Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Christmas Card and Dog's Birthday

It may only be the beginning of October, but last weekend, Sidekick and I went into the woods to take pictures for our Christmas card. Yep!  I am way ahead of things.  I always write a poem to a different Christmas song every year with a theme, and I even have that done!  I have uploaded everything, and I all I have to do is hit "Order".  I'm holding out a little longer because I "fear" something will need to be added to the poem.  For example, right now, Sidekick is doing a trial karate lesson on Friday, if he ends up liking it, that will need to go into the card.  He wasn't the most cooperative which pissed me off, but I was determined to not have to drag him out into the woods again for something that might not be better.  So... here's a sneak peek. This one doesn't go with the theme per se, but it's pretty cute anyway. He got dirty right away as this is one of the first pictures I took:


Six and a half years ago, long before Sidekick was a consideration in my future, my awesome golden retriever was diagnosed with a heart condition.  I was faced with the difficult decision to put her through open heart surgery which had a 50% success rate.  She was six years old, so I felt like I owed it to her to give it a shot.  Last Friday she turned 13.  She and Sidekick have such a special relationship.  He walks her, feeds her, gives her her medicine, brushes her, and snuggles with her. 
Since Sidekick knows all about birthdays now, he insisted on having a party for her. So, we made her a dog cake, wore party hats and got balloons and a small present. As soon as he went down the stairs after getting ready, he gave Dog a big hug and sang "Happy Birthday." 
I know our time with Dog is getting shorter.  Thirteen is old.  Thirteen is really old after undergoing open heart surgery and now in congestive heart failure.  She's been such a sweet companion for Sidekick, and I'm sad for the day when we will have to say goodbye.  At random times, Sidekick will ask me when Ah-mee (what he calls her) is going to die.  I wish I had an answer, but I don't.  We will have a difficult time when she is no longer with us.  She's been my baby for a long time. 

I will not get another dog after she dies.  Maybe down the long, long road, but not anytime soon.  I've had a dog for about 18 years (had two at the same time for a while). They've been a huge part of my life, and I think it's so important for kids to grow up with pets and having a role in taking care of them.  But... I need to be less tied down.  I want to go on spontaneous trips and not worry about what to do with Dog.  I want to not having to rush home from somewhere to let her go potty.  I want to not have to walk her when the wind chill is -15 degrees (I'm a firm believer that dogs need to be walked every day, and even when Sidekick was a baby, I walked Dog every day.)  I want a little less freedom than I have right now.

And for a little chuckle... every night Sidekick says a prayer, and the beginning is always the same.  Here was our conversation:

Sidekick:  Dear God. Tank you por watching ober da babies.
Me:  Anything else?
Sidekick:  Also, God, why are deer Cwismas decowations when we haben't eben had Halloweeen?

I just laughed. I'm not sure he'll get an answer, but I want to know the same thing.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Date

Last week, I did indeed meet up with that guy for lunch.  After a 15 minute delay in the time because of my work, we met at a cool new restaurant that makes amazing chopped salads. He looked just like his picture, but I swear, he was shorter than he said.  We even had a conversation on the phone about his height. I am 5'6" and I was wearing wedges... I think I was taller than him.  He claims he is 5'10", but my wedges were not four inches... were they???


There was that awkward moment upon meeting and then trying to get a conversation going.  I never want anyone around us to think we are on a first date especially when we first meet, but he told one of the workers there right away.  Ugh!  We stared at the menu for a while and talked about what we were going to get. It's a place that makes the salad in front of you while you move down a "line" and you can choose which things you want.  I went first and by the time mine was ready, he was at the end picking out his chicken.  He ordered a specific salad from the menu, but he wanted a different kind of chicken and two different dressings on the side. (High maintenance?) I went to pay, and while I don't expect a man to pay, I was totally surprised that he didn't even attempt to offer to pay when we were standing next to each other.  Whatever.

We sat down and he asked me what I do for a living and vice versa.  Conversation was okay, but I didn't feel any type of spark.  He eventually asked me about what Sidekick's name is and asked to see a picture. He commented on how cute he is which kind of led into the dating scenario with a kid.  I know he loves kids and is probably good with them, but I don't think he wants to share me with Sidekick.  He's 50 years old, so I can't imagine him with a three year old and dealing with me having to hire a babysitter anytime we want to go out.  That's the problem with dating with a kid: babysitters are expensive, and I can't just drop anything at a moment's notice.  (The Sunday before we actually met, he texted me out of the blue and asked me if I wanted to meet him for coffee that afternoon... ummmm... babysitter needed!)  He also mentioned (again) the idea of always having to stay at my house (was he invited?) unless I get a babysitter. 

He emailed me the next day saying he'd like to get together.  I got slammed with two busy days of work that had evening events and then my busy weekend came and went.  I never emailed him back.  I suck, and that's mean.  I know that.  He was a nice guy, but I just don't know if I want to go out with him again.  He's not very funny (important to me) and he referenced Seinfeld many times (I never watched that show and he knows it, so I found it annoying).  I hate thinking that I'm judging him and the potential of a relationship off an almost two hour phone conversation and a 90 minute lunch date.  But... time has come and gone, and it seems silly to email him back now.  Dating sucks. 

I know when the right guy comes along, I'll be willing to pay for that babysitter because I'll want to be with that guy, but I sure don't want to pay for one plus my meal and/or drinks because that's an expensive night to spend with someone I'm not interested in.  Maybe I need to take Sidekick to my mom's for a month and be a serial dater.  Haha.

There's no one else in the hopper right now though, so that's a bummer. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Date with a Man!

Well, I entered the online dating world, and it sure has sucked!  After my short stint and no prospects, I got a great deal (of course) to renew my membership, so I decided to try suffering once again.  Here's my perspective on online dating... if you aren't a strong woman, it can really hurt your self esteem.  Seriously.  It's hard to not take offense when a guy doesn't respond to an email, a like, a wink, whatever.  Does he really think he's better than me, and I'm not worthy of his time and attention?

As soon as I renewed, I decided to change my picture, and I immediately got a few men vying for my attention.  I find it interesting that that would change things, but it did.  Anyway, I got an email from a guy who is 50 (gulp!) years old.  (I'm almost 42.)  He doesn't look close to being 50 and he takes good care of himself, and really, age is just a number. He's attractive and seems to have his shit together, so those are good things. 

We exchanged some thoughtful emails, and I told him that I am a SMC and gave him an "out" if he wanted.  I understand it's hard dating someone with kids, especially when there is no ex-husband who takes the kids every once in a while.  Furthermore, I have no family in the same state, so I'll have to start forking out money for a babysitter which I don't want to do but will have to do.  So everything I just typed were his concerns, and I totally get it. Just the thought of juggling dating with a kid makes me crazy!

This guy has never been married (came close) and doesn't have kids, but he really does like kids.  I feel like he has such a footloose and fancy free life, and I... don't.  I'm not so sure how much he is going to want to share me with my son, have to make plans ahead of time, and not being able to do spontaneous things if Sidekick is not invited. Again, stressful.

Last night we talked on the phone for two hours. He brought up the whole kid thing and babysitting issue and even made a comment like I'd never really be able to stay the night at his house.  Yep.  You got it, buddy!  I'm not paying a babysitter overnight just so we can sleep in your bed.  My bed is big and comfy and will be just fine.

We have an unofficial lunch date tomorrow.  Last night I suggested we meet for lunch.  Why?  Because I don't have to pay for a babysitter and lunch seems much less stressful.  He's on vacation from his fulltime job this week, but he has a side job, so he's not exactly sure when he'll be done. I work out of my home and will be out an about with customers.  It might be a bit of a challenge, but I told him in a text that I have to go about my day because it is a work day, and we'd have to play it by ear if we will be able to connect.  That might have pissed him off.

Who knows what'll happen.  Part of me is ready to date, and part of me is scared shitless.  How does a man gel into mine and Sidekick's life that has just been the two of us for a little over three years?  I want to find a man, I really do, but dating brings a new set of challenges now that I have a child.

Sidekick keeps asking me when he is going to get a Daddy.  As if it is that easy.  If it was, I wouldn't have him, I'd have an entirely different kid from free sperm. I keep telling him that one day I hope to find him a Daddy.  He reassures me that we have great family and we are a great team.  Bless his sweet, innocent heart.

No one knows about this potential date.  I don't want anyone to know unless it truly goes somewhere.  But I'm tempted to ask my friend about him because she happens to be Facebook friends with him.  However, my secret investigating might be a little too much and seem very sneaky to her, and I wouldn't want that to get back to him.  I guess I'll wait to ask her if in fact I'm interested in him.  There are so few secrets in the world with social media, and it's easy so Google people. 

Update tomorrow if there is an actual date...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Blood, Blood, and More Blood

It was a lovely Monday evening.  One in which despite the heat and humidity, for some reason, it didn't feel all that horrible.  I was sweaty and smelly from going running before I picked up Sidekick from school, but after dinner for what was supposed to be 15 minutes before bath time, Sidekick put his helmet on and hopped on his new bike with training wheels while I walked Dog.  We came across a yard being watered, and Sidekick was enjoying riding his bike through the sprinkler, laughing each time. He somehow stopped and while trying to get started again the training wheel got stuck between the grass and the sidewalk.  I watched him and the bike tip over in what felt like slow motion and saw him fall to the ground. I blew the fall off like I always do and helped him get up while he was crying. I happened to catch a little blood on his neck and when I took a better look, inside I freaked out a bit because it was a lot of blood.

I picked up Sidekick while he was crying, held the bike in one hand, and the leash in the hand that was holding Sidekick.  I quickly and very calmly walked to my neighbor's door to help assess the damage.  We both looked and couldn't decide what to do at first.  I ran the bike and Dog home while my neighbor held Sidekick and held a washcloth to the slice in his neck.  Once I came back, we decided it was best to take him to the pediatric ER.  If you are squeamish, don't look at this picture (probably way too late for that warning!):

If I learned anything through this process, it's that kids don't know to be scared.  If we are scared, then they will be too.  I texted my sister who filled my mom in, got Taggie that only stays in his bed, and we got in the car.  When we walked into the ER, the person that greeted us asked what was wrong, and Sidekick replied, "I hurt my neck."  We waited an hour to get into triage and another hour to get in a room.  The entire time, Sidekick was great!  It was past his bedtime by the time we got into triage and he couldn't eat or drink anything, so that didn't make him happy, but he was still a trooper.  We finally got a room where he chose to watch "Frozen" and hang out.  

When "Frozen" was over, (that's how long it took someone to get this wound taken care of), he all of a sudden went ballistic!  He was thrashing around, was inconsolable, got off the bed, headed to the door, and told me he was leaving.  At 11:00 PM, a nurse came in (shift change) and I told her he was clearly a mess and might need a little Tylenol or something (I don't normally give him any meds), because he was hurting.  With the way he was laying, she could only see the little "hole" on his left side right by his collar.  She was surprised that he was in so much pain because of that. When I told her to look under his chin, she said, "Oh, Baby, let's get you some medicine."

He quickly fell asleep with Taggie over his face because the room was bright and it was three hours past his bedtime.  During this waiting time, the nurses kept putting a numbing gel so that he wouldn't feel anything happening to him. We finally figured out that the doctor would be able to glue it as opposed to doing stitches which was great, but then we had to wake him up. You can imagine how unhappy he was.  Someone from Family Crisis came to talk to me about how the procedure would go and how to best help Sidekick through it.  At 11:15 PM they scrubbed up the cut and he did great. We had to prop a pillow under his shoulder blades so that his neck would bend back, chin up, and his neck would be stretched. The lady from Family Crisis held her iPad near his ear so that he could listen to music while I held his hand and talked to him.  As soon as the glue was put on him, he screamed bloody murder!  Apparently, despite the numbing gel, they see one kid every few years have a reaction to the glue, and that kid was mine.  While I quietly talked to him to keep him still, he little butt started dancing to "Wheels on the Bus" that was playing on the iPad, and he was singing the song quietly through his tears.  Broke my heart, but such a strong boy.

We were discharged at 11:45 PM with a Cars Band-Aid, a glued 1 1/2 inch gash, and a purple popsicle. 

I was apologized to several times for the wait.  It was a really busy night.  One nurse told me a four day old baby came in with a really high fever. Can you imagine that?  I explained that I was grateful my kid was going to walk out of here with nothing more than a scar, and that I'd wait as long as I needed for an outcome like that.  It was bad to be in the ER, but at the same time not that bad because he was lucky to be on the bottom of the urgency list. I felt sorry for all the kids and babies who had far worse things going on.

So, what exactly cut him?  I don't really know.  The bike wasn't really moving when it fell over.  I originally thought it was the helmet strap, but it's way too soft to have caused that at snail speed.  Upon looking at his bike, I feel more confident that he fell on the hard "wire" leading from the handbrake to the wheel. I think that might have just caught him at the right angle when he fell.  But I'm not sure, and I don't know if I ever will. 

My sweet boy was so brave.  Sometimes I look back and think it could have been so much worse if the cut had been deeper or in just a little bit different of a location.  I kept him home from school the next day since we didn't get home until 12:30 AM, and I knew he'd be tired.  When he got to school, he was proud to show off his war wound, and it never phased him after that.  It's like it never happened.

I'm sure I'll see more blood in my future.  No doubt. 

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!