Coming Together

This is going to be short and possibly full of swype mistakes….or swypos….but I am laying here in bed thinking about things that are coming up. Things are finally coming together. I see a light at the end of the tunnel of misery. I can’t believe how relieved I feel. I can’t believe that there may finally be a way back into the normal people world. I can’t believe that good things may be happening.

That’s all. I just…can’t believe it. I suppose I should elaborate. Maybe later, but this is actually not easy to write on my phone.

Goodnight, everyone. 😀

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If You Want Someone In Your Life….Just Put Them There

Some things are out of our control. We can’t control other people. We can’t really control work. The weather, that’s out of our control. The thing is, if you want someone in your life, you will find a way to put them there.

If you want to see your kids, you will, and you will be on time. You will ask to see them…if you want to see them.

If you want to date someone, you will find room in your schedule for a date….even just coffee on your lunch break.

If you want to be someone’s friend, it is so rude to only call them when you want something.

If you want to show someone that you respect them, you WILL respect them. There is no way to have your cake and eat it, too.

If you really want anyone in your life, you will make yourself available. You will find time, even if it cuts into your personal time because that person deserves your time and your attention for a little while.

You will  not treat them like they are a task that needs to be completed. Like there are priorities above them.

…and if you keep treating them like they are the 3rd or 4th priority in your life, get ready to watch them walk away.

It’s not that complicated. Don’t talk about it. Don’t try. Just do it. There are no excuses, and you can’t make people unfeel things that you made them feel….so fix it before it’s too late and they’re gone.

{side note: this was a vent-y post. all better}

Back In Time To Say Goodbye…

To 2011 that is, not you guys! In fact, I am making it a point in 2012 to write more for fun, so you’ll be hearing from me a lot.

I am, however, here to say goodbye to a year full of…everything. In 2011 I found myself examining things more closely instead of just going through the motions of life. I had been doing that for 10 years, and it wasn’t working. By the end of last year I was more lost than I have ever been. The only way I could describe myself was “mother.” I hate to say it, but I lost myself in mothering. To set the record straight, I am happy to take care of my son. I love him, and we have been to hell and back together. I wouldn’t trade a moment with him for anything in the world, but you know the saying it takes a village to raise a child? For 3 years I was the village. The. Whole. Damn. Village. By myself. There was a breaking point this year, though. The day I ended up screaming in the driveway I realized that I could not keep doing what I was doing.

Things didn’t magically change overnight. Well, they did because I think he was scared of me for a little bit, but they went back to normal shortly thereafter. He still makes choices that make me want to rip my hair out, but the difference is, now I will ask for help. I am no longer afraid to make him mad asking for him to watch his son so that I can have a life, although it still doesn’t happen as often as I’d like.

This year I learned that, even if people on both sides of an argument want you to listen to and take their side, you CAN say, “this fight is none of my business. I love you both, and I will not be in the middle.” You can say this and they won’t be upset. I think people don’t realize they do this.

This year, I started believing in Santa again. Maybe not Santa, but in the overall general goodness of people. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t by any means think everyone is good, but I do think that in general, people might not be as bad as I thought they were. It’s hard not to be bitter when everyone you’ve ever allowed yourself to love has either hurt you so deeply that you can’t ever fully recover or just left. I couldn’t tell you which is worse, to be honest. To just leave hurts so much because it feels like you are not worth staying for…but staying and hurting someone over and over? Why?

I have realized a few things this year about myself. I get told constantly that I am good at things, and I deny it. This year I realized that maybe I am not so terrible at everything.

This year I have been reminded that in addition to a mother, a writer, and a surprisingly good cook, I am a woman, too. Regardless of whether I have been hurt, whether I am a mom, whether I have stretch marks or a less than perfect body, I am still a woman. I still want to step away from being a mom and put on makeup and dress up sometimes. I still want to be complimented. I still want to feel beautiful, funny, and sexy. I have also learned that that is ok. I don’t need to be defined as just a single mother. I am glad that someone stepped up and reminded me. I’m glad I took a chance and let them. Thank you.

I have learned this year that things in life are not always perfect. I’m not going to get what I want just because I want it no matter how much I deserve it.

I have learned that, really, I wouldn’t give up this life to have the old one back in a million years. I wouldn’t want to. I don’t know how I lived before with the crushing sense of meaninglessness that truly was my life. I now know that, no matter what, I am here for a reason. I am here to be my son’s mother. There are times that I think that I’m not good at it, but that’s just too bad. This is why I am here, so I better suck it up and GET good at it. This kid only gets one mother, and I am her. And me? I only get one life, so I better stop hoping and wishing it will change on its own and get off my butt and change it.

Lastly, I have learned that there are thousands of people out there that I can relate to. Twitter has informed me of this. I am not the only person feeling any of this. I need to thank every single new friend I have made this year, whether I have met you in person or not. I love every one of you.

So, here’s to hoping that 2012 will be equally full of revelations for not only myself, but all of you.

Happy New Year!

Review Of Real Moms Love To Eat

I was supposed to do this a long time ago, and I sincerely apologize to Beth Aldrich, the author! Everything has been all crazy this fall! Just in the nick of time though, I’m getting this in. In less than a month, January 3rd, this book will be released, and I have had the privilege of reading it and trying it out already!

The book is broken up into 3 parts, as I said in my first post about it. Instead of being a “diet plan” it is a book that is more about a love affair with food. How to delicately balance healthy food and those little junk food cravings that we all have. The way that Beth describes her own love affair with food will leave you craving whatever she is talking about, even if it is a food that you despise.

There were parts I struggled with while trying it out. I am not awake enough first thing in the morning to make a smoothie. I’m just not. I drop things, I break glasses….it’s not a pretty sight. I did end up modifying that a little and having a cup of coffee first. That I can set up the night before and just push a button in my sleep. I didn’t even feel guilty about this modification. Unlike any “diet” you have ever heard of, this one encourages you to cheat a little. Part of the directions for week one are to eat one thing you really want daily! This is my kind of diet!

After my week one things got a little rocky. Spencer’s grandpa died, a whole bunch of stuff happened, and I sort of abandoned it for a few weeks. It wasn’t hard to start back up. I didn’t dread having to start it again. I actually feel much better while I am eating right, and it took this book to make me realize that. As time went on, the thing I wanted daily was healthier. The first few days it was potato chips, but by the end I really wanted a peach.

I just said the end, but there really is no end. Instead of a temporary diet, this is a way of life. I don’t use that term lightly. While I cannot claim to have lost every ounce of fat on my body, I feel better. Weight is coming off. It is coming off slowly, the right way. I know that it won’t be back as long as I keep this up. I know that I will have the book to fall back on if I feel myself losing my way. I can fall back on Beth’s glorious descriptions of food, and her glorious descriptions of how to handle it the right way.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we are all beautiful. We just don’t always feel it. I honestly believe I can feel more beautiful using the tips she provides. Is this a sure fire way to lose hundreds of pounds quickly? No. It is a way to feed your body the things it needs to function, but do it in a way that doesn’t leave you craving things you are forbidden from having.

There are many brands of healthy foods mentioned as well. My favorite (we got a sample of things) were the Riceworks chips. Not only are they delicious, they are made locally for me! They are made 15 minutes from where I grew up. They are made where many of my high school friends work, and I know I am on a side tangent here, but it makes me happy that I can support this business in my area and my friends’ families by buying them. Plus I get to fulfill my chip cravings without scarfing a whole bag of grease (not that I ever did that or anything….*cahem*).

So, I can’t tell you what to buy. I can’t tell you what will work for you. I can’t tell you how to eat or what to read, but I can tell you that I loved this book. It made me laugh, and it made me realize things about myself that I wouldn’t have without it. For example, the fact that I was feeding my son entirely differently than I was feeding myself. I have known all along how to do this. I just at some point thought I didn’t matter enough to feed myself the right way. I do matter. So, thank goodness I read this book!

Check it out when it comes out on January 3rd. It is most definitely worth your time!

I’m Terrified Of Preschool

My son has never been in daycare. For a while one of my friends watched him. For a few months my mom had him a few hours a day. Generally speaking though I have known everyone he has interacted with. He said something a few minutes ago about going to school next year. He looked excited. I felt a cold shiver of fear spread through my body. I know it will be good for us to be apart. I know. I know that teachers train for years to handle kids. I know that my child is well behaved, caring, and smart. He’s also shy. Smart and shy. I remember what kids did to the smart and shy kids. He has a gap between his front teeth. He’s incredibly tall for his age. These don’t make for a pleasant school experience, and none of us can argue that kids are nice. Kids are mean. Kids are ruthless.

I need to interject here that never once until I moved to the tiny little school district we moved to in 5th grade did anyone pick on me. Ever. I, in turn, never even thought to pick at anyone else in elementary school. The first few years at Tuslaw, though? That was awful. I was a little more, um, physically developed than the other girls in my class. My period started the summer before 6th grade. Near my 11th birthday. Now, I know that boys are pretty curious about things like boobs. As I have grown up I have gotten used to it, and on occasion used it to my advantage (what? That‘s what they’re for if they don‘t make breast milk like mine didn’t). In 5th grade at my old school though I was not the only one with them. I was not even the biggest. I wore an A cup in 6th grade, but truthfully I needed it in 5th. Anyway, when I moved I suddenly had a lot more attention than I wanted to in that area. There were really only 2 boys (one of whom continued the harassment through college, but by high school he wasn’t picking on me, just trying to sleep with me), but talk about crushing someone’s self esteem… My point is, I remember going home and crying and wondering what I did wrong that I deserved to be picked on. I couldn’t help when I started puberty. I was only 10 when this started; I was still a little kid. I didn’t fit in to any of the prearranged groups of friends. Kids at small schools aren’t quick to open up and add someone to the group. So, while I didn’t encounter anything until I was 10 and more equipped to deal with it, I remember what kids did to the shy, smart kids. I remember not doing anything to defend them because I didn’t want them to make fun of me, but I remember looking into their eyes and seeing the pain.

I swear to God, the first time my son comes home crying, I will freak out. I have been a little helicopter-y his whole life, but if someone hurts his feelings, or God forbid lays a hand on him, I will either yank him out of school and home school him for the rest of his life (not a rational solution) or I will be at the school every day until it stops. This is my kid. You can say anything you want to me. You can say anything you want to anybody else. Just don’t mess with my kid. I go into mama bear mode, and it’s not pretty.

At the same time he is the sweetest, most hilarious person I have ever met. He will do anything for anyone to make them feel better if something is wrong. So, maybe he won’t get picked on….and maybe he’ll have the courage to stand up for the other kids instead of seeing their pain and looking the other way. Maybe he’ll be better than I was. I sure could have used someone like that in 5th grade….

Some Stuff

There’s a lot on my mind lately. I’m going to spit it out here, but not in my typical list fashion. This is like a normal post about various things that I have to get out of my head and written somewhere. I really hope I don’t offend anyone, but I….I am overly opinionated lately, and it needs to come out before I explode on people.

It’s amazing to know that your child knows how to do things because you taught them. Like, seriously amazing. He is truly the reason I was put on this planet. Today he learned how to button his own shirt. Finally.

If you are having a fight with your boyfriend/husband/wife/girlfriend, by ALL means, vent to your close friends. The thing is, when you post all of your drama on Facebook, not only are you sharing way too many details, but you could be using that time to talk to your actual significant other and fix the problem. Plus, if you post the same fight once a week for over a year, people don’t feel bad for you anymore, they want to help you find a divorce lawyer. Honest to God. Talk to each other and try to work it out, and if you can’t work it out, end it. It’s better for you, your kids, and everybody’s sanity.

In the same respect? Calling your significant other an idiot or belittling them to others? Also not cool. If you think you’re so much smarter than him/her, why are you staying with them? Seriously. I realize marriage is supposed to be forever, but if you’re to the point where you’re ok telling almost complete strangers that your spouse is stupid, there are BIG HUGE RED FLAGS there. Respect one another. Love one another unconditionally. You signed up for that, too, when you made the marriage vows. Not just to stay together in misery forever. I’m not saying to be one of those people that says you love them every five seconds either. Just be respectful and handle your problems in privacy. The world doesn’t need to know. You’re making yourself look bad, not them.

Then again, I am single, so what do I know, right? Other than the second I left my toxic relationship I felt like a brand new person. I was happy, even though I was sad, too. I didn’t have to get all stressed out, and while I never considered posting our fights on Facebook (myspace at the time if I’m honest with myself), I no longer felt the urge to scream at anyone daily.

Christmas is coming up, and as I mentioned before I am totally grateful for everything this year. Listening to people now and realizing how ungrateful I was in the past has been a real eye opener. You are not entitled to gifts. You’re supposed to be giving because you want to give, not out of obligation.

If it’s not obvious, I’ve been pretty down lately. I am struggling to pull myself out of this grey cloudy mood I’ve been in, though. Back to my usual self soon…I think.

Dear Santa

Thank you. Thank you for making Christmas possible for my son this year. Thank you for helping me give him probably one of the best Christmases he will ever have for a grand total of $19 from my pocket. Thank you for making this possible without asking for help from a charity. Thank you for being the mysterious magical force behind Christmas.

If not for you dropping gifts into my lap this year, I wouldn’t have anything. There would be nothing under our tree but love and the knowledge that the bills are (mostly) paid for the month. That would be an acceptable Christmas for me as an adult, but for a child? I’m sure he’s young enough that he wouldn’t mind, but it would break my heart to have nothing for him. If not for the amazing deals I found online and the amazing gift cards that I have gotten, both of our hearts would be broken. He cries if I cry.

So thank you for, at age 28, making me believe in you for the first time since my grandpa told me you weren’t real when I was 5. Thank you for putting the magic back in the season. Thank you for being in every ring of a bell, every Christmas snowflake, every twinkle of a Christmas light, and every kind thing that is done this year. Thank you for giving me my own personal Santas, like my ChaCha forum friends who find absolutely amazing deals and are some of the most generous people I have ever “met.” Thank you for my Twitter and blog friends who have been my moral support throughout this incredibly trying year.

I know that this year as I am putting presents under the tree on Christmas Eve I will be listening for sleigh bells and hooves on the roof. You just never know…

Merry Christmas,

Kadie (and Spencer)

Hey…You’re beautiful!

Yes, you! We all are.

A lot of people say this. A lot of people say this because it’s socially acceptable and then turn around and make comments about people behind their back or to themselves in the mirror. It’s really gotten to the point that had I titled this, “All Women Are Beautiful” nobody would have even read it. So, right now stop skimming this and actually read these words:

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Stop faking it. Stop saying, “I’m kind of pretty, but…” There are no buts. Women are beautiful. It is a beautiful thing to be able to carry within yourself another human life. To produce food for your baby from your body. Women are amazing! We are amazing! After the discomfort of being pregnant, after the pain of child birth, and after not sleeping for months a woman’s ability to develop amnesia about the process and do it again is astounding. We are made to be nurturers. We are made to be a little softer for our kids and a little harder to anyone who tries to hurt them. In one minute we can flip a switch from kissing booboos and holding our children as they cry, our hearts aching to be able to fix it for them, to stone cold defender of our children. I’m sure the same applies to husbands, too, I just haven’t ever had one of those. The point is, there is nothing about that that is not beautiful.

“But I don’t look as pretty as…” Does it matter? Really? In the long run-the really, really long run when you are on your death bed your regrets will not be, “I sure wish I had had a nose job,” or “if only I had had cellulite free legs my life would have been worthwhile!” After working in a nursing home and seeing many patients at the end of their lives, I can promise you with absolutely no doubt in my mind that that won’t matter. Love will matter. Friends will matter. Your family will matter.

No matter how awful you feel or how tired you are your children will think you are beautiful. It doesn’t matter to them if you have showered yet or if you put on makeup before you take them to the park. Maybe when they’re a teenager, but if you think about your teenage years and you were embarrassed by your mother it is usually behavior-related. Think about this for a second. Have you ever thought to yourself, “my mom is really ugly!” Probably not. Even if she wasn’t a supermodel or had a funny haircut or was heavy, or lost a tooth, she’s your mom. She is beautiful because she’s a woman that took care of your every need until you were able to take care of them on your own.

I dare you to find a woman that you cannot find something beautiful about. In fact, I dare you to, sometime this week, take a second look at a woman that you would usually not classify as beautiful in your mind. Just take a second look.

The single mother with the somewhat greasy hair, no makeup, and clothes that don’t match? It may be because she doesn’t care. It may be because she doesn’t have money for shampoo, makeup, or matching clothing without holes. Or it could be that her time is spent caring for her child, not herself. That she honestly didn’t think about these things before she left the house (all mothers have had these moments, right?) She hasn’t had a moment to herself since she became a mother. Even when her child is not around, she is still caring for them. She is still stressed out about how to keep a roof over his head and clothes on his back. She is beautiful because she is strong for her child. She is beautiful because she hasn’t given up on herself and has the confidence to know that she is raising her child the right way, even if she has made some sacrifices.

The woman with a little extra weight. Could she just eat too much and be lazy? Sure. She could also have a medical problem. She may have just had a baby. She may have a reason. Nobody wants to be unhealthy. She is beautiful because she has curves. Because she is not willing to starve herself to fit in with everyone else. Because chances are she is able to laugh at herself more than anyone you know. She is beautiful because she hears the comments made behind her back and, instead of turning around and unleashing all of the anger in her body at whomever dared to call her fat, she smiles and moves on with her life.

The woman who is now at the end of her life. She has seen a lot. She has taken care of people. She has lived and she has learned, and while she may no longer be young or fashionable, if you look at her-REALLY look- she is still soft and feminine. She is still kind. She still has love to give, even if life has made her a little bitter. She is beautiful because she has seen a lifetime of love and pain and everything in between and she can still be both the soft nurturer or the fierce defender of her family or friends.

There are an endless amount of things I could list here. We are all different. We are all beautiful. We all deserve to be treated like we are, because there are no creatures on earth like the female human. Stop beating up other women. More importantly, stop beating YOURSELF up.

We all do it. Even if you’re happy with yourself generally, all women have that ONE thing that they hate and would give anything to change. Forgive yourself for it. You are beautiful, even if that darn sagging skin under your arm jiggles when you wave. Even if other things have started to droop with it. Even if you are not the same size you wore in high school, and even if your hair is a little greyer.

Be confident! It is sexy to be confident! Don’t wonder why your boyfriend or husband likes you. He likes you because you’re beautiful. He is attracted to you because men are attracted to beautiful women. Wondering this all the time is only detrimental to your relationship. Yes, your hips may be wider than his, but his weren’t designed to push babies through. Your morning routine may now be more focused on feeding your kids than making sure you look nice, but you’re still beautiful because you are willing to make that sacrifice. The only thing that can truly make someone ugly is their attitude.

So, everyone go look in the mirror right now, smooth your hair down, adjust your clothes, and then look yourself in the eye and repeat after me:

I. Am. Beautiful.

Maybe This Is As Good As It Gets..But Maybe Not.

Things don’t seem to work out right for me. It’s not for lack of trying. With the exception of the odd period of serious depression here and there, if I do something I give it my all. Life hasn’t turned out the way I expected it. I know that sounds really whiny. The thing is, I grew up hearing that I could do anything. I could be anything. I could have anything. I believed it. I worked HARD in school. I was my own worst critic. It made me very stressed out at a very early age, but I was a straight A student with a job and I was in just about every extracurricular activity that wasn’t a sport (I’m seriously uncoordinated. I will have to do a whole post about that). So, senior year came. Everyone picked colleges. I told my parents where I wanted to go, I applied, and I was accepted. It wasn’t until after I accepted my acceptance that my mom told me I was on my own paying for it. I may have had a part time job at K-mart, but I didn’t have $15,000 a semester. Also, I couldn’t get any grants because my parents made too much. They were in this weird bracket where they made too much to get financial aid and too little to actually pay for it. They wouldn’t take out student loans, and I didn’t want to put myself that far in debt that young.

So, I enrolled in the local Kent State University and I moved out. My first semester, in an effort to get it over with as soon as possible, I took 18 credit hours. I worked full time, too, because I had moved out. I tried to see my friends. I never slept or ate though (side note: I have never been that skinny in my life. THAT was kinda cool). By the second semester when I was driving to the main branch every day, working, and trying to still have a life, I was exhausted. I was burning out quickly. I started smoking (I quit, don’t yell at me). I started drinking (not really heavily compared to most college kids, but since I swore I would never drink…well..). I started shopping.

You see, when you go to college, people throw credit cards at you. I got 2. I said they were for an emergency. Soon an emergency was, “wow, those are cute shoes and the sale ends TOMORROW.” The thing was, I was 18. I moved out too soon, I had no experience with money, and eventually it came to the point where the bills were more than I had coming in. Oops. So, instead of asking for help, I, stupidly, just didn’t pay things sometimes. Anyway, the point of this tangent was that I am just now trying to rebuild my credit, and I refuse to ever touch another credit card. It took 10 years to pay for the stuff I bought then. The “necessities” like perfume and 3 curling irons (I have never and probably never will regularly curl my hair).

So, here I was, all full of “potential” getting myself all off track while I tried to figure out what to do. I was burning out fast, and while I still had all A’s in my classes, I just didn’t care anymore. I didn’t want to listen to someone mumble at the chalkboard at 8 am about trigonometry. I didn’t want to wait around for an hour and a half between classes, and the only thing nearby to do was shop. I didn’t want to go to work. I didn’t WANT to do it anymore. I had pushed myself so hard for as long as I could remember and I just wanted a break from something.

Something ended up being school after another semester. That is my one regret in life. I could have just taken less classes. I could have scheduled classes on only Tuesday and Thursday or something. Instead I just quit. I gave up on myself. I thought I couldn’t do it. For the first time in my life I saw an obstacle and I just walked away.

I was so disappointed in myself. I was depressed. So I shopped some more. I would get paid and have money and look at the pile of bills and say, “ok, but I NEED a new {insert thing I didn’t need}.” This trend of idiocy went on until I was about 23. At 28 I am just finally bouncing back. I still haven’t paid off the student loans, either (which is why I haven’t gone back to school. Long story.), but I recently checked my credit and my total outstanding debt is down to $1,273 dollars. That’s not bad for 28 right?

So, I am trying to get myself back on track, but no matter what I do it is not good enough. I honestly don’t know if I am just being too hard on myself or if I really DO suck at everything I have tried to do in my adult life.

So, maybe this is as good as it gets. Surviving. Alone. Maybe I am just full of wasted potential because I made some stupid mistakes when I was 18-23. Maybe.

But maybe not. That’s why I am pulling the old me out of the closet. The one who was full of potential. The one who wanted things and had dreams, and didn’t let things stand in her way. The one who is pissed off that I wasted all of her hard work to be sitting here stagnant 10 years later. The one who never planned on being a single mother, but can probably figure out how to incorporate that into my life. The one that I had planned on being all along.

Too bad her clothes don’t still fit!

What A Month

So much has happened since I last blogged anything. I don’t even know where to start.

I have been absent mainly because I am…busy yet I am getting nothing accomplished.

My parents may or may not be getting divorced now. Really I have no idea what’s going on.

My son’s dad doesn’t have a car at the moment either. My poor child has carless parents.

Potty training is finally over….after almost a year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So…yay!

On another, much sadder note, Spencer’s grandpa died. There is nothing more sad than taking a 3 year old to a funeral. He pointed at the casket and said, “gandpa sleeping, mommy?” My heart hurt. His grandma on that side died before I was even pregnant. I wish he could know them. They were both so loving and kind.

That got me thinking about his health history. I cannot think of something that doesn’t run in Spencer’s family on one side or the other. So, I need to teach him to be healthy and take care of himself now. That starts with taking better care of myself and being a better example.

I’m sorry I was gone so long. Just going through a bunch of stuff. I don’t know why I am so upset about my ex’s father’s death, but it really, really hit me hard. Nobody my age should be losing their parents already, especially both of them. It’s not fair.