Monthly Archives: May 2012

I’m Going To Be More Positive, Damn It!

Sheesh, I really hate it when someone points out something I should have realized long ago…not only do I have to re-evaluate my world, but I have to admit that I’m wrong…

After a long back and forth with someone who matters, I realized that I’ve become waaaaaay too self-involved.  And in a negative way…

Life is hard, waaah…

I’m broke, boo hoo…

My children are (gasp) typical children!

Let me say, it is OK to acknowledge those things, feel the negative emotions, and emote a little…what’s not ok is to do what I’ve been doing – live in that space and never show the world that the positive exists.

You would never know it to read this blog, be my friend on Facebook, or talk to me ever, but Aidan and Sean make me smile and laugh every day…even when I’m in the middle of a mental meltdown about money, life, or whatever.

Sean will look up at me, lower his eyebrows, and glare at me in the most precious way.  He doesn’t get his way when he does it…but I get a chuckle…

I don’t post every single one of Aidan’s mispronounced words, but I laugh at all of them…

Whenever my babies hold my hand, I get goose bumps, because the amount of trust that they feel for me is overwhelming.  I am their Mommy, and that little hand claims me as theirs.

I’ve had a financial burden lifted in the past 24 hours, and it’s lifted my spirits.  It’s freed up space in my head for other things.  And it couldn’t have come at a better time.   I was actually told that based on the perception I inspired in someone, they could actually believe I don’t like my children.  I cried at that.

I haven’t liked my life much…I’ve wanted it to be different, better, easier…don’t we all wish for that?  But instead of looking at how far I’ve come (and we as a family have come), I’ve focused on how far we still need to go…God, I’m an idiot sometimes…

Throughout the diarrhea-filled day yesterday, Sean and I really did have a good time.  I finally got it right for the doctor’s office – we came prepared: water, crackers, Thomas trains – what else could you possibly need in life?  The luxury of spending time with just one child is something I miss…one on one, my children are fascinating…their personalities are vibrant and complex…they’re little people, y’all…Sean is hilarious…he’s a jokester…and if he thinks he’s making you laugh with his antics, he keeps going…he cracks himself up…

All Aidan wanted today was for me to come to his school for the Awards Assembly.  I would not have missed it for the world…I was prepared to tell my boss that life sucked, but I had to go (thank goodness I have a good boss!).  I was excited!  I knew he was still on the Honor Roll, and I had a suspicion he made all A’s for the final 9 weeks.  And I was right!  He did that with very little help from me…sure, I pushed him to complete his homework…but he understood the concepts, he remembered the spelling words, he reads everything he can get his hands on…you’d think we were related somehow, wouldn’t you?  It was an amazing feeling to be proud of my baby for something I had nothing to do with…he did that…

So, all of that is to say, I’m going to take time to focus on the good…does that mean I won’t emote every once in a while?  Of course not, this is my blog, my space, to figure things out…and a little emoting happens sometimes.  But I’m not going to forget the good…and I’m not just going to pay lip service to it…I’m going to mean it, express it, share it…

 

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Pity Party Over & Lessons Learned

The pity party and the lessons are actually two completely separate things, but if I hadn’t called it quits to the pity party, I never would have had space in my head to learn the lessons…

I had an absolute pity party for about a week…most of it was in my head…some of it was not

Was I completely justified in my feelings?  Hell yeah…should I have given into them?  Probably not…the reality is that there are times when I will…I have to accept that…and not be ashamed of it…this is hard…it was hard under normal circumstances…it’s even harder now…but if my choices are the life I have now or the life I had over a year ago, I’ll take this any day…

I really did have a moment when I wondered why I even bothered trying to make my life different…I considered, for a fleeting moment, simply accepting my life as it is…wow, that was freaking depressing…

So, after a ridiculous amount of tears last night when I went to bed, I did what I usually do…I decided to put it to the side…tamp down the feelings…and move on…

I woke up this morning in a different frame of mind…not better – but different…

Sean was still sick…he graduated to vomiting…so off to the doctor we went…and I learned a series of lessons today:

  • When a toddler has diarrhea, there are never enough diapers or wipes.
  • When a toddler has diarrhea, you will run out of both – while you’re out in public.
  • People in a waiting room will wonder why you brought the bright, sweet toddler to the doctor because he’s so damn active – until he pukes all over himself, and then they will wonder no more.
  • When said toddler pukes all over himself, you will forget everything in life except the need to find something to clean it up with – including the credit card, phone, and wallet that were in your hand.
  • While desperately seeking paper towels, a sponge, anything, you will frantically try the handle of the ladies room.  And glare at the woman who had the audacity to be using it first.
  • Later, that sweet, pathetic little toddler, who has managed to make a complete recovery will be excited to take a drive in the car.
  • A few moments later, he will also be a screaming mess because you’re making him wait in the car line to pick up his big brother.
  • He will still be pissed moments later, even though you’ve promised him a drink from Sonic.  He doesn’t give a shit.  You made him wait – everyone must suffer the consequences.
  • The sickly toddler will perk up when he realizes you’re going to the library.  He will find a DVD.  He will wait patiently while Brother finds a book.  He will promptly have a bout of diarrhea that smells horrific enough to clear an entire room.
  • He will happily wander the library with the mess in his diaper, moving it ALL around – and I mean, ALL around in the diaper.  His brother will follow him around, holding his nose, and loudly saying, “Ewww, Sean, you have di-uh-RE-UH!”  There will be NO use of the library voice at this moment.
  • You will quickly check out, run to the car, and discover all you have is a pair of Pull-Ups and Boogie Wipes (designed for noses, not asses).
  • You will make do.  You will also get poo on his shirt.  You will drive home with a half naked toddler who feels muuuuuuuuch better.

I swear, there are some life lessons I could do without.

I Must Have Left My Handbook At The Hospital

I’m sure my children came with instructions…I just lost them at the hospital…there have to be rules for how some of this is supposed to work, right? Yeah, probably not…

Sean fell asleep sitting on the potty around noon today – before he’d eaten lunch…I put him down for a nap, thinking it was strange, but assuming he would wake up starving and all would be well…not quite…

I woke him up three hours later, and he was on fire…he didn’t want to eat…he didn’t feel good…and all I have is children’s ibuprofen – which he likes to take, so at least that part was easy…

I brought him downstairs, and we dozed in the recliner…I felt his fever break, and for about two minutes he had energy…but he still didn’t want to eat…I gave him apple juice…because this Mother of the Year never has pedialyte, gatorade, or ginger ale in the fridge…nor do I have the money to buy any right now…this becomes a problem later…

Sean fell back asleep in the recliner just before six…I took pity on him and just put him to bed again…he still hadn’t eaten since breakfast…

Fast forward five hours later…I’m getting ready to go to bed, and my house smells horrible…I took out the trash…I wiped down the counters…I re-rinsed the dishes…I sprayed Febreze…nothing worked…I started to go upstairs and the smell of shit hit me like a ton of bricks…

Uh oh…I looked in on the boys and saw the stain…and I knew…oh holy hell…how had he slept through that?!

I carefully lifted Sean out of the bed and carried him to the bathroom…

Do I clean off the bed? How is Aidan sleeping through this? Do I wipe Sean down before I put him in the tub? Hell, should I just hose him down? I know I’m cleaning the tub and washing laundry tonight…

I gave Sean a bath, but wouldn’t let him sit down…poor baby was shaking and had to hold my hand to stand up…I went through two wash clothes before I felt he was clean…I dried him off and got him dressed in fresh pajamas – I think that alone made him feel a little better…

I put him on the floor so I could tackle his bed…Aidan continued to sleep…

I thanked God for the plastic mattress cover on Sean’s bed…I wiped it down with a bleach cleaner, remade the bed, let Sean use my pillow, and gave him a quilt…

More ibuprofen, a sip of juice (why do I not have ginger ale?!), and back to bed…

I told him that if he pooped again to call for me, and I’d come running…the fear of future diarrhea is what kept me from putting him in Aidan’s bed…or mine for that matter…

No, dude, you’re gonna keep sleeping on the bed with the mattress cover until this is over…

Filters

I had the privilege to see a lovely Facebook friend of mine today…she’s going through a rough period, and I was happy to see her out and about…as we were talking, she characterized my blog posts as fairly blunt…I chuckled…I couldn’t help it…I admitted, for the first time, that no, I’m not blunt when I write these posts – I actually filter myself a great deal…

I started wondering what would happen if I removed the filter…what would happen if I just didn’t care and let it all hang out? The good, the bad, the ugly…would people think less of me? Would the persona I present to the world have less meaning?  What if I, and others, don’t like the person behind the filter?  What would I say with no filter?

This evening was rough…Friday’s always are…if I have no firm, set plans for the boys, I dread the weekends…when I’m broker than broke, I dread the weekends – I start to feel nauseous and the worry creeps in – what do I do if they need something? how will I keep them occupied? what if an emergency comes up?…if I had the luxury, I would have kept working long after closing time just to avoid starting the weekend…

The Ex and I had a slight confrontation this afternoon…I’ve decided to use the state’s help in getting some amount of child support…he actually had the audacity to ask me if I would call them and ask them to drop it…wait, what?  He’s scared of going to jail, having his wages garnished, whatever…I’m scared of not being able to take care of my children! His fears are not my damn problem!

With that in my head, I drove to pick up Sean while The Ex picked up Aidan…he didn’t offer (don’t be silly)…I told him that Aidan had been missing him, would he please go pick him up? So, on my way to get Sean, I’m sitting at a red light, and I see a movement out of my rearview mirror…I looked closer, and the driver, a man, was sitting next to a little boy, about Aidan’s age, playing, pretending to arm wrestle…they were clearly having a wonderful time…it was sweet…it was touching…I started to cry…that’s what Aidan should have, damn it!  That’s what both Aidan and Sean deserve

Made it home, The Ex was five minutes behind me…Aidan came running in and I sent him back out to help The Ex bring in the groceries he buys each week…I’m trying to teach Aidan to help, to be responsible…The Ex comes in, talks about crap the boys shouldn’t need to hear about (as usual), and wants to know:

My answer is always, “Fine.”

The reality is that my head was pounding because I barely ate today (the downside of keeping myself extremely busy and productive)…I was freaking out because I have just a few dollars between now and payday…I don’t want to go anywhere this weekend because it will use up more gas, and I’m trying to conserve gas until payday, but I cannot be trapped in the house with the boys all weekend – we’ll all go crazy…the only thought that runs through my mind when The Ex is near is, “Go away, go away, goawaygoaway!”

He left to pick up a pizza for the boys and I went upstairs and cried again…I had a pity party…I wanted to be in Mississippi more than anything in that moment…I wanted my mom…I wanted BFF…I wanted This Man…I wanted anything other than what I have here…here is unbearable sometimes…here sucks…here is hard…and I don’t always know how to make it better…I can’t figure out how to fix it…I can’t make it better…I spend every moment of every day worrying…or pretending that I’m not worrying…

I came downstairs, I pulled something together to eat…and the headache dissipated…I started to feel less freaked out…The Ex came…he left…I breathed easier…

This Man called…and I started to smile again…we didn’t talk about anything heavy…I purposely don’t talk about my own feelings much…it’s too hard…it brings people down…it’s not what I want to be associated with or how I want to be remembered…when you can’t see someone too often, the last thing you want is for them to only think of the negative stuff when they think of you…

I got Sean to bed…I let Aidan stay up late (I figured if I can’t afford special little treats or go out much this weekend, I can at least offer him some special treats at home)…and I worked out…I immediately felt more normal again…I felt like I did several days ago…I felt like the Michaela that the world knows…

And I started thinking about filters again…

The Benjamin Boys Are At It Again

Aidan: Where do babies come from?

Me (gripping the steering wheeler tighter): Um…from a mom’s stomach…

Aidan: How does a baby get in there?

Me: Ummmm….

Aidan: Like an egg?

Me: Yes! If an egg is fertilized, it grows in the mom’s stomach.

Aidan: Like a chicken egg?! Isn’t it hard?

Me: Not quite. Humans are different from chickens.

Aidan: Oh.

Why he didn’t follow up with more obvious questions, I’ll never know. But I am damn grateful the conversation ended there.

*****

Aidan had his first dentist appointment today. He was great! No fear, no hesitation. It was wonderful…which tells me Sean will be the exact opposite…

He does have two cavities…the dental hygenist asked if I wanted to see…this was the moment I realized I hadn’t actually been paying attention to her…

Me: What is that?

A: A cavity…

Me: Oh! I’ve never had one…I didn’t know that’s what they looked like…

Yes, I am 32, and I’ve never had a single cavity…Aidan is 6 and has two…I have a feeling that his dental future is going to be long and rocky…

*****

Sean is at that stage of two that sucks most…he’s closer to turning three and the tantrums are more frequent and definitely louder…his new favorite word is, “NO!”

I walked in to pick him up from daycare and he was sitting in timeout…because he told Hot Daycare Chick, “NO!”

He didn’t even look sorry…

*****

Aidan is now officially a Cub Scout. I had to think long and hard about it, though…

It wasn’t just the cost…Aidan’s on the Grandma Scholarship program…but it was only $10, which ain’t easy, but I made it work…

It wasn’t just the time commitment…eventually I have to let him do something, and everything takes time…

I don’t like to associate with any organization that discriminates against any group of people…and the Boy Scout’s stance on LGBT bothers me…intolerance, bigotry, discrimination – it pisses me off…it’s wrong…

But…

How do you ever effect change if you aren’t in a place to do so? How do I teach him about intolerance if he’s never exposed to it? And why discount all the good an organization does? Maybe he can be the generation that goes through the Scouts and teaches tolerance…maybe it will be his group that demands change…

Oh, and the deciding factor? They brought Boy Scouts in to help with the meeting…they held doors open for people…they said sir and ma’am…they were helpful…and I thought, “Yes, I want that…”

*****

I wish the Cub Scouts would take toddlers…Sean was exasperating tonight…

At one point, I was literally chasing him around the room…I had told him to do something…he used his favorite word: NO!

I had the dilemma of going after him because that was unacceptable behavior (knowing I’d have to chase him) or letting it go, and knowing the other parent’s would think my lack of discipline was the real problem…I chose the chase…

Five minutes later I caught him…I was mortified…I was sweaty…I was pissed…and I just wanted to get the hell out of there…and I was reminded just why I avoid going places with both boys when I have to concentrate on something other than them…

I felt all eyes on me…I wanted to hide in a corner…but I acted like I didn’t see them…I dealt with Sean (in a voice loud enough to show that I do discipline my children)…I paid the registration fee…and got the hell out of Dodge!

And The Walls Come Tumblin’ Down…

I should know better…once I talk about what’s on my mind, something opens up inside and I’m forced to deal with it…

I had walls up all around me…and then they came tumblin’ down…

Well, actually a dam broke…

I kept everything bottled up for so long, something was bound to happen…I don’t know why I cried last night…and I don’t know why it didn’t last longer…but when I woke up this morning, I felt better…

Normally I drag myself out of bed…I shuffle along, half-asleep, dreading the day…today was different…nothing has changed – externally…but something’s different…I’ve been energized, not energetic, but I’ve moved throughout my day with a sense of purpose…and I have no good explanation…but I am not complaining…

Walls All Around Me

I’m a person with walls…not sure how long I’ve been that way…probably my whole life…

Originally my walls were designed to keep people at a distance – because I trust no one…I think I even kept some of those walls up while I was married…sad but true…

Only one person has actually walked right through my walls, like they weren’t even there…and at the time, he acknowledged them, knew they were there, told me to drop them…with This Man, I made a conscious decision to take a chance and let him in…but he was already halfway through by the time I decided to let him in…funny how that works…

I have different walls now…it’s not about trust anymore – even though I still don’t trust people, as a general rule…they’re more of a shield now…

I’m tired of hurting or worrying or stressing…in an act of self-preservation, I slam up a wall between me and whatever is causing me pain…

What I realized today is once the wall is in place, it’s really hard to feel anything…and when the negative feelings manage to worm their way through a crack in my wall, it hurts worse than before…so basically all my stupid walls are doing is numbing me to a reality I just don’t want to deal with…

I know it’s not healthy…but I’m so tired of wanting what I can’t have…I’m tired of worrying all the time…I’m tired of hurting…at least this way I can function a little…

10 Years Ago

If I was still married, today would be my 10th wedding anniversary…

And I don’t know how I feel about that…I feel something, because I’ve thought about this day for the past couple of weeks.  Several of my friends on Facebook have celebrated their 10 year anniversaries in the past couple of months…and it only made me think of my own lost 10 year anniversary…

Please do not think in any way that I wish I was still married to The Ex…oh hell no!

It does make me think of what was supposed to be, what might have been, and what’s still to come…

I had jokingly demanded requested that our 10 year anniversary be the year I finally got a diamond ring – a big one…we had said that on our 10 year anniversary we would take a cruise (I would loooooove to go on a cruise)…we had said so many things…but like a lot of our marriage, it was all talk…it was never going to happen…and somehow that makes me a little sad…

I’m not sad that it’s not going to happen with The Ex…but that I never realized it wasn’t going to happen at all…that I fooled myself into believing that I could will him to do something I wanted…that if I wanted it bad enough, I could make it happen – come hell or high water…

So what’s to come?  Who the hell knows?

I hope that I get married again one day…I hope I’m smarter about it…I hope that it’s different and that when I hit the 10 year mark, there are no disappointments…I’m filled with hope about my future…and a little sadness about my past…

What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?

I’m in Washington DC this week for work – and I adore it.  The fact that I’m in DC, the fact that it’s for work (I have an amazing job, y’all), and the fact that it’s a kid-free week.  Yeah, I admit it – I don’t miss them yet.

I do have a great job.  I work in a cool industry.  I see an amazing amount of potential for me right where I’m at right now – and there are things I would love to do and accomplish and become…and yet…

I feel like I’m on the precipice of something…like the entire world is laid out before me, and whatever I can dream up, I can make happen…I can do anything…I can be anything…and the question becomes “What do I want to be when I grow up?”  Everything I’ve done since college was happenstance…I knew someone who loved my work ethic and could get me a job after college…I got tired of that (because I hated it) and found something else…I got laid off from that (budget cuts…the only reason I’ve ever lost a job was because of budget cuts) and found my current employer…none of my career decisions were strategic…none were entered into with fully-planned thoughts for the future…

And I want to change that…I want to work towards something…I want to build something for myself…I want to be in charge of my own destiny…Big Brother told me the other night that I have the ability to work hard for whatever I want in life…true that, Big Brother!  But what I need, according to him, is an ideas person…and I hate to admit it, but he’s right.

Before, it was a problem of not enough ideas…now, I have too many ideas…I want to do this…I want to do that…I could be this…I could be that…and how the hell do I pick?  Which one is the right one?

Here’s my perfect-world circumstances: I’d work for myself…I’d get paid to write…I’d stay in the world of social media, blogging, and whatever else is invented in the next five minutes…are the things I’m good at marketable skills? Would someone pay me to do what I do on their behalf?  I don’t know…but I have to figure out a way to find out…

But first, I have to decide what I want to be when I grow up…

Happy Mother’s Day

I wasn’t going to do the obligatory Mother’s Day post…but I changed my mind…

Mama and The Step came to visit on Saturday and we celebrated Mother’s Day with dinner…dinner with two cranky little boys – of course…

I sort of slept in today…on the couch and I could hear the boys when they woke up and rushed in to see their grandparents…I smiled a little because I was glad it wasn’t me…

I tried to keep sleeping even after everyone came downstairs – be shocked, but it wasn’t possible…

I had the luxury of an uninterrupted shower…and I took advantage of that by staying in the shower for probably 30 minutes, water bill be damned!

By 10am, they were on the road and we were back to normal…except I felt lonely and Sean cried because he hates when his grandparents leave…

I made the mistake of mentioning on Facebook that all I really wanted for Mother’s Day was a day with no meltdowns…I should have known better…Sean had three or four little mini-tantrums…yay.

Aidan surprised me with a handmade card…It had six “x’s” and six “o’s” – Aidan pointed out all the hugs and kisses…the inside was the best part – “You’re the best mom ever. You’ve done great work for me.” All together now, “Awwwwww….” He really is a sweet boy…

I lost an hour somewhere in the day…at one point, I thought it was 6:30pm, and it was really 7:30, and I rushed to get the boys their bath and in bed…

I’m getting ready to go out of town for a week for work…made the gray hair go away, packed (mostly), painted my nails…you know, the important stuff…

So, there you have it…Happy Mother’s Day – to me and all the moms out there in the world…

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