Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Friends


Women seem to always be on the hunt for that perfect relationship. The relationship that adds purpose to her life and meaning to her day. The relationship that fills her calendar up with fun adventures and picture worthy moments. The relationship that serves as her umbrella when life’s rain beats brutally down on her. The relationship that builds her self esteem higher and higher each day with impromptu text messages. But sometimes these things can be found in your friends alone.
I realized this weekend, that while I can find these same things in a boyfriend, I was beyond blessed to find these same things in my girlfriends, both the new and old ones.
I was invited to go out with a group of girls this past weekend. Most of which I didn’t know and was going to meet for the first time that night. This wasn’t a big deal to me because I tend to make friends everywhere I go. I was anxiously excited to see what the night had for us. The following night, I was invited to a very dear friend’s husband’s birthday party. She has been my friend since the first day in Jr. high. I was very excited to see her and other friends from school. The entire weekend was amazing. One of the best weekends I have had in a long time. It wouldn’t have been so fantastic without these friends.
I’ve made some pretty big strides when it comes to friendships.
To be completely honest and confess this with regret, I lost focus on my friendships when I was married. I didn’t water my relationships with my girls frequently enough to let them blossom. My marriage took a lot of my time, energy and attention and left very little for my friends to divide amongst themselves. Many of my friendships withered down to a small weed. The small bit of contact I actually had with my girls often escalated into a fight which resulted in a drought of communication. A lot that was said and a lot that went unsaid caused more strain on those friendships than I ever could have imagined. I slowly withdrew myself from all of my friends and looking back, it was one of the bigger mistakes I ever could have made.
I have thankfully been forgiven by all my friends and we have begun the process of rebuilding what we once had. I am so thankful that who I was, is not who I am now. I am also grateful for my friends who kept faith in me and our unbreakable friendships were in fact, unbreakable.
Being a mom has brought me so many unexpected blessings; New friends being a big one. It’s incredible that motherhood alone can form such an unrelenting bond. Sharing in the pain, joy, stress, and stickiness of mothering children serves as the gorilla glue that keeps us all together.
The main reason I am writing this is to say THANK YOU to ALL my girlfriends who have stayed by me, forgiven me, supported me and welcomed me into their lives. And to the friendships I just recently made, I say THANK YOU for helping me realize just how important these relationships are. And to my fellow mother - friends, thank you for sitting next to me on this very whirly, twirly roller coaster of never ending sticky tables, booger picking, potty training, back talking, cooking and cleaning ride of terror. Without you next to me, I might have jumped off a long time ago. You help to keep me strapped in and for that, my kids and I owe you our lives!
My girlfriends mean so much to me and sometimes it just needs to be said, written or published. Again, thank you friends, for being that stable relationship that keeps me encouraged, focused, determined, confident, worthy, happy, energized,  grateful, humble and most importantly, happy. I love you all and I pray for you daily. I pray God continues to bless our relationship and strengthen us daily.
Love your friend,
Amanda

Friday, January 20, 2012

Before and After

I’m typing this blog because I just realized my underwear is on backwards. Before kids this never would have happened to me.
The official deterioration of my mental stability began in October of 2006 when Kylee was born and I became completely fluent in baby talk and it has been a steady decline ever since…
Here is a brief BEFORE and AFTER kids comparison:
BEFORE kids I had a cabinet for my shot glasses (I am not proud of that for anyone preparing for judgment) and NOW I have a cabinet full of sippy cups.  And every time I open that dang cabinet an avalanche of stoppers and mixed-matched lids fall in my face.
BEFORE kids I wore thongs and sexy panties because my hips were in their rightful God given place… AFTER kids your hips are oddly misplaced on your body and I’m now forced to wear the panties that come in an 8 pack from Target.
BEFORE kids I slept in on Saturday. AFTER kids I…don’t.
BEFORE kids I could finish a sentence and an entire thought. AFTER kids I’m interrupted by requests for fruit roll ups and Go, Diego Go.
BEFORE kids I could take a hot shower. AFTER kids I am lucky if there is enough warm water left to get all the conditioner out.
BEFORE kids I peed alone. AFTER kids I have an intrigued audience with feedback and uncomfortable questions.
BEFORE kids I could answer questions with real knowledge. AFTER kids the only answer I have is “Because”
BEFORE kids I could talk on the phone. AFTER kids I don’t even try.
BEFORE kids my needs were first. AFTER kids I can't even find my needs.
BEFORE kids I could get ready for work and out the door without forgetting anything… AFTER kids I forget at least one thing each morning and/or I can’t get my undies on the right way!
But lastly,
BEFORE kids I was incomplete and empty and didn’t even know it. AFTER kids I’m full… Sure, I might be full of it but it’s still better than before.
It’s hard to compare the before to the after… I can always reminisce on how it was before the kids, but it’s hard to imagine my life without them now. By the end of the day, I am extremely worn out, I have memorized every episode on Nick Jr., I know the latest drama with Carly, Sam and Gibby, there is no hot water left and fruit roll up wrappers are everywhere. But also, at the end of the day, there’s nothing that can compare to my, after.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Holidays.... are over!

I must start off by apologizing to my 14 committed followers and the other 7 people who anonymously read my blog for my extended absence. I truly hope my lack of writing hasn’t led you to read Stephen King or Danielle Steel novels. I trust you all had a great Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukah and New Year and what have you. I haven’t written for the typical and obvious excuses. Busy prepping, cleaning, decorating, shopping, wrapping, hiding, returning, exchanging, more cleaning, de-decorating, exercising, organizing, potty training and pretty much anything else the tilt-O-whirl of holidays bring. I kept Kylee out of school one day so she and I could do that mommy-daughter thang and it was more fun than I expected it to be.
Christmas was our new normal routine. It didn’t look like your typical Norman Rockwell painting, but it was still…..good.  It was similar to last year with less snarling and eye rolling. The X-man had the kids on Christmas eve and I picked them up Christmas morning. I was welcomed into my ex-in-law’s home and even had a stocking and a couple of gifts. There was an undeniable presence that we were moving into a new neighborhood of sentiments. We have vacated the Resentful block and signed a new lease with Acceptance. It was, nice.
Later we ventured to my mom’s where we all meet for breakfast before opening presents. I have one older sister, one younger step sister and two older step brothers… With our blended family, the grandchildren/cousins multiplied seemingly overnight. I kept looking around and asking myself, were there this many kids last year? Not to mention my brother’s wife has two children from a previous marriage. Anyhow, the house resembled a 24 hour drop in daycare center running a holiday special. Overall, Christmas day is very busy, over stimulating, unrelenting and tiresome. And I love every minute of it.
Apparently cheap manufactured toys from China make my children leap for joy.  I was able to clean out their toys, closets and drawers to make room for next year’s good will donations. Deep down, getting rid of old stuff gives me an indescribable sense of accomplishment, validity, and calmness. Kylee doesn’t share this passion yet, so until she can appreciate a load labeled GOOD WILL, I had no choice but to do it behind her back in a very covert mission sorta way. And as I predicted, she never noticed that her  baby doll that chirped like a dying bird was gone, or that the Strawberry Shortcake figurine was MIA, or that the happy meal toys with missing pieces were no longer at the bottom of her toy box. She was fine and continued on with life blissfully unaware.
After all the shopping was done, the bills were paid barely I had a sigh of relief. I had made it unscathed and un-homeless. And just like in a game of monopoly after you invest all your money into Park Ave and Broadway, thinking you just won the entire game, you draw the cards to pay more taxes, go to jail or something to make you wanna quit the game entirely. Or at least throw a mad cussing fit in the privacy of your own livingroom.  Right after the last check cleared, my Check Engine light comes on. Ever notice how when that light comes on you’re more aware of every sound and bump your car makes? A few run arounds later I discovered that my thermostat needed to be replaced. $160 later my inspection needs to be updated… $40 later Kylee has a fever… Urgent care co-pay and 70 something  whose counting dollars later I start feeling sick too. GAH!
My sister took me out to a nice steak dinner for NYE. We got dressed up like we were 21 years old, took a shot of 5 hour energy and I think we both had every intention of being out all night. We made it to about 10:30pm before realizing we would both be content at home in our PJ’s watching the old episodes of Clarissa Explains It All and Are You Afraid of the Dark. (That’s 1990’s Nickolodean shows) I think I have realized that 2 kids in your 20’s makes you feel like you’re in your 30’s. It was a great night though.
I’ve always heard that boys are more stubborn than girls. I think I always knew that, but now I know it’s true. Potty training Logan is about as frustrating as putting a soft noodle through a key hole. So imagine my excitement when he says to me, “I go poop mommy?”  We hurried to the potty, sat him on his throne. No turds at all and he says “I done.” Grrr! I put him in the bath…He poops.in.the.tub. So I spent the next 40 minutes sanitizing, bleaching, and pouting.
I enjoy getting time off from work and having the extra time with my kids. We get to stay in our jammies all day and go at whatever pace we choose. However 4 days off at home also means 4 days of endless sibling disagreements. One wants to watch Dino Dan, the other wants Max and Ruby. One wants to color while the other wants to dump the crayons. One wants to sit on my lap, the other one wants to sit on my lap. One wants taquitos, the other wants candy.  One wants to drive me crazy, the other wants to assist in driving me crazy. TV portrays these characters to be self sufficient who can play quietly together with little to no supervision.  Don’t believe everything you see on TV. My kids will go to their room to play, and 3 minutes into Entertainment Tonight cooking dinner I’m being sequestered back to referee an argument. So much for getting anything done without being interrupted.
Like most moms, we like to go insane together so play dates are a necessity. My friend Kandace came over with her boys. We always approach these play dates with the hopeful and na├»ve predictions that the kids will play together quietly and nicely and we might actually get an entire thought out without being interrupted with tattling and yelling. We assume our kids are just as tired of us as we are of them and out of sheer appreciation might actually take the opportunity to have fun with their friends and for the love of gawd leave us alone! They don’t. They nag us more. Mother friendships are a vital tool if you want to survive motherhood with at least 1/3 of your sanity intact. We typically end our play dates even more frazzled than we were before. I guess it’s just comforting to see another worn out face and to know, you aren’t alone.
I apologize for the lapse in postings for those who get a hoot. I also apologize if this post is kind of scattered. But this was my holiday break in a nut house… SHELL, nut shell! Thanks for reading!