Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Hello

Adele released a new album this month and the song, "Hello" has been playing everywhere I go. I was immediately drawn to her voice and that song. Her last album became familiar to me around the time when Allie died so I used to associate her music with a little bit of darkness and despair.

This time around, I found her songs to be different.

She is different now. Now she is a mother. Now she has found fame. I read an article in which she said, "The song (Hello) is about hurting someone's feelings but it's also about trying to stay in touch with myself, which sometimes can be a little bit hard to do."

I absolutely love that. A song to herself! Staying in touch with herself. Isn't that something we all need to do?

I feel like I need to constantly stay in touch with myself. I need to remind myself to be healthy and why it matters so much. I need to remind myself to be good to myself and not to be strict when things do not go my way. I am truly my harshest critic and it's good to remember to be be kind more than be critical.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This is a holiday that used to remind me of what I had lost. My brothers and I were often separated due to visitation schedule with my dad and I often felt alone, even though I never was. Through the years, the holiday has transformed into something less dramatic and just plain fun. This year, we are adding a high chair for my niece while Miranda is upgraded to a "big girl" chair and I can't help but be excited about spending the day with my loved ones.


I lose touch with myself a lot. I forget to put myself first and I worry too much about others before I worry about me. I vow to be more aware of that moving forward. I am so lucky. I have so much to be thankful for each and every day. I am loved and I love so much back. Not just this week but every week. That's what it's all about, right?
 
"Hello from the other side
I must've called a thousand times
To tell you I'm sorry for everything that I've done
But when I call you never seem to be home"
-Adele

Hello, It's me

Thursday, November 19, 2015

When one door closes...

The day Gary got his start date for his new job, I found out I lost mine. I knew it was coming, and it's not completely lost. Instead of 24 hours a week, it's now "as needed". I love the company I have been freelancing for these past few years and am happy to do the work they still need. The problem is, that is not going to pay the bills.

So what now? Do I go back to work full time? Do we enroll Miranda in school full time? After some thought and consideration and conversation, we have decided no. Not now, anyway.

The thing is, I love my days home with my daughter. Three days a week, she learns and plays and experiences the world as a toddler in a structured program. Two days a week, she watches cartoons and runs errands and has play dates and experiences the world as a toddler with a mom who is home with her. No amount of money is worth changing that. She will not be a toddler forever and I will never get this time back with her.

So I am on the hunt for more work. Who wants to pay me to write? I had a Skype interview with a creative staffing agency. I am applying to all sorts of freelance writing and copy writing and editing jobs. I think I want to try to continue to make a go of this writing thing. I like it and I think I am good at it.

In the meantime, I am actually enjoying this bit of down time. The laundry is getting done in a timely manner. I am prepping dinner most nights. I have been to the grocery store three times this week. My house has been dusted and vacuumed. Not bad, huh?

It's not like me not to panic. It's not like me not to freak out. I think I am changing a bit in my age. I know the right thing will come along at the right time. While I am not a believer in "it was meant to happen this way" or "everything happens for a reason", I am a believer that things will work out the way they are supposed to and worrying and going nuts will only make us all stressed out for no reason. I have learned the hard way that time and persistence and hope will eventually get me to where I need to go.

When one door closes, another one opens. I, for one, can't wait to see what is behind the next door!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Princess for a Day

Miranda loves princesses. All of them. Belle. Aurora. Tiana. Ariel (who is more mermaid than princess, but we go with it). We bought her a princess gown for Halloween and then remembered that we had a hand-me-down chicken costume that would only fit her this year and was nice and warm and so the chicken costume won. It was a great costume and served her well.

This morning, while getting Miranda dressed for school, she stumbled upon her princess dress hanging in her closet. She insisted that she was a princess and had to wear the dress. Luckily we were able to get her clothes on underneath the dress, but she still went to school with the gown on over her outfit.

Her teachers were amused. The other parents gave me a knowing look. Apparently, this is the age where Miranda starts to decide what she likes and does not like. As much as it may cause some headaches for us, I kind of like this new independence. For now.

I do not believe that there is anything wrong with our daughter believing in fairy tales and make-believe. I do not have an issue if she wants to twirl around and "be pretty". It makes my heart burst that she is so easily amused and that she is so carefree. 

Miranda picks up on everything we do. She sees the way Gary treats me and vice-versa and I hope she sees how lucky we are.

Gary started a new job today. It's a very exciting time in our house. Change is scary, but also very good. We spent his last day home yesterday by going out and shopping. For me. Who does that? At least he let me treat for lunch.

We are not perfect parents. Who is? We make mistakes along the way and we learn from them. Candy corn for dinner, for example, was not a good idea. Asking her if she wanted a time out? Another poor decision. The journey to figure out what works and what doesn't is exhausting, but also exhilarating.

There will come a time when we have to talk about difficult things. When the battles are about more than clothes or food. I hope that we are setting the stage for a tolerant and loving and compassionate girl who will do her best to handle what comes her way. And if she becomes that girl with a tiara on her head and a wand in her hand, then more power to her!    

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Bye-Bye Baby

Every day, we are becoming more and more aware that our baby is a toddler now. She is starting to use the potty. She is starting to have her own thoughts and opinions and her own unique way to express them. She is no longer sleeping in a crib.

Last week, we dismantled her crib (which had been converted to a toddler bed) and her changing table. A friend of a friend had a new grandchild coming and could use the furniture and we were more than happy to give it to her. We have been given so much that it felt good to be able to give back.

As we started to deconstruct Miranda's nursery, my heart started to skip a little faster. Never again would be be assembling a crib in that room. It made me sad and then it made me glad.

The nursery has always been a power keg of emotions for me. When Gary painted it a pretty green shade back in the Winter of 2011, we carefully picked out the furniture and bedding and pictures and decorations.  I was the happiest I had ever been. A few months later, our friends and family came over and tore everything down and put it all in trash bags in the basement. Out came the crib and in went the old queen bed and the room went back to being a guest room. For the longest time, I would come up the steps and not even look that way. It just hurt too much. I was the saddest I had ever been.

When we decided to adopt and had the home study, we had to show the social worker where the nursery would be. We showed her the guest room and explained that we could fill it when we knew there was a baby on the way. But not too much before. She knew our story and she loved the room and the potential it had.

When we were chosen to be Miranda's parents, we put the nursery back together. At first I wanted to paint it a new color and get all new furniture, but by then, the scar tissue had formed over my open wounds and I liked the idea of Allie's crib and changing table finally being used. I liked that the pretty green shade that we picked for her would now be the color that her sister would see every morning and every night.

For over two and a half years, that furniture kept Miranda safe and sound. She learned how to sleep in that crib. She had her first dreams in that room. We fed her bottles late at night while staring at the walls that her sister was supposed to also see. We read endless books in that room. We laughed. We probably cried. We sang songs. We survived.

That room stopped being sad for me the day that Miranda came home. I still missed Allie, of course. That never changed. Sometimes even more when I saw what she was missing. But the room was Miranda's now and that was easy to accept.

The baby that was supposed to receive the furniture was supposed to be a girl and she was due in about a month. I heard yesterday that he was here, a full month early. You read that right. HE!

So bye-bye old crib and changing table and old memories. Enjoy your new home. A boy will have different dreams and different books and different songs to sing. Cherish each and every one.

In the meantime, we have a lot to do here to prepare for our growing toddler. The time is going by so fast. I think it's fair to say this is the happiest we have all ever been.



Learning to Love Yourself No Matter What

One of the problems with being a writer is that I use words as therapy. By writing my thoughts and feelings, I can often make sense of the w...