Saturday, January 2, 2016

Pain is temporary, quitting last forever..goodbye 2015!

It's been over 2 years since I've touched this blog. Throughout my very difficult pregnancy it became a life saving tool. A way to manage my emotions and feelings and ask for support. The ecstasy I felt as I would post a blog, often in times I didn't know how I would even wake up the next day, got me through even the most difficult of times. However, then my daughter came along and I developed a superwoman complex. I don't know if it was the fact I was scared of being vulnerable or the relationship I dove into where I was often judged for putting my feelings on the line, but I quit writing. I quit doing the one thing I know makes me feel better and I tried to manage everything on my own. I tried to be so strong, I tried to be unbreakable, I thought I could do everything on my own, without opening up, without asking for help and it turns out I'm not that strong, I'm not strong enough to do it all without support and 2015 taught me that more than I ever would have wanted to know.

I've spent the last two months diving into books and listening to motivational speakers non-stop. I've tried to draw from their energy and figure out how and what I need to do to take my life in a much different direction than where I have currently ended up. The one thing that all of these experts have in common is that you have to acknowledge what has happened and then make a very concise plan on your goals and future. However making that plan isn't just good enough you have to WRITE down your goals and concentrate on them. So this is what I've decided to do. I've also decided to make it very public because I've learned that I need the accountability. I need to know that maybe just maybe someone is watching and if I can do it, even after all my mistakes then maybe just maybe going through everything I've gone through is worth saving someone else. So here it life presented in a very transparent manner in hopes that 2016 is the best year ever!

2015..acknowledging my past

I truly believed at this time last year that 2015 was going to be the most amazing fairy tale year of my life. I was living with a man that although it was very far from perfect, I believed loved me through all my faults. We were talking about where we were going to get married at and looking at huge houses on golf courses. I ignored the signs of the problems, of how much weight I had gained because I had become so insecure every time he told me another girl was smarter or prettier than me. I ignored the way I felt as he took phone calls from his ex-girlfriends just to chat and as he planned vacation after vacation with out me. I ignored the fact that the words he spoke about our future were never backed up with actions. I didn't listen to myself or my gut and then was blindsided when I came home one day to an empty house and having to acknowledge the fact he had moved out in the 1.5 hours I was running errands. Do you know how much planning it takes to move out in 1.5 hours??

I was devastated but I went into fight mode. I knew my kids and I couldn't stay in the house we were living in and had to find something right away. It all happened so quickly. I found a great place but never really took the time to sit down and understand how much it would take to live in a house vs an apartment. I spent what little energy I had left trying to explain to a 2 and 8 year old at the time how the person they saw as another father figure just disappeared one day. I did my best at not saying negative things but I wasn't always the best at it because I was torn apart inside. After 2 pregnancies and being unable to make a relationship work with either father it was just another reminder of how I was a failure as a person. It felt as though I would never be enough for anyone and it's very hard to be happy with yourself when you feel that you're never enough.

In order to make himself feel better my ex sent us money as a parting gift. I knew I shouldn't take it but the truth is I hated him and I wanted to make him pay. Looking back I should have saved the money but instead the maternal part of me told me I need to make it up to my kids for the hell I put them through. I used every dollar of that parting gift on vacations. Not only did we do Disney but we also traveled to Colorado and Dallas. We made amazing memories but the fact that I was juggling my utility bills didn't go unnoticed. I woke up many nights just to make sure the electricity was still on and we would have hot water to get ready in the morning.

The financial struggle was bad but truly it was nothing compared to what was happening on the inside of me. This year truly seemed like a constant boxing match that I was on the losing end of. In March I lost my very best friend in the world. I get it now, she just couldn't take my negativity on a daily basis. She snapped at me one day and I snapped back, we both said the things you're never ever supposed to say. We crossed the lines. I get it now that I needed to hear what she said but at the time all I needed was a hug. I sat in my kitchen that night holding a bottle of pills. I stared at those pills for 2 hours. Those that know me know that I have struggled with suicide thoughts in the past and although I hadn't been there since I was pregnant with Lilly I found myself in that grey area that night. Trying to convince myself why I should continue to to hurt so bad, trying to understand why I was such a failure, trying to figure out why my life had turned into this. I finally sat that bottle of pills down and finished prepping for Lilliana's birthday the next day but I hurt for months after.

Then I did what I think every hurt girl does after a really terrible relationship and I decided to get out there and start dating for fun. Only instead of finding a great guy that could maybe prove to me not all guys are the same I subconsciously started hanging out with men I know I would never have a relationship with. Guys that were 10 years younger, athletes, musicians, the guys that your mother warned you about. The guys you know you won't really fall for because they aren't commitment guys, after all I just spent almost 2.5 years falling for a guy that was perfect on paper, the guy I was supposed to fall for and it ended in major heartbreak anyways, why ever set myself up like that again. At least this way I didn't even look toward the future..I guess I was experiencing with the theory that if your wall is big enough it doesn't matter what daggers are thrown at it you're always protected.

Then October rolled around and without realizing it I had created quite a mess of my life and it was time for another dreaded birthday. I will tell you that 36 is by far the hardest number I have had to face yet. I'm not sure if it's because I'm nowhere close to where I thought I would be at this age, if it's because I work with a ton of 25 year old kids who joke on a daily basis about how old I am or if it's because it's just so damn close to 40, but it was tough. It only became tougher when the "one that got away" an ex that I spent 5 years of my late 20's and early 30's on and off with got married on my birthday. As if that wasn't enough of a blow my daughters dad got engaged the same weekend. Don't get me wrong, I truly am very happy for them but the birthday was hard enough with out the reminder that everyone but me was able to find someone to love them forever...just another reminder that I just wasn't good enough.

It all started to compile. I'm not even sure when it happened but I found a bottle of old pain pills from my c-section. I decided to take one night. I was shocked, it was the first night in months that I didn't go to bed crying. It just made me numb. That night turned into the next night and then the next night and before you know it I was taking 2-3 Oxycontin a day. I had been struggling with anxiety really bad since Lilly was born and it just seemed like a miracle to take the pills and all my sadness and anxiety would disappear. I kept it a secret from everyone, EVERYONE! I was able to talk people into giving me their left over pills from surgeries with out any questions. And then the Royals won the World Series. You're probably wondering what this has to do with anything. It was the parade. My anxiety sky rocketed, I couldn't tell you how many pills I took that day but what I know is that I woke up the next morning with out any recollection of the day before. I have pictures but no memories of spending the day with my of the most exciting days in Kansas City history. It was this day that I decided to quit taking the pills, cold turkey. This was probably not the greatest idea I've ever had either. My body shut down, I started going into withdraw. Luckily my doctor could see me that night. She ran multiple tests and determined that my depression and anxiety levels were high enough to check me into somewhere to watch me. I begged and pleaded for her to trust me. I promised that I wouldn't touch the pills again and that my priority would be getting myself healthy. She negotiated if I would check in with her on a monthly basis (the first week on a daily basis) that I could go home. It was the strangest thing I have ever been through. The weird part is that even after multiple suicide thoughts and even an attempt in the past, this was the first time I was begging to keep my life as it was. In hind site it was really in large thanks to my doctor. For the first time I saw in someones eyes that they cared if I lived or died. This doctor that barely knows me truly cared for my well being as well as my kids. I left their that night with medicine to help with the withdraws and an anti-depressant to help me till I could do it on my own.

This is when I started diving into the books and the motivational speeches. It may seem silly but to me it's helped. I've made peace with the fact that I was born with an aggressive personality and maybe everyone will not always like me or be my biggest fan. However, what I have realized this year is that my priority isn't making everyone like or understand me. I need to like me! I wouldn't say I'm there yet but I think the realization is the first step. I lost a lot of people in 2015 but I also gained a lot of people. I have the 2 most amazing children and have developed working relationships with their fathers and other sides of their families. It may not always be perfect but we make it work really well and always put the kids first. I have a job, that although can be very unconventional, it is exactly where I need to be at this point in my life. I have two vastly different bosses but daily I learn stuff about myself as a person as well as am learning so much stuff that will  help to advance my career from both of these individuals and I really can't imagine myself anywhere else right now. In order to play catch up from the dumb financial decisions I made I had a great friend who owns a local restaurant offer to let me bartend and work the very minimal nights I have availability and I have been able to catch up as well as provide my kids with a great Christmas. Finally, I have the most amazing parents who haven't always been happy with my peaks and valleys but have stood by me no matter what dumb decisions I've made. If I really want to look at my life through rose colored glasses I think my pro column far outweighs the negative.

Writing down my goals:

So here it is, my 2016 goals. It's really just one goal but it's going to be more important to developing my children and my future than any goal I've ever set.....

2016 RESOLUTION: Learn to love/like myself!!!

I declare that 2016 will be the best year for my little family yet and hope that it will be for you to!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Miley Cyrus may have made me a better parent!!!

It's been a few days now since Miley Cyrus "shocked the world" with her outrageous VMA performance. The hysteria is starting to wear down, the critics are starting to move on and the re-plays of the VMA's will eventually subside.

I, however, am just now taking it all in and realizing how much Miley Cyrus really made me stop and think.

So here is my issue with the entire performance (not that I didn't have issues with the foam finger, the nude bikini or drugged out teddy bears), my issue was her mothers standing ovation and praise for her daughter at the end! I mean this woman was really proud...but what exactly was she proud of I have to ask?
-Was she proud because her daughter has reached a level of stardom that only few will ever reach?
-Was she proud because as her mother the profits will most likely trickle into her wallet somehow?
-Or was she proud because her daughter was expressing herself, like only few would ever do?

HOW could a mother be proud of that...unless, she herself encouraged or taught that type of behavior. Is that where she saw her daughter at as a 20 year old woman? It couldn't be? Right?!?! Or is she just clapping and cheering because she's her mom...and that's what a mom does???!!!!

So this is where I start to questions myself....and realize, even Miley Cyrus raunchy VMA performance could most likely teach me a thing or two about mothering myself. Especially being a mother to a beautiful little girl who has a wide open world of paths to choose from. How do I assure that she takes the best path for her without screwing her up too much? How do I assure that she doesn't end up half naked on instagram, doing porn videos on vine or God forbid, grinding on Robin Thick on a tv awards show????

Every parenting book, blog and magazine article I have read strongly encourages you to make sure that you let your child express themselves. They constantly remind you that each and every child is there very own person so you must let them be who they are. However, the real truth is that although yes we are all our very own character, I believe our characteristics are learned. I don't believe my 16 month old daughter would insist on carrying a purse at this age if she didn't see her mother take hers every morning while walking out the door. I don't think she would be throwing fits  because she doesn't have a bow in her hair if her mom (aka me) was more of a tomboy and didn't put so much emphasis on getting ready before leaving.

So there it is...although we are each our own person we do 100% learn how to become that person by our upbringing and those who are around us. I think as a parent my hand in who my children become as adults is heavier than I could have ever imagined...and that's where it gets scary!!!!!

How do I do this? How do I raise a daughter that stays on the straight and narrow, who is always nice to others, who realizes a man should be there to love you and not use you, who becomes independent without selling her soul to do so, who helps when needed and loves, loves unconditionally. In essence, how do I raise a daughter to do so much that I myself still don't know how to do and still haven't learned?

It's a scary thought...all this responsibility in my hands!!! And then what do I do if I screw it all up? What if I push too hard and she takes a different path and makes really bad decisions? At what point do I help and at what point do I walk away?? At what point do I give up or try to help more....what if it all just goes terribly wrong?!?!

So thanks to Miley Cyrus ridiculous VMA performance my anxiety about having a daughter in today's world has skyrocketed!!! It was definitely a wake up call to start watching my own actions and how my character is helping to develop my baby girls character and even though I think it was disgusting and ridiculous performance, for a single mom like me it definitely put me in check. Although, I still have no answers for any of my previous fears and worries, I do know starting today that my words and actions have to be those that I am okay with my children mimicking. And for that I thank you Miley! Thank you for making me realize how much influence I do have on who my kids become because much like your mother I want to stand and cheer for my daughter one day....but I'm definitely hoping it will be at her college graduation or a school play or really just anything much more tame than your VMA performance!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013's all I have left!

So I'm sure the next few sentences/paragraphs are not going to win me any popularity points. In fact, I'm sure I'll be judged by the multitudes for the words I'm about to speak and the honesty I'm about to exude. However, the truth is I haven't been very popular lately anyways, so really I just don't care anymore. If my experiences and open book policy relate to even one person...
then that is a win for me!

So here it goes............
I am a single mom suffering greatly from postpartum depression. I want to stop right here and say that with my first child I was convinced that Postpartum was a very made up fake disease that nobody really suffered from. I thought those women that "claimed' to be suffering needed to get off their lazy asses, get into the gym, start their social life back up and just quit bitching! However, 6 years later I KNOW that it is a very real thing. It is a very scary thing. A very lonely thing!

The experts say Postpartum can be offset if you fall in any of the following categories:
-Changes in your body from pregnancy and delivery-
-Changes in work and social relationships-
-Having less time and freedom for yourself-
-Lack of sleep-
-Worries about your ability to be a good mother-
-Did not plan the pregnancy, or had mixed feelings about the pregnancy-
-Had a stressful event during the pregnancy-
-Have a close family member who has had depression or anxiety-
-Have a poor relationship with your significant other or are single-
-Have money or housing problems-
Now if I were just to look at this list I would be able to identify myself as the perfect candidate for this disease. My weight has fluctuated up and down over 20 lbs in the past 9 months...I go weeks and lose weight and without changing anything (except meds) will put on 15 lbs with in 1 week.
Of course my relationships changed. During my pregnancy I got a fast, hard, tough lesson on who really was and wasn't my friend. And although I was the girl with over 40 loved ones at my baby shower it didn't make the pain of losing the people I once believed were my friends, any easier to take.
I clearly lack sleep, always worry, was stressed throughout my pregnancy and with two kids money will always be a challenge.
Now knowing why I feel this way doesn't make it any easier. I want to explain what I feel like on a DAILY basis because if anyone else is suffering from this I want them to know they are not alone.

I wake up every day to my kids. Now I LOVE my kids more than I could ever imagine loving anyone. They are my world...but they are my only world. 5:30 comes early. Not everyday is it easy to hop out of bed and be the Suzy homemaker mother that my children deserve. I hate to say it, and you'll probably judge me for saying it, but sometimes I just keep my eyes closed. I let the babies whimpers get a little louder and pretend I'm still asleep as my son stands over me. The thought of waking up and starting another day in my own hell is just too much.

My fake sleeping episodes only realistically last for a few minutes and before you know it I'm on my way down to the kitchen to prepare bottles, throw caffeine into my body so I can semi-function through the rest of the morning. At this point the truth is I've probably only slept 3-4 hours through out the night. I constantly toss and turn...and if my baby doesn't wake up I continually wake myself up listening for her for fear that I just might not hear her and then something could go terribly wrong (like SIDS or something). Then my mind wanders if something were to happen, who would hate me then? Would I even be able to live? How would I explain it to my son? How could I move on with my life? So many questions for something that is no more than a fear. Anxiety over a thought, a terrible thought at that!
Once I finally get my kids off to babysitter and school I head to work. I have gone up a purse size and learned to pack extra makeup just in case I spontaneously start crying. This happens more times a week than it doesn't. I don't even know why. My doctor says it could be because of the "meds". By meds she means the current one she's prescribed me. In the past 9 months they have tried over 1/2 a dozen but NOTHING seems to make the pain stop.
Once I'm at work I am okay. I have to be...I work with all men, they just wouldn't and couldn't understand. For goodness sakes I can't get my own father or daughters father to see what pain I'm could a bunch of salesmen I work with understand. Unfortunately, I do have times when I'm not okay at work. Luckily for me I can grab my purse and escape to the powder room, cry it out and fix my makeup without any one being any the wiser!
Evenings have become the toughest. I'm actually really good between 6-8 and I really think it's just because I'm just too busy to know that I may not be okay. I pick up kids, cook dinner, feed the baby, assist my son with his shower, bathe the baby, rock the baby, help my son with his homework, read books and put everyone to bed. It's quick, it's fast, I don't always feel like I'm spending enough quality time with them...but what am I to do....the everyday stuff has to be done!
It's after the kids go to bed that I'm at my worse. Now without sounding too 'poor me' I do spend every evening alone. I have amazing friends that will text to check in on me and every now and then I will even get to speak with one of them on the phone for an extended amount of time. But the truth is that they are all busy with their own kids, their husbands, their lives! Being a mom, you are exhausted after the day is done (and that's at like 9:00)....even talking on the phone becomes a chore.
So here I sit, alone. This is when it starts. The true signs of my postpartum depression. Things go through my head that I could have never imagined feeling a year ago. Scary, scary things. I find myself imagining things that are not suppose to be spoken of, things that you don't tell people you think about, things you try to tell yourself you aren't thinking about. I imagine my children's lives if I wasn't in them. I imagine how the world would be if I just wasn't here anymore. I imagine if anyone would even bother showing up to my funeral. I know logically it will never come to this. I am all those little kids have...but the thoughts consume me. I wonder what it would feel like to just take the pain away. The pain I feel everyday. The stabbing in my stomach from the anxiety attacks I continue to have. The pain of my heart from having children with men that hate me. The pain from the guilt I feel because my children have to grow up in broken homes and listen to fighting and shuffle from home to home.

I imagine what I feel on a nightly basis is the same type of pain that somebody that has just been ran over feels when waking up in the hospital. Every muscle, every bone, every thought hurts! It hurts so much and I don't know how to make the hurt stop. I have moments....GREAT moments. Moments of clarity! Moments where I look in my daughters big blue eyes and know that every single tear is worth it because I will always have my little angel. I have moments where I spontaneously break out in dance parties with my 6 year old and the genuine laughter from his belly than rings throughout the house reminds me that no matter how hard it gets, it's SO worth it. In fact, I do that thing....that thing where I capture those moments. I take pictures to remind myself that this life I've created can be more than just hurt. Then I pretend....I post my pictures, I post quotes, I post anything and everything over every dumb social network just so everyone thinks I'm great. I'm handling it great...I'm superwoman....I don't even know why they say this single mom thing is tough, no big deal. I pretend and I pretend and i pretend!!!!

I'm sooooo sick of pretending. I want to be happy again. I want my eyes to light up just like my kids eyes do. I want to enjoy the little things. I want to be excited to go to the park and not upset because I have no one there to enjoy the kids laughter with. I should be able to be alone. I should be able to enjoy my kids alone. I should be able to do this all.....but it's tough!

So here I am. Where do I go from here? I've tried everything I know. I've joined support groups, I've seen a counselor, I've gone to church almost every Sunday for over a year now. I've worked out, I've taken yoga. I've read so many self help books, and postpartum help blogs, joined chat groups. I've started fights to try to prove my point, taken my aggression out on others and begged for forgiveness. It's like a roller coaster and I want to get off. I don't want to do any more loops, I don't want to be scared and I don't want to be without any control anymore. Not knowing what your emotions/hormones are doing or will do next is a very scary thing.
So there it is. My life. My so not perfect, crumbling, disastrous world. I want it fixed. I want to be the Suzy homemaker, Martha Stewart mom that my children deserve. I don't want their memories to be of their mother always with tears in her eyes. I want their child hood memories to be of laughter and joy, cookie making, Lego character building and fabulous birthday parties. Now I need to figure out how to get there.
I do have one thing going for me and that's that I was made tough. I once heard that God will turn your MESS into a MESSAGE, your TEST into a TESTIMONY, your TRIAL into a TRIUMPH and a VICTIM into a VICTORY. So with what little optimism I still have I'm putting all my cards on that. I know that there has to be a reason for this journey and maybe one day I'll be able to look back, without any hurt and know why I experienced this and hopefully be able to help others that are in this situation. I just have to hope, because hope is all I have right now!

Friday, November 23, 2012

So many blessings...too many to count!

Thanksgiving - a time of family, pilgrims, turkey, football, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, midnight shopping, green beans, and traditions being carried out from house to house

Whatever thanksgiving means to you and yours....there is one guarantee, every year you will be given a day where you will be asked to give thanks for what you have!

This day last year I will always remember as being MY rock bottom! I couldn't see past my present, and pregnant and alone was all I could focus on. I didn't think, just a year ago today, I would ever smile again and I didn't know how I would be able to ever recover from the hurt, pain and fear I had let take over every part of me!!! So when asked to give thanks (although I had plenty to be grateful and thankful for) I instead focused on what I didn't have!!!

Well now, exactly one year later, I can't stop counting my blessings!!!! So while everyone I know is naming them off day by day through their Facebook accounts...I've decided to just compile them all right next time I'm having one of those rough spots in my life, I can refer right back to this page and remember exactly how blessed I really am!!!

The things I'm thankful for:

I am thankful to have the most AMAZING parents anyone can ask for. They have definitely dealt with their fare share of "my child did what" moments from me...and no matter what they have always been supportive and never made me feel un-loved!!! They are there for me ANY and EVERY time I need them and support me with out question. They are amazing grandparents and my kids are able to enjoy much more "normal" childhoods because my parents help me out so much!

My friends - this could go ON and ON and ON. But I really do have some of the most AMAZING friends anyone could ask for! I'm a tough friend to have sometimes, and I know that, but there are some people that have stood by me for decades no matter what...for that I'm very lucky!

My son - if you've met him you already know he's one of the smartest yet funniest little guys around. However, behind all of the rowdiness and trouble making he has the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met!I've not always been world's most perfect mom...and probably cried one too many tears in front of him, but no matter what he's always been my rock. He can look at me and with 100% true sincerity and passion tell me he loves me and that everything will be okay and from that I know as long as he's there with me it will be!

My daughter - at only 8 months I can tell Lilliana will be giving me a run for my money. She's a strong willed little diva. I went through hell to get here here but truly believe that she's here for a very special reason. I needed that little girl and all of her big personality to help me figure out exactly where my priorities were placed. Since the day I found out I was pregnant with her I've been asked to check my morals and stand up for what I believe in (something I had forgotten how to do). She made me fight for her and through that I was able to cut out the negative from my life and come to peace with where I am now. She's amazing and I wouldn't take back one irresponsible action that got her here.....however, I have learned from them and for that I am beyond grateful. Can't wait to see what other lessons my little princess has up her sleeve for me through the years!

My kids dads - oh this is a fun one! I go through my share of "he should have", "why didn't he" and "you won't believe what he did now" but the truth is despite everything BOTH of my children have fathers who truly deep down love them and want to spend time with them and although it's not always exactly the way I had hoped or think it should be, my kiddos are lucky to have those men in their lives!

My daughters extended family - last year at this time they were complete strangers to me. I wouldn't have known any of them if I crossed their paths in the vegetable isle. However, today and every day since Lilly has arrived they have served as a rock and a support system that I didn't even know I really needed. They are some of the kindest people I have ever met and not only opened their home to my daughter but also to me and my son, more than anyone could ask for them to do. They are there in a split second if I need help with the kids, if I've double booked myself or if I just need a shoulder to cry on. I believe that the lord put them in our lives to show us how mistakes can be forgiven and how family should really love one another!

My job/jobs - With out being "too republican" I do believe that I was lucky (and by luck I mean I went out and looked for a job rather than depended on the government...okay I'm done) to have the same job for four and a half years. I was able to learn so much and develop as a person while I was with my company. However, I was also lucky (and now I can see this) to have that job quit supporting me just in time for an amazing opportunity to open up. I know the future holds some exciting changes and opportunities that I couldn't imagine I would be a part of 5 years ago. However, through my journey I have learned my strengths and know what exactly I have to offer and what path I want my career to follow and am VERY excited to begin my new journey!

My sons kindergarten teacher - so this sounds a bit silly from an outside view but hear me out.... I decided to put my son in 1/2 day kindergarten at the last minute this year. His school, however, had more kids enrolled than anticipated. The school came  up with a plan to put all the 1/2 day kindergartners in one class and hire a new teacher but were not able to tell us who she would be until the day BEFORE school started, want to talk about a high stress level!!! However, because of the changes there were more than 115 kindergartners enrolled in his school and my sons class only has 13 in it! Only 13 because that is all that were 1/2 day (do the math, the rest of the classes have more than 25, ugh), and for the new class they brought in a brand new teacher who is beyond excited to be involved, shape their futures and communicates with the parents amazingly. I think that God played a huge roll in making the transition of daycare to school easy for both Devin and probably mostly me! He loves going to school and I love being the classroom mom! It could not have worked out any more perfectly!
My Aunt Kristy and her family - not that I want to say I kept the best for last but I kind of did! My Aunt Kristy is probably one of the most amazing women I have ever met! Her and her husband were missionaries in Mexico, Guatemala and Scotland when I was growing up. They had 4 boys who are now between the ages of 15-22 and she home schooled them until they moved back to the states. The boys are such genuinely kind and caring individuals they make the K-State quarterback, Collin Klien, look like a bad boy! In the midst of having a brand new baby and stressing about kindergarten and aunt came to me and offered to watch both Lilly and Devin! At the time I was excited to have such a wonderful person watching my children but had no idea how truly awesome of a situation it would be come. My Aunt Kristy is the most helpful and gracious person I have ever met...through watching her I am learning how to be a better mother, a better friend and learning to forgive people I never thought I could. Through watching the woman she is, I am becoming more thoughtful, more focused on my family and becoming an all around much better person. She does SOOO much for my kids and I but I don't even know if she realizes that just her kind actions alone have had such a huge impact on our lives! We are very lucky and thankful for her and her family!
So I'm sure that this list could go on and on...and the thought of that makes me excited! I can now see how really lucky I am and genuinely be thankful for what God has given me. I hope that all of my family (blood related and non-blood related) truly know how much I love and appreciate them. I hope that they know that the idea of being a "single mom of 2" is a not a curse but rather a huge blessing and a breeze with amazing support like this!!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Just because

So if you know me at all, you know that I love social media! I mean I really, really love it! I will sit there all day long and tell you that facebook is ruining lives, that people take it WAY too seriously and that it's dying out.....but the truth is I love it! I really don't know what I would do at night after I put my children to bed if it wasn't for Facebook. I mean, of course I 'surf' other websites, while I split my time between educational TV like Bachelor Pad and Big Brother...but the truth is I always click back to Facebook, just to see if anything super important happened while I was gone during the 3 minutes I spent catching up on Kim and Kourtney on TMZ or ogling the latest Louis adds and trying to figure out why exactly they thought adding a half naked Michael Phelps would make me want an incredibly gorgeous brown and gold clutch, more than I already do. 

The truth is that you're probably just now chuckling at me, thinking "Geez this girl has GOT to get a life" ....but most likely you found this public journal of sorts,from a link that you probably saw somewhere on your facebook...and I bet you didn't just happen to be on facebook for the first time in FOREVER... so quit judging me! I'm just WAY more open about my crazy stalker ways than the next person!

Well since I have developed a passion for watching peoples lives through the computer is the reason why I've now jumped all aboard the Instagram train! Now THIS can really make you love social media!!! There's no distractions, no dumb games to ignore, just of how great everyone elses lives are. There are pictures of how skinny other girls are, pictures of how awesome last nights theme party bus pub crawl was, pictures of how much better even other peoples food is!!! It's full of small, square, blurry, color destroyed pictures of people who's last names I only know because of facebook ...and man do I love it!!!!

And although I think there are many directions I could take this blog from here...I'm just going to simply tell you why I love Instagram the most:  I love the access that Instagram gives you to those silly quotes, it gives them to you just right there at your fingertips! You know the quotes...they make it to ALL forms of social media, the quote or scripture of the day! The one that makes you buck you half a second of empowerment, the quotes that make you believe for an instant that you are worthy, that you're not alone, that you CAN take over the world! Ya, those quotes!! Those are my favorite and boy does Instagram have them!!!

So although I logically know looking, obsessing and admiring others peoples lives through a phone or computer screen isn't the healthiest form of least I can always hope to stumble upon a good old Marilyn Monroe quote or a bible verse I haven't heard in awhile, so for at least one second I can think "All things are possible" and "Fear" is really just a four letter word. So for a girl who's had a rough day, who's just a little too honest sometimes, and who realizes she isn't the only one who's life keeps throwing curve balls....I just thought I would post some of my favorite, silly quotes on here, because even if for just a second they give you hope...well that's got to be better than no hope at all, right???!!!! Enjoy:)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Move over Zuckerberg..I'm taking back control of my life!!!

I went to a baby shower the other wasn't one of those totally lame 'lets sit down and play ridiculous games and talk about babies' baby showers, it was actually a lot of fun. Very social, women brought their husbands and the alcohol was flowing. Being "the other pregnant girl" I got my own fair share of questions asked of me as well, including the awkward moment when my pregnant friends uncle asked in a room full of people (who were all paying attention) "So has your husband been as supportive as hers?" He meant it so kindly, he wanted to brag on his nephew who had given up drinking the entire time his wife was dealing with the grueling days and nights of pregnancy. The room got quiet (or that's how it went in my mind) and I sat there with a blank stare on my face....I'm not usually one to be at a loss for words but I was stunned. How exactly do you answer this? I definitely didn't want this day to be about me....I didn't want to make him feel awkward.....and I didn't want to start crying. So I lied....."Yes, yes he is." Then with looks of approval from the rest of my friends, we said our goodbyes and headed towards the food. The rest of the shower went quickly, however, I was still 100% focused on the fact that I didn't have a husband, that I didn't have a support system, and that the "sperm donor" of this child had in fact done the opposite of giving up drinking...he had actually quickly became the king of weekly pub crawls.
We sat through the presents....said our proper goodbyes and headed home. I held it together for as long as I had people in my car but the tears flowed when I walked in my door. I laid down on the couch and didn't get up until it was time to move to my bed. I sat there and just felt sorry for myself.

At about 7 o'clock that night I received a text from my pregnant girlfriends whose shower I had just attended. It caught me off guard....It was actually an apology, but not for what I had been pouting about all day. It was an apology because I guess through out the day she had been making comments of how we were due at the same time but I hadn't gained much weight and she thought she might have offended me because of my apparent disconnect for the rest of the shower. I quickly sent her a message to make her feel better telling her it definitely didn't bother me...but it did get me to thinking: So here I was pouting because I didn't have a husband to help and yet my girlfriend (who I actually think looks fabulous at almost 9 months pregnant), who has an awesome husband and support system, was not happy with her weight gain. Selfishly, I thought that I wouldn't mind putting on 20 more lbs if that meant I had someone to tell me everything was going to be okay at 4am in the morning. I thought, I would love to waddle all over this city only if it meant that when I got home I had someone to help me in the house with the 10 bags of groceries. I would love to have to shop at Motherhood Maternity if that meant I had someone to argue with a name for this baby about. However, my girlfriend who does have all of this was concerned about a few pounds. Really, just a few pounds that will fall off afterwards??? How and why do we do this to ourselves I thought?? I mean all she could see is what was going wrong in her life (and believe me she is one of the most positive people I have ever met) and at the same time I'll I could do was look at what was wrong with my own life. Neither one of us were stopping to appreciate what was going right.

I mean the truth is although I don't have a husband as a support system...I do have some of the most amazing friends and family a girl could ask for. I have a mother who will come to my house while I'm at work during the day and clean the hell out of it...just so she knows I wont stress out. She also answers her phone at 3am and heads 45 minutes to my house if i can't get myself to quit crying. I have a father who has volunteered to be the "man" in my daughters life and constantly watches my son and encourages him to be an amazing little guy. I have amazing girlfriends who live in Texas who have actually taken time out of their lives and busy schedules to make sure and visit a couple of times through my pregnancy. I have 2 great guy friends that don't let a morning go by without sending a "hope today's a great day for you" text. I mean how could a husband really live up to all of that anyways?

So why had I become so focused on "the wrong" rather than everything that was right??? I thought about and thought about it. I thought by no means was my pregnancy perfect last time...I mean I lived with the father and you could say he was physically present but never really fact, I spent more nights during that pregnancy in the hospital alone than I've had to this time. So why was this go around so much more difficult???  Why was I so focused on the negative this time? Why was I comparing myself to so many peoples perceived "perfect pregnancies" this time? Then I figured it out...............the main difference between both of my pregnancies. I had the answer.............and the answer was simple and seemed so silly but there it was........FACEBOOK!

Okay, so I know it seems ridiculous to blame a social networking site for my pity parties through out my pregnancy, but hear me out. I think I'm on to something here. So when I was pregnant last time the world wasnt' so Social Media focused. I did have a Myspace account. (this was 6 years ago...quit making fun of me.) I maybe checked my Myspace 1x a week, maybe wrote something on there 1x every 2 weeks and hardly ever loaded pictures.....I mean it was a  lot of work to get out my digital camera and upload pictures to my account. You had to be really dedicated. These were the days when people like Tila Tequila were the cutting edge of social media websites. I did not have that type of energy or really care to show myself off that way. I knew my friends phone numbers and if I wanted to see what they were doing or talk to them I just called them. Calling my friends meant we talked and I heard all of the good and BAD that was going on in their lives. The truth is as much as its sucks to know their is bad in your friends lives I think that makes us just a bit more confident in our own lives. I mean you can hardly ever speak with someone when they don't want to vent just a little about what is so wrong in their life. I mean sure what I got going on sucks, but look your life sucks makes you feel like we're in this together.

Fast forward to now....I would say I keep up with the majority of my friends via facebook. I know, it sounds ridiculous. But think about's just so much easier. I'm now a single mom, I work 40 hours a week...the only times I have to talk to someone is while driving in my car but I have a 5 year old in the backseat who shouldn't really be hearing everything mommy wants to complain about.....and to see someone would require me making plans on the weekend and then following through with them (such a chore.)

So Facebook it is. I see what my friends are doing, who they are dating, what sort of fun events and parties they are going to. I see my pregnant friends pictures with their husbands, I see the congratulations from their families and friends about what great "Parents" they will be, I see their mother in laws bragging about their upcoming grand babies....and all the while I unconsciously let it get to me. I see a picture of the first time a girlfriends husband has his hands on her belly feeling their baby kick....a process that now takes less than a minute to upload if taken with a smart phone.

I know the truth is that everyone has their own set of problems....I know that the grass is not always greener on the other side.....and I know that what people put on facebook is 1/100th of what's really going on. I mean who's going to take time out of their day to post how terrible and miserable they are. It's the same reason we wear makeup to the grocery store...we don't want anyone to know what we really look like or what is really going on behind close doors. Consciously i know this......however, realizing it and letting myself not be affected by it is a whole new challenge.

Have you even seen the statistics on facebook (as of February 2012):
-There are over 845 MILLION people on facebook worldwide
-With more countries allowing Facebook it is projected to have over 1 BILLION users by end of 2012
-There are over 250 MILLION photos uploaded daily
-The average visit to Facebook is at least 20 minutes long
-The average user spends a minimum of 55 minutes a day on facebook
-For every 5 pages looked up on the Internet worldwide 1 is facebook
-48% of 18-34 year olds check their Facebook before they get out of bed in the morning
-FAD (Facebook addiction disorder) is quickly becoming the fastest growing addiction problem worldwide
-57% of people say they talk to people more on-line through Facebook than actually talk to them in person

So see I knew I was on to something here! So what you're telling me is (because I consider myself an "average user", really if not more) that I'm spending over 334 hours a year on line looking at photos and pictures of friends/acquaintances and their friends/acquaintances and their status updates of the best part of their days or weeks or months, and what fabulous parties they are attending and who they met out for lunch when they all checked in! All the while I'm sitting at home, by myself and without being able to help it I'm comparing myself to their accomplishments and lives. 334 hours!!! Do you realize how many hours of feeling sorry for myself that is????? To put it like that it makes me think....if I were really to put my mind to it, what amazing feats could I accomplish if given 334 hours to do it in???
So naturally I'm not going to take myself off Facebook right this second. I'm not going to boycott the number 1 website in the world because I've realized what is wrong with me (or part of the problem.) However, it does make me think. What if I limited myself to playing on facebook (which is really just a form of stalking when you really think about it)....what if I limit my time? What if I set an amount total I can be on Facebook a day??? 

If I make this first step (I sound like a drug addict, scary)....then maybe, just maybe I can start to look at the positives of my own life. I will be able to see what is going right because I won't be so busy watching other peoples lives and comparing myself. I will learn to appreciate what I have no matter what more any one else has. I will stop thinking about what I'm missing and rather appreciate what I have. I am quickly learning that this comparing myself to anyone is a vicious cycle, because the truth is while I'm wallowing in my sorrows of what I don't have someone else is probably looking at my life and wishing they had what I do have. So there it is.....not a perfect solution, and for sure not a 100% cure of emotionless nights...but I think if I can wrap my mind around the fact that Mark Zuckerberg's was just trying to come up with a fun way to connect with his classmates and not design a way to ruin my life...and I can really makes sure I believe that I'm truely only seeing the very best parts of my "friends" lives...then I can learn to Love my own life. I can be proud of my own accomplishments and cherish my own achievements! Now to figure out what to do with those 100's of hours of extra time I'm going to have on my hands!!!
 "Do not compare yourself to others or you may end up believing that you are better or lesser than the other person; in either case, they are both not true."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Daddy dearest.....

As I approach my 8th month of pregnancy there is one question that I can't seem to let go....I go to bed thinking about it, I wake up thinking about it....and during the few breaks I get through out the day, I think about it!

It seems a simple enough question....It almost seems silly when I say it out loud....It seems as though it would be common sense. However, I think until now, I never even considered it to be a question that anyone would even ask...but here it is, one of the main focuses of my life.

"When does a "father" really become a father and even more a dad?"

Now without revealing too much of my personal life (because we know I never do that).....I am playing the waiting game with this question right now. With an un-planned pregnancy now coming close to an end I'm flooded with array of emotions and questions. Being a planner by nature, I want to know what the next few years of my life will be like (if not just not the next few months.) However, unfortunately I have been put into a position where I have absolutely no control...and for me to lose control is tough!!

I am waiting to see if my little girl will have a "father" or what I believe a fathers role should be. Being as emotional and open as I am, I have made my situation known to people who have asked and I have been given more advice than I know what to do with. So here I am trying to sort it all out it my head.

Now with most things in life, you can settle an argument of definition by going to Wikepedia or Websters dictionary. There it is in black and white. However, even these 2 websites can't agree on a term for "father".

However at  it is in black and white.....the definition I am currently experiencing:

'A male person whose sperm unites with an egg, resulting in the conception of a child'

So is that what it is? Is that really what being a "father" comes down to. The fact that 2 people are physically able to make a child. I have to believe a fathers role has to be much much more.....otherwise the statistics of children growing up without fathers wouldn't be so shocking.....

Did you know:
-Over 70% of prison inmates grew up without a father
-Kids who exhibited violent behavior at school were 11 times as likely not to live with their fathers
-Children in single-parent families tend to score lower on standardized tests and to receive lower grades in school
-72% percent of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers
-63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
-90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
-80% of rapists come from fatherless homes
-75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes
-Saddam Hussein, Adolph Hitler, Jack the Ripper, Charley Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald and Jeffrey Dahmer all grew up without fathers

Stats like this prove that the "father" role has to be more than just about the birds and the bees lesson we learned in middle school, right?

I mean I was a lucky little girl, who grew up with one of the most amazing fathers in the world. A dad who at the age of the 32, I can still call to help me change a light bulb or help with my car. In fact, some of my greatest childhood memories were just of my father and me spending time alone. My daddy was always there for me....he took me to breakfast every year on my birthday (even to this day), he was the one that took me to get my ears pierced for the first time when I was 5 years old, he was the one that stood on the side of high school track and encouraged me of every lap of those 2 miles I ran to finish strong...he was amazing. This is why it's so hard for me to imagine my little girl growing up without that!!

(my dads favorite pic of himself...with his watermelon he grew)

After doing much research (just trying to make sense of it all) and speaking to many guy friends that have found themselves in the same position as I am...I have been told that the "father" role hits a man when he actually sees the child, I guess like a sense of proof (as though my ridiculous size belly and 8 months of physical inability to do ANYTHING wasn't proof enough). This must be somewhat true, because every "I'm pregnant and alone" website I can find all have the same quote at the top of the page:

"A woman becomes a mother when she's pregnant. A man becomes a father when he holds his child."

So is that my answer? Is that when my little Lilly will be loved...when she's actually made her debut to this world??? If that was a 100% problems with anxiety, depression and sleepless nights would be over. I would have a time and date set in my planner to have a "father" for Lilly. However, as sad as it is, this can't always be the case....because if it was there wouldn't be so many "fatherless homes" to extract the above statistics from.

So when does a father REALLY actually become a father??? The weird thing about this is I now notice more than ever how many men do decide to step up and full-fill there father role. I find myself looking more closely at the shopping carts with babies in them at Wal-Mart and the Grocery Store to see if there is a father pushing them. I find myself looking inside cars next to me while sitting on the highway to see if the men have baby seats in the back. I find myself lingering in the baby isle at Target to see what type of men stop by to grab a package of diapers. As unconventional as it seems, even the most unattractive men have become just a bit more attractive to me as I see them head to the check-out isle with the baby items, or in their baby Bjorn carrier at the store. Instead of rich and good looking, being a caring, present, loving Father is now at the top of my list of criteria when asked what I'm looking for in a man.

After all my observations (yes maybe a little creepy...but it's research) I've come to realize that you can't tell who will and won't step up as a father. Some of the dirtiest and most ghetto men are the ones in the baby isle grabbing the package of baby wipes while some of great CEO's in our city couldn't tell you what a Boppy Pillow is.

So really there is no answer and really it's what I've been told and honestly known all along....I won't know if Lilly's father will want to be involved in her life until she's actually here. It is a waiting game....a long, emotional, draining waiting game. And the truth is, even if he decides he doesn't want to be involved in her little life, that doesn't mean I won't or can't find another man to fill that position one day. I have no doubt that somewhere in my future my knight in shining armor is waiting to be there for not only me but my kids as well. However, until then I will just relish in the fact that I can always count on her being dressed perfectly (because I'll be the one doing know a man doesn't know how to correctly put a bow in her hair), and an awesome big brother who will give her plenty of "boy perspective" for now!

So maybe you do have it right, Maybe the physical part is the only definition of Father....however, that's not the definition of "Daddy" and for now I guess I have to be patient and let Lilly come up with that definition on her own (and cross my fingers that her definition is just half of what I grew up with....because if it is, she will be one lucky little girl.)

"Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad." ~Author Unknown