Amazing

I think I’m pretty amazing.

I do not mean to sound arrogant, but I do actually think that of myself.  I look back at my life and see how I’ve grown from the many, many mistakes I’ve made with family, friends, and men.  I look back and realize that these many mistakes were made because of my own sense of entitlement, my naivete, and out of just plain-old stupidity.

I went from being an entitled brat raised in an upper-middle class neighborhood to a really hard working single mom.  I didn’t get everything I want, but I certainly didn’t want for anything and had a childhood I personally know several people wished they had themselves: vacations every summer, pool in the backyard, private school, tutors, whatever I needed I had.  Whatever I wanted (within reason) I got for Christmas or my birthday.  I was spoiled, plain and simple.

I expected it when I was kicked out, and I didn’t care.  I moved to Arizona and came back in a year and within four months I had been disowned but with a parting gift: the money they had saved for me for college.  Yup, I was a trust fund kid….for a year.  A year is how long it took me to blow that money, not that there was an incredible amount of it….enough to buy a brand new car.  Not anything fancy like a Lexus or a Mercedes or anything, but a nice four door sedan like I have now, a Hyundai or a Toyota.

It took many years to get to where I am with my parents today.  There were a lot of bridges that had to be mended and there were a lot of heartfelt apologies on my end.  It took being poor and working at fast food as my primary employment to understand what it meant to work hard and appreciate what I had, and to understand that I would need to work harder to get where I wanted to be, which at that time really just amounted to one thing: not poor.  While mending my bridges with my family I worked hard, and realized that fast-food was not what I wanted to do forever.  I got a part time job at a small hospital and went back to school on my own.

It took 8 years for me to re-take the classes I had failed my first year of junior college as well as take the additional classes to get my A/A degree while I worked at the hospital, but I did it.  The hospital introduced me to the world of coding and on a whim I took a test and passed because I wanted to be an inpatient coder, and I have spent years working toward that goal.  I have worked and studied extremely hard for the last 14 years to become the  best coder I can be, and I am proud to say that I am damn good at my job.

Not everything goes as planned, but I was blessed with a gift I didn’t even know I wanted and have discovered a love I’ve never felt before, and it scares me to pieces.  Still, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for my little girl and she is the motivation for every upward movement in my career.  See, I really enjoy what I do, but if it weren’t for having her, I would still be happily at where I was two jobs ago.  I have been lucky enough to be able to make strides in my career that have enabled me to support my daughter.  We have everything we need, and someday I hope to be able to have a place to call our own.

This is why I think I’m pretty amazing.  Thinking back at the stupidity of my 18 year old self and seeing the mistakes I’ve made and everything I’ve been through, and to be able to see how I’ve grown from them, I’m amazed.  Things could have gone much worse in so many ways if life hadn’t slapped me around a bit and made me pull my head out of my ass.

That being said, if I’m so amazing, why doesn’t anyone else see it?  I’ve never asked for a pat on the back from anyone and that’s not what I want.  I just wonder why men don’t see where I’ve been and how far I’ve come and…I don’t know.  Care? I guess I’m getting to a point in my life where I want that one special guy to look at me and think that I’m amazing.  I guess in order to get that I would actually have to date, which based on my romantic history leaves me with more of a feeling of dread than excitement.   Maybe it’s because the choices I’ve made where men are concerned have not been in my own best interest.

Although I’ve not been entertaining the idea of dating yet, I know it’s coming soon because otherwise I wouldn’t have this weird desire to see a man looking at me like I’m special, like I’m….amazing.

Posted in Love/Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Kiss

I had a dream a few nights ago that haunts me still.  It wasn’t terrible, quite the contrary, it was pleasant.  I don’t remember much, really hardly anything at all, but I remember the kiss.

I was with someone that I’ve no memory of meeting in my life.  He is not the type of guy I am normally attracted to, and in the dream I wasn’t attracted to him.  He was tall, somewhere between 6’3 – 6’5, and a little stocky but not fat.  He was just….bigger…than I normally like.  I know that sounds terrible because I’m far from fit as a fiddle myself, but hey, it is what it is.  I cannot describe his coloring because where we were it was night-time and even with the lights of where we were, it was still kinda dark.

So I’m out with this guy, not a date because we were just being…I don’t know…normal.  No flirting, no excitement, no racing heart beats, nothing.  There was no chemistry at all, which is probably why I cannot describe him, because since he was friend I wasn’t really paying attention to him.  I know, I’m a horrible person.  Anyway, we were walking through a place that was public and busy.  It’s night time and we are outdoors, like on a walkway or something.  There was music and though we were not at a club or a concert, it was very loud.  Not just the music, but everything: the people, the talking, the noise.

We were stopped because where ever we were was packed and I had to wait in order to move forward.  I turned to say something while we waited and he just leaned forward and kissed me.  It wasn’t a deep, passionate kiss.  It was sweet.  It was soft, swift….a mere brushing of lips.  That was it.  It was over before I realized what had happened.   He straightened and just looked at me, waiting to see how I would react.  I just looked up at him, shocked.

Then I woke up.  I remember the shock of realizing what happened, and I remember looking up at this person, but though I wasn’t upset or angry, I wasn’t attracted to him either.  He was my friend and I couldn’t think of him as anything else.  I do not remember any details of the dream more than I described, but I remember that kiss like it really happened.

That kiss has blown my mind.

Posted in Dreams | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ye Olde Christmas Rant

I remember Christmas when I was a little girl, a long long time ago before cable, DVD, Tivo, DVR, Youtube, Pandora, Netflix, Hulu, and everything else technology has given us.   Back when there were 13 channels and no such thing as a remote control.  Back when the TV Guide was studied by the whole family to decide who was going to watch what, and when.

It wasn’t Christmas time until you saw the listing of two movies: Charlie Brown Christmas Special, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  For me there was a third movie called Small One.  It was the story of the donkey that carried Mary into Bethlehem, before Joseph and Mary had acquired him.  It was when these movies came on that Christmas was officially here.

Back then, these movies were a family affair.  We kids would remember the exact time and channel they would come on and wait anxiously for that night to arrive when, after dinner had been served, dishes had been washed, and Daddy had watched the new, we would change the channel at the appointed time and all sit down on the couch with some popcorn.  During this time, everyone got along, even if it was because everyone agreed and wanted to watch the same thing.  A rare thing in a household at that time.

We now live in a time where we can watch these movies at any time of day, night, or year!  While technology has made everything more convenient, it has taken some of the excitement, anticipation, out of the season.  Well, for me at least, and it leaves me at a loss of what I can do in order to provide my 3 year old daughter with that same sense of excitement for the Christmas season.

She loves the Christmas tree and the decorations, and I can’t wait to take her around Bakersfield to look at all the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve.  I’m hoping to find something to take her to tomorrow, some Christmas light experience around here that would be special.  I remember riding on a wagon with my Dad that was pulled by a mule.  About twenty of us sat on benches all bundled up with warm clothes and blankets on a cold December night while we rode around the Westminster neighborhood looking at the Christmas lights, singing Christmas Carols, and sipping some hot chocolate.  I would love for my daughter to have memories such as those, and while I’m not looking to recreate my memories for her, I’m looking for a way to make the holiday just as special for her so she can have memories of her own that are just as special to her as mine are to me.

Posted in Childhood | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rapunzel, the untold story of the King and Queen

Everyone loves the Disney version of Rapunzel.  Its funny, great singing, children and adults both can watch the movie and enjoy it.  There is one scene though, that gets me every time I watch this movie with my three year old daughter.  Its a very short scene, and if you blink you might miss it.

In the midst of the merriment and wonder of watching Rapunzel discover the world, in the excitement of them being chased by the palace guards, the singing, the dancing, you forget about the parents.  There is only one small scene that reminds us of them until the very end when the Lost Princess returns home.  In this one small scene you can see a glimpse of the other side of the story.

In this scene they are preparing to step outside to light the single lantern that they light every year on their daughter’s birthday.  They face each other and you can tell that they are tired and losing hope.  The Queen looks up the King and puts her hand on his cheek, and he leans into it.  He looks like he is going to cry, but she wills him some of her strength and together they go out and face the crowd that has gathered for this event, and together they light the candle and lift it up into the air to float away in hopes that its light helps guide their daughter back home.

As the lantern lifts into the air, you see light spreading beneath it as the people light their own lanterns, having seen that the King and Queen have already done so, and send the lanterns into the air.  The lanterns slowly rise up and fill the sky with its light, and truly it is one of my favorite scenes in the movie, but it’s one of the saddest for me as well.

I think of the parents whose only child was kidnapped.  I think about how, in the beginning, it was only their lantern that floated through the sky.  Then, as the people in the kingdom saw it happening every year on the day of the Lost Princess’ birth, they light their lanterns too.  In the beginning it was to show their beloved King and Queen support, but then more and more people started doing it, and over time it turned into a festival.  A day of dancing, feasting, love and laughter, with the lighting of the lanterns signifying the end of the celebration, much like the fireworks on the 4th of July.

I think of how the King and Queen watched their solemn tradition turned into a carnival and wonder how painful it must of them to have to suffer in front of so many who no longer saw it, how their prayer for their child turned into an annual party.  Even when they were tired, frustrated, it was expected of them to perform this ritual every year…even when they wanted to have nothing to do with it any more.  When they had given up hope. When they just wanted to shut themselves in their bedroom and cry.  Instead they had to do their duty, and light the candle because the people expected them too.

Yes, in the end it is what brought her home, but can you imagine having to go through that.  I hope I never have to, and I weep every time I hear of a child being kidnapped on the news.  I never want to know that pain and I hold my baby close and swear to keep her safe.  I don’t want to have first hand experience with the King and Queens feelings.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Different State

I used to have an active social life, to the point where staying home and not spending my evening out on the weekends was a luxury.  I deeply valued my alone time where I could just stay home, watch whatever I wanted on TV, and just relax and not be around people.

Oh how the tide has turned and now I almost long for those days.  Having them as an option would be nice.  It seems the friends that I had before Rachel, I can’t really connect with anymore.  My world has completely changed, and theirs has stayed the same and we don’t really have much to talk about anymore because they don’t have children.  The people that do have kids fall into two different categories: too young or meetup people from which I appear to be shunned.

The too young crowd are those 20- or young 30- somethings that are still going out to the clubs on the weekends and staying out all night partying.  They have the energy to run around with their kid all day and then get all gussied up and go out at night.  Lets be honest, by nine-thirty I’m ready for bed and sleep, and if I’m not at home by 10:00, well I’m just down-right cranky.  That whole night scene really doesn’t work for me anymore.

The meetup folks, well, for the single parent groups it seems that most of the people that comprise those groups for my area don’t like Rachel’s daddy, and whenever I went to their events they never seemed to want to have anything to do with me.  I would be friendly and try to meet people and let Rachel make friends, but the vibe was so unwelcoming that I just don’t do anything with them anymore. I’ve tried the mommy only groups, but most of those are for stay at home moms, which I am certainly not, so I never get to go to their functions.

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my daughter, and each day is a treasure but, I miss having friends.  I miss having some sort of a social life.  An ideal one would be one that included my daughter, but it would really be nice to have more than a couple of friends with whom I could actually still relate.  People that I could have play-dates with, or maybe go out for a dinner with, or a movie, or shoot pool, but like me WANT to be home early.  Rachel’s daddy is almost always willing to take Rachel whenever I ask him to, rarely saying no because of some prior commitment that he doesn’t want to bring Rachel to and I’m OK with that.  

I never thought I would be lonely, but I am.  

Posted in parenthood | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Frustration

I am so frustrated right now.  My mom informed me that she would no longer be helping me with daycare, and that’s fine.  I talked to my baby’s daddy about it and he offered to watch our daughter, but she loves daycare.  She has a blast there with her friends and Maria is so very good with the children.  For two days a week, 8-9 hours each of those two days, our daughter runs, plays, and learns.  It also is good because my baby’s daddy gets sick from time to time, as we all do, or something happens and he can’t watch her its nice to know that I have a third day of daycare at my disposal. I knew continuing to pay for daycare would hurt financially, but to me it is worth the tightening of the pocketbook.

That being said, I’m a little frustrated with my baby’s daddy.  He KNOWS that I’m having to watch my funds.  This past weekend I was so proud of myself for shopping sales and making it out of a grocery store with (pretty much) everything I needed and some extras, with the bonus of being $27 under budget.  I was even able to afford some ice cream as a special treat for us.  I had picked up two weeks worth of breakfast and things to make and bring for lunch, for both home and work.  So please consider my frustration when I go into the refrigerator to get out my things only to find that the 8oz package of Colby cheese is no longer there, and the 18 pack of eggs I had bought only have three eggs left in them.  This stuff was supposed to last for two weeks, and they disappeared overnight.

To be fair, I *believe* the cheese and the eggs (4 of which I had used over the weekend so that means 11 eggs were used) went to the makings of a frutatta(?), I believe that is what it is called.  Anyway, i know eggs are involved and I believe cheese, and he did say there was left-overs in the refrigerator for dinner…but if I had known how many eggs would go into the frutatta, I would have asked him not to make it.  There are other things that can be made.

Then, there is the cake mix that he asked if he could make, and I said yes.  Instead, he makes the brownie mix that a friend gave me to try.  I was going to make brownies and use the heart shaped cookie cutter on them.  So imagine my surprise when I get home one night and not only is there a pan of brownies in the refrigerator, but that it is over half gone.  Stupid me thought I would eat one the next day after work, but when I got home from work they were all gone.  I didn’t even get to try one.

The same thing happened to the bag of chips I had bought for lunch.  I’m *trying* to save money so I’ve started making sandwiches on the weekends for lunch, and now the weekdays.  I had bought a big party size bag of Garden Salsa Sun Chips since they were on sale, and I love them.  So Saturday, after I’ve made both me and my daughter’s sandwiches for lunch, I go to get the chips and they are gone.  He had eaten them all.  When I asked him about it he said he didn’t realize I hadn’t gotten any.  Seriously?

I’m sure this has been going on for a while, but before when I was noticed I was low on something, or something disappeared, I had the funds to go to the store the next day and replenish whatever supply I needed, but now not so much.  The fact that I had to have my apartment sprayed for pests didn’t help.  That was $134 I really couldn’t afford to spend, but it had to be taken care of and, since my land lord can be a bit of a jerk, I decided to pay for it rather than go through him.

So all in all, I’m frustrated.  I did vent a little via text message, and of course I haven’t heard from him any response (and I won’t, not regarding this issue), but I feel like I’m in a tough situation.  I did tell him that he is welcome to anything when he started coming over to watch our daughter.  This isn’t his home, but while he is here taking care of our daughter, and helping out with the cooking and cleaning, I do try to be hospitable.  If there is something I know he likes to eat on sale, I’ll pick it up for him.  Like, those hot and spicy noodles he gets at the 99 cent store, they were on sale for .88 cents each, so I picked him up a couple…or the Yuban coffee I’ll pick up because he prefers it to the flavored coffee I like.  It’s no big deal and its obviously not a huge amount of money, and I do want him to be comfortable here…but I think there is an element of consideration and common sense he isn’t using, or is ignoring, that makes me feel like I’m being taken advantage of.

To me, if a dish is going to take a whole 8oz block of cheese and 75% of the eggs in the refrigerator, ask before you use everything.  If there is something you would like to make, let me know to pick up extra eggs, cheese, milk, seasonings so everything is budgeted for and taken into account.  Eat in moderation, and please don’t eat me out of house and home!  He does help, but not enough for me to be ok with this.

He does vacuum, do the dishes, clean the stove top, take out the trash, and he will help with the litter box….but it’s hit or miss.  I’d say about 80% of the time he is here he helps out in some way, but about 30-40% of that time its, I vacuumed but didn’t get to this today, or I started the dishes but was unable to finish them.  Today I have a migraine and I don’t feel well, but when I got home he said that he didn’t have time to vacuum, he left the dishes in the sink..and the side that was soaking he had apparently poured coffee in so the dishes were soaking in coffee water and now the sink is all stained and disgusting.  The litter box hasn’t been touched.  The stove top was clean though. So tonight, with a migraine, I vacuumed, put the dishes drying in the dishwasher away, washed the dishes that were in the sink (after draining the sink and having them soak a bit in clean water), cleaned the sink and then put ajax on it to try to bleach out the coffee stain (so gross), made lunch, made dinner, and packed baby girl’s bag for daycare tomorrow.

Since writing the word “tomorrow” at the end of the previous sentence, I have given our daughter a bath, got her all ready for bed, cleaned out the litter box, and wiped the kitchen counters down with a Clorox wipe.  I’d take out the bathroom trash but I thought I was going to take it easy when I got home since I’m on my migraine meds and they make me not feel well (although I feel much better than if I had a full-blown migraine) so I changed into my nightgown not too long after I got home.

I guess the crux of the problem is this: I have no problem buying little things here and there for him, but I feel like he isn’t really pulling his weight.  I have asked him countless times to please put up the curtain rod in baby girl’s room. I’ve asked him numerous times to take the blinds that WERE up in her room down to the storage compartment in the carport, but they are still on the floor of the room.  Mind you, I’ve been asking him to do this stuff since May of 2013.  He doesn’t pay child support and yet I can count on one hand the number of food items or things he’s bought to help out.  I feel like I’m paying him to watch his own daughter.

I guess I’m just frustrated.  Thanks for letting me vent. Its time for me and baby girl to brush our teeth and go to bed.

Posted in parenthood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Princess Rachel

Princess Rachel wakes up in the morning.  Mommy is there to greet her as soon as she opens her eyes to the morning light.  Princess Rachel gracefully yawns and stretches, then daintily rubs the sleep from her eyes before greeting her Mommy.  Her eyes light up with the smile that adorns her face as she says, “Wake up! Wake up!  Dinner!” Princess Rachel crawls to the edge of the bed, climbs down, and races for the door yelling “Eggs!” as she opens the door and enters the room filled with toys.

Her mother turns on her favorite show, Sofia the First, as she passes through to the kitchen.  Soon the small apartment is filled with the sound of Disney singing, the smell of eggs and sausage, and the sight of Mommy’s little princess playing with her favorite toys in the warmth of the morning sun.

After breakfast, Mommy puts Princess Rachel into her favorite gown so she will be comfortable and warm playing in the toy room.  Mommy goes through her mental check list of things that she needs to do and/or any engagements that she may have agreed to that day.  Since her memory resembles that of Swiss cheese with way too many holes, Mommy shrugs and does whatever chores she has in the time available before she has to get her Princess and herself ready to go outside and face the world.

While Mommy does her chores, she pauses every now and again to watch her little princess in her pajama gown and jewelry.  She smiles as her little princess holds her dress out to the sides as if to curtsy, but instead wanders around the living room (aka, toy room), turning so her pajama gown will twirl like a real princess dress.  Princess Rachel catches Mommy watching her, and runs to her Mommy declaring “HUG” as she wraps her little arms around her Mommy’s legs.  She then dances away and goes back to playing with her toys and twirling around the room.

After Mommy has gotten ready for the day, she goes in to pick out what her princess will face the world in and starts on the task of getting her princess ready.  Princess Rachel looks up at her Mommy and smiles, then she says, “Poopy diaper,” as she pats her behind.  Mommy faces the daunting task of changer Princess Rachel’s diaper, but bravely gets everything she will need to complete her new task.  While changing Princess Rachel, the princess looks at her and inquires, “Stinky poopy diaper?”

“Yes”, Mommy confirms, “Stinky poopy diaper”.

When the task is completed and the evidence properly disposed of in the biohazard canister that has been placed in the kitchen (aka – trash can), they gather up their things and prepare to open the door. “Do you know what is outside?” Mommy asks Princess Rachel.  Princess Rachel looks up at her expectantly, knowing that Mommy is going to tell her.  “Adventure,” Mommy says. “You never know what is going to happen when you step outside your front door.”  With that, Mommy and Princess Rachel step outside….

Posted in parenthood | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment