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Beach May 09 035I am a mother.  As fate would have it I have a 1 year old son from a man who is not a part of my sons life. I could be sad, and I have been. I could be angry but I’ve made peace with it. I could be judgmental and frustrated and overwhelmed…but instead I choose to feel blessed.

Before I was a mother there was so much I didn’t know about the world.  There were so many beautiful things that went unseen by my blinded eyes.  The moment that my son was born my life changed.  There are those who will say it’s not possible, those who will criticize me for having an occasional glass of wine because  ‘Mother’s shouldn’t drink’.  There are those who will chastise me for dating

4th of july 045because they don’t think I should have the time.  Surely there will be those who will say that my dreams of having a family in my future are absurd and I should be happy with where I am in life now.

None of that matters to me, because I am smart enough to have a sip of wine not a bottle of liquor. I have the intelligence to separate a one time thing from a genuine partner.  I feel confidant knowing that I dreamt of a family long before my son was born and will continue to seek that dream with caution for his sake.  Yes, there are always those who will criticize; but none can judge me, not truly judge me because that is only God’s place.

Here are some things I’ve learned as a mother:

*Friends will come and go like a summer storm, but your family is forever.pnut bday

*The sunrise is much more beautiful when you see it sober as you nurse your newborn.

*Having a child is not a right, it is a gift from God and should be treated accordingly.

*God never gives you more than you can handle, but be careful what you ask for.

*Rocking a sleepy baby till 2 in the morning beats dancing the night away at the best night club any day.

*Nothing lasts forever, including teething so patience is a must 🙂

*Bath time also doubles as a trip to the water park so bring your own towel.

*You can in fact survive on 3 hours of sleep and still function with a smile.

peanutbday*Spaghetti is a MUST when a toddler is learning how to eat because it’s just funny to watch them get MESSY

*TODDLERS WILL EAT CATERPILLARS if they find the opportunity no matter how fuzzy and yucky they look.

*A simple smile can warm your heart and take all pain away.

*Mommy’s arms always feel the safest and must be available at all times.

*It’s impossible not to laugh when you’re running late and about to walk out the door, only to find your toddler half naked and tangled in his Tshirt in his room.

Easter 2009 044*Brushing your teeth, sweeping the floor and doing laundry are always done better with help from your toddler.

*Being a single parent doesn’t mean you have to be alone.

*A mother always thinks about everything twice – once for herself and again for her child.

*Reading a story or dancing in the living room trumps housework.

*God never said being a mother would be easy, but he did say it would be worth it.

*Every stretch mark is like a war wound, they will forever tell the story of your greatest accomplishment so you should be proud.

*A ponytail and a track suit are a mother’s best friend on rainy days – high heels in the rain with a baby are not a good idea.

*When you go to bed realizing you didn’t turn the TV on all day – that is a good day.

I think what I’ve learned most of all is that nothing matters except my family.  My Son, my mother, my sisters, my father, my grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins are my life.  Welcoming my J and little B into that mix is just another momentous memory that I feel blessed and eager to add, but until that day – for right now I live for my son and for God.  To me, there is no greater purpose.

End Thought:  It’s not only children who grow.  Parents do too.  As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours.  I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun.  All I can do is reach for it, myself. ” ~Joyce Maynard

Trust

I look to God for guidance some cleansing for my soul.praying girl Pictures, Images and Photos

The only One I know can bring me peace when I feel I’ve lost control.

I don’t have the means to make these changes, I scream to Him above.

I’m scared of all the things before me, afraid to live afraid to love!

Watching as all my friendships fade while I’m left standing in the dark.

Wondering if this is how it should be or did I miss the mark?

I know I have to leave things behind but should it be this hard?

Must I shed these layers so quickly, let caution go and drop my guard?

I’m confused by so many things, crying up to the heavens with no reply.

Am I doing this the right way Lord, why won’t You tell me why?

Day to day I struggle – caught in between two lives.

Trying to let the old me fade while making sure my faith survives.

I turn to the word of God but do not understand his plan.

When will I get direction Lord, I need the calm of your hand?

Exhaustion stretches over me, the questions lingers, should I give up?

Can I continue with this battle or have I had enough?

I don’t know how to fight this, its unfamiliar ground.

The world is pushing down upon me threatening to surround.

How can I defeat these feelings? I’m too weak to fight alone!

Is this your intention Lord, must I fight this on my own?

Like an echo in the silence I receive his word.

So quiet and steady it almost can’t be heard.

A single word is uttered, and follow I know I must.

The single word that is my guide, all He says is Trust.

cross Pictures, Images and Photos

Trust in Me in times of weakness, I will be your guide.

Trust in Me in moments of fear, there is no need to hide.

Trust in Me when you are angry, I will bring you peace.

Trust in Me when overwhelmed, sanctity is your release.

Trust in Me in all you do, lean not on your own mind.

Just trust in Me and you’ll find peace….

but first you must leave the world behind.

-A.G.H

07/07/09

I felt surprised but all around blessed to be included in this event.  Recently my friend @singlemomma_cc graced me with the Honest Scrap Award (as described below) so it’s my turn to lay it all out there.  Since I did this already in my Who I Am page I’m challenging myself to write different things. So here goes….

“The Honest Scrap award is given by other bloggers who consider a blog’s content or design to be brilliant.  The awardee must then post ten honest things about themselves and pass the award on to other bloggers who fit the bill – in other words, whose blog is brilliant”

honest_award

Honestly:

1. I have this weird anxiety filled fear of dying during the winter. I have no idea why.

2. I have 7 tattoos and want more – my family hates tattoos lol

3. My favorite past-time is Saturday mornings watching cartoons in the bed with Peanut. *love*

4. I have an obsession with cheese puffs.

5. I blame my Mom for not teaching me how to be a parent, and I’m scared I’ll be like her.

6. Sometimes I struggle with the whole self-esteem thing.

7. I worry that I won’t be a good enough parent for my Peanut.

8. In high school I was in band and debate – I was a total nerd.

9. I write songs and sing them in the shower when no one is home. hehe

10. I secretly wish I could quit my job and do missions for my church.

Ok so that was it, I feel a little better now 🙂 In following suit I am passing on my Honest Scrap award to the lovely  bloggers I know that haven’t already completed it:

@Shoobop

@MomsToWork

@WorkingMoms

@mommy2jl

@Mshepard07

This post will be random bits of decisions and thoughts I’ve made/had over the past few days….

1. I’m not flying anymore.  Is it just me or have there been a whole bunch of unexplained plane crashes?  I mean 2 DIFFERENT pilots die in midflight and have to be piloted by a passenger, Air France lost over 600 innocent passengers in its unexplained crash and today I login to my Yahoo to see a headline that reads 5-year-old survives jet crash. Yeah  – I think I’ll drive. OH and if I have to leave the country for a reason I’d rather not mention here then I’ll just take a boat.  Besides, I’m thinking that the FBI would check planes first anyway – it’s the obvious means of escape from the US. Just saying…

Meds Pictures, Images and Photos2. I think my anti-depressants are now unnecessary.  I haven’t take them in close to a week now and haven’t really noticed a difference. So either my Doc was giving me a placebo as some weird clinical trial he didn’t tell me about or they weren’t really making much of a difference other than making me a touch-me-not around my J (it’s a known fact that anti-depressants decrease sex drive).  So I’m thinking that if that’s the case I’d totally rather be crazy and want to have sex than the alternative. Yep, I’m off the meds – or well the ones for depression anyway.

3. My job sucks.  My “boss” told me that my evaluation is going to be on Wednesday.  Then he told me to turn in a self review by EOB today (Tuesday). I’m pretty sure that he plans to use my self-review as my evaluation so he doesn’t have to use what little brain he has to think of something to write down.  I am thinking this is probably because he does nothing (i.e. manage me) and has no idea what I do on a daily basis and in actuality probably doesn’t really care. I mean I could be making Anthrax over here and he would have no idea. I’m not though…so don’t be dialing up Homeland Security or anything cause that was totally just a joke.

*sigh* So as usual I have to do everything around here – including my own employee evaluation.  On the bright side I can write a kick ass review of myself and he probably won’t even read it before he turns it in.  I thought maybe under Areas of Achievement I could write : Maintains workload with above standard efficiency as well as handling all of bosses work without the benefits or recognition. Although on the off chance he does bother to read it first I would probably get fired.  Damn…

4. I’m going to marry J. I mean eventually I’m going to marry him.  Yesterday I came home and he had watered the My J at chilisflowers I have by my steps that I let die (which he put in for me), unstopped the shower in the master bathroom (I think I’m going bald), knocked down the wasps nests on my porch (I’m allergic to wasps) AND had installed a new super nice faucet in the kitchen WITH the little sprayer (because I kept complaining about my sprayer being leaky)! Sorry ladies he’s taken.  I mean that’s not the only reason but I won’t bore you with all the mushy love stuff because I could so go on for days…so bottom line he’s my future husband. I mean I hope, it’s kind of up to him.  But if he doesn’t ask in the next year I’m going to take a page from my Mom’s playbook and drop down to one knee with a baseball (I mean cause guys don’t wear engagement rings and he likes baseball).

5. I’m not eating pretzels anymore. That’s it.

End thought: Note to self: PROOF READ – that’s all that needs to be said here.

I am going to scream. Maybe my skin is easily crawled based on the fact that I haven’t taken my anti-depression meds in a week. Hmm…but I think I’m having homicidal thoughts about my boss. I hate him. He is always telling me one thing and then yelling at me for doing it when he changes his mind and FORGETS to tell me. Never mind that his yelling is overheard by OUR boss who also happens to be C.O.O. (Chief Operating Officer) of the company.  So of course he tries to make me look stupid and of course he fails – because I’m not stupid and I’m totally not afraid to call him out for his lack of leadership skills.

So my review is tomorrow (YIPPEE) that could make or break me and I just made him look like a total douche in front on the C.O.O. But in my defense – he totally asked for it. I mean I am one of like 3 women in this office and I am SICK. TO. DEATH. of being treated like I’m stupid because I don’t have a penis.

UGH!

Naturally I want to reply by hurling a stapler through the little window that leads into his office and just hoping it hits him in his temple. At least then I would have a few moments of peace before he regains consciousness enough to fire me. Alas,  I would hate to be fired for throwing office supplies – instead I think I would prefer to be fired for something that would be legendary.  Like for instance – ramming my car into his 3 times too small 1999 POS Civic (which he keeps parked under his office window so he can keep and eye on it – right cause someone is going to steal a 99 civic that has been ridden harder than a prostitute in a UK Brothel) repeatedly while flipping him the bird and screaming “I DON’T HAVE A PENIS AND I STILL HAVE A BRAIN”….yes THAT would totally be worth getting fired for.  Sigh – damn the economy for putting me in this corner – Fall 2010 better yield an acceptance letter to CCTech or I will go INSANE.

End thought: “The world is divided into people who do things–and people who get the credit.” – Dwight Morrow

Seriously?

The Jerk visited for Father’s day weekend, Saturday while I was bound for Alabama taking home the little Sis, he came. My mom was there with my Peanut – at my house where visitation is supposed to take place – and oversaw the visitation. She said it went well, that he was nice, that he cried when Peanut said “dada”…Whatever was my reply. I don’t have sympathy for him, why should I? Just because he’s realized he’s a jerk and now a year later decides he wants to be a part of the Peanut’s life (for now anyway) I am supposed to cater to his sudden case of conscious??

I don’t think so.

I figured – ok – it’s not the first time he’s done a 180 and it undoubtedly won’t be the last. My walls are standing strong and my new I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude is firmly intact. I’m cold and callous – he can’t get to me. He used to be able to break down my walls only because they were paper thin out of sheer anxiety and fear of retaliation if I didn’t relent; but now I’m not afraid anymore. Now I have love and support from my family and my J.

So as usual, just in time for my new attitude of insensitivity – I get a random text.

“Just wanted you to know I’m in jail.”

It’s the Jerk. I stared at it blankly – if this were any other time I would have balled my eyes out feeling guilty. Oh no, not this time.

“Well it wasn’t me”

I replied – knowing I hadn’t received a letter saying that we had court. It was his other disgruntled baby momma – with which he has 2 children (ages 3 and 6) that he visits on a regular basis – that jailed him this time. This would be the SAME baby momma that called my cell phone as I’m sporting a ring on my left hand and a newly developing fetus courtesy of The Jerk several months into our relationship (aka HELL ON EARTH), to inform me that I’ve been living with her husband and that she is JUST NOW filing for divorce. UM, EXCUSE ME???? Yeah that’s a totally different story though so I’ll delve more into that later.

Moving on….The Jerk replies:

I know, just wanted you to know I was in here.”

Why? As if I am supposed to care? Well I don’t care – I don’t care that he’s in jail, I don’t care if he gets out, I don’t care if gets butt humped by his cellmate in his sleep I. DON’T. CARE.  I can’t care. I just flat out can’t. I don’t have the ability anymore.

Thus I’m writing this as an epiphany because I’ve decided to take the advice of the strong women I’ve on PNN and Twitter and let it go. It’s such an uplifting feeling, I feel freed of chains I’ve carried since I met the Jerk that regretted summer day 2 years ago. So in the midst of my F***-THAT-JERK-I- FEEL-AWESOME high I get this text:

“I still love you.”

* * * * * * * * * * *<—-that is silence – stunned, paralyzed, unrelenting silence. You have got to be kidding me. I mean SERIOUSLY?!?

Honestly, it pissed me off for a second. HOW DARE YOU EVEN TRY THAT SHIT WITH ME YOU SORRY WASTE OF OXYGEN!!! But then I took the advice of my girls and took a deep breath and then I laughed until I cried. I laughed the longest jovial laugh I had within my body and then I laughed some more. I didn’t even bother to reply to the incompetent fool.

I don’t care and I certainly DO NOT love him, hell I don’t even like him and it takes all the effort I have to tolerate him. I never did really love him now that I think about it I mean I THOUGHT I loved the guy he pretended to be. That fabrication that he created without an ounce of remorse. The real him is a complete stranger to me.  Therefore I just don’t care, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

I realized today that it’s over – that jackass doesn’t have a hold on me even though I have a son that shares in some of his genetics that doesn’t give him the right to make my life miserable forever and I control how he affects me. I have a great life now;  me, the Peanut, My J and little B – we are happy and no one can touch that. Especially not the Jerk.
End thought: “Through weakness I found friends, but it is through friends that I found strength.” -Me

I remember a time as a child when I would go to the grocery store with my great- grandmother.  It was a local store known as the Camden Food Shop, locally owned and locally operated.  I remember the warm greeting you got when you walked into the door – a smile and a handshake by the manager.  The young men stocking the shelves were always so eager to help the elderly reach the items on the top shelf, the produce hemmed and hawed over till it shined in it’s proper placement.  The price was a little more than our Super Walmart down the road, but it was worth it, even to me as a child.  The cashiers were friendly and engaging, the boy bagging the groceries polite and courteous as he helped us to the car.  I would watch as my Gaga would slip a few coins into his hand and receive an enthusiastic ‘Thank you ma’am’ in return.   What happened to those days?

My last trip to Walmart resulted in a complete loss of faith in Customer Service.  First in an attempt to maneuver my cart through the isle littered with boxes of items being stocked, the Walmart employee stocking the shelves shot me a glare and rolled his eyes.  Then, I tried to catch the attention of an employee who seemed to just be socializing with a fellow employee so I approached them and said “Pardon me, but could you tell me where I could find the carpet cleaner?” (It wasn’t with the mops and it wasn’t with the vacuums) I was met with large ghastly sighs and a finger pointed in the general direction of housewares.  Excuse me for asking you to actually work. The final straw that day took place at the register. I had coupons and the cashier didn’t know how to use them.  Not only did she blame me for not knowing how to ring up the coupons (I’m sorry isn’t that your job??) but she proceeded to tell me it was “too busy” for me to be using  coupons and then apologized to the man behind me for having to deal with me.

Oh no she did not! Of course I told her that if she felt the need to apologize to other customers it should be for her lack of ability to do her job, not for me bringing in some coupons.

Needless to say there was an – um – disturbance in the local Walmart that day.  What’s worse?, the Customer Service Manager didn’t even bother to apologize when I complained about how I was treated!  It was then that it occurred to me, they don’t care because they don’t have to.  Why is it that consumers have grown so accustomed to this treatment that we just look the other way? As if Walmart were doing us some favor by being open? I’m sorry but aren’t we the customers? Do we not make or break their business model?? Obviously this is something they’ve forgotten.

It’s not limited to retail stores alone. In fact, I’m not sure which is worse, retail or fast food restaurants?  Now I can understand you’re working for minimum wage in a hair net and it’s less than fulfilling.  You make french fries all day and deal with the filth of society, fine I get it, but if you don’t like you’re circumstances…only you can change them. Rolling your eyes when I ask for extra pickles or a clean food tray is not going to make it better. Oh and yes I get your sarcasm when you say ‘would you like to try a hot apple pie with that‘ but I’m still not laughing.  I don’t feel sorry for you, just because you hate your job does not give you free reign to mistreat the public.  How many times have I gotten half of my order or the wrong drink and just shrugged it off and gone about my business? Never mind I work my thankless job 40 hours a week and earned that money without making my customers miserable in the process. What has happened to Customer Service?

Have we all just gotten so accustomed to dealing with poor service that we are ok with inadequate standards? According to White House elicited TARP Study done in the 1980’s the following was discovered about unsatisfied customers:

-96% of dissatisfied customers do not complain directly.

-90% will not return.

-One unhappy customer will tell nine others.

-13% will tell at least 20 other people.

Just think that study took place over 20 years ago; since that time Customer Service has certainly fallen by the wayside.  The big question is, are we as consumers to blame?  Think about it, by lowering our standards and accepting the less that adequate service are we paving the way for our own mistreatment?  Is it too late to make a change?

Now I’m not saying that everyone should start raving like a lunatic when they receive a medium instead of a large or a because the Walmart greeter doesn’t smile as they say hello.  No that is certainly not the solution.  What we can do is increase our standards of acceptance.  If you feel like you were mistreated, say something to a manager, voice your opinion and make your standards known.  You don’t have to cause an uproar but you can explain that it’s not acceptable.  Encourage your friends and family to stop settling for mediocre and make these corporations live up to the standards of excellence that they advertise!  It’s not all about putting out the best price it has to be a balance between price, customer service and overall store appearance.

Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but if I’m not then maybe if enough of us stand up to it and demand better maybe we might can make a difference.  Or maybe we’ll just be deemed complainers – haha – either way it’s worth a try.

End thought: You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” – Beverly Sills

Also, yes I tried to be serious in this, but the pictures got me. I just couldn’t help myself.