Posts Tagged ‘ Eden ’

In Case You Forget

Dear Amber,

It’s okay to not have all the answers. No one expects you to be perfect, so neither should you. And while it’s okay to not have all the answers, if you do have one–say it. Don’t dumb yourself down, sell yourself short, or forget who you are. Stand up for yourself and what you believe in. You’ve got the forum, you’ve got the words. Don’t waste them.

Amber, it really is okay to be yourself. You don’t have to prove yourself to the mini van driving soccer moms. There’s nothing wrong with going against the grain sometimes. People may judge you at times, but that’s their problem. You’re kind, compassionate, intelligent, and nurturing…the music you like and the cut of your jeans don’t affect who you are underneath them. You’d be the same woman and the same mother if you had blonde hair and wore matching sweater sets. Don’t let the harsh words of passersby break your spirit. You are a good mom.

Also Amber, please let yourself breathe. You’re a single mom with a job and school. Self-care is important, taking care of your daughter’s mama is important. Don’t burn out now, ’cause you are SO close to being done with school. After that, this is all going to get so much easier. The dishes don’t have to be washed the minute they’re dirtied. The only thing you need to be worried about above all else is Eden. She needs to be cuddled and sung to and you need the happiness that comes from doing so. You’re the real life Lorelai and Rory – embrace it.

Amber, you’ve got to let go of the dream of having a real mother-daughter relationship with your mom. It’s not going to happen and you don’t need to be sad about that anymore. Focus on the mother-daughter relationship that REALLY matters – the one you have with your daughter. You can break this cycle.

You are so much more awesome than you give yourself credit for. Losing weight won’t change you. You’re beautiful just how you are. You’re a good mother, a good girlfriend and a good nurse. You have a big, bright future ahead of you, girl.

❤ Me

Metalways and Napcations

it’s no secret that I love music. I love the fire, the passion, the crushing emotion. I name drop Vital Remains so often you’d think I’m Pulling a John C. Mayer. Music is my heart, my lifeline. I’ve sang opera for a decade, my Partner In Crime a guitarist for close to the same. My daughter will soon put fingers to keys. Music punctuates my life, but being a single mama-college student hybrid makes getting to shows kind of difficult. That’s why I’m so excited for the METALWAY!
Jeffers and I are planning on packing up the combat boots and heading to Des Moines in November. A trip that will include Cannibal Corpse, Devourment, Dying Fetus and Vital Remains. Our getaway. Our metal getaway. Our metalway.
While going to a concert may not mean much to some of you out there, to me it’s huge. Music is my heartbeat and I haven’t had it in awhile. It’s one thing to plug in the iPod and rock out in the living room, but it’s quite another to be in the crowd. You can FEEL the music. You can see the emotion in the eyes of the band members, the sweat on their brows. You watch the venue explode with the bass line, the pit devolving into the rhythmic passion the sound intended.
It’s religious. It’s everything.
To some people, it’s sound. It’s chromatic notes and a time signature. To me, it’s a reason to wake up in the morning. It’s the thing I share with the other thing I wake up for in the morning– my family. My sweet little alternafamily, with our zebra print rugs and death metal soundtrack.

Music and family.

Diaper pins and combat boots.

Disappointment

I have a love-hate relationship with The Twitterz. I love the ability to connect with people who share my ideals, my situation. I love getting updates on Vital Remains concerts and yelling about my stomach aches. I do not love my proximity to overzealous lactivists.

Let me state first and foremost: Breastfeeding is natural, beautiful and the best thing for Mama and Baby alike. Usually. That said, I don’t like it when people start fighting over someone else’s decision to not breastfeed. You, as some random chick on the internet, do not know someone’s personal reasons to bottlefeed. There are plenty of perfectly valid reasons to not breastfeed. Maybe the new mama has to take a medication that could pass through her milk and harm the baby. Maybe Mama has an eating disorder and doesn’t trust herself enough to provide adequate nutrition for Baby. Maybe Mama’s like me, and for six exhausting weeks she tried relentlessly to breastfeed but she just couldn’t produce enough milk. Maybe she pumped for hours to procure, maybe, an ounce. Maybe she tortured herself with thoughts of inadequacy. Maybe she thought she must be destined to be a horrible mother, because her body couldn’t complete this most basic of tasks. Maybe she cried and cried and blamed herself. Maybe it hurt like 1000 knives in her heart as she bought that first tub of formula.

I sure hurt. That deep kind of hurt that comes from feeling like you Failed Your Child. But then my daughter grew. She thrived. She smiled. She learned. I carried that girl in her baby sling and cooed at her and held her as close as I did before the bottle.

It didn’t matter that she drank formula from a bottle instead of milk from my breast, because the heart was there, the love was there. She’s healthy. She didn’t fall apart without breastmilk. She’s fine. She’s better than fine.

One day I will have another baby. One day I will again try to breastfeed. But if again, it doesn’t work out, I won’t torture myself over it. Switching to formula was the best thing I could do for *my* family. Everyone deserves the right to choose what they believe to be right for their families and their situations. If those decisions don’t match your own, that doesn’t mean you should sit behind your computer screen and call them ignorant. Raising children is about love and compassion, not unsolicited judgments and name-calling.
It's about love.

This is my Rage Face

So saturday night I was kept awake by my neighbors. My neighbors half a block away and across the street were having a party. A party that raged until 1:00 am, during which nothing but 80s HAIR METAL was played. LOUDLY. I was very angry, and had fantasies of curbstomping people to the sounds of Devourment, but was thwarted by my being extremely, pathetically tired. So instead, I wrote this:

Dear hair metal jackasses,
It is midnight and your music has been blasting ALL NIGHT. I live across the street and down half a block and I can hear the LYRICS to your pathetic music. Neither my 2 year old nor myself appreciate this. If this happens again, I WILL call the cops. Shut the hell up. Maybe you want to feel the noise and rock your boys, but me and the toddler want to SLEEEEEEEP. Please cease your ridiculous crap and be respectful of your neighbors.
Thank you,
A human fucking being.
P.S. Get a better taste in music. Twisted Sister sucks ass. Also, screw you
.

Clearly a masterpiece. I didn’t follow through with the sending of that note, and for that I’m a little bit sad…

Playground as High School

Anybody who’s been bored enough to read through my (limited) archives has probably noticed one of the several times I’ve mentioned my age. I’m 22. Young, yes. You probably noticed my daughter’s age as being 2 years and if you do some math that means I was 20 when she was born. (Yeah…I didn’t say difficult math). I became pregnant when I was 19, and Eders was born a few months after my 20th birthday.

My age has never been a factor in any of my decisions. I know that I am physically a young person, but I also know that mentally, I’m a whole lot older. I’ve never gotten along very well with people my age and probably never will. While that never used to bother me, I’m noticing more and more that I feel…sort of lonely. Most of my high school/college friends stopped calling when I got pregnant, and that stung a lot more than I’d expected it to. It bothered me that people only wanted to be my friend when that meant concerts, myspace-style photo shoots, and shopping sprees and not hanging out at the house with me while I breastfeed a newborn and change diapers. I get that my lifestyle has changed. I’m a homebody, and I’d prefer to stay at home with my baby then go out and get drunk, but I’ve always been that way, you know? What’s changed, other than I have a child now? I’m not a different person, I’m the same Amber I’ve always been, I just get to add “mommy” to the list of names I respond to.

Bummed out that I’d lost 87% of my social circle, I thought I’d try to make some “mommy friends”. How well did THAT work out…let’s see…I have none, so badly. I can’t seem to relate to any of the parents I’ve met. And they can’t really relate to me either. And why should they? I’m frickin’ weird, and I know that. I get told fairly often that I’m intimidating, which I think is crazy. Who’s going to be intimidated by me? I’m a little 5’2’’ elf of a person. Sure I’ve got tattoos and am probably wearing big ol’ ass-kicking boots, but if you’ve ever heard me speak, you know I’m as bubbly as any high school cheerleader ever was. And then I figured it out. To the average parent I see around town, I’m young. I’m TOO young. My lifestyle is too old for my old friends, and too young for my potential new ones. I have no intention of changing who I freaking AM just to make friends, though. The Interwebs will find my particular brand of quirk interesting, right?!

Right…..?

*tumbleweed*

One Horse Town? We Don’t Even Have a Stable

Another weekend too short. Another reluctant goodbye. For 13 months, he’s been miles and miles away from me, our lives too busy and conflicting to successfully blend. April can’t come fast enough. As hard as it is to watch his jeep speed him away from me, I know that the distance is about to close. I finish school in March — In April, Eden and I are pulling up stakes and moving to MC. A new city, a new job, a new place with my two loves. While I’m a little scared to move away from my family and 90% of my friends — I know this move will be for the best.

MC is a pretty big place, with thousands of people, one of the best school districts in the state, and so many opportunities for me and the Girl. But MC is also a fairly small place — large by my standards (my hometown has 900 people in it), but tiny by national standards. It’s safe and friendly like a small country town with the advantages of a city.

I’m excited. This will really mean a new chapter in my life. I’m ready to make the transition from awkward not-quite-teen-not-quite-adult to adult getting a place with her partner, raising her children and working in the field she’s been training in for years. No more research papers, late-night cram sessions and juggling single motherhood with midterms and a long-distance love affair.

I hope “The Real World” is all I’m hyping it up to be.

Love and Hairdye

Okay, I get it–I don’t look like this
Yeah, not at all like that.
I look like this
Yeah, that's more like it.
But my daughter…she looks like this.
Cute. Pretty much Adorable.
Happy. Healthy. Beautiful. Smart. Strong. Well-adjusted. LOVED. I don’t have to be June Cleaver to be a good mother. I might not be perfect, but who is? Sure, sometimes I get frustrated, sometimes I forget to pack just enough things in the diaper bag. I’m only human-I’m not SuperMom. But I do love my child, and I do my absolute best. Everyday Eden is told how much she is loved, how happy I am to be her mama. She’s kissed and cuddled, tucked in to bed with lullabies and her favorite blankie. I teach her all that I know and love her with all that I am. She’s my Miracle baby and I love nothing more than being a mom.
People who pass us in the grocery store can make their judgements. I’ve heard them all. Too young! Single! Why is her hair purple?! Yuck, tattoos! I bet she’s ANGRY! I bet she’s on drugs! I bet she dropped out of high school! Judge all you want, because we know the truth. My daughter has already learned a valuable lesson you’ve apparently missed- Never judge a book by its cover.

Or a mommy by her hair color.
Save your judgement.

The List of 100 Dreams

At the suggestion of a recent issue of Whole Living magazine, I made my List of 100 Dreams. In doing so, it really helped put things in perspective. Made me see what is REALLY important to me.

1) Master knitting
2) Garden more, grow my own veggies
3) Learn to can said veggies
4) Pay off my credit cards and never get another
5) Learn Italian
6) Give up soda
7) Exercise daily
8 ) Do daily “gratefuls”
9) Go vegetarian
10) Embrace an earlier bedtime
11) Get my BSN
12) Take Eden camping
13) Run a half marathon
14) Read all the books in my library
15) Learn to sew
16) Achieve a healthy body weight
17) Volunteer at an animal shelter
18) Be a foster parent
19) Climb a mountain
20) Ride RAGBRAI
21) Own a small business
22) Open an Etsy shop
23) Tour the mediterranean
24) Get married
25) Have another baby
26) Go to the Smithsonian
27) Be an extra in a movie
28) Write a book
29) Restore an old house
30) Plant a tree
31) Lay in a hammock and drink an umbrella drink
32) Go on a cruise
33) Learn to speak Polish
34) Become an ARNP and work in oncology or hemotology
35) Learn to play the cello
36) Teach Eden to play the piano
37) Coach cheerleading
38) Go to a tattoo convention
39) Take a class in criminal psychology
40) Go to every state in the USA
41) Learn to surf
42) Go blonde
43) Be in a commercial
44) Go to a spa for a weekend
45) Go ghost hunting
46) Stay in a bed and breakfast
47) Plant a sunflower garden
48) Get a henna tattoo
49) Eat Belgian waffles in Belgium
50) Restore a classic car
51) Read Proust
52) Go backpacking
53) Make homemade candles
54) Try sushi
55) See Niagara Falls
56) Go skiing in Sweden
57) Learn to tattoo
58) Go to all the zoos in the midwest
59) Work at St. Jude’s
60) Start an advocacy group for suicide prevention and self-injury awareness
61) Take the exam to join mensa
62) Learn to decorate cakes
63) Tour castles in Ireland
64) Ride a horse on a mountain trail
65) Get a mohawk
66) Climb a tree
67) See Dracula’s castle
68) Illustrate a graphic novel
69) Campaign for a politician
70) Learn to crochet
71) Go snowboarding
72) Go to an IMAX movie
73) Be a contestant on a game show
74) Kiss a celebrity
75) Go rock climbing
76) Donate a gallon of blood
77) Do a voice-over for a cartoon
78) Write a song
79) Break a world record
80) Make and bury a time capsule
81) Do yoga in front of a waterfall
82) Help my parents open an orchard
83) Be in a musical
84) Be a girl scout troop leader
85) Learn to skateboard
86) Rescue a shelter animal
87) Go to Disneyland
88) Go bungee jumping
89) Speak at a conference
90) Be in an art exhibit
91) Be tattooed by Kat Von D
92) Go white water rafting
93) Invent something
94) Make a quilt
95) Visit the Crayola factory
96) Home brew
97) Inspire someone
98) Learn sign language
99) Walk my daughter down the aisle
100) Be happy

Wander

Every so often something happens. The wind changes, the earth shifts, and I get restless. The kind of restlessness that has formed my reputation as being a gypsy. I have a need to pick up and move…change everything. Change towns, change jobs, change majors, change something, anything. Nothing can stay the same for too long or I’ll stagnate.

It’s hard for me to explain, and harder for me to predict. I never know when it’s about to happen, but when it does, it’s overwhelming. Like my head can’t sit still, and there’s this feeling in my chest like I can’t breathe all the way in or out. I start feeling constrained, start questioning everything. I feel that I need to pack me and Eden up and move far away. Change it all. The only thing stopping me is money. I don’t have the finances to transplant us, and while pre-baby me wouldn’t have gave a crap, current me wants to make sure my girl has all the stuff she need while she and her mommy play vagabond.

Sometimes the wind changes, the earth shifts.

Right now, the earth’s shifted and I need a change. Hopefully a box of hair color will fix it, or we’ll be renting a u haul.

You’d think it’s obvious

Yesterday at 7:00 am, there was a knock at my door. Who was it? Daddy McTrouble, of course, living up to his moniker. There was no phone call, no text message, no unread facebook message, just him bursting into my home. He says he wants to help me get ready for school. Fine. He reads a few stories to Eden, stared at me awkwardly and slept on my couch.

Helpful.

You see, Trouble is incapable of actual helpfulness or really anything other than shooting zombies. I’ve tried to explain to him how his flakeyness hurts Eden, but he never listens. He doesn’t see her when he abruptly comes over and then abruptly leaves again, and she’s confused and upset. He doesn’t understand that, while most kids thrive on structure, Eden breathes it. She doesn’t take kindly to schedule changes or impromptu anything, let alone an impromptu father. I’ve told him 1,000,000,000,000 times that if he wants to be in her life, it needs to be consistent. Does he listen? No.

Maybe I should just look the door from now on. I mean, seriously, what do I have to say to get through to him? All in or all out, baby. Either be reliable, present and a co-parent or get away from us. It is not fair or reasonable for him to expect me to allow him to treat us this way. He wants to act like he’s such a great dad, but occasional lunch dates and a facebook photo album do not make someone a father.

What was her first word?
What is her preschool teacher’s name?
Which is her favorite toy? Her favorite story to read?
When is her bedtime?
If you can’t answer those, then you’re hardly a father. If you can’t respect Eden’s quirks and put yourself on her schedule, then you’re hardly even a friend.