Friday, March 25, 2011

Imagine and Terrific kids!

One of my favorite songs is Imagine by John Lennon.  I was belting it out in the car the other morning after dropping the girls off and heading to drop off Brayden, then on to Max's swimming.  As I was singing, I was blogging in my head.  I wonder if that will be a new habit of mine, blogging in my mind until I can get somewhere to type out my thoughts.  Anyway, I was thinking about the words and message behind Imagine.  And for the first time after hearing it a hundred times, I starting applying it to my own life.  Previously I had always listened to it on a global level, applying it to our world and my beloved passion, Africa.  But on this particular morning I thought about me, my ex and the fact that if we can't get along, even when there are four beautiful children involved, how are we as a community, a state, a country, ect... supposed to get along?  A good friend (you know who you are) warned me when I first started going through everything, that you don't really get to know your (ex) spouse until you get divorced.  She was right.  When you are together, when I was with my ex, I would do things to try and smooth things over, get over a fight.  When you are split up, that is no longer an option.  Control is lost.  And what control is left is often used to hurt, even if it means keeping children from their parents. In the days following the separation, before the divorce was even final, several people gave me some good advice.  They said take the high road, if I insult my little one's dad then I am insulting half of them.  I am going to pat my back and say that I have bit my tongue so hard that it bled.  However, I don't want this blog to turn into my defending myself or claiming that I have done nothing wrong.  Trust me, I am a Catholic who bleeds guilt.  I am just saying, I have taken this advice to heart.  This is where the song comes in.  I love my kids.  I wish I could see them everyday.  I pray for that all the time.  But until their dad and I can come to some sort of agreement, it is going to be a constant battle.  Which is where my friends, family and therapist have come in. They're constantly reminding me of the simple truth; if things were all hunky dory between us we wouldn't be divorced.  So to hope for the perfect scenario where everyone lives happily ever after post divorce, probably isn't realistic, but it is still something I can "Imagine."   

On a lighter note, my Sage was chosen today as a "Terrific Kid" at her school. The award is set up as a surprise, so I tried to hide in the back so she wouldn't see me before her name was announced.  However Max decided to blow our cover.  In a rare quiet moment, he squealed out and his adoring sister, who would know his cry anywhere, immediately spotted us and grinned.  My sweet, terrific kid! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mommyhood, Judgement and Milestones.

For those of you who know me well know that I can jump from one subject to the next in seconds flat.  Sometimes it is easy to get lost on my conversation trail.  As I thought about what to write about today, my thoughts jumped as well.  So I thought I would just discuss them all.  Some subjects are quite a bit more deep then others.  So read on if you get too depressed... I get a little lighter. :)

To start today is my older son Sam's 11th birthday.  The hardest part of this day is not physically being with Sam.  But I was able to catch him before school to say (and sing) Happy Birthday.  That phone call was interesting because I was forced to call my ex's cell phone (they, like many of us don't have a home phone)  and Savannah was long gone to school (Savannah and Sam share a cell phone:  this is a whole other topic... I swore the kids would never have a cell phone until they could pay for it, then I moved several states away and that all changed).  Anyway, he (my ex) said, "here is Sam, and you are on speaker phone." Nice.  Well hopefully he enjoyed my 7 a.m. rendition of happy birthday with my more than gorgeous raspy morning voice.  All that matters is that Sam did.  I love you buddy!!!

Which leads me to another topic, judgement.  I know that people have questioned or judge my choice to live as I do, with the kids living in two different states.  I couldn't imagine it any other way for the sole reason that my ex and I can not live peacefully in the same state at this point.  (Ideally I would love to have all four of them live with me, but that is not the current agreement.)  For me what is worse, hearing your parents fight in the middle of the night and then having your mom sleep on the neighbor's basement couch (Thanks again Liz and Brad!) or having my current alternative, a consistently peaceful, respectful house.  One thing I really want to explore over time via this blog and therapy is how I have grown upon moving away and how I have become a better, healthier, happier mom.  In my previous life, before my divorce, I became a shell of myself.  I was in a self-imposed coma in order to deal with the disaster that my life had become.  I lived in a beautiful home, but it felt like a prison at times.  It was awful.  And if I was no good to myself, how could I be any good to my children?  I love my kids.  I live for them.  When the four older kids were little I was either at home or at school and then later at work.  If I went out when Savannah was a baby, I took her with.  And now I am really getting on a tangent... bottom line, please don't judge until you have all the facts... and there are a lot of them.  Hundreds!

Okay, so now for the promised lighter side...

Mommyhood.  Bathing suits.  Ha! The two don't always go hand in hand.  I went to try some on today. Ha!  I currently wear a faded black hand me down top with a six year old random printed bottom.  Sexy.  But who cares?  I know that they babies and mommies in the Shrimp swimming class don't care.  They didn't even comment when my previous suit was so stretched out it hung down my ass like I had a load in my pants.  NOT SEXY!  It was hard but I finally threw it away. (I have an issue with getting rid of oldies but even not so goodies... I still have a few shirts from my IU days... over 15 years ago!) So again, babbling, bottom line (no pun intended) I need a new suit.  Did I buy one? No.  Money is tight as it is and I couldn't bring myself to spend money on something that I looked HORRIBLE in!  I'll stick with my hand me downs for now, or until I find a miracle suit that makes my flabby belly and post pregnant butt look gorgeous.

Milestones.  Simply put, Max can kick on demand in swim class.  Yeah!  Can he crawl, he's trying.  Is he talking, no.  Is he down with the new elimination something or other... no, but I do admit I tried putting him on the toilet when I thought he had to poopie... he didn't.  I'm not knocking the elimation dealy, really, potty trained at four months... fabulous.  Max just isn't having it.  Again, off subject...
So today Max kicked in swim class when I said kick!  Even the teacher in training was impressed.  My kids are smart and wonderful, but never early at achieving anything.  Savannah didn't talk until she was three (but she is in a honor school: yes I am tooting her horn) and Sage can run like the wind, but she didn't walk until she was 16 months.  So this was exciting for me.  It was the last day of our second four week session of swim SHRIMP class and I proudly grinned as Max kicked his little legs!  And now he is on the floor chewing his favorite toy, the strings on a hooded sweatshirt.  Sage moved up in her gymnastics level, which led to a sad Saxton who did not.  I reminded Saxton that I was beat out during a gymnastics competition by my sister who was four year younger.  Talk about humiliation.  I reminded Saxton of that and the fact that she was younger then Sage... both facts made her feel better.  She was all smiles again.  And Brayden learned to tie his shoes!  I showed him in the morning and later in the day he showed me that he could do it all by himself.  This was special for me.  I missed his first steps, his first tooth and many other firsts in the years I didn't know him.  So to be apart of this first was exciting!

Well gotta go... I have to get in my taxi and do another run to school!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Today is the day before my son Sam's birthday. I also met with my therapist. I'm not ashamed to admit I'm in therapy ... for those you who know about what has happened, you probably aren't surprised. I told her about my attempt at a blog and how far I was going to go... I decided I already had a polite version of my life, aka Facebook. My blog was going to be the real story. It might take time to get really detailed, but my hopes are to find the courage to lay it all out there.

Let's start with Sam's birth. I remember how I wound up in the hospital. I was standing on my driveway with Savannah and my water broke everywhere ... or so I thought. When we got to the hospital the nurse insisted I peed myself, to this day I beg to differ. That was evening. Sam was born naturally (no drugs) just after one a.m. March 24th. I remember every detail. Most moms do. Ask an eighty year old great grandmother and she'll tell you her birth story like it was yesterday. I remember holding Sam and it was love at first sight ... times a million. I couldn't sleep the rest of the night. I just stared at him. Those are the sweet memories. Unfortunately, they aren't the only ones. Sam is now in Colorado for his birthday and I'm here, hundreds of miles away. I can't decorate for him (I usually blow up balloons and make signs for them to wake up to.) I can't hug him. But I have the memories of his pregnancy to remind me how I arrived at this point. Because for all the good memories I also have the bad. My pregnancy wasn't filled with stories of two parents lovingly anticipating their new son. That joy was met with betrayal, immaturity and heartache. I remember the birth of my sweet Sam with a bittersweet taste in my mouth. I can only change that by sorting out all the garbage of the past instead of covering it up with BS. I'm done. I'm divorced from Herschal. There is no more need to pretend like our life was rainbows all the time. It wasn't. Sometimes not even close and my pregnancy with Sam was one of those times.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So he just woke up....
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my little man

Right now a little Max is sleeping peacefully on my chest. My little sister Elizabeth suggested an earache as the reason why baby and momma have hardly slept. So with a little help from tylenol and ear drops we have a sweet sleeper. It's funny, she used to call me for advice ... now she's helping me. That's why I tell people who respond strongly when I tell them Max is my fifth ... it's all relative to your situation. The biggest jump is from none to one ... from the point of the birth of your baby and for the rest of your life you have to think of someone else when making any and all decisions. And every baby leads to a new experience. Elizabeth has battled several double ear infections with my niece and up until now I have been lucky. I guess it does take a village.
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June 30th, 2010 Last Day at Camp Richard

I am going to have a go at this "truth behind the picture" thing... In this picture if you look really hard you can see that I have been crying.  It was the last day of my thirty days with Savannah and Sam and Sage and Saxton would be gone for thirty days with their dad, so basically my four oldest babies were leaving.  We had been in Minnesota for twelve wonderful days and we were meeting Herschal in Minneapolis at a hotel to make the switch.  I was nervous about that as well because we hadn't seen each other since December 2009(That meeting ended up being short and awkward.) I cried my eyes out as I packed.  Jerry was very sympathetic and told me I needed to be strong for the kids.  But the fact that I was very pregnant didn't help, I was hormonal times a hundred.  I also did not mind the kids seeing me upset because part of me needed them to know how upset I was, how I felt like a huge part of my heart was broken.  I know this sounds dramatic, but for those of you who are parents, imagine having to say good-bye to your children for weeks at a time.  It is awful.  Why did I do it you may ask... that is a story for another day.  I have to get up more courage to tell that one.  Back to the picture.  I had this picture in my mind for weeks.  I wanted to have a photo with all my children in it, born and in the belly home.  It had come down to the last minute, just moments before we left for the three hour drive to Minneapolis.  It was hurried and didn't turn out exactly how I had imagined, but I am thankful that I have it.  One of my friends posted that she could see Love in that picture.  Yes, true, unconditional love... What would have been a really honest picture would have been me sobbing in the car after I dropped all four of them off.  Poor Jerry.  He was my best friend that day.  He gave me all the space and love that I needed... he didn't try to fix anything (there was no fixing anything that day), he just allowed me to be sad. 

Real life versus the snap shot.

So I am very excited about this blogging thing... I guess there is a certain ego issue involved... will people care enough to even read what you write.  You know what?  I don't care.  I am doing this for me.  I am allowing myself a voice to my life.  For those of you who care to follow my facebook page you know I love to take photographs.  I have this extreme desire to capture a moment in time.  A friend pointed out that I believed that if I posted enough happy pictures of my life then it would make my life truly happy.  I know this is not true, now.  I am pondering what to share.  Part of me wants to share it all... tell my side of what has happened, i.e. my divorce, ect... Will that piss people off?  Probably.  But they also have the right to share THEIR side of the story.  Part of me wants to defend myself... why I got divorced, why my dad doesn't talk to me or my siblings, why I moved states away while going through my divorce... and so on.  I think I might start by posting a picture and telling the REAL story behind it.  I would appreciate any thoughts on this. 


My most common time to check my Facebook, ect... is while nursing. At that moment I'm forced to sit (unless I really gotta pee) so now I'm testing my blog potential.
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Mommy life

The baby is sleeping.  Why am I not? (Maybe it is the super strong coffee I drank this morning) I am asking myself that after being up much of last night, the night before and the night before that.  For some reason Max has not been keen on sleeping.  I am to blame.  I don't want to let him cry it out.  I still nurse him at night, I can't say no.  Even today I had to go up after he was crying only a few minutes.  I had a mommy moment as I sang to him, read to him, then sang to him again rubbing his forehead until he fell asleep.  I almost took a nap... but I am on the computer instead.  I have wanted to document his life and before that my pregnancy... but it just didn't happen.  Like most moms I have other things, gymnastics, basketball, laundry and if I am lucky a quiet shower that come before this.  But I am here and I am doing this.  I am excited.  I tend to believe that I have a few things to share... interesting things... like I am divorced and that my life looks messy on paper (or screen) but makes sense to me...

gotta go... baby is crying.