Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Things We Learn on Facebook

I'm in a couple of Mom's Groups on Facebook.  I learn some things, give my two cents when I think I have something of value to add, and spend a lot of time chuckling.  A mom asked how often people bathe their one month olds (which then turned into kids in general).  I'm amazed at the responses:  

  • Some said every other day.
  • Many said two times a week.
  • One said when they start smelling.

I, and only a couple of other Moms, bathe my kid every single day.  We are definitely in the minority... no doubt about it!  I started giving Sidekick a bath at four weeks old, which is when he got on a schedule and slept from 7:00 PM-3:00 AM (give or take) and then back to sleep until 7:00 AM. It became part of his bedtime routine and if a bath contributed to his success, then I was sticking to it. As he got older, he didn't need a bath to go to sleep (he's always been a great sleeper), but a bath killed time, especially in the winter.  There were more times than not when he was in the bath for at least an hour. The nights when he was so crabby and I had to somehow make it to bedtime, I put him in the bath. The nights when I was exhausted and needed an easy way to entertain him, I put him in the bath. 

I've always felt like he was dirty after being in school all day long and so sweaty after playing outside. That's kind of gross.  Many "experts" say not giving them a bath every day is good for their immune system.  Sidekick has always been a healthy boy (with the exception a bad case of hand, foot, and mouth and rotovirus), so I debunked that theory. He rarely even gets a cold.  I've always thought that if I like being clean before I go to bed, he must also. Many times he takes a shower with me or is in the bath for a quick scrub down, but nonetheless, he goes to bed clean seven nights a week (or on the rare occasion, six nights a week). 

Apparently, I am the odd Mom out when it comes to this, but I have to admit, I'm pretty grossed out by the two times a week bath with a toddler.  I cannot imagine if I only showered two times a week.  Eeewww... Sorry if I offended anyone. I'm not a clean freak, but I sure like to be clean and I want my son to be also.  There's nothing better than reading books in Sidekick's bed with the sweet smell of a clean boy.  Best scent ever. 


Monday, August 17, 2015

Care to Vote for Sidekick?

Do you have Facebook?  Would you be willing to vote for Sidekick's picture?  I took him to get pictures done at Picture People, and the photographer did such a great job, that I entered one of his photos in their contest.  I'd appreciate the vote!  Please click on the link and then click "Vote" at the top left of the screen.  It's that easy!

Help Sidekick Win!

Thanks so much!!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Down and Out Momma

Holy crap!  Being "sick" with a kid is really a challenge.  Last Friday, something happened to my neck or my head or something.  I had limited movement of my neck and what I call "electric currents" going down my neck and into my shoulders.  Ouch!  What's strange is that I had something like this about 20 years ago in my lower back with the "electric currents" going down my legs.  After doctors couldn't figure out what was going on, I was diagnosed with some type of virus that settled in my spinal cord.  I'm thinking I had something like that again. 
Sidekick gets to watch one show a day and that's before bedtime.  He spent most of Saturday in front of the TV while I slept on the sofa next to him.  He was so sweet to me and kept telling me that he'll take care of me.  He's so compassionate and will make an amazing husband one day.
I was in so much pain that I went into my linen close to see what medicines I had.  Armed with a muscle relaxer, pain pill, and anti-inflammatory meds all taken pretty much at the same time, nothing helped with the pain.  Nothing!  How is that possible?  I felt like a horrible Mom whose son was neglected, but I knew he was content and okay with a broken Momma laying next to him.  I'm not a person who sleeps more than about 7 hours of sleep a night, but between Friday night and Saturday day, I slept about 13 hours and then fell asleep Saturday at 8:00.  I knew something was definitely wrong with me. 
Of course this week I had a grueling week with work and couldn't let the pain get the best of me, so I muddled through all of my appointments and finally started feeling better on Wednesday.  I was thrilled that today I could go for a run and felt pretty good. 
Prior to this happening, I had just gotten Sidekick's three years pictures done and thought I'd share.  This boy is three going on 30.  I can envision what he'll look like 27 years from now. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

This Single Momma Stuff Can be Hard

Being a Mom feels like being on autopilot most of the time.  I feel like all I ever do is feed my kid a meal.  (He's not a snacker, so I'm really only feeding him three times a day, but I swear every time I look at the clock, it's time for a meal!).  I just go with the motions day in and day out.  I am reminded how difficult being a SMC is when I go on vacation...
I had to work two weekends ago, so my mom and I decided to meet half way (2 1/2 hour drive) and she would take Sidekick and Dog.  I drove the 2 1/2  hours home and came home to an empty house for the first time in years!  Even when Sidekick is at school, Dog is still here.  I found myself watching the clock for when I had to pick Sidekick up from school, take Dog for a walk, etc.  I didn't have to do any of that!  It was pretty crazy.  I even found myself stepping over Dog in the middle of the night when I went to the bathroom even though she wasn't laying on the floor next to my bed. 
I had four days without Sidekick and enjoyed my freedom even though I was working.  I loved not being responsible for anything!  I went out for drinks/dinner with colleagues one night and had so much fun.  Saying I didn't miss Sidekick sounds harsh, but I didn't.  I knew he was having so much fun at Grandma's and was in good hands. I just needed a break.  Badly. 
Four days later, I drove up to join my sister and her family at my mom's for the week.  We had so much fun playing on the beach, renting a boat, walking along the lake, fishing, etc.  I let Sidekick's schedule slide a lot (which I later paid for), and allowed him to hang with his big cousins doing whatever they were doing.  They all had so much fun together, and the house was filled with the squeals of three boys enjoying their vacation together. 
As much as I liked being there, I like being in my own home, and Sidekick was asking to go home two days before we left (at that point he had been there seven days).  He missed his house and his bed.  He was tired and a complete mess.  He thrives on routine/schedule, and he didn't have any of it there.  The boy needed to go home.
I drove the five or so hours home, unpacked the car, and was immediately reminded just how hard it is to be a single mom.  My many helpers were gone, so everything was on me yet again. It's exhausting.  Sidekick was a bit out of sorts (even though he was happy to be home) because he was alone again.  He didn't have his cousins with whom to play.  He didn't have fun things to do.  He was needy, crabby, and exhausted.  So was I. 
It is now day two of being home, and now I'm back at work.  It's back to our little life of a family of two plus a dog.  It's back to a quiet household.  Back to the stress of being a single Mom.  Back to household chores, shopping, etc.  Back to not the most exciting life.  Back to routine.  Back to reality.  I used to love my reality, but lately I find my reality a little empty, if that makes sense.  I find my reality monotonous.  I find my reality a little dull.  Don't get me wrong, I love Sidekick and my life, but there is something missing. 
The difficulty of being a SMC with no family in the same state is slowly creeping back into my life.  Being on vacation is great, but it really sucks when I have to get back to my life the way it was. It's hard on both of us.  Sidekick is trying to get in the groove just as much as I am. We'll get back to where we were, but boy, coming back to reality is difficult, and I am reminded every minute of the day how exhausting being a SMC is.  Just having an extra set of hands and an adult with whom to talk is so incredibly awesome. I miss that. 

Time to snap out of this funk and get on with it!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sidekick is Three!

How did this happen?  How is my little guy three years old?  How did time go by so quickly? 


He was so into his birthday this year that it makes it so much more fun.  I put a bunch of purple (his favorite color) balloons in his bed before he woke up and he was so excited.  (When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he told me a balloon.  He's so easy to please!)  As soon as I walked into his room he yelled, "I'm Free!!!!!!"  He chose pirate cupcakes with purple frosting for school, and we brought in pirate plates and eye patches for the kids.  He was so excited and happy.  (By the way, along with turning three, he is now matching his shoes once again.)

I picked him up from school early, and we went to our favorite park to release a balloon in honor of his Donor.  It's a tradition I started on his first birthday and will continue to do it every year. 


I also write a letter to him every year and put it in a treasure box that I made him.  In the letter is money for however old he is, so this year there is $3.  It'll be fun for him to have all that cash whenever I decide to give him the box.  I'm not into the big birthday party thing and haven't done one yet, but this year I decided to have a party for him with a few of his friends at Build-a-Bear.  I like that it's a memorable birthday party for everyone for as long as they all have their bears.  Sidekick hasn't been and I think only one other kid has been, so it's a new thing for most of them. 

When I put him to bed last night loaded up on sugar from cupcakes at school and home, he said to me, "Momma, tank you so much for my birday."  Melt my heart. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sidekick's Quirks

So some strange things have been happening in our world, and I'm kind of entertained by all of them. 

Sidekick has been talking about his "Daddy" (or lack thereof) since he was about 2 1/2.  I never imagined I'd be having conversations with him this early on.  He thinks his Daddy is dead and in the sky.  He thinks his Daddy is his Grandpa, who passed away almost a year ago.  I try to explain to him in as easy of a way as I can for a boy turning three next week that his Daddy isn't dead.  We have books about donor conception, and I tell him our story.  He still sometimes wants a Daddy. So, what does he do?  He calls me Daddy.  Yep!  At times, "Daddy" comes out in every sentence he says:

"Daddy, do you like that?"
"Daddy, can I have some milk, please?
"Pway with me, Daddy."

Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!

He wants to be a Mommy when he grows up.  As much as I tell him that girls are Mommies and boys are Daddies, and he understands that, he still wants to be a Mommy.  (I so feel like I'm messing up my kid!)  Why wouldn't he want to be a Mommy?  He doesn't really understand a Daddy.  I've explained that Daddies are boy versions of Mommies.  He'll ponder it and just when I think he "gets" it, he tells me he wants to be a Mommy.  Ugh!

His newest thing is not matching his shoes.  It's a battle I chose not to fight one morning while trying to get him ready for school, and ever since, his shoes are mismatched everyday.  It's a trend he's setting I'm sure.  Ha!  Fortunately I have a lot of shoes for him because I'm obsessed with buying him shoes. (I think he has more than I do!) There is a variety of different thicknesses of soles, so I'm able to pair them up so he'll be even when he walks and not fall on his forehead like he used to do, leaving a goose egg in the middle of his forehead.  I'm not sure how much longer this will go on, but it's now become a natural thing for us.  I give him the choice of matching or not, and he always chooses to not match. 

Tiny (imaginary Monster-friend) is still around.  He doesn't go with us places anymore which is nice because he just hangs out on Sidekick's pillow in his bed all day long. I thought Tiny was gone one night, but I realized he wasn't when I laid in bed to read him books, and I was informed that I laid on Tiny.  Oops!  Just like Sidekick, Tiny needs a drink of water every night before I close his bedroom door.  It's a good thing that Sidekick makes Tiny sit up in bed so they water doesn't spill. 

I asked Sidekick one night if Tiny went home, and Sidekick annoyingly said, "Noooo, Momma.  You ask me dat every night before I go ni-night!"  I often offer to take Tiny home because his Momma misses him, but Sidekick reassures me that she doesn't.  I think Tiny will be around for a while.

And finally, Sidekick now prefers to be a puppy dog instead of a boy.  He pants like a puppy dog, licks (kisses) like a puppy dog, but unlike a puppy dog, he talks!  He tells me "Puppy Dog wants..." "Puppy Dog does..."  etc. 

Never a dull moment at our house!

So... my child seems pretty weird right now!  His imagination is working overtime, and I find it fun!  I encourage it to an extent without it completely disrupting our lives.  It hasn't interfered yet, so it must be okay.  In the meantime, we're just living our lives and having fun!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

It's Father's Day... It's Not My Day

Today is Father's Day. I'm not a father.  I'll never be a father. I don't give a shit that it's Father's Day. I chose to have a child on my own knowing that there would be no father. So, why should I waste my energy thinking that this day should also be about me?  I won't.  I refuse. To me and Sidekick, it's Sunday, the day before we go back to school and work after having an awesome staycation for an entire week. 

I also don't focus on Mother's Day, and I'm obviously a mother. Like Father's Day, it's a stupid Hallmark Holiday, and I honestly don't believe that I should get any type of gratitude or praise on a random Sunday in May.  I don't.  I chose to be a mother, and I don't need a day focused on me to feel appreciated or loved.  I feel loved every day because Sidekick tells me he loves me more times than I can count on two hands every single day.  I don't need a day all about me.

SMC are not fathers. While we may play the role of both parents, we are not fathers.  My son will never call me Dad (well, actually, he has been calling me "Daddy" a lot lately, but that's another blog entry).  So, why should this day be focused on me?  It shouldn't.

Many other SMCs feel differently.  Many were upset about the craft that their child made for them at school/daycare.  Why waste energy on being upset because the school didn't acknowledge in some type of way that her child didn't have a dad?  We wanted something so badly and we achieved that amazing goal on our own.  I don't need accolades on Father's Day. 

My mom even texted me wishing me Happy Father's Day.  I told her the day is not mine, and she disagreed.  I know many would disagree with me, and that's okay.  Yes, I'm pulling double duty, but it's a day to celebrate Dads... not the fact that my son doesn't have a Dad. I feel pretty strongly about that.  Why draw attention to a day that doesn't really apply to my son's life?

So today was Sunday... a day when we ran errands, played with dump trucks and mulch, and Sidekick insisted on sweeping the front porch to kill "all da dead bugs" despite how hot and sweaty he was.  It was a good great Sunday with my boy who shows me so much love and kindness every single day. He takes such good care of me, and I am trying to raise him to be a great husband and father.  Hopefully one day, Cooper will be celebrating this day with his kids.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Imaginary Friend... errr... Monster and a Big Boy Bed

I have officially moved Sidekick to his big boy bed, and I absolutely love his room!  My mom and I spent an entire day putting it together.  Between converting his crib to a full sized bed, the decal above his bed, hanging pictures, etc., we were pretty worn out by the time it was done.  The stress of that decal about did us in! (The top reads:  Try New Things.  Be Outrageous. Leave your Mark.)  His bedroom looks like a bedroom for an older boy, not an almost three year old, but it just seems to fit him and he'll grow into it. Besides, I've never been into the "babyish" things for decorating or even dressing him, so it fits me too!  Haha. 


 Along with his new bedroom came Tiny.  Tiny showed up under his bed after he came home from school the day after he slept in his new bed.  Who is Tiny?  His imaginary friend, of course.  Tiny is about an inch tall.  He is a purple monster that thankfully is potty trained, doesn't hit, and doesn't push.  (So I've been told.)  The next morning, Tiny multiplied, so now we have two Tinys.  Apparently one Tiny is visiting, so I'm curious when he will go back home. Tinys have gone everywhere with him... church, swimming lessons, park, eating meals, etc.  Tinys sleep with Sidekick and their little bodies fit on his pillow right next to his head.  Sidekick even wiped one of the Tinys with real toilet paper after he went potty, and Sidekick makes sure they get a drink of water before bedtime like he does.  It's pretty entertaining, and I find it really interesting that he/they showed up the next morning after Sidekick got his bed.  Coincidence?  I think not. 
Sidekick has done great in his big boy bed.  I thought he'd have a difficult transition, and he hasn't. It was definitely harder on me than it was on him.  I just don't like seeing my baby grow up.  He'll be three years old in less than a month, and I just can't believe how fast it's gone.
Update: I started this blog the other day, and never published it, so I have two things to add:
  • One Tiny went back to his house.  Hooray!  We only have one now! 
  • For those of you following my crazy neighbor drama... her house is under contract!!!!  Double Hooray for that!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fear of Flying Now

I've never been scared of flying.  My mom was a flight attendant, so we flew a lot since we could fly for free.  However, since having Sidekick (and still no will-- eek!), I have been a little afraid to fly. Not like needing anti-anxiety medicine or gripping-my-seat-until-my-knuckles-turn-white afraid, but just worried that something might happen.  The thought of my son being parentless makes me so sad.  I never speak of my fear the days leading up to flying or during my trip for fear I'll jinx it.

I was at a company meeting last week.  It was bad enough that I couldn't get on a flight earlier than 8:50 PM which landed at midnight, but throw in some storms, and it makes everything that much worse.  It was one of those flights when I was praying/"talking" to whomever "out there" would listen to me to make sure the plane landed safely.  The flight attendants were instructed to stay in their seats the entire time because we were literally flying through the storms the whole way to our destination.  When that happens, I know it's not pretty.  No one talked on the plane.  Not one single person got out of his/her seat.  How many times have I seen that happen even though the seatbelt sign was on?  It was as if everyone was doing the same thing I was... praying/talking to whomever.  I tried to read my book in between the bumps and drops in altitude, and I found myself rereading the same paragraphs over and over again.

And then I thought about my little boy.  The sweet, happy little guy who told me before I got on the plane that he loved me.  As strange as this sounds, I had never talked to him on the phone before.  Why?  Because he's either at school or with me.  The last time I traveled for work, my mom and I decided I wouldn't talk to him on the phone because we weren't sure if it would upset him.  Hearing his sweet little voice just made me smile. He sounded so little even though he has an incredible vocabulary.

I knew we would eventually make it on the ground safely, but the almost two hour flight was worse than the 2 1/2 hours I pushed to get Sidekick out!  I'll take that any day over being 35,000 feet above the ground in a metal tube that till this day, I still don't understand how it can fly. 

When the plane landed, I think everyone breathed a sigh of relief.  As I exited the plane, I thanked the pilot for safely getting us through that storm.  He seemed pretty exhausted and almost pissed that he had to take us through that. I think he was even a little relieved that we are all safely on the ground.

And when I got home at 12:45 AM, I walked into Sidekick's room and looked at his little body sprawled out on his back, arms above his head, having sweet dreams, and I was once again reminded why I'm not a fan of flying anymore.  I couldn't imagine not being around to watch this amazing little boy grown into a man.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Loss of a Child (don't worry, not mine)

I think my last post (or the one prior) I mentioned my new friend of about six months a who lost her son when he was three years old.  He had gone into surgery, and the anesthesiologist made a mistake.  Their son was on life support for one week before they decided to discontinue life support.  Can you even imagine?  Seriously.  The thought just breaks my heart.  My friend has been so sad and has been communicating via text off and on.  I've just been checking in with her off and on to see if she needs anything or needs to talk.

His birthday was yesterday.  He would have been five.  Sidekick and I went to our favorite pond where we feed turtles and released a balloon for the little boy.  We talked about how his friend's big brother died and that he is in the sky/heaven (he put it together that the boy is with Grandpa Jack).  We let the balloon go, and I don't think I've ever seen a balloon fly so high.  Together Sidekick and watched it, and at one point he told me that the boy would be catching the balloon soon, and when the balloon disappeared, Sidekick was convinced he caught it.  So sweet.  My old soul just seems to understand so much.

We sent the picture below with a text.  My friend was so grateful that we acknowledged her son.  Unbeknownst to me, they had released balloons also. Their daughter who is three asked if she held onto all the balloons if they would take her to her big brother.  So sweet.  I cannot imagine what they are going through, and I can't imagine their loss will ever feel less of a loss.

It's one of those moments with the release of a balloon when you just hug your kids tighter and thank God (or whomever) for what you have.  It's a moment when you realize that the tantrums aren't so bad, that the stubbornness is a good horrible, that the power struggles are just the way that it's supposed to be. It's a moment when life is put into perspective, and all of the shit that once seems so awful just doesn't anymore.  It just doesn't.  They lost their beautiful little boy.
So... along with the release of the balloon for the little boy, Sidekick said we needed two balloons... one for the boy and one for his daddy.  Why?  Because he keeps telling me his daddy is dead!  Ugh!  I started the tradition on his first birthday that we release a balloon on his birthday honoring/thanking Donor, but now I wonder if that'll just confuse Sidekick because despite what I tell him, he believes his daddy is dead.  So who knows if I'll do that on his 3rd birthday next month. He couldn't possibly remember that we did it last year when he was two, could he? 
Do me a favor and gives you kids an extra hug and kiss and count your blessing before you go to sleep.