Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in review

Last year I wrote a list of New Years Resolutions. Looking back I think I was mostly successful.

Still not so great with money. Took a TON more pictures. Blog has really taken off compared to this time last year (seriously THANK YOU!). Still learning to laugh more and not be so worried all the time. I've come a long way. We are improving on our Spanish everyday. Aves is so freaking smart and picks up on things quickly.

Looking back, it's been a great year. Babies grew into toddlers. People have come and gone. People have come that never should have and gone again. Friends and family have been supportive through it all. New hobbies have been discovered. I've grown more as a person, as a mother.

This years resolution? I'm not making one. Yes, all of last years resolutions still hold true. Sure I'd love to lose some weight. But, I'm not pressuring myself or setting any kind of deadline. This year I'm going to work on not letting the stress get to me so much. I'm going to appreciate the snuggles and giggles. I'm going to stop and soak in the little moments. I'm going to spend more time with people I love and spend more warm summer nights outside enjoying the sunsets. So maybe that is my resolution, to live life on purpose?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The dark ages.

We've officially been two full days without cable at home.

It's going great.

Avery has asked to watch Dora exactly one time. And she was quite happy with watching her Dora sing along video before nap time.

I think we were watching too much tv around here. Sure it was mostly on as background noise while we were doing other things, but it was on most of the time we were home. Even on nights I worked, it was on in the background while Avery was doing other things and I laid on the couch. Most everything I actually watch is on local tv anyway.

Expensive background noise. And frankly, their customer service was shit.

Avery got a few more videos today that we can rotate. I'm sure in a few months I'm going to want to throw them out the window.

Also? I learned my tv needs a converter box. So, we've had absolutely NO tv for two days.

Right now there is a cinnamon candle burning, hot chocolate beside me, a warm blanket, and itunes on the laptop.

And I'm completely content.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas pics before the end of the year.

So sorry loves! My only night off out of 6 nights was Christmas Eve. Ab-surd.

We attended Christmas Eve service at church. The toddler. The dress. Too.much.cute.

Santa brought Avery an awesome wooden kitchen that she LOVES. Santa also brought her fruits, vegetables, pots and pans and cooking utensils for the kitchen. As well as a boat load of books.

Horribly blurry pic, but that face? It melts me.

Did y'all know that Santa drops off at the grandparents house too? True story. It this part of the US at least.

The countdown to spring has already begun:

Future blogger in the making:

SQUEE! Babes in hats:

I bought myself a lightscoop for Christmas which is currently rocking my socks and will fill the gap until I spring for a speedlite. Also? Drooling over the new Lightroom 3.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Birthday

Happy 21st Birthday to my sister!

But, don't go out and celebrate too hard. You know, since you look like this.

(Actually, you're bigger now.)

And tell that husband of yours you need some pasta and chocolate ice cream!

I love you!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My favorite

Bedtime snuggles are my favorite.

(As you can tell I'm also loving the Retro Camera app on my phone. Particularly the Little Orange Box camera.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

It was about 36 hours too many

My parents kidnapped my kid.

But it was only for the weekend. And they DID ask me weeks ago, I just forgot. They left Saturday morning to head north to see my grandparents with the 3 grandbabies. I know. I wish I could have been a fly in that car too.

In theory it worked great. I had to work all weekend anyway so, extra sleep yay!? Only I think I'm so used to getting up after sleeping 4 hours that I spent the rest of the day tossing and turning until my alarm went off to get up and go back to work. Could I have just gotten up and gotten some things done? Sure, but what's the fun in that?

And Sunday morning when I got off work I was so sleepy I knew I had to go home and take a little nap. And I did nap, until 11. I got up and folded a load of laundry, sipped coffee, snuggled under a warm blanket, and watched football.

And, guys? It was too quiet. I didn't have a toddler asking to watch Dora instead of football, or diapers to change, or books to read, or noses to wipe. I just sat there. And watched the entire game. And then the game was over so I watched ANOTHER game. Then cleaned up the kitchen. I had hot chocolate with the sister. On a Sunday night, after toddler bedtimes.

I already knew that I couldn't imagine my life without Avery, but I never before thought about how BORING my before life seems now that I do have Avery. Sure I sometimes think about how EASY it was to leave the house before children. Or going to dinner after bedtimes, or doing things on a whim. But, what did I DO on my days off? I really don't think anything. Laid by the pool? Shopped? I much prefer the life I have now. The one with the rambunctious toddler with curly hair. With the toys on the floor and the milk splatter on the back passenger window of my car I still haven't wiped off from two weeks ago.

She came home late Sunday night and all she wanted was to read a story and "snuggle buggle" before bed. And how could I not? I missed her so much I wasn't ready for her to go to bed either. She was only gone about 36 hours, but it was 36 too many.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Facebook, you evil little minx you

This is the add that continually plaques my Facebook sidebar.

SURE! I'd LOVE a cute boyfriend. That one is pretty cute. Can he speak proper English? Are his pants above his ass? Does he make his own money? Can you send me him?

Why not? Oh because he's a paid model. Because the ones I find have 5 kids by 5 women, or ask for gas money, or are incapable of keeping their man bits inside their pants, or want their cake and eat it too.

But, you know what Facebook, I'm just going to go ahead and pass on that cute boyfriend. Call me jaded, but I'll just play it safe.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rock. Meet hard place.

I feel like I’m stuck. I don’t know which way will be better for Avery. Better for our family.

A bit of backstory: “Ben” has seen Avery 4 times in her 2 years of life. Once at 4 months old, twice right before she turned 1, and the last time in November of this year. Ben has not helped financially at all and emotionally even less. The way things stand now he can come see Avery whenever he wants to. I will answer the phone whenever he wants to call and talk to her and she can call him whenever she wants.

Let me outline the last couple days for you.

December 13th: She called him 2 times. Left voicemails both times. He answered the phone when I called him (3rd phone call that day) and we spoke for 2 minutes about her Christmas present, Avery was napping at the time.

December 14th: She called him 2 times. Left voicemails both times. He did not return her call. He did text me about her Christmas present again.

Today (December 15th): She has called him 1 time thus far. No answer and no return call.

I’m absolutely infuriated. She wants to speak to her father. “Call daddy. Call daddy.” And when she says, to his voicemail, “I love you daddy, call me later.” It kills me. She has a relationship with his voicemail, not him.

And he could care less because he is busy wherever he is doing whatever it is that he’s doing. He still hasn’t 100% been honest about his life. I caught him in another HUGE lie recently. And he is STILL denying it happened. Every time he calls he says “Let me take her for a week”. Hell to the no! We were both of the understanding when we ended things a few weeks ago that he can come whenever he wants and call whenever he wants but I was not comfortable with him being alone with her. WE WERE BOTH of the understanding. Why is he trying to change things already? And if he really wanted to see her why doesn’t he RETURN HER PHONE CALLS? It makes me believe she is merely a pawn for him.

He didn’t even get her a birthday present. He didn’t even SHOW UP for her birthday. He says “I’ll bring it when I come down”. We are still waiting on her 1st birthday present. I know I’ve said it before but I still can’t believe that he has missed every birthday and every holiday. He missed her first words, her first steps, and even her birth.

I know I have to do something. I just don’t know what.

Option 1: We continue things like they are now. With me knowing that eventually his calls and texts will become less and less, again. And he might disappear for a few weeks or a few months, but he will come back. Next time with another lie or excuse. Avery will grow up with this being her normal. A dad that she sees maybe a couple times a year. That will or won’t return her phone calls. Knowing that she can’t depend on him.

Option 2: Take him to court. This involves establishing paternity (he obviously isn’t on her birth certificate). Make him provide child support, which I doubt he will pay. But at least he will be held responsible for his actions. I am sure he will ask for visitations and I will fight for supervised at least. I also think that even if awarded visitations, he will not show for them. Because, more than likely, he will have to come to her. Which will also set a precedence with the courts. My biggest fear with this option: he will be able to take her, because of her age, back to wherever he lives with him for periods of time. I do not know who he associates with and where he lives. I’m terrified I wouldn’t be awarded supervised visitations.

Option 3: Disappear. Change my number and move. Trusting this house sells before he decides to venture this way. I have already planned on not giving him my new address when I move out of state. Simply what city I live in and if he wants to see her we can meet in a public place. But, disappearing would mean we simply fall off the map to him. Could he find me? I have no doubt. He had my phone records accessed while we were “together” last month. Would he act on any information he found? I’m not sure.

What I do know is that he thinks he has me figured out. Whatever it is he is up to wherever it is that he lives he is banking on the fact that I want things to stay like they are now. He doesn’t get her alone and he doesn’t help financially. This makes me mad as hell. Which makes me want to make things difficult for him and take his LYING ASS to court. And then everything will be laid out and every lie will be uncovered.

But, maybe I should just let him think he’s won. Maybe we should just disappear and he can go on doing whatever sneaky things he’s doing and know that karma will be paying him a visit. I have the child, I’ve really already won. And those times I get mad and wish there was someone here to help me? I’ll rest a little easier knowing it’s not him and he can’t just come and go as he pleases.

And if I do disappear? I’ll rest easier knowing I did everything in MY power to get him to change his ways. *I* took her halfway to see him. *I* let her call him when she wanted. *I* comfort her when she cries because she couldn’t talk to daddy on the phone. *I* never changed my phone number in the 2.5 years since I’ve known him. *I* was honest about my name and my background from the start. *I* wasn’t the one that didn’t contact her/us from beginning of June to middle of October because he was “somewhere without cell phones”. He tells me I’m the only one of his “baby mammas” that gives him any trouble. Well maybe the other four (yes 4. F.O.U.R. That I know about.) just don’t care? Maybe they know who you really are? Maybe they believe your poor attempts at lies. Maybe they are in on it? Whatever it is, I don’t care. I have a gut feeling my child is not safe with you and I will do anything in my power to protect her. I’ve learned more than once in the past that you should always follow your gut.

(UPDATE: He did call her back on December 15th, 1.5 hours later. He talked to her for 2.08 minutes then tried to start an argument with me while she was listening. I simply asked Avery to give daddy a kiss and tell him she loved him and she hung up the phone. I will also mention, for the sake of argument, that she told him she went to time out this morning. I told him it was because she hit me. He laughed and told her it was ok to hit mommy, mommy deserved it. Parenting at its finest.)

I hate that this feels like a pissing match. I hate that I feel like I have to keep track of when he calls and when he says he will visit and doesn’t. And that every time she speaks to him on the phone he asks her to come see him (just did this again today) and when I tell him our agreement was he comes here he is too busy, or too broke, or I’m not being fair. I hate that time and time again I have to argue that not fair would be me delivering her to him AND getting no help AND dealing with his constant lies AND him not answering the phone to her and calling back hours later. That isn’t fair to ME. Or her. My life shouldn’t revolve around building HER relationship with HIM. *I* have a great relationship with her, that should be all I’m worried about. I hate that he is so selfish and only thinks of himself that he would actually suggest that and then make ME feel guilty and say I’m a terrible mother when I don’t do it.

So, I’m stuck. I’m in a damned if I do and damned if I don’t situation. I’m in a scar my child for life situation either way I go. But do I let him do the scarring or do I trust that when she is older she will believe me when I tell her what a toxic person he is? Do I let him continue to tell her bad things about me all the while I bite my tongue about him when she is present?

I have the paperwork printed and filled out to start court proceedings. I need to call the phone company anyway, changing the number would be easily added into the call, or just do nothing (what I’m doing now). Dear sweet readers, you are a smart bunch. am I supposed to do?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

No, no you're still in the right place.

(I would have had this typed out an hour ago, but it's been one of those days. You know those days when the toddler has already had 3 outfit changes and OH EM GEE WHY DID YOU DUMP YOUR MILK ALL OVER THE COUCH! So, sorry for the confusion. I'm going to sit here with my coffee and work on the laundry. And if anyone says a thing about Avery wearing a pink shirt with brown pants and blue socks I will be all WELL IT MATCHED THREE OUTFITS AGO!!!)

It's pretty right?

My dear friend Becca over at The Paro Post has made my blog pretty. Again. She is a design genius. Y'all head over to her shop, Jumping Jax Designs, and have a look around. Odds are you will find more than one thing that you love.

Becca is SUPER easy to work with and has a super quick turn around time.

I'll be heading back her way very soon for a few business cards and a logo. SQUEEE!
Oh, you sickly in love people. You people that fart puppies and rainbows. And OH EM GEE life is perfect TRA LA LA.
I want to punch you. In the throat.
I get so EFFING sick of sitting at home all night, alone. No one to talk to. No one to snuggle with on the couch. It’s so depressing.
I know, I know. Ben and I had that brief reconciliation. And thing were good, for a few weeks. Well, as good as they can be when there is 5.5 hours by car in between you.
Maybe I don’t necessarily want to punch you in the throat. Perhaps I’m just a leeeeetle bit jealous.
But throat punching would make me feel better.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I will never get you people

that love snow and winter.

I DETEST the winter. More so, the snow. White fluffy grossness that makes driving dangerous and gets inside my shoes. My socks are soggy from December to March/April every year. My nose is always cold and I hate dressing in layers.

I wouldn't even say "It's pretty as long as I don't have to go out in it". I don't think it's pretty at all. With the blanket of snow comes a stifling blanket of clouds and greyness. I won't feel the sunshine or take a big breathe of fresh air again for 3 to 4 more months.

And you'd think I would be better about this. It happens every year about this time for my entire life. Heck, I moved somewhere that gets LESS snow then where I grew up. It's still too much.

As the first real snow of the season blankets the ground all I can think it that I miss summer. A lot.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The move that wasn't

That trip to Phoenix?


I was unaware that once locked into a contract it could be canceled. It was. I spent 2-3 weeks frantically applying for anything I could find since I had already put in ample notice at my current employer. I took matters into my own hands and got numbers from my recruiter and did my own recruiting. But, now it looks like I will be talking to my boss on Monday morning about taking back that resignation. I hope she is understanding.

That recruiter? Pretty much done with her. How absurd.

So my relocation may have been postponed, but it is NOT canceled. I may just have to wait until I'm in a better situation and my house is sold. Hopefully the spring, after my Hawaii trip.

For now I'm stuck here.

(That's not my pic, it's what I got when I googled snow.)

How gross.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Birthday "Party"

We had a small get together today for Avery's birthday. I never planned an official party because I thought we were moving. (A post for a different day.)

I threw this together last minute this week. My parents let me have it at their house since mine is so small and I invited the siblings and a family friend.

I have a few pictures but I'm not going to show them to you right now. Why? Because my camera is aaaaaalllllll the way over there and I'm snuggly and warm right here. Did I mention we got roughly 4-5 inches of snow today? Which incidentally is enough to paralyze this city, with more on the way tonight. Did I also mention we got most of it while I was at my parents house? Oh and my cell phone battery died while I was there. Also? The roads were terrible the whole 1.8 miles home. And I wasn't wearing a coat and Avery didn't have a hat. It has been a day.

Avery woke up this morning in rare form. It's like she just KNEW that we had a lot going on today. I got things together to take to the parents and pack the purse for church. I took the bags to the car and started it and she had her socks and shoes back off. Sweet. Put them back on, run into the bathroom and put on some deodorant, come out and jacket is off. Put that back on. Go outside. Forgot the blankie. Go back in. Go out and she's playing in the snow. Brush off her leggings and put her in the car. And on and on and on and on. All day.

She might have actually been worse at her party, after her nap. She blew out her candle but wanted nothing to do with her cake. She was barely interested in opening her gifts. She walked around most of the time with the dust mop and a dollar bill.

Meh, two year olds.

Good thing I picked up another bottle of wine at the grocery today. (Which I almost didn't get because I grew up in Indiana where you can't buy alcohol on Sunday....yes, THOSE PLACES STILL EXSIST!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Today you are 2.

And I know it's cliche to say that you have changed my life forever. But, baby girl, you HAVE changed my life. I don't know where I would be without you. Frankly, I bet it would suck.

I get a little weepy when I think about your birthday. And I've shed a few tears already, 7 sentences into this letter. But I'm not sad. Sure I miss the days when you were a tiny newborn, or when you first learned to walk, or your first words. I'm weepy because I'm so PROUD of you. Sometimes I just look at you and I'm positive I can feel my heart explode into a million tiny pieces.

You are the smartest, funniest, coolest girl I know. You say so many things. You continue to amaze me everyday with just how much you understand the world around you. You can count to five, almost ten, and say so many things in Spanish. You remember what things are even though I have only told you one time. I'm still amazed every time you point out a school bus. You're little dances and songs have me in stitches every day.

Baby, as much as this is a celebration for you, it is for me too. I did it. WE did it. Two years ago I wasn't sure how I was going to raise a baby on my own. I wasn't sure how I was going to do ALL the night feedings and diaper changes AND work all day (then all night). Raising a newborn AND working full time AND managing a home? Forget about it. But, here we are two years later. And not only have we succeeded, we are doing AWESOME! Sometimes we lose our patience with each other and get angry at each other, but we also have the most fun together.

Our quiet evenings at home are my favorite. It absolutely melts my heart when you climb on my lap with your blankie and ask to "snuggle buggle". I die from the cuteness when you say "aaaahhhh-men" every night after our bedtime prayers. I love that even though you are a big girl and like to do things yourself you still run to mommy when you are scared or unsure. I love kissing your "booboos" and "bonks" and I love the game we play every time we get in the car to leave.

Happy Birthday, my little adventurer. I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for us.


Friday, December 3, 2010

I love you

Something showed up on my porch today.

I'm in LOVE. It's SO PRETTY. It's roomy, and sturdy, and it has a little teal rose. And today, when I was leaving the house to take some pictures, there was room for ALL my gear AND a wallet, cell, diaper, wipes, cup of milk AND a snack for Avery. With the blankie thrown in on top!

And now my mom is GREEN with envy. :D

I'm off to go pet my new bag.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Dear December,

Please be kind to me, and my family, and my friends. Historically, November has been somewhat of a bitch to me. She didn't disappoint this year. I'm not sure I can handle much more. I'm overwhelmed and sick of hearing bad news. I have a lot on my plate and I would love for you to cooperate.

I've been doing a lot of praying lately, December, and I need you to do your part. I know, somehow, I'll come out on the other side of this and it won't seem like such a big deal. But right now, I've reached my limit.

Pass the vodka