Monthly Archives: August 2009

Dating Divorce Relationships Single Mom Life

Who Am I Now?

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I don’t know who I am, anymore.

I mean when you have spent so many years building a life that your comfortable with, and a role for yourself your comfortable with, when that changes; who are you?

I was the young stay at home mom. I sat down on Sunday nights with 10 cookbooks, countless cooking magazines, a shopping list and a note pad. I would spend a few hours
slowly going through all of them, searching for recipes I knew my family would not only eat, but love. I dog-eared pages. Then went back through a second time, choosing one dinner for each night of the week. I wrote my shopping list out, and posted the menu to the refrigerator door.

I baked things.

No I mean, actually backed them. As in from scratch, no box in sight! I sifted flour for homemade cakes. I chilled dough overnight for fresh apple pie. I added secret ingredients to chocolate chip cookies, to improve their nutritional value! I spent one night a week pureeing vegetables and squashes to freeze so they could be stealthfully added to every conceivable dish without my family noticing.

I taught my son at 3 years old, how to set a proper table. You know the kind, charger under the china, 2 forks, wine glasses, name tags. Yes he knew where every item went, could set it on his own.

I hosted Christmas and Thanksgiving because I knew I was the only one who would make every dish from scratch, starting 2 days in advance.

I made my own baby food.
I clipped coupons.

I picked fresh roses from the garden and dispersed them strategically throughout the house, so their scent could be caught from room to room.

I made coffee in a French press.
I waxed floors. On my hands and knees.
I mowed lawns.
Ironed clothes.
I painted rooms.
I threw BBQ’s and cocktail parties. Cookie exchange parties and Christmas parties.
I made homemade lasagna for my friends when they had babies.
I had our day planed out in 30 minute intervals on the refrigerator door.

I was a good mom.

I managed to retain the intimacy in my marriage, despite a crazy hectic life with 3 babies. I laughed at his jokes. Made sure the fridge was stocked with Coors Light. Packed his lunches, with the only sandwich he would eat, ham/cheddar/and sweet pickles.

I thought I was a good wife.

But who am I now?

I don’t have time for any of that now. When I get home from work, my kids are so hungry they are in melt-down mode. They are all fussing, and making mac n cheese would take about 15 minutes too long. I’m ashamed to say, they no longer get fresh-frozen puree in a home cooked dinner every night.

On Sunday mornings we still make our family tradition of chocolate chip pancakes, but my son complains because they don’t taste like they used to (secret ingredient, ½ cup puree sweet potato, now missing from the equation). Same goes for the mac n cheese, “it’s not the good kind” (1/2 cup puree yams, makes it creamy).

The Martha Stewart thing I had down.

The working, single mom thing, I’m not so sure. When you go from one extreme to the other, it’s hard not to be critical (and for those who knew you as Martha Stewart not to be critical) of the job you do now.

I will never be that mom again. At least not anytime soon. I lament it every day. I mourn it every day. But I need to face facts. I don’t have the time. I am doing this 24/7 alone. I work full-time to make sure my kids have food to eat and a home (all be it, not the kind we were used to) to live in.

I have no choice.

This is survival.

For now…

Divorce My Stories Parenting

Mother’s Day

It was mother’s day.

I was laying carefully in the hammock under the lilac tree in our back yard, the phone on my tender belly. It had been ringing constantly all morning. Not with Happy Mother’s Day wishes, as my four year-old son ran in and out of the house.

On the other end, first my parents. Both mom and dad. Dad first telling me how much he loved me and that everything would be ok, all the while mom talking over him in the background, telling him what to relay to me; their broken daughter. I rocked gently back and forth, in the mesh string
hammock brought home from a trip to Mexico.
Then it was my Aunties, all of them. Most could relate. All gave love and words of encouragement. My brother and sister came through the back gate, a huge beautiful bouquet in their arms.

It was mother’s day.

I was so tired.
Sore. Hoped up on pain killers and ice packs.
In a daze, too tired to focus.

Four days ago I was in the kitchen, making sandwiches with my girlfriend. Spreading mayo on soft whole wheat bread, stacking it with turkey and cheese. Just the way my Kanen, and her Audrey love them. The kids were chasing the puppy outside, we were swapping stories. I was five months pregnant. My big belly making it difficult to navigate around the island in my little kitchen. My cheeks rosy with maternal glow.

The phone rang. It was my doctor. The results from my routine blood work were back. Just in time for my first ultra sound, the following day. This is the moment a pregnant women looks forward to most. The day she gets her ultra sound, sees her baby for the first time and learns the sex of her baby. I just knew it would be a girl, Mirabelle. She said something “interesting” had shown in my hormone level, but not to worry. She would follow up with me after my appointment.

I hung up the phone and looked at my girlfriend. “Don’t you dare! Everything’s fine”. She said, reading the look on my face.

My stomach was sick.

My ex-husband and I sat silently in the lobby of the genetic counselors office, waiting for our technician. He squeezed my hand. I was so nervous it made me nauseous. He was calm. Certain as he always was, that everything would be okay.
Finally it was time for the belly goop and little B&W TV monitor. Our technician was a pregnant woman, younger than me. We were anxious and excited. There is nothing better than hearing the sound of your babies heart beat, and seeing you’re for the first time. I held his hand as she quietly started working.

I watched his face.
I didn’t notice hers.
He had.

When I finally realized how quiet the room was, I look at her. “I’m so sorry”. She said, placing the wand back on the machine, then abruptly left the room. I was so confused. What the hell was she talking about? Sorry about what? I looked at Rick, his usually stoic face, fallen.

The doctor pulled back the curtain, sat on the side of my bed and said “would you like me to call your doctor?” For what? I wanted to know. Why would no one tell me what the hell was going on!

“I’m sorry. There is no heart beat”. He said. As if that would explain everything. “Well check again! Maybe she didn’t do it right. You check”. I demanded. “There must be some mistake”. “No.” he said.

I think I screamed.
I think I cried.
I may have even hit him.

He walked out of the room. Left us alone. I was still screaming, tears pouring down my cheeks. “You are free to go” he said, not daring to enter the room fully this time. “Free to go?” Seriously? Fuck you.

I remember only saying, over and over again, that I didn’t want to go through the main lobby where all the other pregnant mothers would be sitting. I didn’t want to scare them. Didn’t want them to see my pain. Hear me crying.

Our doctor met the two of us at her office at 8am the next day, Saturday. The office was closed. I was grateful no other expectant mothers, would see a pregnant women with a huge belly and blood shot eyes. I wore sunglasses and a hat, just to be sure. She had birthed our son, we knew her, trusted her. She lovingly laid out our only option. A DNC. Surgically removing the baby, via the operating room. My baby was too big to do any other way, and carrying around a dead baby waiting to deliver the old fashioned way was so not happening. She explained the risk of major surgery. Of me being put under. I remember little.

She only had one time slot available so my procedure scheduled for the next day. Sunday, 7am. Mother’s Day.

It’s so hard looking back to that day as I swung in the hammock, in too much pain to move. That day I thought my dreams had died with my baby. That there was no way I could make it through the agony of that loss. But if I hadn’t gone through that, I wouldn’t have my beautiful, healthy twins.

Mirabelle and Isabelle.

Hustle.Believe.Receive. My Stories

I Believe In Fate.

I believe in fate.
Believe that everything happens for a reason. It’s the reason that has come to intrigue me of late.

See, I guess you could say I was on a pretty unlucky streak for a few years. The list of unfortunate things that took place in my life over the past 4 years, is one that if I actually put it in print would surly make me want to immediately jump off a bridge. Mind you, I live in a place nick-named Bridge-town, so there is no shortage! But rest assured I am tougher than that. Things most people encounter at a distance, throughout the course of a lifetime, or not at all; nearly squashed me like a bug in the course of 3 years.
So after a while you start to add it all up and think to yourself, one or all of the following…

A). I’m just a terribly unlucky soul.
B) I can’t catch a break
C) My life sucks!
D) Why me?

In this mode, I lived for those dark, grey years. Where every day, I would wake up to some new catastrophe.

Then the bottom fell out.

The fantastic thing about the bottom falling out (or finally hitting rock bottom), is that at least your there! What else can possibly go wrong? A question I have learned never to ask, by the way! At some point it just has to turn around right?

For those first six months after he left, I just tried to keep my head above water. Not let the darkness swallow me whole. It felt like the bottom. Let me assure you.

It had gotten almost comical.

You know the point when it’s not just raining? It’s not just pouring? It’s an actual monsoon! The kind of rain Noah built an arc for. That was my life.

I remember one day going to kickboxing class, not long after he left. I’d had a rough morning. It was pouring rain,one of those mornings when you can’t tell if it’s 7am or 7pm. It soaked me to the core as I ran across the parking lot, a crying baby on each hip. Throughout the whole class I kept smelling this awful odor. Finally when class was over I went to undress and shower. When I took my brand-new tennis shoes off, my white sock was bright yellow. The cat had latterly pissed in my new shoe! I called my girlfriend, half-laughing, half-crying. She said “does anything good, EVER happen to you?”

It hadn’t in a very long time.

But somehow when the clouds roll back, you find yourself living in the moment. You turn the “poor me” into “damn it! I can do this!” and “I have so much to be thankful for”. Then slowly, you begin to believe it. In believing you find power and strength.

When you’re in the middle of getting the shit-kicked out of you, it’s difficult to remember that there is a greater plan. That everything happens for a reason. That even this crisis you are going through is teaching you something, is protecting you from something else. How much easier would those hard times be if we knew without question, that what is meant to be, will be?

If we are aware, when the storm passes we can reflect on it with an open mind. We can draw the lesson. We can piece together the puzzle.

In my case, I can look back and say with everything in me, that those devastatingly awful things I endured, those are the things that make me the women I am now.

Because of that:

I know who I am.
I am happy.
I am driven to find the meaning and purpose of my life.
I’m rebuilding my life from the ground up.
I am finally in control.
And I am eternally grateful.

There are still things that I go through that are difficult. There is a piece of me that is fragile. And when you want something so bad but it doesn’t go your way, it’s so hard to understand why. When you have done the research, you have decided it’s the best thing for you, how could it not be? But sometimes it just doesn’t turn out the way you dream it. It’s hard to fall back on faith and know, this is what is meant to be. This is what’s right for me. No matter how much it hurts.

That’s the point when all you have to go on is faith. What you have to look forward to is finding the answer, or at least growing from the experience. Taking the lesson and moving on.

I believe in fate.
I believe in destiny.
I believe in me.
I believe in the human spirit and its inability to give up.
I believe that my life has only just begun.

Dating Divorce

Someday Soon….

I can’t wait for the day when I no longer miss you.
When you’re not the first thing I think of when I hit the snooze button.
There will be a morning, when on my way to the office as I pass your old work, you won’t even cross my mind.
When I won’t glance at my phone to see if I missed your call.
One day I’ll walk into the gym, I won’t scan it looking for you.
When I won’t double-take every man with your stats.
Someday, soon I hope….
I’ll forget the sound of your voice.
Forget your laugh.
I’ll forget what it was that drew me to you.
One day I’ll let the dream go.
On nights when I can’t sleep, I won’t have to try and stop myself from calling you.
You are gone.
You did not choose me.
Someday soon….
I will forget you.
Parenting Single Mom Life

The Little Moments

I think it’s easy to get caught up in life. To become overwhelmed by the day to day stress of getting out of bed, brushing your teeth, paying the bills, ingesting nutrition. It’s so easy to let all those things become your life, where you are merely a passenger along for the ride.

How many days pass where all you can hope for is getting to the end of the day? Making it through, having this day finally be over! I know those are words I say much too often. And trust me, I know! There are days that just getting up in the morning, and going about your business doing all the things you need to do, and making it to the end of the day, falling face down on your bed at night, is the most you can hope for!

But how much better would life be if we reminded ourselves in some way, every single day, to cherish it. Make something special about every day. Make a memory every day. Not just the days that make great photo ops. But the average Mondays that getting through them is a challenge all its own.

I think as parents it’s so easy to save up all the memories we want our kids to have for those special days. The big vacations, the day at the beach, the fun adventures we plan to “create memories”. But what are kids will remember are the little things. The time we let them help cook dinner. The games we play, the books we read, the stories we tell, the traditions we make. Those are the little things that take place in our lives every day, that so much of the time get rushed through or forgotten, but that make an impact nonetheless.

The best part of my day is when the baths are given and jammies are on and it’s bed time. Each of my three little ones has a different tradition that has just evolved over time, and in those quiet few minutes I get to spend that precious time with each of them. Giving them, one by one what they need from me.

Kanen from the day he was born, I have sung “his song” Hush Little Baby while rubbing his back, which is followed by the exact same prayer every night.

“Dear Jesus, please watch over Peanut (him), Mama and Papa, Mira and Izzy and all the people we love, keep us safe and sound. Jesus name, Amen”.

This has been the exact same way I have put him to bed every night since his birth and can’t imagine the day when he will refuse this amazing tradition.

Believe me there are nights when I try to power through that song! Try to skip a few lines and rush to the end. Nights when I give a half ass back rub and am just counting the seconds till everyone is actually asleep. But if I’m cheating, I always get caught! He won’t let me get away with it, and I have to start from the beginning. So I’m reminded, to slow down, cherish this time.

Mira, likes to hold both of my hands in hers and wants me to sing “sh-lill-bebe” followed by the same prayer while rubbing her tummy.

Izzy, need’s “Dadadas”, me rubbing her tummy while humming Hush Little Baby, no actual words.

With each of them, I get that moment with just them and I. We look into each others eyes and they are calm and happy and I want to burst into tears, every single time. These moments are the ones that fly by. The ones that pass in the ordinariness of a day. The ones that for them and I, will endure forever. These are the moments I don’t want to miss.

I want to be there in body, in soul, and in spirit. Be present. Laugh at all the moments that warrant it….out loud. Smile every time my child looks at me. Light up when they see me first thing in the morning, or when I pick them up at daycare. Be the mom that is THERE. Really, and truly there.

And when it comes right down to it. That’s all I can do.

Click to listen: “I Hope You Dance”

*The images in this post are of my children and may NOT be used without my permission.

Dating My Stories

A Little About Me…

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-I’m a mama first, everything else second.

-If there’s music playing I find it impossible not to move my hips….

-I’m a corporate business women by day, a workout queen at lunch, a mama till the kids are happily asleep, and then I’m cozied up with a book and a glass of wine!

-I’m confident, strong, funny as hell, I love to play around, sarcastic a lot, I’m passionate, determined, loyal, kind and loving…..

-I can make a killer (from scratch) low-fat chocolate cake….

-I’m the best kind of girl, I look high maintenance but I can be ready and out the door lookin’ hot in 10 min flat!…

-I can’t live without: stilettos, hip-hop, Starbucks, red wine, a kitchen, my laptop for writing, my phone, moisturizer, carbs and the SUN!

-I think yoga pants are only for acutely doing yoga, I think heals are sexy even on a Monday….

 

that’s my team!

-I think NYC is the greatest city in the world.

-I think I can make a better martini than most.

-I like driving in the country on a sunny Sunday…

-I think cooking a meal for or with someone is a gesture of love, and I think you’d love my cooking!

-Country music makes me want to leap from tall buildings, w/o a shoot, and leave a note in my wake.

-I think a bunch of tulips would kick the ass of a dozen roses any day (just an fyi)….

-I think the Ducks the best team in college football (stop hatin!)

-I dream of one day driving through the Italian countryside with a bad map, my trusty camera, drinking wine from the bottle…..

Motivation & Inspiration My Stories

My Bucket List

 
Live in at least one other country (Italy for sure!)
Travel the globe…
Eat with my fingers on the floor in Morocco
Do yoga Bali
See a Kangaroo with my kids in Australia
Eat pasta in Rome…
Kiss/drink wine/eat pastries/eat French bread and amazing cheese/dance/make love… in Paris
Drive a sports car in the French Riviera
Go hiking in Peru
Watch a soccer game with Kanen in Brazil
Go skiing in Switzerland
Take a million pictures in Greece
Go wine tasting, and rent a tiny car in Tuscany
Stay in a villa

 Go to the Super Bowl!
Write my memoir
Write my “how to” book (AKA #HustleBelieveReceive)
Become a motivational speaker
Meet Oprah
Take the train in Europe
Sit front row at a fashion show
Watch my kids play soccer with local children in Italy and Mexico, while we are on an extended stay
Have a message on the beach
Fly in a privet plane
Go sailing
Try to catch a fish!
Ride in a helicopter
Swim with dolphins
Run a marathon
Dance in the rain
Own a lake house and ski boat. “Summer”
Go horseback riding in Napa, Ca
Take a hot air balloon ride
Tour Washington DC with my kids
Skydive
Have a snowed in New England Christmas
Drive route 66 with my kids
Travel through Europe with my kids (I traveled through Italy with my kids)
 
Have a street artist paint me

Ice skate in Central Park

Kiss under the Eiffel tower
Take my kids to New York
Take a boat ride through Venice Italy

Spend a fall in Maine

Go on Safari in Africa
Go zip-lining  in a forest
Stay in a tree-house
See the Grand Canyon
Take my kids to Disneyland
Buy a copy of my book in an airport
Do a Book Signing at Barnes & Noble in NYC
Take Mira and Izzy on separate vacations alone
Be on the Today Show
Fall madly in love

                                                                                                                                   Get married again.

 
 
 
*UPDATE July 4, 2015: the bold you see in my list refers to moment’s I’ve been able to cross off / Manifest SINCE the time I originally wrote this post.
 
My Stories

A FEW THINGS I’VE LEARNED

1: I think jumping out of a plane is totally insane, but still somehow am drawn to the idea.
2: I give my friends silly nicknames like Cherry and Bitchen (love you!)…
3: I think it’s not too much to ask of a six year old to sit quietly at the table, napkin in lap, and eat like an adult. Mine does it (I’m so proud!)
4: I think a good, attentive father is the most attractive thing in the world.
5: I think that when life kicks you in the gut you have no choice but to stand up and fight back. “Pull yourself up by your boot straps” like a good friend once told me.
6: My motto “I can do it, I am strong”. It works for EVERYTHING. Think about it…no matter what it is you want to give up on, if you say that 10 times to yourself, you really can do it.
7: Nothing can humble you more quickly than a child.
8: I’ve learned we really do get better with age. I love myself more now than ever, I appreciate what I’m capable of and love my body for all I’ve put it through.
9: I think starving yourself is over rated.
10: I think nothing is better than a glass of Pinot Noir and a good book, (ok maybe a bottle!).
11: I’ve learned that people are not always who they seem, and that no matter how long you’ve known someone they can still be completely different then what you believed them to be.
12: I’ve also learned that people can be amazing and can support you, and stand by you even when there’s nothing in it for them.
13: I think 2009 will be better than 2008 (come on the bar is pretty low here!
14: I think that liking Britney Spears AND NPR is NOT an oxymoron!
15: I think “crow’s feet” are sexy! …….In that spirit, I think 33 is better than 23!
16: I think there’s nothing better in the whole world then a good, tight, heart-felt hug.
17: I think the Ducks are better than the Beavers! (Eat it!!) (Take that Sarah, Katie and Chris and all you beaver lovers!!!) 🙂
18: I think that the goal of running a marathon this year is totally doable, (does that mean i actually need to start running?? Does it count if I think about it often? What would happen if i actually had a heart attack running the first mile? How long is a marathon again?? OK maybe I’ll do a 5k instead).
19: I’ve learned that faith in myself can go a long way. And that teaching my kids to believe in themselves is harder than it looks.
20: I’ve learned that I’m the only person who can make me feel small and insignificant. …..I’ve learned that I’m NOT small and insignificant……I’ve learned that I’m NOT small and insignificant.
21: I’ve learned that I like nice things, and that just because i like nice things it doesn’t make me “shallow” , but just in case it does…I’m shallow!
22: I think listening to the same song every waking minute is totally normal, especially if that song is “So Beautiful” by Akon and makes you feel like a princess!
23: I think hip-hop dancing while driving is a skill everyone should cultivate, and one I’m especially good at…(so happy my son is at the age when i can embarrass him
24: I was “home schooled” till i was 15. (Does that mean you’re supposed to learn to read/write/math and spell??? Oh then maybe it’s just called not going to school till I was 15
25: I think flying while intoxicated is the ONLY way to go, regardless of takeoff time…(yes i have been known to pound a double bloody-marry at 5:30am…it’s true i may have passed out on my neighbor in route to Dallas
26: My dad delivered me in the back of a VW van in the hospital parking lot. I’ve never seen Star Wars or any 80’s sitcoms. I thought Paula Abdul was a dude. I didn’t eat any kind of meat till I was 16. I was a member of a religious cult as a child…it goes on but you’ll have to buy my memoir to learn more!!
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