Tomorrow Never Came … And I Have Finally Made It Through The Rain…

This is a very personal post.  You will probably see a side of me you have never seen but read quickly because the layers of the onion wont be pulled back for long.

Today I was copying music from my old portable hard drive and I decided to look at all the folders and files.  I came across a file I thought was lost forever, a file I thought dies with my old computer.  I opened it and I just stared at the screen for a while.  So I popped the song files into my iTunes and started to play them.  With that I was brought back to the days of The Blue Sweater Ninjas and endless hours of Kingdom of Loathing with my besties, KT and Tiff.  We would have seemingly endless 3 way phone and chat room conversations.  Funny thing is we would be having 2 different conversations about 2 totally different topics going at the same time.  Sometimes we would throw in a quick email as well.  The 3 of us were bound by a connection I can’t explain.  I was 1400 miles away and yet I felt like I was right there with them.

MAN I MISS THAT GIRL!!!!

I remember when Tiff sent me some of these songs.  She broke me out of my emo, goth, industrial, metal world.  She showed me that not all country music sucks, but I am sure I liked it only because they were some of her favorite songs.  As I type this I am listening to a digital version of a CD she sent me with the “Songs of Her Life”.  I remember when she told me why she picked certain songs for times of her life and what she thought would come of it.

Now playing is Whiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss and before Tiff died I just thought “wow what a sad song”.  After she died it was the perfect song but the roles of the subjects in the song were reversed.  One of my dearest friends I have had my whole life (well since I was 3 or 4) and her were star-crossed lovers.  Days before Tiff died he was telling me how much he loved her and wanted to be with her.  This song reminds me of them and their love every time I hear it even though she thought it matched her and someone else.  The lyrics “Nobody knew how much she blamed herself for years and years” are perfect for how he described his feelings after she died.

I really liked the song “Homesick” by Kings of Convenience when she sent it to me.  She had said how it reminded her of working at her telemarketing job.  I thought it fit my role at the oil company too.  “I lose some sales and my boss won’t be happy, but there’s only one thing on my mind … searching boxes underneath the counter, on a chance that on a tape I’d find … a song for someone who needs somewhere to long for… Homesick.  Because I no longer know where home is.”  This part of the song captures a little how I felt as I would go to work after she died.  I was lost always looking for something and longing for somewhere, anywhere but where I was.  I was homesick and I didn’t know where home was.

When she died my life was ripped apart on so many levels.  I didn’t get to make it back to NY for the funeral.  This left a void in my heart and an emptiness in my soul.  It was like I was a shell of a person just going through the motions of life.  I became numb and I didn’t want to talk to anyone.  There were a very few people who I was close enough to and that helped me through the pain and grief.  But it wasn’t just the loss of my best friend who was as close as a sister to me that had my world turned inside out but that weekend I saw my then fiancée for his true self.  As soon as I collected my emotions and calmed down a little I called him.  I asked him to come to Gainesville and stay with me because I didn’t want to be alone in the apartment that was picked out for me and Tiffany.  Every time I walked from one room to another I was reminded that she wasn’t going to be moving in.  Oh yes, he came to Gainesville.  I thought I was safe to let my guard down and I cried on his shoulder.  He offered to go and get us something for dinner.  He left at 6pm and didn’t get back to my apartment until well after 2am.  His excuse the next day was that he saw a friend and he was invited to a party, never even thinking of me or how I was doing.  Needless to say in my state of grief he devastated me more than I thought I could be.  While I waited I got madder and sadder so I found everything of his packed it in a box, put it outside my apartment door and changed the locks.  This period of time was the lowest feeling time of my life.  I have never felt so sad or alone but I plugged on because I knew someday the pain and sadness would go away.  After almost 8 years all I can say is that the pain and sadness have transformed into something that stays with me and only comes up once in a while.  From time to time I still have the “I have to tell Tiff about this” and then I remember I can’t.

“If Tomorrow Never Comes?” By Garth Brooks….  The lyrics for the perfect end of life song.  (I chose Die in Winter by Wumpscut as my end of life song)  I can remember the day Tiffany died like it just happened yesterday.  The night before she took pictures of a few different outfits and sent them to me.  I helped her pick out the outfit.  She was supposed to call me as soon as she got home from going out.  I didn’t hear from her, but that wasn’t unusual, it was late.  She usually called or Instant Message me when she was getting ready for work but I didn’t have my phone with me at my desk and for some reason I didn’t have my AIM or Yahoo on.  As soon as I got out of work I saw I have several missed calls but at times she should have been at work.  I noticed I had a voicemail so I listened to it.  It was her Pops calling me and asking me to call him as soon as I got the message.  So I did.

I remember the sound of his voice as he said “Tiffany died this morning….” I replied “funny, put her on the phone”…  No, he was telling me the truth.  He repeated it one more time and it was like time was standing still.  Everything was in slow motion as I felt my heart sink down and shatter into a million pieces.  The bus pulled up and it was time for me to be around a bunch of strangers and head home.  As soon as we hung up I called my mom.  I didn’t care that I was on the bus.  I couldn’t get the words out between the sobs.  All I wanted at that moment was to be in NY, to be with my mom and friends.  I can remember the smells like I am standing at that bus stop all over again.  Most of the ride home is a blur to me.

I never thought my heart would heal.  I never thought I would find love or be happy ever again.  I spent months locked away from everyone but a select few.  I decided on her birthday that same year that I was going to complete a new degree.  I researched schools and found a good online one so I wouldn’t have to interact with anyone except via email and chat boards.  I proceeded to work 60 hours a week and go to school full-time to complete my Masters of Business Administration focusing on Organizational Development and Psychology.  I poured all my energy into my school work.  Some how by focusing on school so much and going to the gym I was able to start feeling more social and making a few new friends.  When I started the masters program I started going out with a few friends, even got set up on a few dates.  I had no intention of ever falling in love and was content being single.  I started putting feelers out in Boston and NYC for jobs and researched cost of living in the areas as well.  When I met my now fiancé and we hit it off instantly.  He was funny and a bit nerdy like me.  He was so easy to talk to and a piece of me was starting to blossom.  My heart started to heal and the pieces of my soul that I thought were lost forever were suddenly filling with life.

I look at my son and I think about how Tiff would love me being a mom and how adorable he is.  She was one of the few people who knew how devastated I was when I got the news of how it would be an act of god if I ever wanted children.  She helped me so much during that time and helped me come to terms with being childless.  So I put that thought out of my mind and focused on work.  Sometimes how my little guy reacts to some songs Tiff and I shared makes me wonder if a piece of her isn’t alive in him.  I am sure that sounds silly but sometimes I do wonder.  It doesn’t matter how much time passes she will always be in my heart and I will miss her forever.  I look forward to moving back to the Rochester area so I can visit her grave and bring her sunflowers more than once a year.

And I still have Cotton Eyed Joe, the last song she sent me, stuck in my head…  LOL  Man I miss Tiff!!!  ♥

Through the Rain – By Mariah Carey was on her list but the words really ring true about over coming loss of any size and coming through the other side stronger.  The part I quote below is a good description of how I “made it through” my “rain”

When you get caught in the rain
With nowhere to run
When you are distraught and in pain
Without anyone,
When you keep crying out to be saved
But nobody comes
And you feel so far away
That you just can’t find your way home
You can get there alone it’s okay
Once you say.
I can make it through the rain…

I faked being happy and “ok” for so long that eventually I started to feel it.  I made it through the rain and made it to the sunny side with butterflies and rainbows.  My life is filled with lemonade not lemons…

40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge – My Journey – Day 1

I came across the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge in a post a friend had posted on facebook.  I have a tendency to hold on to things I don’t really need.  I moved once with a 16 foot truck of STUFF.

16 foot moving truck for 1 person.

I don’t want to do that again.   I am on my journey to reduce and de-clutter.  With a toddler it makes the chore a little more difficult because I want to keep everything of his.  To help in my venture to de-clutter I have signed up to be a seller at Too Cute To Toss  event on April 5th and 6th to sell as much of my son’s clothes and “stuff” as I can.  I can’t wait to see how I do after 40 days.

The “official” 40 bags in 40 days started on March 5th and ends on Easter Saturday.  So if anyone asks me “what did you give up for lent?” don’t be surprised if you get the answer “stuff” because for me not holding on to something that may have one day had value or a memory attached is a HUGE step for me.  The plus side to all this…  My fiancée will be very happy to se so much stuff going out the door and not coming back in.  🙂

Wish me luck on my journey.    I will try to post different areas along my 40 day journey.

Day 1 – My craft area (might take 2 days) –  It needs desperate help…

photo (2)

Breastfeeding Wednesday – A Question from a Dad

Today’s letter comes from Ron.  It is nice to see a dad writing in.

Dear Dawn,
My wife is breastfeeding our first born and I feel left out.  Not just from the baby’s life but from my wife’s life as well.  Is there anything I can do to be more involved or feel more involved?
TVM,
Ron

Dear Ron,

Thank you for your question.  There are a few ways to feel more involved.  I would nurse everywhere in the house.  Sometimes my fiancee would be sitting next to me and we would hang out.  When my milk supply started to drop he helped by helping me relax.  He helped massage my breasts gently.  It wasn’t a sexual thing but it helped him still have contact and helped my milk let down.  I would also pump a lot of milk and he would give our son bottles from time to time.  There were times I would be nursing in bed and he would gently massage our sons head.  It was tender and sweet.  I am amazed at how much just those little things meant to me.  One of the nicest things he would do was get our son if he was crying and bring him to me.  It was something small but sometimes those little actions mean more than flowers or gifts.

As for the sexual aspect.  I always laughed and said I didn’t understand why parents have less sex.  Why should having a baby hinder sex.  WOW, was I in for a shock.  LOL  It is amazing how priorities shift and being intimate shifts to cuddle time and relaxing together.  We are both so tired at the end of the night during the week that we pass out  before our sex drives kick in.  I will give you some hope, intimate time gets much easier  once the baby sleeps through the night.

Baby/Toddler Firsts of 2013

I am a couple of weeks behind on our “2013 milestones” but, here we go.  I am sure I have missed some milestones, but here are some big ones I can rattle off the top of my head.

Breastfed until 16.5 months, I would have gone longer but my body failed us. (bad boobies!!)

First “real” 2 word phrase – “bay kiki” (Bad Kitty)

First set of molars – January 2013 caused a trip to the ER and resulted in a double ear infection.

First “Big Boy” food- Spinach Feta Pie

First steps – Mid-June 2013 (17.5 mo old)

Recognize all Letters and point to them – 20 months old

First Letter learned and mastered – “E” 19 months old

Recognize numbers 1 – 20 and point to them – 20 months old

Recognize animals and point to them – 16 months old

By the end of 2013 he could say some animals, shapes, colors, about 50% of the alphabet, and numbers 1-10.  He can’t do them in order yet but we are working on that.

As of January 15, 2014 when asked “How old are you going to be?” or “how old are you?” he can reply “Two” and attempts to hold up 2 fingers.

Question of the Day: Should Children be Banned from High End Restaurants?

This post is spawned for an article from NBC Chef Grant Achatz starts Twitter debate: Should babies be banned from high-end restaurants? by Tracy Saelinger (TODAY contributor).

I don’t think they should ban babies, it is up to the parents to be respectful of others who are dining. If the baby should get agitated or upset and cry, take a breather and walk with the baby. At 8 mo my son was still Breastfeeding so a quick boob fix was all he would need to nod back off again or at least relax and be in mommy milk trance for a while. With that said, my almost 2-year-old doesn’t understand “inside” voice yet. Personally, I would never dream of bringing him to a 3 hour, 18 course meal that cost over $200 per plate and you have to wait for weeks or months for a table.

If you can afford a restaurant that expensive then you probably have a full-time live in nanny that the kids can stay with. Or at least a full-time nanny/babysitter you can ask to stay late and pay them an overtime bonus. Do babysitters cancel, sure they do but then be the respectful parent and walk out when your baby starts to cry. If you are like most Americans and you can’t “normally” afford the restaurant then it is a “special” date night and you should enjoy your spouse/significant other/whoever you are with without babies and children.

We have not had a date night since R was born. We did attempt it once when the little guy was 5 months old but we were called back before our dinner was served. We take him everywhere, he has even been to an Irish Pub!! Of course it was for a late lunch, but he had a good time sitting at the table like a big boy, no high chairs there. He is a good baby/toddler and on the rare occasion when he gets a little loud(or has a tantrum) I excuse myself and take him outside for a cool down walk. Most times people give the look of sympathy as I walk by with a mad toddler.

All in all, maybe not ban babies but if the parents don’t get off their asses and take the baby out of the restaurant then definitely have the waiter politely ask them to take the baby outside until it has calmed down and is no longer crying. It is the parents who need to be respectful of others.

Toddler Play Areas

Good Morning Blog readers!!  It is Monday morning and we are ready for another yoyo week of rain, snow, rain and more snow.  While mother nature has it in for us here in the wonderful state of Massachusetts with the temps bouncing between the 20’s and the 40’s we have a fun-filled week ahead.  Maybe I can witness my son doing something crazy again.  LOL

This past Saturday we  were at the local mall play area where I usually take him to play and burn some energy.  I love watching all the different children interact together.  It amazes me every time we go how many adults aren’t keeping an eye on the children they are there with.  They are playing with or talking on their phones.  In the meantime I have a toddler running around having a good time going through the tunnels and climbing into the cars and boats.  The thing that annoys me the most is when the unsupervised children are jumping off of one of the play fixtures.  It isn’t the jumping part as much as where they are jumping off.  They jump off over the tunnel holes.  I can’t count how many times I have had to either tell those kids to be careful there were toddlers and babies crawling through the tunnel.  I often wonder how much these kids get away with at home if they are so unruly and neglected in a public play area.  Sometimes I want to go up to the adults and ask them if they think it is ok for the child they are not watching to potentially jump on my baby, now toddler’s head.  I bite my tongue so far because when I ask the older kids to be careful they typically stop or at least look before jumping to make sure it is clear of littler kids.

The funniest thing I have seen my little guy do in the play area this weekend.  There was a little boy, maybe about 5 years old, starting to have a temper tantrum.  The little boy started to yell and scream with some tears because his adult told him it was time to leave.  So my little guy stops in his tracks while running around, looks at the little boy and yells at him with a growl like yell.  It really sounded like he was possessed by the demon in the exorcist.  Then my little one ran away squealing with delight.  The little boy stopped his tantrum like he was in shock, got down still sniffling, and went over to his adult to leave without a fight.  I have no idea what was said in that scary yell but it was enough to help calm the tantrum.  Now, if only I had a child to do that when my little guy is having a tantrum.  LOL

Some People Suck!!

My mind is still spinning about something that happened today.  A dear friend of mine always puts other people first.  She has nothing, and when I say nothing I mean her unemployment was cut off when she was owed about 7 weeks past due pay, Her husband has been out of work thanks to the holidays and his clients going on vacations, they don’t even have money for their rent.  Their Christmas celebration was happy because of the generosity of others.  Today I was scoping out some of the Facebook boards I am on to see if there was anything else I “needed”.  I noticed my friend had some things posted for sale and then some guy she doesn’t even know and I have never seen active in the group before replies with the nastiest comment accusing her of asking for Christmas Donation gifts and then re-selling them.

ARE YOU EFF’N KIDDING ME BUDDY!!! (check out: “Christmas is a Time for Giving“)

Well, I don’t tolerate people talking crap about others and god forbid you do it about one of my friends but when you tell a blatant lie that I happen to be associated with WATCH OUT!!!  I think being a full-time Mommy has kicked the Mama Bear Instinct into over drive.  I set him straight on that real quick and tagged the moderators of the group in my comment so nothing could be twisted about me or my post.  I must pat myself on the back because I was direct about it but I was pretty nice too.

After I had that posted up I read through some of the other comments after his on her post and I can’t believe how absolutely terrible people can be.  It was like watching a bunch of middle school punks bullying another kid.  I was reading these hateful words and really wondering how people could be so mean to and about someone they never met.  My heart broke for my friend so I messaged her as soon as I finished my comment to let her know I had her back.

So here is a very nice woman trying to take care of her family and get money for rent the only way she can.  And what do people do???  bash her and make her cry.  After this she has now decided she doesn’t want to help anyone else out unless she knows them.  She has taken down her posts and has decided that she won’t sell any of the items at all.  Where does this leave her…  Thank you to the FB bullies what messages are they teaching their kids.  Are their kids as mean and nasty as they are?  How can people be so cruel?

ARRG!!!!!   MEAN PEOPLE SUCK!!!

Having a PPD Moment … Getting Personal… Family, Heartbreak and Hope…

** DISCLAIMER **  I wrote this on Nov 15th and made it a private post.  It is a very emotional post and I wasn’t going to post it but, after talking to some of the women in my PPD group I have decided to make it public.  I am not the only one going through these emotions even though situations may be different the raw emotion expressed here is me to the core.  I will not apologize for my feelings as they are a part of who I am.  This post was written to help me heal a wound that had occurred as a result of events unknown to me, we are the ones who are living with and feeling the effects of someone else’s decisions that I can not control.  The person who looses the most is my son.   My follow-up post is GETTING CLOSE TO THE TIME OF YEAR WE VERBALLY GIVE THANKS…  where I thank everyone who is close in my heart.  **
As we get closer to making the big move.  I am laying out the cost and looking for places to live.  I like the idea of finding a nice townhouse to rent to start with and then we can take the time to find a nice house in my old school district.  And it looks like we should be able to make our move in about 18 months give or take a couple of months.  And as I think about moving I am excited to be closer to family and friends some, who I have known since I was a wee little girl.  This isn’t a case of “the grass is greener” but of “this grass just ain’t gettin’ greener.”  :/

We now live in a small(very small, the size of a town) city with a handful of my SO’s family around.  They aren’t as close-knit as my family is even with all the miles between us.  It makes me sad to be so close to family and not get to see them in so long.  I know everyone is busy with work and nuclear family time but my son has a cousin 6 weeks older than him who he hasn’t seen since Easter.  And that breaks my heart.  I always extend invites and many times never receive a reply.  My mind knows it isn’t anything personal, but my heart feels otherwise.  Oh well…  I keep the hope that we will see everyone before we move to NY but as time passes my heart grows weary and sad.

When I think about it I get so sad and then I think about how some people might think I have it easy being a stay home mom who gets to play with her child all day.  Let me say…  it is hard to find activities to entertain and educate our little guy all day, EVERY day, 7 days a week.  Some days I would love to have a child care provider I could drop him off at and then pick him up, even if just for 2 hours.  I love my son with all my heart and would do anything for him and anything to protect him but sometimes mommy needs a break too.  Yes, it is fun to watch his mind work every moment and yes it is nice to be able to do things with him.  Am I lucky??  Some days I really question if I am and I think that a family with 2 working parents have it easy being able to drop their child/children off to someone so they can have the daunting task of entertaining a toddler.  Usually those days are accompanied with the major meltdowns or tantrums from being frustrated.

Add in that I am not just a Stay At Home Mom(SAHM) but I am trying to launch a company using nap times as work times, staying up late working on various products, making tutorials, doing research and setting up a webstore.  My SO works 11.5 hours a day 5-6 days a week and when he gets home he has about 1.5 hours with our son before it is bedtime.  I am up until about 11pm almost every night working on business stuff that I can’t get done during the day.  The little guy wakes around 5 am but never after 6:15am.  In our house 6:15 is sleeping in.  So there’s not much time for sleep.

A little more than 2 months ago my SO had to be rushed to the hospital with chest pains.  I was scared out of my mind, I had no one I could really talk to other than his Mom, who is wonderful and I love her dearly, but she was only here in town for vacation.  We were very lucky it wasn’t his heart but it really put life into perspective for us.  We made the decision to move to NY so I could be closer to a tight-knit support group of family and friends.  It will be nice to be closer to the friends and family I left when I moved to Fl 15 years ago.  I miss my parents, my siblings (even though 1/2 are not in the area anymore), my friends who have stayed by my side even though we have had over 1000 miles between us, and all my nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins…  I look forward to all the play dates, family get togethers, “mommy” time, and having a network of fabulous people who I can call and say “hey, I am stressed out, can you help me out” and know that they will be there as soon as they can to lend a hand.

I will miss our family we have here in MA, of course, but with everyone working such crazy hours there aren’t enough hours in a day to squeeze in anyone but the nuclear family.  I have gotten really close with Sean’s Aunt and love spending time with her.  I will miss her tons and will have to teach her how to Skype.  I was asked today “How great is it that your little one has a cousin to play with who is the same age?”  I replied, “I don’t know, we haven’t seen them since a few days after Easter.”  The person responded “That is so sad, hope you see them soon.”  In that moment I felt my heart sink wondering if we will see them before we move.  I try to keep it all in and not let the emotions out but some days it is harder than others to mask my sadness, and today is one of those days.  Today I have thought about how much I miss all our family and friends near and far.  Some days I feel so isolated because I am a SAHM and feel as I and our family is not worthy of other’s time, like I am not good enough…  I work my butt off all day everyday to not only raise our son but to build a business of our own.

That is all the jumbled rant I have today.  I am sure getting this out and a good night sleep will do wonders to lift up my spirits.  In just over 6 hours I will have to smile and giggle my way through the day, “fake it till ya make it” philosophy.

 

Solo with 18 month old Road Trip Prep

I am preparing for a solo 10 hour road trip with my 18 month old son.  Yup, you read the correctly.  Just me and a toddler for 10 hours in a car.

Here is what I have done so far:

Snacks:

  • pouches for fruits/veggies
  • goldfish
  • crackers
  • PBJ sandwiches

Entertainment:

Random:

  • extra diapers & wipes

I know I have to be missing something… Any suggestions for me so I keep up my sanity?  HAHA

I will blog as we take our journey which starts on Wednesday morning bright and early.

How Can a Mother Do This to Their Child and the Father?

I watched the Katie Show yesterday and I can honestly say I have never been more shocked.  Jason Patric came on to openly talk about his fight with his former girlfriend,Danielle Schreiber, to keep a relationship with  his 3.5 year old son, Gus.  They made the decision together to have this child as he reports.  How can a mother keep her child from the man who helped father her child.  Sure it was through IVF because the good old fashion bump and grind didn’t work, but does that really make him less of a father?  She had an intimate relationship with him before and after their son was born.  Sh allowed him to be in their son’s life until all of a sudden yanking him away.  I understand his wanting to shield his son from the press and kudos to him for doing everything to protect the little boy.  He is a true father to do so.

She is using his choice to shield his son from paparazzi against him.  I can’t help but keep asking “what kind of woman does this to her own son?”  I guess I could understand if the father was unknown, a random sperm bank donor, abusive, mentally unstable, or had a substance abuse problem but not a man who has been there since day one, able to provide (financially, physically and emotionally) and wants to be in his son’s life.  He has been in his son’s life since he was conceived and he has a bond with the child.  Danielle may think what she is doing is right but even at this early age he can keep these events in his subconscious.  He is ripping away his father, does she honestly think in these days and ages when he gets old enough that he won’t search his mother’s name on the internet and find all this information out on his own?  Does she think that her son wont resent her for what she is doing now?  She needs to consider the ramifications this will have on the child as he grows up.  Maybe other kids will learn what happened before he does and tease him about it.

Ms. Schreiber didn’t even have the guts to face Mr. Patric on the Katie show.  I understand that this is a private matter but at what point do you stop hiding behind a law that was written decades before IVF was common.  She sent a cold-hearted statement to the show giving no real reason for her swift attitude change.  What really happened in her mind only she and her shrink (if she does or ever sees one) but no one will ever know.  What she is doing to Jason and their son is wrong in so many ways but it is also opening the door for new legislation to be put in place to protect the fathers who give their sperm to a loved one (wife, girlfriend, or friend) with the intention of being in the child’s life.