Stolen Time

Attachment parenting, confidence, empowerment, Family, Marriage, Mother, Parenting, Uncategorized

First of all, Happy Birthday to my momma. 

  
Everyone has the “perfect” mom…. And I’m here to say, I have the “perfect” mom. I mean, we get in our fair share of arguments but I wouldn’t trade her in. My mom was once a young mom with three children who too most likely felt like a huge failure. 

Why, why do we [women] find fault in like everything? Now, let’s backpedal a bit and bring you to my mom at 24 years of age. Marriage falling apart, 4 year old boy, 3 year old girl and infant baby boy. 24, people. 

Maybe you’ve been there, maybe you’re there now. I’m here to say, I admire you. You feel like a failure and like you’re never going to muddle out of the mounds of debt and depression and these children need you… And you need a partner; however, s/he is gone. I think my mom would tell you: this sh!t is hard and it’s not going to get easier. She would tell you the pain is heavy and the stress is intense. She would also say the most painful part is losing your children. She would say the courts f’d up and gave her children to the wrong parent. She would tell you her children suffered tremendously because of her. 

She blames herself. Everyday she tries to make up for stolen time… She can’t. It’s gone. 

For so many years I cried for my mom. I wanted her in my life, daily. I knew what I was missing out on; but, more importantly, I knew what my siblings needed- their mom. I, at the age of 6, was certainly no replacement for a mother. I tried. 

A moment of clarity came over me as I sit in tears on my therapist’s couch. WHY AM I STRUGGLING IN MY MARRIAGE AND PARENTING? I knew some of our marriage issues were unearthing through my rotten childhood. My husband has a lovely family, solid foundation. I, very very cracked. I told her of a story (unrelated to myself) about a 2 year old boy being forgot in the car in the middle of Arizona summer and he died. I literally cried all night for him. Young, forgotten child in the car. How horrifying. How lonely. How sad. My therapist said, “Amber, do you know why you can’t shake that”? I stared, confused. “You’re the baby stuck in the car, you’re waiting for your parents to save you, comfort you, protect you. They didn’t.” 

They didn’t

Maybe, they just couldn’t. Two people interested in the same thing: 3 children and ripping apart the other person. Divorce. Hatred. Dirty laundry. Attorneys. Judgements. Weekend visitation. It’s all just f’d up. 

They couldn’t. 

I knew my parents would never work it out. I knew they would never be amicable. I never even wishes or prayed for it. I only prayed my life would not reflect theirs. I didn’t want to go through the pain again. 

How did my mom survive that pain? My son went to the ER one night and I thought I would lose it, ear infection. Drama. How in the world did my mom go years without holding, squishing, smelling, and cuddling her little lug bugs? 

So, now, here I am – 30 and trying to get past all this yucky childhood stuff and pray to God we don’t put our son through any of this… But there are still so many families out there that can relate to this pain. There is so much hurt, so much anger. If I can give you one piece of advice from a child who desperately needed both parents to be civil and kind…

Don’t deny your children their right to see the other parent. They will resent you. 

Don’t deny your children their right to visit with their grandparents. They will really resent you. 

Don’t talk bad about the other parent in front of them. Just don’t do it. 

Co-parent. Make decisions about their lives and focus on them. Not YOU. 

We just finished a holiday season and every year I’m so thankful it’s over. I can’t help but think of all the pain I had each Christmas without my family. Now that I have my own little family the holidays are bright; but, the past is sometimes hard to shake and I have to continually remind myself that I am in charge of my happiness and no one else. 

Whatever you do, do it with love in your heart. 

   
    
   

A New Perspective

Attachment parenting, Family, Marriage, Mother, Small Business

SIGH

As I’m sitting here thinking of how to describe my feelings of utter frustration and deep intense irritation I have to sigh.

I’ve worked hard. Each job I’ve added to my plate has not lessened the load on my plate; instead it’s just piled the mashed potatoes up high. In theory: I thought, if I made more money, I’d pay off more bills. However, as I make more money larger and larger expenses pile up. Most my fault and I get that.

However, at times, I feel very alone. My husband has a dream of starting this small business and we’ve been in the “starting” phase for too long. Every time we think we have extra money to get it going, something happens. Law of gravity? Karma? Lack of persistence? I don’t know.

Another deep, deep sigh.

To be a mom & a breadwinner means we [women]are pioneers in our own right. We’re writing history. [HER]story. There’s so many HOW TO books on being a mom, being a caregiver, being a lover… But not many on being a woman in charge of financial expenses, budgeting, child care, nursing, making meals, cleaning… cleaning being a lover to your partner & a soft place to land for your baby. Forget about you time. And good sleep, forget about that too.

So, perspective you say?

20140731-183153-66713505.jpg

Some days, I’m sure I am not communicating my needs to my husband. Mostly, I think he doesn’t care to listen to them. I know, that sounds harsh & maybe it is- but that’s how I feel. I always ask him how his day is… I seldom get the same question from him. I always make sure he’s eaten or has options of food he’d like… Etc.

This week has been exceptionally hard. His truck broke down [after paying 1,000$ a few weeks ago] and he’s been on edge. The strain of financial responsibility is intense! Just knowing that if something goes wrong- it’s up to me to figure out.

I’m a pusher. Yes, just like Mean Girls. I pushed to get married, I pushed to buy a house, I pushed to have a baby & I pushed to create this “perfect” life. So, here’s where my perspective and responsibility comes in.

I made my bed & choices

What will I do? Sit here and sulk?

If you know me, I’m not capable of just giving up. Although, the thought of me sitting in a room with loads of chocolate, wine and designer handbags has crossed my mind a few times… I’m still not willing to just give up.

I’ve finally reached out to my best friend to help me with budgeting. For real help. I also quit my part time Saturday gig (which I loved so much but it no longer fits into my family plan) and I’m seriously helping my husband with his business.

Marriage is hard. It’s not for the faint of heart. Interestingly enough no one can define that or tell you how/why it is: it just is. When people say marriage changes everything… damn it, why are they right!? It logically makes no sense. NONE! But, it’s so true.

I love that man deeply.

My perspective is: at the end of the day, if you take away a checking account, cars, houses, clothing, jobs, money… Who will you be? Do those things define you? I don’t want them to define me… But, this week, they’ve consumed me. If I can take a deep breath and know I can only control what I can control, it will all be okay, it will all work out.

Please, consider this a wake up call if you’re hurting and stressing over material possessions. It’s just not worth the time or effort.

Be in love. Be free. Be happy.

My sweet moments this week make me smile with tears in my eyes. Such love and joy.

20140731-190415-68655338.jpg

20140731-190415-68655524.jpg

When She Believes

Family, Marriage, Mother, Uncategorized

You know when you get that tingling feeling in a good way?

There are some moments in life that literally just take your breath away.

My moments have brought me to where I am today. Wife + mother

Meeting Marvell was/is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Deep down, maybe, just maybe, that first moment we sat down with each other and talked we knew we were wrong for each other [in some ways] age mostly. Honestly, that was more of a challenge [fight for the fittest] than anything. Both of us were up for it.

The thing is I believe in him. The him that is/will be. But, what draws me closer to him [although he will tell you otherwise] is he believes in me. It’s literally written in every move he makes. I often doubt my abilities; he doesn’t. I often doubt my ability to love & measure up; he doesn’t.

He thinks I’m a queen….

Marvell chose our wedding songs. We danced to this gem.

Enjoy. Listen. Move. Love. Believe.

When She Believes

20140726-130617-47177792.jpg

Blowin’ off STEAM

Art, Art and design, Attachment parenting, Cloth diaper, Family, Marriage, Mother, Parenting, Small Business, Summer, Summer vacation

Welcome back to reality.

Did you enjoy your vacation? Good, because, it’s over.

Reality check.

I actually like the routine of life but getting back into the routine is hard!

As soon as we got home my husband’s brakes went out on his truck. Someone up above thinks we’re racking in the dough. So, that was a nice reality check.

Work has also been difficult lately. I’m learning, growing and stretching myself in ways that are uncomfortable. Feedback. Critical feedback is hard to swallow. However, I will say that it’s important. Perception is reality in business relationships and I want to be perceived in the best professional light. So, I’m willing to take the uncomfortable feedback and mold/develop myself. Ouch. Internal scrapes and bruises are more painful than external ones.

But. When I get home, I’m their everything. All this boy wants or needs How amazing is that? I don’t deserve it but I need it.

20140628-091018-33018407.jpg

After Zaccai was born, Marvell and I struggled to see eye to eye. I hope we’re not the only couple that goes through this. We continually said…
“This is why people need to be married to have kids. It would be really easy to leave right now- run away and dispose of the problems.”

We continue to face our problems and disagreements. But, I remember the day we got married and the look on his face as he said those vows. I was his and he was mine. Our first dance. Our first steps into the world as a couple. If you’re struggling as a couple – live there for a moment.

20140628-091538-33338460.jpg

20140628-091538-33338376.jpg

20140628-091538-33338421.jpg

Marvell drew this on our first anniversary. Custom says “paper.” This was my gift.

In Puerto Rico I danced my heart out! Marvell isn’t much of a dancer but the song Just the way you are came on and we danced as if was our first dance, tears and all.

Those small moments, those moments of connection are what I live for. They are not daily. Life isn’t a fairy tale. If we can begin to set realistic expectations in our marriage, the way we do at work- maybe we would succeed a little more. It’s a daily chore. It’s work. It’s reality. But don’t forget to take a moment to stop, smell, breathe, live. We’re so busy that we may rush over those moments or take them for granted- then what? They’re gone. Don’t lose them.

Now that reality is settling in…I had an egg white, spinach, tomato thin bagel sandwich. I wanted piles of pancakes and syrup. Sacrifice.

20140628-092420-33860073.jpg

A quickie: Z sleeps before 10!

Art, Art and design, Attachment parenting, Cloth diaper, Family, Mother, Parenting, Small Business

If you haven’t “met” Zaccai (Z) yet, you’re missing out! He’s incredible.

20140603-220144-79304810.jpg

Looks at this handsome little fellow. All grown up at 19 months old.

Some of his favorite things these days are:

Elephants.
Clocks.
101 Dalmatians.
Carbs. Thank goodness!
All animal sounds!

Most days I’m so busy at work I don’t have time to think of my little guy. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. The time flies by so quickly that I blink and my day is done. I do have to say that when I get home I’m so excited to see my little family.

My bank account might be close to nothing but my heart is full of life and love.

Money can’t buy you happiness but it can buy you a future. That’s what I work for- a promising future for our little family.

My husband’s business should be up and running online shortly. As of now, we’ve made a few thousand dollars by word of mouth. Not tons. Not zero either. I’m excited to see what the future brings for us. He was explaining the business to a woman in Australia that is helping us with social media and marketing- I’ve never seen him so engaged. I know this is his destiny. I hope he really drives his dreams forward.

Supporting an artist is hard! One day I hope to reflect and say all the long hours, empty bank account, and stressful months/years were worth it. All for his success. You have to learn to be selfless when your artist partner has a dream worth living. I have a dream. It’s simple. Pay off all my debt and continue working without worry of bills, bills, bills. This year is our year – I feel it.

A beautiful moment. A loving son. What more can we ask for?

20140603-221104-79864404.jpg

20140603-221103-79863955.jpg

Glamping

Art, Art and design, Attachment parenting, Camping, Cloth diaper, Outdoors, Parenting, running, Uncategorized

Went went camping for our little 3 day holiday weekend.

“Glamping” Adj/N: “to camp in a fashionable style.” “A Glamorous camper.” Translation: someone who is full of herself, even while camping.

20140531-092404-33844709.jpg

So, you’re getting the idea.

We camped right by the river and could hear the water all night long, it was glorious.

We’re not huge campers- yet- but I grew up camping my whole life, so it was a bit nostalgic for me. My grandfather on my mother’s side loved to camp. We would go to Mammoth Lakes, CA, each year and spend about a week there- fishing, playing, climbing rocks, hiking the waterfalls, pure joy!
Camp Mammoth Lakes

It’s so beautiful there!

Anyhow, back to AZ camping. We camped in a #stouttent @stouttent Stout Tent

It’s really the best tent since sliced bread! You need one!

20140531-093050-34250174.jpg

20140531-093049-34249620.jpg

The tent helps become a “glamper.”
All my friends were jealous!

Zaccai couldn’t help his inner boy to immediately get himself “dolled-up” in true camping style…

20140531-093254-34374908.jpg

20140531-093255-34375166.jpg

Yes- we did cloth diaper while camping… What kind of question is that!? (assuming you thought that!)

He was over-the-moon excited when he woke up in the tent… It was the most adorable sight!

Of course, we must remember what Memorial Day is all about- the people that sacrificed their lives for this country. I don’t believe in war, hell, some of our soldiers don’t believe in the wars we’ve had. But, I believe we must take a moment to thank people that are willing to put their lives on the line… More than I can say for myself.

Well, it’s been a full week of reality and my husband is fully committed to working on his business and making it profitable. I’m happy about this but it’s still a huge work in progress. I’m hoping and praying for the best.

20140531-093850-34730934.jpg

He’s the sweetest! Enjoy your weekend!

A few days later

Al-anon, Alcoholism, Art, Art and design, Attachment parenting, Cloth diaper, Marginalized individuals, Parenting, running, Uncategorized

20140520-150859-54539143.jpg

I have to say, I’m pretty pissed.
I know, what was I expecting?

It’s going to all be okay, and here’s a cookie….?

Well, a cookie would have been nice!

So, Al-anon is pretty confidential, so I’m not even sure blogging about it is the right thing to do. But, I can tell you how I feel, right?

It’s a 12 step program. Not for the alcoholic, for you. ME! ME.

As if I don’t have enough to carry on my shoulders, I now have the disease of an alcoholics family member and I should go through the steps. Maybe I’m being a little defensive, but it’s not me with the alcohol dependency.

20140520-151319-54799814.jpg

Now, I’ll admit I feed my feelings with food. There’s my cookie.
Chocolate coconut. Too many Point Plus, but worth it today.

I haven’t read through all the materials but I’m going to. I’m convinced that this will help me; I just need to convince them I’m not the problem! 😊

Just to clear up one thing: my husband is NOT the alcoholic. I complain about him some times but he’s really pretty great. Especially when it comes to helping me deal with all these family issues. He has a “perfect” nuclear family. Mom and Dad still married and in love. And a brother who he adores. Lucky.

My family is a shit-show. Divorce, alcoholics, cheating, lying, deception, you name it.

What I loved about Al-anon was that their family members were just as big of messes as mine. Comforting. I know, that sounds insane. But, it was comforting. I’m not alone.

It made me wonder what my son will grow up to be like? I hope he thinks I’m a good mom. I hope he knows the lengths I have gone through to make sure his childhood was not as messed up as mine.

20140520-152011-55211444.jpg

New cookie. There’s my problem. Stress eater! I ate a salad to compensate. Some clean-eating freak is going to commit me to a gym in about 5.3 seconds. Don’t worry, I’ll convert them to a cookie eater.

Good thing I RUN!

Now, back to my issue. I think I’ve discovered my life doesn’t function properly if someone doesn’t need me. Maybe I need people to need me to be happy? Maybe that’s my deal. If I could rescue the world from its problems, I’d die happy. But, what if I can’t? What if I can’t fix/help the alcoholics closest to me?

It’s such a hard spot. This morning when I woke up I snuggled my little boy and just thought: I could stay in this space forever. Just let time stand still.

It didn’t (of course) and I’m at work stressing about work things.

Here is a sweet moment of my day. Enjoy it, I did.

20140520-152544-55544831.jpg

Good Day – Saturday

Uncategorized

Well. It has been a while since I have blogged. Sorry. Sorry I’m not sorry. Well, it’s just be a roller coaster of emotions. Some days are great and others I feel like someone is standing on top of me, choking me, stabbing meΒ and enjoying my pain. Okay, that was really over-the-top but I have always been a little dramatic – can you tell? So, life hasn’t changed much (unfortunately). I am working more than ever – Monday through Friday my full time job, Monday and Wednesday classes from 330-930 and Saturday’s 630AM-12. Then being a mom. I know, how can I do all of this? Really, I know what you are thiking – why do you work so much? What kind of mom and wife can you be by doing all this work?

I don’t know. A shitty one I guess.

Well, at least that is what my mom would say. But, she is too nice (some days) to say it outloud.

All I can say is the income doesn’t exceed the bleeding of bills and that is why I do what I do.

But, today, I am at work (not teaching) because I am required to work a few Saturdays during tax season. Therefore, I am forfeiting MONEY to be at my full time job – essentially – for FREE. Why is it that broke peopleΒ spend MORE money (in relation to their income)Β and work for FREE? Good question.

Mark Twain was right when he proclaimed, “The lack of money is the root of all evil.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_money.html#u3g5XQULrXf04z79.99

So – there you have it. Good Ol’ Mark was on to something all those years ago. And here I am pushing the staus quo. LEANING IN – if you will and still uncovering the root of life – money problems.

I had an epiphany the other day. The more I work, the more jobs I take, the MORE IN DEBT I GET. So, I amΒ really thinking of pursuing a dream of mine.

A few years ago (when I say a few, really I mean 8 ish years ago) I decided to write a children’s book… and I NEVER STARTED IT. Of course. I was too busy working and finishing my masters and putting my efforts other places. But, I realized that perhaps the only way for me to get out of this tourmoil is to a) write this damn book b) become a stripper c) marry a rich man…. I hope my husband doesn’t mind. B, won’t work because I am not coordinated enough to dance in those heels – get it if you can!

So, I am writing this said book. I started it and almost finished it…. Now, my fears are I don’t know what to do with it? How do I find a publisher for a children’s book that will take me seriously? I don’t know what I am doing but I really want to make this dream come true. HELP. HELP. Helllllpppppppppp.

20140322-080928.jpg

Communication

Parenting, Uncategorized

Easier said than done.

My husband and I finally had our blow out argument about finances, work, life, love, feeling lonely, feeling angry, feeling unloved.

After hours of being mad and frustrated we finally talked, agreed, had an adult conversation.

It took so much out of us to get there. There was finger pointing in the beginning… A good amount of you need to do this and I do this. We both must have exhausted ourselves with our own self righteousness, because, hours after all that we just started talking. REAL TALK.

How he feels, how I feel, how we are planning on working through this. How money shouldn’t come between us and if we work together we can overcome the oh my g-d we’re broke- again… Shit.

I know this will not go away overnight; we will have to work on it. BUT, it feels great to just have that conversation.

Talk. Communicate. Understand.

We all can use more of that.

Another note, I am glad it’s a some what quiet Sunday. My boy is finally down for a nap and I’m just here….
Waiting for my husband to finish printing his Tshirts.

Life is good… When you let it be good.

20140202-123318.jpg