Cut Out the Over-Complicated

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Hello again readers! It’s so nice to have another chance to blog so soon. Especially with all the craziness currently swallowing my life. I’ll admit it, I’m finding it rather difficult keeping my head up and staying positive but I have come to accept things as there are and take it one day at a time. This helps keep the smile on my face which in turn keeps those I interact with pleasant.

Amongst the chaos I have decided to start weening DC from breast milk. We have been able to reach my first goal of breastfeeding for 6 months. We have started supplementing, which he isn’t thrilled about but I can’t keep up. Our refrigerator has gone on the fritz causing everything in it to go bad, including his milk, giving me nowhere to store any pumped milk without driving an extra 20 minutes everyday for the needed milk. (Forget thawing time and still nowhere to store it.) Let us also add to the fact that being in cooking classes isn’t exactly an ideal setting to walk away to spend 20-30 minutes to pump milk. Fellow team members are understanding to the need to step away until you are late plating because they have their own recipes to make and are unable to keep up with yours. Then there’s work. Yes I get a thirty minute break but I those thirty minutes I must buy lunch, cook lunch, pump, and try to relax. Giving me a total of 2 minutes of me time if I’m lucky.

So to save me from internal combustion I have removed one more task from my daily to-do list in hopes of simplifying my life while I complete this quarter. Here’s hoping my head doesn’t explode before then.

Never Feel Less Than

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Courteousy of Facebook

This morning I went about my usual routine. Woke up at the crack of dawn, realized my son was running a fever (from shots he got yesterday), took the day off, then finally as I sat rocking him into a fitful sleep, I checked my Facebook and saw the above picture in my news feed.

I don’t know if it’s true or not and is somewhat besides the point. Ever since I got pregnanct, a part of me knew Mr. FF’s involvement in DC’s life would be minimal at best. I always worried about how that would effect me. How would I answer my son’s questions he’ll inevitably have? How will I handle his questions and will I answer them to the best of my ability. I never really took the time to think how it would realistically impact DC or how, for the rest of his life, his father’s choice will mold DC’s life and decisions. And I can’t help but feel that moment will come sooner rather than later with daycare and my mother insisting on teaching him how to say, “dada.”

I always tell DC, “your father loves you so much. Just like mommy. He just doesn’t know how to show it.” But who am I really protecting here? I always told myself that this was one subject I couldn’t sugar coat for my son. That, he, more than anyone else deserves the truth. I grew up living with lies masquerading as the truth and lived an ignorant life because of it, taught to overlook the obvious. I will not do that to my son. I will not tell him these words I am not completely sure of myself (not to say I’m going to tell him his father doesn’t love him. I know that isn’t true.) But I cannot allow him to hold on to words that are not FF’s own and let it tear down his self-worth. I cannot and will not let him feel like it’s his fault his father left. Because it absolutely is not!

DC needs to know he’s not missing out, his father is, that his father missed everything. He needs to know his father was given each and every opportunity possible to be involved and help support us. That he even acknowledged that he, “needs to be around to support the mother of my child and my son. And I’ll be there.” But more than anything he needs to know and understand that he never did anything for his father not to be around. That there is absolutely nothing wrong with him, that he is in fact the most perfect thing on this Earth. I don’t ever want my son to feel less than because of an ignorant, self absorbed, piece of shit.

2013 MD vs. 2014 MD

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Today has been a great big bowl of surreal. Mother’s day of 2013 feels like a lifetime ago. One that holds a life I’ll never go back to.

On mother’s day of last year I was about 10 weeks pregnant. Only my aunt and my parents were aware of my pregnancy. And I was completely miserable. Throughout the day spent with family I fought back demons that urged me to find solitude and wallow in the depression that desperately fought to eat me alive. With me was Mr. FF at the family function. I was under the delusion that in order to provide the best for my son I would have to sacrifice my happiness and wellbeing and make it work with his father. So there he was…annoying the living hell out of me, pissing my family off, and as usual, being disgustingly vulgar, by trying to force his tongue down my throat in front of my family and very young cousins.

Today, though, was beautiful! No, actually, this entire weekend was. Minus my son’s mother’s day poop-splosion gift. That, I could have done without. But I got a beautiful mother’s day gift from DC made at school.

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"I'm your little flower, Mom, help me bloom and grow."

(I think it’s funny that these people think I have time to grow anything. But we’ll give it a shot. Let’s not forget, also, that the first thing DC did with it was rip it out of the dirt. That plus my brown thumb will equal amazing beautiful plant, right?) I also got a new job working in a bakery at my local super market, had a fantastic time with my son at a bbq, and was spoiled by my father by being treated to lunch and dinner and was giving money to put towards DC’s first out of state trip.

Life is amazing. When things are down, never lose hope. It gets better, you just have to work for it. Happy mother’s day, all!

Five Month Open Letter

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Five Month Open Letter

My beautiful, amazing bundle of joy that I have been so blessed to call my son

Today marks your five months spent on this earth. You are the smartest baby in the world! But I could be a bit biased. From day one we have been teaching you Spanish. In fact one of the first times I spoke to you after you were born was in Spanish. The only thing is, when we ask you where your toes are in Spanish, you got it! But if asked in English you give us a slightly puzzled look. You also know your hands and that one you know in Spanish and English. Anytime you’re doing an activity and appear to want to get up from it I tell you, “show mommy you’re done by giving her your hands.” And you do it! If you give one hand and I ask for the other you do that too!

You have started eating baby food on the regular and you absolutely love peas. Not so much carrots, it seems, but that isn’t much of a surprise. I don’t care for carrots either. The peas though, that was a surprise.

You have had one night so far that you slept through the night AND in your own room. You scared mommy to death. Give me a heads up next time you plan on sleeping like that again. Thanks! Ever since that night, like clockwork, you now wake up at 1:30AM for your nighttime feeding. I’d like to start weening you off the midnight snacks but you will not go back to sleep unless you’re nursing. You adamantly scream bloody murder until the whole house is awake and glaring at me for allowing their sleep to be so rudely interrupted.

We still do tummy time and you now boot, scoot, n boogey across the floor on your belly although you would rather run everywhere. But before that can happen you have to get the hang of putting one foot in front of the other, oh, and balance. That would help too.

You are trying to say actual words and I’m pretty sure you’ve said momma a couple of times. You’ve definitely said dada several times and today it sounded like you said Nona. But I’m not counting any of them as actual words because (1) we don’t even say dada in this house and (2) I think you’re just practicing enunciating.

Speaking of dada’s, we still haven’t heard from yours. Your Mimi still comes to see you and brings you diapers and toys. I’m sorry that in the last month you haven’t been able to see her but you’ve been sick (Thank your school friends.) and when you were finally better she was sick. This year has been crazy. It was the coldest winter this year and it’s the worst cold/flu season. I think with your birth, you brought the plague. Just kidding! But, really, why does all this happen right after you are born? It’s pretty coincidental to me.

Either way though, I’m so proud of you and everything you do. You are the best little boy in the world and I love you.

To endless months and years with you!

What Children will Learn

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Hiatus over but then again I can never stay away from you very long. You’re all like meth, I just can’t get enough! For the record, I’ve never tried meth. But I imagine it’s as addictive as all of you are to me.

Today had been one of those good but extremely unproductive days. I was suppose to get DC down for bed then do homework and study for midterms that start tomorrow, but instead I went and hung out with my cousin. And drank a beer….or two. Ok three, but that’s IT!

I have been awakened recently at exactly how successful I must be in order to properly care for DC in the way I would like. I spent my childhood watching my own parents struggle to make ends meet and I always swore I would learn from their mistakes and not go through what they did. I have discovered new struggles that they haven’t experienced, that’s for sure, but now I need to step it up. I also have opportunities they did not have.

When I first started looking at culinary schools I only intended to go for the baking and pastry certificate until my admissions advisor did her job and advised me that if I take a couple more classes and I’ll have my AA. Why not really make it worth my while? I entered into it with the intention of only making my resumes look better with that flashy degree and influence potential employers to pay me more. I did not want to run my only restaurant YET. Doing so will take away from me doing what I really love. Which is being in the thick of it; slammed, balls to the wall, with orders, calling times, cooking great food and having a great time. Call me crazy but to me it’s always been a number game and I am a math fiend. “Ticket times are suppose to be 8 minutes. I had 7 minute ticket times. Bet you tomorrow we can have 6!” I’m crazy about it. I love, love, LOVE it!!

However, while visiting with a family friend today, it was brought to my attention that he and my uncle have been looking for something to invest in. So he asked me if I intended on opening my own restaurant. As we talked about it I thought about it more seriously as we discussed locations, menus, client base, etc. I know my true dream is to open my own restaurant. It has been since I was 16 and first entered the food industry. I think what has deterred me from that idea was as I got older I learned more facts: most businesses shut down within the first three years, being an owner of a restaurant I won’t be able to cook as much as I would like (since I’ll be doing owner stuff), it costs A LOT (like a stupid, ridiculous amount) of money to get up and running and a lot of other things that give me doubt. But what kind of mother would I be if I tell my son every single day he can be and do anything he wants in life when I, myself, do not push myself to my full potential? I wouldn’t just be cutting myself short, I would be cutting him short as well as teaching him self-doubt. I have to teach him that even if we fail it doesn’t mean we are failures, it just means we take risks to make our dreams come true. And what better way to teach that than to lead by example?

It doesn’t hurt that in school they teach us (duh) how to be successful. How to not be that statistic that fails within three years. I already have a menu for a hypothetical restaurant and am working on a business plan for said hypothetical restaurant. Not to mention I also have a layout for my potential kitchen and dining room! I could be successful with my store! I may not have a great menu yet because I kind of half-assed it but the idea I have for my menu is GOLD! Vegans and gluten-free are growing more and more popular as well as sugar free and everything fresh from “local farmers.” Just get the right location with the right price and I’ll be booming!

I hate the thought of failing. Especially with family potentially investing but I would rather fail and tell my boy I tried than tell him I never tried because I was afraid. How could ever expect him to chase his dreams if I’m too afraid to chase after my own?

The Good Samaritan Times Two

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The Good Samaritan Times Two

People continue to amaze me with their kindness every day. Just when you begin to lose faith in humanity and their ability to show compassion there is one out of the bunch that makes their presence known to rekindle the faith.

In the last month I have been blessed to have TWO kind strangers who have shown me that all is not lost. I firmly believe this is a sign from god. That even in the middle of some nonsense that has appeared throughout my life, it is not yet time to give up on the human population.

The first act of kindness happened on April 14 as I was leaving the grocery store. I was loading my groceries in my car when a man approached me. Now, I don’t know what it is about me lately that has suddenly made me so approachable. Before I had my son and throughout my pregnancy I was best described as the girl who had “f%@! off” stamped across her head and I did not strike up conversations with random strangers. But this man was undeterred by whatever demeanor I may have been giving off, whether intentional or otherwise. He was well dressed and shined a friendly smile and said, “Hey, how’s it going,” as though I was an old friend. I gave pause as I considered if he might be someone I once knew. As I filtered faces in my memory bank he handed me a slip of folded paper that read “God bless you.” He flashed one more smile and went on his way. I shoved the paper in my pocket as I continued loading my car. When I slid into the driver’s seat of my car I remembered the note he passed me and pulled it out of my pocket. I briefly considered throwing the paper away as a number of thoughts raced through my head. I thought at first that maybe this was some sort of angry letter at how I was dressed. It wasn’t particularly provocative, I was still somewhat dressed in my chefs uniform minus the jacket. Instead I was wearing the undershirt, a nursing tank top that showed off a good bit of cleavage, that I normally don’t wear in public. Then I thought maybe it was a letter trying to convince me to convert faiths or push me to join a church. Then the irrational kicked in, it was full of anthrax and this man’s true intention was to kill me. (My imagination is too much for me to handle sometimes.) But something told me not to throw this away so I carefully unfolded the letter and was surprised at what I found inside.

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I was overwhelmed with his random kindness towards a person he’d never seen before in his life. I couldn’t help but cry for his good deed and my misgiving thoughts.

Later, on April 30, I went to a local thrift store to spend a little of my birthday money on clothes I desperately needed. (I don’t quite fit in my pre pregnancy clothes yet and still wear my maternity clothes which are now too big.) While I was there I also picked up shorts for my son which he also badly needed. I passed the toys and couldn’t resist finding something for DC, thinking I should go ahead and start stocking up on Christmas and birthday gifts for him.

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I was standing in line with one gentleman in front of me who looked particularly scraggly and slightly hard up on life himself. He saw the toys and baby clothes in my bunch of purchases and told the cashier, “Give this young lady my change to go towards her the baby toys.” It was only $0.23 USD but he could have easily kept his change and put it towards his own needs. Again I was touched by this generosity and selfless gesture and was at a loss for words.

In life, it’s easy to only see the bad that goes on in the world around us and it doesn’t help that many times that’s the only thing the news will report on, only adding to our already negative thinking of the direction society today is headed. But there are still angels that walk among us. We just need to open our eyes and our hearts to see them and accept their goodness and trust that there isn’t always an ulterior motive to their actions.

There are still good people with good intentions and good hearts.

“Treat others the way you wish to be treated.”

God bless.

“Turn to Your Faith, Family, and Friends”

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This week has been a trying week. God giving a tribulation at its best. It could have been worse, I’ll admit that willingly. Another fact I will freely admit is how close I was to giving in. Simply throwing my hands up. But as Mr. Love used to end ALL his letters from boot camp, “Love you, be safe. When you feel alone or find yourself struggling turn to your faith, family, and friends.” And although he never needed to actually voice it, he meant it in that order. He knew I always had a close relationship with God that he graciously respected and admired and he also knew I had the most close knit family he ever saw and even had the brief honor of being included in. (To this day my family still asks about him and his well being. Not as much because they know for a while it ached me to talk about him but they still do care.)

It was difficult for me these last several days to do anything other than complain and moan, which is always the easiest thing to do. But once I took the time out to put everything in God’s hands, see my family, and talk to my friends I was reminded of things I am fortunate to have in my life. Regardless of the ridiculous crap that may drop in on my life from time to time. We must always remember that things can be worse and that somewhere else things are worse.

Even though things do not always work out the way I would prefer I still have it pretty damn easy, considering. I just needed a little reminding. This week God reminded me how nice things could be and what I should look for. While family reminded me that no matter what day it is or what time they are always here for me to give love, support, and laughter. And friends reminded me that they can be more strict than my own parents at times they also remind me that being a single mother is not the worse thing. To take pride in what I do, no matter how difficult or lonesome. That when the time is right, as long as I’m patient God will provide for me what I need when I need it.

This was going to be just another blog of me complaining, full of “whoa is me” drama, until God made his presence blatantly known and smacked me with reality. My small family is very fortunate for what we have and I have no room for anything but happiness of what we do have. No matter the struggle. Because it could always be worse.

I have learned that God will send messages and at times make things seem like everything just gets worse and worse but really it’s just to make sure your faith doesn’t take thing for granted. Just like everything else, God can be taken for granted, too. He just has to remind us from time to time that he is here to support and love us, not to be our genie to grant us wishes. It just takes harder lessons every now and again to be reminded.

Now since I am making my way to bed I would like to lead all my readers in prayer:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have trespassed against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.

I pray the Lord carries you all through safe passage through the night and keeps you safe and helps you all through any struggle you may face in your life. I also pray that you do not forget God’s love in the struggles you face and that we all remember to forgive those we love and those we pity alike.

And because I was raised Catholic:

In the name of the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Letter of the Day…

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Today’s letter of the day is P!

P is for poop-splosion!

The proper definition of the term is when a poop accident is so bad you wonder what the hell is the purpose of a diaper. When, in fact, the onsie, pants, or PJs have suddenly turned into cloth diapers.

The act of this, so called, “accident” is then followed by the very serious consideration of cutting off said article of clothing in hopes of avoiding an even bigger mess. DO IT. Or else, it will get messier. If one decides to forego the surgical removal of, the now, cloth diaper, odds are the one removing it will regret not taking the easier route.

It is also wise to place the child that is now laughing at your misfortune in the sink in order to contain the mess while the a cleaning device may be prepared. It is not frowned upon to take this moment to laugh at the child’s misfortune of sitting in a cold sink. This will be the only laugh one will get during this disgusting travesty.

It is wise to prepare a sprayer instead of sitting water. Since the child has pooped, he will find it necessary to pee. In the sitting water. As soon as you place him in it. Make less work for yourself and hose the kid down.

You’re welcome.

No Rest for the Wicked

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I just want to take a moment to recognize my son’s innate ability to truck on with his everyday life with a full blown fever as though nothing were bothering him. He still smiles and laughs, he still plays and bounces (although not as enthusiastically) and for the most part doesn’t act as though anything is wrong.

He is my hero. My angel among the living. I hope you get well soon, son.

Just One of THOSE Days

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What can I say about today? Hmm. Well it sure has been eventful. VERY eventful.

First off let’s take a moment to remember whoever it was that flipped their car on I-95 and turned a 20 minute drive into an hour and half drive. They jacked up EVERYTHING. They crashed in just the right spot that it also screwed up any detours. Oh, right, moment of silence……

Second I would like to congratulate a very close family friend for having their precious baby boy this afternoon. I wanted so badly to cut school and hold that baby boy all day long.

In other news, my son is running a fever… again this week. Yesterday it was 100.2 then it broke, sent him to school and he comes home with 100.8. I called his doctor yesterday who told me not to worry, he’s fine. Unless it gets up to 101. Right, he’s fine. Sure. He’s always fussy and indecisive and dependent on physical contact. NOT! How do I fix my baby? He refuses (passionately refuses!) to sleep without me when he’s sick. I’ve been giving him medicine but I can’t help but feel like it does absolutely nothing for him.

Ugh I’m so exhausted. Eh, I don’t know if exhausted is right. Strung out? Spread thin? On the verge of breaking down and crying everywhere, over everything? I’m at my wits end sometimes. I keep wondering what I am going to do if his temperature does go up and he needs to go to the doctor tomorrow. I’m not really in a position to just be able to miss school. These classes are getting more intense and more demanding and while I don’t want it to seem like I’m putting school before my son I’m also well aware that our future is hinged upon my success. I don’t have time to fail. Failing is not an option at this point. So how serious is serious enough to miss school? I’m so torn and feel like a horrible person no matter what I choose.

This is one of those moments where having his father involved would help so much. Cause no one else can take him to the doctor except me (although technically his father can’t either cause he didn’t want to be put on the birth certificate.) Someone else could take him to the doctor but it wouldn’t do any good. I am the only person that can sign important documents for anything to be done. So for the first time in DC’s life, I’m wishing Mr. FF played an active role. So my son could be taken to the doctor if he gets worse and I can still attend class.

This almost became my breaking point. After everything else today, I almost couldn’t take it anymore. As a single mother I am shoved, tugged, pushed, pulled, and torn in thousands of different directions and too many places needing my presence at the same time. It’s overwhelming when you have a chance to really think about it and realize, “damn, that’s one direction I can’t seem to go.” And then you’re forced to choose when you wish and pray and hope that SOME HOW you can go to the doctor AND go to school.

But what is it that bothers me most? The fact that I can’t do both or that for the first time ever, *sigh*…I need DC’s father. God, that even tastes nasty in my mouth. Ugh! The only thing that’s kept me from crying today is the fact that my son has been watching my every move and I want my son to learn like I have,  if you don’t have a good reason to cry then don’t. And to me none of those are good enough reasons.