Friday, August 31, 2007

where to start...or stop

what i can't seem to grasp...(totally in the blogger world, if we expanded this into regular life, dear God, i'd be typing forever. there is so much i don't understand about the world, i.e. brittney spears, the success of the 700 club and why i think hulk hogan is a good dad. ) so, back to the point - i have had lots of things happen in my life...some exhilarating, some tragic and most of them touched with a bit of humor - but how to i open up to what could be complete strangers? then my husband reminded me that i do just that every time i go to the grocery store and say something offhand to a fellow shopper.

so, here we go. my name is laren bridges. i live in alpine, texas, with my husband drew, our daughter, cydney and our son, stroman. george, mutt of the year, lives in the back yard and is now so old and lazy that he won't even chase the birds away from his food bowl. lazy bastard. he's been a good dog.

drew and i have been married a bit more than a year. love, love, love. finally found someone tough enough to stop my strong will when he needs to and yet willing to talk to me, let me be me (she who speaks without a filter) and be my best friend every day.

i have some interesting tales - but most (if not all) are the antithesis of politically correct. where should i start...the day i had to shoot my dog because it was eating my pigs? or perhaps the time pigs attacked my house in canyon, texas. i've been thrown off horses, kicked by calves, president of a stellar sorority at Texas Tech University and had meetings with George W. Bush when he was governor of Texas - the second time, he called me by name.

or, do i just tell you this and see if you come back for more: what would you people want to know about me? i'm married to the love of my life, drew. we met in alpine while i was on a work trip taking photos for the ranch cutting horse association. i was out at the reata the night before my photography job and a group of guys started up some conversation...long story short, i decided that drew was quite obviously the cute one and well, at this point, who knows who fell first, but point is - we are married. we have two children. cydney is 3 years (from my previous marriage.) stroman was born feb. 12, 2007.

random info: i grew up in sweetwater, texas. attended a small (seriously, i was one of 15 graduates) six-man school near there. it was such a small school that any warm body played sports. i love to compete, so i played basketball, ran track and cross-country, tennis, golf, and during football season i was decked out in tons of sequins as a twirler.

i was raised on a working cattle ranch in west texas. love ranch life. wouldn't mind doing it again someday. lots of horror stories - prolapsed cows, how the lamb fetus ended up in mom's freezer, getting pinned between a truck and an iron gate all alone - 10 miles from home, all sorts of random stuff while helping dad - and lots of learning.

i am a published author. i write horse-training books. i've never trained a horse. i was thrown off a horse while interviewing country music star charlie robison for an article when i worked for the American Quarter Horse Association.

i am a sahm/photographer/author. i haven't written a word in about a year. just starting to take photos again. i'm willing to post some of my college poetry...mainly b/c i think some of you might find it humorous that i thought i could be the next jewel - without the guitar, but with straighter teeth.

hmmmm...i was once shot at during an attempted carjacking in dallas. but i sped away and lived to tell the tale. that was one shitty spring break.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hard Work

Recently, my husband - Drew - and I have been doing a LOT of hard labor around the house...putting in rock patios & walkways, renovating a bathroom, replacing the flooring, growing a garden and I've realized that parenting - especially as a stay-at-home mom - has many similarities with hard labor. Sometimes you are doing the same thing repeatedly and yet feel as if you are making no progress (i.e. diaper changing, potty training or shoveling dirt, trim work in a bathroom that never seems to be finished). Often, you are dirty, disheveled and yet you don't know exactly what you have accomplished...was I feeding a 5-month-old with the giggles green beans or did the Green Giant just crap on me?

There are days when I realize my husband is coming in for lunch and I race to brush my teeth & throw on some "real" clothes (and I'm not talking dolled up, I mean just a 1/2 a step up from my pajamas) - but honestly, I know that he knows I haven't been jaunting around in the clothes for more than 3 minutes, b/c the shirt shows no signs of spit-up and our daughter hasn't marked the capris with Dora stickers yet. (A few weeks ago, I came home from the grocery store [a.k.a. run into everyone you know in this town w/in 4.2 minutes] and Drew pointed out that I had a few Dora stickers placed neatly on the left buttock of my pants. Boots had drifted down to the back of my thigh. yeah me!)

About 4 months ago, I debated applying for a 9-5 job to make some extra income. God took over and the job was given to someone else, so I didn't have to weigh the options of income vs. raising my children. However, my theory is: if my kids are screwed up later in life & I was a stay-at-home mom at least I'll know who's to blame. On the flip side, I wouldn't mind adding income to the home and having the chance to continue to do photography. See, for the past few years, I've been working as a freelance photographer.

And, in all honesty, there are some weeks when I realize on Thursday I haven't driven away from the house once. Our son, Stroman, who is now almost 7 months old, had colic, and now has been diagnosed with severe acid reflux. It took me months to convince the doctor to test him. The claim was that he would have been losing weight if he had acid reflux, and this kid is anything but thin. However, there were days (which thanks to six doses of medication each day do not happen as often now) when he would cry/scream/squirm for 3-4 hours and would not, could not be calmed down. Needless to say, we haven't had much time together as a family where I didn't feel like I was shorting Cydney, our 3-year-old daughter, or ignoring Drew b/c I was constantly holding/rocking/attempting to soothe Stroman.

People wanted us to socialize, but I was too stressed out by his incessant wailing to be very involved in the conversations..and I've felt guilty for leaving him with the Grandparents or babysitters b/c they always seem to ask "what's wrong with him?" - which I hear as "what did you, you silly woman/bad mom/selfish twit, do to him to make him so miserable that he chooses to scream rather than eat or sleep or poop?"

Of course, I have been known to be a tad dramatic, but seriously, it is difficult to hear people question anything that might be remotely related to your parenting.

For all of you parents who are taking on the hard work of trying to create healthy, loving children, thank you. Keep up the good work! Ignore what other people might put in your head as the only way to do things! Do your best & your child will love you.

And don't ask what the hell is wrong with my kid!