say “fuck it”. I can’t fight with my kids every single night and expect to maintain my sanity. My kids were all late walkers, late talkers, and late to potty train. Hell, Brady is 2 months from turning 5, and still wants to sleep in his crib. Maybe I’ll be able to teach then table manners by Junior high. High School at the latest.  But no promises.

 

Mommy, please pay attention March 3, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennie Yundt @ 11:18 am

Big Girl Sliding DoorMORNING. It’s almost 9:30AM and my house is quiet. I have the unusual luxury of sipping my coffee and getting to write in peace. Finley is already back down for her morning nap, Brady is playing in the family room and making airplane *whooshing* noises, and Avery is still asleep. STILL. ASLEEP.

 

CONTRAST. Compared to yesterday, today should feel like the easiest day of my whole life. Yesterday was filled with children who couldn’t share or keep their hands to themselves. I spent the better part of 13 hours breaking up fights, resolving conflicts and trying to get kids to nap. PLEASE. JUST. NAP. Finley, who never stays up more than 3 hours at a stretch, decided she didn’t want to nap. I rocked, nursed, burped, diapered, and bathed her for almost 7 hours straight. In between tending to Fin and attempting to get her to sleep, I would run downstairs to try and convince Avery to nap as well. Ugh. It was like an episode of the Three Stooges. Every time I turned around, I was getting hit in the head by another board.

 

RUSH. By the time dinner finally arrived, I was frazzled. I was exhausted. I popped another mug of coffee in the microwave, because I didn’t know if I was going to be able to keep going until bed time. As the roast finished in the oven, Bill was mashing the potatoes, children were leaping from the coffee table to the couch, Finley was crying (again), the corn was boiling, and the microwave was beeping. It seemed like everything in the entire universe needed my attention all at once.

 

FAIL. I quickly poured the corn into a bowl and set it on the table, called the kids to dinner, tossed a little more salt in the mashed potatoes, and finished carving the roast. I brought the platter of meat over to the table, divided out a few pieces onto Brady and Avery’s plates, and began cutting it into bites intended for tiny human mouths. While I was cutting her meat, Big Girl climbed up into her chair. And in one split second, she reached her hand into the bowl of corn. The boiling corn.

 

PAIN. She pulled her hand back, but that resulted in the whole bowl of corn spilling out onto the table and her legs. Bill had seen the whole thing happen, and he immediately started shouting “Get her hand in water! Get her hand in water!” I scooped up Avery, set the bowl of corn back upright, and rushed her over to the sink. I have never heard such screaming in all my life. I can still hear it.

 

BURN. Bill took Avery from my arms and held her hand under the water. I ran back to the dinner table to make sure the corn wasn’t within reach of any other tiny humans, and that’s when I saw it. The spot on the table where the hot corn had spilled. The corn was so hot, that it had stripped the finish off my wooden table. I stared at the bare wood, and that’s when I came unglued.

 

SPLASH. I had to go back upstairs and attempt, once again, to get Finley to sleep. While I rocked Finley, the sobbing started. I kept thinking back to Avery’s hand….the flesh all red and blistered….the bare wood of my table. This was my fault. It was not intentional, but it was my fault. I put that damn corn right in front of her. DAMMIT ALL. I strapped Finley into her front carrier, and headed back downstairs. Bill had filled the bathroom sink with freezing cold water and he was letting Brady and Avery splash to their heart’s content. Avery was having so much fun that she didn’t even seem to remember the burn.

 

MITTEN. But once the water game was over and it was time to get ready for bed, that’s when the pain set in. She kept wiping at her fingers in an effort to wipe away the hurt. Oh, sweet girl….I wish I could wipe away the hurt. As she wiped, she kept wiping away the skin and breaking the blisters, so we knew it was time to bandage her hand. We got out the burn cream, some gauze, and we taped her winter mitten to her hand. She was NOT happy about it, but after a few minutes she seemed to accept it.

 

SLEEP. After lots of Daddy snuggles and singing, mercifully, Avery fell asleep. We could hear her down there from time to time, but I think the ibuprofen helped her sleep. Now it’s almost 10AM, and she’s STILL asleep. I’m torn between wanting her to wake up so I can put new gauze on her fingers, and praying she sleeps about 9 days until her burns heal.

 

COFFEE. And after all of that, I found my mug of coffee in the microwave this morning. Sitting in there like a steadfast soldier, waiting to be called for duty. Waiting in there like an old friend. I’m sipping yesterday’s coffee and reflecting on the day I had. It’s the universe’s way of reminding me to PAY ATTENTION. SLOW DOWN. Life is not a race, and I won’t take 5th place by getting dinner to the table at 5:45 instead of 5:30.

 

Let’s Be Honest February 21, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jennie Yundt @ 3:46 pm

IMG_8932.JPGHONEST. If I’m being really honest, I never wanted to be a stay at home Mom.

 

GASP! Can you believe I said that out loud? I have thought it a thousand times, but never said it out loud for fear of what other people might think. In my mind, people will assume it means I don’t love my kids. Or that I’m unhappy about being home with them. When in fact, just the opposite is true.

 

FANCY. I am an extreme extrovert, and being tethered to my house and three small kids isn’t exactly how I pictured my life. I pictured strolling into work with my hair did, Starbucks in hand, and saying something like “good morning Becky, do I have any messages?” I would have a standing monthly hair appointment, beautifully manicured nails, and a barista would know my order before I walked in the door. My high heel shoes would make a satisfying click clack click clack on hardwood floors, and I’d keep a lint roller in my purse.

 

LIFE. But that’s not the life I have. Instead I have pony tails, yoga pants, and a purse full of crumbs and raisins. I spend my days negotiating, teaching, dressing, diapering, and playing car concierge. I talk endlessly about Rescue Bots, pooping on the potty, explaining why farting isn’t good manners, and why we leave our pants on in the grocery store.

 

TRAPPED. I’ll admit that for about 2 years, I felt trapped. I would frump through each day with the attitude of “I’ll stay home with my kids because that’s what I’m SUPPOSED to want”. I felt this obligation to be happy about staying home. Other Moms would happily post pictures of their crafts, hiking outings, driveway chalk pictures, and their entire home preschool curriculum. And I’d be all….”here’s a picture of my kids in their pajamas for the 9th day in a row.”

 

DESPAIR. I remember crying to my BF about how lonely I was and how much I missed being part of the “adult world”. I would sulk and complain to my husband about how I wished we could trade places. I grew more and more resentful towards my kids. My days seemed to run together, and I wondered if I would ever truly feel happy again.

 

TEST. It was as if the  universe was dog-piling the stress on top of me to see how much load I could bear. My oldest daughter moved in with her grandma, my family was dealing with crushing financial burden, and each day with my kids seemed to get harder. Then suddenly we sold the gym, and my world almost fell apart. Because even though I wasn’t at the gym, I always felt I had that option. There was always the hope that “some day” I would get to coach and run the gym full time instead of being home with the kids.

 

 

GONE. Selling the gym was my turning point. Knowing that it wasn’t there anymore helped me fully devote myself to my family. By removing what I believed to be the best part of my life, it allowed me to see what was really important…what was truly the best part of my life. Through the fog of resentment, anger, and sadness, I emerged a warrior. I was going to fight for myself. For my kids. I was going to find a way to be happy and fulfilled no matter what it took.

 

LOVE. I bought every book on being a Stay at Home Mom that I could get my hands on. I found peace and fulfillment in the tasks I used to find mundane and thankless. What I really learned, was that I had to choose happiness. There are plenty of times throughout my day that I would rather scream and yell, but I choose to love and endure.

 

HAPPY. And so now, here I am. A Mom Warrior. A furniture builder. A play date organizer. A bringer of food to sick friends. I chose happiness and found new ways to get what I need out of my life, instead of just waiting for it to happen. I have also learned to ask for help when I need it. In the splendid chaos of my life, I am happy. So, so happy.