Friday, April 29, 2011

My own body

I have a love/hate relationship with my body. I'm pretty sure all most women do. I feel like talking about weight is a giant no-no for women, and for good reason. 150lbs on my frame as compared to someone else's frame are two completely different realities. I'm going to attempt to tread lightly into this subject, so as not to offend anyone. However, if you're sensitive about weight and body image, you may want to skip this post.

I'm a "small" girl. And by small I mean, I'm freakishly short. I'm just about 5' tall. Growing up I was always the smallest (both height and weight) in my class. I was certainly one of the smallest, if not the smallest, girls in my graduating class. As a matter of fact, if the seat belt/car seat laws concerning weight were as they are now, I would have needed a car seat when I graduated high school!

I thought I was losing weight after a tough break-up in college, which scared me. I made a doctor's appointment and she told me not to worry. To get my "head right" and it would work out.  She was right, everything leveled off. I tried a couple years later to put on a few pounds, with no luck.

Then I got into my first really secure, emotionally sound relationship with my now-husband. I put on more than a few pounds and wasn't sure what to do. I had no right to "complain". I was still thin by anyone else's standards, but I felt awful. I cried and I cried. We decided to start swimming at the pool at the local high school. My weight returned to a comfortable normal, and I didn't think much about it.

Then pregnancy. Holy crap. I didn't gain a lot of weight with  my pregnancy. I gained a normal 25-30 pounds.  Most of it melted off after having Lucas, and with the stress of having a newborn home, but not all of it. I still have about 10 pounds to go. But here's where the tricky part comes in, I can't talk to anyone about it. When other people bring up their weight, and I have anything to say about mine, I get nothing but eye rolls, and catty responses like, "Oh please, you need to lose weight".  As if I am not allowed to want my body back. As if I should be punished for being born with a small frame.

I don't understand women. I am nothing but supportive of the women in my life that have shared their weight loss struggle stories with me. I am sure to be extremely supportive of them in their quests. I understand that they are doing what they need to do to feel good about themselves, and I am right there to cheer them on and congratulate them along the way.

I don't feel like I get that same support. Just because I started at a size 0 (many years ago), and leveled out at a size 4, that doesn't make a bad person. That doesn't mean I don't want to go from my current size 6 (or 8 depending on style) back down to 4.  A mere 5-10 lbs to lose doesn't seem like much, and to someone who is average height (5'5" or so) it might not be. But 5-10lbs is a decent percentage of my body weight at 5' tall.

I also realize that my body has changed. I will never have my pre-pregnancy body back, and I'm 100% at peace with that. My stretch marks, saggy boobs, and little pouch are part of the territory. They are my battle wounds, and damn it I earned those. I will wear them proudly. I won't wear an extra 5-10lbs proudly. It makes me upset, and I need to change it.

I find it sad that I haven't had the courage or sense of self to get this task done. I honestly feel like I'm afraid of offending anyone. It's preposterous. I'd rather feel like crying every time I look in the mirror than offend some people. Rediculous. I'm honestly ashamed of myself.

Friday, April 22, 2011


I have compulsive hoarding tendencies. I'm very aware of them. They've have been passed down through generations of Walshes. When Rog passed away (I called my paternal grandfather by his first name) it took weeks to get through all the stuff. The garage was so full you couldn't even open the door. THe attic, which at one point was bedroom to many children, was unbelievably cluttered. His bedroom was filled with books and papers. It was unreal.

He passed those lovely hoarding genes on to my father. My parents' garage has no doors, but to hide the embarrassing amount of shit in there, they have tacked up some tarps. Hello, trashy? My father takes home things that his work is "getting rid of". He picks up things on the side of the road. One man's trash... right?

His sisters, my aunts, are also hoarders. I won't name names, but more than a couple have hoarding compulsions, ranging from yard sale obsessions, to just hanging on to/buying too much stuff. We all joke about the "junk room". Most people have a junk drawer, maybe a closet. Walshes have a junk room, or floor! I have two rooms. Yes... two rooms.

John is less than understanding about this issue, and I don't blame him one bit. I should be more clear, John is understanding, but he is not an enabler. He gives me time & space, but has put his foot down before things get out of hand. As I posted before, we cleaned out the garage last week, and organized the blue room too. I'm on my way to getting back in control.

I've often wondered why I do this. I'd like to say there's a "real" reasons. I can understand people that grew up in poverty having a compulsion to hang onto every little thing. That makes sense. I can understand people that have gone through significant trauma will hang onto things that help them cope. That makes sense. I have no reason for hanging onto things. I don't know what's going on.

I hang on to seemingly random things. I was given a lot of clothes and baby gear when Lucas was born. I feel like getting rid of them makes me seem ungrateful, but I only used about half of them. I realize this thought process is illogical. I also know that another family could benefit from my surplus if I donate my extras, but I still feel guilty. I feel like I'd be offending the gift-givers and hand-me-downers. Silly. I also hang onto any gifts that I receive, and I mean ANY gift. Since I come from a family of hoarders, I often get a lot of crap. I know that the "crap" I receive is well intentioned. I truly appreciate being thought of, but some of it is fairly useless to me. But again, I feel like I'd be disrespecting someone by getting rid of it.

John understands my wacky thought process. He is very patient with me, and tries to talk some sense into me.    I'm afraid that someday he'll give up, and our house will be on a TLC show. Funny thing is, his Dad is similar. He has two storage bins, a huge barn/garage, and basement full of things that "someone might need someday".  I wonder if the bug will bite John someday. I hope not!

I'll hold this quote close, as a mantra of sorts, until I can figure this all out:

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness. - Thoreau

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The generalizations of Lucas

Lucas makes very broad generalizations. They often crack me up, because it takes me a while to figure out what he's saying, and why. Here are a few examples:

All things with wheels, including wheels themselves, are called "cars". This includes, but is not limited to, cars, wagons, bikes, motorcycles, trucks, construction equipment, scooters, strollers, vans, planes, buses, and skateboards.

All things furry are either "dog" or "cat". There seems to be no difference to him. This has included lions, tigers, bears, pigs, oscar the grouch, monkeys, etc.

Anything that is not furry is... well.. it roars. It doesn't have a name, just a sound really. Typically these are dinosaurs, lizards, snakes, monsters, etc. Anything he doesn't deem "dog" or "cat", and appears to move is "rooooooar".

Anything that specifically belongs to one person, it called "so&so's". For example, if Lucas found my phone, he'd say "Mama's!!". This sounds all well & good except that sometimes he'll be asking for something, and you have to guess what possession he wants. "Mama's???" ... 'you want  my phone? no, my juice? no, my pen? no, my purse? no, my shoes? no, my pizza? no, my computer? .... ahhh what do you waaaaaant?" It can be an incredibly frustrating guessing game. Especially because he can say the names of all the objects listed above, but instead refers to them as "mama".

Anything he wants to eat is called a "cracker", despite the fact that he knows the names of many food items. Then it becomes a guessing game at the cabinet to figure out what he actually wants. (Note, there are no "choices" as far as meals go, but I do allow him to choose his snacks)

Oh... his new generalization? All things having to do with water are a "show" (how he says 'shower'). This includes the brook next to our house, the sink, the actual shower/tub, and recently rain! Hilarious. We were walking to my car at my mom's house, in the middle of the night, and he started saying "Show, showa, show, showa mama!"... it took me until I was half way home to realize that he was telling me it was raining, and not asking to take a shower. In my defense, he does ask to take a shower every time he hears the bathroom door open.

Anyone else's kids seem to lump things into huge groups like this? When this happens, I tend to repeat his statement or question back to him using the proper words and move on. I don't make a big deal about it, or have him repeat it back to me. Should I be more proactive about this? I think it will work itself out...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Seasons are Changing

What? Late pass? Yeah, well I try not to get wrapped up in the winter/spring change. I get more excited toward mid-April, when you can really feel the difference. I like when it's consistently warm enough for lots of outdoor adventures. I always know that I am excited about the change when I get cleaning-fever.

Yesterday was a big cleaning day around here. John and I tackled the garage together while Lucas napped and for a few hours after he woke up. We've lived in our house for nearly 3 years, and I don't think we've ever REALLY cleaned out the garage and it felt great to get it done.

We have a big list of things to do this spring. Our next task is to tackle the "blue room" as we call it. It's our playroom/guest room that I posted about last week. We are going to really go through the 9 boxes of clothes  (yes nine) "large" sized boxes from Home Depot. I am so fortunate to have such generous family members that have passed down great clothes, but we don't need them all. I've decided I need to sort through and have only two boxes of "out grown" favorites in storage in case we have another boy someday. The rest of the "too small" clothes need to find new homes with friends or Big Brother Big Sister. I also want to get through the "still too big" boxes and get down to one or two boxes. I'll also have one box of coats/shoes etc. That should cut the number of boxes in half. This is a huge step for me. I'm a border-line hoarder. I have a tough time getting rid of things. That a post for a  different day (add it to the queue!).

After the "blue room", we really need to get our own bedroom in order. It's pretty much out of control. There are clothes everywhere. We went through all the clothes a couple months ago and have 5 trash bags full of donations hanging out in the corner. I need to really pare down my clothes. I have an unbelievable amount of PJs and workout clothes, which I don't need. I need to get back to basics, and really get rid of things that are too small. I kept telling myself "I'll get back into it". Wrong. I may be back down to around pre-pregnancy weight, but my body is not the same. It will never be the same. I need to dress my new body. I need to own my  new body. Another post for a different day!

Then once those two rooms are in order, it's just everyday type cleaning that needs to be done. One good deep clean of the house and we'll be in good shape to enjoy our spring summer! I can't wait for the return of Sunday fires/dinners. I can't wait for day trips to the beach, or the zoo, or the park, or anywhere outside! If I ever get around to buying a new SD card, I'll try to chronicle our adventures with photos. <3

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Poor choice

So we've all had days where the smallest, most insignificant choice seems to throw a sequence of crazy events into action. Well, for me, that day was also called Thursday.

My mom and I have decided to finally get to the gym. So she met me at my house at 10am, and off we went. We spent about an hour there, and then headed back to my house. We decided we'd have Lucas eat lunch at her house & nap there because if he ate at my house and then we tried to get him to sleep at her house after a 30 minute car ride it would be disastrous.

All was going well, and I was being quite productive. We got to my mom's, he had lunch, and off for a nap. I put him in the pack n play, he cried for his typical 2-5 minutes, and fell asleep. I managed to finally get the tax forms back to our accountant, a week after we were supposed to, thanks to major miscommunication between John & I. I was feeling good!

Mom & I headed to the living room to catch up on her DVR'd episode of American Idol from the night before. I even managed to sneak in a 20 minute cat nap while she wasn't looking!! Then Lucas woke up. I went up to get him only to find him with two red blistery spots on his mouth. (Seen in crappy cell phone photo). I was pure panic.

How did this happen? I checked around the room. My first thought was "those are definitely burns", and they are. They have the tell tale shininess off burns. I thought "it must be the damned radiator", but it's too far from the pack & play (like 3-4 feet). Then I thought, he was having an allergic reaction to something, but those sores are equidistant from his mouth! WTF!!

Then I found the culprit. The teethers seen below. They were under the blanket when I put him in the pack & play, and when I tucked him in I jut left them there. Apparently, he put the "thumb" of the teether in his mouth and gnawed on it so hard that the plastic actually made a "rub burn" on his face. The marks line up perfectly with the teether. Poor kid!

I felt terrible! I never leave things in bed for him to sleep with, aside from his monkey & baby. The thought of a teether actually hurting him never occurred to me. Now I want to cry every time I see his boo-boos. One tiny decision.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lucas' Play Room

We have a unique design challenge for Lucas' playroom. Well actually there are a few challenges for that room. First of all it is currently overfilled with boxes of his clothes, toys and other hand-me-downs that have been oh so helpful in the first couple years of his life. I really need to go through everything and keep only the essentials and pass on the rest. The room also doubles (or I should say will double) as a guest bedroom. It houses a queen sized bed, which we may downsize at some point. 
There are two windows in the room, a closet, one vaulted ceiling (over the bed). It has blue walls, lovingly painted by my sister-in-law while I was pregnant and nesting, but unable to paint myself. There is also a deeper blue wall to wall carpet, that I don't particularly like, but can't afford to replace at the moment. The room is definitely not huge, but it is the bigger of the two non-master bedrooms. We opted to give Lucas the smaller room as his bedroom, and to use the other room as a multi-purpose playroom/guest room. 
I struggle with the design for that reason. I want it to be fun and whimsical, but I don't want guests to feel like they are sleeping in the playroom! I would love to incorporate the following elements:
I'd actually like to make this a "drawbridge" style table, affixed to a wall for space purposes. I'd like the reverse side to be a custom art piece, that camouflages any necessary hardware. 
I will make a smaller version of this because I don't want these to be near the windows, Lucas' playroom is on the second floor. Or I may just put them on the long window-less wall. 
I'll certainly be choosing different (light blocking!) fabric. I'll likely choose a wide-striped fabric for a less "childish" feel. 

I'd like to balance the ABC print (pictured above) with a complimentary print with a more adult feel.  The storage bench will have solid colored cushions, likely in a blue color that is a few shades lighter than the walls. 

Any one have any helpful hints? Or favorite design blogs/sites/stores? Hook a mama up! 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Judgmental Moms & Parents

I've been reading a lot of "Mommy-blogs" lately. I'm not currently working, and have found myself with a few hours (aka nap time) to peruse the web. Each blog I've come across is unique. Each mom has a different story. Each mom has a different perspective. Each mom has a different situation. The one common thread I've found in every blog I've read is judgement.

I feel that in most cases, Mommy-blogs are outlets for mothers to tell their story. Blogs are a way to bring awareness to different situations and circumstances. Blogs are a great way for mothers to network and connect with mothers that have similar values. But it never fails in the wonderful world of the internet that some angry person has some kind of negative judgement. Always.

It really bums me out, and disappoints me. It also made me take a hard look it the mirror. By reading all kinds of snarky comments and arguments, I've realized that I'm often guilty of making snap judgments. My husband has brought it to my attention a few times. I'll be walking through the mall and utter "you've gotta be kidding me with that outfit". I'll be helping out at an event at the skate park that we own, and I'll be making judgments about the other mothers, and what they allow their children to do. The more I think about how judgmental I am, the more upset I get. It's something I'm very actively trying to work on.

This weekend I realized just how judgmental everyone around me can be. I had conversations with multiple family members that made me feel like they disapprove of certain parenting decisions that John & I have made. It made me furious.

Parenting judgments are so easy to make. I don't think that any two sets of parents make the same choices. To co-sleep or not? To co-bathe or not? TV or not? Vegan, Vegetarian, or  not? To breastfeed or not? Potty training now or later? Transition from crib to bed now or later? Solid foods at 10 months, 12 months, 18 months? Wean at a year, 2 years? Baby leashes or not? Vaccines or not? Antibiotics or not?

That's just the tip of the iceberg. It seems that all parenting decisions can be called into question by internet readers. It amazes me. I don't think I could ever look at someone and say "you're doing it wrong" unless they were being careless or reckless. If a baby is happy, healthy, and flourishing then who's to say what's right or wrong? Parenting, to me, is a religion of sorts. Your children are the center of your universe, and you do the best you can to help them grow to be happy, productive, loving adults so that they can pass on those values to future generations. I'd never dream of telling someone that their religious beliefs are wrong. I may not have the same beliefs, but who says I'm right? That's what faith is all about. Parenting is the ultimate act of faith. Faith that you know what's best. Faith that you are making the right choices. Faith that you can do this.

Moms in my life, you are all wonderful. We all have very different views about parenting, but we can all agree that our world's revolve around our babies. Let's embrace our differences, and show our children that being so judgmental is nothing more than adult bullying. Live and let live, and show a little bit of love while we're at it!

Neverending day

Some days seem to drag on for weeks and weeks. Today, for me, has been one of those days. Lucas woke up earlier than normal, about an hour and a half earlier. Yesterday was my birthday, so aside from being busy I also indulged in a few glasses of wine. Luckily I drank a ton of water last night before bed, so I didn't wake up feeling sick or anything. I did wake up feeling very groggy and confused. I'm sure the fact that Lucas was yelling "Naaaa-niiiiites" added to my confusion. Who wakes up and calls out to go back to sleep?

John was gracious enough to get up with Lucas, but about 5 minutes after then went downstairs the road construction started up again. Soooo, I was up. The morning dragged on and on and we were so lazy. The weather forecast claimed we'd hit 80, but the morning was drizzly and dreary. We were very lazy and stayed in our pjs. By the time lunch time rolled around I felt like I'd already lived an entire day. I had read a million books, snuggled for what seemed like days (very blissful days!). I was pooped. John made Lucas lunch and then put him down for a nap. An hour and half earlier than normal.

We ate lunch, and then watched an episode (very first) of Sons of Anarchy. Lucas was awake when John was getting ready for work, which is very rare. So we all got dressed and headed outside to play for a bit before left. We waved our goodbyes and played outside for an hour or so before I came in to make dinner. We ate at 4:45! Who eats dinner that early?? This tired Mama does!

Apparently I made the right choice, too, because Lucas at his entire bowl of mac & cheese (homemade and delicious!) in seconds. So we ventured out for a half hour walk with Spooky. She is extremely out of shape so I've decided to make sure to get her out more. And now, here I sit, with my laptop on my lap watching Lucas push his tonka truck all over the house. And while I've enjoyed lots of quality time with my boys today, I am ready for 8pm when Lucas goes to bed and I can soak lazily in the bath tub and mentally prepare myself for my yearly check-up tomorrow.

Some days, no matter how much fun, seem to last forever...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Local news

Bellingham boy falls out of 3rd story window

I was scrolling through my twitter feed and I came across this article. I don't watch the news at night anymore, because I find it quite depressing. I realize that ignorance is NOT bliss. I read reputable new websites, and try to stay in the loop without being bombarded with the various sensational journalism that has become the evening news.

At any rate, I came across this article and it upset me on many levels. First of all, the fact that a mother could allow her home to be so incredibly unsafe is really crazy to me. I'm not a huge believer in over-baby-proofing. As a matter of fact, most Moms would probably be appalled at the lack of baby-proofing in my home. I have gates, and outlet covers, and that's about it. The cabinets are unlocked, but anything hazardous is out of reach. I believe in the power of "no". But if I lived on the 3rd floor, I'd be damn sure that my child was not near the windows. I grew up on the 2nd floor, and my parents were very careful to arrange furniture so that we couldn't access the windows.

Now, I have no idea how this family's house was set up, but I have to assume that the child climbed up on something in order to push the screen out of the window. Where was the mother during this? I'd have some sympathy if the answer was something reasonable. I've come into a room after a quick bathroom trip, and found Lucas in varying degrees of unsafe behavior. If that had been the case, I would feel awful for an unfortunate accident. However this mother claims she was just "not paying attention" and "had been drinking" and "has a drinking problem". She even goes so far as to tell the responding police officers that she probably should not have custody of the child.

Well... what the fuck are you doing? I don't understand how someone can deem themselves unfit as a parent, yet maintain custody of the child anyway. That is a tragedy waiting to happen. I have no idea how to go about giving up custody of a child. I have no idea what her family situation is. I just don't understand. I would walk to the ends of the Earth for my child. I would throw myself out a 3rd story window if it meant he would have a better life. I can't imagine being in such a dark place that alcohol would take precedence over my child. I can't imagine having an addiction so strong that I could endanger my child. I want to be mad, but I can't be mad. I'm just really upset by this whole story.

I feel just plain awful for this child. Not only did he fall out of a 3rd story window, but now he will likely be taken from his mother. Of course this is for his own good, but he's only 3 years old and he won't understand. He'll blame himself. The psychological implications of this incident are huge for this little boy, and all because of his mother's addiction. So upsetting. I hope this little boy ends up in a situation where he is surrounded by such a great amount of love, support, and attention that he grows up happy and well adjusted. I will keep him in my thoughts, and I hope it all works out.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I'm about to delve into a topic that could be controversial, but what isn't nowadays?

Until very recently, I always bathed Lucas in our upstairs bathtub, without incident. He loved tubbie time. He splashed and laughed and enjoyed every minute of it. Until one day he got sick, at the same time that I was back and forth to the hospital with my grandmother. Something changed his attitude toward tubbies. I'm not sure if it was pain due to an ear infection, or a developmental thing that came with age, or if he was just mad at me for not being around as much that week. What I do know is that the next bath-time was brutal. He kicked and screamed and cried, and his Auntie told me that it was much of the same with him at her house.

I was at a loss. I tried to dial back the number of baths per week, in an effort to save my sanity. It didn't seem to help. One night, while John was at work, I decided I would try to co-shower. We are fortunate to have a standing shower in our downstairs bathroom, so it was perfect. I decided that I wouldn't push the experience either. I decided I would get Lucas undressed, bring him in the bathroom with me, and I would shower. If we wanted to come in, great. If he didn't, that's fine.

Well, first he peed on the floor. The carpeted bathroom floor (don't get me started, that's a post for another day). But eventually he would skip from the door to the shower door (a whopping 5-6 feet). Then he dipped a toe. Then he dipped a whole foot. Soon he was standing in there with me for a few seconds, and starting over. And then he decided to poop on the shower floor, which promptly ended our first co-showering experience. There I was soaking wet, naked, trying to wrangle a baby into a towel, clean up a poop, all while avoiding the wet pee spot on the floor, and staying warm. I wanted to give up.

But the next day Lucas peed through his diaper/pants and it got on me and I hadn't showered yet. So I decided to give it another shot. He walked right into the shower, and even let me shut the door, and he loved it. He let me wash his body and his hair without a hassle. I am now a firm believer in co-showering, and I'm actually upset that I didn't start this earlier.

I won't lie, the first couple showers were a little strange. I had body issues, so having Lucas poke at me, and stare at parts he'd never seen was a little odd. He grabbed a handful of mom-boob and yelled "belly!". I could have died. Then I realized that...ummm, hello Nicole, you gave birth to this child. He's not judging you, he's curious because you're naked! So after I got over my stupid insecurity, and he got his curiosity out of his system, it's been wonderful. And to me, it feels totally natural.

At some point I do realize that it won't be very appropriate to shower with Lucas, or to allow him to shower with me. I just wonder when I'll feel that it's been too long. I remember showering with my mother, but I am a girl. I don't have any memories of showering with my father. I don't think I ever did.

Now I wonder, how many of my friends out there co-shower with their children? When did you/When do you plan to stop?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Story of us

Oh where do I begin? And just how honest shall I be?

In September/October of 2004, I was in an on & off "relationship" with a boy I met in college. We went to a Bones Brigade show, despite my distaste for the band, on our way up to a weekend in Vermont. His name was Derek, and while he was a very nice boy and treated me well, we both knew it wasn't really going much of anywhere. We were pretty different. We had fun together, but it wasn't a relationship that had much substance. We were going in very different directions in life.

Anyway, we went to that show. It was at a church of sorts. I stood in the back with Derek, just kind of taking it all in. I saw a group of boys that were tough to miss. John and his friends kind of stick out in a crowd, even if it is such an autonomous crowd as is typical at a hardcore/thrash show. I remember thinking that John and his friends looked like the only kids having fun. They were the only ones joking around and laughing. I definitely noticed them, but never said hello. I mean, why would I? I was with a boy, and was perfectly content.

A couple weeks later I went out with my best friend, Lori. She is from a very different social circle than the one I was spending most of my time. She was living a very typical college life style. She frequented college bars and clubs. I frequented shows, coffee shops, dive bars, and a more "alternative" crowd, for lack of a better term. I hesitate to use the term "hipster" due to the stigma of it, but I guess I should call a spade a spade.

Lori & I were headed out for Halloween weekend. I believe it was a Friday or Saturday night, and Halloween was on  a Sunday if memory serves me correctly. We went to some bar, and then headed to a really scummy Providence club. I won't name names, but this club was very "college dude guy" oriented. It was right around the corner from Club Hell, which I frequented, and I had a little anxiety that someone would see me going in this other club, because it was the punchline of a lot of jokes in my circle. At any rate, we went in, and I had a good buzz on, and we were dancing. Then I saw John dancing with a friend. I couldn't be sure if it was actually the same kid.

Here's where the story gets embarrassing. In my infinite wisdom I followed him around this club for a solid 2 hours before Lori pushed me into him! Seriously? What are we, 5 years old? Well, that's how it happened. And since I had not prepared myself with anything to actually say in those two hours of trailing him, I uttered some ridiculous statement about how people "like us" aren't usually at this club, and it was nice to see him. Oh that was after I made sure he was the same kid from the show weeks before. Here I am claiming to be "different" from "these people", yet I'm sure dressing the part. I completely forgot I was dressed like a hooker. Oh and carrying Lori's cigarettes (something that i am vehemently against). Oh and drunk and John is straight edge. No drinking. Way to make a fool of yourself.

I chalked it up as a cringeworthy night, and hoped I wouldn't run into him again. Except I woke up (very hung over) and couldn't stop thinking about him. So I did what any 20 year old girl would do in 2004. I went straight to myspace. I searched and searched. 3 days later, I happened upon him by accident!!! Seriously, he showed up on a mutual friend of one of my ex boyfriends. It took me a few more days, and I sent him a message saying something about, how I made a fool of myself, but we should hang out. You know, totally cool...ugh.

Well by the time he responded it was mid December, over a month later. I was already dating someone new, I wasted no time in those days. And I was "oh so in love". According to John, our entire correspondence over hte next 3 months, while he was on a skateboarding road trip across the country, all I did was talk about my super awesome boyfriend. I really know how to win a guy's heart, huh?

So he came home around Christmas time, and we continued talking, but I was spoken for. I got broken up with at the end of January. I was heartbroken. I spent a few weeks hanging out with friends, and trying to stay busy. On March 11, a Friday night, I invited John over to hang out at my house. Boys did not come to my house. It was very rare, but I figured he wasn't really interested anyway. I also invited a close guy friend over, figuring John was going to say no. I was wrong. He was at my house within a couple hours, and then my friend Justin came over, and he brought his friend Greg. Talk about awkward. They visited for about a half hour and quickly got the hint that it was time to go.

John and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, talking and hanging out. We kissed, and he went home. I knew my feelings for him, but I thought I was just being crazy and falling too fast because of the recent break-up. I also figured I wouldn't hear from him for the standard "two days". I was wrong. He called me at noon the next day. He said he wanted to hang out that night. Great, I thought, there's a killer snow storm coming and I am not driving out to his house, about 45 minutes away. He said he'd pick me up, and I could spend the night at his house. Well, his mother's house.

Against my better judgement I agreed. He came to pick me up, and helped my mom shovel the driveway before we left. Major points there. I spent the next two days snowed in at his house... and the rest is history. Seriously. We spent two days laying all the cards on the table. I mean, we laid it all out there and for the first time in my life I told someone every dirty detail. I've never had to hide anything from him. I've never had to put on a happy face, or pretend that everything's ok. I could be myself with him, righ from the beginning. I didn't even know who I was at 20 years old. He has always supported me in my quest to really figure myself out. He's never judged me, or made me feel embarrassed. (Oh, except when he teases me about the first time I talked to him... but who can blame him?) I knew from that first weekend together that this is real, and this is forever. He knows me as well as I know myself, sometimes better. He truly is my other half, and I'm lucky that he loves me as genuinely and fully as he does. I'd be lost without him.

Monday, April 4, 2011


I never thought about kissing much. I mean sure, as a teenager waiting for my first kiss I obsessed about it. And then it happened, and ugh, I wondered why I obsessed. Bad experience. And yes, to those that know me, I was 16 years old when I had my first kiss, as unbelievable as that may be.

Throughout my teenage years and early twenties, I never gave kissing too much thought. I mean, I did it. I made out with boys, but I never had that flutter of anticipation that I always expected. I never had that nervous excitement that I was taught to expect by Disney and the movie industry. Of course during that time in my life, I wasn't holding too many things sacred. Kissing was just another stepping stone to other things, and it "meant" nothing to me.

Then I met John. I know this sounds silly, cliché, and untrue but I swear to you that on our very first "date", which ended in our first kiss, I felt everything I was expecting to. That was about the only "fairy tale" part of our courting experience. Our beginning is actually a fairly amusing tale that I'll have to chronicle at some point.

I digress. Back to the kissing. So, in meeting John I realized just how much meaning can be packed into one little instant of lip contact. Kissing can convey so many emotions. We've kissed "I love you's" and "I'm sorry's." We've kissed in times of grief and loss. We've kissed in times of celebration and accomplishment. We've even kissed "I do's" and "Until death do us part's".

Each kiss had a different message, a different emotion, but still the same reaction. Pure love. John and I have been together for 6 years now. It's very hard to believe. It feels like we are still teenagers, though I was just under 21 when we started dating. 6 years of kissing the same person, and you don't expect to get a brand new emotion or feeling from a kiss.

Then I got a kiss from my child. Holy shit. The overwhelming feeling of love, bliss and pride that is packed in one little peck from your child is unbelievable. And I'm not talking about when they are babies and give "kisses". I mean when they are at the toddler age, when they kiss you because they want to convey some kind of emotion. I won't lie, sometimes Lucas kisses me for funny reasons. Sometimes he is happy, sometimes he's sad. Sometimes he's feeling snuggly and just wants a "smooch" (as he calls it). He always smooches me to say hello, and I get a smooch goodbye. But my favorite smooches are the "just because" smooches. And just as I never get tired of John kissing me, Lucas' kisses never get old.

I hope Lucas grows up and feels like he can always give him Mom a kiss. I hope he never gets too embarrassed to kiss me. I don't know if I can handle that. I think it will break a piece of my heart. I know he will always love me, even if he doesn't like me in the moment. But if he takes away those kisses, I may begin to have doubts. Is that ridiculous? Why do I even think about things that are light-years away...? Any other Mom's have similar thoughts?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Looking forward

I've been hesitant to talk much about my future on here for the past couple months. I was laid off in December, and due to a paperwork debacle, I've been on unemployment since January. I really wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I applied for a few jobs, but they haven't panned out yet. I'd really like to go back to school.

At first, I thought I'd like to go back to a community college, and "round off" my Early Childhood certificates, and get my infant/toddler and Lead certificates, since I already have a preschool certificate. The more I thought about that, the sillier it seemed. I always have my preschool certificate to fall back on. I have plenty of childcare experience, I really don't need the extra certifications to get my foot in the door anywhere. I could get those while working in a center, without much problem.

Then tax time came, and while part of me loathes getting ready for tax time, a bigger half really enjoys it. I like putting all the data together, making all the numbers match, and categorizing all the purchases. The part of me that hates it is the part of me that wants to punch John & BoB in the face for their lack of organization. It really has nothing to do with the taxes/numbers themselves.

We went to our accountant with my spreadsheets and calculations in hand, as always. I made a joke that ifhe ever needs help to give me a call. To my surprise he paid me a great compliment. He said that I am very good at accounting functions, and he'd be glad to hire me during tax season next year. That got me thinking. If he's offering me a foot in the door, albeit a temporary foot in the door, I should take advantage.

I looked into getting an associate's degree in accounting. I even mapped out my course-load, and I could feasibly finish by the end of summer 2012, possibly earlier if some credits transfer. I feel like this is the best course of action for me. Unemployment has a program that extends your benefits if you are in school to make you "more employable".  I have an appointment on Monday to speak with a representative to see if I qualify.

In an effort to get the ball rolling, I paid of the last of my debt to BSC. I know, I said I was completely out of debt a while back, but I was mistaken. I had paid of my federal loan, and had no idea I still owed BSC close to $3,000. They have been taking my entire state tax refund to pay down the balance for the past few years. To make myself feel better this year, I called and paid the balance in full before they could help themselves to my refund. Financially it makes no difference, but I felt better about it. It also takes the hold off of my account so I can access my transcripts when I need them.

So now I wait, very anxiously to see if I qualify for the program to extend my UI benefits. If I don't qulaify, I'm not sure what road to take. I have some tough choices to make. Likely, I'd have to take a job at a daycare, and bring Lucas with me part time (much like Maggie May @FluxCapacitor), and go to school at night. It would take twice as long, most likely, but I could still get it done. I have to get it done.

I owe this to Lucas. He deserves the kind of future that he wants to create for himself. It's my job to help him until he can help himself.
I owe this to John. He has reached for his dreams, and worked damn hard to get there. He continues to work very hard to keep his dream alive, and he's always encouraged me to do the same.
I owe this to my parents to dumped a ton of money into my education at BSC for nothing. I didn't appreciate it at the time, I just wanted to get out of the chaos of my family life at the time. I have nothing to show for it.
I owe this mostly to myself. I've always allowed myself to play second fiddle, both figuratively and literally. (I was actually 2nd chair, in the 2nd violin section in high school.) I have always been the type to help everyone else and put myself last. I need to do this for me. I know that I will justify it by saying "it will help everyone", and it will. But when push comes to shove, I need to do this because it's what I want to do. It's where I want my life to lead.

For now, my life is leading my upstairs to help soothe Lucas down for a nap, because he has spent the past 20 minutes roaring like a dinosaur. I love his roar!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Neti Pot...

So I have been wanting to try out a Neti Pot for a while. A few trusted people have suggested that should I try one, because I often have blockage on one side of my nose thanks to my crooked nose. I was born that way. My breathing is effected by any kind of boogies in my right nostril, even tiny guys.

Now, I'm the type that can't justify buying something "just to try it". I won't do it. I'll talk myself straight out of it, usually for financial reasons. Even though a Neti Pot averages at about $15, and many manufacturer's coupons are available, I just never got around to doing it. It was really a top priority.

Until one day, I saw that if you "Like" Waterpik SinuSense on facebook, they will send you  a free SinuSense product of your choice. Well I was all over that, let me tell you. And then I forgot about it as quickly as I got excited about it.

Two days ago my Waterpik SinuSense Neti Pot came in the mail and I was thrilled to see that it came with 60 soothing saline packets (about $9 value). I thought that I'd surely have to go out and buy them. I thought that was the "gimmick". I was wrong, and not upset about it at all.

It took a couple days for me to try it out, but I sure am glad that I did. I had immediate relief. My right nostril is super clear. I can breathe comfortably through it, which is very rare for me. I was worried that I'd feel like my nose was very dried out after using the saline. I assume it would feel dry, like getting ocean water up my nose as a child. Again, I was wrong. My nose feels great. I will never turn back now. I'm a Neti-Potter for life.

And just to be clear, I was not asked to write this. I'm just genuinely happy to have found a product that helped me. It's the little things in life that keep me happy.