On Wednesday, my baby turned six. SIX. This weekend, she will be having a very small gathering of her best buds to paint pottery at a local studio. It was only after her party last year, where I invited her entire Pre-K class, that I realized she may not be a prime candidate for having a larger party. Sure, a great time was had by all–except the birthday girl. She perked up and joined the fun AFTER the majority of her guests left.
This year, as I was party planning, I realized that I haven’t documented any party since Sophia’s 3rd, which is a shame, because in the past three years the girls have asked for and received: a Lego party, robot party, a pottery party (with a rainbow theme), a Phineas & Ferb water party, a mad scientist party and this Sunday? A pottery party with a My Little Pony theme. It would be a super wasteful for all of my hard work and photos to only be beneficial to me, so enjoy the next handful of posts, one for every party. What can I say? I’m a giver.
Olivia’s 5th Birthday–A LEGO Extravaganza The birthday banner was super easy, just time consuming. I found a LEGO-esque font online, and then just used primary colored card stock to make the Legos. Food was simple, but tasty. (chips, dip, meatball sandwiches, pigs in a blanket, quesadillas, and fruit). I’m sure now it is a bit easier to find Lego party supplies, given the movie’s popularity, but this way worked fine too.
I decided to get crafty and make the pinata. I used an old box and distressed it before covering it in tissue paper. You can find instructions online (seriously, google “make a pinata out of a cardboard box”). It worked out pretty well and the kids were able to *eventually* get to the candy. Excuse the crappy cell-phone photos (seriously, pre-iphone cell pics kind of suck) but these were the gift bags–lunch sacks with coordinating colored dots glued on to look like a Lego brick. Party favors were small building sets (they have party packs available relatively cheap), and I made Lego brick crayons using this tray and melting down old crayons. Warning: you will never be able to use the tray for ice again, but the crayons are cute. For the hats, I bought basic party hats and glued a cut-out Lego guy to it. Again, time consuming, but LOOK HOW CUTE! I’ll be the first to admit that the cake wasn’t my finest display of cake art, but whatever, it tasted great. Loaf pans and mini-cupcake pans. Cut and paste. Frost. Repeat. Easy. I built Olivia a Lego table for her birthday, (Ikea LACK table $7, Green Plates $40). Instead of organizing games, I just brought the table and all the girls’ Legos outside for the kids to build. That, coupled with them running around outside and making sidewalk chalk art, they had a great time.
If you just sprinkle in a few (okay more than a few) links with social commentary attached, a bunch of “My babies are sick, this sucks” posts (usually followed by “OMYGAWD I’m sick now” posts), you pretty much have the past year in our lives. While the past year has been crazy–it has been crazy in a positive way, and I really hope that this is the last “yearly” update I ever need to post. I want to let ya’ll back into our *somewhat* daily lives. AND since I totally bombed on keeping those written journals for the girls–I’ll Doogie Howser it.
Without further adieu…
June 18th: “Mama! After America’s birthday, then it will be MY birthday!” Sophia is very excited for July.
June 27th: While I am proud that my girls are so hygienic, I really hate stepping in puddles on the bathroom floor, or tonight’s newest fun times: toothpaste. Bathwater, I get…But toothpaste?? And then one needs to ask themselves: if they did, indeed, get toothpaste on the floor, how did they miss seeing it? And if they didn’t miss it, WHY didn’t they clean it up? Are they just evil geniuses plotting my demise, one toothpaste covered foot at a time?
June 28th: After putting on a jumpsuit, Olivia grabs the straps, looks at me and says “I don’t think I can wear this to school, because it’s got these…noodle straps.” The cuteness….kills.
(Later that night): Typical night in our geeky family includes conversations on such topics: wormholes (so…it’s just a theory, mama?), algebraic formulas (“x+4= what mama?” “Well, it depends on what x equals. Don’t worry, you’ll learn all the formulas soon enough”) and arguing over Green Lantern and his powers. Ya’ll are SO jealous, amirite?
June 30th: Introducing my girls to a childhood favorite: The Goonies & having a living room picnic. The little things!
July 7th: “Hello, por favor sounds so much better than Hello, please” –Sophia, who never followed up with why someone would need to say please after hello in any language.
July 9th: This morning, Sophia asked for cinnamon toast for breakfast. After realizing I had no butter, I told her I couldn’t make it. She looks at me and says “that’s ok mama, you can just make me French toast.”
Well played little girl, well played.
(later): Olivia has been playing her guitar this afternoon, making up songs…Sophia goes to sit next to her and Olivia stops playing and says “No Sophia, not now…I’m not ready for an audience yet.”
(even later): While eating spaghetti, Sophia decided she was “eating grubs”.
Sophia: “I made up a song: “eating grubs, eating grubs, I am eating grubs”
Olivia: “I made up a song too: ‘no singing at the table, no singing at the table’.”
I decided not to point out the irony.
July 11th: I have lived in California for 14 years, and still have my Southern accent–albeit not as thick as it was when I was a kid, it’s still there and noticeable. Tonight, after a marathon phone conversation with my mom, the girls wouldn’t stop laughing at me. “Mama you sound like MeMe!” It’s true, I could give you a toothache with this drawl right now
July 12th: Fun: a trip to Trader Joe’s where we fill our cart with fun stuff. Not fun: having to re-shelve an entire cart of groceries when you realize your wallet is not in your purse. Sometimes, you just gotta laugh.
(later): Overheard while at McDonald’s playplace: Olivia (to a little girl):”My sister is a princess, but I am a mathematical genius scientist…but I’m not supposed to brag…but I’m definitely not average.” Kinda proud Olivia has found her voice, just gotta work on being humble.
July 14th: Looking through old family photos, Sophia comes across one of her dad wearing a “WTF?” t-shirt.
Sophia: “What’s that mean? Whaa-ttuu–fff?”
Mama: “Those are initials, not a word.”
Olivia: “Um, what does it stand for? White Turtle Farts?”
Mama: “Yes…yes it does…”
(I went on to explain that it was something big kids would say, and not for little girls’ vocabularies).
July 15th: Talking to the girls’ wonderful therapist about sleep training to halt Sophia’s middle of the night journeys into my bed, she suggested I put a bell on my doorknob.
Me: “That’s an excellent idea, going to do that tonight!”
Sophia: (whispering to me) “Mama, what if I hold the bell when I open the door, so it doesn’t ring?”
Seriously people–hands full.
July 16th: 5 years ago today, Sophia Madeline came into the world, knowing what she wanted, and she has not been afraid to let the world know since then. Spunky, stubborn, sweet, silly, smart, sometimes shy and sometimes sneaky, with an incredible sense of style, Sophia never fails to make me laugh. She is full of surprises, and every day I thank the universe that she is my girl. Happy Birthday my SophieMad, my Jeckle, my Cletus, my Clyde, my sunshine…I love you to the moon…and back.
July 25th: The girls are now filming each other making “Art Shows” where they teach “kids” how to draw stuff. Never a dull moment.
(later): Overheard while girls are taking a bath together:
Olivia: “Extra, Extra, here is the news!”
Sophia: *unintelligible mumbling*
Olivia: “NO Sophia! You need to ask me a question that only smart people would know!”
Hmm…guess I need to teach Olivia about the Lowest Common Denominator.
August 2nd: Amazing how having your kids ask you to play in the public pool with them makes you lose your self-consciousness of being seen in your swimsuit.
August 4th: While resetting my router today, Staas (Olivia’s friend and my adopted son came over to try to supervise and proceeds to attempt to insert his router resetting wisdom.
M: “Staas, do you know how old I am?”
I couldn’t even finish my thought after that.
August 13th: (In reference to a link I posted about Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”) The girls think the lyrics are “we’re up for a Mexican Monkey”
This made my morning. Love this song!
S: “I want a little brother.”
M: “Well, at the moment, I have no way of making that happen, but if one day, I meet a nice man who I love, and who loves me, you and Olivia, maybe you will have a little brother.”
S: “But what if you don’t have a boy?”
M: “Well, maybe I will meet someone who already has a little boy.”
S: (laughing hysterically) “WHY would you marry someone who already has a little boy??”
M: “Why would someone marry me, who already has little girls?”
S: (Takes a minute) “OH!! I get it!”
August 20th: Overheard at breakfast:
S: “I don’t know if you can do that.”
O: “Sure I can, it’s easy as pie!”
S: “You don’t even know how to make pie.”
O: (slightly exasperated) “It’s just something people say, Sophia.”
S: “You mean it’s an expression?”
O: (sighs) YES.
O: “So…does an ‘F’ stand for ‘Failure’?
M: “An ‘F’ is a failing grade but I don’t think the ‘F’ stands for “Fail”.
S: “I’ll bet a ‘D’ stands for “Double Loser”.
September 1st: Olivia and Sophia are playing LIFE.
Sophia (running into my room): “MAMA, I have $200,000!!!”
M: “Wow, that’s A LOT of money, much much more money than mama has!”
S (turns to walk out, stops, looks at me very sympathetically): “Well…mama, it’s not real money.”
S: “Back in the old days, before TV, if people wanted to get the news, they read the newspaper.”
M: “Yes–some people still do.”
O: “Yeah, newspapers are for people who don’t know about the internet.”
(Journalism Major) Mom FAIL.
O: “Sometimes I want to throw stuff at people for no reason…”
M: (laughing) “What? Why?”
O: “I said for no reason!”
I can’t stop laughing…also, I may need to email the child’s therapist.
September 13th: (after watching Space Jam)
“Bugs Bunny is really clever.” Astute as always, Olivia
September 14th: “I’m just gonna have some ‘me’ time in my room…if you need me you can knock on my door.” –Sophia (why doesn’t that work for me?)
(later): Sophia came in my room, underwear only and started dancing. “Can you video me?” So…I did…after she was done I asked her go to get dressed.
S: “Oh no…don’t send that video to anyone! I was only in my panties!”
It’s always nice to have blackmail fodder on your kids…or is that just me?
(even later): While watching ET:
O: “Mama this music sounds like Star Wars music!”
M: “That’s because the same guy did the music for ET & Star Wars.”
I then proceeded to blow her little mind with John Williams’ résumé. I love that she recognized it!
O: “I don’t like John, I was just following him around so I could annoy him.”
M: “Why would you do that?”
O: “I just like to annoy boys.”
Today we celebrate my oldest, beautiful brown-eyed girl. Happy 7th Birthday Olivia Dawn–my sweet, messy, adorable, witty, intelligent, sensitive, compassionate, funny, inquisitive, studious, enigma of a child. You amaze me daily, keep me on my toes and make me smarter. Never stop being you–my absent-minded professor, my Cletus, my Clyde, my LivieDawn–You are a fantastic big sister and daughter–I am the luckiest mama ever and so blessed to have been given the chance to show you the world, and to see it again through your beautiful brown eyes. May all your experiments, potions and inventions in life teach you something new.
Bad: scratching the mess out of your car…Good: spending 2.5 hours being adored by a gaggle of Kindergarteners & realizing it IS all good. Thanks Ms. H for allowing me into your awesome classroom.
I’m finally getting Olivia to start her Thank-You cards for her birthday gifts. Her honesty is refreshingly funny: “Thank you for the *insert gift here*-I haven’t opened it yet, but I know it will be fun.”
S: “I’m famous, yo!”
M: “Um…where did you learn that from?”
M: “You’re not in trouble, I just want to know.”
S: “Jessie…I think”
So, after having a slight heart attack that my child had seen Breaking Bad without my knowledge, I remembered they loved the Disney show “Jessie”.
S: “Can Santa read minds?”
M: “Um…why do you ask?”
S: “Just in case…”
October 30th: No, YOU just bought dog vampire capes to re-purpose for your children’s Halloween costumes.
November 2nd: Sophia was reading her “Silly Spooky Halloween Book” she made in class to me and she looks at the bottom of the book & sees the copyright. “Hey, Ms. H has a BLOG!”
Too smart, that one…too smart.
November 18th: Parent/teacher conferences today–Bursting with pride that Olivia is reading at about a 5th grade level (with spectacular comprehension) and has excellent math skills. Sophia had as close to perfect a report card that she is allowed in Kindergarten. I am so incredibly happy with the amazing public school education they are getting!
M: (after seeing Sophia’s new doll tucked into her bed) “wow, you are such a good dolly mama!”
S: “that’s because I was trained by the best mom in the world!”
If you need me, I’ll be in a puddle…
I wrote this last year, and while I’ve amended it slightly, I think it is still very appropriate:
Today and every day, I am thankful for this life. I am thankful for every moment I have been given. I am thankful for every single bump, bruise, failure and triumph of my past, because it has brought me to this point, and even when I am sad…I have happiness. I am thankful for the lowest points, because without them, the highest wouldn’t have been so high. I am thankful for the two beautiful, healthy, wonderful children I have been blessed with raising, even as I do it alone. I am thankful for every single person who has been in my life, because they have all taught me something, whether they knew it or not. I am thankful for my friends, who have helped me through the darkest of my hours, and have forgiven me for not being as good a friend as I want to be because of it. I am thankful for my extended family, for the family I never knew I had. I am thankful for being a little naive, for having a pure heart, for trusting, and for not allowing the past 2 years make my heart hard. I am thankful for new love, something I never thought I would find, the magnitude of which is still being discovered. I am thankful for being knocked down, as it has shown me the strength in myself others had seen, but I could never grasp. As Maya Angelou wrote, more eloquently than I would ever: “I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now”.
Happy Thanksgiving, to you and yours, love Natalie, Olivia, & Sophia
Step 1: Learn how to sew 18 inch (ie: American Girl Doll) sized clothes.
Step 2: Open an etsy shop.
Step 3: PROFIT
So…provided I pass a background check, I will have my (part time) childhood dream job–Elementary School Librarian (for the girls’ school!!!). I can’t wait to get started!! Thank you to everyone rooting for me & those who told me to apply. Love you all!
Having as much (if not more) trouble as the girls weeding out toys. Dang sentimental heart.
(later while waiting for Santa): Now I know what Ralphie felt like when he saw the long ass line to see Santa…
January 11th: Introducing the girls to Gummi Bears. You know you’re jealous…(aaannd now the theme song is stuck in your head too).
S: “Mama, can I be your super secret spy and when they (meaning Olivia & Staas) are doing something they shouldn’t, I will come and tell you?”
M: “How about…no…if they are doing something dangerous, of course come tell me, but no spying necessary.”
What are the chances she will agree to be a super secret spy when her sister is like…16?
March 7th: I once thought he was my future, but today I signed my name to keep him in my past…I am amazed at how far I have come in almost 3 years. I am thankful for my friends, my family, my amazing girls & my fantastic future–who helps heal me daily. Life is a roller coaster; there will be ups & downs; but I am now prepared to hold on for the ride.
March 20th: Sophia’s reading level was tested today and she is reading and comprehending at a third grade level. WHOA.
C: (after the kids have gotten out of bed a few times for various stall-tactic reasons) “we should wake them up in the middle of the night every 20 minutes; ‘I can’t sleep’ or ‘Natalie won’t stop looking at me’ etc…think they will get the hint?
Me: “you’re new to this parenting thing, huh?”
S (as we are walking on the sidewalk back to the car): “whew, I have a hard time walking up steep hills!”
M: “What are you talking about? This is a sidewalk! It MAYBE has a slight incline.”
S (not skipping a beat): “I have a hard time with those too.”
May 22nd: Unbeknownst to me, Olivia has been playing WWF (Words With Friends) under my account, so if you have played against me in recent months–that was Olivia
June 8th: Yesterday, Sophia got bit by a big ole fire ant. As I was attending to her, I said “well you’re a real southern girl now!” Through tears she said “I got bit on the other foot too, so I’m really really southern now, right?” I laughed & nodded. She looked at me & shook her head: “I don’t want to be really really southern, mama.” Bless her.
July 5th: The girls asked for a cookie from last night’s party…
S: “What if you said we could have all these cookies?”
M: “Well, I wouldn’t be a very good mom–you would get a tummy ache.”
O: “You would be a nice mom, but not a very good one.”
I’m glad that distinction is being recognized early on…
My children are amazing and make me laugh daily. If you want more status updates, you can click HERE or HERE.
April 9th: Overheard while the girls were watching Sid The Science Kid earlier tonight: “Um, he has like 5 kids in his class–that’s not how it works.” –Olivia making astute observations, per usual.
April 12th: I have been trying to get Sophia to apologize to Olivia for *accidentally* hitting her with a book. After going through all the reasons I could think of, I came up with “if you don’t learn to apologize, you won’t have any friends” She calmly says “well, we don’t have to be friends, we’re sisters.” Touche, Sophia…Touche.
April 16th: As I was changing the sheets on Sophia’s bed, she asked me why she still had to have her waterproof mattress pad under her sheets since she was a big girl and hadn’t had an accident in a long time. I explained that it was just a precaution, in case she did have an accident. “You know, how we wear seat belts? We do that to make sure we are safe if we have an accident.” She thought about this for a moment. “So…a bus doesn’t have seat belts. Does that mean it isn’t safe?” Ahh…you win this round, Sophia…
April 17th: Olivia, my little inventor, was discussing that we needed to grow a huge Venus flytrap, and then find a way to affix it to the roof, so it could catch all the flies and we wouldn’t have them inside. I explained that wouldn’t be good, b/c flies were important too, and Sophia interrupts: “for the envi-wo-mant, bugs are good for the envi-wo-mant!” I laugh and tell her she is right. TWO HOURS LATER she comes into my room “I see a bug, but bugs are good for the envi-wo-mant, according to my calculations, how about your calculations?” I’m gonna get a nice nursing home, suckas.
April 18th: (Discussing dialogue from the Disney cartoon, Gravity Falls) Olivia: “I don’t see what is so scary about a naked man” (red flag#1) Sophia, calmly, very dry and with impeccable delivery: A naked OLD man” Oh dear…
April 23rd: “You know what mama? Having a brother or sister is like having a built in friend…because they are always there.” –Sophia, future greeting card writer.
April 24th: Sophia, in a very small voice as she is snuggling with me: “I want to be the adult and you be the kid.”
Me: “Why would you want that?”
S: “So I could take care of you, and you wouldn’t have to do all the work.”
I’m gonna remember she said that next time I ask her to help clean up.
April 25th: This morning, before school, there was a LEGO hurling incident and Sophia refused to apologize to Olivia. I sent her to her room and Olivia, very calmly says: “Ya know, sometimes I wish I was an only child.” And proceeds to tell me all the reasons why. I told her of why having a sister is awesome, and she looks at me and says “yeah, except when she is being a big butt.” Touche, Olivia, Touche.
April 27th: “Mama, that kid is not so smart…he ran across the street. And his dad isn’t so smart either–he walked across the street looking at his phone.” Olivia people watching. Later, at lunch the waiter messed up our drink order. Sophia looks at me: “Maybe he’s new.” Just some of the gems the girls have spouted today, before noon.
April 30th: “Ryan A was my boyfriend…well…I broke up with him, because I decided that I’m not going to be his girlfriend anymore, but he is still my best friend.” –Sophia, scaring the crap out of me with this talk.
“Mama, why do you always call me baby?”
“Because, you are my baby!”
“I’m not a baby!”
“You’ll always be MY baby”
“No, I am a 4 year old kid!”
“Okay, what should I call you instead?”
“Well, how about pretty face? No, Sweetie Pie, no Pumpkin Pie!”
“I’m not making any promises, but I’ll try…”
I can’t make this stuff up.
May 2nd: Olivia got extremely upset with me today when I told her she couldn’t make her own lunch tomorrow. I explained that she could tell me what she wanted to include, but I was the mom and it was my job. I couldn’t understand why she was so upset, and then: “Well, mama, I’m supposed to be at school really early for the field trip or they will leave without me!” Guess she’s noticed I’m not quick on the uptake in the morning.
May 10th: After seeing “in loving memory” at the end of a movie: Sophia looks at me, shrugs he shoulders and says, “what’s that mean? He’s dead?”Ahh, my kid has so much class it hurts.
May 12th: After a rocky start that included a thump & Sophia now sporting a fat lip, I had a wonderful day. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, fathers who are like mothers, caregivers who take on the mom role, and everyone in-between. Xoxo
May 14th: Tonight during their bath, Olivia says “It’s sometimes hard to get water out of my ear because I got a sticker earring stuck in there.” I thought she was joking. She wasn’t LUCKILY it was close enough to where I could get it out, but it still scared the crap out of her, so she learned a valuable lesson. I then told her about her aunt getting a Barbie shoe stuck up her nose when she was a kid. HA! (edit: it was a Barbie WEIGHT, not a shoe…haha)
S: “Mama, can you lie to yourself?”M: “Yes, people lie to themselves all the time, usually to make themselves feel better.”
S: “Oh, well, I lied to myself before.”
M: “Really? What did you lie about?”
S: “I said I didn’t like Ryan A, but that was a lie, I really DO like him.”
M: “Well baby, you can like whomever you want!”
S: “I’m not going to not like you, ever.”
While watching Stephen Fry’s 100 greatest gadgets with Olivia, the electric blanket is on the list…
M: “oh, I had one of those as a kid!”
O: “but, I thought electricity wasn’t around when you were a kid?”
Damn kid is getting a history book tomorrow. :p
June 11th: “R+S? Seriously Sophia, you need to stop living the boyfriend life…it’s just a small part of it, and when you are older it would be crazy to keep the same boyfriend. I’m not gonna have a boyfriend until I am 28!” Olivia’s got her shit together, apparently.
Yesterday morning, after kissing Olivia and watching her run to her class line and say hi to her friends, I saw her best friend’s mom (who is also a good friend of mine) and we exchanged pleasantries and spoke a couple of minutes. She then told me something that made my jaw drop and my face flush with embarrassment.
Apparently, after being badgered “do it, do it, do it” by another girl (who used to be very close to our family), Olivia threw rocks at her daughter and two other friends.
Basically, the little girl said that she knew Olivia didn’t want to throw the rocks, because she was very hesitant and it took a lot of badgering for her to start considering it. Even then, she said Olivia only gently threw them, and didn’t want to hurt them. The little girl didn’t want to get Olivia in trouble, so she didn’t tell any teachers or yard supervisors. She said that Olivia was not laughing, but the other girl was laughing her head off.
I thanked her for telling me, told her I would address the situation, and that if it should ever happen again, she SHOULD tell on Olivia, because it was unacceptable, and Olivia needed to be held accountable for her actions.
I thought a lot about what I wanted to say to Olivia, and how I wanted to approach the situation. See, Olivia is a good kid. I didn’t want to come at it the wrong way and make her feel like I was attacking her (it is possible I over-thought the situation, but what else is new?).
That afternoon, I sat Olivia down on my bed, and gently asked her what happened. She hemmed and hawed, so I reiterated the story to her as it was told to me. She cried and tried to tell me the little girl didn’t tell her to throw rocks, and that she was just throwing them on the ground, but one accidentally hit one of the girls.
I considered that. I mean, I want to believe my kid, but by the same token, my friend wants to believe hers. So, I just told her I wanted her to think very hard about it and no matter what happened she should be truthful and I wouldn’t be angry at her.
After many tears she admitted it, and said she didn’t mean to hit anyone. I asked her why she listened to someone else, and for the next 20 minutes we talked about doing what was right, and how friends didn’t ask you to hit other people or do something you knew was wrong. I then told her that she would need to write all three girls apology notes. I didn’t want to punish her, per say, but she needed to know that what she did was wrong, and that when you wrong another person, you should apologize.
The whole situation just left me feeling awful. For everyone involved. My kid for being pressured, the three girls for being victims, and the instigator of the whole situation–for also being a victim. I mean, isn’t that what the majority of all bullies are? Victims of neglect or in need of attention?
I just hope I can teach Olivia to stand up for herself and to believe in herself enough to know that she is doing the right thing when she refuses to do something a “friend” wants her to do. Because, let’s face it, it’s not going to get any easier being a schoolgirl.
I struggled with being completely honest, because of course, the internet never forgets and I don’t want my kids to read awful things about their family online.
But then I realized that I can be honest without being vindictive, evil, catty or mean. Because, I am classy.
The first few months after he left me, I listened to Sara Evans’ “A Little Bit Stronger” almost daily. It helped. A lot. And then, I wasn’t in need of it as often, and if it came on my shuffle, I skipped it, because, hey, I didn’t need to be sad.
But I still need it.
My heart was broken.
Stomped on, smashed, and every other metaphor in the book.
I know, for a fact, I will never love anyone the way I loved my husband. It was the most unadulterated, pure, true, love (come on, look in my archives to see how in love I was with him). I may love someone more one day, or deeper, but it will never been the same.
I am damaged. I know (as the song says), I will be okay, and most of the time, I am totally okay, and have a clarity about the situation, an understanding that what happened had to happen. However, there are still days I sob, or feel this crushing feeling of sadness because I see something he would like, watch a show we watched together, see a photo, or answer the most simplest of questions from my children (I cry later in that situation–I keep my “in front of the girls” tears to a minimum). I haven’t eaten Ben&Jerry’s in over 18 months because that is what we would do–share a half pint while we caught up on TV.
I feel like I failed. And I know, it wasn’t on my shoulders alone, but, for my part in whatever happened to cause the trainwreck, I feel failure. I feel pain. I feel betrayal, I feel all of those adjectives you can imagine associated with it. I feel like I was damaged, wrong, or not good enough. “I should have worked harder to lose the baby weight, I shouldn’t have nagged him about stuff, I should have carved more time out for him and I to be a couple, etc.” I have had enough therapy to know this isn’t true, and in fact, I probably should have argued more, or stood my ground a LOT more. (sorry next serious relationship dude)
Because, the thing is: I was a good wife. I am a good friend, a good partner, a good mother–I’m a fucking fantastic person. And yes, thankyouverymuch, I realize that bad things happen to good people, and ultimately I am lucky in my situation, so spare me all of the platitudes. Please. And logically, I know…I KNOW, but my heart doesn’t seem to get it.
And it fucking sucks.
Sure, nothing is carved in stone, and things change, but when you get married (if you do it for the right reasons), you see your future with the other person, and you don’t really envision your life without them. So when you have to pick up all the pieces, it’s like you are reading a book in another language, trying to catch small parts of words to understand the whole. I feel like he has moved on with his life, and has forgotten that he ever loved me (or if he ever loved me), he left, but I am stuck in our life together–alone. I’m in the same house, sleep in the bed we shared, etc. (of course I am in the process of changing the furniture situation, but I’m not able to do everything at once).
He gets to stay at the same job, making the same salary, but I have to figure out my next move and try to juggle being a working single parent instead of a single stay-at-home parent. I tip my hat to all the single parents who aren’t as fortunate as I am, but I am still allowed to be sad and gripe and complain. I gave up my career to be a stay-at-home mom, and I REGRET NOTHING. But my thought was that I was going to get a part time job after the kids were old enough to be in school full time, so I could still be there for them in the afternoons when they got out of school. Now–that may not be a viable option.
I guess I feel like I keep getting shit on, and every single time I shovel all the shit off of me, here comes another dump.
And it fucking sucks (I think that bears repeating).
But here is the time, my annoyingly optimistic side comes into play and I end it with a positive.
I’m the fucking luckiest mama ever, and I wouldn’t trade any of this pain in if it meant changing anything about those two amazing girls of mine.
And, I know I’ll be okay…even on my weakest days.
Much like my previous post this one is full of all the facebook status updates that I posted to document the funny things my kids do or say. And, like said previous post, anything that wasn’t in the status update but is needed to explain something is in italics.
December 16th: Sophia: “I can swish my hair like one of those swishy hair ladies” (swings hair from side to side) and then I can pretend like some boy met me or something.” Thanks shampoo commercials.”
December 19th: Yesterday, “Walking on Sunshine” came on the radio. Olivia got excited & proclaimed “Oh, this is the song I danced to at my recital one year.” I nodded to the affirmative. “Yeah, that was my first year, when I was a Tater Tot” I looked confused for a minute, then realized She meant TINY TOT (her dance class name that year). Lots of laughter ensued.
December 20th: “Mama, I’m not gonna drink toilet water.” Good to know Sophia, good to know.”
December 26th: Sign your kids have been watching too much Phineas & Ferb: Sophia, using a pair of oversized tweezers she received with a magnifying glass: “I’m gonna use my pick-up-stuff-inator!”
December 28th: Playing Sorry with my children is scary. There are plans, plotting and evil laughter involved.
January 3rd: Tonight I was brushing Sophia’s hair, which has become increasingly knotty. After I relayed this to her, you could hear her making word connections, and she started laughing: “Hair, did you get any Christmas presents? Because you’ve been knotty!”
January 16th: Happy Half-Birthday to my spunky, sweet, “SophieMad”. She is smart, funny, makes me laugh daily and gives some of the best hugs and kisses around. I hope she changes her mind about “Never getting rid of mama until I’m 18″ ;)”
(Later that day): Today, after school, Olivia’s teacher came to me: “It’s not exactly against the rules, and she didn’t get in trouble for it, but I thought you might want to know that Olivia gave Thomas $5 of her tooth fairy money because he said he wanted to buy a playstation3.” On one hand: AWWW On the other: Don’t be giving your money to boys, Olivia! I had a talk with her about not bringing money to school unless it was sanctioned by mama.”
January 17th: Today, for the first time in a very very long time, I sat on the living room floor, camera in hand and snapped natural light candids of the girls pouring over cookbooks. My heart is happy.
January 28th: Sophia has a 102 fever. Poor baby is legitimately pathetic and not being dramatic. I prefer the drama queen routine.
January 31st: “Mama, I think my legs are tired after that jog.”
“Sophia…you were sitting in the jogging stroller watching the ipod, you did no jogging, I’m the one that did all the jogging!”
“But still, they are tired.”
February 3rd: “Those SF guys shouldn’t be so sad…at least they tried!” –Olivia on the SuperBowl
February 4th: Registered Sophia for Kindergarten today. MY BEHBEH!
February 7th: Sophia: “Mama, is your tummy mad at you when it growls?”
Me: “No baby, it just means you are hungry.”
Sophia: “Well, maybe it is mad because you haven’t fed it any food.”
Me: “Well, I guess that’s a possibility.”
Sophia: “My tummy is a girl.”
Sophia: “Yeah, maybe we should put some lipstick on it to make sure everyone knows it’s a girl.”
Never a dull moment…
February 18th: Overheard: “If you don’t have a heart, you don’t have a soul, and if you don’t have a soul, you don’t have a you. If you don’t have a you, then you aren’t alive.” Olivia to Sophia while taking a bath together.
February 20th: While I don’t MIND waking up with my children in my bed (honestly!) I wish Sophia would learn that laying sideways pushes me off the bed. But this is the first time in a long time I’ve gotten up before them, so #upside?
February 23rd: Olivia (to Sophia and I): “I feel like I am home when I am with you guys”
If you need me, I’ll be in a puddle on the floor.”
March 5th: As a parent (or caregiver to children in any capacity), you will find yourself yelling things you never thought were possible. I’m hoping no one other than the children (and Traci) heard today’s slip-up. The horrible thing is that I KEPT saying it over and over again, not realizing what I was saying…
“WHY are there croquet mallets in my bush? Who threw croquet mallets into my bush?” But what’s worse? Even after Traci pointed it out (and we died laughing at the inappropriateness of it all), I later found myself saying (as I was extracting said mallets from THE bush) “You put the balls in my bush too?? Why in the world did you throw balls into my bush???”
I need a nap.
Also? You are welcome.”
March 8th: Someone please tell me where Sophia learned to say “I’ll be here all week” after she says something she finds hilarious…
M: “So, you want a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, right?”
S: “Yes, that’s how French people say it.”
I guess linguistics aren’t for everyone.
March 15th: Sophia has been holding out on me–the little booger can read & has been pretending she can’t. Oy…
M (to Sophia): “You know, you are my sunshine.”
S: “And you are my moonlight.”
Sophia (who is sitting in the rear of the van): “Oh Marci, please help me!”
Me (turning the radio volume down): “Marci?? Who is Marci??”
S: “NO…MERCY–and Mercy is…God’s son…no wait…that’s not right. Mercy is God’s husband.”
Me: “Okay…so is God a boy or a girl?”
S: “She’s a girl.”
March 29th: Tonight’s family movie night pick: Spooky Buddies…Olivia chose the movie & went on to explain that it uses personification. Don’t mind me, I am in the corner, picking my jaw up off the floor. (Btw: possibly one of the worst movies we’ve watched to date).
Sophia to Olivia (While shopping): “1958! That’s an old purse!”
Olivia (kind of exasperated): “No, Sophia, that just means that is how long that company has been making purses and earrings and stuff.”
Me: “Wow, I’m impressed you knew that, good job!”
Olivia: “Yeah, it all came from my brain–I know about stuff.”
April 4th: Happy Half-Birthday to my first-born, Olivia Dawn. My brilliant, introspective, beautiful brown-eyed girl. She makes me laugh, amazes me daily and makes my heart burst with pride just by breathing. Having her made me a mama, but raising her has made me a better person. She keeps me on my toes and makes me think–always asking questions and wanting to know why (“Mama’s not sure, but I know how to find out!”). One day she will “create a potion” or “discover something” but for now, she’s happiest reading her books or building something out of Legos…I hope she always marches to the beat of her own drum.
April 5th: “I’m kind of a nerd…but don’t get me wrong, I’m going to make a lot of money one day.” –Olivia That’s my girl.
April 7th: After going in to tuck Sophia in bed, she looks at me and says, “I will always love you…until it isn’t fair…” Confused, I ask “What do you mean?” She dreamily says “I have no idea what I mean.” She then proceeds to burst into a giggling fit. At least she’s honest.