Thursday, June 30, 2011

Traveling with Teenagers

So Hailey's month is coming to an end, and boy do I have a doozy of a post for next week! Last week my baby girl turned 18 so we took a little road trip. Hailey loves live theater so I bought four tickets to two shows at Tuacahn. Her guests were her cousin Kyle and her boyfriend Alex.

I had forgotten how much fun it is to travel with these kids. Hailey, Kyle and I have taken road trips before. I always stress out, will they have fun, will they get bored, will they get along? The car ride to St. George reminded me just how much fun these kids are, the history they share is amazing.

These two kids are 2 years and 3 days apart in age, their Momma's are sisters and their Daddy's are brothers. It just sounds weird, it's really not. The first thing Kyle said when he walked in my house to see his baby cousin for the first time was " I hold my baby Aunt Missi?" They are as close as siblings, they
know the same people, watch the same movies, laugh at the same jokes and have shared most of their experiences.

It's a four and a half hour drive to St. George. They spent the first half quoting movies lines to each other, one of them would start a line and the other would finish it and then they would laugh like hyenas. I was laughing so hard, people in the other cars probably thought we were escaped mental patients but I love to hear those kids laugh.

We stopped at a five star restaurant for lunch, nothing but the best for my kids. The boys slept after lunch while Hailey curled up with a book. And her new phone.

The hotel was great and we had a blast, they swam and played cards and ate, boy can those kids eat! The plays were wonderful. Tuacahn is one of the best places to see a play. Kyle reminded me while we were at Grease why he is my favorite,we were sitting watching the play when Kyle leaned over to talk to me. The conversation  went something like this:

Kyle- Aunt Missi, did you say that was a different guy than last night?
Me- What? ( I was thoroughly confused)
Kyle- Oh, wait, that conversation just happened in my head, you didn't hear any of it.

I laughed until I cried. That boy is crazy. After the play he had to get his picture taken with Rizzo because he was in love.

It was a great trip, I hope we have many more like it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Meet my daughter

On this day, 18 years ago at 5:01am, my lovely daughter came into this world. All 6 pounds 6 ounces  of her, changing my life forever.
This is the beautiful little baby I met in the delivery room.

The 3year old who wanted to be just like me.

The 5yr old who thought I knew everything.

The 10yr old who still, occasionally, thought I was cool.

The 13yr old who prayed every night that she was adopted and that her "real" mother would one day save her from me. ( There are no pictures of her, that little demon was afraid of the light.)

The 16yr old with better things to do than hang out with Mom.

The 18yr old who is slowly becoming my friend.

Today my baby girl becomes an adult. Meet Hailey. Mo was her baby nickname, she hasn't allowed anyone to use it for a while but I kept it alive in my blog.

Thank you Hailey for letting me be your Mom. Thank you for changing my life into something more wonderful than I could have ever dreamed.

Now it's time for you to make your life whatever it will be. It is time for me to step back, to hope that I've done everything I can as a mother, to allow you to find your way in this world.

I promise to always be here, turning 18 doesn't change that. I know you are strong, beautiful, intelligent and independent. You will accomplish all that you desire and things that I never even dreamed were possible. I love you, more than you know.

There is a piece of paper hanging on the fridge that I cut from Family Circle magazine in 1995 it says:

Making the decision to have a child- it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ==Elizabeth Stone.

Those are the truest words I've ever heard. Every where you go, I'm there, loving you, wanting the best for you, hoping you are safe, happy, fulfilled.

 Letting go has been harder than I imagined. I love you so.

Now that the mushy part is over, back to what I've said for years. My work here is done, get out of my house, it's naked time!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day

As Mo's birthday approaches the posts have gotten sporadic. First because, as I may have mentioned, it's hard to write about one subject, and second, it's just been a crazy month. Good crazy, but crazy all the same.

Eighteen years old my little girl showed me just how much of  a Daddy's girl she was going to be. Mo's due date was July 14th but she insisted on being born almost a month early, on Father's Day.

I remember looking at Mo's father and saying to him " Don't ever expect anything for Father's Day as long as you live." How was I supposed to top his first Father's Day present.

When Mo was three, her father came home from work and she tried to push me out the door. "I don't need you, my Daddy's here." Ouch, that smarted a little bit.

When Mo was five and I was no longer working graveyards she was sick in the middle of the night, I got up with her and was in the bathroom making sure she was OK. Mo looked at me and said, " Go get Daddy, I need Daddy." When I didn't go get her father, my precious little vomiting child ran out of the bathroom and into our bedroom to get her Daddy, insisting that he take care of her.

Now that she's all grown up she pretends she doesn't need us anymore but I know the truth. Last year when her Daddy was working out of the country and came home unexpectedly on Easter to surprise Mo, she cried and clung to him like she thought she would never see him again.

Mo continues to be a Daddy's girl even though she denies it. Her Daddy is number on in her heart, I'm a close second, but it's OK, little girls are supposed to love their Daddy best.

So, on Father's Day and every day I want to say thank you to Steve. Thank you for Mo and thank you for being her Daddy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Memories Light the Corners of my Mind

 At least I think it's memories, early onset Alzheimer's doesn't come with a light does it? Anyway, we are working up to Mo's 18th birthday and there are so many stories, but you know something? It's really hard to write about the same thing for a month. Every day there are opportunities for funny posts, and every day I file them away. I should write them down, I'm going to forget and then I'll be mad. Maybe it's not Alzheimer's, just ADHD.

Back to the point of this post, and that is to share my lovely Mo with you. I just want to share some of the things I learned in the first days, weeks and months of Mo's life, things I never knew.

 First I really didn't believe that you actually pushed a human being out of your body, boy was I wrong about that one! I also didn't know it could possibly be too late for an epidural.

 Or that babies leaked from every opening. And that most of the time what goes in a baby comes back out in your hair, down your back, on the front of your shirt, or if you are really unlucky and the baby has really good aim, in your mouth.

 Or that babies don't have eyebrows and eyelashes, but they do have lots of body hair. Baby bowel movements, or lack thereof, will consume your life. Everything really is brand new to them and everyday they discover something else.

Just because a baby cannot walk doesn't mean they can't climb stairs, and much faster than you can, while giggling wildly because they realize they have caused your heart to damn near explode.

Mostly I had no idea that the kind of love you feel for your child existed. That feeling that your heart is too big for your chest. The fear when you think they are hurt, the heartbreak when something is wrong and you can't fix it. And the sadness when you realize that once they learn to walk every step they take on the path to adulthood takes them just a little bit farther from you.

That's the way it's supposed to be, it's what we want for our children. That doesn't mean  there isn't still just a tiny bit of sadness in those firsts because never again will our baby do this particular thing for the first time.

Now Mo will turn 18, something she will never do again, and we get an entirely different set of things to look forward to because youth is fleeting and life moves quickly.

Which is why I have to end this post and go find that damn light so I can figure out if this is ADHD or Alzheimer's, it will make a difference in my choice of nursing home.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Holy Crap! It's the Thirteenth!

No, I'm not superstitious, well, not much anyway. It is just that today is exactly one week before my darling daughter will be 18. It's sneaking up on me, one freaking day at a time.

I thought this would be a good day to share some pregnancy memories, since we are officially in the countdown. Mo was due July 14th, but did her Momma a favor and came three and a half weeks early. Trust me, I was done being pregnant, done feeling like a whale, done not being able to groom my own girlie bits. I was just done, but before we get there, lets find some happy memories.

When I was seven weeks pregnant I wrote a prediction in my pregnancy diary:

  " I think you are a girl who looks like Daddy and has Mommy's disposition and that you will be born June 19th.  We'll see!"
  I was off by five hours and one minute, the rest is true.

Even when I was pregnant Mo was a pain in my ass. By eleven weeks my butt hurt so bad I could hardly get out of bed. The doctor just laughed and said it was the way she was laying and to get used to it. I hated him.

I went into labor early and often, which I found they stopped by using liquid bitch in an IV. The only thing I remember about that is wishing everyone was dead. Yes, I was a joy each and every time that happened.

I have to admit I had such an easy pregnancy, I mean I was on bed rest for a lot of it because of pre term labor, but I felt great. I think Mo was just buttering me up for the teenage years.

* Yes Mo's Dad always cut my head off in pictures.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My name is Carol and I have spanked my child

Are you guys getting tired of hearing stories about Mo yet? Well, sorry, it's her month, so it's filled with Mo, and trust me, there are lots of stories.

This one, does not shed the best light on me, but I'm human and sometimes that little girl I love so much can push all of my buttons.

I have always believed that you should not strike your child, ever. Being bigger there is no need to use physical punishment, and I was one of those sunshine and flowers moms, we don't use our hands to hurt the people we love.

Mo helped me not be one of "those" parents. She was always very well behaved, we could take that kid anywhere.

One day when she was five we ran to the grocery store, she asked on the way there if she could get a treat. I grabbed the items I wanted and I was in kind of a hurry, I needed to go home and make dinner. We went down the candy aisle, nothing there she wanted, we looked on the end cap that was full of candy. Nope, not one thing. "I'll get something at the checkout Mommy."

Great, to the checkout we go. Well guess what? She doesn't want anything there, she wants to go back to the candy aisle. Mo had never had a real tantrum so  I was completely unprepared for what happened next.

Mo was in the front of the cart, she was a very tiny five year old. I told her we  weren't going back to the candy aisle, it was something from here or nothing, she had her choice. 

The pouty face comes out "Mommy, you said I could have a treat. I want a treat."

"Sorry baby girl, we went down the candy aisle, I'm checking out, choose something from here or nothing at all."

The next thing I knew Sybil had possessed my baby because suddenly she screamed in my face- "I want a treat!"
  What the hell? Who is this child and why isn't her mother making her shut up! Mo didn't scream once, or even twice, it became a mantra, I WANT A TREAT, I WANT A TREAT, I WANT A TREAT!

I couldn't even hear the girl at the check out stand. To say I was embarrassed would be making light of the situation.

I paid for my groceries and calmly pushed the cart containing the child of Satan out of the store and to the car. I'm still trying to stay calm. Although I keep thinking, oh you are gonna get a treat if you don't shut up, but not the one you want!

I get to the car, Mo is still screaming, people are staring. I put her in her car seat and buckle her in. When she stops screaming long enough to take a breath I tell her how disappointed I am with her. While I'm telling her this, what does she do? Screams in my face, again.

I'm sorry to say that I unbuckled that car seat. stood my daughter on her feet and spanked her bottom, twice. Remembering my mother saying- if you are gonna cry, I'm gonna give you something to cry about.

I put Mo back in her car seat, now she is crying along with the screaming. I don't understand why I taught her to talk. I get in the car, start it, and she is still screaming. I turn up the radio as loud as it will go to drown out the sound of cats being tortured in the backseat.

It takes about five minutes to get home from the store. I pull into the garage and turn off the car, she is still screaming. I get out of the car, leaving the possessed child in there and calmly walk upstairs where I tell her father:

" If you want her, you better go get her, because if I have to get her out of that car, I'm gonna hurt her." Then I go to my room to cry.

Five minutes later Steve comes upstairs with my sleeping child in his arms.
   " You don't have to be so mean to her, she was just tired."

I now longer want to beat my child, but I'm gonna kill her father in his sleep.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Little Girls Love Their Mommas

I love having a daughter, when she was an infant and toddler it was so much fun dressing her up and doing her hair. I loved showing her off, but then, she learned to talk.

All the little boys I knew thought their Mommy's were beautiful, they were jealous of their Daddy's and wanted to marry that wonderful Mommy when they grew up. Sometimes I desperately wanted a boy.

Mo was the sweetest little thing, to everyone else. Seemed like she found every single one of my flaws and took pride in publicly pointing them out.

One day we were in the grocery store and Mo was in the front of the cart. I'm pushing the cart through the store, just talking to Mo while I shop when suddenly, she pokes me in the tummy.

  " Mommy, do you have a baby in there?"
  " No Mo, I do not have a baby in there."
  " Well, then I think you must eat too much candy."

Nothing like diet tips from a toddler in the middle of the grocery store. Another time I was getting her out of her car seat, I set her on the ground and turned around to shut the car door. Big mistake.

  "Mommy, you have a big butt."
  " I do not have a big butt! That's not nice."
   " Yes you do Mommy, look at my butt and then look at yours. Yours is BIG!!"

She still had the nerve to ask for a treat in the store. Little monster. I can't wait until she has babies of her own, I hope she has lots and lots of girls. And I hope they are as nice to their Momma as she was to hers.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Combining Parties

This year, I cheating on Mo's birthday party. I know I should feel bad, and I do,( maybe just a little) because this is her 18th birthday and I feel like I should make a bigger deal out of it. But, she also graduated this month, and as much as my family loves us, two parties in one month may be pushing it a little.

So Saturday we did a  graduation/birthday party. The decorations were a hodge podge, birthday and graduation, as will the food and the celebration. We are rolling it all into one.

I've made enough cake pops to feed a small army, if you've never had them, google it and make them now, they are my newest food addiction. And a major contributor to the size of my ass- don't say you weren't warned.

I'm hoping that this will be a party Mo always remembers. I want her to look back on this time and see it through rose colored glasses. Right now, I am seeing everything about Mo in this wonderful rosy hue.

It's time to let go, at least a little, let my baby bird fly. Some days I'm so sad at the thought of my daughter being an adult and making her way in the world, and other days, I'm so excited for her and all the possibilities that are out there.

She's going to make some mistakes, after all, she had a good teacher in that area, and I'm not looking forward to those, but I know she will be fine.

Just the other day, I was irritated at some teenage thing she was doing or not doing and instead of being defensive and argumentative, Mo talked to me, actually talked. Calmly stated her point, and what she would do differently from now on. There was no attitude, no eye rolling.

A Mom could get used to this!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Toddlers and Marriage

When Mo was a toddler I worked graveyard shift. 5pm to 5am every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. This helped us keep Mo out of daycare. In addition to working the weekends I also took care of a lovely little man during the day while his Momma worked, Baby Jake.

Baby Jake was a month younger than Mo, a good head taller than she was, and not much of  a talker. There really wasn't any need for him to talk, Mo talked enough for both of them. Someone once said that she talked like a five year old before she was two. Mo talked early and often, not quite as much of a joy as you might think.

On Monday mornings when I got home from work around 5:30M I would go to sleep on the couch. Baby Jake's Mom would bring him at 8 or so, put him on the other end of the couch, pop in a movie and the kids would let me sleep until the movie was over.

It wasn't a bad arrangement, for two year olds they were surprisingly good and pretty independent. It also helped that we lived in a tiny little apartment and I heard every noise.

One morning I woke up, looked at the clock, it was after ten and the apartment was completely silent. Even the TV was  turned off. I jumped up in a panic thinking the kids had gone outside and I hadn't heard them. I ran into Mo's room and there they were. Buck ass naked.

Not only were they naked but they had colored each other's little bodies from head to toe with magic marker. I mean everything, their face, their little bums, fingers and toes.

As I stood there, still half a sleep, more than a little in shock, my baby girl smiled at me and said, " We got married Mommy."

Umm, yeah, let's go take a bath and never speak of this again.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bestest friends

 My darling daughter, like most kids, has had quite a few friends in her short little life. All of them, at one point were her "best friend." Most of them have come and gone. All kids friendship change, their interests are different, people move in and out of the neighborhood. Nothing lasts forever, especially childhood friendships.

Except for one. Mo and Crystal met on the first day of kindergarten. They had a lot in common, mostly that they were shorter than everyone else, and plenty of differences. Mo was an only child, Crys was the middle child of three, at the time.

Kindergarten graduation

Crys came to our house for peace and quiet, Mo went to hers for the sibling experience. This little girl has called me Mom since she was five. Mo calls Crystal's Mom, Momma Dee. Crys's siblings are like siblings to Mo.

Crystal's birthday was Mo's actual due date so they told everyone they were twins. Sometimes that made for uncomfortable conversations.. I remember once when Mo was about 7 she was getting her hair cut, it went from past her shoulders to a cute little chin length bob. Mo told the girl cutting her hair that she couldn't wait to show her sister. Of course the hairdresser asked about her sister, Mo told her they were twins but that I gave Crystal up for adoption. Ummm, what?

Mo and Crys were so alike that when we stopped at Crystals house after the haircut so she could show her, it couldn't possibly wait until the next day, we found the Crys had just got the exact same haircut. They are definitely two peas in a pod.

We have photo albums filled with the two of them, birthday parties, school things, just playing in the backyard. The girls have had so many sleepovers that for a while there it was like we had twins we shared with another family.

The girls have been through a lot together. When their respective parents got divorced, they faced it together. When their mother's remarried, they held each other's hands. When they had their first broken hearts, they cried to each other.

High school graduation
Crys, Mo and Kenz

This week was no exception. Crystal was at Mo's graduation and at her party yesterday. Now that they are older they don't spend quite as much time together, but as soon as they are together, it's like no time has passed at all.

I walked into Mo's bedroom last night during the party to find that Mo and her heart sister had snuck away from everyone and were snuggled up in bed, talking, just like when they were little. I hope they never lose each other.

My girls

Friday, June 3, 2011

Ode To Being a Mom, or I can't think of anything I haven't already said

June is Mo's month, I may have mentioned that a time or two. So I'm trying, for the whole month, to write posts about my baby girl. I sat at the computer and thought, ok, today I'll write about infertility. Then I remembered I wrote about our time in infertility hell here.

Fine,  I will write about how wonderful my IVF experience was, that story is always good for a laugh. Oh wait, I wrote about that here.

Whatever, I'll just tell Mo's birth story, all those tender, loving moments, with the soft music and mood lighting. Ummm, that's here.

So here I sit, fingers on my keyboard, searching for something witty and entertaining to write, and I got nothing! Not one single thing I haven't told you before. Except maybe this. As much as I complain about teenagers and dirty rooms and laundry that won't do itself, I love being Mo's mom.

As every Mom knows, there is no way to describe the love you have for your child. There is also no way to let anyone know that although you love that child, sometimes, oh boy, sometimes. And all of you Mom's know exactly what I mean!

The past (almost) 18 years have been a blur, but there are still moments that stick out with such clarity they could have happened yesterday.

That first glimpse of my new baby girl, flailing her arms in the air as the doctor held her up between my knees. Nursing her at night, when the world was dark and quiet and it was just me and my baby. Driving to see Santa at the mall reminding Mo over and over again that she couldn't ask Santa for a pony or a baby sister. Standing at work, on the phone, singing You Are My Sunshine to Mo because she wouldn't go to sleep without it.

Of course I remember all the "firsts" too. And loved every one of them, but even better were the things that were strictly Mo, like You Are My Sunshine, and telling me I have a big butt. I love being a Mom. but mostly because Mo has made it wonderful. I'm not going to tell you that this is the easiest job I've ever had but it is by far, the most rewarding.

Tomorrow Mo will be making me crazy again, her room is a mess, her dishes everywhere, her car is a rolling garbage dump, but for tonight, she can do no wrong.

Thanks again Mo, for picking me and making it so much fun to be your Mom.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

This is my heart

Ok, this is one of those proud Mom posts, more picture than post so if that's not your thing, feel free to talk amongst yourselves!

June is a big month in our house this year. Every year it's a big deal because it's Mo's birthday month, but this year, she will be 18.

And yesterday, she graduated.Unbelievable. My baby girl, no longer a baby, walked across that stage and got her diploma.

The decision to have a child is momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
Elizabeth Stone

She is my heart.
Getting ready.

In her cap and gown.
No shoes, of course.

I wish I could turn back time and have my little baby girl snuggled in my arms, but then I wouldn't get to enjoy the lovely young lady she is today. I am so proud of Mo, she has worked so hard to get here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Today, Mo walks

Today is the day, you're off to great places, you're off and away! 

 Today my baby girl graduates from high school. She will be walking with her class, the Class of 2011, in her white cap and gown while I try not to cry.

It wasn't that long ago I walked behind her as she skipped to her first day of kindergarten, excited to meet new friends and go to school with the big kids.

Now, Mo is a beautiful, intelligent, talented young lady, ready to take on the world and find her place in it. I can't believe this is happening, Logically, I knew this day would come, I just didn't realize it would come so soon. The years have flown by and now she is ready for the rest of her life.

I love you so my beautiful girl.

My Wish by Rascal Flatts

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.