Branching out the blog.

So it’s been awhile, right?  But I’ve been pondering what to do with this blog.  Although I still strongly identify with the single mamas, I have been successfully part of a blended family for about five years now.  I am a full-time stepmother of my stepson, as my husband has full physical custody and of course have full-custody of my girl.  Over the past five years, I have listened to others tell me how I need to write a book about blended families.  They have come to me with their problems and challenges and asked for advice.  Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy for me, but I think we’ve got a good handle on this whole dynamic and it’s taken a lot of research and compromising.  🙂  

So, are any of you interested in a blended family blog with tips, hints, stories and guest bloggers? Please comment and give me some of your super helpful feedback!  

Training time again.

I always forget how hard it is to get used to being in training again for a half-marathon. Although I love the schedule and predictability (it really gets you out the door, because you certainly don’t want to be regretting not training enough when you get to the day before the race), I also forget how tired my body is at first.
And I actually keep a base level of at least 6 miles all year long and during non-training I run about 4-5 days a week, mixed in with all my other biking, rollerblading, swimming, etc.
Last night I woke up with sore feet. I knew it would happen when I came back from my long run for the week…my 2nd toe on my left foot has been harboring a blister and as I ran, I felt it starting to become bothersome. I’m gonna have to tape that baby down this week.
However, YAY, my track workout is tomorrow. And those, I really do love. While they are happening I’m sweaty and exhausted, but that exhaustion is so rejuvenating. A whole separate entity from the exhaustion of a long run.
While on the lake all weekend on our boat, I read the new Tana French book (Faithful Place) on my iPad. I also found some pain in the a$$ things about the iPad. It overheats when it is too warm and it’s impossible to read in bright sunlight or on the deck of the boat. Nevertheless the book was good. And I normally like classics or non-ficiton so this is high praise indeed. (Kid free weekends usually mean I’m on the lake-missing my girl but enjoying the husband).
Anyone else in training right now? By the way, the lovely M and M ice cream cookie sandwich I had while watching True Blood was a lovely treat post-run.

Proud mama moment.

Graduation day was bittersweet-as they always are.

However there was a lovely surprise.  After a not-optimal year and a teacher that was the worst she’s had yet…my girl got the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence!  For those who don’t know (which I didn’t until after), it’s based on overall grades being 90-100, teacher recommendations and above 85th percentile on our state exams.  More on how ridiculous those state exams are later.  What a proud moment for her!  Her dad’s parents were there and my mom and me.  Lots of pictures and a lovely, happy, confident girl.  And now, we’re off to middle school.  And I profess this adamantly, that little girl you see up there in that adorable dress?  Yes, the one that people mistake for a 14 year old?  She’s 10.  And she’s my baby.  Still.  Always.  Ask her.  She’ll tell you.

Name change?

I’m going to start regular posting again, as I’ve had some people mention that they are having a hard time finding a blog that deals with blended families.  My question for all of you is…should I change the blog title from “Former Single Mommy”?  If so, any suggestions?  Catchy of course, is always good.

I think we’ve done a good job with our “blending”, now that we are three years into it, I feel like I can discuss it much better and with more detail.  I do have to say that the road isn’t easy or for the meek.  It’s been a very interesting transition, one that I am excited to share with all of you.  And hopefully, it will help those of you who are just entering this new life, to feel less alone and to have a place to vent.

For my single mom friends…I still want to remain part of your chats as well, since that part of my life is very dear to me.  And as those with blended families will assure you, once a single mom, always a single mom.  🙂  I definitely have my own parenting thing going on, in addition to the blended situation.

For those unfamiliar with my dynamic, I married a man who has full-custody of his eight year old son.  The son does go to his mother’s quite often.  Every other weekend and more frequently on school vacations.  More on how this came to be, later.

Roll call…anyone else out there?

Let’s see how far we’ve come…

I used to be all about drama.  I mean ALL about drama.

Any girl that went near my ex-husband was bait.  I didn’t want him, but I sure as hell did not want him to be with someone else.  I could…but he could not.  Selfish, yes.  Ridiculous, yes.  Irrational, yes.  Keep in mind, he was the reason our marriage ended-I was forced to make the choice I did..click here to start reading our story.

Fast forward to the present day, I recently loaned his live-in girlfriend my set of Twilight books.  This is no small prize friends.  I love those books.  They might be the only fiction, non classic literature books I truly do love.  But she’s enjoying them.  And it opened up a door to us texting casually.  Both about my daughters love of Pandora charms and about some more personal issues going on in her life.  My daughter loves that we’re chatting a bit more.  I love that I know this person who is present in my daughters life, if only a little bit better.  And I’m starting to wonder what on earth this girl is doing with my ex-husband?  We’ve come a long way baby, when I start feeling bad for the girlfriend.

Breastfeeding-At Least Please Try…

Ok, so I know this is going to generate some serious controversy, but that is not at all what I’m trying to do.  I’m just genuinely confused by something, and have been confused by it in the past, so I’m thinking my online blogger support team might be able to help me understand the rationale behind something.

Look at the photo contained in the link below and think for a moment, I mean really reflect, on the feelings it evokes. (I can’t link in or post the actual picture here right now, because of the ridiculous blocks this place has on my Internet-good thing I only have 26 days left here).

Anyway, for now, just click on it-the article is interesting too:

The reason this comes to mind yet again, is because someone I know just had their second child.  This person did not breastfeed the first daughter.  Now that in my mind is fine, it is one’s OWN choice after all, I’m not about requiring it to be mandatory.  But my question is about the fact that this person chose this option before ever even trying it ONCE.  As both an immunologist and a mother, I can’t understand it.  Maybe you can.  And you’ll help me to get it too.

First of all, I would not have been able to withstand the unending curiosity of what the whole process would BE like.  Second of all, in this era of all the moms who try to “one up” each other with all the advantages they give their child, it’s hard to believe that one would not at least give a little attempt…even a couple days of trying…  Trust me, it wasn’t a breeze for me.  Not by a long shot.  I had a hearty little eater in Miss B.  She latched on very easily, and she had an easy time of it.  However, I went through several rounds of infections, a few rounds of really embarrassing moments and one really, really gross incident that my ex-husband recalls all too well, where he came home from work to find me pumping bloody milk into a bottle while our daughter slept.  He asked me what I was doing and I said through clenched teeth “This little girl WILL be breast-fed for AT LEAST ONE  YEAR!”.  I threw out that milk by the way-I just wanted to keep pumping until I healed so that my milk would not dry up.  Ok, so even the ex will attest to my stubborn streak-which is even stronger when it comes to my little girl.  But it wasn’t just my obstinance that made me keep going this time.  I could not, in my right mind, give her that nasty tasting formula.  I tasted it out of that unending curiosity that I am made of and I nearly vomited.  For real  It.  Was.  Disgusting.  And yeppers, I tasted my milk and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t some really good stuff.  And I don’t even like milk!  It tasted like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of Lucky Charms!

And also, as mentioned before, I’m a scientist who once planned on going to med school.  All those hours spent poring over medical books and studying MCAT study guides affected me in many ways and I’m just a tiny bit passionate about the health and well-being of our children.  I get why women stop after awhile.  It’s not convenient I know.  I leaked all over my best friends bachelorette party when B was just days old.  I then proceeded to bust out of the dress for her wedding a few days later and wound up pumping in a janitors closet.  Yes. I leaked all over that dress too.  (Laughing as I type this).  There were times I wanted to quit and it was certainly bittersweet when B was done and started to walk up to me to get her milk (happy to be “free” of that, but sad to be “free” of that)-but I couldn’t have imagined it any other way.  I want the best for her.  Always.  And that won’t always be convenient for me.  So when you have a baby, don’t you feel that you should TRY to breastfeed, unless it’s medically not possible or there is some substantial reason not to?  I guess I just can’t understand why you wouldn’t even try it ONCE?  I’m going to censor myself now and cut this post off…because I’m sure someone will be offended.  But I just really want to know a legitimate reason that will make me understand why a mother wouldn’t just try it.  Once.  That’s all.

For me

10 GOOD things about a long commute.

So I’ll be back on the one-hour, one-way daily commute August 31st.  I’m so grateful to be getting out of teaching high school Chemistry and Physics that the commute will be a gift-at least for awhile.  But since I know that eventually it will be tough to tolerate the 2 hours daily out of my life (but I’m still home by 5 every day), I’m making a list to look back upon as a reminder.

Here are the positives about having an hour before and after work in my car.

10. Sometimes it’s really fun to stop at a little convenience store and get a yummy snack.  I don’t do it all that much, but when I do it’s a treat for the ride home.

9.Plenty of time to think about new blogging and writing concepts.

8. I get to walk in the doors of the building where I worked for 11 years and see the people who have supported me and been like family, since 2 years before my daughter was born.  I can’ t tell you how hard it was to leave and how much I’ve missed them.

7. My favorite hairdresser is in the town where I work.  Not to mention my gynocologist.  Much easier to get to those guys.  I need a good haircut.  No one is the same as my P.

6. I have plenty of time to mentally organize my life.

5.  It keeps me off FaceBook and email for at least two hours a day.  Well, sort of…I still receive messages from both on my BlackBerry.

4.  Coffee.  I get an extra cup on the ride in and get to listen to the news.  It’s lovely.

3.  It’s great thinking time.  I love to reminisce about my past and it’s a long enough time that I can have a good cry if I want and still be presentable by the time I arrive.  Sometimes I know I need a bawl session (I am so not a public crier, so this really helps to destress, I know it sounds nuts but having a place for it helps me keep myself together).

2.  Music.  Music.  Music.  This 5-10 minute commute has left me no time for one of my biggest loves-my iPod.  And NPR.  And current radio stations.  I can’t wait to listen to music again.  I really don’t have many other points in my day where it fits in.  Running is about it… and I don’t always run with music.

1. I will be going every day to a workplace I love instead of one I dread before I even set foot in the front doors, and working for a cause I believe in and a place I feel passionate about.  I won’t sell out again.

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