Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Successful Christmas(s) - A quick overview

I had 4 days of Christmas. FOUR! Four days of family, food, a child with little to no naps, late bedtimes and over-stimulation. I feel bad for my dear friend Ice! Nugget is going to be very off her game today and most likely a pain in the butt... but in the end it was worth it!

We did Christmas Eve at my parent's house. Very low key, except for a rowdy game of Scattegories. Christmas Day we went to the movies in shifts. We saw "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and while it was a good movie, I do not recommend seeing it on a holiday, lol! The day after Christmas we went to my aunt's house to spend time with my dad's family. Nugget had a great time playing with my cousin's son, Monkey. FINALLY, yesterday Nug and I spent a few hours with X's family. Her two aunts, uncle and Grandma.

Nugget got a lot of great winter clothing, which she needed and a couple great toys. Nothing too over the top. She finally has a soft chair she can sit in that is just her size (thank you Great G-Pa). Thanks to a couple great people I was able to buy Nugget a couple presents for under the tree and contribute towards Christmas dinner. I am so thankful for everything.

X apparently found a way to send gifts for Nugget and his mom brought them to our visit. A stuffed dog and a few outfits. I am not mad at XMIL for bringing the items to me, she probably thought Nug could use the clothing and a part of her thinks him sending gift for Christmas is the right thing for him to do. There was no card or message from him, or if there was she did not give it to me which I appreciated. I think that made it easier. My gut reaction (which I kept to myself) was... "I don't think so!". As I opened the box I realized how little he knew about this amazing little girl. This could be expected b/c I do not share any info with him, but I KNOW his mom talks to him regularly and I am pretty sure she has talked about DD... I KNOW that even though XMIL only sees Nugget about once a month she knows Nugget pretty well. XMIL was kind enough to get some cool clothing for Nugget, all the correct size. X however sent clothing 2 sizes to small. So in the end my daughter got a "typical" deadbeat dad gift. Clothing that is too small and a generic stuffed animal.

In the end it made me feel BETTER! LOL.. I know it sounds strange, but I think I learned a couple things. Either XMIL doesn't talk about DD and me to her son as much as I thought or he doesn't care or listen. Like I said this makes me feel better. I am hoping his interest will fade more over time. When X and I were together he seemed to remember most of what I said. He bought me clothing as gifts and they were always the right size, he paid attention. Now that I am not under his control, he seems to care less about paying attention to details.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Enjoying the Holiday season

Last year between November and January there was SOOO much going on. So much stress and so much weight on my shoulders. There was he court date to enter his plea, the supervised visits, the sentencing, the phone calls and the holidays were thrown in the middle of all of this.

I talked to my X more than I should have back then. A few time a week to makes sure the visit space and supervisors were available. This should have been strictly business, and if he was allowed to email I would have done it that way, but alas he was banned from the Internet and he managed to always turn the discussions into an emotional mess. I wish I had the strength then that I do now. I wish I would have known how freeing it is to not have to speak to him. To be able to hang up the phone. To ignore his bull-ish and guilt trips. Realizing that another person has no power over you is liberating.

Single Parents out there, know this. If your X is a decent human being and you can put your big kid pants on, then always be kind to your child's co-parent. Cherish the fact that you have another person out there who will love and protect your child, even if that means you have to share. If you are in a situation more like mine, where the other parent is manipulative, dangerous and/or vindictive, then be strong enough to hang up. Be strong enough to not take the crap. Be strong enough to fight for your kids and yourself.

I know it is a contradiction, but my fight has brought me peace. This holiday is the much more peaceful than last year. There are many more smiles. My little family is perfect.

To my readers

I wanted to thank everyone for all of the support I have received over the past year and a half. Every kind word helps :)

I am trying to go through all of my posts and take out all pictures and real names that have been used, other than my own. This may include erasing some comments from you all. This is only to make the effort to keep things a little more anonymous and avoid making this blog private.

Thank you for your understanding!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Reclaiming my name

Yesterday I took my name back. Since our split a year and a half ago I have been using my maiden name whenever possible, but on legal documents, paychecks, work IDs and other documents I was still dragging his last name around. I hated seeing it and saying it. When people would ask me "The name on the account is Rebecca C@#% correct?" I HATED saying... "yes". I literally only had gone by that name for ONE month. Though we were married for 7 months I had just changed my name the month before is arrest. I remember being so excited to have his name, now it made me sick.

My daughter was given my maiden name at birth. She was given my middle name too. I wanted her to know she was mine. Not in a possessive way, but to let her know she comes from a pure heart. That her name was one to be proud of. I work hard everyday to make sure the name is worthy of my amazing child. I know I am proud to once again have my original label. The feeling I get when I look at my ID is now one of happiness. I love being me, I love my name.

A rose may smell as sweet with another name, but I promise it FEELS better being called a rose.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Listen up single parents! Especially ONLY parents (those who do it all without involvement/help from another parent)!

Stand up tall. Be proud of yourself. Realize how special your family is and how wonderful the Holidays are! I hear a lot of boo-hooing around this time of year. "It is hard to be "alone" during the holidays.", "It feels like something is missing...", I have nobody to kiss under the mistletoe/take to my company party.", "I am surrounded by happy 2 parent families and married couples!"

Shake it off! I am not telling you to ignore your feelings or keep them inside, I am telling you to get over it. Push through it! Take a long shower and cry it out, let it wash down the drain.

Now I will tell you why being a single parent is awesome during the Holidays (I know every custody situation is different, and some of these do not apply to a lot of single parents... but try to focus on the ones that do!):

  • You get to help Santa with all the presents! Enjoy the gift of giving your child all of the holiday smiles.
  • You can cross one more gift off your list. Buying for a significant other (SO) can be TORTURE! Pick out a present for yourself instead and have Santa wrap it up for you Christmas morning.
  • All of your Holiday traditions are YOUR holiday traditions. No compromising on what to put in stockings, what kind of cookies to make, what to eat, real vs fake tree, how to open presents or how to decorate! Do it YOUR way!
  • Going to parties by yourself is way easier and more fun. You don't have to introduce anyone and are not tied down to "babysitting" your SO. Make the rounds! Work your magic!
  • No ILs!! Yes, Nugget and I spend time with X's parents when they visit, but I get to choose where we are on Christmas and Christmas Eve. I get to be with my family, where I feel comfortable and where Nugget is the center of attention. While I am willing to make time for my X-ILs I do not have to drive 3 hours to do this. I do not feel guilty. *Those of you who have shared custody, it is up to your X to make time for his family, so you so not need to worry about this. :)
  • Less travel! As said above I do not have to go between 2 different families so I do not have to travel as much. YAY!
  • More YOU time. You get more time off from work this time of year and you can spend it focusing on our kids and yourself. When the little ones are in bed or playing with the new toys, you get to breathe and enjoy a little quiet time. I never realized how awesome this was until my first single holiday in almost 5 years.
  • No guilt about shopping. (Yes, there is always mommy/parent guilt, but put that aside) Once you have a holiday budget you get to spend it however YOU want. No negotiations. Maybe he would never spend $100 on a nice pair of jeans... but after shopping for the kiddos you have a little left over cash... Merry Christmas to you! Or maybe X would have never bought your kid an awesome dollhouse cause it was a little more than they would want to spend... Merry Christmas little one! From Mommy (or Daddy)
  • Look at your child/children. Seriously look at them... One Christmas morning or on those 8 crazy nights of Hanukkah you child/children will be smiling, laughing, screaming from excitement and it will be because of you and your efforts. If you mope around, they are going to feel less magic.. when in reality your family is amazing. Celebrate how wonderful you all are and enjoy every moment because they are all yours.
I went through a lot, I know others who have gone through more and the truth is we as single/only parents take a lot onto our shoulders. We deal with a lot of stress and lose a lot of sleep. We need this time of year more than anyone! The magic, the spirit, the smiles and wonder... take it all in. Celebrate your family and who you are as a parent. Embrace it, love it and I promise you will have a happy holiday season.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Letter to Nugget, (As you grow up)

Dear Nugget,

As you grow up I am going to try to make you a few promises. I KNOW I will not be perfect, that we will struggle with one another at times, but the one promise I will never break is that I will love you forever.

  • I will try my best to guide you without tieing you down.
  • I will always give you advice
  • I will support you as long as your decisions are safe, even if I do not agree.
  • When I become a Mother-In-Law, I will try to break the stereotype and be pleasant to your partner.
  • I do want grandkids... but should you choose a life without children I will not nag you about your decision.
  • Keeping you safe and raising you to be a lady are my top priorities. Manners matter.
  • You can wear whatever you want as long as it is appropriate. No offensive language of images and you are reasonably covered up. The sexiest oufits are subtly suggestive, leaving something to the imagination makes a man/woman want to know more. Your sexiest feature is your mind, your eyes are a close second ;) When you get to age 18, you can show yourself off if you choose... just not in my house.
  • If you mess up I will be there for you. I will always help you re-group.
  • Sometimes in really tough situations, tough love really does help. If I have to, I will help you by letting you go.
  • You will probably hate me as a teenager... but you will love me ad you will thank me as an adult.
  • Even if you never have a starring role, a starting position, a solo or title as captian... You will be a star to me. Remember there is nothing wrong with building up others, just because you are not on top doesn't mean you are not important and appreciated.
I love you.