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Category Archives: Children

Spring into action

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It’s dumping snow outside… and my dirt is frozen in the greenhouse. I’m a sad farmer when the planting is delayed, because I like for my tomatoes to come up around my son’s birthday; April 8th. Unfortunately, we have 4 feet of snow on the ground, and accumulating…so I don’t dare plant them yet. It’s going to be an even later start this year, but it’s coming!

Happy March! It may snow and rain and suck, but it’s the gateway to April, when all good things return. My babies birthdays begin in April and continue on into the summer. Everyone in our small circle, celebrates another trip around the sun. It’s the best time of year…

Flip-flops, raspberries, fireworks and ripe tomatoes, are on the way. There’s a lot of great things to look forward to!

More importantly though?

pussyhat

Click for the pattern and make some to share if you’re feeling particularly knitty. ♥

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It’s MARCH! You can find me knitting pink hats for the women I love, or marching for them. ♥ #resist

march

 

Tula Love

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When I found out I was expecting my last child, I bought myself the Baby Bjorn of my dreams. It wasn’t easy to spend $80 on a baby carrier, but I remember how helpful it’d been the first few months.
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I’d had the original navy blue wonder with my second child, and had loved carrying her until she was around 7 months old and it became painfully uncomfortable.

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When she grew so big the Baby Bjorn felt like it was splitting my spine in two, we transitioned to the Kelty backpack carrier. A little much for vacuuming, but what can you do. It gave me a few more months, but getting her into the pack was cumbersome and not terribly comfortable for her. She wasn’t content for long.

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My last two are 13 years apart, and a lot had changed. Someone told me I needed to buy a Moby. I bought black, because most of my clothes are black. My sweet babe was born the first week of July. Consequently, I feel like we were both lucky to come out of the Moby without only a heat rash, and not full blown heat stroke. Getting her in felt like a live origami experiment and I was never completely confident that she wouldn’t fall out through a hole in the 18 yards of fabric I was drowning in. Oy.

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I found an Ergo at my local consignment store, and figured it was worth $60 if I loved it like some of my friends love theirs. It wasn’t bad. She loved it and I liked that I could throw some cash and keys in the pocket and leave the stroller behind. This was the carrier that made our stroller move from the back of the car, to the garage. The straps weren’t terribly comfortable, but I could carry her and everything else, simultaneously.

It seemed like I’d found one that worked. I missed her being able to face out, but after everything I’d read, I knew it was bad for her hips- so I was happy to forgo that feature.

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Which is when my dear friend loaned me a Tula. I had heard her ramble on about her DISO and WC’s and thought she’d lost her mind a little. I love her- crazy or sane- so I agreed to try out her beloved carrier. I was surprised she’d want to loan it out, when she explained she had 6. She was trading her way to the Tula of her dreams, with a market value of $1500. Again, I thought she’d lost her mind.

But.

Nothing fit like the Tula did. My sweet girl was asleep in minutes, and had never fallen asleep in any carrier. It was warm, while breathable- so a light jacket kept us both warm on a brisk fall walk. In a matter of days, I would find my little lady trying to buckle herself in. She asked to be “up” and picking the green beans had never been easier.

I decided I needed one, and hopped online to find a deal.

Ha… I had the misfortune of falling in love with Tula at the same time as everyone else in the free world. Deals were nonexistent in Tula-land. These days they have done a lot to keep up with the demand, and with the recent purchase of Baby Tula by Ergo, hopefully supply will increase without losing quality. Ergos are great, but they are definitely not Tulas.

I decided I’d try to “score”. Scoring means being online at precisely 3 PM PST every other Sunday, when Tula releases its highly sought after wrap-conversion Tulas, and managing to purchase one in the 3 split seconds you have before they sell out. These are considerably more expensive, but also increase in value over time. The preview of the Tulas that will be for sale is posted on Friday. I fell in love with a brilliant magenta full wrap conversion, and told my friend I was going to bite the bullet and buy it.

She had a good laugh, and told me she’d been trying to “score” for 8 months, with no luck.

Sunday came around and I’d saved my $330 the carrier cost. I was sick to my stomach spending so much, but this is Tula and common sense is the first to go. My alarm went off and I began following the “scoring” instructions.

Hit refresh, hit refresh, hit refresh… Oh MY GOD… The pictures start to load and I see mine. Blind click, add to cart, submit payment, done.

I scored. I didn’t even know what I bought, I just knew I saw pink and said yes.

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I don’t know where my stroller is. Somewhere collecting dust. We hike, walk, pick beans…and dance in the Tula. As a single mother, I don’t know that I could have done it without it. I know I wouldn’t have been able to hold her as much, or as often as I have. I know the sleepless nights would have been harder and at nearly 40… I’ll take all the help I can get in snuggling her close while she grows at the speed of light.

We own three Tulas now. One for the car, one for home and one to share with other mamas who have no idea what they’re missing until they try one on.

Don’t even get me started on the http://http://www.tulababycarriers.com/collections/blankets….

Playgroup

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It’s the great American dream to raise your children in a cozy small town, especially if you grew up dreaming of Mayberry.

I grew up IN Mayberry… or the closest thing I’ve ever seen to it.

I STILL live in Mayberry, which is not my dream come true.

Don’t get me wrong, I have an incredible bunch of friends, all of whom are amazing women and men, and my children have grown up in the safe cocoon of an impossibly small and close knit town. There are great benefits that I wholeheartedly appreciate… but it’s not all rainbows and sunsets.

My sweet baby girl loves a local playgroup that is held once a week at a local church. There are a few moms I really like, but ultimately… we’re in it for the bouncy houses and free-range room full of small people. Its not religious, though you are welcomed to join their church services. We went regularly when she was a baby, and have started going again recently.

It is interesting as hell, to say the least.

I’m a lucky mom, because my baby is sweet and shares happily. She doesn’t have anyone in her life that doesn’t share with her, so it’s more a wonderful consequence of the 13 years between her big sister and her, than it is a reflection of my fantastic parenting. The downside, is that she gets a little mowed over at playgroup. It’s good for her, and she’s learning to defend her stuff these days.

She was happily marching a little hot pink double stroller around the busy room, when another little girl ran up and ripped the stroller out of her hands. She stared at me in horror, turned and stomped her tiny right foot.

B- NO! Be nice! Shaaaaaare.

The thief’s mother had appeared to return the stolen stroller. My little dumpling smiled and thanked her. Offering one of the babies to the angry little girl, who promptly threw it back at her.

Playgroup offers more than just bouncy houses. Playgroup is her first lesson that some people are just assholes.

Which is when I spot one I remember from high school. Great.

Remember that god-awful popular girl in high school who liked to call attention to people in their worst moments? Yeah her. The bad news is that she’s spawned. The worse news is that one of her little carbon copies is the same age as mine.

She has ankle boots like my teenage daughter, full hair & makeup. She’s smirking down her nose at the clusters of pajama clad moms, throughout the room. She’s eyeing up my Yoga pants, ponytail and complete lack of so much as moisturizer with more contempt than I’ve seen since 1993.

Her Irish twins are in the bouncy house with my Sugarplum and her eldest is trying to face stomp her baby while she lovingly “guides” her children with kind words.

Y-“Milwaukee, use your body with kindness towards Wenatchee. Wenatchee is small and needs you to help her learn. Milwaukee don’t use your feet for hurting. Milwaukee use your feet to jump and see how happy it makes you feel”

Milwaukee is attempting to break Wenatchee’s leg.

I am subconsciously peeing my pants in hysterical fits of laughter every time she says their names. I love uppity women who give their kids elitist white trash names. LOVE them.

I looked my daughter in the face and set the whole house straight.

J-“Don’t jump by that baby. She’s tiny and you need to be kind. Got it?”

B- “Got it!”

Miss Popularity frowned at me and I saw the recognition hit her. Uh oh.

Y- Jenni, isn’t it? We went to school together.

I smiled at her and she sort of half-sneered in my general direction. I’m easily 50 pounds heavier than her, in yoga pants and what’s left of my makeup from work last night… but she looks twenty years older than me, has bratty kids and too much patience.

Playgroup never disappoints.

I escape the high school reunion, only to run into another. A stay-at-home mom of one and only. Ugh. She wants to talk about poop and pull ups and all I can think of is signing up to be a foster parent so that we could have a built in playmate and avoid playgroup altogether.

A little singing and we’re out the door and home to the safety of the four walls that keep the familiar strangers, away.

Until next week, Mayberry.

tp

Along the way…

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I’ve been silent… and just plain exhausted, for two years. Somewhere along the way, I got lost in my own head and stopped writing. Having my words held against me during my custody battle, stole the joy out of blogging.

I’m really sad that I’m missing those two precious years from my journal. Regardless of the very public nature of my blog, it keeps the significant moments in my life that run together in the daily chaos, somewhere I can find them. The struggle of single parenthood means you spend twice as much time doing, and half as much time reminiscing. Blogging has allowed me to do both.

I burn the candle from both ends at an Olympic level. Last week, it caught up with me. I’d been up for 3 solid days and nights with a sick toddler, and our entire world was peppered with vomit, diarrhea and snot. Hers and my own. We were a hot mess, literally. Flu, my ass… I’m pretty sure we had the plague.

And I needed to wash diapers. FML.

Sneezing, coughing and struggling to throw the wet bag full of ungodly-smelling diapers into the washer… whilst sterilizing jars in preparation to can chili and black beans, because I STILL have tomatoes from the garden this summer.

Oy vey… I had to sit down and laugh/cry… because this was certainly not the Happy Ever After I envisioned when I fell in love with her father.

I wasn’t all wrong about her Dad. He helps in the ways he can from a few states away. He lets her live the life of a normal kid, and not one forever split between two parents that wanted her more than they ended up wanting each other. It’s not her fault that we aren’t together, and I’m thankful her life isn’t fractured on a weekly basis. He got engaged this fall, to a woman that suits him perfectly. They’re a happy couple and he’s a father to her three kids. All is well that ends well… aka: I work hard to bite my tongue. I lose my temper and text war breaks out every now and then, because while his not being here allows her to live a normal life and I’m grateful, she also deserves to have her dad around.

After the most recent argument, I spent a little time cleaning up my blog and deleting random mindless crap from the past few years. Reading back through the blogs I wrote is always good for a healthy reminder of why things are the way they are. I don’t always like to read back, but it always reminds me that once upon a time, I thought he was the one. I’m glad I wrote about it because it reminds me not to be a bitch to him, now most of the time.

I do believe my ten days two years of puke, mucous and shit entitle me to a little righteous indignation, but my 39 years should also grace me with enough maturity to be kind. I’m grateful that I gushed embarrassingly then, so that I can remember now to not say what does not NEED to be said.

I’ve learned a lot by being quiet. Leaving something unsaid is far more powerful than having the last word, and given how short life is, I sincerely hope that the words I leave with people on a daily basis, are kind.

Except Thomas Murray. That guy can still go fuck himself.

Happy Spring ♥

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I’m slowly getting back in the habit of writing every day to clear out the cobwebs, and I figured I’d be lazy and catch up with everyone at once, since answering emails isn’t one of my strong points.

Life has been a steady bunch of bliss for the past two years, and though things didn’t go like I expected, I have never been happier with how it all IS. My babies are growing and happy. My tomatoes are standing tall and ready to outdo their predecessors. It’s been a beautiful early spring and my garden is planted MONTHS earlier than ever before.

This little munchkin has a lot to do with that!  I’ve grown a mini farmer, and she loves to play in the dirt with me. (amen)

mqLooking back, it’s amazing how much time I wasted trying to find love. I’ve been single for nearly two years, have no intention of dating again and could not be happier. My days are full of laughter, baby dolls and rows of vegetables. I love my job, have great friends and am finally content with my fat ass.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

Write on…

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It’s been a long year. In fact…it’s been a long decade.

I finished planting my garden earlier than ever last year. My corn was a huge success for the first time! The pumpkin patch of my dreams, was a reality. Through morning and afternoon baby naps, I managed to get it planted and weeded. It was actually beautiful… but sobering. I CAN grow an acre of vegetables and bottle enough to feed an army, but I don’t NEED to. I’ve given up on the fantasy of my children loving to garden, and I remember clearly how much I hated it as a child. I’m determined to cut back this year so that it’s a blessing, not a burden.

I figured it may be relaxing to write again, if only for myself. I get the nicest emails from people, asking me why I don’t write anymore. I’m not sure how to answer that?

I’m a different person than I used to be. Growing up, and more importantly fucking up; changes you. I guess you could say that I finally learned from my mistakes. As a result of my relationship failing, finding myself as a single mother with a teenager AND a newborn and a side of heartache… I grew up. I’m slowly finding my footing again, while carefully choosing each step with the knowledge that the wrong one can have lasting consequences.

I’m a little sad to see my tiny one grow so fast and I miss her infancy when I see newborns. She lights the whole world up with her constant smile, hilarious laughter and baby chatter. I don’t know how we ever lived without the joy and love she brings to everyone and everywhere. She’s nothing short of magical. I’m that annoying friend on Facebook who shamelessly inundates everyone with baby pictures and videos.

The teenager is absolutely frustratingly normal. Most days I’m the stupidest person in the world and live purely to thwart her plans for part of the day, and her best friend the other half. I am proud of the young lady I know that she is, and hopeful she’ll escape our small town after graduation to pursue her dreams. I’m grateful for the friendship I have with her dad and step-mother.

All in all, and in every aspect; life has calmed down. The custody war has long ended and my relationship with my baby girl’s dad is peaceful and friendly. He’s dating an old friend and has moved back to Colorado to live with her. He calls regularly and I hang pictures of him around the house so she sees his face. She’s just begun to say Daddy. I’m grateful she will grow up surrounded with love, not hostility. I never dreamed in a million years that I’d be raising a baby alone, but I treasure every single second and appreciate that he does everything he can do from thousands of miles away.

We’ve learned to coexist, sleep, love and make the most of every moment in the last year. We’ve weathered financial devastation, laughed through a lot of creative pasta and rice dishes and have found a new-found peace in being carnivorous vegetarians. We all love a good steak but we can afford veggies, and I grew enough to feed us all winter.

Life has changed and it isn’t what I thought it would be, but it is absolutely joyous and full of everything simple and sweet that I treasure most.

The last vestiges of babyhood have been hard to pack away. A long-outgrown bassinet stands in the corner of my room, because I love it too much to part with it. Baby shoes, pacifiers and miniature socks clutter the top of my dresser. It’s a strange mix, no matter where you look. My black work apron, a few pens, a wine key and wilted gardenia still hooked by the bobby pin that held it in my hair all night. A school progress report for Little Red, lipgloss and an antique jar of buttons. My latest knitting pattern, some industrial foot cream for my mangled server feet and a stack of bills. As always, my crafts create a happy clutter that reminds me to take time to create. My vices are all healthy, and I am definitely guilty of being a little boring these days. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m only growing three varieties of tomatoes this year. I did away with my whimsical round garden and have practical, straight rows. I wouldn’t say I’m disenchanted… more so that I’ve gotten an epic reality check. I don’t want to be bitter and jaded, but my fairy-tales turn into nightmares when I least expect them to and my heart is not a good judge of character. Consequently… I have taken myself out of the pool, entirely, and permanently.

Never. Another. Boyfriend. I have two cats… and I’d be delighted to adopt a dozen more.

IMG_7334Being boring is awesome. ♥

Dear Mom Who Thinks I Need to Vaccinate My Kids Against Measles

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My sentiments, exactly. Thank you, Levi!

Levi Quackenboss

shutterstock_157245107Guest Post by Lazarus T. Jones

Yeah, I’m totally going there. I know this vaccination subject is pretty touchy with the undertones of intolerance, discrimination, and bigotry and all, but after seeing a letter written to a “mom who decided not to vaccinate her kids against measles,” I just couldn’t sit by while parents are thrown under the bus and innocent kiddos get sick and die.

To be perfectly frank, I was a bit offended that this letter wasn’t written to dads too but for the sake of prioritizing stupid, there are more important things to address…like the fact that kids in this country do not “get sick and die” from measles. Hello? When was the last time a kid died from measles in America? Here’s a clue…it wasn’t yesterday. Disney ain’t deadly and neither are the measles.

So here goes.

Dear Mom who thinks I should vaccinate…

View original post 1,263 more words

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