Children, Family, Friends, Happiness, Hope, Truth

Spring into action

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. ♥

pussyhat2

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

march

 

Blogging, Family, Friends, Halloween, Happiness, Hope, Love, Victory!, Yarden

Grandma

I had someone ask me if my baby was my grand-baby the other day. Seriously. My Little Red looked up in horror at the person and half shouted that her sister was NOT HER BABY.

I laughed. I was stunned at the thought, but… I’d had a baby 18 years earlier and my mother was the same age I was when my son was born. Good Lord in the morning… what an amazing difference to feel like the “old” mom.

So I went to a mommy & me group. I’m staying home with Muffin right now and I figured it would do us both well to get out and about.

I walked in wearing my favorite yoga pants and nursing shirt, My uniform du jour, so to speak. Wandering through a sea of bejeweled postpartum asses, I feel like the sharpest tool in the shed. What’s up with the bejeweled ass pants? I don’t get it.  Perhaps when I was 16?  It was awkward… but I was willing to suffer a little for some adult conversation. Ish.

I start to notice things.

They’re all younger than me.

I hate to say that was my first thought, but it was. So there it is. They all drive nicer cars than me. Ok so that’s petty but I had to laugh about it too since I’m so damn thankful I don’t have a car payment to be late on right now.

They’re all worried about being hot for their husbands/boyfriends.

I’m the only single mom.

I keep hearing them refer to me as “You two” as in, my husband and I… not my little baby and I. I’m happy I’m over 30 and dealing with this sort of shit. I can remember feeling really uncomfortable at the absence of a wedding ring on my finger when I was pregnant with my son, at 18. I do not feel that way anymore. I’m happy with the silky nakedness of my ring finger.

I explained quickly, smiled widely and reassured the few naysayers.

Blonde idiot: Oh my word I could NEVER do it without my Huuuuuuuusband. He is my rock. He is my man. I am so tired and if he didn’t do all those night time feedings I would just break down and DIE

I’m judging her before she opens her mouth to tell me these things so there’s no point in pretending I’m not. She’s a grade A, fresh off the subdivision, Walmart girl. She doesn’t breastfeed <sneer> she doesn’t get up with her baby <sneer> and she’s one of “those” women.

Those women: The women who can’t think clearly without a man telling them which way to go. Uck.

J- We do really well. That’s wonderful of your husband to help so much.

It’s amazingly uncomfortable, to be honest. They pretty much just chat amongst themselves… about things like baby shoes and strollers. Some of them are gluten free. That’s fun.

It is too much to ask for an adult mom friend? I can’t tolerate the youngsters. I admit it. I hate myself for it because I can remember clearly how the “judgey” older moms were so frustrating to me. I was a good mom, and they weren’t nice to me because of my age.

I am now that “judgey” older mom, and I can’t do it. I don’t want to hear them chat. I care about the world, at large… beyond the superficial “We went with the Bugaboo. What did you two decide on?” I hate to stereotype them. Truly, I do… but the shoe fits and it’s too damn tacky.

I’m not going back to “group”. In fact I wonder if I can make a group for old moms. I wanna talk about politics and healthcare. I want to have friends who give a shit about GMO’s.

I’m a new old mom, and I love every single bit of it.

Even being called Grandma. I just don’t want to hang out with my old self anymore.

That baby of mine is nothing but pure love & joy. Her and I have gotten our routine down. She gets up at unspeakably early hours. I sing to her day and night. Life is an awesome bunch of grins and details.  I never thought this would be my life. I had this beautiful baby because I loved her daddy so much I lost sight of the fact that sometimes things don’t work out. I never thought I’d be raising a baby alone, however… I treasure every second.

I could care less if her socks match or she’s in the same pajamas for the second day in a row. I show her everything until she smiles. I sing the ingredients I’m using to can marinara if she gets fussy while I’m rushing to get it done in between nursing and patty cake. I make a point to write the love notes in my teenagers lunch box. I remember all over again what it’s like to have a newborn that takes so much energy and inspires that much ooey-gooey adoration for just laying there like a potato.

With no child support & no second set of hands, the eyeliner and primping have to go. I have clean clothes on and her pants are dry- everything is just as it should be.  I’m thankful that she’s unscathed by it all. She’s just happy and loved and protected from everything that isn’t perfectly wonderful and happy. I could care less about makeup.

I’m going to make my own group.

For the moms who want to make friends but don’t want to change into something less comfortable.

For the moms without dads.

For the mom who is thankful for the blessing of motherhood.

For the mom, like me… that treasures every exhausted moment that makes life worth living.

I wanna hang out with those moms. Or Grandmas.

Children, Family, Friends, Happiness, Hope, Love, Victory!

And then there was Baby.

I watched my due date come and go. It really didn’t matter that I was due on my birthday because I wanted a baby more than anything. Cake was nice… but I’d have given a limb for some bone crushing contractions and a shared birthday.

It wasn’t to be… and the 5th came and went with a nice dinner on my parent’s houseboat on the lake, a pretty sunset and my best friend and lovely Little Red.

I sunk into my overdue status with exasperation. Still perfectly healthy but frustrated by my inability to do as much as I wanted to get done in the garden and battling devastating heartburn. The 6th ticked by without so much as a contraction. The 7th was equally uneventful. I had to relinquish my darling daughter to her dad the afternoon of the 8th and I watched her get out of the car and walk up to the house with a heavy heart and a lump in my throat. I’d gotten to the point that I was feeling awfully lonely waiting impatiently for the baby on my own. I blew her a kiss and wiped my tears… and drove home to resign myself to be the first woman to be pregnant forever.

6:00 PM

My dear Miss Classy, my best friend in the world stopped by on her way home from work after I sent her a “I’M SO BORED” text whining about my eternal gestation and inability to weed the carrots. She hugged me, assured me I would not be pregnant forever and she would indeed come out eventually. We laughed and I realized I was having contractions. They were insignificant, but noticeable. It’d been 13 years since I’d felt one, but I noticed the rhythmic tightening. I laughed and mentioned them offhandedly. She went home to make dinner and relax. I went out to weed the dreaded carrots after a dose of Zantac.

I got three feet into the carrot patch when the mosquitos began feasting on me. I realized after I started to truly get pissed off about the mosquitos, that I was having more contractions. I smiled widely and struggled to keep going. After another 2 feet… I gave up and came inside. I fired up the fancy pink iPhone contraction timer my Little Red had loaded on my phone and started timing them.

Twelve minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute. Easy… not painful… and I had some things to get done if it was an indication that the baby might come that night.

8:30 PM

I called Miss Classy.

J- I think I’m in labor. I know I’ve said it forever, but I think tonight’s the night. Seriously. Don’t panic.

MC- I’m not panicking. Do you want me to come now?

J- Nooooo. I’m going to mop and maybe go back out to weed the carrots some more. I need to bleach the sinks again and I’d really love to shave my legs.

MC- Ok, well call me and keep me updated. I love you. Hooray!!!

I got off the phone and turned the music on to dance with my unborn baby girl one more time. The dogs barked excitedly. The cat meowed at me for more cat food. I decided to take a shower.

I called the midwife first.

J- I’m in labor!!! I’m the happiest person in pain, ever!

M- Should I come check you?

J- No, I’m going to mop and make something to eat, I’ll call you when it gets intense.

M- Hooray! We are so excited! We’ve been looking forward to this birth so much! I’ll call the other midwife!

J- No rush, I’m just enjoying it finally being the day!

I hung up and texted to see if my Little Red could come on over.

J- I think it’s the night… can LR come over soon?

X- Sure! They just went to the store, is 45 minutes ok?

J- Absolutely! See you soon!

I called my mama.

J- I’m in labor!!!!

M- OH! I’ll come now!

J- No I’m fine, I’m just excited! I’ll call you when it gets serious. Love you!

M- I love you baby. Congratulations!

As much as I try to deny it…I’m a closet high maintenance girl. I shave… everything. Now that said, there are certain things that are more difficult during pregnancy and shaving is at the top of that list. So I took my time, got a new blade out and shaved. I put my favorite lotion on. Slipped into my favorite clothes and smiled at every contraction… now coming every 5 minutes according to the fancy timer.

9:30 PM

I decided to change my sheets, and was too out of breath. I was hot and my back hurt. I called my dear Miss Classy.
As soon as I heard her voice I started to cry.

J- I think I need you.

MC- I’m on my way. I’ll be there soon.

I called my mom next.

J- Mommy.

M- I’m turning the water off and getting out of my garden clothes. I’ll be there in 10 minutes.

J- I don’t think I can do this.

M- Don’t be silly, of course you can. I love you. I’ll see you soon.

I sent a text to my ex-hubby.

J- Coming soon?

and they arrived in minutes.

I called the midwife.

J- Hi… I don’t know if I’m being wimpy or if I just forgot after 13 years… but this is worse than I remember it and I think you should come check me. I’m sorry if it’s a false alarm.

MW- I’ll come right now. Don’t apologize, I’m happy to see you. Are you out of breath?

J- … … …

MW- Are you having a contraction?

J- Mmmhmmm.

In three minutes, she was walking up to my front door, little midwife bag in hand. I was overjoyed to see her. She was smiling and looked happy and serene.

I was hit by a contraction as soon as she stepped inside the door and I leaned against the edge of my bed and counted backwards from 70. Not sure why… but anything to focus and relax. I smiled at her and she looked a little more concerned. She checked my blood pressure, my pulse and baby Quinn’s heart rate. Then she actually checked me and I saw the surprise flash across her face.

MW- Oh. Honey. You’re already dilated to an 8… closer to an 8 1/2. You don’t have time to fill the birth tub.

J- I’m having her in the bath tub then.

I didn’t wait for an answer, just walked to my sparkling bleach-y clean bathroom and started the water. Another monster contraction, and I saw my Little Red walk in, smiling proudly. I knew in my heart of hearts that the most important thing in my life was to show this young lady love of mine that birth is natural, that women can handle pain effectively, and that birth can be peaceful and on your own terms. She sat down on the toilet seat and I sunk into the water, giggling.

J- Are you worried? Are you afraid? Is it too much? Are you ok?

LR- Don’t be silly. I’m fine. Are you ok? Is it bad? I’m sorry it hurts.

J- It’s the most rewarding pain in the world. I learned that with you and your brother. This pain has the biggest payoff imaginable. I”m sorry if it gets scary. I’m probably going to scream. Hitting a certain tone in your throat helps ease the pain of the contraction. I’m sorry if it scares you.

LR- Mama you can do this and it’s ok if you scream. I would too. I believe in you.

I had another contraction and my dear midwife sat on the edge of the bathtub and checked me, telling me to warn her when I felt pressure… a pressure I was already feeling.

MW- You’re full term so you’re going to be pushing longer than you did before.

J- I pushed for 2 1/2 hours with my son, and 3 times with my daughter.

MW- I’m just preparing you.

And then the vortex opened and sucked me in.

I turned the other way and put my hands on the cool porcelain. I closed my eyes and thought of my dear Grandma Afton, who my baby daughter was going to be named after. She was fearless and feisty. She was the first red haired green eyed woman in my life who told me from infancy that the rules didn’t apply to me. She was the first person to push me to be better than I thought I wanted to be. Waves of excruciating pain tore through me and I forced my hands into relaxed open palms and pictured her sitting next to me, laughing at my doubting myself.

MW- Sink into the water. Breathe. Relax. Believe. You’ve got this.

I heard my grandma laugh.

I squeezed my eyes shut hoping she’d say something to help me survive the impending crash of another contraction.

I heard my dear friend Vera threaten me.

V- Don’t you dare name that baby after me. I hate my name.

I laughed and smiled at my Little Red, who was laughing back at me and shaking her head. The next contraction hit me and my eyes closed again for the last time and I began to push.

I listened only for the voice of my midwife. The woman captain of my lost and tortured ship fighting its way through the biggest storm on record. I heard her guide me. I asked for my dear friend, who put a towel under my head and a cold washcloth on my forehead.

MW- Push right here. Good. Ok, now blow… don’t push… breath… her head is almost out.

J- OUCH OUCH OUCH

MW- Breathe… now push. Now wait. Her head is out, you have to wait for the next contraction.

J- I can’t. I don’t want to have another contraction. I’ll push her out without it.

MW- NO. Wait. Ok, you’re having another one, PUSH.

I felt her leave me. I was momentarily sad. She was like a mermaid in the water and my midwife guided her deftly onto my chest… where I opened my eyes.

10:50 PM  8 lbs 4 ounces, 20″ long

Sweet baby girl ❤️

QVA

There she was. My little beauty. All wide eyes and alert with her tiny hand extended and her fingers curling around the center of my sports bra.

I smiled at the beautiful women I’d chosen to support and love me through the hardest battle us women fight, and they were all beaming and cooing at the bubble gum pink newborn resting on my chest under my favorite towels.

Looking up at me with dusky blue newborn eyes and the promise of more love than I ever dared to hope for.

There she was. At last.

happybirthdayQNaturally made and delivered, at home ♥

Children, Friends, Happiness, Hope, Love, Victory!, work

Serving with a side of baby.

Both of my children arrived early. My son was two weeks early and my daughter… five.

Tomorrow, I will be exactly 32 weeks pregnant… which means this lovely little girl could arrive any time in the next 4-6 weeks.

I have two weeks left at work and if I weren’t out of time, I would continue right up to the moment I went into labor.

Which is precisely what people brace for when I approach their tables now.

C- “OH GOD, you’re about to pop, huh!”

C2- “Are you sure there’s only one baby in there? I think there’s two. That happens you know. I’m pretty sure you’re having twins”

C3- Wow! You’re HUGE!”

All of these comments were made by women, I might add. Men have been so fantastically complimentary that I feel quite beautiful, thankyouverymuch.

I work with the most wonderful bunch of people…. and frankly they’re closer than most of my genetic family members. I’m your garden variety extremely pregnant woman. My back aches. My ankles are swollen. I get heartburn from a sip of ice water. I’m less than comfortable and beaming with the happiness created by the imminent arrival of a baby I only ever dared to dream I would, could or should have.

My boss is the quintessential perfect big sister…. and she’s younger than me. I work my ass off and provide great service because I love her and I want her to succeed as much as I want to pay my bills and feed my children. She’s so much more than a boss, and even more than just a friend. She’s family, she has faith in me when I’m doubtful and she is the bright smile that greets me each day and waves me home at the end of each night.

My co-servers are my chosen sisters. Women I adore who represent every dynamic and beautiful facet of feminine strength you can imagine. We are more than a team, we are a force to be reckoned with in perfectly pressed black and ever present beaming smiles. We won’t just serve you- we’ll stick in your brain as one of those magic nights you had with your wife, your kids… or yourself. We love what we do and it shows because we work with people we want to spend time with. Our restaurant is not just a fantastic place to eat, it’s an experience with the finest group of happy friends you would want to be part of.

My kitchen boys. Sigh… the same men I had such a weakness for in the past who are so incredibly attractive and dynamic. Not only can they smile your bad day into a giggle… they can cook the perfect steak and make you feel gorgeous in a pair of hot polyester maternity pants. The man behind the swinging door… My sweet Mr. Commitment, bless his heart… is afflicted with the same disease I used to have. He encrusted my steak with pink peppercorn the week I was craving pepper. He makes incredible food look like art… and he wants most what he cannot have. He’s a phenomenal man and deserves an equally incredible woman… he just likes the douchey girls. Bless his heart… I hope he knows at some point how much more he’s worth. Some lucky woman deserves to steal him away from the crappy girls that waste his time.

My favorite, Mr. Perfection blows us all away on a daily basis. Our executive chef next door, who runs his own kitchen… but also comes next door to save us when we need saving. He’s a one-man-miracle, fixing appliances, planning menus and running two separate restaurants with a level of respect and kindness I’ve never seen… and my dad is a chef. He’s the gentle one who wants to know how the night went while making the kitchen fix you dinner after hours. I had a crush on him for years but he’s perennially single and married to the job. The restaurant is his lady and our success is, in many ways; thanks to him. He’s become a dear friend and it’s refreshing to know that not all chefs have traded their souls for cooking skills. They can be good men and good at what they do. He’s proof.

The one sad fact of the job is that sometimes people leave… and my dear King Sushi has left the building. When I got this new job after escaping the hell that was my old job, I walked in to see curly red hair and sparkly mischievous eyes grinning at me. Once upon a time I would have fallen in love with his wicked ways and gotten my heart broken along with all the other girls who couldn’t help themselves… but I love him like a brother and I understand him like a friend. My Little Red loves him just the same, and he’s family in ways few people are to us. Walking in to see an empty spot where he used to be grinning is as much a death in the family as when your oldest goes away to college. He’s a hot head, he’s a red head… he pissed us all off on a regular basis…. and I miss him so much that his absence is the only thing that makes my upcoming work hiatus a little more bearable.

So yeah… my legs ache…. and I may have a few more varicose veins than I did a month ago. I slip into my black clothes, glide some lipgloss on and look forward to every minute of my night with the family I feel so blessed to have found.

They say when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life… and I love being a mother more than anything, but I love my job too.  This job has taught me that when you really have a family… their absence stings.

I’m going back to work after baby Quinn is born, which I never thought would happen. Honestly in my mommy heart, I would rather not… but it’s more than a job. It’s my family, and I love them. They lift me up when I’m heartbroken and hopeless and they have taught me the one thing I struggled so hard to learn about myself.

I’m an amazing server and I kick ass and take names with a wine key. I memorize your favorite things and catalog the shit you hate. I know what you drink, I know which hand you use and I remember your spouse, children and grand-children’s names. I don’t just go to work, I come to serve.

A year to the day I got fired from the worst job I’ve ever had… I am living proof that even the darkest days can give way to days brighter than you ever imagined.

I am reminded not to settle, and would hope my work experience would inspire anyone stuck in a job they hate, with people that make life miserable and don’t appreciate you.  Life is short and time is fleeting.

Do what makes you happy ♥

Blogging, Family, Friends, Happiness, Hope, Love, Truth, Victory!, Yarden

Indomitable

Happiness is free, and thank God too… because unemployment is rather stressful financially.

I’ve had plenty of reason to feel bad. Losing a job I needed to survive, watching people I thought were friends vanish as quickly as the dollars in my wallet and being 86’d for life from a place I’ve worked hard to support.

I’ve been a bitch, but I challenge anyone to tell me they’d react differently if they were walking around in my shoes.

I grew up with The Desiderata on the bathroom wall. At 6 years old I remember reading it every time I brushed my teeth. In high school it really made sense and now? I have my own copy hanging on my own bathroom wall. It’s the foundation of my hippie upbringing, and I find myself swimming in it lately.

I can be wicked hateful, and I arm myself with the details most offensive and use them to my benefit like bullets in my very own verbal arsenal. If I want to kick you where it hurts, you’re going to feel it. I’m one supercilious nightmare when inspired to be.

Which isn’t who I want to be, but who I need to be sometimes.

I take a lot of shit. I swallow a lot of pride. I also return the feeling, tenfold-when you push me too far.

I could ramble on and on with an acid tongue and a thesaurus of hurtful adjectives… but it’s just not who I am or who I want to be.

So they hate me. Oh well. I’m not terribly offended considering the facts on the ground.

So my dear friend is jealous enough to post offensive bullshit on my Facebook wall. Oh well. Jealousy doesn’t inspire me to love anyone, and I’m single. I’m fully entitled to inspire jealousy with absolutely no ramifications and beyond that? I know a man who opens his mouth only to bless me with his kindness and affection. Real words from a real man make jealous insults sting a lot less.

I wish I could say I’m surprised- but I’m not- just like I warned him…

J- You do not want to date me. We’re friends. You’re only going to hate me at some point. Trust me.

Guess who was right…

BUT….

Being hateful only drags me down to their level, something I’ve worked too hard to avoid in the last year.

So I flushed the hateful crap and took my little mangy hounds on a walk. I picked a bouquet of daffodils for the dinner table and hung the sheets on the clothesline. They’re crispy smooth and smell like sunshine and spring time.

I baked some honey wheat bread… and snuggled with my little mangy trio while cracking out on the first season of The Tudors…filling out the millionth job application. I weeded a row in the garden and planted more potatoes. I have about 15 pounds of seed potatoes left to plant… Good lord.

Hi, my name is Jenni and I’m a vegetable hoarder. I come from a beautiful line of hoarding gardeners- and hey… I absolutely loathe store-bought marinara. I may be a size 5 by the end of summer because the garden is out of control weedy…

Bonus! Free daily workout and veggies too? See how it starts? Too much of a good thing is still TOO MUCH.

I’m a little haunted by the silence and boredom in my daily life these days. I had the best interview I’ve ever had in my life yesterday, dinner and a drink with a dear friend last night and another favorite chick sighting this morning.

I know I’m being redundant… but for all the shitty men in my life? I am surrounded by phenomenal women.

My dear friend Miss Wisdom saved me yesterday with truth. Not bullshit flowery nonsense, but real “Get a grip and take your own advice” sort of words. Love her. Love them all…

It takes a real friend to see you making bad choices or flailing. We touched on the sorest of subjects…

W- Why would you go there, when you know he’s there and you know it stings and you know he’s bad for you.

J- I have a crush.

W- You HAD a crush… why would you like anyone who would treat you so poorly?

That applies to so many people in my life right now, it took my breath away. Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment? Either way- it’s a thing of the past, and I’m cutting the bullshit out of my life at record speed.

Life is too short, and it’s too beautiful outside. My garden is all the challenge I need at this point, and my favorite flowers sprouted this morning.

Baby Bells of Ireland, smiling up at me and reminding me that everything is as it should be.

Life goes on- and happier when you cut the nonsense out of your life. More than that, it’s even better when you learn to love yourself first and let the assholes fall where they may in the hurricane of figuring out how to demand respect from people.

Or how to tell them to go fuck themselves.

Either way? I haven’t been so happy in months and I made a few hundred bucks today getting shit out of my garage.

Purging at a profit… now that’s the kind of chaos I can get behind.

Yeah I’m pissed off, offended and insulted- but I’m also single, smart & funny as hell. I’m doing what I need to do and remembering who I really am, now that I’m away from the cancerous source of suffering.

Welcome to the chaos of my fancy schmancy new life. It’s scary uncertain and full of potential disaster, but when I sink to the point I use my words to hurt someone instead of to free myself- I become an asshole like the rest of them.

No hate. No haterade… and most importantly?

No haters.

That right there is quite the victory, if I do say so myself.