Three Months

It’s hard to believe three months have gone by already. It feels like I blinked and now here we are. I cannot say that this has been an incredibly hard three months, in terms of adjusting to this newest blessing in our family. It has not. She is by far the easiest, sweetest tempered, laid back, sleepy baby we both have had the pleasure of having and she has seamlessly fit right into our crazy brood. However, I am still struggling with PPD as some of you have seen from an Instagram post I revealed last week. I started therapy, but the hardest part was taking the first step and sharing that post. The responses I got were overwhelming and have helped me immeasurably. (More on that in a later post)

Three months starts my favorite stage. What my husband and I playfully refer to as coming out of the ameba stage. It marks more awake time. Even more expression. Lots of smiles and with those smiley faces come some giggles too. Little Roo has been giggling more and more at my silliness and has even giggled for her big sister. She’s aware of more than just mommy and has shown a particular liking to guess who? Her big sister!


She loves to be close and of course that means being held a lot. For the first few weeks the Maya wrap was my saving grace, but I needed my hands free in order to do more with The Little Flower and didn’t want her to feel as if she needed to fight for my attention now that the new baby was here. Since Little Roo loves being worn and I am a semi-attatchment parenting Mama I purchased a Girasol, it is my first woven wrap and I simply love it. I was terrified at first to attempt a back carry, but thankfully there are plenty of youTube videos to watch and I quickly got over that fear.






Our Little Jewel, Gem, or Little Roo she already has just as many nicknames as her big sister. We are blessed beyond words to have another child and even more blessed that our gender surprise turned out to be another girl. Even though we didn’t really have a preference. I can honestly say now that she is here I am super glad that it turned out in  my hearts secret desire for her to be exactly who she is… I had a sister growing up, whom I never knew. She passed away just shy of her sixth birthday and I was just about to be a year old. I spent most of my life longing for that relationship. I can only hope that my two girls will grow up forming that special bond that only sisters can. If my sister were alive today I know we would have been the best of friends.

IMG_4143Meeting her baby for the very first time. Words cannot adequately capture that moment. It was priceless. After that no one else could come into the room and hold her baby. 

IMG_4639Always asking to hold you and super excited to see you even after a brief nap. The picture below is one I caught over my shoulder as I burped the baby… I didn’t notice until after I captured it that she was holding her hand. **heart explosion



Smiley Soleil always sharing with her little sister, she can’t wait for you to grow so you can really play with her.

Happy Three Month Birthday, beatiful girl!!


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Gratitude on Mother’s Day

Each year around Mother’s Day I get a little sad and I long for something more despite being thrilled to be a mom to two wonderful sons, two-step sons, and now a beautiful daughter.

The reason: I am motherless.

For the first few years after my mother died I found it gut-wrenchingly painful to enter any store that contained huge displays of cards and gifts specifically designed for mom, regardless of time and the fact that I too am a mom. It was like a punch in the gut. A hand held around my throat choking me until tears were inevitable. Every where I seem to look advertisers seem to tease. Buy that special gift for Mom. How will you celebrate your Mother this Mother’s Day? Get the perfect gift for your Mom and show her how much she means to you.

I was blessed with a mother who loved me beyond measure and told me so daily. A mother who understood that I was an individual, regardless of how painful it must of been for her to see me make several mistakes growing up. A mom who encouraged me and took the fall when it didn’t go over too well with my peers. She used to say, “Tell your friends your mom said, No and that she’s mean. I don’t care if they think I’m a bitch.” She wanted our relationship to be different from the one she had with her own mother. She did the best she could and broke the cycle of violence that she endured as a kid. She had her moments when discipline was hard and punishment was a long, dull, boring week camped out in your bedroom with nothing but four walls to stare at, but she did it with love. She taught me respect for myself and she preached the golden rule daily. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. One of the things I remember most about growing up was when my brother and I would bicker she would say, “Stop it this instance. If you two can’t say something nice to one another then don’t say anything at all.” At the time I thought I have nothing nice to say and I want to make sure my brother knows it! Now many many moons later I have instilled the same in my children. Funny how we become like our parents. Just when we least expect it, with a look, a word, or during tender moments. I have become my mother.

I have spent just over ten years motherless on Mother’s Day. Trying desperately to remember her fondly and without the pain her loss has brought me. Each year promising myself to start new memories with my sons and not allow my mother’s death to take the best of who I am.

Last year was my first Mother’s Day with a daughter. Sure I have cherished the years prior with my boys, but divorces make even Mother’s Day into a drama filled event and there are several times when I just assume skip it all-together.

However, last year after the birth of the Little Flower my husband planned an outing with my sons and our new little ray of sunshine. It was a wonderful day spent in a small town filled with shops to explore, food to eat, and just time to relax enjoying each other’s company. We even wound up on the beach with our toes in the sand and who could resist, despite the cold temps a quick deep of our feet in the ocean. My heaven on earth.

At one point my husband was cradling our daughter in his arms at the waters edge while I sat on a blanket. My sons were chasing each other near by and I was witnessing an era of new Mother’s Day tradition unfold before my eyes.

In those moments when I seemed oblivious to what they were all doing, I was, in fact fully present. I sat and with great joy remembered my mom for the first time on Mother’s Day without heartache.

I knew in that moment that she has never really left me. That she is always just a breath away and all I have to do is speak and she is there.

As the wind blew, my sons kicked up sand and frolicked in the waves, and my husband caressed our barely 3 month old baby girl I whispered into the air, “Thank you mom & Happy Mother’s Day, I miss you!”

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Out with the old…

I am linking up with @shellthings over at Things I Can’t Say.

I have words swirling around in my head. If you are reading this, consider yourself warned. This may not make a hell of a lot of sense, but I need to release the tension that fills the space between my ears. So here it goes.

We are in the process of packing our home and moving. I explain how it’s all been in Slow Motion and I will be more than thrilled when it is all said and done. I won’t even elude to the fact that when we move it will not be our last time, because where we are going is just a stepping stone to get from where we are now. So there’s that. If I think too much about it all I may pluck all my hair out and being that my husband prefers long luscious locks that is NOT an option.

In the meantime, my husband has been commuting four hours a day to and from work for the last year, and it has put a considerable amount of strain on our relationship besides having this year be the first with our newest addition. He also balances his previous life with two sons and sees them one night during the week, which also takes time away from our life, not to mention when the baseball season is upon us, 2x during the year, he can be away additional time to see his older son play ball~over an hour away.***This is not a complaint, I knew what I was signing up for when we got married. I am just venting.

There are other things that weigh heavy on my mind when it comes to this whole moving ordeal and I am trying to keep those under wraps and remain as sane as possible in the process. (I may try to explain those further at a later date)

For now there is the fact that my husband is a ‘saver’ and I am NOT. He has several items that he holds on to for whatever reason and in the moving process I am finding it hard to understand why he cannot just let them go. Our current home was the home he lived in with his ex-wife, of almost 11 years, there are furniture, dishes, and pictures that I could give a rat’s ass about keeping and he feels differently about those items. I would rather sit & eat off the floor than bring them into our next place, but practically speaking we cannot afford to buy all new items, so I am trying to compromise. Except knowing that financial issues (along with infidelity~she cheated on him) were a big cause for their martial demise I find it hard to want to keep such items in our home. To me it’s just bad juju. To him it represents hours of hard work and money he earned in order to purchase such items. When I look into our back yard and see a $8,000 dollar swing set purchased one day, while he was at work, without his knowledge I just cringe. I am NOT perfect, I have flaws and issues like anyone else I probably spend money at times when I should not, but I can honestly say I would NEVER make a purchase of that magnitude without my husband’s consent. Heck I have a hard time spending over $50.00 without feeling some sort of remorse or guilt. She was a different type of woman and when I leave this house I would like to leave as much of her behind with it.

As for the rest… we are downsizing. Considerably. We will be renting a 2 bedroom home for seven people, yes, you read that correctly. **Keep in mind we transform into a family of 7 from a family of 3 only four times out of a month. So as crazy as it seems it is totally do-able, at least for now. We don’t really have many options for various reasons.

We currently live in a huge, cookie-cutter style house in the middle of suburgatory. (No offense to anyone who lives in this type of home or neighborhood, I did in my previous life, but it is no longer my cup of tea). This home, notice I did not say our home, because even after almost 3 years of living here, I do not feel like it is ours. It has 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, a third floor bonus room and a 2 car garage on a cul-de-sac. It has never felt warm to me or like a place that I am proud to call home. I don’t spend much time enjoying the space around me and putting my personal touches here and there. It has remained the way I entered it stark, cold, and untouched. Sort of a metaphor for the lives lived here before it all ended very abruptly and without warning on Christmas Eve of 2008. That is when she chose to tell him she was leaving him for another man. Oh, and by the way that she was pregnant with that man’s baby.

I know my husband has had some good memories here and yet, I know within these walls there is a lot of pain too. If only the walls could speak I often wonder the story they would tell. The side they would choose and how I might possibly view his ex-wife differently. Regardless of it all I am ready for us to start anew. To be revived. Three years feels like ten. We have certainly tested our relationship’s capacity to the max and we still have miles to go before we sleep. Miles my friends and those miles are words, hopefully turned into posts for another time.

I may fall of the face of the earth within the next few weeks. It seems writing in my journal comes easier these days. Like I am ashamed to post things. I am not going to lie. I am not polite or graceful when it comes to this whole moving thing. Too much tied to my past and I transform into a monster, the more the boxes pile up. Some days I am too depressed to write and I cannot bring myself to share. I try too hard to be sweet, kind, and like-able. But as I was taught so profoundly by my mother you cannot judge another person until you have walked a mile in their shoes.

Of course I don’t want to judge anyone we all have our crosses to bare. But if you want to try my shoes on and walk a few miles in them, maybe for the next month and a half, you can. Will you pack a few boxes while your in them and move a house full of stuff while your at it too?

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Moving In Slow Motion

On Monday I got a text message from our friend and realtor that read like this:

Were probably not looking to close on 5/5, but I believe I may have approval from the bank by Friday and may have an idea by then. Start packing!” 

It has been 3 years. Three years, since my husband and I have met, married, had our Little Flower, & decided to move on from this house. This is the house he bought and lived in with his ex-wife. He tried to maintain consistency for his boys, especially his youngest with autism, but the economy, decrease in income, and several other factors have turned this house into an albatross.

When we first put it up for sale we had 2 offers immediately, one of which was a very serious cash offer. We were ecstatic and nervous all at the same time. We hadn’t even begun to look at other houses and had no clue where we wanted to move. These offers mysteriously vanished and we had over eighty showings after that.

EVERY single weekend and many weekdays our house was taken over by showings. I never cleaned so much in my life. Three toilets, four bedrooms, and you could eat off the kitchen floor. It was exhausting.

Eight showings later and still no offers. Until we decide perhaps we would just pull it off the market and try again. Only we didn’t have time. We quickly ran out of reserve and had to borrow from family. We struggled. Cut all expenses. Got rid of all extra luxuries and I even started becoming a mad coupon-ing woman. Stress was our new house guest and our first year of marriage and as new parents was overshadowed by the very thing that was supposed to bring us comfort. Home sweet home wasn’t the sentiments we were singing any longer.

More phone calls, attempts to short-sale, refinance at lower rates, or modify our existing mortgage, and program after program offered by the government all turned down.

Our relator quit, removed her sign from our lawn, and we never heard from her again.

Foreclosure was straight ahead, just like the iceberg that was struck by the Titanic, we were going down fast or so we thought.

After contacting the mortgage company one last time, we accepted our fate and decided to ride it out. Except riding it out, not knowing what will happen or when is far worse then waiting for something to happen. I had lived in fear for months wondering if we would just be evicted without notice. Although my husband promised and swore that is not how these things happen.

Finally after months of agony we re-group and call a friend, who also happens to be a realtor. We exhaust every option again and are faced with the enviable, but only this time she is hopeful and focused on getting our house sold no matter what.

We rally the boys and dig deep. Scrub every nook and cranny clean~AGAIN and have two showings the very first weekend after we signed contracts and even before the sign was on the lawn, we have our first two showings on Sunday afternoon.

That Monday when the realtor stops by to put the sign on our lawn she grins from ear to ear and tells me that one of the couples is very interested and has made an offer.

We have had hoops of fire to jump through since then, but I have become like Katniss and haven’t let the flames scare me nor ignite me just yet.

This offer has stuck. After radon tests, inspections, and all the other craziness that goes along with selling/buying a home they really want our house.

I am so ready to move on. To start anew. To rid our lives of the past and the painful memories that live among these walls. Of course, good memories have been made here too, but our newest Flower is ready to sprout and grow in a home where we can all move forward as a blended family and leave behind the things that no longer serve our lives in a positive way.

For now we await the long anticipated news.

Have you tried to sell your home during these tough economic times or moved recently? What sort of struggles and snares, if any, have you come up against? Share your horror or pleasant moving experiences with me. 

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Wordless Wednesday






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The space between

What a weekend. All four boys here with us and energies ran high. I feel like I need a week to recover.

It’s hard being a mom to tween/teen boys.

Even harder being a part-time mom.

It’s a sensitive time.

They are so impressionable and easily angered.

I’m so not equipped for this.

I am a woman.

Obviously not a man. I was never a young boy.

I try so hard to be a good mom and to be fair, open, honest and give my boys the space and room to grow and mature.

Yet each and every other weekend I fail.

This is harder than I imagined. If I even imagined it at all. I mean how could I? No one prepares you for this.

Divorce. Shared parenting. Or at least that is what some are fortunate enough to have. I am not that lucky. My ex-husband calls all the shots with his new wife and I am left to observe from the outside.

I feel so insignificant, but I told myself I would no longer allow myself to feel guilty.

There is time. Time to be had. Time that will come when they are older. This is not the end all be all of my mothering duties. They will need me and want me beyond all this.

Yet I am here… struggling. Saddened by the fact that I am not with them everyday, despite the choices and decisions that were made.

Despite my new life and family.

I should be happy, but somehow I am not.





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Little Flower Turns 1 year old

Alison of Mama Wants This and Ado of The Momalog are both celebrating their 1st blogoversaries this week. And in honor of the occasion, they’ve asked interested participants to share a favorite blog post from their blogs. This is my most recent post and I think it goes without saying why it is my favorite. When I started my blog our little flower was just 3 months old. On March 23rd she turned 1 yr. old and I cannot believe how fast it has gone. We are truly blessed to have her in our lives.

My Sweet Little Flower is one year old TODAY. I cannot believe that a year ago we were anxiously awaiting your arrival and holding our breath, hoping, praying, and anticipating if you would wear a pink/purple outfit or blue outfit when it came time to take you home.

PURPLE won and your four brothers were so pleased to have a new little sister. It goes without saying that mommy and daddy could not have been any happier that you were A GIRL!

I cried when they placed you in my arms, after a few scary minutes of not hearing a sound, cause you were taking your sweet little time making a fuss and drawing your first breaths of life outside of my womb. Our doctor was fabulous and just said, “Give her a second mom, she is just being a little lazy.” I wasn’t as calm then, but it was only a matter of minutes and you started making lots of noise and the sound that came out of you when you cried was a “Mmm” sound, it was really quite adorable.

For two days you went without a name.

We wanted to meet you first and get to know you. Everyone thought we were crazy, but we had so many ideas and once we saw you, none of them seemed appropriate. We would call you by a certain name and after a few minutes I would look at your daddy and say, “That’s not it.” Then the next one would roll of my tongue and again, nope. While in the hospital there are many forms and papers to sign. When the woman came in with the paperwork for you birth certificate we still hadn’t a clue. You were cradled in your daddy’s arms and he was petting your full head of fuzzy dark hair and your skin was perfect, like porcelain.

In that moment I knew who you were.

The contrast between your light pretty face and thick dark hair. Watching the curve of your sweet little ears, the slope of the back of your neck, which fit perfectly in the crease of your daddy’s arm, like it had been designed just for you. The way your fleshy little arms curled into each other. I saw the dark peach fuzz of your head and it reminded my of the flowers on my mom’s window sill growing up and I knew.

In that moment I knew your Grammie, who is no longer with us gently whispered in my ear, and your name came to life.

Your Grammie adored plants & flowers and growing up our house was filled with all kinds. I am not sure I really appreciated them when I was a kid, but now as an adult with a house full of plants myself I am reminded how much she cared for them all. Our kitchen window was always blooming from season to season with the most amazing colors and my personal favorites were the deep purple african violets that my mom cared for with such pride. They were always in bloom. On crisp autumn days or dreary cold winter ones they brought cheer and the hopes of weather to come. In spring and summer they were signs of the outdoors brought in. No matter what the weather was outside that window, sunshine filled our home in the form of flowers.

I looked at your daddy and said her name is, “Violet.Violet Soleil!”

Our little flower brought to life. Our days now filled with sun, no matter what the weather is outside our window. We are blessed to have you in our lives, sweet girl.

Happy First Birthday, Mommy loves you!

I know your Grammie is always with us.

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Wordless Wednesday

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Frugal, Logical, or just plain Nuts?

Holidays with my husband’s family are insane. He is one of seven. He is the baby of the family. He is a twin.

When our daughter was born last year on March 23, 2011, we filled an entire waiting room with people anticipating her arrival. The days that followed her birth were filled with visitors, meals, and lots of gifts.

This is how my husband’s family is they do everything big. Holidays, birthday parties, and everything in between. This is not to say that we do not appreciate our extended family, we do, we just tend to be a bit more reserved and are trying to do things a bit differently.

At Christmas time this year my husband and I decided we would NOT go overboard with our new daughter and asked family members not to get her anything, after all she was only 9 months old. We also have 4 other children between us and they are quite accustomed to getting lots of gifts. They also tend to get spoiled because they come from divorced families.

We want to encourage things to be different with our daughter. The child we share together. We have come to realize that children especially babies, don’t need tons of toys. What they do need is time, attention, and love. After all most kids I know at younger ages prefer the boxes and the wrapping paper, not the stuff inside.

So we sent out our usual email that circulates for family Pollyanna and made mention that along with trying our best to keep it a Made in America Christmas, we would also like to ask that everyone refrain from buying the Little Flower anything. If they could not resist we asked for no battery operated toys of any kind, no plastic toys (unless it’s recycled~there’s a fabulous company that makes toys out of recycled milk containers & they are Made in USA), nothing made outside of the USA, and if at all possible that it be naturally derived and organic.

To most people this is odd. Crazy. Too crunchy, but this is our family and our ideals on how we would like to raise our daughter.

We have been through this with our older children and I have seen first hand what over spending on frivolous things can do to a marriage & the children involved. I wished I had the guts that I do now to be more outspoken about this, but I was young and easily swayed, I over spent and thought my kids needed the latest and greatest videos, toys, and gadgets now almost 14 years later I realize just how wrong I was.

Kids learn to expect things.

I am not saying I never splurge or there aren’t moments when I may buy an item without checking to see where it’s made, but I do my best to buy only what we need and to support American jobs in the process. We are trying to teach our children the same values. We typically leave extra spending for Christmas and Birthdays. We also stick to a very tight budget. If I told you what it was per child, you may be blown away. (Perhaps that will be a blog post for another time) Now that our children are older and we have such a large extended family we have monthly birthday get togethers. This means we celebrate every family member’s birthday for that month. We also started this year with a new idea, we offered our boys the option of an activity of their choice, or a gift. (once again within a budget)

Which leads me to this…

In two weeks Little Flower will turn one years old. My husband and I talked it over and decided NOT to have a first birthday party. We have been there done that with our other kids. We have asked them if they recall the elaborate birthdays they had when they were younger and not one of them can. Heck I can’t even remember. What I do remember is the weeks leading up to the party, agonizing over the theme, menu, entertainment, party favors, waiting on RSVP’s, for a final head count because my family sucks at that, and being terrified I would run out of food. I also remember the stress and finances it took to throw such a party and believe me on my ex-husband’s teacher salary it was tough.

So we decided to just add the Little Flower to the March birthday get-together celebration and call it a day. However, the peanuts in the gallery are talking and rumor has it that certain family members are shocked. We also composed an email and asked that everyone refrain from buying her any gifts. Financially we know things are tight for everyone, and after all she is only a year old. It makes no difference to her whether people buy her something or not. We would rather see the money spent on babies or children who are truly in need or have a donation made to a charity in her name.

I know. You are probably thinking this is just the silliest thing you have ever heard. No birthday party, no gifts, donate money to charity instead?? My husband and I believe our family and our daughter are very blessed. We feel its important to teach her from the start that life is not all about receiving. I saw an episode of Oprah once that touched me deeply. The boy’s parents chose to celebrate his birthday every year by doing some type of service. He learned from the time he was a small boy that his birthday was about giving back to others. I would like my daughter to grow up realizing the same. Children live what they learn. I recall another episode with Bette Midler (and I use this example often) where she was speaking about her daughter and when Oprah asked her about spoiling her and buying her whatever she wanted because, after all Bette could afford it, she answered, “No I do not buy her whatever she wants nor do I spoil her. In fact she only has a few pair of shoes, toys, and other things. How else will she learn to have a favorite anything?” That episode was over 10 years ago and it has stuck with me all this time.

We are trying to do similar things with our children. We teach them about people who are less fortunate. We donate food or our time serving durning Thanksgiving. We adopt a less fortunate family at Christmas and we tell our children it’s about giving more than receiving.

As for celebrating our Little Flower’s first year of life, we will certainly celebrate, mark my words. We will celebrate the joy and happiness she has brought into our lives in such a short amount of time. We will celebrate how she has transformed us from a blended family of six, into a family of 7 that has bonded together because of her birth. We will sing happy birthday, kiss her, hug her and love on her all day long. She will have her own little cake to squish and smear everywhere. We will enjoy seeing her little face light up at the sight of her four brothers, all her cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents that all love her very much. We will just do it without the confetti, over-spending, and without the gifts that will come in the boxes with paper & bows, which I am sure she would much rather play with. Happy First Birthday sweet girl, we all love you very much!
I know I may have opened myself up to all sorts of crazy comments with this one, but I am looking for honest criticism. How do you feel about spending during the holidays? Do you have a budget? Birthdays? How do you choose to celebrate your children’s birthdays? What morals or important lessons are you trying to teach them and how?
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Wordless Wednesday



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