Random thoughts and musings of a single Mom striving to follow dreams and find pure BLISS.

Pink Leather

  I am having love affair with pink leather.

This jacket is very pink, very unique, and very bad-ass; everything that I love and aspire to be.

As soon as I spotted it I decided that it would be mine even if I had to starve myself down to whatever size was available. THAT'S how much I instantly loved this jacket. Luckily they had the exact size that matches my "goal" jeans hanging on the back of my door. (Don't fret, fair readers, the size is not drastic or dramatic. In fact, it is the last size that I remember being pretty comfortable in, not minding shorts and tank tops. Not too small, but smaller than I am now.)

As soon as my fingertips touched the buttery leather, I was tempted to swoon but stood my ground as I did not want Caitlin to worry about me. I did close my eyes in ecstasy and look at Cait where she pursed her little lips and said, "Cute." Ahhh, I do SO love my daughter. I placed it delicately in the cart and quickly walked away before I changed my mind, chickened out, or saw something else I had to have.

When I found my mom the look on her face when she saw my treasure spoke volumes and had I been the same person I was a year ago I would have immediately hung it back on the round. Instead I looked at her waiting for the comment I knew she was thinking, but it never came-I guess we are both growing up.

You see, had I saw this jacket anytime before now I would have put it on, fingered the leather lovingly, and put it back on the rack for the braver, more confident person needed to wear such a creation. I have been constantly told from the time I was a kid what "looked" like me and that would have never been it. Neither was the beautiful lace, drop waist Guine Sax dress I lusted after when I was 12. Oh, I wanted that dress for my first Easter/Communion/Baptism, but my Mom told me it didn't "look" like me. I was just not a lace person. That was kind of the beginning of me questioning and thinking that, although I really liked something, it may just not be for me. (Please no one tell my Mom about that, she'd just die.) 

So that feeling combined with my own desire to constantly fade into the background has pretty much fueled every clothing choice I have ever made. Nothing too flashy. Nothing too fancy. Nothing too noticable. Then you roll in the "helpful" clothing choices my ex made for me (he gave me a pink intervention and I had zero pink clothing items for several years) and...well, I got nothing. 

It has been pretty fun picking out my own clothes and building a wardrobe that consists of pieces that I love and make me happy. Although I make sure they flatter me, I do not consider whether or not anyone else likes it. And my beautiful, pink, buttery-leather jacket symbolizes my ultimate freedom. My departure from being overly conserned with what other people think I am and finding what I AM for myself.

My jacket is just the first step...    

My Doctorate and My Happiness

So, once upon a time, in a land far away (specifically, Hattiesburg last year), I began an EdD program that I was just sure would be the answer to my troubles. Yes, my troubles. It would give me something to focus on so I wouldn't think about my very unsatisfying marriage. I mean, chasing the kids around all day, teaching a couple of classes online, and working on the EdD should be enough for me to do. Right?

Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, I did not have to have an extra activity to distract me from my miserable marriage, but still I was embroiled in this program and finding myself increasingly bored and annoyed. Why? Well, because I really hate academic writing. Seriously! Just because I can DO it and I'm pretty damn good at it doesn't mean I actually LIKE it in any way-shape-form-or-fashion. I was bored. I was uninterested. I was spending NO time on it, yet had an A. (Told you I was good.) And most of all, it did not make me happy.

If I have learned anything in this past year it is this: If you are unhappy, you do not have to continue with it. Period. See, I didn't know that being unhappy was a good reason to get divorced. However, I have since learned that it is a perfectly good reason if you have exhausted all other options.

Well..I may not have exhausted all my options with my program, but it didn't make me happy. I found it uninteresting and I just don't want to do it. I'm working on other, less academic pursuits and I'm really enjoying myself.

That being said...I AM looking into a certification into TESOL and perhaps even finishing my Master's in English to help my chances of getting hired by a community college. But at the end of the day...I'm ALL about the things that make me happy and I'm discovering what those things are more and more each day. In fact, I have a list of just a handful of Things that make me Very Happy
  • My kid's laughter
  • My kid's cool imaginations
  • getting articles published online
  • allowing myself to decide what I do and don't like
  • allowing myself to decide WHO I do and don't like
  • My new, dark Pink leather jacket (It's delicious.)
  • cuddling on the couch watching cartoons with my kids
  • tickle fights
  • bangle bracelets
  • dangly earrings
  • colorful clothing
  • sandles
  • cooking with a glass or wine or a beer close at hand and the radio in the back ground
  • singing loud in the car
  • allowing myself "treats" and not feeling guilty
  • my hair short and red
  • feeling that I have a facet of myself that I'm finally releasing into the world
  • seeing my curves shrink, but still keep the curve
  • anything dealing with England
  • talking to smart people
  • flirting and being flirted with
  • rapid release sinus medicine
  • knowing I have as much freedom as I allow myself
  • knowing that there is something amazing out there with my name on it.

Things I'm figuring out.

I've spent SO much time in my life being introspective and overthinking every step I've ever taken. So, its ironic that I'd learn so much when I finally stopped thinking and decided to just do.

Always I've thought about appearaces, perseption, opinions, and being "right" and sometimes I feel like I missed out on valuable experiences that I really wanted because it just didn't seem "Jamie". For example, my senior year of high school I wanted dark purple stripes on the under layer of my hair. Since my hair was below my shoulders, it would only have been seen when either I fliped my hair or it was pulled back. I never did it. Now Kim has purple hair and I find myself amazingly envious.  Never in my whole life would I have ever thought of my sisiter with crazy hair- I mean, this the the girl who still swears her senior year hair style is still her favorite. (She graduated in 1990; you figure it out.) I've always thought is Kim as delishously normal while I've always silently railed against my self imposed bars of normalcy. Turns out that the door has been open the whole time, but I've been too afraid to walk through it. I've peaked out, but only when other people weren't looking.  I've been too afraid to call too much attention to myself. If I'm quiet and move slowly no one will know I'm here.

While looking through mom blogs I came across a phrase that I have been turning over in my head...I'm actually NOT a single mom, I'm an only parent. The Mom on the particular blog is a widow, but in thinking about it...I'm all but one myself. A majority of single Mom's have a single dad somewhere in the mix that takes on some sort of responsibility for the kids, even if it is just because of the law or their family make them. I find myself envious of friends of mine that have weekends where the kids go to stay with the dad, even if it is not often. I'll never have that. Even if he ever gets out of jail, he'll never keep my children because by then he'll have no parental rights. I am an Only Parent. I'm the only one the kids will ever truly know. I'm the only one that will ever dry tears, wipe butts, scare off potential dates, embaress them at school, negotiate allowance or ground them after doing something dumb. God, that's overfuckingwhelming. I get the credit when they do well and I also get the blame if they don't. *sigh*

I'm also figured out that there is nothing I want and nothing I need here on the Coast. Now, I'm not sure what I want or need, but I just know I won't find it here. That seems super scary because this place is so familular and comfortable that I could stay here and make a go of it, but I'd never be totally satisfied-not really. I think that's part of the reason I haven't found a gig here, I'm jst not supposed to. Now I just have to decide if there will ever be a place in which I am satisfied. North, South, East or West...where, oh, where will I fit best?

Just wanted to let you guys know...

I have yet another article published on Yep, another $3.50 in my paypal account. Please...Please...Do not be overly envious. It is a constant struggle to be so amazingly talented.

BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...Just kidding. But I do want you guys to check it out.


SO, can I tell you guys that I'm TOTALLY loving my new blog design!! You too can have this cool design or something like it by clicking on the April Showers link on the bottom right of my page. It was totally me, totally easy and, totally free!!! (All things I'm a fan of!)

My Baby isn't a Baby Anymore

When I found out I was having a girl all I could think about was whether I really was the best person to raise a girl. I mean, I couldn't think of one moment in my life that I'd want my daughter-to-be to emulate. I had (and never really ever had) self esteem. I was so miserable in my marriage that I had to be medicated, and still couldn't figure out a way out. I had a good education, but didn't think I could ever take care of my kids on my own. How could I raise a strong girl when I was so weak?

I've learned the depths of my strength in the past year and have finally deemed myself worthy of raising my Caitlin. Now, I'm getting healthy, losing weight, happy (still medicated though, but it's ok), and confident that not only can I take care of my kids-I can do it while following my dreams and being fully myself.

I've always joked that Cait is exactly what I would have been as a kid if I had ever had self esteem. I'm determined that will never be something she lacks (or Tristan too, but his blog will happen on his birthday). She has a good heart and I'd rather her be feisty and slightly conceded with a good heart, than a mealy-mouth doormat with a good heart. , however, that doesn't stop her from playing in the dirt or wrestling with her brother.

Let's see...why do I love my baby-girl?
  • She knows she is pretty and special!
  • Her toes are painted once a week-almost by demand.
  • She has at least 10-15 pairs of shoes. (yep, I passed on the "sickness" of shoe addiction)
  • It is impossible to count the number of hair bobs or outfits she has. (Nanny's fault)
  • She prefers her nails long and cries if all the white is cut off.
  • She knows exactly how to get her way with Poppa and Nanny.
  • She definitely knows her own mind and has NO problem telling anyone who will listen what she thinks or what she wants.
  • She is fiercely independent.
  • She does nothing half way-fits, dancing, sleeping, fighting with her brother, etc..
  • She loves to go shopping, but would probably rather go outside and play in the dirt.
  • She looks just like me as a kid, except she has those dark chocolate  brown eyes instead of my blue ones.
  • She gives hugs and kisses at HER schedule and not just whenever. She doesn't give anything away at request...her love is earned or sometime bribed with food.
  • The more she changes and grows the more I understand and accept myself. (I can't talk and think terribly about myself and then say she's just like me right good, trust me.)
  • She is both prissy and tomboyish at the same time. You'd think that was hard to do, but she manages it so effortlessly...
  • She seems to have a crush on Diego, which means we seem to have similar tastes in guys. lol
  • I think she knows as much Chinese and Spanish as she does English thanks to Nick cartoons.
  •  She's a cuddler, just like Mommy.
  • Wooo, when she gets mad, she gets MAD!
I could go on forever with my list because I love, love my Caiti-Belle! She's totally as much princess as she wants to be at any particular time and I think that is awesome. I truly believe that we get to chose our parents and I'm proud that she chose me out of all other potential Moms. I strive every day to be worthy of her and show her how to become the strong, beautiful, talented, and amazing woman I know she is destined to become.

Love you, baby-girl!!

What you have to do.

While having lunch with a friend today, she turned to me and said, "Jamie, I'm so sorry that you had to go through all of this. You just shouldn't have had to." I just laughed and agreed with her, but somewhere deep inside me something shifted and suddenly...I really felt like it was ok. There was no bitter taste, no residual anger-nothing but a laugh and a glance to the back seat at my Tristan.

Faithful few, you have no idea what it means to actually feel ok. To think that just maybe I can go an entire day without swallowing random flares of either hot, burning rage or deep, paralyzing sadness. However, its not the same feeling I remember that I had years ago...that was more akin to numbness than being ok. If nothing else I've learned that you have to chance it.

When I married Joe, I thought I was making a good choice. And if you use logic and pure facts of the time I did, unfortunately, I should have actually used more than just my head and facts. I should have included my instinct and my heart. Ooops. For so long I ignored both because I didn't trust myself with those things, let alone anyone else.

I think I'm getting to the place where I might actually be willing to take the chance. I already know what pain and betrayal are, so I might as well have the mania of intense love because I know I can live through the other. I know I can always do what I have to do-and live to tell the tell.

My Letter

It's a fact that I have a smart mouth and a very sharp tongue; two things that I get very naturally, but I've learned to use sparingly. Actually, let's be honest, I barely use them at all. I am such a chicken-shit that I almost never strike out verbally (or in any other way) against those who deserve it. Why? Because I am a non-confrontational chicken-shit. Didn't we cover this already?

However, since writing is my outlet, I've decided to do the one thing I would never do normally-be confrontational. I've been reading blogs from Ms. Single Mamma and her friends and discovered the most amazing thing...the letter they will never send. The letter to the other woman who prompted the end of marriage. Here it goes...


First, I need you to understand that no matter what you were told , you were not special-you were just the most easily manipulated. I do not believe for a moment that you were the first, and I know you were about to be replaced, at least temporarily. Sorry, but it's true. You were the equivalent of the sickly caribou the lion preys on because it lagged behind the rest of the herd.

I have no idea what you were thinking, little girl. Did you believe him when he said you were special?  Yeah, he told me that once upon a time too. Is that assurance of being special what kept you coming back, even though you knew knew my children? Did you think you would get to take my place? He would never have had the balls to leave me; he knew he would suffer a painful and violent death. Trust me, only jail has kept him safe. You wasted your youth and innocence on him, just as I did. Even if you had ever taken my place you would have succumbed to the same fate, because you would have aged. Eventually you would have turned 30, turned into a Mom, and he would have sought out another lagging caribou.

I won't ask you why you did it, because the "why" just does not matter to me anymore. It's irrelevant because it would simply be rationalisation anyway. The real reason is because you were the sickly and crippled herd mate; I'm pretty sure that's how I ended up with him myself so it makes perfect sense. Being a grand manipulator, he always knew how to phrase things and knew exactly what to say to get what he wanted out of anyone. And he always did.

While he will always live with what he has done and so will you. But to you I offer these words of wisdom: First, heal yourself so you are no longer the weakest in the herd and easiest to manipulate. Take responsibility for your part in all of this because no matter how "damaged" you were, you still chose to enter into a relationship with a married man. Finally, the next time you decide to have a boyfriend, you might want to make sure he isn't married.


Mother's Day

Since this will be my fourth official Mother's Day and my first Single Mother's Day, I thought it appropriate to reflect on what I have learned about being a Mother and maybe exorcisee some demons while I'm at it.

*  The most important thing I've learned that everyone has his/her own definition of what a "good mother" is or does. When Tristan was born I never produced milk. And let, me let me you, faithful few, I did everything including take medication to make it come in. I'd sit alone for hours with an electronic pump to maybe have half an ounce total to show for it; only to sit with my baby for a few minutes before I had to go try to pump again. (Ya had to do it every two hours for the first week or so or until the milk came in.). I had lactation consultants. I had 2 different kinds of pumps.  Every time I tried to nurse,  Tristan would cry and then I would cry. Finally, at the end of a month I stopped trying because I figured out being sad for not being able to nurse was just making Tristan more upset. So, a happy Mommy equaled a happy baby. However, I never actually shared the intense pain and sadness I felt (and still feel) that I was never able to fulfill that so basic need for my own children, instead I would just smile and say, "It didn't work out for us," and leave it at that. Unfortunately people I was "friends" with often made both pointed and subtle remarks about my use of formula-especially since I didn't even try with Caitlin. Honestly, I just couldn't go through trying and failing again.

*  Good Mom's need different things. By the time Tristan was six weeks old, he was in daycare and I was back in my classroom. Why? Well, I was a teacher married to a teacher...umm, I kinda HAD to. But also because I Like My Job. It's true, sue me.  I love being out and about among people and, yes, being known for and as something other than Tristan and Caitlin's Mom. However, I was guilted so much by the idea I was allowing other people to raise my children, I decided to become a stay at home mom. Truth is, I don't think I'm really cut out to be one. I love my children with every fiber of my soul, but by the end of almost every day I'm so tired of hearing the word "mommy" being uttered every two-point-five-seconds it makes me sad. I feel guilty. I love them, hell, I even like them, but being followed by two ceaselessly loquacious shadows from sun up to sun down (even in the bathroom), it really just wares on the soul. I often fantasize about the 2 hour planning periods I had at school where I would lock my door and turn out the lights and totally decompress. Complete still and silence seems too much of a luxury to ever hope for. I am very thankful for the time I am given to go to the gym a few days a week, but that still involves people and sound and moving. I've always been a person who needed brief bites of solitude to recharge my batteries. Now, I have T popping in the bathroom, when I finally get around to getting a shower, "Mom, I gotta go tee tee. Hey, you're in the shower. Are you getting clean? Why are you showering now? I can't wait to shower tonight. I like taking baths. Are we taking a bath tonight? Can I have some milk? Ok, I tee teed so I'm leaving now. Bye Mom." (Just imagine when he goes poop?!) By the time Thing 1 and Thing 2 fall asleep I have just enough energy left to work the bare minimum on my online classes, write some of the randomness rolling around in my head, perhaps chat with a buddy on fb, and crash into bed...only to not be able to sleep.  This is actually being written in the wee hours of morning because sleep, again, is being a bitch and eluding my exhausted mind and body.

* Good mom have kids that are not always angels. This has been the hardest for me to learn because I instantly chastise myself for being a terrible mother whenever my children are not perfect. Yep, my kids are not still and are rarely quiet in church. My kids are hyper active. My kids want to touch, feel, explore, and look at everything in the world because they are curious. I've learned (and almost accepted) that sometimes I expect too much out of a 3 and 1 year old and their curiosity just means they are intelligent. They aren't always good, but they are certainly good at whatever they are doing.

At the end of the day, my kids are happy, healthy, polite, pleasant, totally cute, and ahead of developmentally milestones. They laugh all the time and, most importantly, they love me. I guess I'm doing something right.

After all they are as new to the whole being a kid thing as I am the whole Mom thing, so it looks like we will be learning together.

OMG!!!! I'm published!!!!!

You see this correctly!!! I'm a for real, paid and published writer!!! I did it, finally.

Now, it is only for and it's not for a whole lot of money, but ya know what...

I don't care!!!!!  It's published. It's out there. It's mine. And it's something I never, never, never, never would
 have done while I was married. Between my smile, my body, my mind, my creativity, and my confidence coming back and now this?!

Holy shit.....I'll be damned...I guess things do have a way of working out after all.

Losing Things

Over my life time I've lost more thoughts, scraps, gadgets, gizmos, and ideas in my life than I'll probably ever have or get back in my life. I've missed a majority of these things, at least until I forget to miss them.

However, I have just lost a few things that I am SO happy to be rid of:
  • 4 inches
  • 2 pounds
  •  30% of body fat (It actually sounds more sexy than it is, but I don't care because being down .3 in body fat is still in the negative.)
That's right, folks, I lost 'em and I'm NOT ever going to find 'em again. Woo Hoo!

And how have I managed to drop all of that you ask? I've been going to Curves. That's right! One month at Curves and in addition to the above I' GAINED cheek bones and collar bones again. No kidding!! I'd almost forgotten I had them.

Now, I must admit one small thing...Over the past month I have not gone 3 days a week like I was supposed to (For those not familiar, the Curves catch phrase is "You give us 30 minutes 3 times a week and we will change your life.") and I haven't been really watching my eating. I guess I wanted to really check it out since I was under no obligation to continue when my month was up.

Well, let me tell you, faithful few, I am certainly motivated to get off my ass and get there a minimum of 3 times a week and really get moving on my eating-again. Actually, that means I have to stop letting my Mom cook and take over the kitchen again. Since I've found the cause of all of my exhaustion (besides my kids) and my achy body, I'm sure it'll be much easier to manage-dehydration. Did you know that your body will literally leach water from your organs after a certain point.  YUK! Yep, it makes you feel fatigued, achy, slightly feverish, and keep you from sleeping well. Thank you to Meridith for her diagnosis and recommended treatment: Drink more water and get rest.  I gotta tell you guys, I feel great today!!!

I'm super proud of myself!!! Can't wait to see what I'm missing next month!!!

Award? I Never Win Anything?!

I have the sweetest friend ever!!! She awarded me this award for being a bit of sunshine in her day. I'm so excited; it's my first blog award.

I thought it was cool enough I have been mentioned on both of her blogs, but to be given an award by a peer?! In the words of Keanu Reeves, "Woo!"