I'll Always Hold my Little Boy's Hand

I'll Always Hold my Little Boy's Hand
I'll Always Hold my Little Boy's Hand

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Warrior!

My new friend/neighbor, E, is having a hysterectomy next week.  She's young and was very open with me when she explained that her mom had fought and died from several different cancers and that she (E) had tested positive for the BRCA Gene, so the odds were stacked against her. Not only has she made the courageous decision to do this surgery at a young age, but she also had a double mastectomy not very long ago. To be faced with losing her mother five months ago and then having another surgery to prevent what her mom went through is awe inspiring.  It's something I cannot even begin to wrap my head around. 

I try to keep things light hearted and find humor in a pretty shitty situation because let's face it, that's what I do and who I am. I immediately think that she'll never have a period again... ever!  That sounds awesome!  However, I can see the struggle she is going through.  While she and her husband are not planning on having another child, having a hysterectomy is so final, and the decision is made for them.  If it was me, I'd be feeling the finality of my child bearing years also (hell, I already feel my biological clock ticking faster than ever!), and that would be difficult.  Her decision cannot be reversed, but she is making a decision that will allow her to be here for her husband and son for many, many more years to come.

So I sit here and think: holy mother fu#$%^! So much of our womanhood is tied to our uteruses and ovaries.  I grew my baby there. She grew her baby there. My uterus was my son's first "home" that if faced with a decision like E, his "home" would be yanked out of me in an instant and be forever gone, robbing me of the ability to bear another child... ever.  While I would probably do the same thing if faced with those awful odds that she learned she had, I can't quite imagine the finality of what that surgery means to her.  Not only is she facing the fact that her insides are being ripped out of her, but she is facing the finality of what woman's bodies were made to do... have children. She is an F'n warrior!

I ask that all of my readers/followers please say a little prayer for and send good vibes to my friend, E, on Tuesday morning and the days leading up to and after her surgery. While her mother is not here for her, let's surround her with a lot of love that she can feel from all around the world.  Thank you.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Beauty of Friendship and a Nosey (but cute!) Neighbor

We haven't even been in our new home for two months, and already we have bonded with a great family.  E and D have an eight year old son, T.  For whatever reason, our families just took to one another from the first day we hung out in the cul-da-sac.  T has stepped up to be the big brother Sidekick will never have, while D stepped up to be a good, kind, solid male figure in Sidekick's life.  When I sit back and watch the interaction between Sidekick, T, and D, my heart just melts and it brings me so much happiness.  How did we get so lucky to have such great friends/neighbors?  Sidekick always asks if "Big T" is outside to play. He loves that kid.

I find it very interesting that our families have bonded so quickly.  Even more surprising is the fact that E and I have become close friends in such a short period of time. I think it all goes back to a question from a six year old neighbor.  I was walking Dog, and my mom was home with Sidekick.  Little girl came up to me to pet Dog.  I've seen her before, but only a couple of times.  Here is how the conversation went:

Girl:  Do you have a Dad?
Me:   Yes (kind of a lie)
Girl:  Do you have a boyfriend?
Me:   No
Girl:  Do you have a husband?
Me:   No
Girl:  Then how did you get *Sidekick*?

What??!!  How the hell do I respond to that, and why would she even ask a question like that? I shrugged it off and told her I was just a lucky Momma.  Later that night, we were out and I mentioned to E that I wanted to talk to her about the conversation I had with the girl.  We later met outside on her driveway when Sidekick was sleeping and my mom was home. (T was up in his room trying to fall asleep, so this was the only way we could talk because D was not home.) I walked down armed with alcoholic beverages, and E yelled, "Where the F have you been the past eight years?"  I knew from that moment, we would be good friends. 

While sitting on her driveway, and I asked her if she knew the story of me and Sidekick. She said she figured Sidekick's dad wasn't in the picture, so I explained how Sidekick came to be, and she had such joy in her heart and replied that she had just gotten the chills.  At that moment, we became good friends.  I told her about the girl and she laughed and said that same girl came up to her one day, put her hands on E's belly, and asked if she was pregnant.  Nice! 

I told E that I was just thinking that maybe she and the girl's mom (who I know) were talking about us, and the girl just overheard. I told her that I didn't care if they were, and that I've always been an open book about Sidekick's story.  But, they never had that conversation, so I have no idea what prompted the girl to ask me such a question.  It's a good thing she is cute!

Sometimes I question the way life works ... E, D, and T are going to move (and selfishly I hope they stay). As strange as this sounds, it really makes me sad to think of them not a few doors away.  When you find people, neighbors especially, with whom you quickly form a good friendship, the thought of them leaving is very hard. I uprooted our lives and we left great friends in order to have a bigger, "better" home for me and Sidekick, and I ended up being blessed with good friends.  What are the chances of that?  We are so content here, but it might very much be the result of our new found friends. Our little families have bonded in ways that I never imagined possible. Sometimes people come into our lives at just the right moment, but it sure sucks when they leave in a flash.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Little Parched Perhaps?

My mom came in town last week and stayed through the weekend.  Since my stepdad passed away a month ago and my mom was taking care of him, she hadn't seen our new home yet.  I was so excited for her to see the home I worked so hard to be able to afford, not to mention a home that Sidekick and I love so much!  Sidekick was so excited to give her the tour (even though he was at school when I picked her up from the airport, so she had already seen it).  Seeing him give her the tour was so much fun because I could see how much he loves it here!

We had a busy weekend at a children's museum, a building activity at a hardware store, running errands, hanging things on the walls of our new home, playing with our new neighbors, etc.  Probably the highlight of her time here was when we went the park.  It was a park we hadn't been to yet, and it had a splash pad that slanted, so the water moved down like a river.  We had avoided that area like the plague because I didn't have his swimsuit, towel, etc.  We succeeded for a while, but towards the end, he became curious.  He went over and just looked and reaching to touch the water as best as he could.  After about 15 minutes, he walked into the water. I didn't care what others would think, so I stripped him down to his diaper and let him have fun. For whatever reason, he thought it would be a good idea to get a drink.

 
 
I laughed so hard when he did this!  He did this off and on over about a 15 minute timeframe.  I had to get my phone out of my car so I could capture this image.  I have no idea what possessed him to do this, but everyone thought it was funny and a few people even took a picture of him.  So here sits Momma and Grandma laughing uncontrollably at a kid who is inappropriately dressed for the occasion and probably catching the plague, which we were trying so desperately to avoid. I don't care.  He was so happy and two year olds should be able to do goofy things like this!  

Friday, August 8, 2014

Groupon Sucked Me In!

Groupons/Living Socials are great; however, they can really suck me into things! Take for example yesterday...  I got a Groupon for Picture People for $18 which included a photo session and a bazillion sizes of pictures of one "pose".  (I have so many that I'm going to have to start handing them out on the street!)  My mom is in town, so we picked up Sidekick from school and took him to the mall armed with marshmallows to bribe him.  I had very low expectations because he was not cooperating, but lo and behold, the pictures turned out great!  Two hours and $111 later, I walked out with the CD and a huge frame containing three pictures. This is the second time I've taken him for a photo shoot in his 25 months of life, so I guess that wasn't too bad. (I have friends who were doing this every few months which I find crazy.)  Anyway, now that I have the "rights" to these pictures, I'm going to have to figure out what do with all of them.  These are some of my favorites.  I can't believe this sweet boy just turned two!



 





Friday, August 1, 2014

Happiness is... Curious Georgia (yes, Georgia!)

Sidekick loves monkeys so much.  He has no choice really because my baby shower, his first birthday, and the theme of his bedroom are/were all about Sock Monkeys.  I guess I have ingrained the love subconsciously.  For many, many, many months, he has worshiped Curious Georgia (yes, he says Georgia!).  Over the weekend, we went to an Open House at a nearby daycare just because Curious George was there.  He waited patiently in line with the birthday card he made for Georgia as an activity, and when he saw Georgia, the squeal out of his little body could have shattered the windows (picture on the left below)!  I have never seen him so excited about anything before. Once he sat on Georgia's lap, he was speechless (picture on the right)... almost like he was in awe to be so close to Georgia.  Finally, when I took him from George's lap, Sidekick said, "Bye bye Georgia.  Love you."  Let me tell you, at that point, Sidekick was a hit in the entire room and all I heard was "Awwww" all around us. He is such a sweet boy. 

What's kind of strange is that when we went to the zoo (which I HATE but made the exception for Sidekick), he was terrified of the Gorillas and Chimps that were so close to the window, but sitting on a big "puppet" didn't bother him at all.  To be two again and have all of the simple things in life make you happy.  He sure has a rough life!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Things that Sidekick Does that Make me Smile

After my last couple of "blah" posts and being in a funk the past week or so, I decided that I needed to remember things about Sidekick that make me happy, make me laugh, or just put a smile on my face.  Sidekick has amazing vocabulary, but now he is stringing words together which is getting so fun (and at times, very entertaining). 

  • I love that "Momma" gets put into so much of what he says now:  "Momma sit", "Momma eat", "Momma no"
  • I love when he says, "Momma hand" and reaches for mine to take me on an adventure with him, even if it's just to his room. 
  • I love that it takes him a while to pick out the two books he wants to read before bedtime.  He will grab two, and then sometimes he changes his mind, and will switch out one or both books. 
  • I love that we sing "Rock a Bye Baby" several times every night before bedtime (what a horrible song by the way), and each time he puts someone or something "in the treetop" besides baby.
  • We've been in our new home for one month, and every time I pick him up from school, he comes running towards me yelling, "New home!".  Every morning when we pull out of the garage he says, "Bye bye new home. Love you."
  • The other night after reading books before bedtime and sitting in the rocking chair, Sidekick put his head on my shoulder, started patting my back, and kept saying, "Patting Momma". 
  • I decided to watch "Finding Nemo" with him and spread it out over several days.  The day we watched Nemo go down the drain in the dentist's office, Sidekick started screaming "Oh no!" and crying.  How was he able to process that "that" might be a bad, scary thing?
  • We had a lot of rain a while ago, so the field in which we play has a lot of mushrooms.  Sidekick is terrified of them!  He says, "Ewwww, yucky!" and won't even walk around them.  In fact, most things that don't look "right" to him, he says, "Ewww, yucky!"
  • He has always been a kid who thrives on routine. When I tell him it's bath time, he goes into his bathroom, opens up the cabinet, gets a wash cloth and the color tablets that change the color of the water, and brings it all to me.
  • He loves the magnetic letters on the refrigerator.  I can sit on my sofa and ask him to bring me a specific letter, and he will bring me each one until every letter is gone.  (This game can go on a long time which is a really good thing when I need to kill time.)
  • When I ask him if Momma loves him, he replies in a high pitched, silly voice, "Nooooo."
  • He insists on Dog being upstairs with us when we read books before bed time.  He will yell for her and then tell her "down" when she arrives.  Before he goes to sleep, he gives her a big hug and tells her he loves her. 
  • When he plays Peekaboo... after he covers my eyes or his eyes, he says, "Ah-boo!"  (Not sure where the "peek" is.)
  • He is a very polite boy and uses please and thank you all the time.  He's also using "Love you" a lot regardless of him referring to an actual person or an inanimate object (new home, basketball, car, etc.).  The other day after checking out at Autozone, he said, "Thank you, nice man.  Love you."  (I think I need to start teaching him the appropriate times to use "Love you".) 
So... in the midst of my funk, I'm glad that I can find joy in this little guy who seriously brings me so much happiness during mundane every day ins and outs of life.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Loneliness

I never thought that Sidekick would completely fill an empty space in my heart/life, but I did think that he would fill it a little... which he definitely did.  I have found that because he is a toddler and requires less "attention", I'm noticing that I am feeling a bit lonely lately.  He is an independent kid and will explore on his own while we are out and about, as long as I'm not out of his sight.  He needs me less which gives me time to think and people watch while we are out. 

We do all sorts of things on our own, but when I see "families" out and about on weekends doing fun things also, I kind of get a little jealous, and then a loneliness settles in.  I'm not sure I can actually explain it, but at the end of the day, sometimes I'm just plain lonely.  Months ago, at the end of day, I used to just love my solitude when Sidekick was asleep for the night. I was happy sitting in front of my TV catching up on shows.   

This loneliness comes in waves.  It definitely was gone during the craziness of moving and getting settled.  Now that we've been here for a few weeks and boxes have been unpacked since our first week here, I'm feeling lonely yet again. The hype and excite of the move came to a crashing halt.  I'm think I am officially looking for companionship, and I've never felt that yearning since Sidekick was born.  I tried online dating a while back and it sucked, but I've rejoined the online dating world again, and guess what?  It still sucks! I'm finding that while Sidekick makes me happy, I need something else to make me happy besides him. I've never relied on man in the past, and I'm not looking to rely on one now, but it would be nice to sit on the sofa or outside on my deck and drink a glass of wine while having a nice conversation.  I can only have so many deep conversations with a two year old before I realize that I need an adult.  Haha! 

I think I am just in a funk, and I'm not sure my friends would understand (they don't understand what it's like being a SMC even though they think they do), so I choose not to express my feelings about this to them. So once again I throw it out the blogging world in hopes that just "talking" about it will snap me out of this.  I hate this feeling.  I'm afraid that if I am not quite happy in my life, I might not be a good mom to my awesome son, and that's not fair to him.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Passing of Sidekick's Grandpa

I've mentioned before that my stepdad was diagnosed with throat cancer about six weeks before Sidekick was born. Less than two weeks before he was born, my stepdad has his voice box removed. For two years, this wonderful man had to either write or type on his iPad when he wanted to "talk".  It changed his life forever and everyone around him had to rally around him and support him through this change. It was sad to never hear his deep, calm, loving voice again.  He fought his cancer harder than I could have ever done.  He switched between radiation and chemo for about 18 months and went through every treatment like a champ. I would have thrown in the towel months prior, but he kept going. 

He took a downward spiral quickly right before the 4th of July weekend.  Last Thursday, he didn't have very long to live, so at the last minute, I packed our stuff, picked up Sidekick from school, and drove the five hours to say goodbye. When we had gotten to the house, Sidekick and I went into his room.  On the drive up, I had explained that Grandpa was sleeping. As soon as Sidekick saw him, he said, "Grandpa sleeping.  Hi, Grandpa."  My stepdad adored Sidekick so much, and I loved seeing my sweet boy so amazing towards this man just lying there, basically unconscious. Did he know we were there?

The house was full of people:  my sister, my mom's best friend and her daughter, my stepdad's son and his wife, and us.  At times, I'd be with my stepdad alone (or with Sidekick) while other times other people would be with him or we'd all be together.  In such a time of sorrow, we still found time to laugh and made sure that he heard us laughing.  There were times that we had to tell him that it was okay for him to "go" and that we were all okay and all together.  Sidekick told him his loved him and would just quietly sit in my arms while we stood around my stepdad.

This was taken when Sidekick was six weeks old, and we drove five hours to meet my stepdad. 
(I found this picture frame on his dresser.) 


At 5:36 the next morning, my stepdad passed away.  As soon as Sidekick woke up, he said, "Grandpa."  I took him to see Grandpa, and at that point, he was the "same" in Sidekick's eyes as he had been the night prior, so we didn't say much to him.  When his body was finally taken away many hours later, Sidekick went to his room at one point and saw the empty hospital bed.  He said, "Grandpa" in a questioning way. I asked the hospice nurse what I am supposed to tell him, and she said to tell him whatever I believe (but NOT to tell him his was sleeping... which I knew that I would have to change my "story" once he did pass away).  So it quickly made me really think... what do I believe in? 

I read the book Heaven is for Real a few months ago.  Heaven seems like such a wonderful place, and I'd like to believe that it is real.  I'm not a religious person, so I can't fall back on that.  So... what did I tell my two year old?  I told him that Grandpa went bye-bye.  I told him that Grandpa is an angel in heaven which is in the sky. I told him that Grandpa will be watching over us and help us be happy and healthy.  The end.  I hope that is true because I find comfort in thinking that what I told my son might actually be true.

Yesterday we were outside on the deck eating lunch, and out of the blue, Sidekick looked up at the beautiful blue sky, pointed, and said, "Hi, Grandpa!" I just looked at him in such disbelief.  Does he truly understand?  While Sidekick will never remember his Grandpa, he has his Grandpa's first name as his middle name, and I will always tell him how much his Grandpa loved him, and how much he supported me as a SMC.  He was an incredible man, and while I hate the phrase, "He is in a better place" and will never use it, I know that he is no longer suffering, wherever he may be.   

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sidekick!

I can't believe that my little Sidekick is TWO!  Where has the time gone?  The other day on the news, the weather person mentioned that two years ago that day, was the first day of setting a record for the most consecutive triple digits temperature days.  She didn't have to remind me!  I was nine months pregnant and walking my dog at 11:00 PM when it was still in the 90's. I was doing anything to get this baby out of me regardless of how hot it was.

My due date was July 15th, and I was scheduled for induction on the 17th (which I didn't want) because Sidekick was measuring on the big side.  On July 7th, while filling up Dog's water bowl, a trickle ran down my leg.  I was pretty sure I hadn't peed in my pants, yet I was baffled because that didn't seem like enough to be considered my water.  I had plans that night to get a manicure and pedicure and go to dinner as my last hoorah before this little guy arrived.  By about 1:30, I called the doctor to see if maybe it was my water, and he said to go get checked.  With my plans in place for the evening, I had to get this wrapped up quickly.  I grabbed my suitcase and drove myself to the hospital.  I went in and was 2 cm (I was one cm the day before at my weekly appointment).  The doctor couldn't tell if that was my water leaking, so she told me to hang around and walk the halls for an hour.  I called my friend and mom to let them know what was going on, and while talking to my friend, a huge gush occurred. Yep, I was officially in labor and I was staying. 

My stepdad had just had his voice box removed about ten days prior because of cancer, and since he was in a rehab facility for a couple of more days, my mom hopped on a plane and arrived at about 8:00 while my best friend got her family settled and came at 6:30 with blue nail polish in hand t do my pedicure. I was hooked up to the monitor and was having strong contractions that I wasn't feeling at all, which baffled all the nurses.  I finally started pushing at 5:30 AM the next day, and Sidekick finally arrived at 8:48 AM... just shy of 24 hours after my water started leaking.  I was in love (and starving and exhausted) the minute I saw him.  I was so afraid I wouldn't have that connection with him right away, but as soon as he was put in my arms, my entire life changed and I felt love for someone that I have never felt before.

Fast forward two years, and this little guy is better than I could have ever imagined!  He is smart, funny, sweet, and brings me such joy.  I honestly don't have much complaining to do about him because he is better than I could have ever imagined.  He has filled a place in my heart that was empty for so long. 




I decided before his first birthday, that we would release a balloon every year on his birthday in honor of his donor.  Right now it obviously means nothing to him, but to me, it is a way to thank someone who helped me fulfill my dreams. Even though he doesn't understand, I explained to him that we are going to honor his Donor (to which he said "For Donor") and he gracefully let it fly into the sky. I also made a treasure box for him last year.  In it will be a letter written to him every year until I decide to give the box to him.  In each envelope is money for the number of years old he is.  By the time he opens it, there will be a lot of cash for him!  I'm already wondering what I wrote to him last year, but it's something I have looked forward to doing this year as I capture the year in review.

On a sad note, my stepdad who had is voice box removed due to cancer shortly before Sidekick was born is on hospice and only has a couple of days to live. At the last minute, I gave Sidekick my stepdad's first name as his middle name to honor his grandpa. It's sad to think that Sidekick will probably never remember him, but I will always remember to tell Sidekick how much is grandpa loved him and fought two years until his body could not fight any longer.   

Tonight I threw an impromptu party for Sidekick.  The people who love him so much and I consider our family came for cupcakes and ice cream.  As soon as we started singing to him, he wrapped his little arm around me while I was kneeling next to him.  My heart just melted and I even shed a little tear.  My boy is just so sweet and for the first time ever, I felt like he knows we are really a team. 

I am such a lucky woman to call him my son.  Cheers to an incredible two years!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tears and Reminiscing

Sidekick will be two years old in just two short days.  Where has the time gone?  After I put him to sleep tonight, I went in the trunk where I have of his baby stuff and read through all of the cards I have received since the baby shower.  We were, and always have been, surrounded by such love and support. I've always been amazed at how much people have embraced my little family.

I loved being pregnant and I loved having a newborn.  (I know, many people think I'm crazy.)  I felt so important and special when I was pregnant-- I mean, seriously! I was growing a human being inside me for goodness sakes!  What could be more important than that??? I loved the newness of a newborn and learning about who this little creature that grew inside me for 39 weeks is.  He was full of wonder from the day he was born. He amazed me by his calmness and the way he just looked deep into my soul like he knew something about me that no one knows. 

As I've written before, because of finances, Sidekick will be my only child.  As we are fast approaching the big T-W-O, I am so sad that I will never experience all of that amazing stuff ever again.  Ever!  I want another baby.

So while I gear up to celebrate Sidekick's second birthday, I hope that I can celebrate this amazing little guy, and not dwell on the fact that it's going too fast and I'll never get it back.  It makes me really sad. Ugh! Does anyone else feel that way?  Will it ever go away?

On a side note, Sidekick went to his first parade and had so much fun (and he also got to eat a lollipop for the first time). You'd think he had just discovered gold.  I love this kid!