Loungy weekends rule.

I love my weekends on the lake.  I’m lazy, there isn’t laundry to do.  The boat is already clean.  I read.  Swim.  And play with my little Sullivan, the Maltese of all Maltese.  😉  When my daughter is gone, I relax with my puppy and my books and my lake.  I don’t own the lake.  I wish I did…I swear I’d share it.  The feeling of peace I get out there for those two days is something I’d like to hand on a silver platter to all the stressed, struggling, single moms out there.  

 

I’ll take your kids while you go enjoy it.  😉  Especially the little ones under five.  I don’t ever get nearly enough of those anymore.  Well, except my nephew.  Who is just lovely.  I love you too Gabe.  😉  And I WILL eat your toes.  Aunt Shannon loves your baby toes.  Is that why you hold them out to me with that slick two year old smile and say “Ummmm, TOES???”.  

And watching my very own Prince Charming strip off that shirt and dive in the lake when it gets a bit too warm.  Priceless.  I will never tire of that sight.  I remember missing it while we were broken up for a few years and I make sure not to take advantage of it now.  

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My worst fears.

This is in response to a contest posted by Ms. Single Mama about posting your worst fear.  I have to list two because they both rattle me right to the tip of my size 7 shoes (usually flip flops actually).  

My first fear is regarding my daughter.  Although she’s only 8, I’m perpetually worried about the day that she will rise out of bed and be a teenager, who no longer cares about snuggle parties watching movies with her mama in bed, no longer choose me first in her options of things to do for fun, no longer speak to me with admiration and respect and no longer come home telling me that I’m the coolest mom and she’s so lucky she’s got me.  I worry that I won’t ever again crawl into her bed and wake hours later with her long, gawky legs wrapped around me and her sweet breath in my face.  I worry that her freckles will fade, her chest will grow and she will not change uninhibited or shower with me anymore.  No more shooting each other with the handheld shower head singing “shower fountain fun, shower fountain, FUNNNN!”.  I worry even more since she got braces and her face seems to be reshaping into this shockingly pretty young lady.  No longer a baby fat laden, little girls face with braids hanging down on either side of those darling freckles.  I horribly worry that she’ll become one of those angst-riddled teens who are angry and bitter and walk around with arms crossed and scowling faces.  Those girls I see in church who looks so miserable.  My little girl has often been touted as “the happiest little girl I’ve ever seen, nothing rattles her” by all who meet her.  My biggest fear is that her outrageously sunny disposition will change, like people say it’s bound to, when she’s a teenager, and I’ll lose the little person I know now.  How will I conquer this fear?  I’m doing all I can to make sure this doesn’t happen.  There are no guarantees, but she and I have one of the most open and honest relationships I’ve ever seen.  We discuss nearly everything and have daily talks about all sorts of things.  I never, never yell and never talk down to her.

 I never make her feel that her ideas are small, or that there is anything she can’t tell me.  We talk about things that aren’t even real problems now, but might be later.  We talk about when she gets older and dating and drugs and peer pressure come along.  I tell her every day how special she is, in hopes that she will have that confidence and self-esteem to know what’s right.  When she was younger, we practiced learning empathy and other moral virtues, by following certain books, such as this one, Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues That Teach Children to do the Right Thing” by Dr. Michelle Borba. (Highly recommended, my daughter is incredibly empathetic and I credit this book and it’s exercises for that one).  I plan on keeping a close relationship with her by making sure that no matter how busy we are, we have special times alone together.  I will take her out of school occasionally, as long as she is doing well academically, for day trips with Mommy where we talk on our car ride and go shopping or to the movies or museums and re-connect.  By taking vacations alone together where we can get some much needed bonding time as she gets older and more independent.  In short, I plan on carving out a niche in what’s sure to be her busy social calendar.  At eight, nearly nine, I’ve already had to do this as she embarks on her busy athletic and social schedule.  I’ve told her about this fear and she swears it won’t happen to us.  And I’ve told her this will happen, that at times (gasp) I thought Nana was just the most awful unfair mother ever.  But now, I see that she was right.  I tell her that no matter how mad she gets at me, nothing I ever do will ever be without reason, that she can always try to show me that her side is reasonable and explain why it’s valid.  But I will have the final say, and it will always, always be in her best interests.  When all else fails and she shouts the refrain oft heard by mothers of teenage daughters, “You don’t even love me!”, I will pull out of my work desk drawer a tiny notebook I’ve kept since she was born that professes my love for her on a regular basis.  I’ve written love notes to her in this tiny journal, during dull spaces at work, whenever I thought of something good to tell her (money, boyfriends, death, relationships).  But they always tell her how much I love her.  I think if she reads that, she’ll see.  That’s why I plan on giving it to her when she’s 16.  That’s my plan for this one.  I will just do my best to raise her in a strong, assured way.  And when these fears creep into my head, I will squash them immediately by looking back at that little journal where the first sentence begins…”Tomorrow you will be three months old and I wanted to send you letters that I will give you when you are old enough”.  When I read through those pages it eliminates those fears because I know she will see easily how loved she’s always been.  I’m also teaching her an “appeal” procedure to use when she feels something is unfair that I’ve decided.  That helps to eliminate controversy as well.  

My other fear…bats.  When I was 17 I was sneaking back into the house after coming in late from something or other and went to shut my bedroom window.  Shockingly something flew towards me, tangled in my hairsprayed head and kept flying.  I screamed and ran out of the room.  Running out of his bedroom in his tighty-whities was my Dad.  When he saw what was up, he chased it around and I hid in the living room (my brother had shut his bedroom door in fear and wouldn’t let me in).  Finally he got it to land and he punched it, knocked it out and carried it outside.  To this day, my fear of bats paralyzes me.  But in writing this, I realized that latter fear of bats is physical and psychological-whereas the former is just completely way too real.

As for my fear of bats-I’m going to sit outside one night this summer when they are really flying overhead around the lights down by the marina and just let them fly.  It’s an immersion therapy approach and definitely works.  When I was afraid of snakes as a college student, I went to an area pet store and asked to hold several.  It really did work!

Thanks Ms.SingleMama, this was FUN!  (And chilling).

My other site…

I’m now a Today.com blogger!  Please stop by and check it out on a daily basis for a bit of education on wine and to offer comments and suggestions as I work toward my sommelier certification!  I’ll have special tips for single mamas on good buys!  And pretty soon, I will have the Internet site for our store up and running and you can make your purchases right online and have our wines delivered to your door!

sommeliermommy.today.com

What makes a hero?

Here’s what Merriam Webster has to say:

 

he·ro Listen to the pronunciation of hero
Pronunciation:
\ˈhir-(ˌ)ō\
Function:
noun
Inflected Form(s):
plural heroes
Etymology:
Latin heros, from Greek hērōs
Date:
14th century
1 a: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability b: an illustrious warrior c: a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities d: one that shows great courage2 a: the principal male character in a literary or dramatic work b: the central figure in an event, period, or movement3plural usually heros : submarine 24: an object of extreme admiration and devotion : idol
Here’s what Former Single Mommy has to say:
A hero is someone who inspires you to follow your dreams, by living a life worthy of following by example.  Every time I think of doing something great, or accomplishing bigger successes than I already have, I think of “who is my hero”?
Does your hero have to be someone who has done extreme things, accomplished many letters after their name?  Discovered a cure?  A new scientific theory?  A political activist?  
It’s always been clear.  It’s my Gram Julia.  She was a woman who endured the loss of not one, but two husbands.  Her first husband and his brother were in a car with her, she had two children at the time, and they had a car accident.  The first husband died.  The other brother married her to help her raise her children and they ended up having four more of their own and having a beautiful love, until his life was tragically ended in a  mining accident when he was only in his thirties.  My Dad was 14.  My grandmother endured all the years of raising the children, the youngest child being ten when her Daddy died.  She also had to go through the Vietnam War, when all of her sons, in different branches of the military, felt called to serve (as their Dad had done).  I have the beautiful china my Dad brought back for her from overseas when he was in the Marines. She wanted to be sure I had it before she died…so she could be sure it was in the right hands.
My grandmother lived about a half mile down the road from me, and growing up I was there just about daily.  She was where I got off the bus, or stayed when my parents went somewhere.  To be honest, I pretty much lived there.  She could be a sassy, cranky woman, but she was someone I was completely in love with.  I sat on her lap right up until she died.  She instilled a love of reading in me that has helped me weather some tough times alone.  She showed me what a single mom can really do when faced with obstacles.  She always maintained an impeccably clean house.  Yeah, I got my OCD neat freakism from her too.  She was my inspiration for so many things.  I think she knew that.  Nothing was better than my Gram Julia’s spaghetti and meatballs and molasses cookies.  Her house was my other home.  I loved her smell, her smile, the way she crinkled her eyes.  She was the crux of our family.  When she was diagnosed with cancer, she didn’t let anyone know for a long time.  That’s who she was.  She suffered silently.  And kept on being my Gram Julia.  When we finally did learn of her illness, I was in denial right up until the day of the funeral, when I went into her house with my aunt, to retrieve the opal ring she’d wanted me to have (I wore it on the day of my first wedding).  When I walked into that house, I knew.  She wasn’t there.  The funny thing is, I feel her so many places now, but I certainly did not feel her there.  My daughter is eerliy reminiscent of her.  B was about two when my Gram died, but they had a great relationship.  B loved her “Gam Gam”.  The night of her death I was in B’s room rocking her and suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of … something.  Not sad, not peace…just something.  And I knew.  I found out shortly thereafter she had died.  A couple days later, as B was lying on the floor and I was dressing her from above, she pointed over my shoulder and started laughing and squealing “Gam Gam”!  So yes, I think we are watched over by our very own guardian angel.  
I miss you Gram.  You are my hero as a single mother, before it was fashionable to be one.  You taught me my love of reading, of cleanliness, of beauty inside and out.  I inherited my curious mind from you (one time she was poring over my high school history text and asked me to leave it, so she could read it she was so fascinated).  She could cook, garden, raise children.  She is and was amazing to me.  People asked me all the time during my five years as a single mom, how I could do it?  How could I not?  My own Daddy was raised by an amazing single mother.  I miss her every single day, even now, 6+ years later.  I can still see her smiling at me.  I love you Gram.  You are my hero.
(the top is Gram holding me as a small child, the bottom is Gram holding B, when she was just two).

 

Book Length.

Here’s a question.  I’m currently writing a book for young adults.  I mean really young.  The target audience is about 9-12.  What length do your children currently enjoy?  How long do they like the Chapters to be?  Especially when it’s a sort of historical fiction?  My daughter has never really been about the American Girl books, because they seemed dry and took too long to finish.  But then again, I’ll have to get her to try the again now that she’s a bit older.  

Of course you’ll all be the first to know when it’s completed and I’d love for you all to edit and review it for me once I’ve already got it out to the publisher.

And obviously I will link to sellers here of course.  But it could be awhile.  My Dad is helping me with some of it, in particular the illustrations.  It’s going to be a great project to work on together.

 

And my girl is back.  Prettier than ever, happy to see her Mama and does she ever smell amazing.  🙂  We watched 13 going on 30, with Jennifer Garner, and cuddled.  🙂  Yesterday we spent the day with my Dad.  He might possibly be B’s biggest fan  

Mommy’s gonna rock out!

So tonight, I get to go see Sully Erna acoustic LIVE in VT!  Godsmack has always been one of my favorite harder rock bands and I haven’t seen them in a few years.  This is even better-acoustic.  Clink on the link in the beginning of this post to see what Sully describes this tour as.  During our time apart, my husband listened to Godsmack (it reminded him of me when he was in a pretty miserable rebound relationship), so luckily he was all about going to this show, not too far from our home.  I’m super excited.  I love when our musical tastes match up.  We both love U2, The Killers and Green Day.  Now Godsmack is on that list…I’m slowly bringing him around.  😉  He’s nearly ten years older, so it takes some time.  And this should distract me while I wait for MY BABY GIRL TO COME HOME TOMORROW!  I can’t wait.  I miss her little mug so much!

Faceless-Godsmack

Hate me with everything
I’m better off without your animosity
I’ll even sleep better at night…at night
I won’t believe in you
Reminded me of everything you put me through
Now everything feels alright…alright

I feel so betrayed…mistaken
I create another day
You’ll be gone tomorrow
Lie to me.. you’re faceless

You’ve made me out to be
Responsible for your self-inflicted misery
And never felt like this before…before
Don’t be surprised to see
That I have nothing left for you to bleed
When you come crawling back for more…for more

I feel so betrayed…mistaken
I create another day
You’ll be gone tomorrow
Lie to me…you’re faceless

I create another day
You’ll be gone tomorrow
Lie to me…you’re faceless

I create another day
You’ll be gone tomorrow
Lie to me…you’re faceless

I create another day
You’ll be gone tomorrow
Lie to me…you’re faceless

Missing the metal.

I’m even missing the headgear.  😦  

 

And my baby is missing her mama too.  She was so down when she called me last night, I almost drove down to get her.  11 hours one way.  She’ll be back this weekend, but I bet she won’t want to go again anytime soon. 

And then we can be together again…

 

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