Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ball dropping....

Can you say "I dropped the ball on that one?"...... As I drew near the 100 mark of my project, I knew that my mental exhaustion was winning the battle and that my "project" would come to an abrupt halt. What I didn't know was how great it would feel to actually not think about it for a while.

So now that I have not thought about it for over a month, I guess I need to re-evaluate where I'm taking this site. Project 365 is now out of the question, as I so lamely flaked out. But the posting must forge on. Even though gearing back up to start brainstorming entries again is almost like getting back into a work-out regiment after being lazy for three months (hell, I guess I have to look at that part of my life again too), I am glad to finally hit that blog-post "bookmark" button at the top of my screen and actually start typing. I've missed you oh keeper of my thoughts.

It goes without saying that my life has been full these past several weeks, what with Thanksgiving, family outings, playdates, and working my ass off. I live for this time of year. The cold weather, the holiday decorations, the Christmas music on the radio (yep, I listen to it happily), and the ever so shrinking bank account. Isn't it wonderful? I could care less that I barely have a pot to piss in. I will stretch that pot for as far as the eye can see, just to enjoy this awesome time of year. I'm a Christmas nerd, proudly. I put up our tree the weekend before Thanksgiving. I started listening to B98.5 the minute they switched. We attended a night-time Christmas parade. We had Breakfast with Santa. We rode in a hay ride with Mrs. Claus. We played in the snow (at Christmas, even a dusting of snow counts.) And we have lots more to come. So far, I would rank this holiday season as almost perfect.

The one thing that makes this year "interesting"? This is the first year we're not a family. The boys don't notice it as much as I do. Hell, I don't even think their dad notices it as much as I do. But right now, it doesn't matter. We are the same two people we were when we actually lived together. And maybe that's why this is easier than I thought it would be. I am completely happy. My boys are, too, I hope. This Christmas season will be just as amazing, if not more, as every other year I've been in love with it.

Happy Living All!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Project 365: Day 99 - And Off She Goes....

Looks like I'm flying out again tomorrow for business. My boss comes to ask if I can go and, once again, there was no way I was going to say "no." I actually kind of already anticipated that they might ask me to go again this week. That's why I made arrangements with the boys' dad to have them one extra night this past weekend. Flying out on a late flight just to spend one evening in another city and the entire next day in seminars and training sessions is well worth it when my reward was spending all that quality time I got with my boys.

My babies called me tonight before they went to bed as they do every night they are with their dad. It's hard for me to believe that they're five now. But then they open their mouths and they speak like they're 10. I exaggerate of course. But the conversations we have now are so colorful and animated and the investment they have in whatever they're talking about is like I'm right there in front of them. I never want to rush to get off the phone. Our four or five days a week fly by in a flash and that makes the phone calls all the more precious. I could talk to them for hours.

I'm already looking forward to their phone call tomorrow night. I'll be in another town, a thousand miles away. I'll tell them about my ride in the airplane. Peanut will tell me all about the pet name his teacher, Mrs. Alicia, has for him: "_____y poo" . (leaving it blank for obvious reasons.) And Big E will explain to me how General Greibus (Star Wars character - that's how we pronounce it) is a bad guy and how Dark Badar (again, our pronunciation) is a bigger bad guy. I could listen to them forever. I actually need to buy a tape recorder so that I can just record their voices. Listening as Peanut learns to say million (mill-ee-on) and Big E as he struggles with his S's, well..... there's no sound on earth that's sweeter. Music to my ears.

Hopefully travel will not become a regular thing. But if it does, I might have to invest in one of those cameras for my computer or learn how to skype.

99 of 365: Since my sweet boys are not with me tonight, I pulled a couple more favorites from the archives....

Good Night All!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Project 365: Day 98 - Ours, Not Mine....

Often times I feel as though my posts are bordering generic and I feel guilty. Almost as if I'm posting simply to be posting. And truth be told, that is probably the case. There are a great deal of things that I think about opening up about and then I change my mind, wondering if I have a right. After all, the things that happen in my life don't just happen to me alone. There are other people involved and I have to be sensitive to those people in my life.

I have a feeling many other bloggers go through this same tug of war. Do we write about everything or do we compromise our art for the sake of being considerate? Sometimes it's not even about the privacy of other people but rather the idea of becoming a true "open book." Do I really want to air all of my dirty laundry to the world? Who does that help? Me? My children? Strangers I'll never meet?

About two weeks ago, the boys' father finally asked me about my site. Keep in mind, I've been doing this for over two and a half years. Posting about me and my children and uploading photos for the whole world to see. He was concerned that I was serving our children up to strangers, more specifically "very bad" strangers. And to be perfectly honest with you, I never really looked at it that way. Does that make me a bad mother? I actually started feeling guilty that the thought never crossed my mind. How could it not? Society is so full of really bad people and the internet can, at times, be a cesspool of scum (present company not included, of course.)

I know exactly what my mom is saying right now.... "don't let this deter your momentum, don't let this stop you from doing what you enjoy and what you've spent years cultivating." I absolutely agree with her, but you know what? I actually agree with him too. His concern, albeit a couple of years late, is warranted. These are not just my children. They are our children and if he wants to be concerned about how I display them to the world, well, then he has a right to.

I guess I'm writing about this because if I choose to stop posting every single night, it will not be because he asked me to. He actually didn't. Again, this is a man of very few words and the fact that he even opened about his concerns, well, that surprised me and, at the same time, impressed me. He simply asked me about it and said that he felt uneasy. He never told me to quit doing it. I don't think he would ever do that. But he did ask if I could make it private, so that only people I knew would be able to view it. My response was.......... "I don't think I want to do that."

So it's not like I'm completely ignoring his concerns. I hear them and I share them. But if I made my site private, I would feel like I was defeating the purpose of my site. Which is to share a story about a mom who was blind-sided by separation and the loss of her marriage, but who is learning to cope with her new life as a single parent. If I hide that story from the people who might actually be looking for proof that they are not alone in their own journey, then I would be turning my back on one of the reasons I do it. I write my story for three reasons: for me, for my boys, and for the countless other single moms who need to know they have a family and that there is a more pleasant side to divorce.

I still have not decided whether or not I will end my "Project 365" at day 100. But if I do, know that the choice was mine for the reasons I stated last night. I don't want this to become work. I want this to still be an outlet and a place I can go when what I'm experiencing as a single mom is relevant. I may not post every night, but you can bet your ass that a two and half year project will not simply cease. And who knows, maybe I'll change the name from "Project 365" to "100 Days with Peanut and Big E."

I will actually not be posting a photo tonight. My boys and I were too lazy to take pictures. But we did have a great weekend, lounging around in pjs, baking cookies and watching movies for the past two days.

Good Night All!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Project 365: Day 97 - Decisions, Decisions......

As I draw closer to my 100th post, I've found myself contemplating ending my "project" there. I honestly, feel like I have gone a great deal farther than I ever thought I would. I guess that goes against my optimistic views, haha. But honestly speaking, I never thought I would consistently post every night (with the exception of that one night).

Material is easy to come by with two boys and I have a massive vault of photos to choose from. I think my biggest challenge comes on days when single parenthood has wiped me out. I have only four nights a week with my boys. I usually spend as much quality time with them as I can and therefore, I put off posting until after they're in bed. Of course, I usually pass out with them which requires me to wake up dazed and confused around 11:30. I stumble down stairs, because I have a commitment to keep damn it. And I'm not going to let myself down.

I love posting. I love having a digital journal that I can actually print and maybe one day, my boys will want to read it. I love connecting with other single parents. I love reading comments from dear friends that encourage my every move. But when something starts to feel like it's becoming work rather than a creative outlet or a passion, then I usually take that as my cue to move on.

I haven't made my decision yet. I may stick this thing out for the next 265 days. But if I do decide to move in a different direction, I will not be disappointed in myself. 100 days is a lot of days. And if I decide to write once a week, I think I may give myself the opportunity to be more creative and more insightful.

Stand by......

97 of 365: One of my all-time favorites...

Good Night All!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Project 365: Day 96 - And the Weekend of "Nothing" Begins...

I honestly think that I should have been a detective. Maybe I was a detective in a former life or something. Because I love a juicy case to solve. You know I work for a law firm, but not a criminal defense attorney or assistant D.A. It's a real estate firm, so not much investigating opportunity there. But every now and then I get a sweet dilemma or mystery that needs figuring out. And today was one of those days. Of course, I cannot go into detail about the merits of the case. I love my job too much to risk anything of the sort. But I will say that today was just one of those days that my former life crossed paths with my present one.

Tonight my boys and I started our weekend of "nothing" with a little Mickey D's (what!... no cooking is ok on the weekend of "nothing"), a little Scooby Doo Haunted House, an overly long session of sorting plastic dinosaurs and finally a Ben 10 marathon. But somewhere in the middle of all that, my boys wanted me to take pictures of them close-up. Ok.... I lie. I wanted to take pictures of them. But they always happily indulge me.

96+ of 365: faces.......

Good Night All!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Project 365: Day 95 - Quality Time.....

I cannot begin to tell you how much I'm looking forward to this weekend. This will be the first one without a million plans AND my first weekend home in several weeks. Needless to say, I am super behind with house stuff, but I will be taking full advantage of every second I have with just my babies. I love family time and birthday parties and school functions. But I also love quiet weekends where the three of us are in charge of our schedule and we have no where we have to be.

95 of 365: Quality time is absolutely priceless.....

Pumpkin patch at age four

Good Night All!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Project 365: Day 94 - Welcome Home Mama.....

Traveling is tough. Especially when its one quick night and all the pillows in youe hotel room are down pillows.

94 of 365: But I did get to come home to lots of candy and my sweet babies...

Good Night All!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Project 365: Day 93 - business trips....

I don't love flying. But yesterday, my boss called me into her office and asked if I could join her and the partners on a one night business trip. I certainly was not going to say "no". Even if it does mean that I have to go one extra day without seeing my boys. Hopefully they will understand. Success in my career is success for them too. I work hard so that I can provide for them the way they deserve. Even if it means flying when I don't love flying.

I'm in a decent hotel but with no wifi. So I am entering this semi-post through my iPhone therefore no photo tonight. See you guys with an update tomorrow hopefully.

Good Night All!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Project 365: Day 92 - The Power of Positive Relationships....

This weekend was one of those amazing weekends that you just want to freeze in your brain for the rest of your life. I can't begin to tell you how much I love spending joyous times with my boys. And this weekend was no exception. And I was able to do it with the boys' father in a harmonious fashion. Which always makes things easier.

As a single parent you realize that your relationships with the people around you are extremely important. You need certain support levels that you might not seek as a married couple or dual parent household. I lean on my parents for a great deal of support and therefore I always make sure our relationship is in check. Which doesn't take much effort. My parents have always been major supporters of me and I will always be eternally grateful for that.

I also lean on my friends for their ears and their shoulders when things get rough and I need someone outside my regular "go to" mama. It takes a little more effort keeping those relationships in check because the work needed on both sides of the equation can become harder with busy schedules and differing lifestyles. But I always do my part and my friends are amazing for doing theirs.

Being able to have a "harmonious (as I earlier put it) relationship with the boys' father can take a little more effort than all of the above, but it is one of the most important relationships I have to focus on. I know that there are so many people out there who wear the "single parent" name tag that don't have the level of harmony with their former significant others as I have with mine. Of course, I'm not going to lie and say that everything between us is great, because if it were, well, I wouldn't actually be writing this right now. I would be back in my home with my boys at this very moment. There are many things that we disagree on. Some of them having to do with how we raise our children, but most of them having to do with our own personal relationship with each other.

And even though we may never see eye to eye again on our feelings about our marriage or ourselves, we will always bring forth a harmonious front for our children. And the "front" will never be faked or forced. We love spending time with them and we love making them happy. We weren't able to do it together as husband and wife, but we know we have the opportunity to do it together as friends and parents. I will always hold on to that and appreciate the fact that we are strong enough and mature enough to agree at least on that.

This weekend we, as a team, enjoyed a day at Six Flags with the boys, and then another day planning and hosting their birthday party. I had fun. He had fun. And most importantly.... the boys had fun. We will never agree on everything, but we will always love our boys.

92 of 365: Here's to you, Batman and Robin!!!

Good Night All!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Project 365: Day 91 - HAPPY HALLOWEEN!....

Another successful Birthday / Halloween weekend for the books!!

91 + of 365: Happy Birthday my sweet boys. Once again, we had an amazing time celebrating with you!

Good Night All!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Project 365: day 90 - Apologies....

So I guess I have to start out with an apology. Not necessarily to you. You probably don't care that I missed a days post. But I do need to apologize to myself for faltering on a commitment I made to post everyday for a year. But hell...... Who am I kidding? I'm a single mom who was damn exhausted last night and passed out at 9 with her son. If I miss a post once every 90 days, I'm not going to beat myself up over it.

All I want to say now? HAPPY BiRTHDAY BOYS!!!!!! Mama loves you more than you wil ever know!

90 of 365: Unfortunately blogger is having issues again allowing a photo. I will revise tomorrow.

Good night all!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Project 365: Day 89 - Preparing for the Weekend.....

The next few days are going to be hectic, hectic, hectic. But I'm totally looking forward to all of it. Tomorrow - Fall Carnival at boys' school. Saturday - heading to Six Flags for the boys' birthday. Sunday - Halloween and the boys' birthday party! You won't hear a whole lot from me in words, but the pictures will come!

89 of 365: Brothers and Best Friends....

Good Night All!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Project 365: Day 88 - "It's sometimes difficult to think clearly when you're strapped to a printing press." - Batman

Having a birthday the day before Halloween forever sentences you to a life of Halloween costume birthday parties. I even vowed that this year I would not do a Halloween party for their birthday. They wanted a Batman theme party. They've talked about it and planned it for the past six months.

So, when I told their dad that we would have their "non-halloween" birthday party on their actual birthday, the 30th, he surprised me by disagreeing. Normally he just goes with the flow without much of an opinion when it comes to things like that. But not this year. He really wanted to have their birthday on Halloween. Not because he just loves this holiday, much to the contrary actually. He won't even dress up no matter how many times I begged him over the years. No, he just said that he likes the idea of the boys having all their friends there to go trick or treating with them. It was actually hard for me to disagree.

But I did stand my ground on one crucial point. This would NOT be a Halloween themed party with spiders hanging from the ceiling, lighted pumpkins everywhere, pumpkin shaped birthday cakes, or ghost covered paper lanterns scattered about. Nope. This is going to be a Batman party. Invitations, paper products, treat bags and even the boys themselves will be based on the classic super heroes.

We were going to make it a "family" affair with Big E as Robin, Peanut as Batman, myself as Batgirl or Robinette, and the dad as the Joker (quite fitting as the bad guy, huh? Of course, getting him in it would be a whole 'nother battle). So, the family cartoon would have been great. Unfortunately, I'm not in the tramping mood this year and therefore feel it is inappropriate for a 37 year old mom to wear the hoochy mama costumes they have the nerve to advertise as Batgirl or Robinette. Honestly, the Batgirl costume is not sooo bad, but they make it out of some cheap looking patent pleather that looks more like something I would wear to a fetish bar than to a child's birthday party. And Robinette? Yeah, it has "holy horny, Batman!" written all over it. Not gonna happen.

So what did I opt for? Well, it had to be something that was child appropriate, figure forgiving, and possibly suitable for work (in case I get lucky enough that they allow dressing up this year). So I settled on a super cute Hobo Clown number I actually found at Wal-Mart. And it's not the dumpy oversized hobo that your mom made you wear in elementary school. It's really very cute and figure flattering to boot! And yes, pictures will be shared following the holiday.

So, while I may have won the battle on Batman favors over Halloween cupcakes, I will forever lose the war within myself in which I surrender to wear a costume. How could I ever turn myself down??

88 (a,b,c) of 365: A family that Halloweens together stays together.....
Pictures from the boys' 3rd Halloween themed Birthday party......

Gorgeous mom as a dark fairy...

Awesome dad as the best Batman ever...

Me as a witch (without my hat) and the sweetest sister in the world as a pirate.

Good Night All!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Project 365: Day 87 - Where are you?......

A great deal can happen to a person in five years. I look back five years ago and wonder "could I have ever imagined being where I am today?" And the answer, of course, is no. But I guess every person on the face of the earth can say the same thing. No matter how much you try to plan for your life, it just doesn't work that way.

I was blessed to be introduced to two amazing boys five years ago. With them came unimaginable love and understanding that I didn't even know I was capable of feeling. Love is an obvious choice of words. But understanding? You may ask why I chose that particular word. The problems in my marriage didn't start a year ago when I decided to move out or even four years ago when I decided to start taking anti-anxiety medication. Our problems started long before these two amazing children entered our lives. They started before the idea of children even came into play.

So why did I stay for so long in a relationship that was bound to end up this way? I don't usually try to ask myself that question. Because to ask would be to discredit "their" existence. It doesn't matter anymore what happened or when it happened or why it happened. All that matters is that I did stay and thankful for that I will always be. That is what I understand.

I am a firm believer that things happen for reason. I know. I know. What a cliche. But isn't it true? Can't you look at your own life, and the circumstances that came to be because of decisions you made at some point or another, and say "hey, that happened for this reason?" The place in which we stand today exists because of the road we chose to take, for better or for worse. And the "reason" may not be something we can see clearly right now, but it will come into our view sooner or later. That is what I understand.

I started seeing clearly five years ago. And although my present situation may not be the ideal one, I know that the what, when and why doesn't matter except to show me that I am exactly where I'm supposed to be. That is what I understand.

This weekend I will celebrate the day that God opened my eyes five years ago. They are the reason for every road I have chosen to travel down my entire life. Those choices didn't start the day I married their father. Those choices started long before I even met him. That is what I understand.

87 of 365: Everything in my life happened for this reason:

Boys 4th Birthday

Good Night All!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Project 365: Day 86 - Mondays....

I'm not a big fan of Mondays.

86 of 365: But I am huge fan of them......

Good Night All!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Project 365: Day 85 - A Perfect Weekend.....

I am home from the weekend at my parent's. The house is quiet and will be until Tuesday night. I have too many bags to unpack and too much laundry to do. So I'm going to keep it short tonight. I had a great weekend and I slept far too much (who knew prescription cough syrup had Hydrocodone in it???) My mom was awesome by letting me sleep almost the entire weekend. My dad was so precious for washing my car! And my sister was the best play date to the boys.

It's going to be tough not going back every single weekend.

85 (+) of 365: a perfect weekend....

Good Night All!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Project 365: Day 84 - Mimi Blogger....

I like to walk with Mimi.
Her steps are short like mine.
She doesn't say "Now hurry up."
She always takes her time.

I like to walk with Mimi.
Her eyes see things like mine do.
Wee pebbles bright, a funny cloud,
And hidden drops of dew.

Most people have to hurry.
They do not stop and see.
I'm glad that God made Mimi,
Unrushed and young like me.

My grandkids wrote this poem for me. Well, it was really Raina Paina. She wanted to change it up a bit tonight and, well.... I've never blogged before. By the way - I'm Mimi, guest writer for Day 84 - my one and only appearance.

What a wonderful weekend at Mimi's house. And we all know..... What happens at Mimi's........ stays at Mimi's.

84 of 365: Pumpkin carvin' with Mimi and PaPaw.

Good Night All!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Project 365: Day 83 - Family Roast...

I have to say that this evening is one of the most enjoyable evenings I've had in a very long time. We decided that, since the boys' dad was going to be out of town this weekend and I would get the joy of having my babies until Sunday night, we would spend the weekend with Mimi and PaPaw and Aunt C. Of course the boys love any excuse to head west and, well, I do too. It's crazy how preparing the three of us to spend the weekend at the grandparents is almost like packing up for a month long road trip. This morning I left the house with a total of five bags. One for my clothes, one for the boys' clothes, one for my computer and camera stuff, one for food I wanted to bring and one for miscellaneous items I either needed to return to mom or flat out give to her. I'm amazed I even remembered the boys with all the stuff packed in the back of the car.

After arriving, Dad and I went to the grocery store to pick up a few various items, but most importantly the marshmallows! Daddy spent the afternoon getting the fire pit set up and wood chopped so that we could all roast marshmallows surrounding a warm fire under a full moon. And boy was that moon amazing. Bright and beautiful and almost close enough to touch. It lit up the swing set perfectly providing just enough light to encourage the boys higher and higher.

I'm still recovering from my bizarre bout of pneumonia, but it didn't stop me from laughing until the muscles in my stomach burned and I thought I would cough up a lung. Mom, Dad, sister and myself all sat back as Peanut and Big E provided an endless amount of entertainment, sneaking up behind us in the darkness, giggling and whispering and then jumping out at us with a loud roar and infectious laugh. Of course, we pretended to be scared out of our pants and that just made them want to do it over and over again.

Peanut and Big E were not totally into roasting the marshmallows and once they were done swinging by moonlight and scaring our pants off, they retreated back to the house and Dad joined them to rest on the couch. My mom, sister and I stayed out in the cool fall air, poked the fire to higher flames and talked of scary movies. I hate horror flicks myself, but my mom and sister love them. Funny how talking about things like blood and guts and cutting your own foot off to live (yeah, apparently from the movie Saw) can turn into the most enjoyable laughter I've experienced in a very long time.

The air was cold and the fire was warm and we all smelled like camp smoke and my stomached ached from laughter and I can't remember the last time I had this much fun. Tomorrow we hunt for pumpkins and maybe we can add a little chocolate to the marshmallows at tomorrow night's roast.

83 of 365: I am sad that I left my camera cable on my kitchen counter, otherwise I would have a wonderful family campfire photo to share. But I am happy that, instead, you have the pleasure of enjoying mom's sexy boots and sexy legs. Seriously mom......... S-E-X-Y!

Good Night All!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Project 365: Day 82 - Dope and Dinosaurs...

After a conversation with my mom this morning on my way to drop the boys off at school, I decided to go see the doctor. I had actually started feeling much better. But the lingering cough worried my mom and in turn worried me. So after leaving the school, I headed over to see the doc. After he found out my fever had gotten so high and then listened to my chest, he ordered a chest X-ray. Luckily he said my chest looked clear, but he was pretty certain that I did not have the flu earlier this week, but rather a bout of pneumonia. WTH???!!

I mean pneumonia's a pretty big word and not something you usually hear in such a nonchalant fashion. It was as casual as if he were telling my tag was sticking out of the back of my shirt . "Yeah, I'm pretty certain you had pneumonia. But you're a pretty fit and healthy young lady." What? Those two sentences don't even go together. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't people die from pneumonia? I mean I'm sure their pneumonia was FAR worse than mine, but still......

So he wrote two prescriptions, which I promptly got filled immediately upon leaving his office. Once the drugs were in my hand, I then promptly fled to my car where I cried over how much they cost. I'm not kidding. I literally cried. So much so that the people passing by my car must have thought my cat died or something. But I gained my composure and carried on with my day, telling myself these damn drugs better work.

It is now 9 pm and I feel great! Yes, I know I've only had one dose, but I honestly feel better. Maybe it's because I feel like I conquered a serious illness without evening knowing I was at battle with it. Maybe it's because I'm kinda doped up right now. Or maybe it's because I'm thoroughly enjoying my view.

82 of 365: Seriously...... this cuteness can cure any ailment......

Good Night All!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Project 365: Day 81 - Dreaming of Bald Men.....

The toughest part about being so sick for the past couple of days was not the over 102 degree temperature, it wasn't the cold chills and back aches, not the fact that I couldn't breathe, or the severe lack of sleep. Nope. The toughest part was having to go one extra day without seeing my children. Usually they are back in my arms by Tuesday afternoon. But the risk was far too great. So with dad they stayed. I still haven't gotten used to my three childless nights, and throwing one more in the mix is uber tough. But I knew it was for the best. Hell, I was so sick I didn't know what time it was let alone what day it was.

But today, I woke up a new woman. Almost. I would say I'm back to 80%. And compared to 36 hours ago, that IS a new woman. The last 20% will consist of being able to fully breathe through my nose. I HATE sleeping with my mouth open. That is the worst gummiest feeling ever!

So thank you to all my well wishing friends. And to my parents, who I think were slightly disappointed they couldn't come take care of me. I am just happy to have my babies back in my overly sanitized arms and a house that smells like Mr. Clean. Now if only that big bald man would just jump out of the picture and do some serious cleaning in this house, I would say 110% could be on the horizon.

A girl can dream.......

81 of 365: Happiness is naturally feeling high as a kite...

Good Night All!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Project 365: Day 80 - Mamas and Babies....

When babies get sick, the first and only thing they want is their mama. Moms take care of us like no one else can. They provide the love and nurturing a child needs when nothing else works. And I will be the first to say that when we get sick, we need our mamas no matter what our age. For the past couple of days I have been battling the flu and my precious mom has begged me to let her come stay with me to take care of me. And although I would love nothing more than my mama to come do what she does best, I knew I couldn't risk getting her sick too. But I sure do love her and daddy for offering to risk their own health just to come take care of their baby girl.

Being sick as a single parent is very different. You wouldn't really think anything of it, until it happens. When there are two parents in the house, you at least have one taking care of the other. But when you are alone, you just have yourself. I am truly thankful that they boys' daddy is taking care of them until I get well. There is one benefit to this living situation and that is at least I'm not exposing my boys to whatever crappyness I'm suffering from right now. But even still, it adds a level sadness to be in a house all by yourself when you're so sick. You have no one to bring you juice or medicine or cook you soup or grilled cheese. And when you feel as terrible as I have, the thought of getting up and doing it yourself is, at times, unthinkable.

I know that my parents offered to come take care of me and if I wake up tomorrow feeling the same way, I might have to take them up on it. But I think I'm on the road to recovery. The fever is gone and I can actually breath through one nostril. Let's hope this sticks throughout the night. I have no choice but to be positive that it will.

80 of 365: Babies need Mamas.........

Good Night All!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Project 365: Day 79 - Feelin' Pretty Good... Wait, What??..

About three weeks ago, I got the flu shot. Before kids, I never got the flu shot. But with them in school around other sick kids and the fact that we do get the boys' their shots, I knew it as the smart choice to get poked myself. And lucky for me, my company provided the shots for us this year. I guess they would rather pay the $25 each for the shot than pay the insurance premiums and the paid time off when their employees call in sick with the flu. Makes sense to me.

Today I came home from the office with a 102.3 fever. What the hell!!!???? I started feeling a little under the weather yesterday, runny nose and coughing. As today went on, I got slowly, but most definitely worse. And by the time I dragged myself up the stairs of my house, I knew this wasn't a good sign. So I pulled down the boy's ear thermometer and as I placed it in my ear, the things was beeping before I even hit the button. It's the kind that gives out this alert beep notifying you of a fever without even having to look at the numbers. But when I read the numbers 102.3, I was shocked. I can't even remember the last time my temperature was that high. The shot was supposed to protect me from the flu, not give it to me!!!

So, how am I up at 11 typing my blog entry, you ask??? I'm drunk on NyQuil. You think I'm kidding......

79 of 365: There are two kinds of photos that are my favorite: my boys sleeping and my boys in costumes. It's a rare treat to get them both at the same time... Nite nite Spiderman and Buzz....

Good Night All!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Project 365: Day 78 - Creativity..

Sorry guys. Tonight is going to be a lazy night for me.

78 of 365: Peanut is two in this shot and he truly personifies the art of sleeping anywhere....

Good Night All!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Project 365: Day 77 - Thrifty Ideas.....

So I had a revelation tonight. For years I have shopped thrift stores for my kids. With twins, looking for money saving ideas is always a must. When I found out that I could trade in their clothes at the local Kid to Kid thrift shop I was elated! So now, every season I take in their old clothes and trade them in for a whole new wardrobe. It is a huge money saver and my kids would probably have to wear the same outfit two or three a times a week if I had not started this trend.

So why, I ask myself, could the same not apply to me? And therein lies my revelation. Tonight I started a new addiction. I found this great thrift shop down the street from my home and it's not just for kids! I walked in not knowing really what to expect. Probably crappy worn out clothes that I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. But much to my surprise, I couldn't have been more wrong. Rows and rows of slightly worn clothing lay out in front of me and I knew I was in for a real treasure hunt. Brand names were plentiful and some items still have the original tags on them.

Yes, the clothing was organized by color and season and type. And there was no division by size, but flipping through hanger after hanger created an excitement I wasn't expecting. These weren't off brands you'd never heard of. These were BCBG, Kenneth Cole, Express, Gap, Banana Republic, and the list goes on and on. Of course, you definitely came across clothes that looked like they came from 18 seasons ago or the quadruple extra large that you could fit six of yourself in, but mostly I would wear this stiff.

And I'm a window shopper. A therapy I took to a long time ago, but it calms me to sift through hundreds of items just to find that one magnificent piece. And what's great about this particular thrift shop is that it isn't one of your high end thrift shops that still have pricey tags. These are great finds under five dollars. I bought a spiderman shirt for the boys for $1.29. I found an Old Navy sweater for my sister with the original tag still attached. And a Kenneth Cole skirt for myself that looked like it had never been worn.

As a single parent, this is a gem of a find. This economy is hitting everyone hard and I no longer have the luxury of a dual income family. The days of mall shopping are well behind me. But the thrift store experience is a change I welcome with open arms.

77 of 365: Tonight's little treasure finds.....

Good Night All!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Project 365: Day 76 - Harsh Truths....

The honesty and innocence of children amaze me. Their words ring true without a hint of hesitation. For hesitation is only something we learn as we get older and we realize that sometimes truths are not as gentle as we hope them to be. So we have to tread lightly when speaking words of pure honesty because we know those honest words may be falling on sensitive ears.

I know that most mothers can relate to the random, and often all too loud, "mama, why is her face so bumpy" or "her pants look like an elephant." My own first personal experience came from my younger brother. 12 years my junior, when I was in high school he was barely out of the toddler years. These seem to be the pinnacle years when such "slips" of honesty occur. We were at the hair salon and he loudly exclaimed, "Your hair is white on top and black in the middle!" If you couldn't guess, he was referring to my dark roots.......and he made sure the entire salon knew it. Mortified teenage I instantly became.

So far I have been lucky that my kids have not embarrassed me to the point of full on retreat. Actually the only incident that comes to mind happened in the waiting room at the pediatric dentist and there was this nice looking gentleman sitting across from me and Peanut. And for whatever reason, my Peanut lifted his hand, pointed his tiny finger at said nice gentleman and he yelled "Look mama. He is black!" Now, calling a black person black is not anything a person should be worried about. My children have black friends and discussing the differences between the races was not a discussion we have ever had, because I didn't think it was necessary.

So Peanut exclaiming this truth loud and proud shouldn't have prompted anything from me. But my foot was determined to enter my mouth whether I wanted it to or not. As I gently pulled Peanut's hand down from his solid pointing gesture, I gently said "yes honey, some people are black and some people are white. There are people of all colors in the world and....." He abruptly cut me off and replied "No mama, the doggy is black." There was a picture above gracious black man's head of......... well...... yes...... a black dog.

Hmmmm. Yeah, nothing to say there.

76 of 365: Peanut, maybe your hand should have been over mama's mouth.

Good Night All!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Project 365: Day 75 - Milk is Not Just for Drinking....

Children handle boo boos very differently. At least my children do. If Peanut falls down and gets hurt, he immediately jumps up, lets out this horrific wail and then he's done. It takes about two seconds. He is able to brush it off fairly quickly without the need of any significant babying. Big E on the other will milk a boo boo for all its worth.

Just tonight, he came up to me and indicated that he needed a band aid on his wrist. Upon closer inspection, it appeared that he somehow got a bruise right at the base of his palm. I think he must have popped a tiny vessel or something like that. Regardless, he wasn't bleeding, but he insisted on a band aid. So, being the loving mother I am, I tenderly obliged. To most moms, there is nothing about this story that seems out of the ordinary. But in my world, milking it goes to a new level.

As Big E walked away, after I gently applied his band aid to his wrist, he was limping.

75 of 365: Poor baby. I may have to carry him to bed over this one.

Good Night All!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Project 365: Day 74 - Characters.....

This week's character.

74 of 365: Golf or Vader? Which should I tackle today??

Good Night All!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Project 365: Day 73 - Chef Wanted.....

I wish I could cook. I really like cooking, but I'm not creative and have to follow the recipe explicitly. And even though I don't have the time to cook and I don't have the time to be creative, I still manage to collect cook books. The pictures are so enticing that I tell myself, "ok this is the one. This is the book that changes it all." And of course, said cookbook sits in a pretty little corner of my kitchen collecting dust.

But still, I really wish I could have that drive to just walk through the door after a long day of work (and pulling multiple muscles in my back and shoulder trying to keep each child on "his" side of the car while sitting in traffic) and whip up some fantastic meal that both me and my boys love. I would feel proud that I could cook something so wonderful. I would be elated that my boys couldn't get enough. And I would be satisfied that my children are getting a nutritious, well balanced meal. Instead, I run through the door, turn on the oven, change clothes while it preheats, separate the boys from whatever fight they're having, and throw in whatever frozen concoction we decide on that night. It's really sad. And I feel guilty.

I try to read the articles about "easy meals for moms" and "quick and healthy", but nothing seems to stick. I'm either overly pressed for time or my kids wrinkle up their noses as if I asked them to eat a live snake. So the rare time I do try to be a "real" mom and cook "real" food, it usually goes uneaten and I end up throwing together two ham and cheese sandwiches.

I honestly don't know what to do. I'm seriously asking for some feedback tonight. Please tell me what works for you. do you cook all day Sunday and freeze everything for the week? Do you cook a really wonderful meal, but only every other night during the week? How do you handle even the pickiest child?

I just need to hire chef. Anyone looking for a job? The pay is minimal and the kids are super impatient. But the joy of knowing you helped a talentless cook in need and prevented the future bad eating habits of two great kids would be priceless!!

73 of 365: Another pic that has nothing to do with the post. Whatever....

Good Night All!

Project 365: Day 72 - 100 Things About Me.....

So I saw this post from another blogger a while back and thought it would be a neat thing to work on. Can I come up with 100 details about myself??? Let's see:

1. I like beer. (First thing to come to mind 'cause I'm drinking one right now)
2. I have imaginary conversations with people often.
3. I have imaginary conversations with myself even more.
4. I think this might be because of the beer. (note to self - don't drink and type)
5. I live in Atlanta.
6. Well, I live in a suburb of Atlanta (but doesn't everybody?)
7. I prefer the mountains over the beach.
8. I have a low tolerance to heat.
9. Hence number 7.
10. I have twin boys.
11. My grandmother has twins boys.
12. Apparently that is hereditary.
13. I am currently separated.
14. My soon-to-be-ex and I are still very good friends.
15. I always feel the need to follow #13's statement with #14. ????
16. I have competed in two sprint triathlons.
17. I believe that "competed" is such a strong word.
18. I have completed two sprint triathlons.
19. I enjoy running very much.
20. I hated running when I was younger.
21. I have completed one marathon.
22. Sometimes when I'm walking down a long hallway, I have the sudden urge to do a cartwheel.
23. I'm not very good at cartwheels.
24. I like tattoos.
25. I have a few myself.
26. I'm not a big drinker, but I really craved beer when I was pregnant. Weird, I know.
27. I can't drink red wine.
28. The smell of vinegar makes my gag reflex go insane.
29. I'm relatively patient and overly optimistic about life.
30. I try to see problems from all sides.
31. I like to think that is what has helped me have a good relationship with my STBE.
32. Of course, I still get pissed sometimes, b/c I KNOW I'm right!
33. I am very impulsive.
34. I cut my own hair.
35. I have very curly hair, so now one knows the difference if I make a mistake.
36. I color my own hair, too. See? Impulsive. When I want something, I want it right then, before the moment passes.
37. I have a terrible memory.
38. Maybe that's why I'm so impulsive. I better do it right then or else I'll forget that I wanted it in the first place.
39. Because of my awful memory, I try to write down every time my boys say something really funny.
40. I think "Mama, my butt is all out of air" is my favorite one of all!
41. My parents were divorced when I was about two or three.
42. I was raised by my father and a wonderful step-mother (but don't tell her I called her that....)
43. There are only about 5 baby pictures of me.
44. I have literally thousands of pictures of my boys and they are only four.
45. They might be traumatized about that when they get older.
46. I have two brothers and one sister.
47. I am a co-middle child, but i have no complex about it whatsoever.
48. My youngest brother always got away with murder. (I know that's not about me, but still....)
49. I am very close to my siblings and my parents.
50. They all drive me crazy.
51. Wow, I just passed 50 and I'm exhausted. What......that's a fact, so it counts.....
52. I'm still not used to going days without my boys.
53. After having my boys alone for four days, I'm ready for a little break.
54. Yes, I can have my cake and eat it too.
55. I'm on day 72 of my project.
56. I love this project, because it forces me to journal my life in a way that I wouldn't have done so before.
57. This project is hard because it forces me to come up with material every single day.
58. I don't think my life is very interesting.
59. But it is very full (thank you boys).
60. I'm a nail biter.
61. Quitting smoking does not help curb the nail biting.
62. Smoking is grosser than nail biting.
63. I started smoking because my boyfriend smoked.
64. That was pretty stupid of me.
65. I quit smoking because my mom quit.
66. That was pretty smart of me.
67. I also quit smoking for the most obvious and important reason, my boys.
68. I love watching my boys engage in deep conversations with one another.
69. I also love when they engage in deep conversation with me.
70. I always wanted boys.
71. I never thought I could handle a teenage me.
72. I have been in the same profession for 14 years.
73. Growing up, I wanted to be a writer or Stevie Nicks.
74. I get the most compliments on my blue eyes.
75. I'm legally blind in one of them.
76. It would take a whole post to explain why.
77. I'm a very just person.
78. I believe in rules and people following them.
79. I have a degree in sociology.
80. I majored in human services and minored in criminal justice.
81. I work for a law firm. (seems fitting)
82. I can't type without looking at the keyboard.
83. But I can type very fast.
84. I love being a couch potato sometimes.
85. But I don't like laziness.
86. I hate scary movies. Really hate them.
87. I love British romantic comedies.
88. I love period films even more.
89. The last film I saw at the movies was Eat, Pray, Love.
90. Not as good as the book.
91. This year I've read four books.
92. That is a record for me.
93. I'm trying to teach my boys the joy that comes from reading.
94. Kind of hard when I just figured it out myself.
95. I want my boys to always feel secure.
96. I know that will always be hard because they shuffle between their parents.
97. Being a single parent is the hardest things I've ever done.
98. Being a happy single parent makes me proud.
99. I hope that my boys are proud of their mama.
100. I like to think they are.

72 of 365: Just a shot I like....

Good Night All!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Project 365: Day 71 - Unwelcomed Guests....

I am finally able to say good bye to the monster living in front of my house. For three months he took up residence at my front door. And I was too paralyzed to kill him. He wigged me out terribly, so I couldn't ever get close enough to whack at him.

But now, thanks to a friend, he is gone.

71 of 365: Good bye big red hairy monster. I'm gonna miss how you kept everyone away from my house. Maybe it's not such a good thing you're gone.

Good Night All!

Project 356: Day 70 - Tattoo-A-Go-Go...

Well, I guess I have to begin this post with an apology. We passed out last night around 8:30 due to the fun-filled day with kids. Sorry to miss a day's post, but I will provide two today to get back on track......

About 15 years ago, my mom, my best friend and myself went to get a tattoo. I don't remember the conversations that lead up to actually going to get them, but we went together. my mom got a beautiful flower on her shoulder. My best friend, hearts on her hip. And me? Well, I ended up with what is now called the tramp stamp. Ok, in my defense, it was NOT called that 15 years ago. I have the sun in the middle of my lower back. I like my sun. I got it to show that it is always sunny somewhere. And that the sun will ALWAYS be on my back no matter what I may be going through.

And then a year and a half ago, while I was in my "crazy" stage, I went back to the tattoo salon and had them permanently affix thirteen stars in a scattered pattern down my right side under my arm. There was no real reason why I chose what I did except that I thought it looked really cool and the only significance they have in my life would be that stars don't always have to align perfectly to have a good life. I don't know. I kinda made it up on the way to the tattoo salon.

Regardless of what they mean to me or why I got them, I am happy that I did. I wouldn't change them except to go back and make them more elaborate. I've thought about adding my boys names to the stars and maybe a little color. But regardless, I am happy with them.

So my sister, whose birthday was last week, has wanted me to take her to get one for years now. I usually talked her out of it by making her fearful of the pain. I just wasn't sure if she could handle it. I mean this is the girl that shows off all her tiny scratches and bruises as if they were massive war wounds and tells about how they hurt. So, did I think she could handle the pain of the constant needle? Hell no. But this weekend I decided that it was no longer up to me determine if she could handle it or not. And it was no longer my place to tell her that she couldn't. It was never my place to begin with.

When I got to her place this weekend, I told her that if she was ready then I was ready to take her. I could tell she was nervous driving to the salon, picking at the paint on her nails and not talking too much. We arrived and had to look through their books to see if they had the perfect dolphin to place on her shoulder. I always knew she would get a dolphin. It goes beyond obsession. But it's cute. So we found the right one and they walked us back to Brian's station. Her nerves were still present as she stumbled a little getting situated in the chair and she stumbled again getting her shirt just right. But the nerves were most present in me, as I stumbled asking if she was ok, telling her she's gonna do fine, admitting to Brian that I know I' more nervous than she is, but that she was my baby sister and I couldn't help it. He was gracious and let out a small giggle and assured that he understood.

When it was all over, I couldn't have been more proud of her. (hell I really wasn't sure if I was more relieved that she made it through it or that I made it through it). But it was done and she was happy. And I was happy for her. Brian rocked out the cutest dolphin and baby sis was no longer a tattoo virgin.

70 of 365: The Blue Dolphin....

Good Day All!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Project 365: Day 69 - Sleepover....

Help!!! I'm trapped at Mimi's with a nine year old, a five year old and 3 four year olds!! The boys are having a sleep over with their cousins. And some how I volunteered to stay too. What the hell was I thinking??!!

I totally kid, of course. Everyone is having a great time. It's 10 o'clock and they are all starting to move in slow motion. They hit the ground running as soon as they got here and the excitement is hopefully catching up with them now. Four boys and one girl. G I Joe and painting nails. Play Dough and chocolate chip cookies. My little men love when they get to spend time with their cousins. Probably because the nine year old knows how to get them to the next level in the video games.

I enjoy spending time with my brother's kids, too. We don't get to see them all that often, so i jumped at the chance to lose my mind just a little. Not quite sure where everyone is going to sleep. I'm hoping I can hide in the living room on the couch. Or I may have to bunk with my sister just so I can have a room I can lock myself in. Not quite sure if I'm kidding about that one.

Then tomorrow will be a day filled with festivals and food. And the kids actually won't be with us. I'm taking my sister to do whatever she wants. She had a recent birthday and we're going out, just the two of us.

All in all, it's gonna be a good weekend.

69 of 365: Cousins in a wagon....

Good Night All!

Project 365: Day 68 - Family Portraits....

I picked my children up from school today and they both wanted to take me to their art wall. There were masterpieces I just had to see! Big E's was, of course, super hero related. He had a portrait of each of us and he said we were all heros and we had to fight the rain that was coming down on our heads. Cute.

Peanut had a more subdued family portrait. House in the middle. Mama and Daddy on one side of the house and Peanut and his brother on the other. There was rain in this photo too, drawn creatively by a single horizontal line straight across the top and then various vertical lines, much smaller, pouring from that longer line. I thought it was interesting. But more interesting, was the fact that Peanut drew me "big hair". And he was proud of the fact that he gave me said big hair. I asked why and his answer was quite simply: You have big hair Mama.

68 of 365: Really???.....

Good Night All!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Project 365: Day 67 - What do You Want to be When You Grow Up??....

Do you ever wonder what your kids will be like as adults? I have had the same image in my mind for the past few years. You already know that my twin boys are as opposite as humanly possible. I don't foresee much changing as they grow into men.

My image of their adulthood is quite specific. Because of his need to be well-dressed and his meticulous nature, Big E will most likely hold some corporate position, finance in nature and carry around a laptop (or whatever they may have in 20 or so years). It will either be that or, because of his love of costumes and music, a spot on Broadway. Either of which he will be tremendously successful. Peanut, on the other hand, will be a Matthew McConaughey type, rugged good looks, usually topless, working in some beach dive possibly in Hawaii or at least Panama City Beach Florida. He will not run the rat race and he will exude a coolness about himself that everyone will envy. He will not care about being successful.

Check back with me in twenty years and let's see how close I got.

Hell, I still have the same grown-up image of myself I've had since I was 8 and her name is Stevie Nicks. Still waiting on that......

67 of 365: Very rare Self Portrait....

Good Night All!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Project 365: Day 66 - Differences.....

Big E is in hog heaven now that the cooler weather is here. I've already described his borderline addiction to costumes. When he's not decked out in Spiderman or Robin, he is sure to have his say on his attire. Layers, layers, layers. He's been that way for as long as I can remember. As soon as he discovered he had opinions, I was no longer in charge of what he would wear. The only time I'm ever lucky enough to have control of this little piece of his life is when we have somewhere special we have to go or it's picture day at school. I guess I could just lie and then he would wear what I wanted everyday. Ah, but then I would have to come up with even more lies about why that party got cancelled or how the photographer came down with the flu.

I don't mind it too much, except when what he wants to wear looks absolutely hideous. I've learned over time to shop around his opinions. As long as it doesn't involve blue jeans or button down shirts, I'm usually in the clear. And believe it or not, it IS possible to find cute outfits that don't involve either. And if "track suit" is any where in the description, I golden! I don't love track suits, but it does make me happy that he knows what he likes and he cares about how he dresses. I wonder how much I'm going to like it when he gets even older and his taste gets more expensive? I should probably go ahead and start a "Big E's Wardrobe" savings account.

Or I actually could use the money that I save on Peanut to go towards Big E. That child prefers less clothing. When they were babies, he usually just wore a diaper. And now he's in this only pajama bottoms to bed kick. I think it's cute, but he may realize that's not the best option with this colder weather coming.

I still marvel at their differences. It is truly hard to believe that they are twins most of the time. And, because of their size, I really get some funny looks when people ask how far apart they are in age and I reply "2 minutes." But their differences are a blessing. They are polar opposites and I hope that creates a strong bond as they grow older. Opposites attract, right? Well, let's just hope they don't distance themselves over time because they have nothing in common. Either way, I wouldn't change either one of them for the world. I love that they have different views of the world and I love being able to watch them experience those differences.

65 of 365: The Peanut Man...

Good Night All!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Project 365: Day 65 - Dating????......

When you've been emotionally separated from your husband for several years and physically moved out for over nine months, you begin to wonder "when is the right time to start thinking about dating again" I haven't quite figured out the answer to that question yet. I mean technically, can I really date yet? I mean I'm still married. At least in the government's eyes I am. And what kind of problem would that cause? Would he be upset? Would he even care? Would it bother me if he didn't care? And then what about the boys? Would they understand? Would they even notice? Could they accept this new person openly? And, of course, what about the poor sap that wanted to date me? Would he accept not being number one in my eyes? Would he be gracious in patience and give me the space I may need from time to time? Does he understand what I'm going through? i mean really understand? Does he have kids of his own? Does he come with a lunatic ex "other half?" And finally, what about me? Am I ready for this? Could I possibly learn how to go backwards? Would I ever feel comfortable enough to introduce him to my children? Would I ever feel comfortable with him period?

And thats only a fraction of the 673 questions I actually have. How the hell am I going to be able to answer all of them? I guess the bigger question is........ Is it worth it?

You bet your ass is it.

Life is too short to limit love.

Good Night All!