Normal is whatever you are

It’s been too long since I’ve been here. I often want to come to write but then I think to myself “No one is going to want to read about x, y, or z.” I think that there is a lot that I want to share but I don’t because it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Today I reminded myself that to expect rainbows and unicorns 100% of the time is unreasonable. I thought back to my blog’s name “Living La Vida NORMAL” – challenges, setbacks, triumphs, excitement are all part of a normal life. Normal life is the good, the bad and the ugly. As much as I would like it to be our life is not a fairy tale.

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS /

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS /


We’ve had a hectic year, there’s no denying that. 2013 brought us all challenges and triumphs:

My mom had several medical situations come up: SSNHL – Sudden Sensori-Neural Hearing Loss, an unexplained sudden hearing loss for which treatment did not work. An unexplained seizure, it only happened once but her neurologist decided that it’s in my mom’s best interest to keep her on an anti-seizure medication long term. She dislocated her shoulder in March, May, July and November. The November dislocation was the final straw and resulted in an urgent reversed shoulder replacement surgery the week before Thanksgiving. She had a bad fall 5 years ago that caused the original shoulder dislocation, it didn’t get the proper treatment regardless of how much we advocated for it to be checked. She had a total knee replacement at the end of August, she wasn’t quite fully recovered from that before the shoulder surgery had to happen. Hopefully, everything will settle down now and we can focus on recovering from everything and getting her in the best shape possible. With everything that has happened our relationship has changed more. It’s interesting to see the dynamic shift now that I’m her caretaker and have to help her with more and more when these things happen. She yearns for her independence but she also seems to be slipping into more easily depending on me to do things for her and not trying to do some things for herself first. I am continuously encouraging her to try on her own first and that I’ll help her if she can’t do something. She’s still dealing with the deficits leftover from the stroke in August of last year. The right side weakness and impaired speech are what are frustrating her the most.

Mr. Skinny graduated high school, turned 18 and is working full time. His shift is from 2:30 am to 10:30 am. He still does not have his driver’s license so Mr. Bubbinsky and I are taking turns driving him to work at 2 am. Parenting an 18 yo is hard, especially when we don’t see eye to eye on things. It’s a challenge to teach adult responsibilities like being responsible for paying rent and bills and also helping out around the house.

Mr. Snugglebunny has moved on from 4th grade to 5th grade. He was elected class president this year. 4th grade brought us organized sports at school – baseball and basketball. So far 5th grade has brought baseball with a new coach from last year, the kids thrived with the new coach. We’ve started basketball, they had a tournament this weekend and the kids are coming together really well as a team, they won both games this weekend. We are at a disadvantage because there are only 8 boys in the class, there are 16 girls. We didn’t have enough kids to field a baseball team, there’s a school in our area that doesn’t have a baseball team of their own so two of their students came to play with us. Today we only had 5 boys at our basketball game, two of our team members had prior commitments and weren’t able to make it today. Our kids played their hearts out with no substitutions. It was interesting to sit next to a family from the opposing team. The dad was talking all kinds of trash about the game and how the kids were playing. At one point he said “This isn’t football, it’s basketball” – our kids weren’t playing aggressively. I wonder how he would have reacted to the team we played against yesterday, they were fouling against our kids all over the place. I encourage everyone to remember that these are kids playing these games on the fields and on the courts. Academically, he’s doing great with all As and one B+ on his report card.

Mr. Bubbinsky is hard at work as principal of a primary school. There is a lot to do and there are a lot of commitments. I really thought this year would be easier since he’s had a full school year and a half under his belt. For some reason, this year the schedule seems more difficult. There are a lot of evening commitments. Just this week he had to be at school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening as well as Sunday morning. It’s been a huge challenge with all of the responsibilities we have as a family. We’re getting through it, in two weeks he’ll be on Christmas vacation and we’ll be able to regroup and brainstorm how to make it work better for the rest of the school year.

We’ve had major car repairs on both cars. One of the cars needs a repair  that we just can’t have done right now. While we figure out what we’re going to do with the car, Mr. Bubbinsky luckily works near public transportation and has been getting to work that way. There are a lot of pros to having him take public transportation: fixed cost (we don’t have to deal with the fluctuating gas prices), a set schedule (for the most part the train is on a reliable schedule and it’s rare for there to be problems in the system that cause delays), he has more time for reading for pleasure (he’s reading a book that has nothing to do with work, something he hasn’t done in ages), he’s walking about 1.5 miles per day to/from the train station to work (will help keep him healthy).

I’ve been overwhelmed trying to keep it together for everyone and making sure I can get everyone to/from where they need to go on time. I have to keep the house working as efficiently as possible. I wish I could stretch our time more. I’ve been trying to stay consistent with my training for runs. I thought committing to the Holiday Running Streak would help me be consistent. The streak asks for at least one mile for every day between Thanksgiving and New Year. Unfortunately some days I don’t even have 15 minutes to myself to squeeze in one mile. I’ve got to find a way to make the days work so that I can train consistently. Especially because my cousin and I are striving for a minimum of one half marathon per month in 2014. I will definitely have to create consistency with running so that I can maintain that schedule with no injury. I decided that I’m not going to push to finish the goal of reading 52 books this year, I’ve read 40 so far and if 40 is all that I read in 2013 it will be good enough. Sometimes good enough has to be enough and I can’t let perfectionism get in my way.

The good, the bad and the ugly – that’s what normal is. Normal is whatever you are.




Categories: Reflecting

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