Bunny Tails – Take Two

I was organizing my craft room the other day when I re-discovered a tote chock full of the pom-pom or bunny tail yarn. It’s basically been calling my name ever since, so I decided to finally put it to use and make another blanket.

Years ago, literally, I found an awesome pattern for making a baby blanket on the diagonal – which looks super cute with the pom poms – but I couldn’t find it anywhere! I thought I had downloaded it to my computer, then realized that was my computer with the exploded battery so it was all but lost on the interwebs. Then I remembered that I linked to it on my blog, so searched for that post and voila’, back in business. Was kind of cool finding my blog on Google search results too. First page, might I add. Probably why that’s one of my most popular blog posts, ever.

I am pretty sure that blanket was my first attempt at knitting anything other than a scarf and I almost quit a dozen times. I clearly remember it taking forever and being very frustrated, the movements and circular needles felt foreign, having learned to crochet first. I actually didn’t pick up knitting needles for another four years after finishing the blanket (and now I love both knitting and crocheting, but that’s a post for another day).

That blanket was my favorite to use for so long! The poms made it super thick and warm, perfect for our Winter spent in Washington. And it made an amazing pack and play “padded sheet” for a while there when he was transitioning to napping on his own – something that didn’t last for long! And best of all, it held up to machine washing and drying, although any I keep for myself in the future will be air dried, for sure.

So here’s what I have so far on the new one. I am one and a half skeins into a six skein blanket, which is more than the pattern calls for, but I wanted a very generous sized blanket. It’s super easy, really. Casting on the first stitch was the most difficult part, and I definitely encourage you to use Youtube to see how others have done it if you don’t have much knitting experience.

Anyway, back to knitting now. This blanket will make it into my Etsy shop in the next couple of days, but for now, the kiddo is feeling unwell with a fever for the second day in a row and this momma’s got a cup of coffee calling her name. Last night’s insomnia-induced 1am bedtime is not treating me very well today. Thank you, hormones and anxiety and life, thank you very much.

Love,

Michelle

Divorce Chronicles :: Two Years Later

Dustin and I had an amazing time yesterday. We have been talking about going to Six Flags Magic Mountain for over a year now and finally made the trip. Splurged on Flash Passes for the first time ever and got to ride every coaster we wanted, most two or three times. There were a couple good coasters I have never had a chance to ride before, and it has been years, but Goliath, at night, was still my favorite. Nothing beats that first drop. Nothing beats the anticipation and thrill, the energy in the air, that deep breath and long scream, and those moments that steal your breath away. It was perfect. Exactly what I needed and more. 

And then this afternoon, during a quiet moment of the Hurricane’s nap, Facebook kindly reminded me that I have been divorced for exactly two years. So fitting, really, given the mild emotional breakdown I had in the car this morning on the way home… We are flying down the interstate and start talking about our wedding, just 40 days and 40 nights away. So soon, but so far away given that I feel like I have known this man forever – and often have to remind myself that we just truly met a year and a half ago. I commented honestly, that I am mostly pretty sure I am ready to get remarried when a wave of shame and anger and regret washed over me. Those deep in the pit of your stomach ugly, ugly feelings. And my concern for still being able to feel that way, even two years later caused me to burst into tears.

I am certain it is not that I am not ready to marry him. It’s the wasted time, years and years and almost a decade of wasted time, the cracks in my heart, the betrayal of trust that were all for nothing. Because besides the Hurricane, and being free and having a hell of a lot more confidence in who I am and why I’m here on this earth, no good comes from what I went through. But that’s everything at the same time, isn’t it?

It is everything. So I cried for my divorce and for me, and for the messy and beautiful family my son will have. For everything I never really wanted, wasn’t expecting, didn’t sign up for. Dustin reached over and grabbed my hand, calmly told me that it may never fully go away and that it’s okay if it never does and we sat in silence for a couple miles. He is my zen and I am so thankful. I still have a big heart, and it just so happens to be a big day in the short history of my divorced life. The highlight of which was picking up the Hurricane and him running at us yelling, “Mommy! Daddy!” before throwing himself into my arms. The gentle reminder that I am immeasurably blessed among this chaos.

Love and light,

Michelle

Happy Father’s Day 2015

When I was a kid, my dad deployed or went on detachment often enough, worked long hours, hardly ever felt home. When he did get back, it was always a bit of a struggle re-adapting to having him there. It was not always ideal, but I can see more clearly now having a son of my own and being a working mom, that my family was always doing the best we could. I always had a roof over my head. I always had good health/dental insurance. I always had plenty of food to eat. Those things, those blessings, are easy to take for granted as a kid, but my struggles as a single mom have clearly shown me otherwise. My dad was and continues to be an awesome provider. He had the strength to stay sane in a family with four alpha females and together with my mom raised three amazing women, the first of whom was me.


My dad taught me some of the most important life lessons I have learned. Taught me to be honest, a trait that has defined who I am almost more than anything. He helped me see that being very emotional and being logical is possible. That I never have to give up my dream, never have to compromise or diminish my standards to be on someone else’s level. He is the reason picking a toolbox/tool shelf is the first thing I do when I move. Confidence with laying tile floors, changing out ceiling lights, belt sanders, stud finders, laser levels, table saws and a variety of basic tools is a skill I appreciate more and more as I get older. My love for fixing things and almost anything do-it-yourself started as a kid, begrudgingly helping him with the current project in the garage. I did not appreciate those times then, but I certainly do now. I promise to make my hurricane help me out as well, to give him the same confidence.

My dad is so great that he was promoted to grandpa! He continues to be one of the most positive, fatherly influences in the hurricane’s life. I will be forever thankful for my family allowing us to move back in with them, for watching my son as I worked on myself and our future, for loving him as much if not more than they love me. He is blessed with some awesome grandparents!

Then there’s the boyfriend. He met me at a low point in my life. He respected me as single mom, living with my parents, trying to make the best life possible for my son and I. He watched many bath times, observed my parenting style in every situation possible, and was always okay with my son coming first in my schedule, in my life. There will be no step in his title. He is already a dad, even though we don’t have a kid of “our own” just yet.

And of course there is my ex-husband, because you did mention still checking in on this blog now and then. Without you I would not be a mom. We made the cutest kid (biased of course!) and I hope that we both continue to grow into inspiring, loving co-parents of this smart, sweet, hyper little hurricane. Your presence in his life does matter, as do those of your family, and will be always be important. He will never be able to say that he comes from a “broken home,” but rather from a village, surrounded by many adults who love and want the best for him.

Happy Father’s Day to the amazing fathers like mine, to the ones who help heal broken hearts and to those other single moms doing it all on your own.

Love, more love and light,

Michelle

The Search

My work friend and I had plans this weekend to pick out Christmas trees, decorate and have dinner with our kids. I was looking forward to getting out of this tiny apartment, but she cancelled late this morning, giving a reasonable enough excuse. I understand, that this thing that came up was more important to her. I understand that our plans were not the biggest deal, getting a Christmas tree so late in the month when she is not really in the Christmas spirit anyway. But it mattered to me. I needed a friend today.

I am searching for my village, and I will be honest that I am not sure one exists for me. I am looking for my friends here, in this city that is still new to me, who are more like family. The ones who don’t leave you because their life gets too busy or because your life no longer mirrors theirs. Those close friendships that stand the test of time. The friendships that survive moves, babies, hard times, divorces… Not many of my friends from before are around any more. I do understand, life goes on, but being a (divorced, full-time working) mom is so lonely and isolating sometimes. I am in this in-between space, not single and not married with a toddler just hitting the “terrible twos.” I am just twenty-something myself and even with the years flying by now, life is so lonely sometimes.

Speaking on being a mom specifically, I wish just for once when my kid was melting down in the middle of Walmart, I would look around and see knowing glances instead of disapproving looks. I wish the older women at Panera the other night had not audibly tisked at me after removing myself and my son from the restaurant because he could not keep his cool. I thought that was the best plan of attack in the moment. Letting him blow off steam and throw a fit outside was so much easier than trying to keep him in his high chair. I wish there were more support, more micro-villages of those who know how difficult and draining it is to be a parent some days. The judging looks do not help. The mean, under your breath comments, the glares and stares, do not make his tantrum end any faster. Anyone who has experienced life with a toddler can tell you, giving in to every whim will.not.work. It may make the lives of others more pleasant at times, but it is not a sustainable parenting practice.

When was it decided that we so often have to go this alone, and how can I unsubscribe from that list? If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you have probably noticed I am not the type to fit in right away. I speak my mind and find it difficult to sugar coat; traits that seem to conflict with having a large circle of friends. But that does not mean I enjoy the laughter and company of a good friend any less…it just makes them much more difficult to find. I became a mom two years ago, and after a divorce, two moves and getting a full-time job, I am still searching for my village. I do not need your house to be perfectly clean or even fully baby-proofed. I do not expect you to dress up or wear your Sunday best for an afternoon spent with me and my kid. Just time and understanding, camaraderie and those little tidbits of parenting wisdom that might work like magic for my little hurricane.

newsignature

 

 

 

Edit to add :: I definitely have considered joining a MOPS group, but considering I work every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-11AM, that really is not an option for me.

 

ps. Inspiration for the thoughts in this post via my late night reading of :: http://www.scarymommy.com/searching-for-my-village/

Leftovers & Missing Him

I miss my son lately.

I previously mentioned that the vet clinic I work for moved across town. A larger facility means more surgeries, means more cleaning, and with the same amount of staff (for now), it also means a lot of overtime. The extra money around the holidays is nice, but I miss my son. Daycare pickup has been pushed back to just after five, which gives us two, maybe two and a half hours together before it’s bedtime. And ever since the time change – over a month ago I might add – he has been especially grumpy once we get home. I can only think that he assumes it being dark outside must mean dinner is late and that we are starving him and he must fuss and whine and cry until food is actually on the table. But then eat nothing and of course, cry because he’s not free to run around anymore. It’s been less than ideal.

Before… I loved this time of year. The Christmas lights, walks in the fog, and the spirit of the season…and it is just so much different now with “mad at the dark” syndrome, the terrible twos in general and the pending visitation of my ex-husband. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas any other month. I suppose it might help to have put up a tree already but who has the time/money? I cannot afford to fix the dead home button on my iPhone, let alone put up decorations I have no place to store the other eleven months of the year.

Blah. My attitude sucks and I swear this is part of me working on it. What I really need though, is to get over this awful bout of bronchitis, and get back to the gym where everything is simple and nothing has to make sense for at least an hour or so… I need a real weekend to spend with Elliott. One where we can go to the park and continue the tradition of taking too many pictures for his birthday, as if the photos somehow capture and save the essence of his smile. Oh, and find time somewhere in all that running around to study for the upcoming RVT exam, because I am really beginning to feel like that is my next checkpoint; everything begins and ends there.

Until we meet again,

newsignature

 

Check. [Soul]mate.

Hello again, to anyone who thought my long leave of absensce meant the death of this little blog. I have been honestly busy this time. Moved two cities over, hit my one year mark at work just in time for the clinic to move to a bigger, better location and am adjusting to life just me and Elliott, although with lots of parenting help from the boyfriend. It has been hard but exhilarating.

So much activity but not much to say about it all. Very little I felt the need to write out loud until the past couple of days. Settling down, for a chronic over thinker like myself, was so much easier when I was sure I was meant to be with someone. I had that feeling with the ex, and even though that relationship blew up in my face in a most spectacular way, there was no denying the magnetism we had for each other. I am not sure I feel that way about the boyfriend, and I do not yet fully know how that makes me feel. With the ex it was all miscommunication and empty love tanks, but with the boyfriend I never think about a love tank, because it is honestly a non-issue. There are none of the dramatic highs and lows. We are steady and stable and it is (sometimes/definitely) weird to me. It is not at all what I am accustomed to experiencing in a relationship. He would marry me tomorrow, would have married me last week, if I let him. But there is just this feeling that I am not ready and I do not know why.

Having gone through a divorce, I would almost rather live with him first…test the waters, see what our relationship will really look like 24/7/365. But that won’t work for him; marriage first he says. And that is a huge commitment. That is quite literally signing my heart and love away to someone else, promising to be there, promising to stay no matter what. Marrying him would mean making myself vulnerable to being left in the most soul crushing way again. To be a little too honest, my scars from ending up on the wrong side of someone’s keep or toss list are still too raw, even more than a year later. I hate it. I hate myself for not entirely being able to leave those experiences buried in the past. I hate that while talking to my littlest sister last night tears formed in my eyes when I admitted another divorce will kill me, or at the very least kill my spirit. I still don’t quite understand how I survived the last one..

It’s all up in the air, and it all doesn’t really matter at the same time. Just that little tug on my heartstrings and the grieving of the idea of soulmates. Adult life is so limitless and immeasurable and hard and wonderful. I hope Elliott listens – but being my son, sincerely doubt he will – when I remind him to not hurry growing up.

newsignature