Category Archives: Life

everything is NOT my fault.

First of all – welcome back to my blog! πŸ™‚

I know it’s been a long time… and hopefully that’s going to change. You can’t say I didn’t warn you in the beginning… I’m not very good at this blogging thing. Round 2 blogging… go.

If you want the short version – I’m still alive (yay!), I’m still raising Winright, and I’m still fat. Yep. You heard it here. I didn’t get skinny for my best friend’s wedding. I swear, I WILL BE SKINNY AT SOME POINT IN MY LIFE. Well, maybe not skinny… but less bootylicious than I am now.

I am working out though. Dieting really doesn’t work for me in the long term, so maybe this whole “let’s workout and try not to eat cupcakes every day” will work. Even if it is only one pound a week…I should be down to my goal week in about a year πŸ™‚

In other news, I am venturing into new territory… single territory. Yep. You heard it. No more bullshit boyfriend.

That relationship was way more work than reward, therefore, it had to end. It was pretty much doomed from the start, but let’s not get into that.

Let me just say that… LADIES – or hell, even you MEN – if you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, get out. Get out now. Stop letting them break you down, because when you finally do get out, you’ll barely recognize yourself. It’s like I’ve woken up and I can finally see what was happening all along.

Things my friends and family have been telling me for years months. All the signs were on the wall. And even I knew it long ago. I’d end things and then SOMEHOW, SOME WAY I would be manipulated into thinking everything was the way it was because of me – and guess what – it wasn’t.

I’m not perfect. Don’t we grow up knowing that? Yet I have been told that OVER AND OVER for nearly two years now. It gets old. It gets old never feeling good enough. It gets old being screamed at. It gets old being screamed at then told, “well, if you weren’t such a bitch so dumb, I wouldn’t yell.”

It’s finally like, HELLO – you’re the reason I’m such a bitch!

I’m ready to move on with my life. If I wind up alone, so be it.

I don’t hate him or wish bad things upon him. He’s a good person – a funny person. He will do about anything for a stranger. But watch out if you’re dating him.

After all, I have Winright, and that’s my #1 priority. That’s someone that I refuse to screw up with this toxic relationship any longer.

I know there’s a genuine tall handsome redhead man out there waiting for me, and damn it, I’m going for him.

That’s real talk, ya’ll.
Don’t judge me.

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Get Comfortable (with anger)

This post won’t be easy. This post won’t be funny. Okay, well maybe a little. You’ll probably laugh at how crazy I am.

It has taken me a long, long time to muster up the courage to write this story. To put this on paper. To put this on the Internet. Even now, I can’t write it perfectly. I’ve forgotten things and tucked certain memories away in my brain.

I pray my child never sees this. I pray that I can protect my child from the evilness that surrounds us all, the people who fill our ears and brains with insults and self-doubt. The ones that convince us we aren’t worthy. I pray that being a product of a single mama doesn’t haunt him.

My pregnancy story, and my birth story are tough to describe. I have started this post four times now and I don’t think there’s any way I can spin it to make it sound good. I cant make it look pretty or nice. I can only pray that some other girls who have been in my situation can appreciate this and that people who haven’t been in this situation can somewhat understand.

Its not a story I ever guessed I would have. I never in a million years thought I would get pregnant before I got married. I never thought I would be a single mother. It just wasn’t in my “plan.” It wasn’t in my mother’s plan either, she actually thought my best friend was pregnant when I sat her down in August 2009 and told her she was going to be a grandma. It wasn’t in my dad’s plan for me either, considering one of the first things he said was, “I didn’t even know you had sex.” The first conversation you have with your dad about sex and you’re 23 years old and pregnant knocked up. Not a great moment in my life.

I told Mr. L’s father I was expecting on his birthday – I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I remember him asking for water. I remember him saying he did not want this baby. I remember him saying this would never work. I remember him walking out of my apartment on Washington Street and not looking back. That was August 24. He didn’t call me until September 3. My birthday. (I guess payback is a bitch, huh?) He told me that he had been reading articles online and that what I was carrying inside me was not a baby. It was only tissue and he could have the money and we could just, “go get an abortion and go back to normal.”

I don’t remember what I said, but it must have sounded something like, “go to Hell.” He told me I was on my own. He told me that maybe I could meet someone else and they could raise this baby because he would not be there. He told me, “you’re having this baby to spite me, but you are only spiting yourself.” Not a great moment in my life.

I started to shut down. I was nothing. I was worth nothing. This child was worth nothing. It was incomprehensible. How does someone know you, and tell you they care so much about you for seven years and then walk away from you like you’re no more than some stranger on the street?

I started to question myself. I started to question my ability to be a mother. I started to wonder if life was even worth living. It feels so horrible to write this now, looking back. Needless to say, that first six months of my pregnancy was the most emotional time of my life. I felt completely alone. I shut everyone out. I treated my mother and my closest friends like shit. I was so mad, so mad at myself and at him, I was mad at the entire world.

I started spinning – I called him constantly, badgering him to be in this child’s life. I couldn’t accept no for an answer. I desperately needed him to be there (or so I thought). I went to every single doctor’s appointment alone. Minus my ultrasound where they told me I was having a boy. I pretended to be happy, but it was the lowest point of my life. I contemplated adoption. I contemplated everything. My brain never shut off. I was so afraid Mr. L would have problems because I was so stressed out.

As the days passed, I started to go numb. I started to become comfortable with my anger. I convinced myself that my anger was healthy. That my anger was serving as a form of self-preservation. My anger motivated me to keep going, my anger helped me to cover my wounded ego and all that loneliness I felt. So many people tried to comfort me, to help me. I just couldn’t be comforted. I was on an island all my own. And I had swam there myself. I built all those walls that surrounded me. I pushed everyone away from me. I blamed myself for everything – told myself I was not good enough, that I was a whore, that no one could ever possibly love me, even the child I was carrying. I could never be good enough for Mr. L, I couldn’t even keep his father around.

I invited him to be there for the birth. Despite the nine months of hell I had just been through, I still asked him to be there to witness the birth of our child. He never showed up. I think that was the last straw for me. Not to mention, I had just met the most beautiful human I had ever laid eyes on.

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Not kidding, he was perfect. I couldn’t stop looking at him. I was in complete awe, and as cliche as it sounds – my life changed forever.

It was hard to accept, but it got easier day by day. My family was wonderful. My mom was an absolute Godsend. She helped me with everything. She put up with me at my worst, at the absolute lowest time of my life and she stood by me through it all. Mothers are the most incredible beings. I don’t think anyone tells a mother to do these things for their child, its just something they do. She could’ve told me to deal with my own mess, figure out the whole motherhood thing on my own, but she never did. I wouldn’t be where I am as a mother without my parents’ support.

Gradually, I stopped thinking about Mr. L’s father – I stopped wanting him to come around – my desires actually flip-flopped, I wanted him to stay away. I felt like I had been riding a roller coaster for over a year, and I was ready to get off. I wanted a stable, calm relationship with my child. I didn’t want the drama that came with dealing with his dad.

I stopped being angry and I started getting comfortable. I got comfortable with being a single mama. I got comfortable with my child. I got comfortable with myself. I stopped beating myself up over him walking out – because in the end, he walked away on his own and he has to deal with that. He doesn’t deserve my child, but he is his father. I’m not mad anymore, I’m actually thankful for him.

I think of the moments I have shared with my child. Thousands of feedings, thousands of diaper changes, teaching him things, watching him crawl and walk and run, celebrating holidays. I got to do it all. Even if he started now, he could never catch up on all the moments he missed. He could try, but he could never love Mr. L like I do. From the deepest most inner part of my soul.

I just hope and pray I don’t screw Mr. L up too bad πŸ™‚ I won’t be able to blame it on his father.

If you made it through this post, thank you for reading. This blog has become such a comfort to me. I feel like no one is reading except me. (I like that because it’s easier for me to just type away and not feel so censored.) Everyone has been so supportive and I appreciate each and every one of you for being so kind to me while I spill this mess I call “my life” on you. πŸ™‚

Xo, Jess.

{moment of honesty} this is, hands down, the hardest thing I’ve ever written.

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Valentine’s Day (& other personal hells)

Oh Valentine’s Day. Lovely, lovely Valentine’s Day. I love love, and I love the idea of a day celebrating love. Therefore, I must love Valentine’s Day. Do I sound convinced yet?

This year’s Valentine’s Day was all planned out, I bought a gift for Mr. L and a gift for my manfriend. I had dinner all planned out. I had it alllllll planned out. I even wore pink and red and everything! I should know better than to ever make plans. They usually blow up in my face.

My downhill spiral started on Wednesday Valentine’s Eve. My house was a di-sas-ter. All caps. DISASTER. As it is most Wednesdays. {side note: I work late on Monday and Tuesday, so basically I do nothing when I come home – oh, except make dinner and give my child a bath and play cars and read 50 books before putting him to bed}

I had laundry everywhere, all rooms needed swept, bathroom needed wiped down, etc. So anyhow, my usual course of action is to do it all on Wednesday. After all, it is hump day and I feel motivated because only two. more. days. until Friday! HOLLA!
Not this week. I took it upon myself to make dinner, play with Mr. L, and then after putting him to bed – I plopped my big ol’ booty down and vegged out on Pretty Little Liars. Then I went to bed.

I swear, that manfriend and I watched movies until 3 a.m. one night this past weekend and I am still paying for it! No more late night movie nights. Never again. Long gone are the days when I could stay up all night and actually function the next day.

So by not cleaning my house on Wednesday, I was stressed as soon as I woke up on Valentine’s Day. Which, for me, pretty much means Valentine’s Day doom.

By mid-day, I seriously considered cancelling the whole thing. Seriously. I was going to call Cupid and tell him just where to stick his frickin’ arrows. Then I got off work early and I felt a glimmer of hope. Maybe I could still pull it off. I picked up my little man, and Mr. L and I headed to a sweet little party put on by my great friend Heather. I was a bit worried, because I had to wake Mr. L up from his nap (the kid loves his naps) and he wasn’t in the best mood.

This is where I’m supposed to tell you what a wonderful time we had and how perfect my child is, and how well he plays with other kids. Except my child is nuts, and should only be allowed to play with other crazy children and wolves. I don’t know why I beat myself up – he’s a boy – he’s very active – he’s normal? I don’t know, but here I am – scolding my child to stop running, and stop jumping, and stop sticking his dirty fingers into the cupcakes, and to stop growling at these three perfectly behaved little girls – while their equally perfect moms most likely sat there silently thinking about what a crazy, bad mother I am. They were all super nice about it, but sometimes – whether it’s correct or just a feeling I have about myself – I feel like Mr. L and I just don’t fit in. Lately, I just feel like I don’t want to take my child anywhere because he doesn’t listen to me. Period.

Anyhow, I’m done having a pity party for myself. I am just putting this all out there because one day, some day (please, God, let it be soon) this behavior will stop. And I’m gonna miss this. So I’m gonna want to look back and read all about it. Right? Somebody tell me I’m right πŸ™‚

I read constantly about other mothers with children like this. Some say it’s gets better. I try to do everything in my power to get him to listen to me. If you looked in my internet history, the amount of times I have Googled “how to raise a strong-willed child” would probably frighten you. I’m just scared that it’s never going to get better – that it will just keep getting worse and eventually, what if I stop caring? What if I just become one of those mothers who lets their child do and act however they want?

Maybe I’m just blowing it all out of proportion because my worst fear has always been to have one of “those children” you see acting a fool in public. Crying, screaming fits in public haunt me. Having my child scream the word “no” at me in public is horrifying. Maybe the problem isn’t him. Maybe the problem is me. Maybe I need to stop trying to change him, and just let him be who he is. A wild, active little boy who wants to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it. A boy who likes to growl at other people.

Anyhow, back to Valentine’s Day. So we left the Valentine’s Day party. I cried on the way home because I feel like I’m failing. I feel like I’m failing as a mom. That’s a pretty big deal to me.

After we got home, my mom came over with Mr. L’s valentine. She ended up helping me straighten up my house (not as bad as what I thought it was) and I made the dinner I had planned. Pan-seared ribeye, shrimp scampi with pasta, stuffed crimini mushrooms, chocolate covered strawberries. It turned out delicious. Mr. L stood in his doorway and watched us eat even though he was supposed to be in bed. Not a total win, but I’m still calling it a win. I even impressed myself.
Maybe I’m not failing after all.

My lover’s gift to me? Well, that’s a whole other post. Let’s not go there right now. Let me just end this while thinking about my delicious dinner.

I hope you all had a perfect v-day.
Even though mine kind of bombed, I still love love and I’m still going to give it my all next year πŸ™‚

xo, Jess.

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Desperate Woman (a post for women)

Okay ladies – all you fellas, skedaddle, please – I need your help.

It’s not what you’re thinking based on my lame title πŸ™‚ I’m not desperately seeking a man or anything – unless you know one with a really cute butt – THEN I WILL TAKE HIM! πŸ™‚

I am desperately seeking some advice. I need a new birth control. This is serious. Stop laughing.

My current one is working and everything – seeing as I’m not pregnant. However, my current one is making me nuts. It’s called TriNessa and it’s a triphasic birth control pill. Meaning there’s three different phases of pills in a pack, plus a week of pills with no active ingredients. Just in case you wanted to know. I googled it, duh. I wouldn’t be asking for help if I were some birth control genius.

I’ve been on TriNessa for about six months, and let’s just say – mama’s had her crazy pants on lately. The more and more I take it, the more I realize how much it has been affecting me. My mood (borderline depressed lately, no joke!), less energy, decreased sex drive – and now that I’ve read the possible effects, I think I can safely add migraines to this list. I have also gained about 15 pounds since I started taking this pill and weight loss seems extra difficult lately.

Birth control is about to kill my relationship – because there’s about seven days a month where I am definitely not ME. I feel very scary during those days. I want to punch my boyfriend in the face during those seven days – and well, I guess that’s not acceptable in most relationships. I know Mr. Manfriend loves me and all, but I think I’m pushing him way too far lately. He has been putting up with this raging biatch for too long. I have dumped him twice in the last 48 hours then called him crying, begging him to take me back. You can exit my blog now if I’m scaring you. I’m kind of scaring myself.

I talked to my doctor and she’s switching me to a birth control pill called Sprintec – but, I read all kinds of reviews and most users are complaining of the same problems! Now I’m so scared to switch, thinking that I might get worse. What happens if I go nuts and you all see me on an episode of Snapped or something? Any of you girls have some great birth control pill that I could suggest to my doctor? I really don’t want to spend like $75 per month on a pregnancy preventer, but I am willing to shell out some cash for a birth control pill if it leaves me and my mood alone!

I would really appreciate the advice – or if you’re sitting there shaking your head because you’ve been through something similar, I’d appreciate the encouragement.

If you’re just sitting there thinking, “this girl is a little too cray cray putting all her birth control business out there,” – please, keep your comments to yourself πŸ™‚

xo, Jess.

P.S. Hurry! My boyfriend thinks hormones are fake so I don’t have much time!!

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I’m Gonna Pop Some Tags

Well, it’s been awhile huh? 14 days to be exact. I told you guys I’m no good at this blogging business. Sue me. (Not really, please)

I figured I’d do something fun to get back in the blogging game. Why not join up with my faves over at Young House Love for the (completely unofficial) Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge.

Oh you haven’t heard this phenomenal song? Please, crawl out from underneath your rock and watch.

Macklemore – Thrift Shop (clean)

Since I’m not above a little thrift shop challenge, I thought this could be fun. I love cheap shit. So, my little guy and I decided to go on a little adventure.

The Challenge:

Step #1. Go to a thrift shop with – just as the chorus of the song says – β€œ$20 in your pocket” and take a picture.

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Boo ya. He’s pretty cute huh? I’ll sell him to you.

Step #2 was to spend your $20 any way you’d like and photograph your spoils.

Step #3. Find one item (or more) referenced in the song and snap a pic.

I found these wonderful treasures

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(my gator shoes, those are green)

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(searching through luggage)

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(skeet blankets)

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(thank your granddad for donating that plaid button-up shirt)

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I was thisclose to taking that big a$$ coat home.

Alas, our thrifting was not very fruitful. We ended up with five Ball jars, and Luke got two toys (a monster truck and a small diecast truck).

We spent a whopping $1.87. Holla for cheap toys.

The jars went to my bff for her upcoming barn wedding.

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Tell me everyone, been doing any thrifting lately? Borrowing your grandma’s clothes?

xo, Jess.

P.S. I’m linked up to YHL at #183 πŸ™‚ where you can check out everyone else’s thrifty goods πŸ™‚

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Date Night

Ever had one of those nights that was going great then WHAM! It hits ya. You know the kind.

We started out at Elia’s for some Lebanese food. I digress from my whining for a moment, ohmygosh yum! Cute little place, super friendly staff, yummy fare. I had the chicken shawarma and he had the grill combo with shish tawook (chicken), kafta (beef), and shish kebab (steak). It was so good! I liked his best, specifically the shish kebab. That steak was melt in your mouth delicious. We also had an appetizer of baba ganoushe. I wish that would have been warm, that was my only complaint.

Anyhow…upward and onward, then we hit AMC for Gangster Squad. Best movie I have seen in a very long time. I completely loved it! Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling were fantastic. And I can’t deny that I have a tiny – okay, huge – girl crush on Emma Stone. That is one foxy redhead. Go see it. I urge you!

Then on the way to get Mr. L we start talking about the movie, then Mr. L, then about parenting. Woa, whoa, then we start arguing about parenting. Pretty soon we are yelling about parenting. Then silence.

Why must we ruin every single nice evening we have?
It was a great night. Minus the parenting argument.
Now he’s been in the bathroom for 20 minutes and I’m sitting here eating leftover chicken shawarma.
I win.

Xo, Jess.

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the HOUSE list

Well, folks… I need to tackle will be tackling some more house projects soon. So – in the meantime – let me put all my needs and wants out there for ya. Well, some of my needs and wants πŸ™‚

My house has come a long ol’ way. If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you’ve probably seen some of the changes. If you’re not, let me break it down for you. The first time I saw the house, I quickly decided “hell no,” and closed the book on ever living there. After seeing the house, I was forced persuaded to take another look. My dad saw what the house could be, and I purchased it. It hasn’t been easy – my lease was up in October 2011, and I bought the house in September 2011. My landlord graciously let me stay in my loft until October 15, giving us 45 days to get this house ready to live in. I don’t know how we my parents did it. My dad lived over there for those 45 days. Thank God for this little house. After a year and a half, it is now a home.

We have gone from this –
OUTSIDE - BEFORE

to this –
OUTSIDE - PROGRESS

and that’s just the outside.

The inside is a whole post of its own.

Anyhow – hang on, because this is going to be a long one – I want to do more! I have had this list for months – on my laptop, my flash drive, posted on my refrigerator – and it’s time to put it somewhere that I can come back and update the thing. So here we go!

House To-Do List

**EXTERIOR**
paint garage (half completed actually) (thankfully, the color difference is not all that noticeable)
paint garage door
add decorative hardware to garage door
paint garage entry door
paint remaining shutters (2 on garage)
hang remaining shutters (2 on garage)
paint remaining foundation
install new mailbox post
paint mailbox and apply decals
look into repairing crack in concrete patio by garage
stain/paint concrete patio by garage
create intimate patio area by garage
replace light with ceiling fan on patio
add lattice or some kind of privacy barrier to patio area
install fiber cement tiles to covered window on west side of home
paint those tiles to match the house
remove remainder of in-ground grill
replace outdoor carpet
install full-view storm door on front door
paint back door
install β€œhello” decal
paint storm door on back door
install full-view storm door on back door (later)
install newly painted storm door (originally on front door) on garage entry door
paint lamp post
install new post light
landscaping in front of home
add some potted flowers to the front porch
landscaping on west side of home
hose and mount for east side of home
mount for the hose on west side of home
stake/till area for future garden
add a rain barrel to the back of garage/west end corner of house for watering
build window boxes for front windows
remove clothes line
remove old clothes line poles
remove bushes at the back of the house
remove large antenna at the back of the house
build a deck at the back of the house
pave the driveway (eventually)
fence the yard (eventually)
new, wider front porch (eventually)
install pillars on the front of the home (eventually)
new concrete by the back door
install or DIY a pathway from patio by back door to the garage
upgrade the railings on back porch
break up the yard into various areas using flower beds

INTERIOR

Update furnace
Add central air conditioning

**Living Room**

Repair the doorway
Replace windows
Demo and add insulation (eventually)
Add floor-to-ceiling bookcases in the living room (possible cabinets on the base)
Add fireplace
Add mantle
Add desk area to living room (this may not work because of limited space)
Replace couch with leather couch or sectional
Replace end table with something smaller, no glass
Build or buy an ottoman
Add a slipper chair
Larger rug
Find curtains more appropriate for winter
Add thin trim around ceiling

**Kitchen**

Purchase a pantry
Purchase a small base cabinet for next to stove
Replace ceiling
Add insulation
Replace windows
Replace lighting
Replace flooring
Replace cabinetry (purchased!)
Replace hardware on the cabinetry
Replace countertops (contemplating DIY concrete counters)
Replace sink
Replace faucet
Add backsplash (contemplating beadboard now)
Add vent hood or incorporate microwave above stove w/ventilation system
Add dishwasher Replace refrigerator (eventually) with stainless french door
Replace stove with stainless gas 5-burner stove
Update cabinetry on right side when entering kitchen from laundry room
Add crown molding
Add lighting over the bar area

**Dining Room**

Demo all paneling
Add insulation
Add and finish drywall
Replace ceiling
Replace flooring
Replace windows
Add crown molding
Add a bookcase for symmetry
DIY a new dining table
Purchase new dining chairs
Purchase a rug for under the dining table
New bar stools for bar

**Master Bedroom**

Find a new dresser that will fit right side of door
Create seating/intimate area on left side of door
Move bed to center of room
DIY headboard
Two smaller side tables
Hem closet “doors”
Add crown molding
Frame the TV
Update the interior of the closet

**Second Bedroom**

Add crown molding
Paint closet doors
Update interior of closet
Possible floating shelves on wall
Add magnetic paint to create race track on wall

**Laundry Room**

Remove handle from right side of stairs into kitchen
Replace railing on left side of stairs into kitchen (no idea what to do)
Update the stairs into the kitchen
Replace window
Remove paneling
Add insulation
Hang and finish drywall
Add crown molding
Replace flooring
Replace lighting
Paint room – subtle stripes for contrast
Paint appliances (for now)
Update appliances (eventually)
Remove countertop and base cabinet
Construct a built-in bench seat β€œlocker” area of sorts on half
Construct more functional β€œlaundry center on half w/space for baskets, hanging, ironing, drying

**Bathroom**

Add crown molding
Add/change art for interest

**Basement**

Clean out entire thing
Paint or stain the concrete flooring
Create an area for the cats
Create an area for organized storage
Add a deep freezer

Let’s be honest, there’s probably more. Some of these things will probably not get finished. Maybe when I’m 40. I gotta do things on a single mama income here πŸ™‚

Thankfully, I have a GREAT FANTASTIC WONDERFUL AMAZING set of parents that love getting their hands dirty helping out with the house. I couldn’t have done any of it without them,
that’s for sure!
My mama and I are the brains, and my dad is the brawn πŸ™‚ That man can see it, build it, do it all!

So there it is! My dad just finished my built-ins, fireplace, and mantle in my living room, so I would really like to tackle my living room this year. And my bedroom. I would love to start in on the kitchen this year, but I don’t think my budget will allow it. Who knows, maybe I’ll hit the lottery.
Maybe next year.

Hopefully, I can hang on to blogging and I can document it all right here!
So all you fine folks can watch.
Or you could all come over and help me repaint my dining room.
I pay in pizza and beer.

XO, Jess.

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Traveler’s Diary

With the passing of my aunt, I am here in Kentucky for a couple days.

(UPDATE: I am home now. I am just now returning to finish up this post – I promise I’ve tried to blog, it’s been virtually impossible the last few days between being in Kentucky, cleaning up puke and my boyfriend holding the computer hostage.)

Anyhow, we went to Kentucky for my aunt Jean’s funeral. My dad, my mom, my 2-year-old and myself. My brother held down the fort at my parents’ house and the manfriend staked out at my house. I hadn’t been on a trip (however short) with my parents for about 6 years. Note to self: Take earplugs next time you have to share a hotel room with your parents.

The trip was emotionally tough for me – I really just had to “go to another place” within myself to keep from crying the entire time. Saying goodbye was tough for me. I don’t really think there’s a good way to prepare yourself to see someone you loved for the last time, then tell them goodbye. She looked very peaceful and I try to keep telling myself that she is at peace now.

Surprisingly, my 2-year-old didn’t do too bad on the trip – he’s a pretty good traveler. That’s the furthest he’s traveled yet, so I’m hopeful for our first “real vacation” – which (fingers crossed) will be later this year or next. Our biggest problem was that I put him in a pull-up on the way down and he definitely wasn’t a fan of peeing in his pants. I thought my dad’s head would explode by the time Mr. L finally stopped screaming and actually peed in his pull-up. Probably not the smartest parenting choice I’ve ever made. I just didn’t want my dad’s head to explode if we had to stop to pee every 20 minutes. Potty training can be a bitch.

The iPad was a godsend – I can’t imagine the meltdowns without it. I will do a separate post soon with my opinion on toddlers and iPads, but for now – all you perfect parents can stop judging me πŸ™‚ He’s on an iPad hiatus for now if it makes you feel better.

Kentucky 1

We drove through a wind farm on our way down – it was fantastic! Since I’m not all that well-traveled, I had never seen anything like it. Futuristic white wind turbines as far as the eye can see. I was really in awe! Read more about it here > http://extension.osu.edu/news-releases/archives/2012/april/blowing-in-the-wind-osu-extension-helps-communities-develop-wind-energy-projects

Ven Wert OH

Got home late – but to a clean house! Since my child had been cooped up in a car for over 7 hours, he didn’t think sleeping was necessary. Yay, me! I am really hoping for a semi-normal next few weeks. I have got to get this boy back on schedule.

So there’s a quick update! I hope to resume the witty, honest posts come Monday!

xo, Jess.

{moment of honesty} A few happenings from the past few days that I’m leaving out of this post – stayed up all night with a puking toddler, had a “do we want to live together?” discussion with the manfriend, did I mention that I have a cavity?, oh and Mr. L’s dad was arrested. I also saw the movie Django Unchained, did some basement organization and spent my Friday night shredding stacks of old paperwork. I’m planning on spending my Saturday night watching Miss America.
Man, I’m so cool.

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The Terrible, Terrible Twos

After a few weeks of almost tearing my hair out, I have to vent a bit. Forgive me, I’m human.

My child has got a SERIOUS case of the terrible twos. One of the worst things a parent can hear from another parent – or sometimes even strangers will chime in – “just wait until they’re two! then you’re really in for it!”

I swear I have been “in for it” for about a year now. Why is two the magical age of discontent? Because I’m pretty sure it is all ages. This boy of mine has got to be the most strong-willed little child… Mom, I think I’m gonna have to borrow that book you had when I was little. You know, the one about how to raise a strong-willed child. Dig it out. I need it. Whew! I just don’t know what I’m going to do with him if he doesn’t go back to being my little sweet boy for more than 5 minutes real soon. I know what I’ll do. I’ll take him to his Mimi. She will straighten him up. He will have her so wrapped about his mischievous little finger. And he is just so opinionated – and without an ounce of self-consciousness. He could care less where he is when he’s screaming “no” or trying to run away from me. Those people who can go to a store and not put their children in a cart, how do you do that?! I am pretty sure Mr. L will be 6 or 7 before he gets to go in a store uncontained πŸ™‚

That boy wants to run constantly! We were once at the bounce house inside the local mall and he got out of the bounce house and ran full-speed out the door, into the mall with no shoes on. I chased him and once I caught him, he was just laughing hysterically like it was a game. Oh, I was so mad. Or the time we were walking into Target and he pulled away and ran into the (thankfully empty) traffic lane. I think God really wants me to learn the virtue of patience with this one πŸ™‚

And he’s so damn independent! I mean seriously, Mr. L?! Just let me help you! You’re only 2!! It’s a daily battle – do you want me to help you go to the bathroom or do you want me to leave you alone? Do you want me to race your cars with you or am I not allowed to touch them? Would you like to take a bath or would you like me to get out so you can just do it yourself? Sorry, I’m talking to Mr. L here. I think he is quite confused about some things.

I remember being woke up once in the middle night by a screaming Mr. L, except he didn’t want me, he wanted my β™₯. WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I do virtually everything for you, but you want him over me? It broke my heart. After my β™₯ returned to bed, I started crying telling him that I must be doing something wrong – that I felt like I was failing as a mom. He told me that kids usually only do these things to their moms.

I think he’s right. I think Mr. L only does these things to me and no one else. I think he is starting to come out of his shell for my parents, and for our babysitter. Bless their little hearts. I don’t mean to make him sound like a little monster, but I can’t handle many more howling puddles of misery in public. We went out to lunch and shopping for a few hours today. Oh man. People must think I’m the worst mother in the world. By the time we got to Steak and Shake for lunch, he was sitting on their dirty floor playing with his cars and I didn’t say a word. I just let him do his thing. Can I interject for a moment to discuss how gross I think Steak & Shake is? I will not be returning to their establishment unless it is 2 a.m. and I am drunk. Even then I will probably choose IHOP.

The highlight of our lunch was once our food arrived, and Mr. L was eating (quietly!) He then started pushing around his cars. He asked me to race his car for him so he could jump the thing with his monster truck. I picked up the car to move it and he literally screamed like he was being kidnapped. I’m talking ear-piercing scream. In the middle of a packed Steak & Shake. It startled me so much that I just picked him right up and took him into the bathroom to beat discipline him. I explained that screaming in public is not okay unless a stranger is trying to give you candy or put you in the trunk of their car. I was so embarrassed. I was mortified walking back to our table. At that moment I was thankful we were at Steak & Shake vs. Olive Garden.

Not two minutes after we got into the car to head home, he was passed out. I think the “terrible twos” should be renamed the “tired twos,” “hungry twos,” “cranky twos,” or all of the above. He woke up happy and sweet, thankfully. Because that’s what makes it all worth it. Now that I’ve thoroughly scarred everyone, I’ll say it again. The sweet moments make it all worth it.

Mr L

The moments when we’re cuddled up together reading a book, or when he’s telling me his ABCs, or singing to me. When he tells me, “give me hug, mom,” or “I love you so much, mommy,” or “thank you so much, mommy – yay!” That completely erases all those other not-so-pretty moments that I just laid out there for the world to see πŸ™‚

We have got a lot to work on in the attitude department, but I hope and pray we will get there. I’m not giving up yet. I know their attitudes probably get worse when they’re teenagers, so I’ll just savor my defiant little two-year-old. At least I can still lock him in his bedroom if I need to.

Later, I saw this on Facebook.
granted
It inspired this post. This post is honest, but I wanted to use this post to remind myself that no matter how many “terrible two” incidents we have, I wouldn’t trade Mr. L for anything. He is my purpose in life. There are so many others out there praying and working their asses off to have a little terror child of their own, and I don’t ever want to be someone who doesn’t appreciate this miracle I was given.

So Mr. L – if you ever read this – I can assure you that I love you more than bacon, Diet Coke, chocolate everything, my (sometimes) sweet little boy.

xo, Jess.

{moment of honesty} I secretly want you all to chime in and tell me this is all normal. And please feel free to share some of your favorite “terrible two” moments with me!

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Losing a Loved One

I can’t quite cry yet. I was tearing up a bit, but Mr. L was able to shush me with a few sweet words, “you just sad, Mama?” and “it’ll just be okay” while touching my face. He has no idea that this world just lost a great woman.

My wonderful, wild, hysterical aunt Jean passed away a few hours ago. Now yesterday as I am returning to finish this post. I just couldn’t write about it – or anything – yesterday.

She fought a long, hard battle, but she is at peace now and for that I am thankful. Thankful that she will no longer have to suffer in pain. I will miss her so much. She was a great presence in my life for as long as I can remember.

walking

She was SO funny, I remember that she used scare me as a little girl because she was always playing tricks on me. Once she put a doll in her trash can outside and squeezed ketchup on her and made me go look in there. I don’t know if I would ever do that to a little girl, but I will NEVER forget that and thinking about it now, I just laugh hysterically.

Later on in more recent years, she taught me so much about my family history and about where I come from. She had such a great memory – and she told me so many stories about my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. She was so honest, and she would just sit and tell me everything I wanted to know. I recorded some of those stories on one of those handheld dictation recorders when I went to visit her in 2009 (we live about 6 hours apart), and I will forever treasure those memories. I probably drove her insane asking her a million questions, but she answered them all. There are so many things I wouldn’t know if it wasn’t for her. Thank you for that, Jean.

Jean

I will never forget her house – actually two of her houses – so many pretty things everywhere. I remember looking at things and asking about the things I liked. I remember she would always have soup beans ready for us when we went to visit. I remember watching her make fried chicken, and I remember her trying to show me how to make biscuits. I remember she kept her eggs in a little basket in the refrigerator and she would mark the oldest ones so she knew which to use first. I thought it was such a good idea, and I always mark my oldest eggs now. I will never forget how hot her old house was, there was a big heating vent right in the middle of the floor and it was always blowing hot air. Funny what you remember as only a little girl.

My only regret is that I haven’t been able to go see her, and that she never got to meet Mr. L, only see him in photos. I talked to her right before Christmas and she told me to “come visit as soon as you can.” It breaks my heart that I couldn’t go and see her. I know she would have loved Mr. L and I’m smiling now thinking about how she would have teased him. He would have loved her too.

I know the last few months were rough for her – and for my cousins (her children) and their families. It’s been rough for all of us up here, who couldn’t be there. So many ups and downs, and not knowing what the next day might hold. Being selfish as we as humans can sometimes be, I couldn’t bear to think of her leaving this world before Christmas or during the holidays. I am thankful she didn’t – I am thankful that she got to spend another Christmas with those she loved. I am faithful that she is at peace now. I am faithful that she has joined our other family members that have passed on before her. I am so thankful that I got to know her, and love her.

I know that I will see her again. For now I will praise her life and not grieve in her memory. I will remember her as someone who made me happy. I will laugh when I think of her funny antics, and I will smile as I’m sure she is smiling down on our family.

palm reader

See you later, Jean. I love you and I can’t wait to see you again some day.

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