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relationships

Mother and daughters, I never could have imagined the extent of the importance this relationship would someday hold in my life. The very words mother-daughter relationship conjure so many deep emotional reactions that it can be overwhelming at times. My daughters, from the moment that I saw their little hearts beating as a blip on the ultrasound, felt those very first faint flutter kicks in utero and pushed them out into the world, I knew. I held them in my arms and saw all the good that the world has to offer in their eyes. From these small moments, they were more important to me than the sum total of anything and everything else I have ever done in this world or will probably ever do. My girls are everything that has meaning in my world.

I know this sounds very 1950’s housewife of me.I am perfectly aware of the irony of it all.Just as my husband was everything I never knew I always wanted in a man, motherhood has proven to be everything I never knew I always wanted. It has grabbed hold of me and filled me in ways that I never even knew I was empty.

Sometimes, in those quiet moments when the girls have gone to bed and the house is still, that moment of the day when I can finally exhale, I catch myself elated in the fact that no matter how hard this mothering may be, at the end of the day there is no place else that I’d rather be.It is a lot of hard work and I’m learning to be a better person for these little people.They make me want to be the best me that I can be. Even when I’m at my worst, I am better because of them.

I’m sure you can understand why it pains me to realize that I have never had this relationship with my own mother, at least not from my perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother and I respect her, as does she love and respect me. How do I explain this? She and I are completely opposite in every way that two people can be opposite. The only thing that we share is blood and our love for one another.

It makes me wonder, if she and I started out at this point where my daughters and I are now? If so, what happened? This frightens me and saddens me in ways that I can’t even bring myself to verbalize. What if some day my daughters feel like we have nothing in common?

What if they look at me and don’t see any part of themselves? What if they love me but don’t know me? I can’t bear the thought. Mothers and daughters should share more than just DNA, there needs to be a bond of unconditional love and unwavering understanding. I am working to try and bridge the gap that lies between us but it is a slow process. I want to look at my mother and know that I am part of what fills her world with pulchritude.I want to know for certain that once upon a time, I was her everything and she was mine.

Is your relationship with your mother anything like your relationship with your daughter? How are they different?How are they similar?

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The Jake Ryan, Farmer Ted, Lloyd Dobbler Dating Litmus

At one time or another, we have all faced the Jake Ryan versus Farmer Ted debacle. If you were young when it presented itself, you probably chose superficially and unwisely in the long run. Because lets be honest when you’re under 25 and hormones are running high, a pretty face and a nice chest goes a long, damn way. Oh the superficiality of youth. I do not miss you. Anyways, I was so team Jake Ryan that there was no way to convince me otherwise. But then you grow up and you realize men are more than just Jake Ryan’s and Farmer Ted’s, there’s a few Lloyd Dobbler’s out there and even more  Chet’s. But what’s the litmus test? Well, this took place one Valentine’s day and I knew immediately who I married.

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, only because I love LOVE. Let’s be honest, when I was in high school and it was all about receiving those damn colored carnations…not so much. It used to make my stomach knot and lurch. I’d spend the whole day wondering if I was going to get a carnation? What color would it be? Who would it be from? I knew more than likely there would be no red carnations…the guy I was “in love with” had graduated high school my freshman year. So, as I was doodling on my book covers “D loves J” he was off being a semi somewhat grown up ( granted he was dating a 15 year old so there was that) but he was definitely  NOT worrying about sending carnations to my Spanish class, red or otherwise. Of course, there was always the possibility of a white or pink carnation from a friend but there was also a very slim possibility of the illusive red carnation from a “secret admirer”. Hey, it was the 80’s and I had seen one too many John Hughes films. Long story short, I was dating my Jake Ryan, so in all reality any admirer would have probably been more like Anthony Michael Hall’s character, Farmer Ted, but I was 15 and my mind was not fully developed yet. God help me, I didn’t know any better. That WAS Valentine’s Day.

These days, Valentine’s Day is looking into the eyes of my gorgeous little girls and seeing the Big Guy. Valentine’s “Day” is a weekend long celebration filled with chocolates, quality time together, and good food prepared with love by the Big Guy. It’s little unexpected surprises and beautiful pink tulips.It’s knowing with complete and utter certainty that I am exactly where I am supposed to be with the man I was meant to love. It’s being comfortable in my own skin. It’s watching the Big Guy hand out peculiar gifts to his girls (i.e. Squinkies and Chi hairdryers) and smiling because he knows us so well. When he gave the girls Squinkies, I thought OK, not very love day like but they’ll enjoy it.Me, what can I say, I needed a new hairdryer and the one he bought me was like the Dyson of hairdryers.Not romantic but I’ll take it!

But I could not ,for the life of me, understand why he was urging the girls to sample the chocolates before dinner. I was infuriated ” No! Wait until after dinner!” The Big Guy, ” No! It’s just a piece of candy…let them open it NOW!” WTF? I’m not going to lie, I was a little perturbed but since he said it in front of them, I agreed to it. Of course then I had to open the giant heart shaped candy tin for them.

Believe me when I tell you that I was more than a little annoyed that they were about to consume chocolate before dinner. I struggled with it,finally it popped open and there strewn amongst the candy were 3 small pearl colored boxes. Obviously, I thought to myself, what the hell kind of candy is this? I look at him and he has got that huge Big Guy ear to ear grin on. Of course, this is very much like him to make me crazy first. I open a box and inside was a set of diamond and ruby earrings, a ring and necklace.There were three boxes, one for each of his girls. My heart melted.

I love this man every day of any week but it’s these little unexpected things that make me swoon a little deeper.I think he also likes to infuriate me because it kicks the passion level up a notch. So, as the dutiful wife that I am, I will  try to oblige. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m sure many more times in our lifetime, the Big Guy is everything..I never knew, I always wanted. I didn’t marry the Jake Ryan who didn’t send me red carnations, and I didn’t marry the Anthony Michael Hall character. The sweet, cute, loyal, lovable character. The thing they never tell you is that Jake Ryan hits 25 and gets fat and bald. The other types of the world, try a little harder and don’t come into themselves until they are in their 20’s.

The Farmer Ted and Lloyd Dobbler types end up hotter, sweeter, sexier and with a lot more to offer a woman than the Jake Ryans.

The only thing that beats a Farmer Ted is, you guessed it the Lloyd Dobbler’s of the world. They are sexy beast, professional type men who treat their daughters like princesses, their wives like queens and their dogs like part of the family.Those my friends are who you grow old with. Those are the smart, witty,funny, successful guys who make great husbands and fathers. I mean what the hell, we all should have known by the boom box in the rain.

The truth is the Farmer Ted’s and Lloyd Dobbler’s of high school grow up to be the Jake Ryan’s of adulthood. I just wish someone told us that in high school.  I thank God every day that I opened my heart to my Lloyd Dobbler otherwise known as God’s greatest gift to me. Yes, I did just say that out loud. I’m sure the Big Guy will remind me of it too but I don’t care.

I love you baby! Thanks for letting me love you.Thank you for loving me more than I knew was possible for a man to love a woman. (Oops that may have been me missing the Big Guy and chocolate wine talking) You complete me! ( oh yeah, that had to be the Chocovine talking:)

In all seriousness, the Big Guy rocks my world..13 Valentine’s Days together and every year, he rocks it a little more!So here’s me doing my part to kick the passion up a notch!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

And people think Mommies don’t know how to have fun! Happy Love Day! Hope you’re all kicking it up a notch!

So did you marry a Jake Ryan, Farmer Ted or Lloyd Dobbler?

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I watched you sleep in
quietly in my bed
you don’t know this now
but theres some things that
need to be said
it’s all that i can hear
it’s more than i can bare
what if i fall and hurt myself
would you know how to fix me
what if i went and lost myself
would you know where to find me
if i forgot who i am
would you please remind me
ohhh
cause without you things go hazy
I miss you Big Guy, today more than most
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Seems lately, I have been spending a majority of my life in a never ending holding pattern. Think about that for a moment. Really think about it.Not moving forward, not achieving anything….just holding steady; making noise. On but not functioning.
I think a lot of moms feel this way sometimes. Like you are not living up to your potential but at the same time, you are doing everything you can to get by. Using ALL of your effort, just to get through a day. Well, now take that and multiply it by about a 1000 and you will be closer to the place I have been for the past few months. It’s starting to take its toll on me. I can feel myself slowly becoming weaker ; more vulnerable. On some days I feel like I’m walking around my life like an exposed nerve. Just waiting for the slightest breeze of change to send me into a tailspin. I feel like a broken record ,s o if you feel you’ve heard it before..walk away now.

Many of you are familiar with the situation that has consumed our lives for the past year and a half. There was May 2009, January 2010, and Now; life has been really rough with all this going on. I have been trying to hold it all together with minimal meltdowns and a stiff upper lip. It’s not always so easy. It’s very hard to run a household, take care of the children, pay the bills,  run all the errands and keep the schedule with no respite; no help whatsoever. But it is much harder when you have a husband that you are happily married to but, due to circumstances beyond your or his control, he is not there. It makes me angry to know that I did all the leg work to have this marriage but I receive none of the benefits. We’re not divorced, we truly do love one another, he’s my best friend, he’s a good father, and thanks to our economy he is pulled away from us. I think it’s a completely different feeling  than if I were a single Mother or we were divorced because its like having money and not being allowed to spend it versus just not having the money. It’s sort of like that you don’t miss what you never had. Well, I had have it, but I don’t have access. Which is possibly the most frustrating scenario ever.

Anyways, aside from all the other craziness, now we are getting ready for school to start. My eldest baby ( yes, she is still my baby) is getting ready to start kindergarten on the 19th. This will be a difficult day for me. I know this.Exposed nerve alert! Just the thought of that impending doom makes me tear up. It’s very emotional to let your child take that first step into growing up. It’s bigger than any first step thus far, at least that is how my heart is feeling right now. Due to this situation we are in, I am not sure that my husband is going to make it to the first day. It’s our first child’s , first day of kindergarten! You know, the first day of the rest of her life. This day will never come again. I feel that it is crucial that he is there, for all of us.He has missed a lot these past few months because of his job and I think this is unmissable; not just for her but for him, as well. So, to catch you up to speed; Mommy is in an emotional state of an exposed nerve; eldest girl is nervous about kindergarten and new school and her life completely changing; little sister will have a breakdown ( On the first day of her sister’s preschool, she screamed and cried as we left “BELLA!BELLA!” ( Just imagine Brando saying “Stella” but in the voice of a distraught 2 year old.) and me..trying to hold it all together. I don’t want to do this alone. I shouldn’t have to. This has me filled with trepidation and sadness. Is it wrong for me to want my family to be able to cohabitate like a normal family? Is it wrong to want my husband around for support? I mean, I don’t want to be a pain in the ass but when is it going to end? It all just keeps getting piled on! So, this is where I am..an exposed nerve.

Then, good news..great news. He’s been interviewing for about a month ( yes, you heard me right) with a company that would put him in a position that he would love. We get the call, with an offer that is acceptable. Great news, in theory. It means yet another move. It means its too late to get into a good school at this late of a date. It means having to try and sell our house (nobody buys in the Midwest after Labor Day) meaning we are screwed until next spring. It means finding all new schools, it means finding new doctors, dentists, ballet schools, friends and the list goes on and on. It really is good news but we can’t move until the house sells. What does all this mean? It means my husband got a great new job at a horrible time of the year for putting our house on the market, it means the taste in my mouth from trying to sell it last year on our previous move is still fresh in my mind and it scares the hell out of me, it means I’m still alone until at least next spring. I am trying to be positive and hold it all together but its hard when you’re an exposed nerve and there is no relief in immediate sight. Nobody ..NOBODY understands how this feels, unless they’ve been in this position ( for this long) and I don’t know too many people who have been in a holding pattern for this long. I know, in my mind, that when it is all said and done we will be in a much better position in our lives but the hard part is trying to survive the meantime. I deserve to be moving forward in my life,with my children, with my husband, with my dreams..not holding steady; holding on for dear life. I want to enjoy my life not just survive it. I think I can, I think I can….

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I just woke up, an hour earlier than usual. I suppose it has something to do with me trying to actually get some sleep these last few nights. Hergo no late night, 2 am blogging sessions. Sorry about the posts shortage but for my sanity’s sake I had to get caught up on some sleep. I was beginning to feel a bit disjointed. Speaking of which, I awoke this morning with the remnants of a bad dream lingering on the horizon. Let me preface this by saying, I’ m pretty sure this has everything to do with  the current living situation (due to an out of town job for my husband), stress of being a part-time single mom, and nothing to do with reality…at least not to my knowledge. In this dream, my girlfriend who is about to burst pregnant comes to visit ( in reality , my husband has never even met this woman). She is at my house complaining about wanting this baby out and her husband always being out of town ( which he, in fact, always is due to work).My husband enters the room, sits down by her and begins to console her. Now, in reality, my husband is the type who is very ‘friendly’ with my girlfriends. I don’t mean flirty, I mean actually friendly. He is a very jovial man ; he likes to laugh and thinks himself to be very funny. So, this is no stretch that he would see one of my friends down and jump right in like one of the girls. But in my dream, he pulls her toward him and leans in and kisses the side of her head. I was watching ,uncomforatble and shocked. What the hell just happened? It seemed innocent enough, but not in the context…being that she’s not his wife. Remember, he doesn’t  know her. After she left,. I asked him, “What was that?” He shrugged his shoulders and said, ” I don’t know…I like her.” What? Half jokingly, I said,”Well, don’t like her too much.” The whole thing had a really weird feel about it. Then, the next day, we’re in the car (my husband and I) and he tells me,” I’ve been thinking about it and I really do like her.” This is not what any woman wants to hear about her friend. He was serious and the implication was I like her more than you. So, I sat there in disbelief and listen to this cornucopia of reasons why he likes this woman he barely knows more than his wife of a decade. It went something like this…She’s blonde (I’m brunette), She’s so small (I’m 5’7″ and slightly overweight), she’s so vulnerable (well, I have to hold it together because he’s always gone and I have to be strong), she’s quiet (I’m opinionated.I have a brain and I like using it.), she’s pregnant (he doesn’t want any more) and the list went on for what seemed like forever. Which I suppose it would if you had to listen to your husband list why he likes another woman more than yourself. It was all like a horrible, cruel joke. Ever see that movie where the teenage girls were hazing the other girls and they would circle and point out every single flaw you  they had, and laugh and mock that flaw.That’s how I woke up feeling. I’ve never felt so vulnerable and raw in my entire life. I’m not sure if this sleep thing is for me, if this is the product of sleep. Sometimes we spend so much of our time as Mommies powering through life that we never take the time to actually dwell on things like we did before we had kids. That is normally a good thing because it saves us from living like lovesick teenagers; worrying about every look, glance, hidden meaning behind every word or gesture, second guessing our relationship. But maybe sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we are not just Moms, who have to be strong for everyone.Sometimes we need to dwell on ourselves and our relationships with our spouses because they fell in love with soft young girls, who doted on their every breath and hung on every word. I know we don’t have time for such niceties with the house falling down around us and kids swinging from the chandeliers,bills to be paid, laundry to be done, but I think this dream was a reminder that I need to make more of an effort to be just ‘Debi’ when he and I are alone. I need to be able to switch back into woman mode, from Mommy mode. Mommy mode is too high strung to stay on 24/7…Mommy mode will burn out our motors and leave us broken. Hey nightmare, thanks for the friendly reminder! Now, please leave me alone…I have things to do and places to be, until Friday when I switch back into Debi. I wonder, when Debi’s around…who’s going to run the joint? I guess Daddy will have to figure it out.I’ll be busy being vulnerable and soft.

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As excited as I was for my husband to come home Friday night, that’s how depressed I am that he has left. They say your first year of marriage is the hardest, and I used to believe that. They also say that the year you have a child, that is a very difficult year in a marriage. Makes sense, the once again shifting of the relationship paradigm. But, that year brought us scary close to one another. It’s sorta like being in war together; you’re scared to death, you are fighting to stay alive ( or at least to be sure that you keep your child alive), and you do some growing up together. It definitely takes it to the next level. Now, we are heading towards are 11th year of marriage (yes, I married at the age of 13:), we’ve just spent year 9 &10 being downsized 3 times. Oh yeah, you heard me correctly. If that is not the test of your marital strength, I don’t know what is. Seriously, in my world, money is the root of all evil; when there is none….I get evil. Not really, but its a stress to have bills coming in and what little income you have going out. But we weathered through it together. Hell, this last time, I didn’t even stress about it. I just said to myself, “Hey, worrying helps no one, it makes my energy all negative..I’m not doing it.” Then there was a job. A wonderful lovely, knight in shining armor job rode in all the way from Iowa on its big metaphorical steed and rescued us. Yey, the day is saved. But all is not what it seems, yes, we are blessed by God to have found employment in this economy so quickly. I know that. But seriously, did it have to be 4 hours away from where we live. Here I am , a wife who actually likes having my husband around a lot, and he is in Iowa. Poor guy is living like a transient it what we refer to as his “hole” , a very nice 1 bedroom apartment furnished with a blow up bed, 2 camping chairs and a few other oddities from our garage. I feel really terrible. I know he is not taking more because he doesn’t want the girls and I to feel as if he actually “lives” there. But the fact of the matter is that he is there more than he is here. I essentially have a long distance marriage at this point. I think if we hadn’t been through so much together already as a married couple and be in such a stable and committed marriage,  this could be dangerous. I used to always use the line, “hey, if I wanted to be alone I would have stayed single.” That was back when we first got married, when I was 12 and apparently really immature and needed to be with him constantly. I used to shutter at the idea of him traveling for business. I guess I’ve learned my lesson. Traveling occasionally would be amazing compared to this situation. It’s kind of exciting, that I get to get all excited to see my husband like when we were first dating but at the same time, the parting is such sweet sorrow! Every Friday, I get all jazzed up like a 15 year old version of myself about to see her boyfriend for a hot date and then Sunday night reality slaps me right across the face and I realize I won’t see my husband for a few more days.I’m not complaining, well maybe a little, but hey what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? After the last couple years of marriage, I think I probably have strength and fortitude the likes of Lou Ferrigno! So, just to recap; job good, money good, having wonderful husband 4 hours away from myself and my girls..bites!

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It’s Valentine’s Day again. Seeing as my poor dear husband ends up on my Truthful Tuesday on occasion, I thought I should take this opportunity to exploit his perks as equally as I do his faults.So, honey, I’d like to say…
Thank you for being my husband for a decade, my boyfriend of 12 years, my best friend for a lifetime, my co-pilot on this crazy ride we call parenting for the past 5 years,my lover, my cheerleader, my shoulder, my comedian, my nurse, my doctor, my shrink (on occasion), my mechanic, my guy Friday,my chef, my coach,my conscience, my everything!
Thank you for loving me every single day and not just on Valentine’s day. Thanks for the million and one little gestures that show me that you love me. Thanks for looking me in the eye when we talk, thanks for allowing me the freedom and security to be myself (without judgment), thank you for listening, understanding, and caring in every way on every day!Thank you for saying just what I need to hear, at just the right time, even if I didn’t want to hear it. Thank you for holding my hair and holding my hand. Thank you for getting up in the middle of the night with sick babies, when I’ve been too exhausted to move.Thank you for telling me I’m beautiful when I’m full of pitocin and the baby wouldn’t drop. Thank you for your smile, your hugs, your kisses on my forehead when I’m sad.Thank you for my daughters. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for helping me survive and find solutions to the million little problems that seem to be a part of everyday life. Being happy and broke with you is better than being rich and unhappy with anyone else in the world. You are the man that I never knew that I always wanted.
When you walked me home that autumn night, long ago, I never would have thought that that would be the first day of my forever. We met as two naive,young college kids with endless possibilities in life but were both limited in our potential for happiness due to misguided decisions and misplaced trust in others.Before I met you, I never knew what true love was. Before you, it was me trying on my glass slipper. I tried a lot of those slippers on but none made me Cinderella. You came along and I was a princess. Suddenly,I was the most important, most beautiful, most intelligent, hottest, sweetest girl in the world….in your eyes.
I know I don’t say it enough, sometimes we just take for granted that someone who can finish our sentences can hear our thoughts, but you are my hero and my best friend. In your arms, I feel safe and loved.In your heart and with you always is where I belong.I love you! Thank you for loving me!

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PMS~ There is Premenstrual Syndrome, more aptly called the one week a month that I hate all living creatures for even having the gall to breathe, little lone have the audacity to speak to me or ask me for anything at all.But then there is the ever so lovely, PMS and having the responsibility of mothering. Are you effing kidding me? Who ever thought this was a good idea? Come on, it is not an understatement to say it is potentially as deadly a mix as pills and booze.

My dearly beloved husband has departed (no he’s not dead…yet) to the great state of Virginia, for business leaving me, with my last shreds of sanity, alone with my two beautiful girls.

ALONE with PMS!

I have been trying my best to keep them occupied, so they don’t feel the void of their father’s presence as much as they might, say sitting around the house doing nothing. We have been running to and fro, engaging in every last activity I can come up with. This is being done for a dual purpose; 1) to keep my daughters’ completely preoccupied with other activities so they are not missing daddy too much ( and constantly whining about it, as they have so boldly demonstrated they are quite capable of doing) and 2)to keep my house in spic and span condition on the rare chance that there is someone in this world who is actually looking to buy an awesome house in a great subdivision in this awful economy. This has been my life since my husband has made his departure. And if I may say so, myself, I have been doing a damn good job at both, though tiring and nerve racking as it has been.

PMS you Sneaky Bitch! I’m busy! Go away!

Then, from out of nowhere, since I myself have been so preoccupied with all of these activities and have forgotten the beast from within that never misses her visit, she arrives and she is taking no prisoners. I have been ripping heads off of cable companies, phone companies, and even the occasional bystander for 2 days now.I had the good sense of self awareness to realize what was happening, while I was visiting my parents and my 4 year old, who has decided she can’t hear anymore, had a sleep deprived melt down and wanted to leave my mothers house…at bedtime. Yes, at bedtime! This happened after, the previous night, her 2 year old sister had decided that she wasn’t caring for sleeping (all three of us) in Grandma’s full sized bed and proceeded to punish me by screaming ,sporadically, without cause, at the top of her lungs… all night long. Yes, ladies, all night long. Remember those nights with a newborn, when you were so sleep deprived that you prayed for death, just so that you could sleep? This was way worse. Anyways, back to the meltdown, so rather than calm her down, soothing her, and coaxing her to lay down at Grandma’s like I normally would have done. I said, “OK, go potty!” and I proceeded to chuck every bit of crap we brought into the back of my SUV..with the speed of lightening and the fury of the a goat on crack. My parents watched silently and my children, being that they are apparently aware that Mommy gets a little crazy once a month, were unaffected. They simply said their good byes to the grandparents and ignored my mood completely.

Driving home, completely besot with myself, and completely over my kids meltdown, it hit me…” You crazy bitch, calm down. It’s PMS week” We, Ella, Abbi and myself (Sybil for the week) made it home without any real incident. That night, as I put them in bed and looked at their sweet little faces, I thought to myself, do these kids know how truly dangerous their Mama’s PMS really is? Luckily not. Normally, my husband is here to offset the true glory that is my PMS but with him gone, I was left to deal with it all on my own and it was not pretty. I spoke with my husband and let him know that I am having my beast visit this week. He is coming home, after two weeks of being gone, his response to me was ,”Oh God. Can it be over by the time I get there?” Luckily for him, I was not in the throes of the syndrome or that could of warranted him a tongue lashing to not soon be forgotten, at the very least. I have come to the conclusion through this ordeal that it should be a law of nature that once you have children you no longer can experience the “syndrome.” It truly is quite counter productive and very much as reckless and deadly as “Pills and booze”.Of course, if pills and booze were involved I believe I would be much more likable this week anyways. But alas, as does mothering and PMS not mix neither does mothering and pills or booze. As all good mothers do, I will suck it up and put on a happy face. My girls are awesome blessings and as long as I can keep that in perspective maybe I can keep the beast at bay, at least until my husband gets home:)

PMS, You may have Won the Battle but Not the War!

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