Wednesday, May 17, 2006

pink eye

My poor baby. She woke up with eyes so swollen that it took us 20 minutes of applying warm washclothes before they opened. She amazes me with her upbeat attitude when she's sick. She doesn't let anything get her down, doesn't dramatize the illness and doesn't pity herself. She's a pleasure on days like these. On a side note, I have never seen such a severe case of pink eye!!

Floods of Memories

My daughter is sick today and I home caring for her. This equates to way too much time to play online instead of doing laundry while she naps her grumps away. It also means more time for reflection.

Although I'm not sure whether I'll attend this 10 year reunion, I am hoping to catch base with old friends. Isn't that everyone's goal? To not actually have to attend, to not have to see those select few you hope aren't attending but still be able to reunite with those people you never should have lost.

I am jealous of my daughter sometimes; of her outlook on life. She is a toddler still and to her there 4 groups of people: babies, kids, teenagers and grown-ups. But I am all too familar with the turmoil of the in-between. Am I a grown-up? Do grown-ups have these same fears and anxieties that I have? I would imagine they do. I can't believe that at 27 I already understand the expression "Youth is wasted on the young." Imagine what I could accomplish with the same energy, foolishness and drive of a 19-year-old.

Then there are the days when I feel much older than my age. The days that I am challenged at work and then go to pick up my daughter to school only to find that she's had an accident and no one's noticed so that her pants are sticky and smell of urine. In her classroom, I find multiple incident reports. Reports which are like the grown-up versions of tattling. Today she misbehaved and those listening ears are not quite working still. Oh, how I'd love to sign, "Bite me, they're toddlers." instead of my name. Then on to the house where I get to start dinner, field calls, clean up, and put in a load of laundry all while balancing this 34 pound bundle of energy in my arms, or attached to my leg, climbing up on me, or better still, lying on the floor of the kitchen coloring on the linoleum with her washable markers just behind me so that as I turn from the stove to dump the hot pasta water in the sink, I trip over her criss-crossed legs.

Ten years. They passed so slowly individually until all of a sudden their culmination surprised me. I am eager to hear of the changes in everyone's lives. I am eager to tell my story and realize that, I, too, have changed in their eyes.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

soapbox city

There's a topic I've been wanting to post about for some time. I wanted to write drafts and revise and be concrete and not leave myself open to hate. Criticism, differing points of view, okay - personal attacks, not okay.

But, I'm just too busy for all of that proofreading and worry, so oh, well, here goes.

Single Parenthood. This is my topic. This is my pet peeve. There are so many women in the blogging world using the term "single parent(ing)". It's the new trend.

"I had to single parent an entire weekend."
"Hubby went out with the guys last night, and left me to single parent the bedtime routine."

It infuriates me. INFURIATES me. This is not single parenting. This is not even a glimpse of single parenthood. This is regular parenthood. This is marriage. Of course you're going to have to be alone with the kids sometimes. DUH!! Single parenthood is when you CAN'T choose to go out with the guys or the girls or whomever because you don't have that other person to stay with your child. Single parenthood is being tethered to your child.

It is making every single decision alone. Right or wrong. No one to give a new point of view or tell you, "hey, wait, that is the worst way to handle that situation." Single parenthood is telling the boss you can't stay late. Ever. Never. Single parenthood is being told in the grocery store that because your child is cranky, you should really wait and do your shopping around her nap schedule. And you, tired of the criticisms turn around and explain that between work and being alone, this child is going have to schedule her routine around yours.

Single parenthood is knowing your child does way more than his/her fair share because mommy needs help. Single parenthood is lonely. Lonely. Single parenthood is guilt. (Although that's really mommyhood in general.) Single parenthood is being the sole provider. Single parenthood is no one to come bail you out. Ever. No one to eventually come home from that business trip or night out.

Single parenthood is crying for hours when you're seven months pregnant because all you want is a glass of water but you are just too tired, sick and swollen to get up. Single parenthood is not going to a lamaze class because you were ashamed that you didn't have a partner. Single parenthood is seeing your child for the first time and having no one to share it with.

Single parenthood is the electricity going out while you're alone and breastfeeding and crying because your nipples are bleeding and worrying that the blood in the breastmilk is going to hurt your baby and somehow not tripping and falling with your newborn in your hands and as you inch your way to the cabinet and pray you have a flashlight. Single parenthood is finding the flashlight. Single parenthood is shushing the baby while you light your way back to the futon in your studio apt. to resume breastfeeding and just as you wince because the baby latches on, the batteries in the flashlight die.

I find it disrespectful that people take this term, this lifestyle, and turn it into a trend. Should I feel pity for you that you had to "single parent" for 2 hours? Are you cool now that you got to apply that term to yourself? How can something so important, so difficult, be so easily mocked as to become a trend?

I am grateful to have my boyfriend and now that we're living together, I have found a new freedom. He may not support her (financially) but he is raising her with me. The next time she's sick, rather than frantically running around like a chicken with my head cut off repeating outloud, "What do I do?? What do I do???", I can turn to him and get his counsel. It is an amazing thing to have a partner in life and I think part of the other pet peeve of mine is that by using the term single parenting so easily, aren't you disrespecting all that your partner is and does for you?

Anyway, that's my rant. I am very open to discussion on this. I'd like to hear your take on this.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Ever since my daughter moved to her new classroom, the giraffes, she's been more and more definitive of boy things vs girl things. Personally, this bother me to no end. It's bad enough she goes coo-coo for Princess (joking - kinda) but to actually think that she shouldn't or couldn't play with something or do something or act a particular way because that would be like a "boy" just isn't acceptable to me.

It's amazing how young peer influence begins. I noticed it when she turned 2 but now that she's in this new older room (all the kids are between 4 1/2 and 5 years old - except her), I really see how her peers' views are affecting hers.

They actually tell her she can't play with certain toys or that her mommy's favorite color can't be blue. She even came home telling about how some of the boys teased another little boy for putting on dress from the costume box and that the teacher laughed and told him that dresses are for girls, not boys. (I spoke to the teacher and the Director about that one.) Six months ago, she never would have paid attention to what other kids thought of her. (And frankly, six months ago, none of her friends would've said things like this. I guess a lot changes between 3 1/2 and 4 1/2.)

My Mama Says Om "Blue" is the rebellion against Blue being for Boys. My favorite color is blue, my daughter loves Spiderman and my son (if I ever have one) will be able to paint his fingernails pink, put on a dress and dance the hula if that's what makes him happy.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

becoming a mother is the best thing that could have ever happened to me

This week, the theme on Mama Says Om is Foundation. I took the photo on the left specifically for the theme from 3 weeks ago which was Silly. My daughter's hysterical. I assume almost all 3 year olds are. And it struck me when I was considering a post for Foundation that it is her innate hijinx that keep me going.

Motherhood is hard. It's work. But can you imagine how much more difficult it would be if our little oh-how-they-drive-us-nuts darlings weren't such bundles of laughter. She has the ability to melt my heart with a single smile. When she tells me she lubs me or that I'm beautiful while her chubby warm hand gently pets my cheek, I have to physically choke back the tears.

Then there are the days when she just won't stop talking to me and demanding things of me while she's lying in bed making every effort not to fall asleep and my reflux is acting up and I can't bend over because my back is spasming and Milan is at practice and I'm exhausted from working overtime at a job I dislike very much because I'm trying to compensate for the additional $30 a week daycare costs for the summer and the fact that the company I work for hasn't given raises in 32 months and counting. And I yell or I speak harshly. Then I spend the next 3 and a half minutes calming down and guilting myself into depression until I go in and apologize for my erratic behavior.

"I'm sorry I yelled, baby. Mommy shouldn't yell. (she nods her head.) Does it make you sad and angry when Mommy yells?" (on the night we had this conversation, she actually started crying for Milan, her voice cracking through the tears - "Mi-i-i-i-laa-a-a-a-n" - so pathetic, so heartbreaking.)

"Yeah. I'm sad, mommy, dat's why I cryin."

We hug and kiss and inevitably, she reaches up with her chubby warm hand and gently pets my cheek while saying, "It's okay, though, mommy, cuz we lubs a'chother and we're the family."

My daughter is my silly.
My daughter is my foundation.

self portrait

This is our Ikea computer desk. The reflective surface is a dry-erase board (and looking at Ikea's site, maybe magnetic as well?? awesome) that we have never once used. Maybe I'll write some dirty messages* on there while I still can. May as well have a bit of fun before the chipmunk can read.

*And yes, suggestions are welcome in comments. (or email, whatever blows your hair back.)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

did you know

that a pack of starburst has 4.5 grams of saturated fat?!

guess I should've stopped after that second pack. Because c'mon, is it really a compliment to say,
"Wow, baby, you're ass is all jiggly, now!!" as you smack my ass with both hands when followed by, "It used to be all tight." even if you do make a lame attempt to cover it by adding, "I like it like this better!"

single parenthood - the part you don't prepare for

I'm poor. Did you know I'm poor? Not just poor, but POOR. I can pay my bills week-to-week, month-to-month, ... mostly, but I only save a few hundred dollars per YEAR and am always late paying daycare.

Meet Henry. You see, when you're poor, he's all you can afford. When I first got Henry in November of 2003, he was replacing a 1991 Jetta and was a blessing. But I immediately started having problems and his $3300 price tag increased by $1000 to work out the kinks.

Since then, maintenance been pretty uneventful in our lives. The usual stuff, of course, oil changes, tires, tune-ups, etc... but last month, Henry's axel's started going. In the last 3 weeks, I have spent $1200 fixing him!! $1200 DOLLARS!! U.S. DOLLARS!! 1200 of them!

That's a lot, people. That's the equivalent of 12 weeks of state-aided daycare payments. That's 15 weeks of groceries, just under 2 months of rent, 7.5 mild winter months of oil... We won't even go into what portion of my salary that is, but let's just say that I barely earned in 3 weeks what it took to cover those 3 weeks worth of work.

The most depressing part of all of this, is that I had to use my tax refund to pay for it. (Obviously, because my income has to go to the paying (or not being able to pay) of bills.) I was saving that for a vacation. I guess that's not going to happen.

Milan is furious at me for having bad credit because he wants me to lease a new car. But, HELLO??, I don't have $200/mo. for that either!


I guess I'm just really upset that every moment of my life seems to re-affirm what a bad decision it was to become a single parent. I knew at the time that I was in over my head and I knew at the time that it would be hard... but I guess I just didn't clue into the fact that it was also going to completely suck.


This morning in the car on the way to daycare,

Micah: "Mommy, yesterday when Matthew pushed me down on the playground and I fell on the grass, I started singing."

Me: "SINGing??"

Micah: "yup"

Me: "Why did you sing, baby?"

Micah: "Because I lub him so much."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


my daughter loves, loves, loves to sing. right now her 2 favorite songs are "listen to your heart" (the remake) and "tree tops" by eisley. when we're the car she requests both (which i have on cd) and we play them over and over. she usually doesn't keep up and is singing the lyrics just after the actual song, but boy does she belt them! she throws her head back and squints her eyes and everything! that girl is feeling what it's like to "grow wings and fly everywhere"!

so, last night, i'm watching american idol and she's suppose to be in bed but hasn't gotten on her "jamas" yet so she's watching it with me. she stands up on the couch and starts belting out these notes trying to keep up! it was hysterical!!

ps - i have 250 photos that need to be uploaded - hopefully, there's one of the little dance she does as well. if so, i'll post it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


1. Lately Micah has taken to saying to us, "I have a secret for you, gimme your ear." And then we lean in and she says, "I lub you." And sometimes we get, "I lub you da most, most, mostest." I never want it to end. (side note: when she first started doing this a few months ago, she would lean in and put her ear to my ear instead of her lips - so cute!)

2. She marries everything - I can't stand this but I don't tell her that and I have agreed to allow her to "buy me a pretty dress so I can marrying Milan". She offers to buy me this dress on a daily basis.

3. I also dislike when she says one thing (like pink or princesses) is exclusively for girls and another thing (such as blue or fire trucks) is for boys. Yesterday she told me that the boys in her class told her that blue can't be her mommy's (my) favorite color because it's a boy color. She said she told them they're wrong. Good girl.

4. She's biting her nails and peeing her pants nonstop and I feel like she will never outgrow either.

5. She is a completely different child at school and it's causing her to be twice as hyper at home. I feel as though she only expresses her true self at home. Oh, the guilt I feel from it...

6. Her hair still isn't growing but I'm taking her to get it cut Saturday because she has so many split ends. (It's been about 8 mos. since she had her last haircut - which was her first, by the way.) People balk when I tell them I'm paying for it and why don't I do it myself but it's so curly that I just don't know where to begin. Besides, I tried once and the little cricket just won't sit still for me.

7. Her favorite film is Nightmare Before Christmas and anything related to Disney Princess. She's also a sucker for Farscape , Spiderman and the "dancing Shrek". (side note: Micah has always loved to feel a little scared - she loves to be surprised and likes to watch things that scare her. We were watching Star Wars: Episode III, by far the scariest thing we've ever let her watch, and there were scenes when I told her she needed to cover her head with the blanket - we used to just distract her - because a scary scene was coming. So now she'll randomly tell us she needs to cover her eyes - even if it's not scary.)

8. She just recently began drawing faces such as eyes and nose and mouth on her drawings - so cute! She's also starting to stay within the lines when she colors.

9. Last night she ate about a pound of tofu and 15 broccoli stalks but she balks at eating corn. Strange kid. God I love her.

10. Milan and I are working on designing her a shirt that reads, "I'm still hungry" because we hear that phrase around 83 times a day and no matter what she eats, she is never full.

ETA: The haircut went really well. The stylist did a great job and Micah even got her hair washed first. This was, by far, her favorite part until at the end the stylist pulled out a spray bottle of glitter and Micah screeched, "Mommy! I'm gonna have a princess haircut!!"