August 30, 2017

Falling in

Baseball is over. Camps are complete. The locker is stuffed and organized. C-man stepped in an angry ground yellow jacket's nest. (He got about a dozen or so stings, and he reacted much like I do, not like his Dad does, thankfully. At least he got that part of me?) And the second football scrimmage is tonight. I don't care what the calendar says, it's officially Fall. And time continues to march on.

May 5, 2017


Today's my birthday. I'm 41.

My house is a total mess. My inbox is overflowing. And at about 10 a.m. I realized I'd forgotten to brush my teeth.

You know how when you're a kid you think grown ups know what they're doing? Yeah. Not so much.

So every year I have goals and aspirations. This year's goal is more of a direction - happiness. I can do this.

May 4, 2017

Baseball everyday

The Nationals won in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the 6th last night. Tonight, they are back at it again. Go Nats!

May 3, 2017

Flim and Flam

  • It's Hump Day. Or more importantly... Almost Birthday.
  • C-man and Beerman have a game tonight. It's cold and windy. I'll be dressing like it's winter so I don't shiver my way through it.
  • Saturday is our annual game at Helfaer field. I'm organizing everything again. But it's been like pulling teeth to get parents to respond with their kids' walkup songs. Honestly, how hard is it to respond to an email? It's not like you have to do anything else all year! Argh.
  • I've been researching places to go on a trip next year. Right now I'm kind of leaning Kenya. Then again, that could change four times before we actually make any real plans.
  • I also want to get us dive certified this summer. Since C-man isn't in any casts yet, I should get on that.
  • The pain killer shots I got in my spine back in February seem to be wearing off. That's really a drag. The doctor was hopeful it'd be enough to move the inflammation out for good. Guess not.
  • I think C-man's cold is finally breaking up a bit. He slept better last night and has been coughing less. Of course, then he gets to spend the night playing baseball in the elements. One step forward...
  • Have I mentioned it's Almost Birthday?

April 30, 2017

He's a Boy of Summer Again

Yesterday was the Nationals first day back on the field. It was cold and windy, and it totally miserable. And despite C-man saying he was sad it's baseball and not wrestling season, and Beerman being nervous as the head coach, I was thrilled. I had no fear that he'd get his face ground into the mat, and knew I'd be watching two of my favorites in one of my favorite sports. So awesome.

C-man went 1-1 in the stats sheet, since the second at bat he got hit with a wild pitch. And he caught quite a bit of the game, which is his favorite. The Nats lost, but there's some decent potential there for the future, which makes me happy. Ahhh... baseball.

April 18, 2017

The thing about chronic pain...

The thing about chronic pain is, well, it's chronic. It never goes away. It's always there, like a dark, lingering force fighting you from the inside day and night. And it never gets tired. But that doesn't mean I don't. Quite the opposite, really, because I'm in a constant state of exhaustion. I have good days and bad days. But don't ever confuse that with painful and not painful days. They're all painful. No, I think the better term for it would be functioning and not-functioning. Because that's what it really is - days I can fake it, and days I just can't.

On my good days, I'm able to move and think more clearly and focus on the task at hand for periods of time. But that doesn't mean I'm not struggling. Because even on those good days, I am thinking about my posture and facial expression as I talk to you. 'Don't let it look like you're unhappy', 'Make sure to smile and nod a little', 'Try to look interested and don't betray that you really have to move or you're going to scream out in pain' are regular internal monologues. And all that internal battle, that constant fighting what's real and what people expect, is absolutely exhausting. Especially when what people expect is for you to be still and quiet and attentive for long periods of time. But in addition to being exhausting, it's painful. So painful, that by the end of the day, when I collapse into bed, there is no sweet relief of sleep, because sleep cannot come. I hurt too much, you see, for my body to ever hit that restful state.

And on my bad days, well, it's just worse.

Explaining this doesn't change anything. And really, it doesn't make me feel any better. So I'm not sure why I feel compelled to talk about it today. I think maybe it's because, despite my swollen, red hands, today might be one of those rare functioning days. Something I haven't experienced for a while.

But the sun is shining. And Spring is here. And my coffee is hot. And for that, I'll be thankful.

April 7, 2017

That's a wrap

  • Last night was the official end of the wrestling season with the wrap-up banquet.
  • The coach went out of his way and said a lot of really kind words about C-man with him standing up there all by himself. It's always nice when your kid is well liked.
  • The coach and parents also went way out of their way to recognize me with some gift cards to local restaurants. It was simultaneously very thoughtful and sort of embarrassing. But still very thoughtful.
  • I got some antibiotics from a 12 year old doctor (only a slight exaggeration) who tried to teach me about the neti pot yesterday. I smiled and listened intently, while thinking, "Just give me the prescription!" the entire time.
  • My back muscles hurt from coughing so much. So that advice to wait 2 days before taking the drugs... yeah, not so much. I've been using the neti pot and the Mucinex because I don't like the antibiotics. But they just aren't doing it. It's time for the big guns.
  • It's supposed to be quite lovely weather-wise this weekend. Maybe I'll get some Vitamin D and take some photos. Although things are still greenish-brown. Maybe some lake shots will help soothe the soul. The lake is always an interesting blue.
  • The president of the baseball league has asked me to run the league's social media stuff. I agreed and put some stuff up on Instagram. But now he's hounding me to do more with Facebook. Sheesh. Let me get through wrestling season first! But it's all good. I feel like it's something I'm good at and can contribute with.
  • I've got a new platform bed that I need to assemble. It's been sitting in my hallway all week. I suppose I could get on that.
  • TGIF.

April 2, 2017

In the background

Wrestling season is over, and we're on to baseball now. 3 weeks until the first game on to baseball, in fact. Which means that it's that glorious time when we get a tiny little break between the hustle and the crazy. We've even had this week off to decompress on Spring Break. And while we didn't go anywhere, and I've been totally sick with the hacks and wheezes, it's been so good. Because t was all getting to be too much, too overwhelming, just too everything. So despite work trying to shame me into doing some things on vacation (seriously - just no), I backed all the way away. And I've gotten a chance to just think and be and not worry.

And in doing so, I've realized that I've been really trying to notice things in the background lately. Not all the headlines and major news stories and Facebook posts (Honestly, we get it. 45 is beyond abysmal. Just knock it off already!) and loud people, but what's going on behind that. And that's where I've been finding the most interesting stuff that makes me smile.

Take this photo, for instance. The 170 lb kid had just pinned for the win. And in doing so, he secured the wrestling team's conference win. Usually, I'd wait for the kid's reaction and arm to be raised. But this day, I pointed toward the background - where the team was going nuts, two coaches high-fiving, my husband's arm going up in the pin signal, another coach doing the hulk arms, and the head coach leaping up-up-up in the air. And it makes me smile every single time I look at it.

So it's what I'm trying to do now - peel back the curtain a bit and notice what's going on behind the big show. Because I can't continue to get wrapped up in the day-to-day swirl. It was taking me to a stressed out place where I just couldn't deal with it all. But consciously slowing down to notice the details - I think that may be where it's at for me to find my happiness again.

March 24, 2017

What to do

I don't know what to do with this blog. Google took away my ability to buy its domain, so I'm back to a blogspot address. And I'm getting tired of people thinking they know about my and my family's life while taking no real active interest in it simply because they read about something in it online. Add to it that I'm truly not loving putting everything about myself and my family out there any longer, and it just leaves me in limbo.

Could I write about sitting alone in that cold waiting room in a scratchy gown open to the front while a too loud House Flippers was on TV as I blankly flipped through a Christmas issue of Good Housekeeping while I waited to find out if my callback mammogram was the ultimate in horrible news? (It ended up being nothing) Yes. But, I don't really feel like it.

Could I describe the agony of seeing my kid endure a painful elbow injury these last few weeks and have him knowingly lie to us about how bad it is just because he wants to wrestle? Yes. But now that he's 12, I feel like it betrays him in some really personal way.

Could I talk about explaining to a surgeon that he shouldn't compare shooting those painkillers into my vertebra to a beesting, because I'm fairly familiar with beestings, and this was definitely not as good? Could I lament about chronic pain and how it takes absolutely everything within me to not sink to the lowest depths that it wants me to? Yes. But who wants to hear about that?

Could I write funny anecdotes about my kid having a phone for 2 days before he broke it? How the child finished his Regionals tournament in 4th place and promptly took down a 16 ounce steak immediately after, much to the disbelief of the waitstaff? About all the funny jokes we tell and laughs we share? Yes. But they're starting to feel too personal these days.

So I don't know what to do with this space. Maybe it's just time to move on and leave it as the history it is. Maybe I just need a break before finding a voice again.

What I do know is it's baseball season. And Spring is here. And that  makes me happy.

March 9, 2017

Another week in the life

Last weekend, C-man had a middle school quad on Saturday and tournament on Sunday. He hadn't wrestled or really practiced for 2 weeks because of this elbow, and it was still really hurting. He made it through, but barely. The third period of the last match was excruciating - for him and me.

Because of Sunday, we pulled him from the Tuesday dual and Saturday's conference tournament. He is so upset and angry. But I can't justify letting him wrestle and hurting himself further, especially when there are team points on the line. And this way, he's got another week to try to heal before Regionals, which is his opportunity to try to get to State. I think he's slowly coming to terms with that reality, but certainly doesn't like it.

Personally, I've been having a really hard time with this season. C-man loves it so much - the most of all his sports, and it has taught him so many great things. But the physical portion of it, the intensity of coaches, the constant gruel of it, the disappointment when someone loses, the tears, and (of course) the injuries - have all worn on me this year and I'm having a really hard time seeing why we shouldn't just call it quits. But, as I constantly remind myself, it isn't at all about me. It doesn't mean I'm not going to smile really big when it's baseball season again.

FYI - I painted this podium this year.

March 1, 2017

Knock, knock - is anyone still out there?

  • Google has done this dumb thing where they make you register with G Suite to renew your domain. Since I didn't register, I don't know my username and password, so can't re-up it. So, so dumb. So I'm back to a address, and congrats for finding me!
  • Last weekend was all wrestling, but not for C-man. But C-man had a total blast.
  • Speaking of C-man, his elbow is still sprained. He's got 2 tournaments this weekend, and then next weekend is conference, and the weekend after Regionals. He's going to have to play through quite a bit of pain these coming weeks, because he's out of time for it to heal. I am thankful he's had the two week window without tournaments, though. Hopefully that helps things.
  • There was no coffee in the house this morning. I'd call it a first world problem, except even in third world countries they have great coffee. It was a crisis.
  • My back is holding up fairly well since it got all shot up with drugs last week. The doctor was quite hopeful this would be a one-time thing. It's hard to have that much hope, but that would be wonderful.
  • Which isn't to say I'm pain-free. I still have all the arthritis nonsense, fused L4 and L5, and leg pain. But man, getting rid of that glaringly painful one is a delight.
  • It's only Wednesday and I'm already tired of this week. Sigh.

February 23, 2017

Chasing my own tail

I just can't seem to pull it all together lately. Between the doctor's appointments and work and C-man's after-school stuff and Beerman traveling some, it's been nuts. It's like I'm totally chasing my own tail, and I hate that feeling. And it's not going to be any better this weekend. Sigh. I need a vacation.

February 21, 2017

How is it only Tuesday

  • I ate almost an entire sleeve of Lemonade cookies over 2 days. Damnit.
  • I was marveling at an older lady in the store the other day and how well put together she was. I really aspire to be that way.
  • But then I remember I'm the total mess who wears superhero t-shirts and ate a sleeve of Lemonade cookies. Probably not going to happen in this lifetime.
  • The "kids" who worked for me way back in Boy Scout camp have found me on Facebook. It sort of ruined my vision of them not aging when I see them with kids and lives of their own. But still adorable to know where they are now.
  • On the good side of things, seeing the sun has been glorious. I've really missed the sun.

February 20, 2017

Ugh. We're doing that again.

  • C-man didn't wrestle this weekend. His arm was still hurting him, and I didn't think being the Laconia champ would make much of a difference in our lives long-term. He still went to cheer on the team, though.
  • Beerman and I gloriously stayed home and got housework done. I mean, I actually washed the outside of my house windows. In February! What an unbelievable gift this weekend was.
  • Not to mention, Beasley got walked a bit since the weather was so fantastic, which was good for both of us.
  • The cookie pushers showed up with their Girl Scout cookies today. Jerks. I've got to give these things away. Fast. Today's a high pain day. So having cookies in front of me is a bad thing.
  • No wrestling meets this week. Well, except for high school state which is for 3 straight days. Just what I always wanted to do.
  • Here's to making it through the week!

February 17, 2017

That match that almost made me throw up

Last night, we went to West Milwaukee for C-man to wrestle with the middle school. At about 20 seconds into the first period, he got an injury timeout. His right arm was hurting, and he had tears. The coach talked to him for a bit, and then sent him back out where C-man fought hard, but was down 2-4. It felt like he was being manhandled much worse than the score showed, but he wasn't getting scored on.

In the second period, they fought for a bit, and C-man got put to his back. I was sure he was pinned at least 3 times. But I saw a moment when he decided he wasn't going to go down, and he fought hard, crunching up so the guy couldn't get his back down. For about 1:20, that kid fought.

Then it was time for the third period. His arm was clearly hurting him bad, and he couldn't pull the kid around with his right hand. He got put to his back again, nearly being pinned again. But then the kid got a little too high, the coach shouted, "To your left!" and C-man amazingly flipped around and got on top.

The team and the crowd went absolutely wild. After all this time of nobody thinking he was going to make it, he was on top.

His coach yelled for him to look up to put more pressure on the other kid. But being in the third period after having spent most of his time fighting off being pinned, there was no smile this time.

And then he flipped him over fully, and the ref's hand came down with a loud whomp.

I didn't know whether to cheer or throw up.

And he was hurt, exhausted, and just spent, barely making it through the team's congratulatory lineup. The determination on this kid is ridiculous. I was so proud of him for not giving it up, especially after we'd just talked on Tuesday about how bad kids feel when they realize they gave up.

A little while later, C-man said the pain was not subsiding in his elbow, and he heard a crack when it started to hurt. Being experienced in these matters, I took him straight to urgent care for some x-rays at his request. Preliminary results are a sprained elbow, and he's in a sling, but no break. (We high fived about that - he was just sick with anticipation of the results) He's supposed to wrestle on Sunday, but we'll see. The good news is he now has a 2 week break from middle school wrestling, and since high school state is next weekend, he won't wrestle then either.

So here's to determination and healing!

February 16, 2017

One day closer to the weekend

  • I had my work health assessment this morning. I passed all five markers, which was good, because it's worth $600. But the best part was she rang me in at 5'6". Somehow I magically grew an inch. It must be all that stinky broccoli.
  • C-man has another wrestling dual tonight.
  • I have another unbearable, awful headache. Thankfully, I'm going to the chiropractor tomorrow and a massage on Saturday.
  • Only one more day to go. Whoot.

February 15, 2017

And now it's Wednesday

  • Last night's wrestling dual was a success. The team won, and C-man pinned his guy.
  • The coach has been telling the kids to look up to get their picture taken as a way to get them to arch and put more pressure on the opponent. C-man took it literally.
  • Then we went to the high school sectional dual, which wasn't so positive. But who can say no to a romantic drive through Culvers dinner?
  • I went to the spinal surgeon today. He was surprised, based on the MRI results, that I wasn't having other issues, too. But the good news is he's referring me to a pain management doctor. That means probably no surgery, but instead, burning a couple of nerves in my vertebra. So I'm hopeful.
  • You know things are bad when ablating nerves sounds positive.
  • He was still dire about the future degeneration from arthritis, though. I always hate hearing that, even though I know it's real.
  • Beerman just wants to know what superpowers I'll get in the process. I'm hoping for adamantium.
  • I could really use a drink.

February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day

  • Happy Valentines Day. Or, as we know it around here - Happy Two Wrestling Duals Day!
  • Apparently last night, the wrestling coach was lecturing the kids about getting their heads up and arching. He told them to look at Mrs. Rysewyk so she can take your picture. Funny, because it's totally true. I love when they look up.
  • Someone brought funfetti cake into work. So delightful.
  • In other fun news, I found a new focus button on my camera. I've been irritated with the lack of sharpness in my photos lately, so I'm hoping this helps.
  • I think I'm going to need a quiet "me" day soon. I've been feeling sort of overwhelmed with it all lately. Or maybe it's just the lack of sleep.

February 13, 2017

And here we go again

  • Tomorrow is Valentines Day. I get to spend it at not one, but two, wrestling meets. One for C-man and one for the high school who made it to regionals for the very first time. My life is so very glamorous and romantic.
  • My back is hurting so bad, I'm only getting an hour or two of sleep at a time. I'm really hoping this spinal surgeon gives me something good on Thursday.
  • The lack of sleep is leaving me in a perpetual crabby state of sleep deprivation. It's not a great way to be.
  • I've been so busy with stuff, that I haven't had much of a chance to take photos like I'd wanted to this year. It's a bad precedent, because editing wrestling photos has become a real grind.
  • On Saturdays, I've been getting up before the sun to get Beasley to the park. He hasn't been very well behaved, but without a run, he'll go crazy. So that's our compromise. An old lady always shows up at sunrise with her pitbull mix. She swears like a sailor about her damn dog, and I love her. It's become my sleep deprived quiet time. Damn dog.

February 12, 2017

Another successful day

This weekend, we headed west again, this time to Dodgeland High School in Juneau, Wisconsin. C-man had a solid 4-man bracket, with each of the kids rated as Average. (You rate out as Beginner, Average, Good, or Excellent based on your win/loss record) This was positive, because it meant he'd get some solid competition at his ability, and not just tear through some beginners. (He's technically above average, but Beerman and C-man haven't wanted to move him up to Good until he gets some things down, because the Good kids often get paired with Excellent kids.)

His first match was against a kid from Markesan. They were pretty well matched up. But in the second period, C-man took him down and pinned him at 1:43.

He was a really nice kid, and he and C-man bonded instantly over their shared first name. (They were both giggling that they didn't know what they were supposed to do because both coaches were yelling their names) That's one of the things I really do like about this sport - the kids really get to know one another and create friendships over their shared pain.

The second match up was against a kid from Waupun who is 9 pounds heavier than C-man. C-man wrestled well, and at the end of the first period, threw him down and pinned him. (Beerman was yelling, "No! No! No" because he's tried to get C-man to not just go for a throw, while another coach was shouting, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" Beerman acknowledged he needs to back off the anti-throw now that C-man doesn't just always look for it. But it was a funny moment) When I say he got his pin at the end of the first period, it was truly at 1:00 - the exact end of the first period. The other parents were really angry because they didn't feel it was a pin, but upon review of the video, while pretty quick, it was valid.

The third match up was against a kid from West Bend. C-man took the kid down. While Beerman shouted for C-man to "ride him" to let him go to the second period, C-man thought the nod was to pin him. So he did it at 56 seconds.

And that's how you end up with the bracket, a medal, and a brand new t-shirt you wear for three days straight before your Mom makes you throw it in the wash. I still don't understand how you can like doing this sport, but this smile says it all when it comes to his feelings about it

And for those paying attention, he weighed in at 106 and change Saturday morning (down from his 115.5 he weighed in at the beginning of the season), and the sleeves on a bunch of his t-shirts are tight. Hard work doesn't even begin to describe this.

February 7, 2017


  • C-man came home from school not feeling well today. So therefore, no wrestling dual. Since he's been sleeping pretty much non-stop today, I'm going to go with - he's really sick.
  • Thursday's wrestling dual is going to be a really tough one, so he may lose his varsity spot for the day and the coach could bump everyone up a slot. (They're really strong at the lower weights) I'd like to see him wrestle at varsity, but the less pressure on me sure would be nice.
  • I had a much-needed massage last night, and actually slept for the first time in ages. I left a really big tip because the therapist was super pregnant and I was all guilty about it. Not guilty enough to not get the massage, mind you...
  • C-man is all signed up for an overnight camp with a friend at the end of the summer. He never wanted to do it until last summer. And by the time he'd decided it'd be fun, everything was booked. So I got ahead of the game this year and figured out which camp and when. I think he's going to love it.
  • It reminds me how much fun I had as camp director. Those were some crazy days. But so great.
  • These February thunderstorms are freaking me out. The poor bees!
  • I took my car in for repair because the engine light was on. It was some canister that was sticking - emissions problem. And, of course, I'm 6000 over my 60,000 warranty. Ugh. At least they washed my car. I'm trying not to think of it as a $350 car wash.
  • The boys are volunteering at the high school wrestling regional tournament our team is hosting this weekend, so I should get a day of quiet to myself. I'm looking forward to that.
  • Because then Sunday is back at a tournament. Oh goody.

February 6, 2017

Another good weekend on the mat

This weekend, we headed west to Watertown to wrestle. C-man had a 4-man bracket. His first match was the toughest. He was down 2-0 when he got a blood time out. His mouth was gushing. Typical wrestling grossness. Once it was cleaned up, he went out on the mat and got a reversal to make it 2-2 right before the end of the 1st period.

Match 1 - 1st Period:

Match 1 - (post blood time out) end of 1st period:

He started the 2nd period on the bottom, and quickly turned the kid over and pinned him in 12 seconds getting the official fall at 1:12.

Match 2: 2nd period

The second match was an even easier one for him. The other kid was pretty new to wrestling, and C-man took him down and pinned him at :27. Beerman was trying to get him to cut him loose and make it go longer, but C-man didn't hear that instruction. Kind of a bummer for the other kid who didn't get more live wrestling time, but sometimes, I'm sort of grateful when they go quickly. Then I don't have to be so nervous for so long.

Match 2:

The third match, Beerman talked to C-man about staying on the mat longer and practicing perfecting his moves. He let it go into the second period, and then took the fall at Beerman's nod in the second period at 1:34.

Match 3:

Mr 4th Place took off before awards. But it didn't stop C-man's enormous smile and a chance to stand on the podium. It was an easier tournament for him, so he wasn't as ecstatic about the win as last week. But it's still hard not to be happy when you've got three new pins you've earned on your hat.

And tomorrow, it's a middle school dual. Because of course it is.