Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snow Day

You know the hard part about disappearing for months? When you finally reemerge from the abyss you have a million things to talk about, but not a single good starting place. I told myself I would not recap and I won't. I will do my best to fill in the gaps as we go along.

 

"Mama," five and a half year old Alice yelled up to me from the back door. "I'm not having any fun."

"Why not?"

"There are spider webs in my play house and I'm too heavy to slide on the kick board."

It had snowed this morning, but with above freezing temps it has begun melting. Sidewalks have been cleared, leaving the only good snow in our back yard. "Have you made snow angels yet?" I suggested.

"No. That's a good idea," she stated with a hint of a smile on her lips.

Gone for mere seconds I heard the familiar click of the back door knob followed by her happy voice.

"Mama! I am having so much fun! I found the best game ever!"

"What's that?" I asked.

"I'm brushing Marley's tail with ice!"

"Hmm. Really?"

"Yes. And it's so much fun. But I am getting ice in her fur. But she doesn't mind it. I'm so glad I thought of this game!!"

 

I, too, am glad she thought of the game. Does it make me the worst pet owner ever that I didn't demand she stop? Or when, fifteen minutes later, I went on the back porch to check on them and she was still brushing the dog with handfuls of ice packed snow and, still, I did nothing? No. I stand firm. I love my dog and I love my child and if this is how they choose to entertain themselves on our third snow day in a row, so be it. Her wonderful game was allowing me peace and quiet. I mean really, if the dog was truly being hurt she'd bite Alice, right?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Under Construction

Under construction
Under a spell
Under the weather

In a daze
In a haze
Waiting

Waiting on health
On time for the dust to settle
Waiting for the ducks to fall in a row

Any day now the haze will lift

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Happily Ever After

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl. She lived with her father and her evil stepmother. One day, disappointed in his daughter, the father spoke to her with the harshest of words. He punished her, withheld his love, and forced her to wear a scarlet letter. The dear, sweet child didn't mean to do wrong. She was trying to find her way in a world that hadn't been explained to her.

Feeling immense sorrow and anger towards her father, the girl sought comfort from her best friend. She turned to him for validation, she needed to know she was not what her scarlet letter told the world she was. She turned to him for a shoulder to cry on. She turned to him for love. And, before she knew it, he turned to someone else.

Broken hearted, sad, and confused the girl went on. She held her head high, as though she was not scarred. She continued to seek love, the love her father withheld all those days ago, the love her best friend tossed aside. Try as she might, she couldn't find it. She found lust and excitement, but never love.

And then, one day, the girl trusted her heart to a man not worthy. He took every ounce of her soul and crushed it between his hands. He laughed at her pain...the pain he caused for his own satisfaction. He took everything the girl thought she knew about life and threw it up against the wall. The pieces crumbled to the ground much like the girl.

sigh

Cold and empty the girl trudged on. She was no longer looking for love. Love was gone. In its place was a wall. What the girl wanted now was to feel nothing at all. She sought out opportunities to numb the hurt as it crept in. The opportunities, though all different, were plentiful. They allowed the girl to go on, pretend her soul was still hers, pretend she was fine.

And eventually, the beautiful, broken girl was fine. Sort of. The foundation to her wall stays strong year after year. Occasionally someone manages to knock a brick or two down, never much more. The girl, so broken, finds love and comfort from her wall. She clings to it to keep her safe, to keep the pieces of her heart together. With a wall so high, trust in others isn't necessary. How scary it would be for the girl to bring her wall down, to expose her heart to the potential pain, to place her trust in others when some are not worthy. How can the girl determine who she can trust? She can't. Her father broke her heart. Her best friend broke her heart. And another broke her soul completely. So, the girl lives behind her wall. Every once in awhile she sticks her head out, looks around, begins to trust, grows scared and returns to the safety of her wall.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Witch Bitch

"I have a joke Mama. Wanna hear it?" Alice asked lying next to me in bed.

"Tell it fast, it's time to sleep," I told her.

"Witch bitch. Isn't that funny Mama? Cause witch rhymes with bitch."

I had no idea what to say. The only funny part of the joke was hearing my four year old say bitch.

"You know that buh word you said after witch?"

"Bitch?"

"We don't say that word, Alice."

"Why not?" she asked. With no reason up to this point, we hadn't ventured into curse word territory yet.

"You know how we don't say hate or stupid because they aren't nice words? The b word is like that. It's a mean word," I tried explaining.

"Well then, it's okay because the witch is mean. So witch bitch is fine."

She had a point. I was realizing the concept of curse words is very abstract.

"Alice, that word is so bad it hurts people's feelings when you say it. It makes people very sad if you call them that word."

"What if I had said witch bitch at school? I wouldn't have known it was bad and if I'd asked my teachers they might have thought I was calling them a witch bitch?"

Now I think she was on a mission to say bitch as many times as she could.

"Don't say that word at school, Alice. Not to your teachers or your friends. You don't want to hurt anyone's. feelings."


So that's that. Alice said bitch for the first time. Actually she said it for the first, second, third, fourth...it felt like she was never going to stop. I didn't laugh, I played it cool, but inside I was dying, listening to my innocent little sweet pea chanting bitch like she was....well, me. All in all, I think I passed this parenting moment with flying colors. I mean I'm not a pro, but I'm holding my own here in wonderland.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Summertime and the livin's easy

You guys, you know what today is? Wednesday, right. But not just any Wednesday. Last lunch bunch of the school year Wednesday.

Sob...sob...sob.

The school year is ending. It's happening regardless of what I say or do. I thought I was powerful, turns out I'm not. I do not have the power to stop school from ending. See, here's the thing. I love Alice to pieces, and I love the boys. But, if I'm being completely honest, I'm a tiny bit scared of the summer. Day in day out, Alice and Owen best of friends, worst enemies. I'm not sure who's gonna kill who first, me or them.

Don't misunderstand, I love summer. The long days spent primarily outside soaking in the sun, the freedom to spend the day at the zoo or a museum with no looming school pick up time hindering our fun, and the pool. I do so love spending hours at the pool playing. But I can see it now, to spend the day at the pool I need a certain amount of time to pack all the shit required for a days worth of enjoyment. I can hear the unsupervised screams of, "She hit me," "He kicked me first," "Crosby's wrecking my train," "I'm hungry, I'm thirsty!" Never ending whining and yelling all so I can get us the hell out of the house. Maybe it's not worth it, oh but it is...to stay home is worse. Constantly having to find entertainment to keep everyone happy, otherwise an impromptu game of "beat each other with plastic arrows" might break out.

Yesterday, I spent nap time googling summer schedule, stay at home mom schedule, homeschooling schedule, etc. I'm craving order and it's not even summer, school hasn't even ended. I've downloaded and printed fifty or so schedule cards with pictures of the days activity. Somehow I feel if I glue them to pretty card stock and involve the kids in following our daily schedule I will prevent war from breaking out. Maybe if they have less down time, there will be less opportunities for creative mutiny. Time will tell. I want to have a good summer, an enjoyable summer filled with fantastic memories of adventure and nature, of daily outings and happy togetherness...peace love blah blah blah.

What's your summer secret? Share, I need all the advice I can get!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Creative Differences

In case you were sitting there thinking, "I wonder how dear, sweet, artistic Alice has been lately?"

So now you wanna see her handiwork, don't you? For your viewing pleasure...

When will this destructive, artistic phase end??? Please, someone tell me! I don't know if I can tolerate anymore, she's worse than a puppy! And, on a completely unrelated note, can someone please teach my husband about hashtags?

 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Duck Pond

During my time of avoidance we celebrated my mother's birthday. I was dreading it.

I love my mother more than I ever knew and I hate being reminded how much I miss her. It's this pain that is completely indescribable. It hurts Iike no other pain. It engulfs me in such sadness I'm left sobbing and shaking at everything that should have been and everything that isn't.

Unlike June 9th, April 20th isn't supposed to be a sorrow filled day. By its very definition, a birth day is always a celebration. That's where I struggle. I have an internal battle with my emotions, trying to be happy for the life my mom lived, celebrating her, keeping her day alive for my daughter, all the while I'm drowning in sorrow.

Somehow I managed. I'm quite sure my mom was proud of me. I had my moments, the night before her birthday and the night of, alone in my house drowning in my tears, unable to stop. But, I managed to keep the depressing feelings at bay during her day. My mother was the eternal family motivator/organizer. She kept us together and connected. I try really hard to keep that alive, though I'm often met with resistance from family members, I still try for Alice. This year I made arrangements for my sisters and our families to go to brunch together and visit a duck pond afterwards. In all honesty, it was nice. Alice picked out a balloon to take to the restaurant for her and her cousin, because no birthday celebration is complete without a balloon. It was my way of reminding Alice and my niece why we were gathering together, why this day was so special. The girls had a good time playing together, at brunch and at the duck pond.

Something happened at the duck pond. At the time I didn't think anything of it, only afterwards when I was reviewing the pictures I took did it hit me. When we ran out of bread to feed the ducks, the girls took to playing and climbing on the trees, and of course we started taking pictures. Sitting on the couch, looking at the pictures, it reminded me of being a child. My mom was never without her camera, and I remember this one photo shoot she did of us climbing trees. Now, my mom was far more overbearing, forcing us into bizarre poses and positions, often resulting in grumpy frowns. But that day, taking pictures of Alice and my niece in the tree, I got it. I got why my mom did what she did at that photo shoot. It's just what moms do. We love our babies so much we want to freeze every moment, never to be forgotten. If there was one thing I never doubted growing up, it was my mother's love for me. And I make it my mission every singe day of my life to show Alice how much I love her. I don't want a single day to go by where she doubts it.

Friday, April 26, 2013

My True Love

It's Friday and I'm feeling ├╝ber grateful to my bestest best friend in the whole wide world. I would like to dedicate today to...Amazon.

Two days ago my tub was clogged. I had been showering in two inches of my own filth, and the filth of every other member of my house. So freakin gross. There really is not much as gross as standing in soap and grime and hair and feeling it all swirl around you as you attempt to bathe. The solution was obvious, drain cleaner. But obvious and easy are not one in the same. Unless I'm intending to buy Alice a toy, I despise taking the kids to Target. It's a meltdown waiting to happen. I spend too much money, it takes too long, there's entirely too much whine (and not nearly enough wine) and in the end I'm exhausted and usually forgot the one item I drove to Target for in the first place. And then, standing in pubes (not my own, I have you know) I had an aha moment.

Amazon.com

I love amazon and buy an outlandish number of items from there every year. Birthday presents, applesauce, mason jars...you name it, I've likely bought it on Amazon. But sometimes it takes me a few days or weeks to remember the magical Mecca Amazon really is. Sometimes I get in my car and drive from store to store looking for a specific item before my moment of enlightenment....Amazon. Why waste gas and precious time when I can buy leather cleaner in my pajamas? Amazon delivers to me for free. FOR FREE PEOPLE. With gas at $3.50 a gallon, do you know how much it costs me to drive the forty minute round trip to target? And I have to get dressed and make children behave like they have a brain. Amazon loves me so much they will bring me my things for free. It's a no-brainer.

But, in case you aren't yet sold on the wonders of Amazon, there are the reviews. Hundreds and thousands of reviews. Why would I blindly buy a shower curtain liner from Target when I can read 503 people's opinion of one specific liner on Amazon? Literally 503 people took the time to post a review about a shower curtain liner. And let me tell you, they were right. So far the liner kind of kicks ass. Honestly, I'm addicted to reviews. I hardly buy a thing without reading a handful first. I want to know what I'm in for. If the thermos leaks after a month or so, I wanna know. No surprises.

I present to you my list of top ten life changing items I've purchased on Amazon. Without Amazon, I would have had to drive to actual brick and mortar stores to purchase these items. Some items I didn't even know I needed. Others I didn't know existed until I started reading reviews. In most cases I paid far less, and in all cases it was easy. One item may have even saved me from killing Hatta.

  1. Ceiling fan light bulb
  2. Drain cleaner
  3. Glass straws
  4. iPhone case
  5. Nivea hand cream
  6. Wireless router
  7. Breville juicer
  8. French press
  9. Bona wood floor cleaner
  10. Nivea kiss of smoothness lip care

My love for Amazon is growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, I'm expecting a date with the UPS man later this afternoon. Maybe tomorrow, too.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Balloon String

What can I say about my sweet Ellie girl. She was my true first girl.

She was one itty bitty kitten in a litter of five, born in the high temperatures of August. Ellie was a barn kitty. Her feral mother, young and inexperienced, kept her kittens tucked between bales of hay in the barn loft, away from human contact. Little did she know, her poor babies couldn't handle the heat or the fleas. On several occasions I moved the litter away from the tightly stacked bails of hay to a location in the loft where the air could flow, hoping Mama would adjust to the new location. No such luck, she always carried them back. Slowly but surely the kittens were dying, and left hopeless to nature I could merely watch. One by one, three kittens died, and I could no longer sit back and allow nature to run its course. I pleaded with my father to allow me to rescue the last two kittens from imminent death. On our farm cats were meant to stay outside, but I made my case anyway. I begged him to allow me to keep the kittens in my room. I reasoned, it would only be a month and then I would take them with me when I moved out. I left him little choice.

I became the proud new owner of two feral kittens, Ellie and Moo. Not at all appreciative, they wanted nothing to do with me. They lived under my bed, in the very center where my arms could not reach. As they grew, still very fearful of humans, they woud occasionally dart after my feet as I walked past the bed or as I dangled my legs over the edge. That was all the contact they wanted.

As time past, they came to accept me as their own. They grew to love me. One more than the other. There was just something about Ellie I was drawn to. I'm quite positive if she had been a person, we would have been great friends. The kind of friend you can share anything with and know you won't be judged. We would have drank tequila together. But instead, she was a cat. She had this aloof quality I always admired, as opposed to her brother who is and always has been so in your face needy. Ellie was best friends with my childhood dog, a black lab. They spent many hours of life together curled up on the dog bed, cleaning each other. It was the type of friendship cheesy Hollywood movies with talking animals are made of. They followed each other around the apartment and genuinely played together.

I sit here and think about the life Ellie lived, she was dealt a rough hand but you never would have known it. She was tough. She lived through a lot with me. In my current life, those two kittens were here before anything else. Before I was a wife or a mom or a homeowner. They were there before college, before responsibilities, when life was so simple. Together, Ellie and Moo began this journey of adulthood with me. We grew together. They were crazy kittens, destroying my apartment, while I was partying without a care in the world. Their wildness settled down right in line with my own. And now the duo has been split up.

Ellie had a fondness for balloon string and anything in that same family of string. I think fondness is an understatement, addiction is more accurate. She was hooked, she could sense its presence, she could smell it. She ate so much balloon string I was convinced it would be the death of her. Obviously I was wrong. Like most kids, Alice loves balloons. The placement of balloons was a constant concern in our house. The weighted string couldn't be on the coffee table or a side table, oh no, they had to be way up high. More occasions than I can recall we'd awake in the morning to a balloon floating on the ceiling with only a few inches of string attached. One day she discovered Alice's bike streamers and went to town. After that the bike was added to our list of things not to be left in Ellie's reach. This past Saturday we arrived home from brunch, Alice carrying a balloon in honor of my mother's birthday. And that sad moment occurred...I will never have to worry about balloons and their strings again. Ellie is missed dearly by every member of my house. But on the bright side, if there is one, my mom gained one more pet in heaven.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Oath

I haven't been writing. More accurately I've been avoiding writing. Even more honest, I've been avoiding processing and dealing with difficult events in my life. If I don't write about them, I am only forced to address them as much as life requires. If I don't write, I don't have to swim in my feelings. I can just go on.

The problem with this logic, I can't seem to go on. I can't just skip over them and write as if they didn't occur. To do so feels as if I'm lying.

Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

I will tell the whole truth. On the 8th, I had to take Ellie to the vet to be euthanized. My mother's birthday was this past Saturday. I haven't had the words or the energy to write about either. But both deserve a proper post. I will give them this much. I will tell their story in their own separate posts. I do solemnly swear.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Juicing

I'm juicing. Not like Lance Armstrong or anything. Fruits and Vegetables. Today is day three of nothing but juice, herbal tea, and water. And I freakin want a triscuit so bad I can taste it. Ooh, I wish I could taste it. Last night I asked Hattta if he thought if would be cheating if I just licked the cracker. Mmm, salt. I also want black olives. Every damn time I open the fridge I see them, so pretty in the jar. I wanna drizzle olive oil on 'em and sprinkle with oregano. The weather has been beautiful lately, yesterday nearly 90 degrees, today should definitely reach it. I love sitting on the back deck with a homemade margarita, maybe muddle some cucumber in it. I want to walk down to the Avenue and sit outside any of the restaurants and drink and eat and celebrate spring's arrival. But I can't.

I've committed myself to this and I'm seeing it through. I have a tendency to start strong and never finish. The bag of yarn and knitting needles staring at me on the hutch is proof. I took a knitting class last summer, learned how and never knitted a thing. I had grand plans to knit Alice a doll hat and a matching hat for her, I don't even know if I'm on the second row. I will finish this. Before I started, I decided I would do a seven day juice fast. Then I upped it to ten days, and now that I'm in it full swing, I'm saying I can't stop until five days. After five days I will assess the situation and make a decision. Five days of nothing but juice will make me proud of myself.

I've been told by the countless success stories I've read, day three is the sweet spot. Some have used words like euphoria, clear headed, and even high as a kite. Fingers crossed on that one. Right now, I feel nothing other than a headache. Caffeine withdrawal is a bitch, and I had gradually weened myself down before I started the fast. I'm just waiting, any moment I'm going to feel amaaazing I just know it. I'm going to wake before Alice, feeling rested with a sparkle in my eyes. I'll have a new spring in my step, a new thirst for life. I dunno. Maybe I have to do the thirty day fast for that one.

At the present moment, I'm drinking a glass of one pear, one beet, two inches of ginger, and a quarter of a pineapple. To be honest, it's not my favorite juice so far, but it's better than the V28 recipe I made yesterday, that juice sucked. Do you guys eat beets? I never had prior to this, and I guess technically I'm still not eating them. Anyway. Beets make bathroom time rather interesting. Give it a try if you haven't. Thanks to the fast I'm familiarizing myself with the entire produce section of the market. I'm buying things I never knew existed. And even if I never enter the euphoric state, that in and of itself is a huge benefit.

When the fast is over, I intend to continue juicing. I will incorporate juice into my life while eating fruits, vegetables, and nuts and smaller portions of meat and dairy. I will eat healthier. I will still indulge in unhealthy eating every now and then, life is meant to be lived well after all. But, a diet of junk is not a life well lived.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rubbermaid Containers

Can I share with you my most hated aspect of parenting? The clothes. The endless buying and washing and outgrowing and changing seasons, over and over again and again. I despise the entire process.

For starters, I am the only one in charge of the clothes. I guess the day Alice was conceived, Hatta and I signed an invisible contract stating that I would oversee all things clothing. I would be in charge of ensuring our baby had warm clothing in the winter and bathing suits in the summer...every single year for the rest of her childhood. Easter dresses and Christmas tights, all on me, and do be sure you buy during a sale. I suppose I should just shut up and be thankful that we can afford to buy Alice clothing, first world problem I know. Still, it's exhausting.

Please, someone, explain to me why I'm the only one to notice when her pants become capris? Which presents another aspect of this problem, what to do with the outgrown clothing. Not only is it my responsibility to purchase new size 5 leggings in the middle of the season (hmm, does Hatta even know what size Alice wears?) I have to sort and box up the size 4 leggings that are no longer an acceptable length. Every season it's a juggling act to comb through boxes of hand-me-downs, pull out the appropriate clothing for the season and box up everything else. This all translates to piles of outgrown clothing stacked up in various places as the season starts winding down. And please repeat this process every single freakin season for years and years and years.

Four times a year, it's the same, survey the clothing, force Alice to try on clothing, sort through hand-me-downs, force Alice to try on more clothing, wash everything, buy new clothing to fill the gaps in the wardrobe, wash more clothing, remove old clothing from drawers, stack around the room, wonder where in the hell you are going to stack yet another large Rubbermaid container in the basement, cry tears into your tequila, repeat over and over again.

I do apologize for this rant, I suppose I'm just a touch bitter after four and a half years of the same and with another season change barreling down upon me I'm feeling the blood boiling inside at the upcoming task. My mind is already in spring clothing mode, with preparations for summer being made when sales arise. The only comfort is knowing I'm not alone. All of my girlfriends with children are also solely responsible for the children's clothing too. Maybe I should coordinate a strike, instead.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Not Fat or Sick or Nearly Dead

I'm about to disclose something that may change your perception of me forever. A week ago I bought a juicer. Please, please don't run away. It's still me. I love you, you love me...remember? I was desperate.

Remember the weight gain and the endless eating of Doritos? I needed to fix the problem drastically. I tried the normal approach, the calorie counting. For two weeks I kept track of my calories and nearly every evening I would bust my daily allowance. I was failing and there's no better way to reward myself than with more Doritos. And beer. Good beer. Relying on my good judgement wasn't working. Maybe I don't have good judgement? Maybe that's the root of the problem.

I needed drastic changes. If I couldn't be trusted to eat good food, maybe I could drink good food...and for the first time I'm not talking beer, wine, or vodka. Enter Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Now, I know I'm neither fat, sick, nor nearly dead...at least I hope not. Though I suppose I could find myself nearly dead in a car accident this afternoon or from the sting of a colony of bees on my next trip to the park, but that's neither here nor there. At the present I am not nearly dead. I would like to be healthier. I would like to crave fruits and vegetables instead of juicy cheesteaks and ramen noodles. So, with the encouragement of a close friend I have been juicing for a week now. And it's been good.

For a week I have not eaten breakfast or lunch, I have drank it. I'm buying produce I have never touched before, like Swiss chard. I was the freak at the zoo picnic table drinking green juice for lunch while everyone else ate like normal human beings. Surprisingly, I like the green juice. I think it actually tastes good. I've also been making juice for Hatta to take to work, at his request. A co-worker said it best when she compared his lunch to pond water.

Brace yourself for the best part...next week I'm starting a ten day juice fast. Ten days with no food to chew, no coffee to drink and no alcohol to celebrate with at the end of a stressful day. Ten whole days of juice, water, and herbal tea. Stay tuned to hear how happy I am, how much energy I have, and about all the pounds I've shed. But even more important stay tuned to days 1-3 when I'm irritable and hurting while detoxing from my coffee addiction, when I rip some unsuspecting person's face off for daring to speak when I'm starving and bitter for agreeing to fast. It ought to be a good time had by all. I imagine by the end of day ten, I'll be willing to lick the goldfish crumbs off Alice's face, shit I imagine I'll lick them off the floor.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Eating Bon Bons

I can't write today. I mean, I get this is technically writing, but it's not a solid story. It's my excuse. I am typing letters to form words to explain away why I can't write something compelling today.

I am addicted to The Young and the Restless.

There, it's out for the world to judge me based on my daytime tv guilty pleasure. I have been watching Y&R for as long as I can remember. I recall at daycare listening to the show when I was supposed to be napping. I learned all I need to know about life from the Newman's and Abbott's. I remember when Nicholas was just a baby and Victoria was sent away to boarding school, Christine was Cricket and Don Diamont was Brad Carlton not "Dollar Bill" Spencer.

But the thing is, I suppose I am not a true addict. Sadly, I function on a regular basis without my Y&R fix. I do not have TiVo or DVR or some other technological advancement in tv recording. So, if I'm not home with kids already napping between the hours of 12:30-1:30 I'm screwed. Occasionally I catch the last fifteen minutes, but most of the time I'm left with the shakes because I don't know if Adam is out of the comma yet. To combat the twitchiness I seek out episodes online. I will not admit how many hours of my life I have wasted searching YouTube for Young and the Restless videos. For awhile, it was easy. I could go to my usual YouTube subscription and watch grainy full length episodes. Then Sony started effing with us. From the chatter, I gathered they didn't want users posting their content on YouTube for addicts like myself to watch for free. Son of a bitch, they made me getting my dose ridiculously hard. I had to search and search and follow users because they followed an account that posted an episode yesterday which Sony removed within an hour all in hopes of being led to the next dealer, I mean poster. Then, I started settling for clips of episodes, just enough of a high to get me by. I suppose the day I watched clips of six year old episodes was the day I staged an intervention for myself. It had gone too far and I knew it. Without cable or DVR or a working PC, I was not going to be able to watch my soap opera. I quit cold turkey and never looked back. Until I heard the promotion on CBS for a brand new IPad App.

Now I can watch day old episodes anytime I want. Any. Time. I. Want. Which brings me back to my point. I can't write today because I have to watch Young and the Restless. I am many months behind and I must catch up. I'm like an addict who just moved in with their dealer. I'll resurface in a few days, don't worry.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Other Ones

Up until this moment, there has been an aspect of my life with Alice I have intentionally left out. This little space in the sky was meant to be my reflections on Alice and the life we live together. In doing so, I have left out two little boys, we will call them Owen and Crosby. Owen is three and Crosby, just a baby, at nine months. They are our best friend's children. When Owen was an itty bitty baby, they couldn't get him into daycare for a few months. And being the person I am, unable to say no when they asked, I agreed to watch Owen until he was old enough for daycare. Fast forward a few years, add another baby, and that's my story. I am part time Mama to two very sweet and crazy boys and I love them dearly. They are basically an extension of our family and Alice loves them to pieces. She refers to herself as a big sister and in every way that matters she is. And she's amazing.

"So, why today to tell us this fact?" you ask. "Why tell us at all? And why didn't you tell us from the start?" you wonder.

Certainly not to deceive you. My thought was this, Alice sacrifices a lot in her daily life so Owen and Crosby can be in it. She has to share everything, her toys, her Mama, and our time together. This little space in the sky was going to be the one place free of the boys. Our space based just around our little family. But I feel it would be remiss of me to not share this side of Alice. If one day I never complete the baby books, Alice will always have these stories. I want her to know what a kind big sister she was.

Her relationship with Owen is entirely love hate sibling rivalry. They play hard and they fight just as hard. One second it's peaceful dollhouse play, the next someone's screaming and hitting the other. All day, every day. They are each others best friends and worst enemies all in one.

The dynamics between her and baby Crosby are what has prompted me to write this post. They are so sweet together. Alice has all the patience in the world for Crosby. And he absolutely adores her. He lights up when she enters the room. Alice makes it her place to be the little mama for Crosby. She wants to feed him and supervise his play. She's worked very hard to learn how to safely pick him up and she practices it every chance she gets. She loves being big sister to Crosby and most of the time she is truly very helpful. I love seeing her softer side come out when she interacts with the baby. And in those moments I am so very proud of my baby.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March Mad-ness

Every year it's the same. Every year, it's only March Madness. I'm so very sick of it.

Let me back up a bit. When we were much more kids than adults, my dear husband and his boys started a tradition. A very bad tradition, in my opinion. They decided, being the avid sport's fans they were, to go out to the bar full time for the NCAA basketball tournament. They'd take a few days off work from their entry level jobs and party all day and night, like the kids they were. Fast forward to now when they are much more adults than kids and the tradition is still going strong. March Madness makes me a single mom.

Now, I'm the first to agree, husbands and wives need time apart. We need our space. We need our own hobbies and interests. We need friends other than each other. I really do agree with all this. But...March Madness and everything it brings makes my blood boil. Year after year, this tradition has become too big. I heard talk from one of the wives of a birth being missed if the baby should happen to come during March Madness. Last year a wife had to rearrange her annual girls weekend gateway because it was accidentally planned during the tournament. I will have two extra house guests until Saturday. Which means I will have three drunk boys coming home several nights in a row waking me and Alice up. Seriously friends, don't get the wrong impression, I like a good party just as much as the next guy. When this tradition was started, us girlfriends took part. We all had little responsibility and it was a great excuse to let loose. Fast forward ten years, we all have huge responsibilities and don't have the luxury to party like we used to. And yet, the boys still do. Maybe they do a few less shots than they use to, but they still demand the March Madness freedom from work and home.

Last year I was fortunate enough to get away for a night of it. My sister had Alice for a sleepover and I got out of town and stayed with a friend. This year I am not so fortunate. With Ellie's well being depending upon me, I can not leave. I'm forced to witness the men become boys. I think I should start planning now for next year. I'm going on a trip. Somewhere great, a spa retreat!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pretty Pretty Princess

It's finally happened. I've given in. You can't see it because, well you're there and I'm here, but I'm waving the white flag. I bought Alice this booster seat. Did you click? No? Well, I'll wait, go look. That's right. Pretty, pretty princess, shoot me in the eye, hot pink. I agreed to strap that thing in my sleek, sophisticated vehicle.

I'm waving the flag in acceptance of who my daughter truly is...a makeup wearing, pink lovely, purse toting girly girl princess. That's Alice. As hard as I tried to convince her she loved trains as much as dolls, the pirate costume as much as Rapunzel's dress, and Darth Maul as much as Flynn Ryder...wait, that one may be true, but not so on all the rest. She will play trains and cars, but Barbies and dollhouse will always be her first choice.

Let the record show, I'm not against pink and plastic Cinderella high heels, it's just all so foreign to me. I am not a girly girl. I grew up on a horse farm wearing muck boots and ponytails. I spent my days outside in the barn. I shoveled horse shit. Alice is afraid of flys. She wouldn't have made it. In middle school I begged my father to paint my room black, and when he wouldn't I had to settle for black bedding instead. You couldn't have paid me to wear pink. In high school the extent of my morning primping was brushing my teeth. The first time I purchased makeup was when I was 26 years old. Seriously. Up until then, if I wore makeup at all, I used the free Clinique samples my sisters would pass along to me. As you can see, I'm at a disadvantage raising Alice.

Parenting is a juggling act, try to balance the world for your child. I try to show Alice that there is more to life than just princesses. I don't want her to grow up thinking beauty is only on the outside and her worth comes from her physical appearance. I want her to know she's beautiful with or without the pink frilly dress, with or without lip gloss, and my favorite part of her body will always be her round tummy. I let her see girls can do anything boys can. She sees me with a screwdriver in my hand far more than her father. And I'm proud to say I'm learning from her. She's taught me that it's fun to be a little fancy and that a dash of pink here and there is A-okay. She enjoys watching me get dressed up to go out for a girls night or a date. She's making me appreciate shoes, pretty shoes. So, if this is who Alice is, I'm on board. I will support her and her girlyness as long as she ventures to the dirty tomboy side every now and again, she can even do it wearing five necklaces, two rings, high heels and a tutu if she wants.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Not So Truthful Tuesday

I had all intentions today to tell the story of my one secret I carry around every where I go. It's with me when I wake in the morning and right by my side when my head hits the pillow every night. My one truth that only the closest to me know. The one thing I don't speak of, because it's just that painful. The truth that haunts me and my future.

But I can't.

I suppose I don't have the courage, yet, to put it out there for the world to read. To be that vulnerable. If I put it in print it will be too real. I hope to be brave enough soon, for I do think it will be helpful. There's something therapeutic about seeing it in letters.

Defining Moments

There are certain moments in life, after them things are changed. Defining moments, I suppose. The thing that makes these moments unique is the way you feel after them, stunned and stupefied. I can only describe it is an out of body experience where you are in utter disbelief, for one moment you forget what has happened and then like an anvil it comes crashing down on you with a weight like no other, never to be forgotten again.

I think back to high school, I remember this feeling vividly the day I got caught with alcohol at my grandparents house having a pseudo party. Try as hard as I might, I could never go back to the day before. Things had changed permanently because of one little moment in time. And in that moment I was stressed and frazzled, clueless as to how to proceed with the recent discovery.

There's one specific second, literally a second, that changed everything concerning my mom and her illness. In that defining moment I could never go back to the other side. I had learned too much, and in my head my brain was stuck repeating "Oh my God." A day spent in shock.

And again the day I found out I was pregnant with Alice. Not all life changing moments are bad, there are just as many good ones. They still have the same affect on a person. Alice was planned, we tried for months to conceive. Yet, the moment the test showed a positive, I lost all breath. It could not be undone. And that is earth shattering. The idea that the world would never again be the same sent me into a frenzy of thought that stayed with me until my head hit the pillow that night.

The thing about these moments is you go on. You can not live in a state of shock forever. The next day you wake up. And the recent change infiltrates itself into your life. The mind blowingness of it all gradually lessens. Day after day you shower and eat lunch and feed the dog, all the while it becomes just another part of life again.

A few days ago, I woke with much hope for Ellie girl. She was scheduled for a simple surgery that should have made life better for quite awhile. I spent the day thinking of Ellie, eager to hear good news from the doctor, instead I was told the previous days diagnosis was in fact wrong. Instead of a simple, removable polyp in her ear, I was told it was a very large inoperable cancerous tumor. She had weeks left at best. Words were said about quality of life and having to make a decision in the near future. I was in disbelief. How could it be possible? I dropped her off at the vets that morning happy. And now my poor Ellie cat is home no better than before. The tumor, in the side of her head, is making eating extremely difficult. At this point, her breathing is barely affected, but we've been told that will change. So, for as many days as she wants I will syringe feed her five times a day. Every day I will watch her a little different than before. Every day I will watch to see if it's time.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Punked

Dear Mother Nature,

Clap..............clap..............clap.

Bravo. Well played. Point Mother Nature. I see what you did today, your humor is not lost on me. I can appreciate a good prank. But, it kinda feels like you've won on a technicality. To be fair, I did only request for you to change the weather, which you did. At present there is zero snow accumulation outside my front door. Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful for this. I was dreading the shoveling and the wet snowboots cluttering the entrance to my home. But it feels like I was played. You changed the weather like it was one giant mood swing. Are you pmsing? Because if you are, just say so and I'll completely understand. You caused a lot of inconviences today constantly making it appear as it was going to snow any minute. Have a look at just one tiny example, three emails I received today.

Just think about all those poor moms who were waiting and praying swim lessons were canceled, all for naught. They still had to deal with the cold wet weather you provided. As a mother yourself, you should be ashamed. I lost my lunch bunch day, never to be gotten back. It's just gone. Dust in the wind. And to top it off, I didn't even get to Instagram adorable pictures of my child frolicking in the inches of snow you promised.

You may have won this time, but you can bet your ass I'll be bitching in the August heat.

Sincerely,

Nelly

 

P.S. If you skip spring and go straight to summer, there will be hell to pay.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dear Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature,

I am writing to you today with a request, a favor if you will. You have been such a kind mother the past few months, it's probably not proper for me to even be asking, but if you can find it in your heart to honor my request this one time, I will not ask for anything else.

This is what is predicted, but I know you have it within you to change the future. If you felt it was right, you could spare us from the snow. See, oh wise goddess, tomorrow is lunch bunch for Alice at school. Which translates into an extra two and a half hours of "me" time every Wednesday. If you decide to continue on with your winter weather plan, I will not only lose the extra two and a half hours, but with Alice home from school, I will lose productivity for the entire day. You, being a mother, must know what a snow day does to one's house.

In addition, you have blessed us with a few warm days recently. I know it's only early March and those lucky days were just a tease of the future. However, it does seem wrong to regress so severely. After all, you sent the signal to nature. You told them spring was on its way. It doesn't seem fair to the tulips and daffodils to force them to suffer through snow. Surely their beautiful blooms will be affected. Everywhere you look are signs of spring. People's attitudes have been lifted with the hope of warmer days filled with time outdoors, enjoying your beautiful handiwork. You don't want to be responsible for bouts of depression, do you?

Mother Nature, if look down deep within your heart I'm sure you will see a simple weather change really would be in our best interest. If you do this for me tonight, I will not gripe about the heat and humidity in August. I promise. But, if for some reason you do not choose to honor my request, I will do my best to enjoy the beauty you bestow upon us, with minimal complaints. I will watch my girl make snow angel after snow angel. I will listen to the delight in her laughter as she throws snow balls for Marley to catch. I will savor four year old Alice playing in the snow because before I know it she will no longer be little.

Thank you in advance for your graciousness,

Nelly

 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Picking Friends

"Mama? Which friends did I take to school yesterday?" Alice asked me as we were preparing to leave for school.

"I don't know. Alice. Please put your shoes on, I don't want to be late."

"MAAAMA I have to pick my friends."

This conversation, or a variation of, can be overheard in my house five days a week. There is great consideration put into the decision. "Friend" picking is an art form. I feel I must stop myself and clarify for those who have no idea what I'm talking about. To Alice, dolls, barbies, babies, and most importantly in her eyes, princesses of varying size are her friends. She refers to herself as their Mama, though from the way it sounds she's more like their dictator. Anyway, she is allowed to bring a friend or two in the car for the ride to school and can bring one into school for the day.

A lot goes into picking friends. Somedays it's a breeze, the favorite doll of the day accompanies her. Other mornings it's as stressful as picking a presidential running mate, or so I imagine.

"I DON'T KNOW WHO TO PICK," she whines at me when I'm rushing her along.

There are mornings when she stews and worries over which doll hasn't been fortunate enough to visit school yet or which Barbie can't possibly come because they've been too grumpy and need to take a nap while she's gone. And then there are the times when she's selected the lucky winner but can't find the obvious partner to join them. "How can Rapunzel possibly leave Flynn Ryder at home?" Or, "it wouldn't be fair to Cherry Jam if Strawberry Shortcake gets to come and she doesn't! We just have to find Cherry Jam." I've grown used to the morning selection process, but every now and again she shocks me. Seemingly without any rhyme or reason a blast from the past from the bottom of a basket will be the chosen one. Yesterday she took blinking Dora. Blinking Dora has seen better days. She was acquired during Alice's younger, artistic period. Dora has black sharpie eye shadow on her blinking eyelids and the whites of her eyes are now filled in black as well. Her underwear has also been decorated with said sharpie. Dora's hair, which used to be fastened neatly in two pig tails, now flows freely in one big tangled mess. Why Dora, who is never played with these days, was selected is beyond me.

Once we are safely fastened in our seats, there is often more discussion regarding the morning decision.

"Mama? Do you think Merida is jealous of Pocahontas because I didn't pick her?"

"I don't know Alice. Maybe," I tell her.

"She probably is. But Merida has gotten to go to school lots of times. This is Pocahontas's first time. You must be super excited to come into my school, Pocahontas. Just wait till you see my cubby!"

She really is the most adorable kid in the whole entire world.

 

 

Except your kid. I'm sure your kid is equally as adorable.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Beer or Food

All of my life I've been skinny. Now, I know with that one statement some of you are hating me. I know some of you have struggled all your life with weight. Some of you have spent many years trying to love your body, and really, I'm no different. Let me fill you in on a secret, in case you didn't know, women of all sizes can be insecure about their bodies. But I digress, this story isn't about loving and appreciating your body. This story is about me and my body. I'm so selfish, jeesh. Me me me. You'd think this was my blog or something. Oh right.

So where was I, ah yes, all my life I've been skinny. Not just thin, but skinny. Skin and bones, some muscle very little fat. I remember regularly being the brunt of an older horse showing friend's joke. "Are those your legs or are you riding a chicken?" he would tease. My grandmother in-law would criticize me constantly for being skinny, accusing me of eating Iike a bird, and trying to force food on me. I'll have you know, I eat. This has never been an issue, which I will get to later. I was constantly asked in a mocking way, when will it all catch up with me, when will my metabolism slow down. My friends, I have an answer for you. And sadly, the answer is...drumroll please...now. More accurately, February 27th, 2013.

Up until now, I really could eat what I wanted. I remember when I was in middle school, nearly every day for months and months I would get off the school bus and walk with my friend to his dad's shop where I would proceed to eat a snickers bar and drink a glass bottle Pepsi. I'm not talking a mini snickers or a fun size. I'm talking an entire full size candy bar...almost every day. When I was teaching, I would eat three chocolate chip cookies and a pint of milk every night. Not every once in awhile, not every other night, but every freakin night. "I want some milk and cookies," Hatta would tease me, doing his very best Baby Girl from the Bernie Mac show impersonation. It was a running joke. I'm the kind of girl who can eat four glazed doughnuts in the time an average person eats one. One of the best days ever was when I discovered Swiss Cake rolls. Mmm, so good. Suffice it to say, I like food. Actually, I love food. Some days nothing is better than a carb loaded lunch of ramen noodles on a good crispy bread roll. I have to show restraint in the grocery store to not buy the family size box of frozen Jimmy Dean sausage biscuits. And I only show restraint because Hatta would kill me, apparently they are really bad for you. So tasty.

Which brings me to today, the day after I realized my metabolism is shot, I'm getting older, and can no longer eat whatever I want. Thirty two years was a good run. I enjoyed every single soft serve sundae I ate...did I mention during the summer in high school I worked at a ice cream parlor and ate a vanilla soft serve sundae with peanuts, hot fudge, whip cream, and five cherries just about every day I worked? I worked six days a week. Right, a very good run. But yesterday, going through my closet I discovered the vast majority of my pants no longer fit. I guess a winter wardrobe of yoga pants and leggings allowed me to live in denial. I knew I had gained a few pounds, I had no idea it had gotten this out of hand. Frankly, I was disgusted with myself.

With summer coming and all the exposed skin it brings with it, I knew the time for action was now. So I downloaded an app. Yup, a calorie counting app. It seems to me I did the same thing about this time last year. And I was in the best shape I'd been in since before Alice at the end of last summer, so this just has to work. The magic is obviously in the app! Today is day one of "magic app" and I'm a tiny bit concerned. I've recorded breakfast, snack, and lunch and according to the powers that be I have 645 calories left for today. How can I possibly have another snack and eat dinner, all the while allowing for enough calories in my budget for a post-bedtime beer? The beer in my fridge is 249 calories. I'm scared, people. Am I going to start to drinking Michelob Ultra (that is the beer they advertise as under 100 calories, right?) I hear about people giving up alcohol while they are on a diet, I always thought it was a myth. But I see why, it comes down to your priorities. Do you eat all three meals and two snacks or do you forgo food for good beer? What good does it do to look hot lounging poolside in your skimpy bikini if you can't even enjoy a cocktail while doing it? (Obviously, I don't lounge poolside very often, I have a needy child who insists I play mermaids or dive for toys. And I don't own a skimpy bikini, but it proves my point just the same.) I enjoy food and I enjoy good beer. And wine. And cocktails. Don't worry, I'm no more addicted to alcohol than I am food. Which brings me back to tonight's dilemma, eat a good dinner or drink a good beer? I'll let you know how it turns out. Either way, I'm sure it's gonna suck. Getting old blows.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ball of Emotion

Passion: A strong and barely controllable emotion.

Alice hit me today. She was mad at her swim teacher, so she hit me. That's logical, right? Alice is definitely a ball of passion that bounces around her world. Sometimes the passion is positive, sometimes it's not. Today has been a not kind of day.

"Alice has needed to work on using her words rather than her hands when she wants to assert herself with her friends. Alice can get very wound up if the activity level is high," said her teacher during our spring conference today.

This is my Alice. This is my world, reminding her to talk with her mouth not her hands, trying to help her establish self-control. We battle frequently when her passion becomes more than I can bear, positive or negative. Sometimes it's just too much. She plays with the very same energy she fights with. There is very little middle ground with her. She's in, all or nothing. Watch Alice tell you a story, watch the emotion flow through her body. It's the most adorable thing, she bounces around barely able to contain herself. She can hardly be still.

When the passion flows negative, look out. Her go to move is kill first, ask questions later. She rarely has enough control over her passion to think. The emotion fills her and her go to release is to scream or hit or kick or throw. When I think of this list of her reactions, two years ago I would have had to add biting and a year ago I would have included spitting. So I am reassured that in this never ending parenting saga, I am making progress. However, I fear I will always be struggling with Alice. I can not fathom things are going to get easier. Better, in regards to hitting, yes. But not easier. She is my artistic, inquisitive beautiful ball of emotion. And I love every ounce of her.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Challenge Myself

There are things that I've allowed myself to stray from. And I keep telling myself to get my shit together, I am in control, I can make the changes.

Except I don't.

I continue on doing less of the things that I value, less of the things that make me happy, less of the things that I enjoy. "Why?" you ask. I don't know, and I know too much. There are a lot of reasons why I am not doing. The reason doesn't matter to me.

I challenge myself.

Every week, for a week, I will challenge myself to do something specific every single day. No excuses. Not even legitimate ones. There are wasted minutes in everyone's life every day. No matter how busy you claim to be, everyone wastes a minute here or there. Everyone.

This week I'm a day behind, but I will forgive myself this one time. This week I get a pass, a one day pass. I created my first blog after months and months of reading other writer's blogs. I would read every single day for my own personal enjoyment. Somehow I've lost that. Case in point, and the inspiration for this post. Shit, I can credit this twitter exchange for the entire challenge. Please excuse the typos.

So that's it. For seven six days, I will read and comment on my favorite writers's blogs for fifteen minutes a day. According to Fly Lady, anyone can do something for fifteen minutes. If I don't get to them all, I will not worry about it. I will read and remember why I liked the darkside so much. The best writers read other writer's work. Not because they have to, rather they love it. They crave it.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ellie Belly

I don't talk much about my pets. Which, in and of itself, is horrible. Before Alice, they were my children. Now they are the reason I vacuum. I have two cats and a dog. The cats I've had since I was 18 and the dog I acquired jointly with Hatta. I suppose it would be proper to say they are our pets, but in reality the dog goes where I go and the cats listen best when I call them.

Today I would like to talk about Ellie Belly. Some of you may remember a story I told back on the darkside of blogging. In said story, Ellie was stuck walking in circles, forced to walk to the left (or was it the right?) regardless of what was in her path, never able to rest. It turned out to be an ear infection, something that has plagued Ellie since as long as I can remember. If she was a toddler for sure the pediatrician would be mentioning tubes. But in Ellie's case it runs a little deeper.

Early on in Ellie's life, after many rounds of antibiotics and inacurate diagnoses, it was determined she had polyps deep in her ear. Two surgeries and thousands of dollars later, she was a happy cat. Finally for the first time in her life she wasn't on antibiotics. She was living the good life, until 2001 when she had her first seizure, followed by a few more in the weeks to come. We had her checked out by our vet and carried on. Not much thought was given to those seizures. They were merely another roadblock for Ellie to overcome, another bullet point in the list of reasons Ellie was my special needs cat.

Until last Sunday.

In one twenty four hour period Ellie had six seizures, four of them in two hours. The months leading up to Sunday Ellie had two serious ear infections and it seemed she never fully recovered from them. And, then the seizures started. One followed by four days seizure free, and then another with a few days without seizures, and then another. We knew it wasn't as simple as it was in 2001. Her appearance had changed and so had her demeanor. We knew it was finally time to visit the vet.

You may be thinking to yourself, "Seriously? Your cat had several seizures and you didn't take her to the vet?" Don't judge. We'd been there, done that...vet bills and seizure pamphlets to prove it. They discovered nothing in 2001. Speculated as likely to be a brain tumor. We've already invested hundreds and thousands of dollars attempting to give Ellie a good life. In all honesty, we knew we weren't going to pay this time to run the gauntlet of tests the vet would suggest to determine why Ellie was seizing. We just wanted Ellie to enjoy life or not have to suffer another moment. Putting a price tag on your pets well being is a difficult situation to be in, and frankly we weren't looking forward to it.

And then, there was Sunday.

I don't know if you've ever been unfortunate enough to witness an animal having a seizure, but it has to be the most helpless feeling. There is literally nothing you can do and it breaks your heart every agonizing second of it. You just want to pick up the flailing body and try to comfort the seizure away, knowing you can't you just watch...helpless and sad. And when the poor body is done twitching and shaking and spinning, it's still not over. There are after affects that last and linger for many minutes, where you sit trying to comfort an animal that's still not in this realm, still gone to this world. Try experiencing that four times in two hours. And during the last three seizures Ellie urinated, spinning and shaking her body throughout her urine. Poor Alice was there to witness a few of the seizures, her feelings of fear neglected in the moment when the safety of Ellie was more pressing. It has been a very difficult time.

Sweet Ellie was taken Sunday night to the animal ER where they allowed her to rest comfortably on Valium. She spent several nights at the vets, they ran extensive blood tests and determined she's blind (hopefully temporary) but healthy. Again, most likely a brain tumor. She's now permanently on daily anti seizure medication and hasn't had a seizure since. It seems, after a few rocky days at home adjusting to the narcotics, she's resembling her old happy self again. In fact, just today I found her on the dining table attempting to wreak havoc on my Valentine's flowers.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Busy, Busy

Life has been busy. Granted, life is always busy, but recently it's been the kind of busy I can't set aside for a later day. Life has been requiring my complete attention. Today I will post a few snapshots to help serve as reminders to myself of posts I have floating in my head, In case they get lost up there. Also proof to you fine readers, I haven't been neglecting my blog because I've been slacking off.

Oops, how'd that one get in there? I'm ordinarily not the kind of girl to post a pic like that.

 

New stories are coming. Soon....I hope.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

B.O.B.

We're all friends here. We're in the circle of trust, right? We can share anything.

I will be attending my first sex toy party.

I don't think I've talked much about all things sex before. I guess it's not something that comes up in normal conversation. My preference in lubrication doesn't mix well with Alice's most recent food aversion.

I suppose there's no better day than today to have the sex talk. I like sex. I'm not one of the women you hear about who avoids it like the plague, faking headaches left and right. I think I have an average sex drive. I think I am averagely adventurous in bed. I mean, I'm not a prude, but I also don't have the need for a bullet disguised as a pen. Have you seen this? A pen that doubles as a writing divice and a vibrator all in one...and it actually writes! I suppose some people can't risk being caught without a pleasure tool, you never know when the situation may present it's self. The boyscout of the sex world! I guess I'm not that adventurous. Don't get me wrong, I've had my share of public sex. I've just never felt the need to bring toys into a public quickie. Maybe I've been missing out.

See, the thing is, I have a confession. A sad, sad confession. Brace yourself...are you sitting down?

I don't own any sex toys.

gasp

I'm the only woman in her early thirties who's never owned a vibrator. I don't even know how it's gotten so out of hand. Like I said, I'm not a prude. I'm the first to admit I pleasure myself. And, I'm lazy. So what the what?! I'm the perfect candidate for a battery operated tool to give me a hand. Talk to your friends, your sister in-law, probably even your mom, they have all owned a rabbit or a magic wand or something equally as pleasing. I'm the only one. And instead of solving this problem, I just keep whining about it. I've whined since last summer. I said then, enough is enough I'm buying a vibrator! But I didn't. It's not that I'm embarrassed to walk in a sex shop, I'm too lazy. I'd have to take the time to find someone to watch Alice so I can walk the three blocks to the shop. I mean, I think they'd frown upon me bringing her with me. I attempted to buy one on Amazon, but I got sucked into reading review after review and before I knew it I was reading reviews of anti aging serums instead.

I've been doing it the old fashioned way for far too long. My time has come. The party's Sunday. Soon enough I will say, how in the hell have I lived without this beauty for so long?! Every woman needs a battery operated boyfriend.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The D Word

I haven't written in a week. I haven't read a book in months. I haven't been to the gym in an equal number of months. I've cooked a handful of "real" dinners in many more months. I haven't finished any of the projects I've started in a very long time. Hearing all of this, I have a sister that would be whispering the dreaded D word, suggesting maybe I seek help.

depression

I don't know if she's right. Maybe she is. Maybe she's not. Personally, I don't even know if it matters. I know I have the power to fix all of this laziness. See, that's the thing, I see all of the above as a laziness rut. I was successfully blogging, reading, exercising, and laughing not so long ago. Things weren't great then and things aren't great now. The only difference, I stopped holding myself accountable. I stopped demanding more of myself. I allowed the holidays to be one great big excuse.

I thought 2013 would be a swift kick in the ass. I'm afraid I was wrong. Even though my actions haven't changed much, I have felt a mental shift trying to take hold. I've used my crockpot a few times recently. I've been baking. I've renewed my gym membership. And today I start reading again. I'm taking a class at Alice's school on promoting social emotional competence in children and my friends I'm required to read a book. Slowly but surely I'm taking control of my actions. I don't know if I'll be able to shed the D word from some people's perception of me. Like I said, maybe they are right. But, with every post I write, every mile I run, every chapter I read I feel better.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Color Virgin

I did it. Finally. I highlighted my hair blue. I know what you're thinking, midlife crisis. I'll have you know this is not a midlife crisis. A third-life crisis, maybe. If it was a midlife crisis I would have highlighted my dreadlocks blue. Mark my word, I'm going all out when I reach "midlife."

I alluded to my desire for color back in July, and even though it was only a dream there was truth to it. I have toyed with the idea of purple or blue for several years now, knowing that the "socially acceptable" window was getting smaller by the day. So, the morning I found a brand new grey hair on the left side of my head, I knew it was time for color.

Being a color virgin, I knew I needed subtle. As much as Fifty Shades of Grey would like you to believe a virgin can handle kinky fuckery, I'm not a believer. A virgin needs to start out slow, test the waters before diving in head first.

Well. That doesn't look very impressive. I swear, it's blue. I did say I wanted subtle and understated, but honest, it's blue. Let me try again to highlight the highlights.
There. It's blue. Vibrant cobalt blue. I've been deflowered. Maybe next time I'll look into the kinky fuckery side of color and highlights.

 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Life Absent of a Mother

You know the saying, "time heals all wounds." Maybe you've even said it yourself in an attempt to comfort someone. I am here to tell you, this is not true. Not at all.

Some wounds never heal.

My mother died 6 years ago. Everyone said it will get easier, it hasn't. It's still just as hard to know I will never see her again. My mother never met Alice. She asks about her all the time.

"Mama? Did you take those pictures of your mama because you wanted me to know what she looked like?" she asked me just today on the ride to Toys R Us.

I am forced to spend the rest of my life trying to teach her about a woman she will never meet. Even when sometimes I'd rather not. Even when sometimes I'd rather just cry.

I walk through my days, motherless. Most days it's just that, life absent of a mother. The dishes are loaded in the dishwasher. The towels are switched to the dryer. The dog is fed. And then, there are the moments that hit like a grenade to my core. The moments that force me to think about the severity of everything I lost. The moments that make me relive it all over again.

Recently, I visited a very good friend's father in the hospital. Sitting in a chair in a small room filled with machines and wires and monitors, it all came flooding back to me. Six years flew past me and it was yesterday. It was my mom lying in that bed. It was my mom talking about the food she requested for tomorrow's breakfast. It was my sisters and I talking about the next days agenda and who would be there in the morning. It was my mother's room the nurse walked in when she wrote her name on the board. It was my mother's styrofoam cup with the bendy straw sitting on the bed tray. It was me worried and terrified about what was going to happen next. I sat in that chair and mindlessly chitchatted with my heart and my mind a million miles away.

I live a motherless life and it isn't getting easier.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Not the Most Popular Post

It was the Spring of 1993. I was at a small horse show in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Being just a one judge, two day show it was not overly competitive and mostly for fun. I had finished showing for the day, untacked my horse, hung up my show clothes, and parked myself in a camping chair at the top of the hill with my friends to watch the remainder of the show. When not in boots, I usually wore flip flops regardless of the lectures I received from my father and my trainer, horses can crush toes, yada yada yada. Being a beach girl at heart, I ignored their pleas. But, that sunny day I had to wear sneakers. It had rained the day before and the ground was saturated and muddy. I sat there chatting with my friends, watching the barrel racing event, wearing socks and sneakers. Little did I know the repercussions of this simple moment.

Kinda like yesterday when I tweeted a link to the day's post.

The late spring sun had strengthened and unbeknownst to me, my legs were frying. That day I received my first sunburn of the season. Wearing socks and sneakers. This brought new meaning to the term farmer's tan. My feet and ankles were pasty white while my calves were a golden tan. I was 12 years old and my friends did not go easy on me. To top it off, I had to stand on stage in a frilly dress and strappy sandals at the honors tea, sock tan-lines and all. Numerous people even noted my freakish tan in the autograph section of my yearbook. I will never forget standing in the mirror and seeing the stark contrast between my ankle and my shin, and it never went away. No matter how tan my legs got that summer, you could still see the line.

I'm asking for your help, dear readers. I'm pleading with you, begging almost. Yesterday evening, in pain, I soothed myself with letters. I wrote until I had relieved the troubles of my heart. And then I hit publish. I needed the support of others who know what it's like to cathartically bear their soul for all to read. I needed you.

Ask and you shall receive.

You gave me love and compassion and support. By the boatload. One loyal reader and friend, Kelly at DeBie Hive, went above and beyond. In an attempt to show her nurturing encouragement, she posted a link to my post on her Facebook page.

And the hits just keep on coming.

My small blog is not capable of handling Kelly and her followers. Within moments, yesterday's post was launched to my most popular post. Within minutes, my post where I lamented my pain had outlandishly more page views than any other post.

And this is where you, my dear readers, come in. I don't want that painful moment in time to be at the top of my popular list. It doesn't deserve to be there. Regardless of the quality (or lack of, whichever it may be) of the post, I don't want to see it in the side bar reminding me how I felt in that moment. It hurt and I don't want a daily reminder. It's like the sock tan, I had to walk around like that for months. I was constantly ridiculed and it hurt. I would have loved to wear pants daily for the rest of the summer.

I want to put pants on yesterday's post. I want to disguise it beneath all the other posts. I don't want it at the top. So I beg you, please read another post. Pass it on, suggest your favorite silly Alice story to your friends. Tweet a link to any other post but yesterday's. Facebook users, do your thing. I need help getting a yucky moment out of my mind.

Thank you. And, if you ever need a favor, I'm your girl.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Spew Venom

This will be a very cryptic post and for that I give you a million apologies. If you find yourself lost and struggling to make sense, I will not be offended if you take a pass and come back tomorrow. But, dear readers, sometimes I write for cathartic purposes. Maybe the letters that make up today's post are better suited for a journal. Forgive me, publishing to this blog is all I know...

My heart struggled to keep beating. For that moment, reading those words, it wanted to stop. I felt it. So deep in my chest it physically hurt. A pain like no other pain. With those six simple words the reality of the situation came flooding back. I stared at my phone, unable to move, the letters staring back at me. I wanted to run as fast as I could, escape the pain and the heartache. I wanted to be somebody else.

I read the words again, trying to find different meaning in them. My heart wanted to rip the sender to shreds for the pain. The phone on the other end of the letters had to have known the agony those simple words would cause within me. I wanted to lash out. I wanted the suffering to be felt by others. Misery doesn't just love company, it needs it. It thrives on it.

But, I couldn't do it. I couldn't spew venom, as much as my heart was begging me to. My heart needed the release. Just as two wrongs don't make a right, causing pain to others never makes me feel better. Over the years I have learned the pain my words can cause. The rage within me comes out so eloquently. The venomous words flow like water from my mouth. Within a heartbeat, the damage of my diatribe is done.

I couldn't do it. Ultimately, I cared. I felt pain because the situation had betrayed me. Not the person. I composed myself. Let out two pounds of a sigh and acknowledged those six words. I didn't run. I didn't bitterly attack. I suppose I'm still a work in progress, but I am making improvements.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Early Morning Words

Still sleepy, I felt her stirring next to me in bed. I knew it was only a matter of moments, with the first glimmer of the sun peeking around the curtain, before Alice would be up and ready to go. I cherish these moments. For one, sleeping Alice is a peaceful Alice. It's the only time in the day she looks young. I see her chubby cheeks, her stubby baby fingers, fine wisps of blonde waves around her face. Sleeping, she is my beautiful, angelic baby girl. I also love this brief moment because I enjoy sleeping. My days of sleeping till nine are gone. Now, as a mom, I savor resting extra seconds every morning. I want to be the mom who gets up before the kids, spends quality alone time in the quiet house before it rises and consumes you with noise and demands. I am just not this mom. At the moment, I am satisfied lying quiet and still next to my little girl. Snuggled up next to her, I do not hear her whines and cries. I feel the love in my heart listening to every breath she takes, remembering the days long ago filled with new mom anxieties, when I'd rest my hand on her fragile infant chest to be sure she was breathing.

And just like that she's awake.

"I want to have my picture taken with Rich, too," she says without missing a beat, as if we were in the middle of a conversation.

"Uh huh," I mumble, confused and sleepy.

"I want to have my picture taken with Rich, too," she tells me again as she stretches her arms above her head.

Still unsure of what she is talking about I say nothing. I am always intrigued by her first words of the day. Given my druthers, I wouldn't speak to a soul in the morning until I have a cup of coffee in my hand. But, Alice always begins the day with excitement. She picks up exactly where she left off, either in her dream or the night before. She doesn't spare a single second of awake time, she speaks instantly. The moment her eyes are open and registering daylight she starts talking. Uttering her first word at nine months I should have known Alice would be a talker.

Not satisfied with my silence, she elaborates, "Like I got my picture taken with Santa, and I'm going to get it with Ray Rice, I wanna get my picture taken with Rich, too."

Ahh, now it's all starting to make sense. She's talking about Rich, a member of the band and Disney Junior TV show, The Imagination Movers. Rich is her favorite; he mostly plays drums.

And just like that, my baby is growing up.

This same child refused to sit on Santa's lap three years in a row, has never sat on the Easter Bunny's lap, ran screaming and crying from Curious George, was finally growing up. Her first morning statement made me smile. Hatta had told her yesterday he would take her this year to an event with Ray Rice, her favorite football player, so she could have her picture taken with him. There was discussion about the level of bravery needed in that scenario. She was photographed with Clifford the Big Red Dog during Halloween and standing in front of Santa a few weeks ago; I was confident she could do it. And, obviously, so was she. Finally, my little girl was learning the advantages of being brave. Maybe, just maybe, she's learning to dance.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Story I Don't Get to Tell...Yet

Driving on the beltway my brain was writing a post. Selecting choice words and metaphors to tell the story I just knew I was going to be able to write after I left the doctor's office. With great confidence my story went something like this...

Girl takes a test. Doctor calls. Girl retakes test. Doctor calls. Girl's worried. Girl has to have a more invasive test. Doctor tells girl everything looks fine. Doctor and girl smile in relief. Girl gets ice cream to celebrate results.

Unfortunately, I don't get to tell that story. I didn't celebrate with ice cream after yesterday's doctor visit. Instead, I get to wait and worry six more months. For six months I get to stew about the cells in my body, anxious abut what they are doing, wondering if the abnormal cells have been eliminated yet. For six more months I will tell myself the same as the past three, odds are in my favor and everything is going to be just fine. Except it isn't always.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Today's the day. January 2nd. The day I have been waiting for with equal parts of fear and loathing mixed in.

2012 was not a horrible year. Sure, I have written a handful of posts that would like to convince you otherwise. But, truly, in the grand scheme of life it wasn't horrible. I have a nice warm house to play in, I never go to bed starving, and Alice was fortunate enough to have a very good Christmas. I will not complain.

With the start of a brand new year, it's natural to reflect on the previous one. As far as personal achievements, I did good. I made reading a priority. I committed myself to exercising on a regular schedule, and in doing so rediscovered the old Nelly. I made having adult fun a crucial part of my life. I no longer believe I am just a mom. I did all this for the better part of 2012...then I started slacking. A little slacking here and there turned into a shit ton of slacking with a large heaping of laziness on the side, and before I knew it I was no longer going to the gym at all. I wasn't reading or writing. I was enjoying the holidays with reckless abandon. I had a very good and somewhat legitimate excuse to eat and drink all I cared to and then some. By Decemeber my "damn your ass looks good in those" jeans no longer fit. I had resigned myself to leggings, yoga pants, and two pairs of fat jeans.

Life was good. Until today.

Today I begin 2013 with determination to fix what I broke. Here goes, hold me accountable blogosphere.

  • I will not bite my nails. I will not use the excuse "I'm just biting the skin." I will take the time necessary to have pretty fingers.
  • I will blog. I will stop making excuses. If I have time to search YouTube for Y&R episodes, I have time to write.
  • I will exercise. Regulary. All year long.
  • I will organize my finances. This does not mean straighten the money in my wallet. I probably don't even have any money in my wallet.
  • I will organize my house. Again, no more excuses...see above, regarding Y&R episodes.
  • I will read books. Not only glorified porn. There has to be more than smut on my iPad.
  • I will do what's necessary to take care of myself in as many ways as necessary. Seems vague, but I do it for Alice. If her skin is dry, I take the time to lotion. If her socks are getting too small, I make it a priority to buy new socks. I will wax because smooth makes me feel better. I will paint my toes because a pop of color can brighten a dreary day. I will take care of my skin because its the only skin I will ever have. I will spend money on new bras because they make me feel pretty. I will buy makeup when needed, doing so does not make me a lifetime member of the Sephora Club kind of girl.
I'm not normally into New Year's resolutions. And really, these aren't so much resolutions as a swift kick in the ass. I had a good thing going over the holidays, but gluttony doesn't fit me well.