Friday, November 28, 2014

School Pictures and Thanksgiving

Sidekick's school does pictures twice a year.  One of the times the photographer dresses the kids up and the other time the kids wear what the parents dress them in.  The last few times, Sidekick has been uncooperative... one time he flat out refused to get his picture taken. This time however, I reminded his teachers that he hasn't been very good with his pictures, so they made sure he did well.  Apparently he was a total ham when they dressed him in a suit!  I can now envision what he will look like when he is graduating from college entering the workforce. 



Thanksgiving was just a normal day around here.  We didn't do anything special.  My family doesn't live here, so it was just Sidekick and I.  I painted some furniture for Sidekick's room, we played, worked on a Christmas present project for my mom, bundled up to take Dog for a long walk, and actually watched an entire (not just the 20 minute norm) movie before bedtime.  Sidekick wanted macaroni and cheese for dinner, and I had a bowl of Wheat Chex.  (I'm sure that's close to what the Indians ate, right?)  While I am so incredibly thankful for Sidekick, the holidays can still be lonely.  Christmas will be just like Thanksgiving, so if I survived Thanksgiving, I'll do just fine on Christmas.

One thing that I think bothered me quite a bit is that on Wednesday, a friend, who happens to be a SMC, asked if I would come to her mom's house on Thanksgiving to take family pictures.  I wasn't invited for dinner.  I was invited to take pictures and then leave.  I thought that was so rude, especially since she knows that I don't have family here.  Would it have been that big of deal to have 1 1/2 (Sidekick is considered a half) people there?  Anyway, I texted her I would get back to her because I was running into the grocery store.  The entire time, I was kind of fuming.  She wanted me to come on a holiday, in the morning with Sidekick to take pictures of her entire family while I smelled the food cooking. I was hurt and pissed. 

Apparently I was preoccupied with my annoyance about that while grocery shopping and 3/4 of the way through, I realized I had someone else's cart! The cart contained my stuff and the other person's stuff.  I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to find my cart, and there it was sitting next to the milk aisle.  I didn't see anyone with it, so I emptied the stuff from my "borrowed" cart and put it in my original cart. I sure hope the rightful owner found  his/her cart. I just seem to be doing stupid things like that lately.  Yesterday, I realized that I had left the milk in the car (for the second time in a row, mind you) for 24 hours. Thankfully it was cold outside, so it was still okay.  Recently I had left a rotisserie chicken in my car for two days, and it wasn't cold.  But seriously, what is my problem?

Back to the Thanksgiving day pictures... I was painting Sidekick's furniture a couple of hours after the original text about taking my friend's family picture, when my friend texted me and said that her mom's friend finally got back to them and said she would take pictures.  So, I didn't have to come up with some excuse and I didn't have to go... ON A HOLIDAY.  I seriously wasn't going to go.  I just didn't know how to get out of it.  I'm still pretty bugged about that. 

Today my mom is coming in town for a long weekend.  Sidekick is one of only about 15-20 kids at school, which has a shortened day.  I plan on taking advantage of Sidekick not being here and getting a Christmas tree with my mom and start decorating.  The big question is, will I cave and get a fake one because of the convenience of it?  Maybe I'll find a beautiful one for a great deal that I can't pass up.  I haven't decorated for years because it's just been me, and up until now, Sidekick hasn't known what holidays are, but this weekend, we are going to get all ready and make our new home pretty. 

Sidekick has been talking about Santa Claus, so I'm pretty sure his excitement will get me into the holiday spirit.  The innocence of kids can sure put life into perspective. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Unrest in St. Louis... my City

I'm not writing to debate whether not indicting Darren Wilson was right or not.  That was the Grand Jury's decision.  What I am here to write about is how disgusted, sick, and upset I am with the aftermath.  I sat for hours watching the destruction 25 minutes from my home. I sat for hours watching fires being set and bricks being thrown. I sat for hours watching people ruin businesses that had absolutely nothing to do with any of this.  I sat for hours watching people break into stores, steal things, and walk out like they were entitled to whatever they took.  I sat for hours so sad that this was happening.  I couldn't believe how emotional I got over it and even though I expected riots, I never imagined it would be like this.

What I don't understand is what all of that "did".  What it solved.  Why people think it is okay to do that.  How this rioting supports Michael Brown and his family.  How this helps with a sense of community and peace that so many people want.  How their behavior can be supported by anyone. How is violence the way to get anywhere?

I am relieved that Sidekick is young enough to not be affected by this.  I am relieved that he is young enough such that he won't ask me questions.  I am saddened that this horrific behavior of adults are negatively affecting children who are so impressionable.  I am disgusted that there is no way to explain to children that the actions and behavior of these adults are justifiable because they aren't.  There is no reason that any of that should have happened or needed to happen.  So what did I do?

I walked upstairs, picked up my warm, cozy, sleeping "baby" and rocked him.  I held him tightly and thanked God for him and for our safety.  In the moment of such upheaval and anger in my city, Sidekick helped me find a little comfort. 

This morning I had the TV on while we ate breakfast (I never have the TV on while we eat).  Within seconds, he asked, "Momma, what happened?" How did he pick up on that so quickly?  I feel like his innocence was robbed.

So sad. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Am I too Strict of a Parent?

I've always been cognizant of how I raise Sidekick.  It started the day we came home from the hospital when I insisted that he only sleep in his crib in his room and when I started his bedtime routine when he was four weeks old (I believe both of those made him a great sleeper from day one.  He was sleeping 12-13 hours straight at nine weeks old). I expect to hear "please", "thank you", and "sorry" when appropriate and without being prompted.  I expect him to sit at the table and eat his meals and snacks, no grazing or roaming around with food.  I keep him on a tight schedule, and I don't ever blow off naps and only "break" his bedtime for special occasions.  I do not tolerate whining or yelling from him, and I expect him to be a good, respectful boy with no exceptions.  There are consequences for bad behavior. He doesn't get sweets very often (heck, he's only had ice cream about five times and juice two times in his 28 months of life).  I expect him to be courteous to other people, especially when we meet someone for the first time.  I expect him to walk people to the door when they are leaving our house and to say "good-bye".  He typically only watches TV 20 minutes a day, and that is before he goes to bed.  (Yes, sometimes I've allowed more, especially on the weekends if we are watching a move because we'll watch half of the movie one night and the other half another night).  Ugh!  I just reread this paragraph, and I feel like a drill sergeant!  He's not even 2 1/2 years old, but do I expect too much out of him?  Am I too strict?

I see so many kids having so many (too many?) privileges, and it really bothers me.  I see so many kids with bad behaviors, and I can't stand it.  I see so many kids with poor manners and/or are disrespectful, and that is a huge pet peeve of mine. I hear about and/or see very young kids, many of whom are Sidekick's age, watching hours of TV a day, playing on iPads constantly, and being so spoiled.  It makes me reevaluate my parenting and makes me think that I might suck as a parent.  But at the same time, I don't see a point in Sidekick watching more than 20 minutes of TV a day, I see no point in letting him have free access to my iPad (or even the privilege of playing with it more than every once in a while... that thing is MINE!), and I definitely don't spoil him (birthdays, holidays, etc.) and I never will.  (I cannot justify spending 100s of dollars for Christmas, but many of my friends and family do.)  I walk into a house that has been taken over by toys, and my stomach churns when I see that the kids have EVERYTHING they could possibly want and then some.  I see kids controlling their parents and their parents giving in to them.  I don't want to be able to plug Sidekick into any of those scenarios that really get under my skin. I am avoiding all of that like the plague while I actually have control of him and what he does. 

When it comes to things like raising Sidekick, I am happy that I am a single Mom because I get to make all of the rules and there is no husband to break or bend them.  I can only imagine the fights and discussions that ensue when it comes to dual parenting with regards to everything about which I have written. I've heard from friends how they say/do something that affects their kid(s), and the spouse changes it.  The kid(s) know(s) how to play off one another, and that has to be difficult for both parents and for their marriage. 

But I digress... am I too rigid?  Am I not allowing Sidekick to experience everything that life offers him? Am I a mean parent?  Some people criticize me that I am too strict on him, but at the same time, I look at my respectful, happy, silly, smart boy and wonder if there is such as thing as being too strict to where it is detrimental to his life.  I don't consider myself strict, but my goal as a parent is to raise a happy, respectful, kind, successful (whatever success means to him), respected man, and I believe that starts at this age.  Sidekick definitely doesn't act like he is almost 2 1/2, so I don't treat him like he's almost 2 1/2.  I've always talked to him like I talk to any adult.  My mom reminded me the other day that even though he doesn't act his age, he is living in the body and emotional brain of his age.  It's a good reminder when I get frustrated on the off chance that he is having a rough time and fighting me on something.  He can be stubborn like his Momma and defiant (like the donor... I like to blame him sometimes- ha!) 

Is it necessary to play on an iPad and watch a lot of TV?  Should I be giving him more gifts for his birthday and holidays?  Do I expect too much out of Sidekick?  Do I suck at being a parent?

To be honest (and don't kill me), I don't find parenting that difficult and I never have.  Don't get me wrong, I have moments when I want to hang myself or lock Sidekick in a closet because I'm at my wits end, but overall, parenting is easy for me.  Is it because I am so "strict"?  Am I just lucky to have such a good boy?  Was it a perfect blend of sperm and egg?  Is it a combination of all?  Is this all going to backfire when he gets older, and I'll all of a sudden have a hellion on my hands?

But seriously, I really wonder if I am not being a fair parent and if Sidekick is missing out on things. When I think of the boy he is, he is better than anything I had ever thought he would be.  He is kinder, smarter, funnier, and happier than ever imagined he would be. So I must not be screwing up too much, right?  If that's the case, then why am I questioning things?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christmas Cards Ordered!

Can you believe that I took Sidekick's picture, wrote a poem, and actually ordered our Christmas cards last weekend?!?  I have to say that I am pretty amazed that I got that knocked out this early.  Part of my reasoning is that since we moved, I never sent out change of address information, so very few people know our new address and many don't even know we moved.  (I plan to send them out a little early.) Also, I was inspired by the beautiful moon last week, so after school last Friday, I dragged Sidekick out in the cool temperatures to snap some pictures, and he was a trooper.  This is the outside of the card which reads:  Merry Christmas!  Wishing you "silent" and peaceful nights:

The inside of the card:

(To the tune of "Silent Night")

Two and a half, (almost) two and a half
I’m not calm, but I am bright
Happy are we together, Momma and child
Holy toddler I’m tender but wild
I really love my new home
There's more room to make a mess

Two and a half, (almost) two and a half
I now use the big potty            
Defiant and stubborn are things that I am  
Times outs are common and tempers do flare
I love to help Momma cook
I am a bottomless pit

Two and a half, (almost) two and a half
I love to laugh, and I can read
Playin' soccer or goin’ down a big slide
Snugglin’ with Momma readin’ my favorite books
I am sweet, happy boy
Momma is blessed every day

And the back of the card reads:  Being silly (aka not cooperating) with this picture:

While it's difficult to get a decent smile out of this kid, the front of the card is as good as it gets, and I wasn't going to stress about it.  It's done and that's a huge stress off my shoulders! 

On a side note... Sidekick and I will be spending Christmas alone this year.  Since there was a big blow up with my sister last year at Christmas, we will probably never spend another Christmas there again. And that's okay.  I'm not too into the holidays, and I don't want Sidekick to get the idea that Christmas is all about presents.  My nephews get far more gifts than I will ever get Sidekick, and I don't want to compete with that and have Sidekick feel like he got screwed.  So... this year we will start our own traditions.  I don't know what that is quite yet, but I'll come up with something.  What I do know is that there will be no hoopla, no stress, and no big meals that I don't even like to eat.  But, Sidekick will have fun and feel loved, and that is all that matters.   





Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Shocking Read!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about Sidekick's most recent favorite book (here).  Today, I shall post about a book that completely took me by surprise!  Sidekick got a little Peter Rabbit stuffed animal and book for Easter.  He used to call Peter Rabbit "Hop" until I recently discovered that there is a show On Demand, so now he calls the stuffed animal "Peter Bunny".  I've never read the book to him because I wasn't sure if he would really like it; however, since he has "seen" Peter Rabbit on TV, I thought he might enjoy the book. I remember the premise of The Tale of Peter Rabbit... Peter doesn't listen to his mom, goes to Mr. McGregor's Garden, lost a button from his jacket, and lost his shoes.  What I don't remember is:

While this didn't phase Sidekick because:
  1. He doesn't have a father and therefore that word doesn't mean anything to him
  2. His two year old brain can really comprehend what exactly that mean
Nonetheless, I was a shocked that this was ever written!  I think this book is just going to "go away", never to appear again, and I am going to get a "rewrite" of the book where Peter's father doesn't get killed and eaten.  Wow!  


Monday, November 10, 2014

Birthday Blues? Heck no!

I've never been too into holidays and birthdays.  I used to find my birthday kind of depressing as I got older because I didn't feel complete.  I felt like I was missing something (husband, kids, etc.)  However, three years ago, just two days shy of my birthday, I got the news that after my eighth IUI, I finally got pregnant!  My goal was to be pregnant before my 38th birthday, and I succeeded just two days shy of that day.  Phew!  My pregnancy was a secret on my birthday (not even my family knew).  While people were celebrating my special day from near and far, I was celebrating and praying for a successful pregnancy.  Ever since then, my birthdays have just been a normal day mixed with a little spice from an awesome kid. 

Last night before Sidekick went to sleep, I told him that my birthday was today.  The entire way to school today, Sidekick sang this:

In typical fashion for the past however many years, I took the day off.  I have a massage scheduled followed by seeing "Gone Girl".  I plan on picking up Sidekick from school, feeding him dinner, and then heading out to get some ice cream (which is something we've only done a few times in Sidekick's life).  It's a time to celebrate and be on a sugar high!

So, on my 41st year of life, I am blessed to have an amazing kid, a successful career, a nice home, and friends and family who love us.  What more could I ask for? 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Good Riddance Neighbor-"Friend"

I'm still having a rough time since the "break up" with my neighbors/close friends.  There still seems to be sense of confusion, pain, and angst in the core of my soul.  After the awkward moment of their son, T, coming down to our house to hang out with Sidekick a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't get that irritation out of my head.  Why allow your son to hang out with us if his parents (primarily his mom) are not talking to me? So, even though she told me not to text, call, email, I did.  I did it to protect my son!  Here's what I typed:

"Maybe one day you will explain... not because I want to be close friends with you again (because I definitely don't want that), but because we are mature adults who happen to be neighbors and have kids that like to hang out together..." 
Of course I didn't hear back from her. I kind of wonder if she is blocking my text messages (which can be done on an iPhone), or if she is truly not responding.  Either way, she is being an immature, selfish be-atch and I shouldn't care (but I totally do)!  Who would want to be friends with someone like that? A couple of my friends who know about this but don't know her are just as baffled as I am and tell me to let it go.  Easier said than done when you feel like you somehow screwed something up.
Anyway, last week Sidekick and I were in the cul-da-sac hanging out with a neighbor and her dog.  My ex-friends' house is in the cul-da-sac which is why this situation really sucks because we are often down in that area.  E (Mom) and T (son) came home, and of course she didn't even look at me when she pulled into the driveway.  T got out of the car and walked towards us.  I was just fuming because once again he was back in Sidekick's life after about a week.  He came to say "hello" and Sidekick didn't really care (loyal to his momma!).  Sidekick used to worship T!  I quickly told Sidekick that we had to go inside and make dinner and abruptly left, leaving the neighbor we were talking to and her dog just standing there a bit confused.  (She has no idea E and I aren't friends anymore.)  Awwww-kward!
Monday night was a beautiful night and even though it was dark because we set the clocks back, we went outside for a walk to kill some time before bath. We ended up in the cul-da-sac once again, and lo and behold, E came home.  Ugh!  She was alone, pulled into her driveway, and went inside (the garage door was left open and the door from the garage to house was left open).  It was all I could do to not walk into her garage and yell, "What the F is your problem?! Why are you such a selfish, inconsiderate bitch?  Who cuts someone off like you did with me?"  A couple of things stopped me:
  1. I had Sidekick with me, and I didn't want him to see her or hear what conversation might ensue.
  2. I was seriously thinking that she'd call the police on me because she's that crazy!
So, Sidekick and I continued to laugh, run around, and play while we walked back home. But, I still find myself caring about the situation.  I just wish they didn't live in my neighborhood because this would be so much easier to deal with, and I would be totally over it.  Does she even care like I do?  Is it as hard on her as it is on me?

Tonight we were outside walking Dog after I picked Sidekick up from school.  While walking, E drove down the street.  We were crossing the street and she had to stop to let us finish getting across.  No eye contact.  Nothing.  Sidekick immediately said, "Dat *T* in da car."  Yep!  He knows her car. Ugh. 
And just today I read the following quote: 
"Caring was the only thing I ever did when we were friends.  The minute you turned your back is the minute I realized that I deserved better." - Unknown

And you know what?  I'm over it!  I do deserve better.  It was a one sided friendship, and I didn't get much out of it other than a good male role model (the dad) for Sidekick and a playmate (the son).  Even though she is truly a mess and a unstable, she doesn't deserve to be part of our lives if she behaves the way she did.  There is no excuse for what she did and has done.  She is not worth my energy.  She is not worth worrying about and wondering what the hell happened.  She is not worth the tears.  She's not worthy of being my friend. I'm a better friend than she deserves.  Moving on... I'm done!  Good riddance, E!  <Deep cleansing breath...>

Monday, November 3, 2014


Sidekick's school had been talking a lot about Halloween, so it seemed as if Sidekick knew what the entire day was all about when we talked about it during the days leading up to the big day.  He's been obessed with Monsters, Inc... so much so that he includes them in his prayers at night.  When I showed him different options online, he immediately wanted to be Sulley.  It was so appropriate!

I had three friends staying with me that weekend, so after Sidekick's school party, we went to the airport to pick up one of my friends.  He ran around outside of security in his costume (pic above) and made everyone smile.  He was so happy to be dressed in his costume.  I ran my friend back to my house, and Sidekick and I ditched her to go trick or treating with my friends and their kids.  (My friend decided not to come with us and was thrilled to have peace and quiet for a few hours at my house.) 

It was in the 40s here, so it was quite chilly trick or treating.  Thankfully, Sidekick had a nice warm costume, and I layered him up so he didn't need a coat.  Plus, his costume had mittens. I couldn't have planned that better.  He would run from house to house with his two friends trailing behind.  As soon as he said "Tank you for da candy," he would yell, "Anudder house!?!?" and take off running.  It was so funny!  He was a pro at this trick or treating thing! 

Each time I see the joy in Sidekick's eyes of experiencing something new, I find a renewed joy myself.  What seemed like a trivial night became a fun night watching Sidekick run from house to house with so much excitment and happiness.  How could I not just smile and my heart not fill with such love and joy for this amazing little boy?