May 31, 2013

TILTW: 5.25-5.31

(It's been too long since I've done one of these)

On Sleeping: My girl could quite possibly pull an all-nighter already if I allowed, and, especially if TV is involved. I'm astounded at her ability to watch TV and stay awake. That said, she needs to sleep. We all do. And I've come to terms that she currently only will sleep 9 hours at night. I might try to cut out the nap but I'm afraid. She really needs more than 9 hours of sleep in a day. Not because of anything other than her crappy attitude and demeanor when she doesn't get a good 11 hours in a full day. So I've accepted (relented) that I need to lay with her on school nights in order for her to fall asleep. It's not ideal, but if it gets her to sleep within an hour of bedtime opposed to the minimum two hours we've been dealing with for months, I give. And the thing is, there will come a time--probably sooner rather than later--when she won't even want me in the room with her anymore, let alone lying on the floor telling her stories and singing songs while we hold hands and both fall asleep. She's my baby. Always will be. But she's growing so fast so may as well relish in these peaceful times.

On Learning: Earlier last week, Lovie spelled out S T O P. When I asked her what she spelled (whilst sitting at a stop sign), she said, "Stop." (We're city folk so she's seen plenty of stop signs.) As we drove on, I asked her to spell "Stop" again and she did: "S.T.O.P."  I asked her if she could spell her (real) name and she said no and continued to look out the window. She knows what letter her (real) name starts with but that's about it. Well, yesterday we left school and the skies opened up on us. Driving through a monsoon with a 3 year-old is fun times, oh yes it is. To keep myself calm and not get her fearful of the lightening striking near us, I started asking her to spell things again. She spelled Stop and then I asked her to spell her name. She started with the first letter but that's it (there are 7 letters in her real name, 3 syllables). I started spelling it in a sing-song way. Over and over. She started repeating it. And by the time we got home, she could spell her name. Also, by the time we got home, she could spell Mama and Dad. She's so proud of herself, as am I. She loves learning and proving that she's learning and that elates me. I got her this workbook for PreK kids and pulled it out when we got home. She started tracing the letters. This is SO the time I wish I could be at home with her more during the day. Being a working away from home mom won't stop me from doing these things with her, but I do wish there was more time for it. How thrilling it is to witness your child learn and grow at such a rapid speed. Bittersweet times.

On Growing: Lovie's 4T pants are starting to get short on her. They're way too big around her waist, especially now that she's in undies, but they're getting to be too short. Same with her 4T dresses. I'M NOT READY FOR SIZE 5 YET. I know it's just clothes but jeez kid, SLOW DOWN! Also, her feet. She was in a size 4 shoe forever. Then a 5 forever. Then a 6 forever. Then last year in the summer, she moved into a size 7. In the past two months, I've had to buy her new shoes- size 9!- and pack away a bunch of size 7 and 8's that she's barely worn, if at all! HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN SO FAST?!

On Potty Training: I was always told she'll get it when she was ready. TRUTH. This chica doesn't even need night-time pullups anymore! She even gets up in the middle of the night to pee and goes right back to sleep. LIKE A PERSON!

On Rules: This chica seems to thrive on rules. The other week we went to the grocery store and I experienced the worst tantrum by her ever. Like I was shaking by the end of it as she sat in the car screaming and thrashing about, climbing her way into my hatch and banging on the back window as she shrieked, "LET ME OUT!" All because the store didn't have a kid shopping cart or a large racecar cart for her. All because she either had to walk with me to get the few items we were going for or ride in a regular cart. All because I couldn't magically get what she wanted to appear at that moment. I gave her a couple warnings that if she (the whining and actual crying) didn't settle down, we would have to leave. By the third warning, I had to make good on my promise and that's when she lost her mind. (I believe the entire "episode" lasted about an hour- from the time we got to the store, I got her out, I got myself into the car after calming down, and we got home and she got herself calmed down enough to go in the house.) NOW when we go anywhere, like a store, there are rules that are discussed even before we get there. During the drive, we'll talk about the rules: where we're going, why we're going there, the behavior that will and will not be tolerated. Honest to god, I haven't had a problem since. Granted, it's only been a couple of weeks but now anytime we go somewhere she will ask about the Rules. And she knows... she knows... I will follow through.

May 30, 2013


Been in funk.

And then this happened: MY KID IS ON THE HUFF POST.

It might have something to do with this (from nearly a year ago):

Maybe I'll try brushing her hair out again and seeing how much bigger it is these days for comparison. Nearly 3.5 years old and still haven't even trimmed her hair (though I did have to cut out a dreadlock a couple months back).

May 29, 2013

being an adult sucks ass sometimes.

Monday would've been Oma's 89th birthday. I'd known since she passed two months ago that I'd visit on her birthday. I visited on Mother's Day as well, but the stone wasn't in place as her "end date" hadn't yet been engraved.

Oma purchased the grave site and stone 30-plus years ago when her own parents passed away. She wanted to be in the same cemetery as them and she and my grandfather wanted to be buried next to each other. So purchase a site and stone years before they would pass they did.

I didn't know about any of this till Ota passed away in 2005. That's when I saw that the grave site was wider than most. That's when I noticed the gravestone had both Ota and Oma's names, birth year, and birth city and country already engraved. I'm not sure if Ota's "end date" was already there at his funeral; I just know Oma's wasn't there until just recently.

I've had two months to "get used" to her being gone. It wasn't so bad, truth be told. I'd get waves of emotions, but it just wasn't too bad.

Until Monday.

Until I pulled up to the area where their graves reside.

Until I got out of the car and walked a bit to locate the stone and site.

Until I saw the "end date" under Oma's name.

And that's when I lost it.

I stood at their site for a while, tears streaming down my face and onto my chest, gasping for breath while trying not to scream out loud. I stood there atop the grass and ground above their coffins looking at the engraved stone. The year 2013 under Oma's name wasn't as dirty as the rest of the engraving. Bird poop soiled the stone in a couple areas, quite noticeably in the A in their shared last name. I forgot to bring flowers. Oma loved flowers and I forgot to bring her some. I was pissed at myself. Even though I was constantly told not to get flowers because they'd be removed and tossed when the cemetery closed at night, I still wanted to bring some and I forgot.

Instead there was fucking bird poop on the stone.

Finally I took in a deep breath and exhaled and headed back to the car that held Lovie and Taye. I wanted more time with Oma but, really, what was the point? I can go back another time. Or not. It doesn't really matter. Especially since I forgot the flowers.

"Can we go see doggies now, Mama?" Lovie, barely awake, asked from the back seat.

"Yeah baby," I said putting on my seat belt. "Less go find some dogs."

I let me foot off the brake to coast away and as we were passing their site, Taye asked me to stop for a minute. I could feel him look past me toward their stone from the passenger seat of my car. I just stared ahead and stated, "There's bird poop on the stone."

Then I continued: "I didn't have anything to get it off. And I forgot flowers. I wanted to get flowers for her and I forgot to stop."

"Okay," Taye said.

"I can't believe I forgot the flowers."
"You can go now."

I took my foot off the brake again. Lovie soon closed her eyes to sleep. I drove in silence for several miles.

I'm still pissed I forgot the flowers. And that I didn't have anything to wipe off the damn bird poop. Stupid fucking birds.

May 24, 2013

how Doc McStuffins inspired me

If you're not familiar with the Disney Jr. show and its songs, this won't mean much to you. Just putting that out there.

Doc's patients often break out into song after she fixes them:

I feel better, so much better
Thank you Doc for taking all the ouchies away!

My version not related to the show in any way other than the singing along to the tune of aforementioned song:

I'm so tired, so very hungry
Thank you PMS for taking my sanity away!

May 22, 2013

Joyville { - Fiction - }

My life began with a funeral. I know it sounds kinda crazy but it’s true.

I grew up in Joyville, a small town where everybody knew everybody. Lemonade stands littered the sidewalks, kids scampered about till any remnants of the sun dissipated, buzzing from the swamp creatures miles away could be heard through the dead of night.

We were oh so joyful in Joyville. It even said so on the small dilapidated sign welcoming you to our town on Highway 1.

And when word spread that Miss Margery on Fourth Street was gonna have herself a third baby? Well, Joyville became even more joyous.

It had been years since a baby was born of Joyville parents and the fact that Miss Margery, mom to 8-year-old Timmy and 6-year-old Carol, was no spring chicken… well, it turned this baby into a celebrity of sorts!  

A huge shower was thrown in the Church’s basement where everyone in Joyville came to celebrate Miss Margery and her new baby. We even had us some pink lemonade, 7UP, and raspberry sherbert mixed up all together in a big punch bowl alongside lots of treats all the ladies brought, and played games to guess how many of them little squares of toilet paper it would take to get around Miss Margery’s big belly. (18 squares if you can believe it!)

But then just before Miss Margery was due to give birth, word spread in Joyville that something was wrong with the baby. It wasn’t moving so much and Miss Margery went to the big city’s hospital one day to get everything checked out.

Word was the baby was going to be retarded or something.

You could feel Joyville’s excitement deflate like a popped balloon. You could see it in everyone’s eyes when you walked to the corner store. Still, nothing would compare to what happened next when, just a week or so after her visit to the big city, Miss Margery and her husband drove back into the big city and came home empty-handed.

And empty-bellied.

The baby died inside Miss Margery.

She didn’t know it was dead till she delivered it.  A girl.  I guess the doctors told her it most likely died shortly after the last visit.

They took pictures of the dead baby they named Gracie, and displayed a picture in a silver frame at the funeral at the end of the week.

I didn’t think much of it at first—the funeral of a dead baby. I was sad, naturally, but I didn’t think the funeral would be a big deal.  

But then I saw the tiny coffin.

And I saw Miss Margery and her husband Jack holding onto each other as if they knew that if either of them let the other go, they’d crumble to the floor.

I saw Timmy and Carol sitting in the church pew, heads practically in their laps.

Everyone had tears in their eyes.

It was then that I knew I had to change things. I needed to start living my life because, as they say, life is short.
For some it’s shorter than others.

RIP sweet Gracie.

It's been a while since I've linked up with the Yeah Write Speakeasy folks. I've missed fiction. And while I had no intention of linking up with something so damn depressing... that's what happens sometimes, I guess.

May 21, 2013


I'm a no-frills type of girl. Always have been. I grew up loving soccer and dreamed of being the first female Pele of the world. But my body didn't agree with my heart and by the time I was 10 or so, I looked to be much older.

Melinda, seven years older, was all girl and loved boys. I don't even know how many times I came home from playing outside to see her underneath a boy on the scratchy green couch in our living room. She wore a lot of makeup and tight jeans, and loved getting attention from those of the opposite sex. She used her big boobs (clearly in the genes) to her advantage.

I found it all quite revolting.

I liked boys. I wanted to play with boys. There may have been a few I thought were cute and wouldn't mind kissing. There may have been a few that I did kiss in the alley during the summer months.

But using my body as a means to get their attention was not something I was interested in at all. Not at 10, not at 20, 30, or 40.

I think it had something to do with the undressing glances I would get from 50-year-old men when I was way too young to feel their eyes on me like that.

It didn't stop me from wearing makeup though, which started around 13 or 14. Eye makeup only. Maybe I was hoping that by highlighting my green eyes, I could get attention away from my chest.
As if.

Through the years I've had stages when I’d be all about wearing eye makeup to wearing none. Currently I'm in a no-makeup stage which started when Oma’s health started to decline. And now with these allergies kicking my ass and then some, it's still best to go without.

I probably look like hell to a lot of people. I'm fat (really). I'm short. I don't wear makeup. My clothes are years and years old. I rarely get a professional haircut. And my dark brown hair is being overruled with silver.



I'm sure people look at me and think, "Oh there's another one who's let herself go."

But I’m OK with that. I am. It’s so much easier not to give a shit what others think—especially about my appearance. There’s much bigger fish to fry than whether or not I’m wearing the latest trend.
Really, who fucking cares?

And as for the hair? It’s been a long road, but I’ve come to love my silvers. And good thing, too. Otherwise, I may have taken offense to this drawing Lovie made of me the other day.


It’s official. I’m a blue haired.

May 17, 2013

Food Addiction

Trying not to topple over

while crouching underneath the table to hide

(despite being all alone in the house),

the paranoid, oversized woman

licks honey married with melted butter from her warm biscuits.
~ linking these 33 words up with Trifecta ~

May 16, 2013

the first half of three

While she's not yet officially 3.5, the past almost-five months have provided me with a lot of insight into being THREE. I think.

At first? Woo dog was she kinda intense. She was constantly crying and screaming about any and every little thing and bedtime was about to put me into a mental institute. But then things calmed down and I figured that the intensity of January was a result of the holidays and her birthday being days apart; too much of everything fun, fun, fun came to a crashing halt and someone didn't know how to deal with it. That's what I'm telling myself, at least.

She's still intense, don't get me wrong. But she's also really kinda ... cool.

Unlike this article here, I don't think of her as being an asshole. Irrational at times? ABSOLUTELY.  Asshole? No way. She's three. I mean, I get the reasoning behind the author saying three year olds are assholes and appreciate the humor behind the article, but I just can't do it; I just can't call a three year old an asshole. They don't know enough to be called such.

That all said and done, Lovie's irrationality does crack me up at times. Sure, in the moment, it drives me a little batty, but once she's settled down and--rational--it's funny.

Like last night.

I told her I was making spaghetti for dinner and was slapped with a "NO! I DON'T WANT PASGHETTI!"

I made it anyway and told her it was time to eat. Of course she ignored me until I turned the TV off and then she kissed the cat and skipped into the kitchen. I pretended not to notice her reaction when she sat down to a bowl of "pasghetti." I just acted like she never screamed she didn't want it.

Lo and behold, girlfriend gobbled that shit up like she hadn't eaten in days, moaning in delight after each and every fork-full was stuffed into her hole.

Yeah, I'm not so much a fan of the screaming and dirty looks for the strangest reasons, but she's still learning so much.

I don't know. So far three is intense and irrational at times, but it's also kinda badass-fun, too.

May 14, 2013

and i'm not even PMSing

Unwrapping the foil makes me happy.


Pulling down the paper sides makes me salivate.


Resting the silkiness between my thumb and middle fingers makes me impatient.


Popping it into my mouth makes me calm.


Being deliberate about allowing the sweet and salty to melt into all my senses… Well, that’s just down right electrifying.

come to momma!


linking this bad boy up with the fine folks at Trifecta.

May 13, 2013

if i say it enough i might believe it

“She’s got nobody else,” Taye said to me. “We’re all she has now.”

 “Yeah, I know.”
yeah ... no.

Melinda* is seven years older than me. I was the last one born and Marco is between us. Melinda was never fond of kids. She was sure to tell me this every chance she had: “You’re the reason I don’t like kids.”

It’s not entirely her fault she felt this way. I probably would too if I were forced to constantly babysit my younger siblings; Mama and Papa just put too much responsibility onto her. I get that now.

We were never close.


I tried so many times. And then I just gave up. Wasn’t that long ago when I gave up either, but I did. I kind of stopped caring. Then she got divorced for a second time, and now she lives alone and her drunk of a daughter won’t allow Melinda to see her grandbaby. I know it hurts her. I know she’s human despite not acting like one for so many years. I know it’s all a façade—her strength. I know, deep down, she’s still a little girl in many ways.

But it’s so hard for me to care.


I hosted a baby shower for my BFF/cousin last weekend. Melinda showed up an hour late. She stayed well into the evening despite everyone else leaving hours before her. It was very odd to have her sit there in my home without any other family there besides Taye and Lovie. It was even more odd to watch Lovie latch on to Melinda…something I’ve yearned for Lovie for so long—a real relationship with her aunt. When she finally left (when it was time to get Lovie into bed) I made mention to Taye how weird it was for me to have Melinda there so long after the shower had ended.

“She probably has nothing else to do.”
“Oh I know, but it’s still weird.”


Yesterday Melinda showed up to Lovie’s dance recital after claiming she wouldn’t make it. She showed up, she gave Lovie hugs and kisses after her recital, and then when Lovie saw the flowers in Melinda’s car (intended for our mom for Mother’s Day) and excitedly thought they were for her, Melinda gave the flowers to the tiny dancer with a chuckle and a smile.

We all went to lunch afterward to celebrate Mother’s Day and Lovie’s first dance show. It was a really lovely day. At one point Melinda was walking back to the table and Lovie ran up to her and hugged her legs. I smiled. Melinda held Lovie’s head to her to bring her in closer. Melinda smiled, too.

It was weird though...She’s all alone. She has two adult children, one 13-year-old, and a granddaughter. None of whom she saw yesterday. On Mother’s Day.

How sad is that?

And yet, it’s hard for me to care too much.

A part of me hopes that this is the thing that will bring us closer, but I just don’t know.


I just don’t care.

*Melinda is not her real name


May 8, 2013

girliest girly girl

“Mama I want my hair like that,” Lovie said from the back seat of the car.

“Like what?”

“Like that,” she answered, pointing toward a building we idled next to while at a red light.
I followed her point and saw an image of a woman with her hair all pulled to the back of her head and a big-ass flower holding it all together.

“With a flower,” she added. “A pink one.”

“Oh okay,” I answered. “We can try that some time,” I lied.

When I envisioned having children, I saw them running around kicking a soccer ball. I saw them digging in the mud. And playing with cars. And riding bikes.

this was taken at picture day for her big dance recital. she was woken from a nap to attend and wasn't too happy to wake up. don't let the face fool you--she's enamored by the gaudy costume.
I never once saw them putting on ballet slippers and twirling about in a tutu. I never once saw them playing with baby dolls and loving the color pink. But that’s who Lovie is. She’s ballet and pink and flowers and dollies. She’s all girl. And I love her so much and, truth be told, I’m growing to like the ballet and pink and flowers and dollies, too. I am. But I still can’t help but to think WHO IS THIS CHILD when she oozes girlyness.

dressed all in pink, wanting pink flowers. of course.
It still baffles me how crazy girly she is. I mean, she even now does this high pitched squeal thing when something cracks her up on TV. Just like a girl.

riding her big wheel with her first flower FROM A BOY tucked over her shoulder.
My girl.

My pink-loving, tutu-wearing, not-wanting-to-get-dirty girly girl.

May 6, 2013

how to host a virtual baby shower

When I first realized the baby shower I wanted to host for my BFF (cousin) would be a virtual one, I started to freak a bit. How would we pull this off? I started researching ways to accomplish this--surely I wouldn't be the first to host such an event.

I didn't find too much out there, unfortunately. Seems like most stuff I found involved setting up a blog or Facebook page/event where everyone would log in to see pictures and posts regarding the baby shower. That's not what I envisioned though.

I wanted to host a baby shower. I didn't want the fact that the mom-to-be (MTB) was unable to attend in person to hinder the party. I wanted food, décor, talking, laughing, and belly rubs.

And that's just what happened, thanks to Skype (and our husbands for setting up the Skype stuff which I'm completely oblivious to) and the fact that my BFF's in-laws were throwing her a shower, too.

Having never met, my BFF's sister-in-law and I started communicating via email. At first we were going to try to coordinate both showers--from the invites down to everything. But that was just way too hard and I just didn't have the time, money, or energy for it. So we basically decided to go along the lines of Bees because MTB's baby bedding was bees.

I went a step beyond just Bees and went with Bees, Bugs, Gnomes, Mushrooms... basically a garden-y feel. And all approved by the MTB, of course.

First up were the invites for my portion of the shower in Chicago:

each handmade by me-- thanks to Washi Tape, Michael's, and Hobby Lobby of course. and this Pin that inspired it.

Then, I just expanded from the invites... The décor would be yellow and pink, primarily (like the invites), with spurts of cute bees, bugs, gnomes, mushrooms (all things MTB likes). And flowers because what are bees and bugs without flowers?

I'd seen the clothesline idea before on Pinterest and such so I knew I wanted to incorporate that. But I also needed a little more than just that, without going too crazy. So, also thanks to Pinterest, I discovered tissue pom flowers and streamer backgrounds.

Anyway, commence the pictures...

The room set up:
click to enlarge-- taken with my cell phone. the Skype camera is on top of the TV and their view would be of the food table and streamers, which is why I put the streamers there- they are actually covering three canvases of me, Taye & Lovie.

Clothesline in better detail, photos taken with a real camera:
All clothes are Carter's-- 12 months to 24 months. A couple Gerber bibs and a couple pair of Circo socks to balance it out.
Tissue pom flowers in better detail, photos taken with a real camera:
made all these myself thanks to this pin. I grouped them together onto a big box top and then pinned that into the wall.

Food table in better detail, photos taken with real camera:
I created the Menu right before the shower-- Washi tape and leftover paper from the invites to the rescue!

The fruit skewers:
I knew I'd serve fruit, but I didn't want just a bowl of fruit; I wanted to add height to the table and when I saw this basket at Goodwill, it just came to me. Styrofoam sits inside the basket, which is then jammed with the skewers I created, very easily.

Guest sign-in book:
Like the menu, I created the note for the book very last minute with a leftover invite. I wanted to have guests leave a note or wish inside a baby book of sorts... since we're all here in (or near) Chicago, I was elated to find a Chicago "baby" book to complete the plan.

How the virtual baby shower really gets pulled off--SKYPE!
Honestly, this could've only worked out better had they been in Chicago. It was a little different, yes, but it was still a baby shower and it was really a lot of fun!
The fabulous cake:
Oh Wow was I happy with the way this turned out. MTB is a big fan of cupcakes but because she wouldn't be at our portion of the shower in person, I figured I could save some money by getting a cake. And I was right and WOW was it yummy. I made the order over the phone two days before the shower and just prayed it would turn out- and it did, I think. I mean, I couldn't stop talking about how cute it was. And then when we cut into it? (While gifts were still being open in Pennsylvania-- a plus to doing a virtual shower if you ask me {being able to eat and stuff without disturbing the gift opening}) There was only six adults and we finished 3/4 of it, it was THAT tasty. Thank you Mariano's!

My pride and joy, the edible flower favors:
Ack, these turned out SO well. Yes, they're a little top heavy and they would probably look even better with shorter sticks, but whatever. They look and tasted awesome. They go along with the theme (what are bees and bugs without flowers, huh??). The colors match. I made them myself!! They weren't that hard or expensive. I adore them so! Thanks to this pin and this one and this one for the inspiration.

Overall this was a really fun experience for me. I actually enjoy having parties at my place... and seeing this all come together was just amazing. And again, the only way this could've been better was if the MTB (and Daddy to be) would've been there in person.

Now I get to box all this stuff up and ship it out to her before Sunday-- her first Mother's Day! And in a little over a month, maybe we can Skype again to see the new baby!


May 2, 2013

a month later

It happens in the strangest places at the strangest times. This morning, for instance, I was in the shower when I thought about it: Oma's last breaths.

For the most part, I'm really OK with everything. She was 88. She lived a long life. She loved her life when she was a small child. She loved her family more than anything. She lived through hell many times over. She survived so many revolting obstacles. And she did it all with a smile on her face. Almost always.

So really, I'm OK she's gone. Because she wasn't living at the end. She was just a pile of skin and bones. Literally. It was so incredibly difficult to see her there at the end. I spent the first part of this year with a headache nearly every single day because thinking about seeing her like that or actually seeing her like that, made me ill. I prayed for her death. And I'm not a pray-er. But I prayed and I asked you to pray.

So for that I'm really OK she's gone.

But then. Every once in a while I get this wave of sadness. Debilitating sadness. Like a tidal wave crushing me. It doesn't last too long, but it's there. In that moment it's there and for that moment I feel like I can't breathe. I feel like I have to remind myself that she's the one who is gone and I need to keep breathing.

"Are you excited to see Grandma on Saturday?" I asked Lovie this morning as we talked about how today is Thursday and tomorrow, Friday, is when she can bring something to school for show-and-tell, and then it will be Saturday when Grandma will come over for a baby shower I'm hosting.

"Yeah and Oma too?"

"No, baby. Only Grandma."

Mother's Day is going to be a bit rough I suspect. As will her birthday (end of May). But I know it all will get a bit easier. I won't ever forget. If I'm lucky, Lovie won't either. But it will get easier. The crushing sensation will subside. I suspect.