Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy, happy birthday!



Image credit here


Happy, happy birthday to my sweet, hilarious, energetic DD2.

It’s hard to believe that you were once the size of a gummy bear inside my belly, now you stand tall, almost above my chest!  I think I felt your laughter and energy before you ever entered the world, when I see you stretch or jump around today at full throttle, I remember you were doing those same things in the womb, my belly bouncing from here to there and everywhere.  Now, you run along the gymnastics mat into a jumping summersault or cartwheel, before you bounced around the living room as a toddler, urging us to sing and dance with you.  Wait, what am I thinking, you *still* bounce around the living room, urging us to sing and dance with you!

You love to make people laugh, making silly jokes and waiting in hopes of surprising someone with a “boo!”. We’re still learning that bathroom humor is not appropriate outside of the house, but we’ve made some progress on that end; but I see in your heart when you tell me, but mommy, I just wanted to make them laugh... 

You love your friends with as much energy and enthusiasm as you love your family.  When I think of you, you are either running full speed, literally, running, or focusing that same high beam energy into whatever task you’re doing, playing with DD1, hugging our dog, reading your book, finishing your homework, skipping down the grocery store aisles (no running!), coloring a picture usually depicting someone and yourself, with you saying I LOVE YOU at the top of your lungs (in large, capital letters).

At night, after we have our bedtime story, prayer, and tuck in (and when you demand no less than 12 kisses and two hugs, which is fine by me), and you go to sleep, I tiptoe into the bedroom and see you fast asleep, peaceful, the few moments where you are still.  I say a prayer that you’ll keep growing, healthy and strong, full of laughter and love, that love will fill you to the brim and sustain you, that nothing can ever take away the pure energy and heart that is you.

You make my heart sing, and I’m so proud to be your mommy.  I love you always and forever.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Women's March: Love



Image credit (here)

My mind, body, and heart are still percolating with thoughts after participating on the Women’s March on Washington this past Saturday.  I’m so excited and happy that my daughters and I could be a part of it.

The last protest I’d been a part of was in Washington, DC in 1992, which has been lost in the fuzzy memory of time, but let me tell you, once the cars started honking their support on Saturday, it all came back in a wonderful, lovely, energetic frenzy!  I was whooping it up and hollering, the girls were proudly wearing their signs!  I saw various messages from “A Woman’s Place is in the Resistance” from some lovely princess leia bun wearing protestors to two college-aged women carrying a “T supporters can Eat !@# and die” (of which I steered my daughters away—I get the sentiment, ladies, I was there once about 20 years ago, lol, but dodging the 1st and 5th grader eyes away from that).  I saw numerous pu$$y posters, which I let my 5th grader discuss with aunty l, who was marching with us, while I carried my first grader on my back a little further off (one day she can have the pu$$y talk, too, lol).  We did explain what a “uterus” is from someone else’s sign to both girls, because knowledge about our bodies is just fine.

I loved the “Scientists Believe Climate Change is Real” and the “Keep your Policies off my Body” on a women’s figure. 

A few days before the march, the girls discussed what our signs should say.  Mine was “Choose Love,” DD1’s was “1 Family,” and DD2’s was “Girls Rule.”

I loved being swept up in the positive, hopeful, loving energy that dammit, we are not going to let anyone hold us back.  I’ve been assaulted, survived abuse, lost members of my family closest to me when I was young, and I’m still standing.  There is no way I’m going to let the “assaulter of women”-in-chief prevent my daughters (or me) from achieving our goals, dreams, acheivements.  So I wore black on inauguration day, and the girls and I wore our Women’s March t-shirts on Saturday, January 21st, and we marched for our rights to be alive and present and here.  That’s for damn sure!

The best part?  Overhearing my daughters talking about it later that evening, and hearing them say, “guess what?  We were part of history today!  We were in the march!” 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Farewell to the Obamas




With all certainty, there are others out there who can write about Obama’s farewell address much better than I can. They capture the feeling of what it means to say good-bye and what his presidency meant with intelligence (New York times editorial), thoughtfulness/diverse reflection (a muslim-american PhD candidate), and grace (a former republican’s first daughter’s final takes).  I salute them, as there are so many to link to; I share in the collective farewell and aloha to our amazing first family. 

I loved that at the end of the speech, President Obama showed love and grace for all the people closest to him, especially to Michelle Obama and his daughters.  That he said for all the world to hear, what makes him the proudest of all that he’s done in his life is being Sasha’s and Malia’s dad, made my heart swell into the size of a submarine.  Just pure love, grace, joy.  That’s what I strive for in taking care of my own two daughters.

I had a conversation with DD1 about what it meant when Hillary Clinton didn’t win the election.  In simple terms, she couldn’t understand how someone so mean-spirited and who is a bully could be elected to the highest nation of the office, and I agreed with her.  I told her it was our right as citizens in this country to disagree with the President, and that no matter what, it’s okay to stand up for what we believe in and for the people we love.

I may have said that to her over and over again.  I may have said it so much, that the last time I said it, she rolled her eyes, and said “I KNOW, mom.”  LOL. 

We are lucky to live in our blue bubble floating in a red sea, where hate crimes and harassment that increased since the election have happened outside of our borders.  She rolls her eyes, because here, in her eyes, she doesn’t have to “stand up” in the way others have had to, are mobilizing to do so now.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t continue to do my best to teach her.  To help her listen to people’s words, give them a chance, and then judge that person’s character by their actions.  Do their words match their actions?  Do they stand up for fairness?  Do they stand up for equality?  And maybe it’s difficult to leap from our blue bubble to a wider understanding of how the world works, something that I don’t want to rush her into, it does mean we’ll be participating in the Women’s March on Washington this Saturday.  When DD1 learned about it, she told me she wanted to go.  And I’m bringing along DD2, who may be too young to understand, but one day, hopefully, this memory will be one that lasts. 

I’ve heard a rumor there will be 8,000 marchers in our blue bubble—crossing fingers for more!  I’m contemplating our protest sign, and I think it’s one that’s in line with my prayer for 2017 that I post last month.  Choose Love.  (May my anxiety and worries about life, coparenting, the world be at least channeled into something useful--that won't be on my sign, however, lol).

Choose Love.

May love win.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Year: 2017





As I move into the new year with plenty of excitement planned, I think it is helpful to do the “recap” of what happened in the past year.  Shout out to Lisa Thomson for the idea!

January 2016: Began with musings on how to be a better person when embarking on this co-parenting roller-coaster ride, owning my shortcomings, and venting about frustrations.  Unfortunately, a year later, the frustrations are still present.  I hope my attitude is getting better at handling them, at least, today it is!

February 2016:  In February, I was still dealing with the passive-aggressiveness of his non-replies to scheduling swaps etc, but by the end of the month, I was embracing a stronger stance, not against my ex, but a stronger stance within myself in dealing with it all.

March 2016:  Shrimp.  And more Shrimp.  Cooked by none other than DD1 and the hubs.  Yummy!

April 2016:   I was still musing and worrying for my girls’ well-being, but a momentous occasion—stepdad and dad finally met, shook hands, and were pleasant at DD2’s end of the school year performance.

May 2016: Unfortunately, by the end of May, all pleasantries had been forgotten and I was dealing with more passive-aggressive nastiness. 

June 2016:  June brought about summer vacation, and I posted a how-to guide to dealing with when your kids are on an extended vacation with the ex.  I wasn’t as brave later in that month, but at least I was able to piece some useful information together to cope.

July/August 2016:  An awesome family vacation!  Which I didn’t get around to posting until August, lol, but it was so much fun.  I also coined the phrase “Anti-Exiety  medication, which I was desperately in need of by the end of August, ha!

September 2016:  September marked another momentous occasion where our blended family sat together and moved from place to place together at DD2’s Back to School night.  I was humbled by the non-drama of it all, and loved that the girls could see every parent in their lives behaving with civility.

October/November 2016:  Unfortunately, the peaceful blended family front disintegrated as talks of Winter break time-sharing began at the end of October and were not finalized until December.  My DD1 was heartbroken about the election, but we’re going to participate in the Women’s March on Washington to show our solidarity (she asked me if we could do it when she learned about it) with the rest of the women in this country who are taking part all over the United States on 1/21.

December 2016:  The drama with the ex did not hamper an amazing time that we had baking cookies for Santa, and we also spent time with our Nana (hubby’s mom) over new year’s, who flew in unexpectedly (more on that soon)!

I guess one lesson I can take with me from last year is that while the co-parenting struggle is real, I can make it through in one piece. I can still show love for my daughters.  And our little blended family has taken many impressive leaps forward together.  Onward into 2017!  Let it be filled with love, joy, laughter, and blessings for all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Aloha 2016, and a prayer for 2017



Wishing you all a happy new year.  Please let 2017 be filled with peace, love, and blessings for all. Pretty please. 

I'd like to say a prayer that's been helping me get through my anxiety of late:

Dear God, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

Dear God, please grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

--St. Francis of Assisi.

p.s. our cookies for santa were a hit!  it was sprinkle-mania.  So much sprinkles that when i was cleaning up, it was like i was building sand castles, lol!