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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Project Smile - October

October has become a notoriously bad month for me because it is the month my parents died three years ago and my plate right now is very full with lots of other stresses, but thanks to Alicia's (A Beautiful Mess) Project Smile, here are 31 reasons I found to be happy this month:

1st - The kindness of strangers along the Susan G. Komen for the Cure route.
2nd - Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. I got to cross #23 off my Buried List!
3rd - A celebratory dinner with Leah. We just walked 60 miles!!
4th - Home sweet home, coming home to Lucas. This was the longest I have ever been away from him.
5th - Pink toe nails.
6th - I made dinner!
7th - Blind (lunch) date with @surferwife.
8th - An impromptu overnight trip to Palm Springs.
9th - Coming home. Lucas didn't fair very well in the hotel room, so none of us got any sleep.
10th - Watching Lucas' face light up at all the trains at Travel Town in Griffith Park.
11th - Just a regular ole day where everything goes exactly according to plan.
12th - A great two-hour long workout! I love to sweat.
13th - After being in 102 degree heat at the pumpkin patch... air conditioner!
14th - A much overdue date night at one of my favorite restaurants.
15th - Five grown women making silly faces, funny noises and dancing around trying to get two toddlers to smile for pictures at the pumpkin patch and a champagne toast to two very special people.
16th - Finding a darling house with a nice big backyard and plenty of room to grow. Unfortunately, we had to let it go because we want our current house to sell first. But I know another one just like it or better is out there!
17th - Manicure, pedicure, lunch and shopping with a BFF.
18th - A jammy day! We played hookie from music class and spent the day in front of the TV.
19th - Leaving my therapist's office after an eight month long hiatus and knowing that I'm going to be okay...eventually.
20th - Mommy & Me group mommies only get together. Where would I be without these women?
21st - I FINALLY got the oil changed in my car.
22nd - Finished one book and started and finished another!
23rd - A family bike ride. Lucas loves his helmet.
24th - We spent all day shopping for Lucas! He got new pants, shirts, shoes, bibs and a Thomas the Train set.
25th - A gift from a far away friend. Thank you, Sophie for the soap, it smells too pretty to use. xoxo
26th - A three hour long nap! Mommy was very productive today.
27th - Wine, wine and more wine with friends.
28th - Playing cars with Lucas. An entire hour flew by and I didn't even realize it.
29th - Seeing Steeping Feet, a Dave Matthews Band tribute band.
30th - A husband who lets the mother of his child sleep in.
31st - My little Superman. And candy corn.

Be sure to link up at Alicia's (A Beautiful Mess) Project Smile, or check out her reasons to smile this month. Her photographs are some of the most boo-tiful you will ever see. :)
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Fortune Teller

Halloween is an excuse for women to show off a lot of skin, men to act creepier than usual hidden behind masks and everyone to eat too many sweets. It's not even the 31st and I have already had my fill of candy corn. The last time I "dressed up" was six years ago for a co-workers Halloween party and I was a very demure 50's girl complete with poodle skirt, cardigan sweater, pigtails and Keds. Clearly, I have never been a big fan of this holiday. I am, however, looking forward to creating new traditions for and with Lucas and this year will be his first time trick-or-treating. Pictures on Monday!

One thing about Halloween that is very intriguing to me are haunted houses, ghost stories, witches and fortune tellers. Like most, I'm not overly comfortable with the macabre, but there is a large part of me that believes strongly in the afterlife, mediums and those who can communicate with the dead and not a Halloween goes by that I don't think about a story my grandmother and then mother used to tell me.

I didn't know my grandmother (my mom's mother) very well. We always lived very far away from my grandparents and we only saw them once a year. What I do recall is that she was a heavy smoker, very loud, collected owl figurines and loved to sew. The story she told made chills run up and down my spine.

My grandmother was 15 and out shopping with a girlfriend and stumbled upon a fortune teller. For kicks, they decided to go in. My grandmother went first and the psychic told her the "standard", you'll marry someone tall, dark and handsome, to which my grandmother giggled and then promptly forgot.

When it was her friend's turn, the fortune teller clammed up and became very jittery. She claimed that she couldn't tell the girl's fortune because nothing was coming to her and instead wrote something on a piece of paper and asked her to put the note in her shoe and read once she got home.

The two girls carried on with their day, had lunch, did more shopping and as they were heading home crossed a busy intersection. My grandmother's friend was hit a car. She was instantly killed.

According to my grandmother, the note tucked in her shoe read, "you'll never live to read this".

I have never heard this story from anyone else so as far as I know, it is true.

Wishing everyone a very happy and safe Halloween!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Growing Up

They say youth is wasted on the young.

They are right.

When I was younger I couldn't wait to grow up.

I was a a fool.

I wanted to live by my own rules and not have anyone breathing down my neck about my homework, bedroom or social life.

It was for my own good.

I wanted to crank up my music as loud as could without anyone asking me to turn it down and dress all in black if the mood struck me without anyone harping on me about it or reading into it.

What the hell did I know?

I wanted my own car so that I could go wherever I wanted whenever I wanted, instead of having to negotiate pick ups, drop offs and chaperones. I hated having a curfew and thought, when I grow up and I'm out on my own, I'll stay out all night long if I want to.

I was cared for and loved.

I wanted my own money so that I could buy whatever I wanted, shop to my heart's content, throw elaborate parties for all my friends and look and feel fabulous all the while.

I must have been wearing rose-colored glasses.

When I was younger, I thought being a grown up would be so fun. So glamorous.

Ha!

I never stopped to think about how I was going to pay for my super exciting adult life. I didn't know the first thing about living on my own or working a 40+ hour week, car insurance, medical bills, parenthood or responsibility.

Being an adult is tough and full of stresses and heartaches. I didn't know how easy and carefree being a kid was and I wish I had appreciated it more.

Growing up doesn't happen overnight, and in a lot of ways, even though my 38 years says I'm an adult now, I feel like I am still a work in progress. I am STILL growing up, coming into my own and becoming comfortable in my skin.

Much of my growing up has happened since I became a mother. In the last 16 months, I have realized how quickly time passes and how my priorities (whether I like it or not) have shifted. I have also come to realize that growing up is about courage. And discovery. And change.

I can't wait to see what kind of man Lucas will be someday, but I hope it doesn't happen too fast.

I like my life and there are very few things that I would change about it and I would never go back to being a kid again, but I do wish I could have waited to get older.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

You Know You're A Mom When-sDaze

You know you're a mom when...
  • You walk around with raccoon eyes and people often tell you you look tired or my new favorite, 'fatigued' and you feel like screaming, "uh, no s*it, I have a toddler!".
  • You hire a babysitter for the evening so that you can go out with your friends, but all you really want to do is to curl up in front of the TV in your pjs.
  • You carry your SPF face cream with you in your purse because 90% of the time you walk out of the house without putting it on because you are too busy getting your child ready.
  • You can't wait until your tot can tell you exactly what they're thinking because you just want to know what's going on inside their head.
  • Even though you know it's bad to linger, the sad face and cries for "mama" break your heart when you are trying to get out the door without him.
  • It's a productive day when you get a three hour long nap from your little one. Bless you child!
Be sure to link up with your own You Know You're a Mom When-sDaze list at Mommy of a Monster.

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Love Bites

It has only happened a couple of times, but when toddler kisses turn into bites, they hurt and leave a mark.
If this turns into a Twilight discussion, for the record I'm on Team Edward.


This post is for Wordless Wednesdays and if you want to link up or see some really beautiful photographs, visit Alicia at A Beautiful Mess.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

16 Months

Lucas will be 17 months old next week and I just realized I completely missed recording his 16 month milestones. Oops!

Lucas is becoming very VERY communicative and demonstrative and the boy has no fear.

He motors up and down the stairs on his feet, with the help of the handrail, scribbles with a crayon with abandon, has roughly 40 words in his vocabulary, of which "no", "yes-y", "choo choo" and "let's go" are his favorites, he loves taking baths, climbing on furniture, reading books, hanging out at the park, eating apple sauce and is head over heels for this guy:this guy:and this guy, who overnight went from "Da Da" to "Daddy".I love watching Lucas with his Daddy. Theirs is a very special relationship. My feelings on the other two guys, I'll save for a later post.

Lucas is retaining so much it's scary! I blogged about our visit to the pumpkin patch last week, where Lucas saw his first scarecrow and five days later, while we were in the supermarket, he started pointing and yelling "crow, crow, crow" and I looked up to see there was a scarecrow decoration on top of one of the aisles. He had only ever heard me use the word once a dozen times, how did he recall that?

Also, recently I was singing the Do-Re-Mi song from The Sound of Music and Lucas emphatically said "stop", to which I replied, "oh, you don't like that song?", and he responded, "no". I asked him if there was something in particular that he wanted me to sing instead in complete denial that it could possibly just be my voice. He looked at me sort of puzzled and then said "moon". I started singing the moon song and he lit up like a Christmas tree. Stinker!

We are working on using sippy cups more, eating on our own without throwing our food on the floor or stabbing ourselves with a fork, independent play and having a regulated nap time. So far so good.... Next up will be the introduction of cow's milk, more crafts and concentration on letters and colors.

Our little guy is growing up right before our eyes and it's bittersweet to witness.

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In Treatment - Update

I can't thank you enough for the support and words of wisdom on my In Treatment (click here to read the original post) post a couple of weeks ago.

I'm pretty much an open book when it comes to this blog, and as I've said before I use my writing as a way to get stuff off my chest, clear my head and share myself with my son and readers. I was a bit apprehensive about admitting that I need professional help and that I was going (back) to therapy.

Therapy has such a negative stigma associated with it and I was very nervous about the response I would receive by making such an admission, but I had no reason to be. Once again, the blog world and family and friends alike lifted me up instead of knocking me down and the outreach and positive response was overwhelming. Thank you! Thank you for supporting me and thank you for being so wonderful.

I've had my first appointment and it went really well. I'm looking forward to more and while I'm on this journey to happiness, clarity and understanding, here are just a few things that make me smile along the way:

Life is pretty good, after all.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

F-A-T - Update

This week is going to be Follow-Up Week on Letters For Lucas. I have poured my heart out and shared a lot recently and want to clarify and update you on a few posts.

Last month, I received more comments on my post F-A-T (click here to read the original post) than I have on any other post. To all of you that read, commented and could relate, thank you. I love receiving comments and always appreciate what my readers have to say (on and off line) and particularly enjoy learning something new from your perspective. I wish I had more time to engage in an open dialogue with each and every one of you.

I knew that I would be touching a nerve with many of you in this post because
weight is such a difficult, frustrating and lifetime issue for so many of us. It is also a very hard topic to discuss because it is a very personal matter. What works for one person, may not work for another and we all have reasons for why we are over or under weight, obsess about exercising or drown our sorrows in food. Many of these reasons come from our childhood and our role models. In my case, my mother.

I have never talked about my mother's weight with anyone (a part from my sister, husband and a handful of very close friends) before.
I couldn't even talk to my own mother about it, so I had never really explored my own feelings about my body and weight until I wrote that post.

Before I pressed [publish], I read the post to Todd and he warned me that it might be a little "too brave". For the record, I rarely run my blog posts by my husband, but for some reason, I did this time. I don't want to be monitored here and I wasn't looking for his approval; this is my blog, my space and as I've stated before, I write for me and Lucas, however, I do feel a certain amount of responsibility and would rather not offend or piss off any of my readers.

With F-A-T, I sincerely hope that I did not come across insensitive to those of you that have or do struggle with your weight. I know that it is a real problem and that for many of you is a daily source of aggravation.

I also didn't mean to offend anyone by touting that I have never been on a diet. Trust me when I say that I would be bigger than a house if I didn't exercise. My conscience choice to exercise (and love of exercise) along with
using my mother as an example of what not to do were the two main reasons for my post.


Please keep reading, commenting and letting me know how you feel.
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Visits

We have been to the pumpkin patch twice this month, once with my Mommy & Me group and two days later with my sister, friend Colleen, her son, sister and niece.

The first visit was to Bates Nut Farm (the same place we went last year) and it was so hot that none of the toddlers were really up for picking or posing with pumpkins. Who could blame them? 102?! In October!

Lucas did get to ride his first pony, although he wasn't that in to it. I'm blaming the heat.These were the only two decent photos out of 70 (!) that we got:

Two days later, it rained and was even chilly. Mother Nature, I'm not sure what you're up to, but the cooler weather made for much happier photos, that's for sure.

This time we went to the petting zoo first....

and then Lucas came face-to-face with his first scarecrow.

It's hard enough to get one toddler to pose and smile for the camera and downright impossible to capture two. What you don't see in this photo are four grown women jumping and dancing all around and making funny noises behind the lens.

Nothing worked, but it was a fun Fall outing anyway. Both trips.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

What Not To Wear

I have an age old problem... a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.

There are some days that I feel like taking a blow torch to my entire wardrobe and starting over from scratch.

It's all organized and I can find stuff, that's not the problem. I just don't like what's in there.

Like you, I'm sure, I have several articles of clothing that I just had to have that still have the tags on them, a variety of sizes, too many pairs of jeans, not enough color, pieces that I will never wear again because they are itchy, outdated, I have nothing to pair with them, or basically had no idea what I was thinking when I purchased them in the first place.

I have clothes that don't fit my lifestyle anymore and some I hope never will again.

I have fallen in love with a pair of shoes that I bought with the intention of building an outfit around and it hasn't happened yet and I have shoes that are a half size too small because they complete an assemble I already have perfectly, but never wear because the shoes hurt my feet!

I have a few favorites that are in desperate need of retiring, pants in need of hemming, stains that won't come out, ripped jackets, suits in need of a second hand store and sports bras that are ready for the trash.

I don't own enough sweaters and the ones I do have, pill. I hate sweaters that pill!

I have a whole drawer full of panty hose and I can't even remember the last time I wore panty hose. Who wears panty hose anymore? Speaking of panties, don't even get me started on my underwear drawer.

My friend, Nancy has been toying with the idea of starting a business to become a personal stylist, especially for those in transitional states of their lives and I hope she will consider taking me on as one of her first projects. I need help mixing and matching and advice on collecting timeless essentials.

The post baby/temporarily retired/active mom is one to be reckoned with and something tells me shouldn't be in yoga pants or jeans all the time, nor should she feel like crying every time she goes to her closet and finds nothing to wear.

What you won't find is any acid wash, shoulder pads, Hawaiian shirts, animal prints, or cowboy boots, BUT my closet is full of impulse buys, god-awful fabrics, styles and trends and nothing of which reflects me anymore.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cooperation

This is super fun, if only my feet could reach the pedals.

You know who'd be really good at this...

"How can I help, little buddy?"

Daddy & Lucas win the race!


This post is for Wordless Wednesdays and if you want to link up or see some really beautiful photographs, visit Alicia at A Beautiful Mess.
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You Know You're A Mom When-sDaze

You know you're a mom when...
  • Inevitably, immediately after finishing your chores, just when you are about to sit down and relax, your child will throw up all over himself and the freshly cleaned floors for no apparent reason.
  • You keep thinking: maybe this time he won't eat the crayons.
  • You are shocked, amazed and more than slightly annoyed that when your son doesn't go to sleep until after 9 PM, he still wakes up at 5 AM!
  • You are shocked, amazed and more than slightly annoyed that with all the toys your kid has, he wants to play with a stapler, sunglasses, clock, wallet and trash can.
  • There will come a day when your tot will ask to have Cheez-Its for breakfast and you will give them to him.
  • You're a little sad each time you have to retire a favorite article of your child's clothing.
Be sure to link up with your own You Know You're a Mom When-sDaze list at Mommy of a Monster.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Music & Lyrics

I love music and poetic lyrics that really make you think, remember and smile.

Some words are so powerful that I wait for my favorite lines every time I hear certain songs. Sometimes, they're in the chorus and other times, I have to listen a little harder because they're like buried gems.

I've had some time in the car recently driving to and from Orange County and actually listened to my iPod, something I don't normally do anywhere but at the gym, and had the chance to revisit some of my favorite lyrics:

And every time she sneezes I believe it's love
Anna Begins - Counting Crows

You can wish on four leaf clovers, but all the fields have been plowed over
And there's nothin left to do but fly away

California - Kenny Chesney


It's only an inch from me to you
Depending on what map you use

Cleveland - Jewel


I wanna be the only one, for miles and miles
Except for maybe you, and your simple smile

Cowboy Take Me Away - The Dixie Chicks

Things ain't good but things ain't boring
Falling or Flying - Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

Late at night, I write my own movie
And I am the star when I close my eyes

Except I look like Julia Roberts

And you're just the poor jerk that I walk on by

For A While - Trisha Yearwood

A good day is any day that you're alive
Good Day - Paul Westerberg


We skirt around the danger zone and don't talk about it later
Marlene On The Wall - Suzanne Vega


There's no more heart to bruise

The Power of Goodbye - Madonna

You got a face with a view
This Must be the Place - Talking Heads


You have no right to ask me how I feel
You have no right to speak to me so kind
Separate Lives - Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin

What are some of your favorite lyrics?

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Monday, October 18, 2010

A New Zip Code

It's official, we're moving back to the OC!

For those of you that don't know, Orange County is one hour north (give or take) of where we live now. When Todd and I met, I had been living in the OC for eight years. It'll be good to be back.

Our San Diego home has been for sale for two weeks and we've had almost two dozen showings. We spent the weekend looking at neighborhoods and new houses and hoping, if all goes well, that we will be in a new zip code (Lord, help me!) before the first of the year.

On top of everything else I'm dealing with, a move could not be more ill-timed, but with Todd's recent endeavor being based in Newport Beach and his need to put in more hours and the fact that all of my close friends live in Orange County, it just makes more sense for us to be there instead of here. I love our current home, our neighborhood, and the friends we've made in the six years we've lived here, but change is good and I am very excited about this one.

As much as I am dreading it; purging, organizing and packing will be cleansing. It's amazing how much stuff one household can accumulate.

Bring on the packing tape, boxes, broken nails and late nights!!

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Friday, October 15, 2010

In Memoriam

Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.
- Eskimo Proverb

Kathryn Ruppert Adams
November 10, 1948 - October 15, 2007

Michael Stephen Adams
January 28, 1947 - October 15, 2007

Rest In Peace.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Take It All Back

It's humbling to recall all the things you said you'd never do when you became a mom back before you became a mom and had responsibilities or an SUV or your house looked like Babies R Us threw up all over it.

Here are just a few of mine:

  • I swore I'd wait until Lucas was two (just like the American Academy of Pediatrics says you are suppose to) until he was allowed to watch TV. Yeah, right! Some days, I don't know how we survive without Elmo.
  • I always said I'd never feed Lucas French fries, but today it's all he's had because it's all he'll eat.
  • I never thought I'd ever take my child out in public wearing only his pyjamas, but it's happened. More than once.
  • I didn't want to be the parent that let their child run ammuck in a restaurant. Done that too. It was only once and it was on the patio and there was only four other diners.
  • I promised myself I wouldn't use bribery to get my child to do what I wanted him to do, but you know what? It works! Even on a 16 month old.
  • I said I'd never let my child's bottle/fork/spoon/sippy cup/food hit the floor without thoroughly washing it off before giving it back to him. Ever heard of the 10 second rule? I'm building his immunities.
  • I never wanted that lovey to leave his crib, but now that god damn thing goes everywhere with us and we have two back ups!
  • I always thought I could get Lucas on some sort of regimented schedule of feedings and naps. Whatever... I have given up on that!

Ah, yes, the great pronouncements we make when we think we know it all, the things that we end up having to take back. Turns out you only know it all until you actually become a parent.

One of the things I said I'd never do actually backfired on me and I'm grateful. I vowed to never give my baby a pacifier and even though we tried to force one on him, Lucas wasn't having any part of it. Thank you, God for small favors!

What are some things you said you'd never do?

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In Treatment

I have been dreading writing about this because I haven't got my head fully wrapped around it yet, so please bear with me and as always, any words of advice and/or comfort that you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Shortly after my parents died, I was somewhat desperate to help my sister find a psychologist to help her with her grief and in the process contacted a doctor that I saw for a while leading up to and after my divorce from my first husband.

I still feel bamboozled by her receptionist when she asked me "what about you?". To which, I of course replied, "what do you mean, 'what about me'?".

Before I knew it I was seeing the good doctor again once a week for almost a year, half a dozen times leading up to Lucas' arrival and it's now been eight months since my last appointment.

I need her again.

I am a big proponent of therapy. I believe working with a professional can help provide insight, support and new strategies for all types of life challenges. In the past it has helped me immensely and I am lucky to have a doctor that I trust and respect. Dr. K. is a family therapist and specializes in family and marital counseling, stress management and grief.

Since spring, I haven't been myself and it's time to do something about it.

I'm moodier than usual, short tempered, forgetful, disheveled, anxious and confused. I sound like a toddler, huh?

Depression is a real illness and while I have never been clinically diagnosed as "depressed", I have a laundry list of reasons for why I might be. It could be because it's October now, which is a hard month for being the anniversary of my parents deaths, if I'm, as I've shared before, still getting used to my (not so) new role of mother, if I'm struggling with my summer miscarriage, or more than likely a combination of all three and a bunch of other junk too. Whatever IT is, I don't like feeling this way and I am anxious to get back in treatment.

I'm no good at "faking it" or keeping my feelings at bay. They come out in the strangest ways and don't want my negativity to ever affect Lucas. Not to mention, I have too much goodness in my life to feel this way.

My first appointment is next week and I have two additional appointments after that. From time to time, when appropriate I'll update you. In the meantime, your good thoughts are welcome. Let the self discovery and growth begin.

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This post was written for the word game, Word Up, Yo! hosted by the self proclaimed Nerd Mafia: Natalie (Mommy of a Monster), Kristin (Taming Insanity) and Liz (a belle, a bean and a chicago dog).

If you like words too, play along!
This week's word is bamboozled.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Father & Son

On the way to dinner the other night, I captured one of my favorite photos to date of Lucas and his dad.

I mean, are you kidding me?

This is a pure vanilla ice cream
with melted ooey gooey chocolate and rainbow sprinkles on top kind of love!

This post is for Wordless Wednesdays and if you want to link up or see some really beautiful photographs, visit Alicia at A Beautiful Mess.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Family

They lift you up.
They let you down.
They make your head spin and eyes roll.
They borrow money you know you'll never see again.
They lend a hand when you need it most.
They are heirlooms and hand-me-downs.
They know you better than anyone else and can hurt you like no one else.
They make you laugh and not just chuckle, but full on tummy holding, side aching, tears running down your face laugh.
They make you cry by opening old wounds or creating new ones.
They are birthday parties, summer BBQs, college graduations, weddings and anniversaries.
They are home runs, three-pointers and touch downs.
They are teachers and confidants, cooks and built-in babysitters.
They manipulate, calculate and complicate.
They share your secrets, your history and your eye color.
They are your past, your present and your future.
They support, frustrate and hog the bathroom.
They become estranged and then they reunite.
They are game nights and pancakes and holiday traditions.
They are baby bottles, pizza deliveries and mom's famous casserole.
They talk, listen, yell and argue.
They celebrate.
They grieve.
They remember.
They hurt.
They hug.
They are a force to be reckoned with.
They are aunts, brothers, nephews, sisters, fathers, cousins, uncles, brothers, in-laws, grandparents, nieces, and mothers.
They are home.
They are family.
They are love.

Family is everything.

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