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Hugging Them Tighter Today

Did I hug my children tighter tonight? You better damn well believe it…

I watched the story in Newtown, CT unfold on Facebook today…I couldn’t take my eyes off of it…say what you want about our President, but when he cried, so did I…when I heard the children’s death toll went from 18 to 20, I cried harder…something about those two little babies’ deaths made it even worse…

Like any parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, person who happens to tolerate small children, I immediately thought of my own boys…I thought of how I never worry about them going to school…well, I worry, but not of them being killed by a crazy person…

School should be the one place I know I can send my children and they will remain relatively safe…I can only imagine the horror of the adults who tried to protect those children and failed…without knowing all of the details, I imagine the six adults died protecting their charges, their pseudo-children…I’ve seen Aidan’s teachers love him in their own way…I believe that most teachers love their students…I just can’t imagine…

In other tragedies, I often wait and wonder what kind of person the gunman was…what happened in their life, what made them this way…this is one of the few times that I could care less…murder is horrific…murdering family is horrific – but the people who do always think they have reasons…opening fire on small, innocent children in the middle of a school, killing children and adults? That is unfathomable, and I don’t care what happened in his life, what twisted him…whatever…I don’t want to understand the person who could do this…

I also don’t want to talk about gun control, God in schools, politics, or whatever else anyone wants to spout off about right now…tomorrow, maybe…today? Today, I want to hug my children tighter and grieve for the loss the families and the school have suffered…

Happy Birthday Sean

Sean’s entire three years on this planet have been documented via Facebook and WordPress.  Go ahead, crown me Mother of the Year.  Within moments of his birth, his picture (which included me looking like I’d been drug outside, beaten, run through the mud, and put up wet) was on Facebook.


I hope you didn’t think I was exaggerating.

The polar opposite of his brother, Sean keeps me on my toes.  He looks at the world and comprehends more than I think a toddler should.  A prankster at heart, he likes to make people (especially himself) laugh.  And there is no greater joy for him than antagonizing the hell out of his big brother.

I admit that I pay more attention to his development and growth than I did to Aidan’s.  Does it count that I took a few hundred more pictures of Aidan?  Probably not.

Sean knows his letters, his colors, and his shapes (including octagon, y’all!).  He knows his friends’ names and who he would prefer not to have to hang out with.  He is naturally shy with new people and dogeys (aka dogs), but once he loves you, he loves you with his whole heart.

Happy birthday, Sean.  I hope one day you appreciate that your brother is the one I practiced on first.

I’m Happy

Ask my Facebook friends and they’ll tell you I can stop posting about having good days…and unlike some folks on the interwebs who post things that they wish were true (for whatever reason), I really do continue to have good days…for a very simple reason…I’m freaking happy…

I feel like I’m figuring out my life…I’m about a week out from the one year anniversary of the day my divorce was finalized, and I feel like 360 (or so) days later, I’ve finally gotten good at life…

The boys are – well, they’re boys…that pretty much tells you everything you need to know, right?  But I can handle it…I don’t fall into despair…I don’t pull my hair out…I do contemplate a trade with gypsies every now and then…

Financially, I’m still broke – but I’m not scared…if you’ve ever been so broke you were terrified, you know what that feels like…I’m finally moving forward with my life…it’s still tight, sure…but I don’t spend time lamenting how hard it is or the what-ifs (I hate the what-ifs – they can haunt your ass if you’re not careful)…I feel like I’m moving forward instead of standing still or even going backwards…

People have come in to my life that I never expected…and that makes me happy…makes me glow…makes me feel more myself than I ever have…everyone should be so lucky to connect with people who get you at your core…and like you for it…

I don’t have anything insightful, meaningful, or even funny to say about it…I’m happy – plain and simple…

The Potty Chronicles – The First Day

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Here it is…the bane of my existence…possibly of Sean’s existence…but it’s also Facebook and blogging gold…I won’t deny that this will be fodder for hilarious posts and status updates for the next several months…

We almost didn’t get this today…I learned my lesson with Aidan…we started him too early and it took for-freaking-ever! He decided he didn’t want to and by God, he didn’t…so with Sean, I’ve been waiting…I think when he started coming into the bathroom with me, identifying what I was doing in there, and then asked to see (yes, this happened), then it was time…

I let Sean decide…he liked the idea of the Cars potty seat…but the first time we looked at it, he wouldn’t commit…it wasn’t until I walked away and started grocery shopping (we were in Wal-Mart, y’all) that he decided he couldn’t live without it…

I took it out of the box when we got home, while Sean was napping…Aidan was very excited about it…I’m a little afraid he’s going to try and use it…

Sean was not impressed when he saw it after his nap…Aidan took him on the full tour, though…”This is where you sit Sean-Sean…and this is where the pee and poop go…and here’s the handle to flush…but it doesn’t really flush…” He’s so helpful…

We did get him to sit on it for a while…he only looked mildly concerned…and only when Aidan got in his face and yelled, “Go potty, SEAN!!!!” And that point, we were done…

If this is any indication, I think he’ll be just fine…

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Unplugged

I unintentionally unplugged this weekend…I just didn’t feel like it…I was so low energy all weekend…I spent the time in my head…it was the only way to block out Sean’s temper tantrums…

Two is terrible and six sucks…that’s my take on the attitudes of my children at this stage…

Anyway, I barely talked to anyone…I didn’t Facebook the escapades of my children…I didn’t blog…I didn’t tweet…almost nothing all weekend…

Even though it wasn’t his weekend with the boys (and he’s about to spend 5 days with them while I go out of town), I asked The Ex to come get the boys on Sunday…I couldn’t handle one more moment of crying, screaming, or whining…

The Ex made a promise to me (that surprised me) that he would help me in anyway he could…I decided to see if he meant it…I felt like I was going crazy…I needed relief, even though I didn’t think I deserved it…

And with my four precious hours of freedom, I cleaned, I straightened, I cooked dinner, and then I read…I lost myself in a book…not in people-watching on Facebook, not waiting for a random text…I just read a book…and it was awesome…I was calmer…I was less stressed…I will still a little lost in my head, but it didn’t seem so bad…

It was unintentional…it was necessary…I should unplug more often…and I should definitely read more often…

That’s Just Creepy

Some things are just creepy…some things just give me chills – and not the good kind…a wiggly tooth, blood pouring from any wound anywhere, roadkill, vomit in my hair (that totally happened)… and strange men who troll Facebook looking to hook up…

Yeah, I said that…’cause, yeah, it happens…

I’ll go out on a limb and hypothesize that it happens oh, I don’t know, everywhere…just call me Captain Obvious…but there’s something inherently creepy about it happening on Facebook…and what’s got me really icked out is that I was receiving these hook up offers without even knowing it, and thanks to the latest Facebook upgrade I can now see other messages I couldn’t before…

Nearly everyone discussed my smile from my profile pic (because my privacy settings don’t let people see much else)…but I think my personal favorite was when I was compared to Lady Jane who usurped Anne Boleyn (sp?) for King Henry’s affection…wait, what?! And none of the messages indicate that any of these men can spell, understand grammar, or have the aptitude to spell words out in full…I am not impressed with a two-paragraph email that looks like a giant text message…

So while I am in no way interested in being propositioned by a stranger, especially through Facebook, I can at least respect a little actual effort…I wouldn’t respond, I would still feel a little icky, but there might be a kernel of respect for the (obviously) lonely man who lives in a basement somewhere that actually put in real effort…unless the Lady Jane thing was what a concerted effort looks like…in that case, no thanks…

Heaven help me if I ever become so lonely as to consider responding to a message that looks a little like this: “oh dear…i got trapped by ur elegant beauty…hope to read from u soon.” Really?! Please don’t hold your breath waiting on that one!

Back In My Space

Ahhhh, it is so nice to be back in this space again…While I was out of town, I didn’t feel comfortable blogging personally since I was there to work…but I missed sitting at the keyboard figuring out my thoughts, getting them out, heavily editing them, removing the filter (a little), and working through what I need to work through.

I heard the best phrase about my blog the other day…somedays I’m up and somedays I’m getting up…

What are my other options? Sit down and cry? Stop trying? Stop pushing forward? Those options seem pretty crappy to me…and aren’t going to get me anywhere…

I just want to revel in the good in my life…

I’ve learned that I am not only addicted to Facebook, but I adore it…how else can you find (or be found by) and catch up with old friends from years ago?…how else can you connect with people that you might otherwise never meet? 

I’m of the opinion that there is a giant flashing sign over my head that reads, “Single (slightly lonely) woman here” with yellow and red arrows pointed at my head…metaphorically speaking, of course…am I giving off pheromones or something?  Not complaining, though…it’s sort of nice to feel like a woman sometimes instead of a mom, a daughter, a worker-bee, a doormat, and whatever else I am to people whenever they need me…

I’ve had philosophical discussions about life and love…I’ve had empty conversations about nothing much…I’ve connected on a business level with people, allowing myself to feel more like the professional that I know I am…I’ve connected on a personal level with people who I knew instinctively were the type of people I want to be around…

Life is as hard as it was a few days ago (who’s isn’t, right?)…but it’s still filled with possibility, hope, and (if I can let go of my cynical nature) dreams…I’m glad to be back in my space, figuring myself out in the only way I know how…now if I could just get the whole relaxation, vacation thing right, life would be almost perfect.

Acting Like A Girl

Eebee told me I was acting like a girl this morning…I think she meant that because I was giggling about something.  I’m not exactly known for giggling…I laugh obnoxiously, I chuckle, I might even snort (usually my drink through my nose) if something is funny enough…but giggle?  Me? This morning I did…

This has happened a couple of times before, and it’s happening again…I’m just happy…well, content…well, not freaking out…either way, I’m a little more relaxed…I’m smiling a lot more…I’m worrying a little less…I’m feeling good…I’m not worrying about the things I can’t control…hell, I’m not worrying about the things I can control, for that matter…

I’ve decided I love Facebook…I already knew I was addicted, but I believe this may be love…I keep connecting and re-connecting with people…people from my past, people from my present…I can’t always be with the ones I care about but social media let’s me stay in touch in small ways…and well, that makes me smile too.

If smiling and giggling makes me a girl, I’m good with that.

So Where Am I From?

I’ve watched the new trend of “If you’re from ___ place, you remember…” or “You’re from ____ if you remember…” and a couple other derivatives on Facebook…and it made me realize that I’m not really from anywhere…

Born in South Carolina, moved to Florida when I was a baby, lived in a couple of places before we settled in honest-to-God BFE (if you need me to translate that for you just email me)…we lived in the middle of the freaking WOODS…you couldn’t see your neighbors, one guy planted a TON of marijuana back there (I remember one of the small forest fires that broke out when I was a kid – needless to say, it was a little more potent than your average fire)…wild animals lived back there…the road wasn’t paved…every few months my dad would call someone, cuss them out for several minutes, and the next day a a guy on a grader would be out there smoothing the road over…

I went to elementary school in a town called Archer, FL.  I wonder if it’s still there…but I didn’t live in Archer…I lived on the BFE outskirts of a teeny, tiny town called Williston…wonder if it’s still there, too…

I went to Jr. High/middle school (when I was in 8th grade, it became a middle school) in Newberry, FL…didn’t live in Newberry…

Spent my freshman year in Newberry (still, lived in BFE)…moved to Gautier, MS and spent my sophomore and junior years in Pascagoula (didn’t live there) and finally spent my senior year IN Gautier at Gauter High. 

And the moment I could, I got the hell out and moved to Montgomery, AL for college…and then came back, because I didn’t know where else to go…

So where the hell am I from?  And what area do I have memories about?  That’s not a woe-is-me thing…it’s just a strange realization…even on my Facebook page, I don’t put a hometown…I’m not sure where it is, or which one to pick…what’s even stranger is that it’s not like I’m a military kid…we didn’t move around…so why don’t I have a hometown?

I don’t consider my current location a hometown…maybe I’m not sentimental enough for all that…maybe I just need something to dwell on and this was today’s thing…that’s probably it.

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends…

If this morning was any indication, today should have been a crappy, crappy day…it wasn’t, by the way. 

Sean’s daycare was late opening up today…an hour late…I dropped Aidan off first, Sean dumped the rest of his breakfast all over his lap, I cleaned everything up, and decided to get breakfast for myself and apple juice for Sean at Sonic.  The system was down and they could only take cash, which I almost never carry…I went to another Sonic (because I REALLY like Sonic first thing in the morning), got breakfast, and then spilled Sean’s apple juice all over me…dammit…dropped Sean off (finally) and made it to work 30 minutes late…I really, REALLY hate being late…that doesn’t sound so bad in retrospect, but if this had happened last week,  I would probably have been in tears from pure frustration…

The difference?  I’m rested, rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to go.  It wasn’t a full weekend off, but it was something.  I knew I needed it, I’ve needed it for weeks now, but I didn’t know how much good a little rest could do for me…Work was a breeze…I checked things off my VERY necessary to-do list, felt like I accomplished something, and left work without feeling harried…every day should feel like that!

But the most important thing (and it’s something I need everyone’s help with) was a conversation I had with Big Brother and Mom #2…I was explaining to Big Brother that my divorce could be final by mid-August – 6 months from start to finish…and he asked me how I was going to celebrate…

I don’t know if I can “celebrate” my divorce because that doesn’t feel right to me…I don’t want to take joy in Almost Ex’s pain…so I’m trying to reframe it in my mind…I’ll celebrate a new beginning in my life (it sounds much better)…Big Brother was not impressed when I said I was planning on getting a new tattoo…I’m not getting it because I’m getting a divorce…I like tattoos, and even I can save $50 in the next 6-8 weeks…

Mom #2 and Big Brother presented an idea (that I rejected out-of-hand at first) that I should plan a trip after the divorce is final…that I should travel on my own somewhere…my first reaction was, “Hell no!” But that’s my typical reaction…I’m always nervous about trying new things…but then I started to think about it, and I started getting excited at the idea of taking a trip (even a small one)…

So here’s where I need the help of friends, acquaintances, random readers of this blog (all three of you)…I don’t want anyone to tell me where to go, but I definitely want to hear your ideas.  I’ve not been to a lot of places so I’m pretty open…would it be cool to know someone when I get there? Sure…is it necessary? Not really…and I’m willing to fly or drive…And I can already hear my mother’s concern, so let me say that no, I wouldn’t drive my crappy SUV (nicknamed Bubba), I would rent a car…and if I fly, it would probably be Vision Airlines because they’re cheap…and yes, Mama, I would get a CLEAN hotel in a safe part of town…

I don’t usually ask for this, but I want people who read this to comment with ideas…either here or on my Facebook page…the sooner I decide where to go, the sooner I can start figuring out how to make it work…Help me out, so I can celebrate my new beginning in an unforgettable way!

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