I watch her dreams take flight

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I can hear the small sounds of tiny snore and I know that all is right with the world for the moment. I feel the grasp of small hands and a small arm thrown around my neck that occasionally has a flutter and will pull my hair. The smell of sweat and childhood nestled next to me as the thought passes through Penelope’s wheel that this moment will not last forever. As Penelope turns that around I also pass on the idea that some may not “get” this sleeping arrangement. “She’s just too lazy to make her stay in bed.” “A child needs their own space.” “There aren’t enough boundaries.” But, then the heavy sigh of that peaceful being next to me is heard again, and both Penelope and I decide that none of that matters. The Penguin can stay here as long as she’d like.

Believe me, I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t try to make her sleep in her own bed. So, the “she’s just too lazy to make her stay in bed” thought could apply to me at some point during the last several years of this co-sleeping journey. But, one would have to look at the really large picture, like the Sistine Chapel size picture, to really get the idea of what’s going on. Our family did not go through a divorce, but to a small child the disruption to our family life three years ago defiantly could have some of the same impressions. My husband and I had gotten the Penguin sleeping in her own bed after the crib-to-bed transition and all was going pretty well. Well, if you’ve read any other post, then you may know our world changed, so did the Penguin’s sleeping habits.

The issue of having a child sleep with a parent through the night becomes even more complex in the case of a divorce. Children, especially pre-schoolers and early elementary aged children, are very shaken by a divorce and may become edgy and exhibit somatic complaints. They have lost the presence of one of their parents in their home and they may have great anxiety about losing the other parent, too. They are subject to bad dreams and need a lot of reassurance that things are going to turn out all right. When a parent allows this child to sleep through the night with them, they may believe they are solving the problem by offering a comforting presence. In the long run, the child may pay by becoming overly dependent on the parent and have greater difficulty in adjusting to any kind of change

http://www.beachpsych.com/pages/cc101.html

Yeah, well …….suck it. The Penguin was shaken by the sudden change in schedule with her daddy being gone on the road, hell so was I. Her room is on the other side of a great open space and she has my imagination. Who knows what she could’ve dreamed up was outside of her door? Who cares? In the beginning, I was the lazy mom. I tried making her sleep in her bed. But I was getting up at 3:30 for work. Honestly, between work and the emotional strain the whole change in my husband’s job had on me, I didn’t have the energy to keep taking her back to bed and no I wasn’t strong enough to listen to her cry. So, chastise me all you want. You can point your finger at me later when we are all on Dr. Phil’s couch. I don’t care. Sooner or later it just became routine. A routine the entire family got into. The Penguin realized that when her daddy was home from the road, she did have to sleep in her bed for at least half of the night. She also knows that if she comes to our room too early, she gets sent back to her room. So, there is no problem with adjusting to change or any of that other baloney. Well, there might be, but I can assure you it has nothing to do with her sleeping with me. I did not sleep with my parents, and I do not adjust to change at all, so just chalk that one up to genetics.

I read all of these articles to post and reference. But the main gut of this blog post is the beauty in sleeping with my child every night, especially when it is just the two of us. Right now our family life is somewhat unconventional. Ahem, unconventional does not me unstable or not regimented. We have our routines. She knows what to expect and what to do and how to behave. But come on, she is a free spirit and we eat in bed every night because by the time we get home and do house work and pug work and home work, that’s where dinner is. I make no apologies for it. I get to turn the light off, pull the covers up and smell that child that no one can love like I do. I get to hear her breathe and watch her dream. I get to feel the warmth of her against me when she gets too cold. That’s what I am here for. That’s what I was made for as her mother. We talk about her day, sing songs to one another, read books, face time her daddy, and then we drift to dream land together.

In the not so distant future, this will change. There will be slamming doors. “You are so unfair” yelled across the house. The battle of our wills as preteen looms in the darkness. There will be a “no parents allowed” sign on her door. The same door that she only goes in now to get clean clothes and to sleep in every 10 days. The sweet smell of this child next to me in bed will be exchanged with the overpowering scent of too much fruity lotion and body mist. No songs will be sung, no books to be read. Of course, I can only hope that even the Penguin’s preteen years may be as unconventional as we are now (laughing out loud).

Yes, all of those reasons mentioned above and many more that can’t be put into words. That is why I co-sleep. Because, that innocent picture you read about in the beginning of this post, that will not be forever. I can’t get this back. I can’t slow time. You know that Meredith Grey and I say “the carousel never stops turning”(you must follow my post to get my Grey’s reference). So I will sleep with my Penguin for as long as she will let me. I will let her throw her arms around my neck and hold my hair while I listen to her dreams take flight.

 

 

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Care Bear Stare and Prayer

  

For some reason Penelope thought about how the beloved Care Bear Stare of the 80’s was similar, yet an innocent form of prayer. I am not trivializing prayer in anyway!! Here is the definition of The Stare:

” The primary uses of this ability are to defeat the Care Bear’s enemies and to heal people and objects that have been corrupted by them.”

“When the Stare/Call is used it creates a ray of light that is usually filled with hearts and stars and also it glitters. When it strikes a major enemy of the Care Bear Family is appears to harm them whereas when it hits someone or something who has been affected by one of their enemies it appears to heal them from the evil power”

Credit:  http://carebears.wikia.com/wiki/Care_Bear_Stare

Isn’t that what we do when we pray? Especially when a group comes together to pray? We want to protect, intercept, heal on someone else’s behalf or by our own petition.Much like we use prayer to protect and heal.

Prayer warrior:

Prayer warrior is a term used by many evangelical and other Christians to refer to anyone who is committed to praying for others.

Within the context of Dominion theology, prayer warriors see themselves as engaged in spiritual warfare against satanic forces

Credit: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_warrior

Ephesians 4:30-32). We learn that we are in a spiritual battle with Satan, so we must pray for our own spiritual well-being to maintain our strength and focus in praying for others (Ephesians 6:12-18).

The point of my rambling this morning is that there is someone close to my heart and others around her that could use any and all. Of course, I would love to dress as a Care Bear and stand out front pretending to emit rays of light from my belly, but somehow I think campus security wouldn’t get my humor. Please use your power of prayer, your care bear stare, or anything else positive you have for my love friend this morning as she faces a huge mountain to climb. Together we can get her over!

  

It happened in a prison bathroom

  
I just cannot believe the “light bulb” went off. The plan was figured out. The weight was lifted. All in a prison bathroom. Not in a Orange is the New Black or OZ prison bathroom kind of way. I actually work in a prison. 

*Yeah, who knew? When everyone supports “throwing the book” at someone, those same people fade away and forget you have to have people like me to take care of those the “good” have punished. Ahem, I digress. Another rant, another post, another day.*

After a year of tears and trying to find the light in all of this, I may have finally figured it all out. I don’t need to have a mid life crisis and go back to school. I don’t need to find another job that won’t support my family. I need my husband back. I need my family back. 

No, I don’t need a husband to complete me, but family is important to me. Before the events of 2 1/2 years ago that got us here, our little family was thriving. We were in a nice, smooth groove. That’s what I want back. My family. The three of us at home together. 

We’ve spent the last year debating if the trucking job is worth it. Then we decide to prolong it so I can go back to school. Prolong it so I can find a job that pays less. But just when we thought it was settled I went to the bathroom Tuesday at work.

I want another job because there is no one here for the penguin. That wouldn’t be so if trucking was over. I wanted to go back to school to start a new career to find a new job. All because I’m just looking for something. That something is right in front of me, well every so often any way. We just need a way to get him home. There I was in that prison bathroom and it occurred to me. I keep my job. He keeps trucking until Summer 2017 and we stay on the outlined budget and he can come home then. No school, no lower paying job, nothing to keep him out any longer. All of this from a prison bathroom. 

That bull was much more fun than the one I’ve been riding

  
Like for most people, the months just go by so fast. We blink and find ourselves two months shy of saying goodbye to another year. It finally occurred to me what month it actually was. November. It is a busy month for most people as it tends to kick of the “official ” holiday season. I myself have several friends with birthdays this month, Thanksgiving, and of course my birthday. But, I realized that November, the month, will become one of those moments that I will always remember. You know, the life changing moments that you can close your eyes and be transported right back to the event? That’s where November will be filed. 

Fortunately I’m blessed in that I don’t have many of these moments. However, the ones I do have are pretty big. The first being the day my first husband came home and said he wanted to move out. I remember the smells. The spaghetti and garlic bread I had cooking in the kitchen. Bourbon and stale cigarettes on his leather jacket. I remember the feel of the couch and the breath leaving my body as he said the words. I remember my heart actually breaking and how that feels. Turns out that turning point in my life would be pivotal in preparing me for the next “remember forever” moment.

Financially things were turning around. My husband and I had just finished paying off our debt. I couldn’t get my husband on the phone. Unusual because we both checked in on our way home due to our commute and we both worked in prisons. Hours went by. I remember the penguin, who recently had turned 3, asking where daddy was. Then he came home. Told me what was happening. Told me that the organization he had devoted 10+ years too in corrections was turning on him. I remember the smell of his uniform. I remember calling my parents, calmly, and telling them I was bringing the penguin to them. I remember the air on my face from the golf cart as my mind races through the check list of what to handle and in what order. I did just that. Handled it. Systematically and stoic. I knew what the outcome would be, but I couldn’t think past moment to moment. 

Unemployment led to CDL school which led to 3 more months of uncertainty. All the while the month of November was fresh in my mind. The events of November resulted in my husband finding the only job he could to once again dig our way out of debt. Debt we encurred while I was busy keeping it together by working and smiling. This job would lead to employment with a wonderful company, but it takes my husband away from his family. 

My husband misses things. We miss things. Some days I’m over it, some days I’m not. I’m not whining or asking for sympathy. This is simply my story, my blog, I can say what I want. I’m emotional and fragile and only keeping it together with tape and glue for the penguin. Well, that and because that first pivotal moment prepared me for just about anything. 

Last weekend I helped celebrate a friend’s birthday. I decided to ride a mechanical bull. It was thrilling and I’m glad I did it. I realized I’ve been riding a mean bull these past 2 years. One that I am not having as much fun on. I’m really tired and worn out from the ride that started in November. November. The month that will always be a memory month for me now.

What’s going to work? Teamwork!

  
Yes, as I hum the theme song of the children’s show “The Wonderpet”, I am reminded how true it is. “What’s going to work? Teamwork!” Even after last night’s moodiness it is with a great sigh of relief that I can announce that he finally gets it. He. Gets. It. Teamwork is how this is going to work in the long stretch. Not me blaming or him blaming. There is no blame, there is only this. What is before us now and that is what we have to work on together.

After six long years of being the financial planner, manager, and for the better part the overall “breadwinner”, I can now say that the finances are a team effort. Endless questions from him about the money, random spending by both, and then me left with the magic act of making money appear ended this morning. Until now, he never really saw the bills we have or the money we make. He never really had been that responsible of a spender prior to our relationship, so it was natural that he fall into my OCD ways of controlling the finances. But that’s over.

We created a budget together and stick with it at our grocery store trip. But the most important thing is he was a part of it. It wasn’t me telling him “no” it was a joint effort of deciding what we could and couldn’t afford. What a relief this is. I may still be by myself for eleven days at a time, but I no longer feel like everything is on my shoulders. This is such a freeing feeling.

All because of a bald headed man in an orange jump suit


I’m having one of those weeks. Everything is swirling above me and threatens to topple down and crush me at any second. Yes, I have plenty to be thankful for, as always. But there are times, like now, that the craziness of the past two years seem suffocating.

The carousel of life was circling at a nice pace. My husband and I both had jobs that worked in harmony with one another while raising our then three year old. I was finally getting to a place where I accepted that my “happily ever after” had arrived. We were comfortable.

Then the other shoe dropped. Working for the state, my husband was happy at his job but not moving up the ladder. I voiced my concerns that there was something amiss in the political world of the state job arena and he dismissed me as being overly paranoid. Three weeks later he was put on leave and after another two weeks forced into resignation. No evidence, made up allegations, and a ten year career down the drain. Suddenly not only was I the breadwinner, I became the sole provider for almost a year.

A year passed and my husband found a job, but it takes him away from us. Yes! I know , I know. He has a job. I get it. But I’ve turned into a single-but-not–single-mom. My job has become a problem because of the hours I work. Now I’m not able to give out now 4, almost 5 year old the attention she so desperately needs and most defiantly deserves.

There it was. The news. The same person that instigated the resignation of my husband on the screen being arrested and charged. It occurred to me, my life, and the domino effect, the debt, my anxiety, my feelings if inadequacies as a mother, my husband being “taken” by the road…..all of this is because of that bald headed man in that orange jumpsuit on t.v.

Be the Good Girl You Always Have to be

No, it’s not just a line from the “Let it Go” . Yes, I have it tattooed on my shoulder , not because I’m the biggest Frozen fan, but because these words ring true to me. And another incident today reminded me why.

I’m an overachiever, OCD, type A personality . Granted , some of my overachiever tendencies have wained in my later years due to exhaustion and my OCD problems have calmed some out of sheer necessity, but the question remains of where these came from in the first place . I’m an only child. Most would say we are spoiled and possibly slightly narcissistic since we grew up being the single being in our parent’s world. Have I ever wanted or needed for anything growing up? Depends on how you look at it, but no, for all practical purposes I have not. But, I do not take it for granted. Being the single child in a parent’s world may seem intriguing, and I’m not complaining, I just wonder where my need to please beyond self preservation came about.

Why, I wonder, do I have to pretend? Then I remember. When I voice my opinion and express my feelings that are swimming the opposite way of what I’m expected and supposed to be feeling, I get the crying, emotional guilt trip. So, this takes me back to a whole other level of why I have the insatiable need to always please my parents, even at 36 years old. I know that we are born with some sort of wiring that drives us to seek approval from our parents, but most outgrow the overwhelming urge somewhere. I can’t find any real reason why I equate my approval with their love. But, I do. I don’t question their love necessarily, I question their reaction and true disappointment if I let the real me show. Would it affect their love?

So, because I haven’t found the answers to these questions , even though I am keenly self aware of them, I continue to repeat those words in my head…. And tattoo them on my body

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