Thursday, August 27, 2015

When Your Little Toes Hit The Floor... A Letter to "My Bugs"

It's no surprise to anyone how enamored I am with you.  Each night when you are fast asleep I try my best to snuggle as close to you as possible.  Even in your sleep you are so independent.  No touching. No covers.  When I put my arm across your side it isn't long before you move into a position as if to say "you are invading my space."  Why is it that when you are asleep I miss you even more that the rest of the hours I miss you during the day?  I don't even know how that is possible.  I often look at you and it's as if you are literally growing right in front of me. 

I like to think that I am a good Mommy.  The Good Lord knows, I am better with you under my wing each day. But I can't help but think about all these little blog posts I read from other writers about how we all miss out on recognizing that our little one's are growing and before we know it- Poof!-You are off to college.  I don't feel like I don't recognize it.  I feel like I am living it every day. Dreadfully, living it.  

Every day I want to soak up the minutes with you.  From the moment the alarm goes off, I don't want to move.  That's my first favorite part of the day with you.  Because I look over and you are always so sound asleep.  So comfortable.  The thought of making you wake up is the first string to go on my heart.  As I crawl out of bed to take my shower I always touch your face first and say "good morning, beautiful"  and I am certain that on occasion you hear me.  As soon as I finish my shower I immediately come back to you.  For the next 20 minutes I sit on the edge of the bed gently rubbing your back and your little arms trying to wake you with peace.  My second favorite thing of the day is when you mumble under your scruffy little morning voice "scratch...rub...scratch...rub..."  as though you've been awake the whole time and you've just been soaking up the spa treatment.  And every day it's the same thing once your little eyes open as I wash them with a warm cloth, "Momma, will you carry me to the couch (to watch cartoons)."  That's my third favorite part of the day with you.  Because I know before too long you won't be letting me carry you at all.  I know that in about 30 minutes from that moment your toes are going to hit the floor and before I barely take a deep breath the sun will have set again.  I always seem to be in rush mode for that next 45 minutes and I can't help but know deep in my heart I am missing little molecules of the time with you to prepare to be somewhere without you for the next 9-10 hours. And it isn't long before you make me aware that you are preparing for it too.  "Momma, I'm gonna miss you today."  "Momma, will you try to pick me up a little early today?"   And in that one statement and that one question that I hear honestly every day, I am quickly reminded those words are the least favorite part of my day with you because I know I can't tell you the answer you want to hear.  As we head out the door and the rest of the routine unfolds I make sure that I take ahold of your hand even for the few steps we make to the car.  I know sometimes you would rather make sure your "Twinkle Toes" (stuffed puppy, of which I had no part in choosing the name) and your "B" are in firm grip, than to hold my hand but I am not about to give up that little opportunity I still have.    From the minute we get into the car and you make your morning call to Daddy to say "good morning" to the time we arrive at your daycare/school it's like the motion of the day is in full force and I am already thinking about the countdown until I get to pick you back up.  Next comes my fourth favorite part of my day with you.  It's when "Ms. P" leaves the inside door propped open between the outside door and the preschool room because she knows you stand in that doorway every morning to wave goodbye to me and catch my kisses blowing your way. I love that you will stand there until I get back in the street to watch for me to cross back in front of your view and stop again to blow you 3-5 more kisses.  Between you catching them I can see your little hands waving as if to say "I see you Momma, I see you!!!"   Every day.  And then comes the time apart.  Although I love my job, it still feels like the hours that separate us consume lifetimes.  And then when it's finally time to pick you up again, the clock begins to move at warp speed.  Meanwhile, I am in full recognition that our time for that day will be over in but a moment.  I want so much to just come home, sit down, have food magically appear before us and clean itself away to be able to soak up every morsel of you for the next 2.5 hours.  Sadly, we both know that is not how it goes.  By the time Momma finishes dinner and cleanup it's time to rush you off to bath time.  That is the sixth favorite part of my day with you.  Because once again I can just sit and talk to you, or play Barbie dolls who I am certain double as whales for the amount of splashes I take from them  and get a few glimpses to see how you interact and the little parts of your personality coming out through play time.  But once again time is not on our side and if we want to have time to read a book we have to get dried off and ready for bed.  It's like the best part of life is the one thing I get to spend so little time on.  It's like investing so much into trying to provide a future that all the while you do not even realize what you are spending to get there is priceless.  And irreplaceable. But tonight is one of my favorite days.  It's Thursday and that means a pretty important thing in our home.  That means that tomorrow is Friday.  And anyone who would ask you what that means would surely hear, "that means we get to spend the whole weekend together!!!"  There's also a pretty good chance they would hear you follow it up with "and then its Saturdaaaaaay!!  and you know what that iiiiiiisssss??  SAT-DONUT-DAY!!!!!"  So while I sit here enjoying my seventh favorite part of the day with you, looking at you so beautiful while you sleep, I wanted to write you this. To let you know that not a moment of any day goes by when I do not know without a doubt that you are becoming a little older each day.  That the weight of the clock in scales isn't in my favor when it comes to the hours I get with you awake versus those apart.  That the days of you letting me pick out your clothes are growing fewer every day.  That the nights of you wanting to sleep in my bed will all too soon be a thing of the past. And that tomorrow just may be the day when you decide that it's time for your little toes to hit the floor instead of asking me to carry you to the couch to watch cartoons.  I hope not.

I love you my Bugs.

Love, Momma

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thank you for saying you'd love me forever, but not meaning it...

Somewhere between being completely broken and the first real feeling of solid ground it just sort of happens. It's not even something that you know is happening, it just does.  Things just simply start to make a little more sense every day and the aches that were like shards of glass in your heart yesterday become nothing more than a sliver you picked out and healed from. 

But before that day comes there are memories. Oh, all the memories.  They play that little trick of dancing inside your soul and taunting you with that game of  "catch me if you can."  Before you know it you are on a dead sprint running and reaching to have just one more hand in the game.  They pick the best times too, don't they?  When you are walking through the store and you see a cute couple holding hands and giggling.  You start analyzing the depths of their love.  How long will it last?  And then here it comes...the "I remember when."  That clever little memory just snuck in there when you were trying desperately to avoid it with some negative memory to supersede it.  That is exactly what happened to me today.  I was sitting at my desk listening to songs through my headphones while updating reports and suddenly the date appeared in front of me.  August 26th. It wasn't even a minute later when Fine Frenzy came on with "Almost Lover."  (well played Pandora)  Tomorrow marks 10 years since the first date for JAC's Daddy and I.  And in an instant the memories from that day came flashing like beams of lightning one after another.   But where there would have been tears 5 months ago with those memories, today there were smiles. Don't get me wrong making the decision to separate was the hardest thing I have ever done.  It wasn't overnight and it wasn't part of my big plan. I'm not for promoting thumbs ups on divorces, truly I am not. Sometimes it really is just all you are left with. And I think we are gradually getting to a better place with one another.  That simple little smile was a glimpse of that. 

So that led me to this post.

I'm sure many people (not all) can relate to what I am about to say.  I dreamed about being a wife and a Mommy so long ago I can't even remember a time when I didn't.  I dreamed of our family having the perfect house,  the perfect dogs, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect.  But really as far back as I can remember it was far from anything close.  If I am going to be honest, which I hope that you always get that from me, it was chaos.  A lot of chaos.  More tears than I thought any one person could cry in a lifetime.  From the broken relationships in high school to both my failed marriages I was just looking for something solid.  Something that couldn't be found in the people I was looking for it in because there is no "forever" in never.   And when you get caught up in hope it turns into habit.  The problem was that I spent more time hoping than really being happy. That's not to say I was never happy or had the happiness of being in love.  I remember the exact moment I met JAC's Daddy.  I knew.  I just "knew" everything I ever wanted had just walked in that door.  I remember looking at him on our first date and thinking "how can I be this lucky?"   And after 10 years, I found myself thinking the same thing today.  Only this time for a very different reason.

How can I be this lucky?  After all the things (of which I will not be airing on here, ever), all the moves, all the laughs, all the tears, all the promises kept and un-kept, and all the words said and unsaid.  How is that I am still putting one foot in front of the other? Still choosing to smile about something each day.  Still learning that starting from the bottom again might just be the best after all.  That failing at some things, some BIG things, doesn't mean I am gonna fail at everything.  I am still learning how amazing God's grace is and that I don't have to be ashamed to share my trials.  And that I don't need to explain WHY I don't have to be ashamed.  I am learning that it's not my purpose to try to have relationships with people who are only aware of the receiving end of that relationship.  And that one is pretty huge for me.  I have always thought that if someone didn't like me or love me it was because I failed them in some way.  It wasn't until I gave up every single ounce of myself that I had no choice but to ask "what is there left for ANYONE to love?"  If nothing of 'myself' is left to love then basically I am just a shell filled with a little bit of everyone else in my life.  Running on thoughts that belong to them too. I got so wrapped up in wanting to make sure that all the people who said "they'd love me forever" weren't ever disappointed that I became a mixture of what everyone else thought I should be and inevitably stopped being myself.  And in that scenario, nobody wins because it will never end up being enough.

And so here I am now.  Just me.  Rebuilding myself from the bottom up.  All me.  (And God's grace, of course as it's the one thing that never waivers.)  It feels amazing.  It's kinda surreal to feel my own love pouring back into my soul.  And I just keep thinking,  "Thank you for saying you'd love me forever, and not meaning it. You finally made me see what it's like to love myself."


Monday, August 17, 2015

You Are Entitled To...

Isn't it amazing that we have all contributed to a society of kids and even adults who feel that they are owed something.  On any given day you can find a little human barely entering middle school being handed the latest and greatest new tablet or iTechy thing.  I must admit that I too am on occasion guilty of wanting my kids to have something fresh and new to be able to get the (as my family would say) "yerrrr luuucky" card. I mean at some basic level we have ALL went through that stage.  When I was in school it was Pepe and Lawman jeans that were the latest and greatest.  Boy am I glad that my parents made me work and earn my own money to get them.  If you would have asked me then I would have told you that I was severely mistreated and that all my friends were the lucky ones.  Not to say that my friends who got them back then weren't lucky.  I just appreciate now more then ever how hard it must have been for my parents to just get the basics and still be able to get me ANY school clothes at all. 

I seem to hear a lot of people preaching about "all these kids who seem to have this sense of entitlement" nowadays.  And yes, maybe some kids flash it a little more vividly but in reality the majority of kids "nowadays" have some level of the entitlement badge that they so proudly wear.  And...I'm gonna lose a few of you right here...IT'S YOUR FAULT!  It's MY FAULT!!  The more I look at it from an objective point of view I realize that we all give our kids entitlement.  We have become a society or reaping rewards for every "well done!"  We have become exactly what we are complaining that "society has become."   Now hey, I am super proud that I have one successful adult raised and doing great in life right now.  But he and I had a discussion not too long ago about how back when he was a kid and birthdays and Christmas's would roll around he really didn't have it so bad after all.  But I can remember MANY a Christmas's and birthdays when I felt like I wished I could have given him so much more.  Because at the time I had in some way failed to solidify that any gifts were a blessing (in his mind AND in mine.)  It's sad, really, because I realize now that you set them up for disappointment in one way or another when you do that.  As you become an adult, the Christmas presents and birthday cards and gifts taper off.  Life would be so much easier for all of us if we started at a very early age with our children to teach them to consistently sacrifice something in order to gain something else.  Like purging some toys the first week of December before any new ones arrive.  Buying 1 gift with their Christmas or birthday money and putting it up as a reward for a future "atta boy/girl" moment.  I mean isn't that the way it works as an adult?  You have to sacrifice for a period of time to be able to enjoy something you really want and THAT YOU HAD TO BUY WITH YOUR OWN MONEY!! It is ideas like this that will give your children a taste of seeing themselves through the eyes of their own children one day.

Not everyone is going to agree with this.  But I think a great number of you will.
And I am sure that all of us also do some form of the things I mentioned above but is that the majority of the time?  Or only on occasion?  Not too long ago my daughter and I moved into a small apartment.  For me, it was a happy step in a life cycle change.  We got the items we had in storage and because it had been a few months she had forgotten about some of her toys.  When we got them I sat down with her and we purged.  She is 4. We filled 2 bags, a little doll house and a tote of princess mega blocks and took them to a local Goodwill.  She had a hard time at first being accepting of the idea but when I showed her the 1/2 we still had and explained that somewhere someone else would have so much fun with her toys and things she was super stoked to give them away.  I'm not telling you this to get a back pat, my only point is that it's been a few months and she hasn't missed NOT one of those things.  I am trying every day to teach her the value in being kind.  The value in being grateful for the blessings we have.  The fact is that there is no greater blessing to bestow than our character to others- strangers, friends or acquaintances.  I've thought about setting a spending limit this Christmas and taking 1/2 of that amount and allowing JAC to go "shopping" for another person or child.  I want to teach her early that you can always find happiness in very little if you focus on the happiness instead of the "very little." 

You are entitled to do the same.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Do You Ever Have Those Days?

You know. Those days when you wake up with a smile on your face and all is right in the world and then you put your feet on the floor and BAM!!  Chaos ensues.

Today-1, me-0. 

Yep, that was my day. Well, the first 2/3 of it anyway.  I mean, I suppose that I did leave a small chance of setting up a bad morning when I let JAC (forward reference of my daughter) go to bed the night before without her bath.  I decided I would just let her shower with me in the morning instead.  So, when the alarm went off at 6am I was not only having the typical inner conversation with myself (you know the one where you say "why did you stay up so late?" "uggggh, I don't know!!"  "Fail! We are totes going to bed at 8pm tonight!!" <side note: it is now 9:45pm as I type this.  Double fail.>) but I was also trying to wake sleeping beauty from her rock solid slumber. That she only possesses Monday through Friday.  It all just went into manic mode from there.  Late getting out of the shower--washing 2 bodies & 2 heads of hairs (one of those in the likeness of Tangled length) takes some serious time. On mornings like this she always gets the spa treatment and I go to work looking like the poor peasant girl that they felt sorry for and gave a job.  I mean I totally give props to those moms that get up at 4 and 5 am to make sure that they look like they just stepped out of Vogue to head into the office.  I really wish I had that motivation and dislike of sleep.  But for now, I live in world of "my brain doesn't shut down until 1am and I need at least 4 SOLID hours of sleep" and thus my days of makeup at work are limited.  So the clock quickly hits 7:30 and I find myself rushing out the door and trying to maintain my Mommy halo while I am scurrying my little Miss to the car.  We get to her day care pretty quickly (only a couple blocks away).  And there it is...the frackin' dry erase board outside the door on the brick facing of the building that for today is like a taunting billboard which reads: "Attention parents of 2, 3, and 4 year olds,  your child will need to bring a sack lunch tomorrow August 13th. (aka today) Thank you." Do you remember me mentioning this earlier?  No??  Yeah, that's because I didn't.  I just smiled and said "Oh, it's okay honey, Mommy will run home and grab it really quick and be right back!"  At this point she is always much more concerned that I am leaving her for the next 9 hours to be too concerned with any other words coming from my mouth.  So I rush out the door and head back home to throw together a quick lunch.  Parents, I do not recommend this as quick lunch often means quick junk.  I managed to make a PB&J, throw in an apple, a Go-gurt,  a bottle of water, a snack size bag of corn chips and a hostess cupcake (you will learn the significance of these in my world).  Aaaand, back to the day care I go.  At this point it is 7:55 and that means one thing when my work is still 15 minutes away.  Turdsday winning, Brooke losing. So I arrived at work 10 minutes late and had yet to have any coffee. But I didn't want to go to get coffee in the break room immediately after arriving late.  So, I ended up waiting an hour and a half for coffee. Basically, I love my job.  Like seriously, I do.  So the basis of my day was pretty satisfactory.  At lunch I had to run to JAC's dad's work to drop off her car seat so that he could pick her up since we currently only have one.  I had an appointment at 5:15 so I had to make sure that he had it before I left work at 5.  I suppose when you jot all this stuff down you realize that it probably wasn't as big of a catastrophe as it seemed.  And at the end of my appointment I picked up my Bugs from her dad's house and she and I did my favorite shopping (grocery shopping) before making it home at 7:50pm.  I am sure that she and the grocery shopping were what turned around the rest of events of the day in my subconscious. 

I know with all my sarcasm and facetious comments you may think the grocery shopping is one of them.  But I promise that part is real.  I prefer grocery shopping over any shopping.  I have never found a "thing" that I shopped for that gave me more happiness than groceries.  But then again, I don't really do any other shopping lately.  I may have a different opinion whenever I get my Michael Kors Hamilton Tote, but for now groceries are the way to my feel goods. 

And so now as the day comes to a close I look back and think about how great it is that it is over and how even better it is that tomorrow is Friday.  The best thing about days like this is that if we are really lucky, there is a tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Fresh Meet


I have been wanting to get back into the swing of things for a minute...or two.  But apparently I had a little more procrastinating to do first.  I debated a bit on whether to delete my past posts and start fresh or to leave them as a reminder. (or in case someone new accidentally clicked on my blog and wanted a little affirmation that I have always been pretty boring.)  Either way, my little finger checked all the boxes and hit delete faster than my brain could say "well, there goes all our blog views."  

So, here we are.  Starting anew.  "in a sea of deep blue, together as one, together us two."  If you didn't just get that reference then you just learned two things...(go you!) 1) I am old enough to know that McDreamy the doctor was McRonny the lawn boy first and 2) I have rabbit brain.  I'm also pretty sure I just dubbed a new Urban Dictionary term with that one.  So UD makers, if you're reading this, "Rabbit Brain" is when you are thinking of one thing and immediately a reference to something else entirely different comes to mind but is still attached to the first thought as a derivative.  You're welcome. 

Now here are a few things that you should at least know about me.  I am not perfect...let's just put that out there to avoid argument's sake later.  I am honest.  Example:  If you use the incorrect form or your and you're, I think it is only fair to tell you I am probably going to point that out.  Because that's what real friends do.  I am very good with words and advice but my listening and taking of it myself is...let's just say it "needs improvement." And most importantly, the ellipsis is my favorite form of punctuation.   

Now on to the good stuff and what you will be oh so obliged to by reading my little ol' blog.  Here are a few...(<---ellipsis) laughs, fashion, recipes, random info, diet food mood swings, and an occasional rant.  My goal is to keep a few of you entertained and keep ish light and positive up in this bish.  

I may occasionally use the "proverbial reference" swear word (or no reference at all, and just the swear word) but you will also come to know that I love Jesus so you should feel at ease that He and I have an understanding on that one.  

So welcome to my world, hope you all enjoy some laughs.  Thanks for taking some time to come to my Fresh Meet party.  Feel free to dance, enjoy yourself and have a beverage.