DIZMOMMY > May 2014

I'M PUBLISHED

  • BLOG
  • MY STORY
  • I'M PUBLISHED!
  • BRANDS I'VE WORKED WITH

May 29, 2014

Giving Myself Some Credit: A Much Needed Exercise

After finding myself stumped during Ask Aways with Tamara Royalty, I decided it was high time for a little exercise. The question posed was seemingly simple, "What's your proudest motherhood moment?" I mostly always go with the first thing that comes to mind when I'm asked a personal question but there was no first thing. Or second thing. Or anything. Sure, I wrote myself out of it but the lack of proud moments really got me thinking DAMN GIRL! You don't give yourself enough credit! 

Let me be clear...I'm not riddled with mommy-guilt. I have my fair share of doubts, kicks to the gut, and moments of "oops," but dwelling on shortcomings is so not me. Plus, my questionable parenting moments are way too abundant to keep track of. This means that I not only forgo mommy-ruts but I also forgo mommy-recognitions. Obviously this has to change. For all the work parents do, they deserve to feel like they're doing it well. RING RING! My exercise has rung: a list of overlooked moments that I can should be proud of. However, my anti-braggy side won't allow me to compile such a list without sprinkling a bit of humble pie. I felt that was pretty reasonable of me. See, I'm already giving myself more credit! This exercise is going great.

MY FLOAT IN THE PROUD PARADE IS MADE OF:
  • The first time Dylan got sick (though I don't remember when that was, it all blends in), and every other time he has been sick, I've done everything to comfort him. I'm not saying my efforts were successful but I know I did my best and it's a beautiful thing that I can feel good about. Look mom, I'm a nurturer!
  • When Dylan likes something he's eating he'll start clapping his hands and sway back and forth in excitement after each bite. It's the yummy dance and I eat it up...because I taught it to him. It may a little much when I do it but I stand behind the yummy dance and it makes me proud to be his mom when he does it. ATTABOY!
  • And when it's a meal that I made that brings on the yummy dance, SOUND THE ALARM! I know I did a great job when the well received food is also healthy and made my moi. I WIN, I WIN!
  • Being Dylan's translator is a tough gig that I almost qualify for. I'm the front-runner in reiterating his speak and when I "get" him, I feel like popping my collar because I just saved myself a tantrum.
  • The fact I actually enjoy the colossal challenge that is being a parent and haven't second guessed the terrifying reality of being responsible for the well being of another human life, makes me really proud of this whole motherhood thing. It's never easy but I've taken to it pretty well. *Pats back*

Never again do I want to find myself wondering what I could possibly be proud of when HELLO! Every fabric of my being is weaved into raising this beautiful child that I'm so lucky to have. I'm grateful for the opportunity, humbled by the challenge, and exhausted a lot of the time. And seeing as I'm forever a mom, it's important to take in the victories and relish in the very happy moments that make the job fun [and the best job ever].

May 27, 2014

My Son is Possessed - Can I Afford a Nanny?

I was so excited for Memorial Day weekend this past Friday since extra time to spend with Dylan translates to time well spent. Unfortunately, the feeling was not mutual. Instead of frolicking through perfect weather and capturing pin-worthy photos of a sweet looking toddler having the time of his life, I’ve been dealing with Mr. Misery and his plethora of wtf antics. 

Let’s cut the dramatics and jump straight into the thick of reality: Dylan is terrible…and probably misunderstood. His lovey-dovey happy-go-lucky sweetheart ways have dissipated overnight. The same sudden way his random flow of affections began is the same way it ended. Only now, he’s even more evil than before. Prior to being the sweetest little berry on the vine, his anger was evident through head bangs, hitting, all that crap. But at least there were tricks to talking him off the ledge and at least he’d eat. 

After one serious cut to my face (which will surely scar), I knew there was no hope and no chance for Memorial Day fun. But we kept trying anyway. At one point we found ourselves in a giant field of freedom for Dylan to run around in, only for him to scream his head off as he staggered miserably. “Come here!” I called to him, knowing that getting too close would trigger a whole new set of wails. But apparently even talking to him was a “no-no,” as he looked over and began hitting the air as if it were me. Oh- so now I’m getting hypothetically smacked too. 

And meals? Forget about it. Sure, the kid needs to eat and he’s definitely probably hungry, but suddenly everything is disgusting. If we somehow managed to get food in his mouth, he chewed it twice before callously spiting it out. Or in the alternative, chuck it at your my face. Yes, specifically my face. Apparently I’m an easy target for Dylan’s abuse. I can’t tell you how many times Dylan ran up to me just so he could hit me, scream, and then flee from the scene. I also can’t tell you how many times I wondered if I could afford a nanny.

I honestly have no idea how* my child became possessed by Satan and I have less of a clue as to how to handle it. All I know is that child rearing is an insanely difficult job that is really testing my stability and giving me a great deal of empathy for the parent whose child is screaming bloody hell in the grocery store checkout line. Every parent’s been there. And if you haven’t, you better not admit it. 

*UPDATE: Well ya'll figured it out, Dylan's emerging teeth are the cause of his tyrant ways. He's so clever! Instead of teething in daycare or at my mom's house, he held off on his Chucky the psycho doll attitude until the weekend. Isn't he the best?

May 23, 2014

FRIDAY FUN! Ask Away Friday With Royalty!

I am so excited because the day of questions with my dream boat bloggy friend Tamara (Yes, THAT Tamara!) has finally arrived! ASK AWAY FRIDAY LIVES! PS. This is my first Ask Away Friday. YAY!

http://tamaracamerablog.com/


You all know her, I mean, you have to! She’s royalty- the Comment Queen herself, Tamara Like Camera. I don’t know how we came to know each other but I’m so glad we did. She is the talented photographer, the published writer, the sensitive and bubbly sweetheart living in Massachusetts who has spent her anniversary searching for moose (literally) and takes the most whimsical photos of her two children who are unfairly adorable. Her daughter, Scarlet, says the most outlandish things that will leave you laughing in front of a computer screen and her son Des, is constantly looking to the sky and giving me baby fever. Her husband Cassidy cooks, her dog Athena looks like a fox, and when I finally meet Tamara (it’s gonna happen eventually!), I’m going to go all fan girl on her. Oh and bake her cookies. She likes cookies. You can check out my questions and her answers here

 What is #AskAwayFriday? Well…
#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County as a place for us to connect with other bloggers by asking them ten questions to really get to know them. The sky is the limit with the questions you ask! Meeting other bloggers and making new friends is one of the best parts of this online world!

Visit them all!!!
Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
and
Amber from Bold Fit Mom
Introducing this week’s amazing co-host…Shelly from DIY Mama!
 
TamaraLikeCamera


1. Why are you so cool? Just kidding. My first question is really - how did you meet your husband? How did he win you over? How did you win him over? 

OMG I'M COOL!? Oh wait, you're kidding? Ouch! lol...I had a job at Lowes during my senior year in high school and there was this guy that would constantly annoy me by calling me up at my register to tell me I was doing a “great job.” One day my car broke down and that same guy insisted I take his car on my lunch break. I instantly considered him a friend. After I graduated I had plans to move from California to Seattle and when I did, he followed me a couple weeks later. I thought he was crazy…now I love crazy. But what really sold me was his thoughtfulness and reliability. He will literally drop anything to save my day and then bring me my favorite cup of coffee just for fun. OMG I MISS HIM NOW!


2. Got this question from Lisa of The Golden Spoons. What is your most viewed post ever and why do you think it's so popular? 

Ugh, I hate my most viewed post. It's the before/after baby body post. I can only assume it's the highest in traffic because people love seeing how fat I was. jk! But really, having went from 119lbs to 172lbs 176lbs I think it might be popular because it shows that the pregnancy weight can eventually be dropped.


3. What is something you look back on and think, "I can't believe I did that, but I wouldn't go back and change it!" 

I was tricked into leaving a deposit for a car I was considering to buy, and once I decided against it and reached out to the business I was met with a “no one put a gun to your head, kiss your deposit goodbye.” Because I worked at a law firm, I proceeded to write a very legal letter insinuating that I was an attorney, and quoted all the law I was going to use to take their business down. I had my deposit returned same day…lol 

4. I've seen some very heartfelt and thought-provoking posts from you about animals, tragedies, social issues, etc. Say you got a large sum of money to donate/travel/do good in this world. Where would you spread out that money as a first priority or priorities? 

I had to think about this for a while because so many causes move me. After much consideration, I’d use a large sum of money to reform homelessness in the USA. Not just reform the homeless, but the way people view the homeless because that’s a big part of the problem. 

http://www.dizmommy.com/2014/02/dont-mind-me-im-just-pissed-off.html

5. What's your favorite animal? Have you ever seen one? Will you ever see one? 

I love all animals! But since you keep making me pick things (lol) I’m going to go with elephants because they are so smart, sweet, mourn the loss of their own and have that special sparkle in their eye that I can connect with. I have seen elephants! But each time I do I get very sad because they’re not in the wild. 

6. Where's your dream spot to travel WITH Dylan? It could be a place you've been that you want to show him, or a brand new place where you show him something about the world?

I want to say Hawaii because it's such a beautiful and special place for me but I'd really love to take Dylan to the town in Germany where my mom and her family are from. I was 8 the first time I visited that side of the world and it opened my eyes to a whole new way of living. 

7. Where's your favorite place to take out-of-town guests? 

I don’t have a favorite place but my husband LOVES to give out of towners the “Hollywood” tour. I cant tell you how many times I’ve been to Los Angeles just to show people where such and such celebrity lives/lived and landmarks like the Hollywood sign, Rodeo drive, The Ivy…things that locals take for granted but drops the jaws of out of towners. OH! And we love taking people to Roscoes Chicken & Waffles.

8. What's something about Dylan you hope NEVER changes, and what's something about him that you hope DOES change? 

Dylan is obsessed with books and I want him to stay that way. I don’t want him to grow up and “hate” reading or think it’s “uncool.” His anger however? Please go away. Please! Since he was an itty bitty baby he has been a big head-banging, slap happy jerk. 


9. What's your proudest motherhood moment? 

This question kept me up all night! How could I not have a proud motherhood moment? Am I not giving myself enough credit? Am I trying too hard to find a huge “wow” moment that doesn’t exist? I mean, the drive home from the hospital post-birth was pretty amazing. I sat in the backseat and watched him, just thinking that real life was starting at that exact moment and how happy and whole I felt having been done with labor and delivery. I did it! Hey, I feel pretty proud now. 

10. List ten random facts about you to let us know more about you:
  • I take my food so seriously that I refuse to waste my doughnut allotted calories on a beverage. If it’s not water, black coffee, or unsweetened green tea, I’m not drinking it. (Excluding alcohol which I drink occasionally.) 
  • I don't like being the center of attention at all...
  • ...and yet, I’ve had every hair color imaginable. Red, pink, brown, black, white, etc. etc. (That's different right? It's hair.)
  • I have four sisters, one of which I consider my twin: Angela. Angela can do no wrong, she gets me.
  • I have boxes and boxes and boxes of journals. When I die I’d like someone to laugh at them. (But please, PLEASE wait until I die...) 
  • My garage is full of paintings I am too embarrassed to hang in my house in fear of coming across as a narcissist. "What? You only hang your OWN paintings?” 
  • My alcoholic drink of choice? Champagne! I'm a very "YAY! LET'S CELEBRATE!" person.
  • I kept my maiden name. I love my husband's last name but I cant seem to let mine go. I'll change it someday as a spectacular anniversary gift. SOMEDAY.
  • My first job was at 6 Flags as a ride operator. I’ve operated all kinds of rollercoasters. Lol 
  • At some point in my life I want to take and pass the California State Bar just to say I did it.

A shred of evidence
Angela
Thank you for the incredibly difficult (but fun) questions Tamara! And thanks for being my first...AAF! Be sure to check out the other bloggers and hosts/cohosts participating in Ask Away Friday!

May 20, 2014

I’m Going to Let My Son Fail

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the Momma Chopper hovering over Dizbaby, ready to intervene on the fly. I didn’t WANT to be a helicopter parent and I’m not exactly sure how I became one, but I’d like to blame it on my rambunctious, risk-seeking son who pushes me in the chopper and constantly gasses it up. The theme “crazy” also plays a big role in my hovering ways: I love Dylan like crazy, it makes me crazy, and he likes to drive me crazy. See? I didn’t stand a chance. 

When you first have a baby, everyone enables the helicopter ways. If you’re not stalking the newborn, what ARE you doing? “You have to watch them all the time,” “Don’t take your eyes off for one second!” or my favorite, “Get used to it, you’ll be watching them the rest of your life.” So what started as my run for mother-of-the-year (attentive, nurturing, and protective), has evolved into anxiety stricken exchanges like, “Leave him overnight? ARE YOU CRAZY??” Oh and look, there’s crazy again. 

And the people have turned on me. Now I’m a “stalker,” “a hawk,” a parent who can’t seem to step off. But a helicopter mom? Psh, that’s so not me. There’s no way, I mean, I let Dylan fall, I don’t [immediately] jump to his rescue, and I give him the space to learn lessons the hard way. You probably shouldn’t close your fingers in the door...I told you not to touch that, see what happens? But it’s all bullshit because at the core of my motherhood being, there is a battle between equal but opposite forces: helicopter v. free range parenting. 

Sure, I want the kid to grow up feeling confident enough to take risks. I want him to lose, I want him to fail, and I want him to brush himself off with no regrets and take the lessons for what they’re worth and keep on truckin’. I realize space between mom and son is not only healthy but necessary. And since I haven’t gone a night without him, I desperately need to. 

So I’m gonna do it! I’m going to give Dylan to my sister-in-law for a baby free night in an effort to curb some of the crazy. And it’s not just for me. Dylan hasn’t gone a single night without mom putting him to bed and he needs to know that he can still fall asleep if I’m not there just as much as I need to know that the world isn’t going to detonate if I leave him overnight. So enjoy the chopper and wave buh-bye! It’s time to rip off the Band-Aid.

May 19, 2014

Invconvienence v. Opportunity: Learning It's All Good From Da Baby


I had a moment of pure bliss the other day when I was chasing Dylan at the park. Out of nowhere he stopped, looked to the sky, pointed at the moon and said, “Ball!” I was cracking up. That kid spreads so much joy and light into my life- it’s inspiring...I want to be like that too!

Up until recently, I thought I was pretty easy going. LOL. You know, because easy going people totally let potential toddler breakdowns determine whether they go out to dinner or not. And easy going people always use apps to track each minute their child sleeps. 

I’m a control freak. I can tell because I wake up knowing what I’m going to make for dinner, what time I have to get home in order to cook it, and if any unforeseen events interfere with that schedule, I will modify as needed. So sorry Dylan, even though you haven’t seen me all day and all you want is for me to read that book you keep flopping in my face, I’m busy speed chopping an onion. But I don’t want to be that way, so I’ve been trying to pay attention to my internal dialogue and WOW! It’s disturbing. 

Apparently I spend a lot of time in my head disappointed with traffic, annoyed with strangers, convincing myself I’m right, and trying to get things to go my way. Processing information and experiences comes so naturally that I didn’t even realize how closed off I was. I want to be open to all the fullness life has to offer, but if I’m hung up on the fact I lost ten minutes of my night in traffic because that stupid big rig was driving like molasses, how can I be open to receiving anything? So I’m reconstructing my entire perspective and I’ve started editing my internal dialogue. Instead of “WTF,” I go for, “What can I take from this?” Instead of, “freaking lady get out of the fast lane if you want to go slow!” I’m saying, “Patience? Challenge accepted.


So, if you see me taking a deep breath before reacting, or if I am unusually zen, there's no need to commit me to a psych-ward; I'm just trying to be more like Dylan, all inspiring and shit. 

May 15, 2014

A List: How Parenthood Has Changed Me

My days of being a full time badass are over. Now I’m a full time mom with no clue as to how I could’ve ever been so hasty. One day I was zipping past people on the freeway and the next I found myself using the blinker and waving thanks to the car that let me switch lanes. Kids will change ya, that’s for sure. And when I’m not eating silver cakes with my fingers, clapping for dinner, or driving riding on Dylan’s toy car, I’m asking myself what happened. The new me is stumped that: 

  • I no longer want to participate in any risky recreation. Bungee jumping? Parachuting? There are enough YouTube videos to curb any desire I have to hang by a thread or fall from the sky, thank you very much. 
  • I can’t even sit through said YouTube videos, or any other footage of any other type of accident that ends with someone getting hurt. I’m a coward now, a very imaginative coward that fears if I see it, it will happen. 
  • Fast food doesn’t cut it. My drive-thru lifestyle has been replaced with a war against genetically modified produce, pesticides, and anything I can’t pronounce or spell. 
  • You wont hear me swearing on anyone’s life. My respect for life is so illogical and real that the words “I swear! I put it on so and so,” is met with a gasp and “don’t say that!” Uptight? Definitely.
  • I used to avoid doctor visits like the plague. Now I want to make sure I don’t have the plague. Please tell me I’m healthy. I don’t have the plague, right? Awesome. I’ll be back again in six months just to make sure. 
  • I don’t care if it’s “just” a show/movie/book. I’m not reading about babies, kids, or anyone being kidnapped, murdered, tortured, or killed. There’s enough of that happening in real life. So unless the world is ready for sea levels to rise by 12 feet, I’ll opt out and keep my tears to myself. 

Perhaps I’ll loosen up as Dylan grows and the paranoia will fade as quickly as my James Dean ways have. But for now,  I walk the line
 



May 13, 2014

Babies, Violence, Help...and Beyonce

Look at how good I am at giving Dylan "space"
Have you seen the video of Beyonce’s sister Solange getting all crazy physical with Jay-Z in an elevator? It’s pretty intense. Solange’s kicking and swinging reminded me of a tantrum prone toddler I have living in my house named Dylan. Violence is a total no-no in my book and is forever inappropriate, so a few months ago when Dylan began slapping my face, I didn’t know what to do. I knew it was wrong but I froze up. 

Dylan has always been a little brat. Before he was a mushy-gushy-cushy-cuddle face, he was selectively cruel to me. There were a lot of hand flopping threats but the aggression was so minimal that it was almost funny. Oh look, the little baby wants his way- how cute. Yeah, “cute” until someone gets hurt. And one day it happened: I picked Dylan up from the floor and he smacked me across the face, hard. My blood instantly boiled. Toddler or not, I was livid (but non-reactive). I did the “no hitting, hitting hurts people” thing for weeks with zero results. Before I knew it, I was being head-butted and kicked regularly. Being beat up by a sadistic toddler is humiliating and I feared he’d hurt another kid at some point. People told me it was a phase and that children go through all kinds of behavioral stages….but I didn’t want excuses for Dylan’s aggression, I wanted needed help. 

Then I remembered Jennifer, a gentle and childrearing goddess who translated Dylan’s behavior for me back when he was his own victim, banging his head on tile floors and all that. So I emailed her, whining about the Godzilla of babies and begging asking for direction. She responded with a myriad of approaches that might work, including “gentle hands.” So I put gentle hands to the test: When Dylan got slap-happy, I grabbed his hand and moved it across my arm and said “no hitting, gentle hands.” Then I asked him to show me and he repeated the motion. The results were mind blowing, Dylan went from pissed off to calm and intrigued. Huh? 

Since campaigning for gentle hands, the violence has almost completely subsided. And when Dylan does strike, a “crap, I’m not supposed to do that” washes across his face and he immediately rubs my arm gently, hugs me, and gives me a kiss. Jennifer is the bomb! And even though she would never in a million years admit it, she’s a baby whisperer. Yesterday she blogged about rolling out help to all of her readers by offering “Ask The Deliberate Mom” posts. I squealed in excitement. So to Solange, Jay-Z, and Beyonce, please see Jenn. She’ll fix you, just ask!

May 9, 2014

Toddler Life: I'm Doomed

Days are shorter but busier, the house is [much] messier, and my mind is almost always cluttered since I’ve become a parent. I’ve learned to expect nothing because our lives are in constant flux. Dylan’s changing, I’m changing, and surprises are everywhere as we move through time. Keeping up with an ever-growing toddler is pretty ambitious (and entertaining). Right now (and for what I suspect will be forever) Dylan is testing me. 

“Oh, he does that now.” I say to my husband as we discuss the day’s happenings. 
“He’s getting too clever.” My husband replies, as our conversation about Dylan begins to sound more like a conversation about being outdone by an unsuspecting opponent. 

There is an electrical outlet in Dylan’s room that I simply cannot baby proof. For whatever stupid reason, the light in his closet has a cord that plugs into the outlet outside of the closet. Huh? Yeah, I don’t know. But Dylan loves the cord, especially because he’s been instructed not to touch it. And because it's forbidden, he wanted that dang outlet before he could even roll over. When he finally learned to crawl, he would sit in front of the outlet, look at me and reach out like, “Look, I’m not touching it.” Walking afforded him a little more freedom because he’s able to run from room to room, so he “secretly” tugs on the cord when I’m not playing his shadow. Note to son: The light is unplugged and I know the cord didn’t fall out of the outlet. Just sayin’. 

So Dylan’s upped the ante. He’s comfortable aka he’s trouble. While we both sat in his room, he looked at me, ran to the cord, and pulled on it. “DYLAN…NO.” I commanded. Yes, it’s STILL off limits. I put the cord back in and stepped away. Moments later he was back at the outlet. The second he thought I wasn’t looking, he went for it (sneaky pants); prompting an I-mean-business, “Mommy said NO!” 

Without skipping a beat, he turned around and let out the sweetest, most gentle and distracting, “Hiiii!”, lifting his hand to motion a little wave with a big smile. His attempt to totally change the subject almost worked. This is life with Dylan, a master manipulator. His little “hi! I haven’t seen you all day! What’s up mom?” attitude almost works on me. “I am a firm disciplinarian!” I remind myself. Dylan picks up on my stance and realizes that I have yet to be sold and I’m still going to plug that cord back into the wall. So he takes it to some next level shit: He grabs my shoulders, leans in, and kisses me. 

Game over. Dylan wins. My husband’s right, he’s getting too clever. We’re all doomed.

May 7, 2014

The Most Painful Letter I am Compelled to Write

Dear Dylan,

I wonder (too much) what would happen if anything ever happened to you, or what you would do if anything happened to me. You see, I love you. I love you more than you will ever know. If you happen to have your own children someday, you’ll have a better understanding of the love I’m talking about. Just having you as my son is the greatest gift you could’ve given me in this life (it would be clever for you to remind me of this should a birthday be forgotten, or years from now when you want to learn how to drive). 

When I see you, I see myself. But there’s so much more to you than me. I’ve heard people say that “the world is your oyster,” but I disagree- again, there’s so much more. There’s a universe. And that universe is filled with infinite possibilities and potential, all of which is uncertain. All that unknown can be very exciting; it can also be scary. This isn’t easy to write to you but it needs to be done, so bear with your wordy mother. Deep breath. 

I want so badly to love you, support you, teach you, and to accept you for all that you become. Though really, that’s going to happen regardless. What I truly want is just the opportunity to watch you grow. Give you ice cream, take you to a Laker game, go on a rollercoaster, and later in life- have a beer with you. But I don’t know what I don’t know and I can only hope that we get to do those things. 

On Friday, a 3 year old named Ryan was running after a frisbee when he was hit by a truck. Ryan died that day. Ryan’s parents lost their baby. I am certain that the grief and pain is unbearable, NO ONE is prepared to deal with the loss of their child, ever. And Ryan is so beautiful. His red hair was much nicer than your stringy curls, but the potential, the dreams, and the love for him was very much the same as the love your mom and dad have for you. So you can imagine how closely such a tragic accident could hit the hearts of so many strangers around the world. Ryan could have been any of our babies, and for some, he will be. 

And I wonder what I could do to make sure it isn’t you, or it isn’t me. All too often I find myself trying to control our futures to guarantee there is one. But I’m letting you know through this letter that I’m giving up the control I wish so badly to have. I’m attached to you and that will never cease. But my attachment to the future that I want for us is holding me back from fully living in the present, and I no longer want to grieve what isn’t lost, or fear what isn’t scary. 

Heed this message, Dylan. Embrace it, accept it, and relinquish your own attachments to the future you see for yourself. When unknowns strike you in this life (and they will), please trust that the universe isn’t broken. It is as it should be. Accept the moments that you are given and learn to find the takeaway, the lesson, the opportunity for growth, and cherish its process no matter how painful. Never let the unknown be a source of fear, resentment, or anger. You deserve happiness, laughter, and all the excitement infinite possibilities have to offer. We all do. I hope we never have to find the takeaway from losing each other, but if we do, trust it will be okay and that you are forever and always loved just as much. 

I offer my most heartfelt condolences and prayers to Ryan’s family, may you find the strength and light you need to guide you through this time of darkness. And please know that your son’s life has changed mine. Red balloons for Ryan today, tomorrow, and always. 

There is a Go Fund Me page set-up to help Ryan's family with costs related to his departure. If you can, please help.

May 6, 2014

So, You Think You Want A Son? LOL

My family tree would be pink if it were drawn in color, with very few blue leaves representing the handful of men that have married-in. What can I say? Girl power! So once I found out I was pregnant, all I wanted was a boy. And when my dream came true, it was as if some sort of ancient estrogen riddled curse had been lifted TIME OUT…Deep down all parents know health supersedes gender and that a baby in itself is a miracle that we are unworthy of receiving. And since being shot with the most potent and pure form of love known to man (offspring), I realize having a girl would’ve been just as perfect. Now rewind back almost two years ago: I really, really wanted a boy. 

Being 1 of 5 daughters, I was as close to a son as my parents were gonna get. Shortest possible hair, handball playing, lizard catching, and absolutely no dresses, no dolls, and no Polly freaking Pockets allowed. Being friends with me meant prank calling Jenny Craig from a payphone at the park after tree climbing. When my mom struggled with my mismatched clothes or my black handball hands, she would tell me, “When you have kids, you’re going to have a bunch of FILTHY BOYS!” “I’m not having kids,” I’d say, while secretly thinking “how exciting!” I hoped she was right. I mean, aren’t they [moms] always? (Yes they are- trust me, I’m a mom.) 

And she was. Just look at me now! Dylan is the ultimate boy, constantly feeding into little boy stereotypes. Wheels? Obsessed. Hey, cars have wheels! Obsessed. Outdoors? Obsessed. Danger? No fear. Hazard? You mean a challenge. Mess? You mean fun! I often find myself observing Dylan as he produces deafening noises over and over and over and over, clinking pots and pans together, or as he wanders off with no intention to turn back and zero concern for the growing distance, and I think, “well you wanted a boy, didn’t you?” And then I laugh at myself. 

Yesterday I screamed when I noticed he was chasing a fat black spider. And before that I screamed because Dylan had climbed to the top of his slide, stood up, put his hands in the air and yelled “YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!” He predictably lost his balance and fell to the ground. I squinted in fear for his reaction only for him to pick himself up and repeat, unscathed, untraumatized, unabashed. A few minutes later he couldn’t shake a dragging blanket caught on his foot, prompting piercing shrieks of frustration; crocodile tears and all!

I laughed. Body slamming three feet off the ground? No problem. Being slowed down by a blanket for three seconds? Full on BREAKDOWN. Oh- I got a boy alright.

May 2, 2014

Dad v. Mom (Picking Sides)

Is it just my kid, or do other children also favor a particular family member? 

For a solid year, Dylan treated me like an accessory parent. Despite having nursed him, birthed him, and spent months of maternity leave with him, I didn’t make a mama’s boy. FINE. I accepted Team Daddy and whimpered gracefully powered through the peaks of Dylan’s anti-mom behavior. Like each time Dylan would give me his back, clamp onto dad, and shriek in protest when being handed to me. I even came to terms with his lack of affection after receiving multiple swats to the face when attempting to get the same kisses dad got. WHATEVER. 

But YAY! DYLAN LOVES ME!  Okay sure, he always loved me. Or lol, like it matters. Now that Dylan plays part-time on Team Mom, I ain’t phased by the da-da craze. Multiple witnesses to Dylan’s past mommy fueled discrimination mentioned that the tides would one day change. But I didn’t believe them and rolled my eyes so far back that I saw my brain on several occasions. I mean, who knew they actually knew? 

I’ve been getting all kinds of sweet ogles, kisses, and high fives from Dylan lately. And for the first time ever, he actually HUGGED ME. (SQUEAL!) The same baby who swatted my face is now begging to kiss it. Swoon! 

I can attest that life on the shelf sucks. Being the boring toy that collects dust, also sucks. But let me tell ya, the neglect makes the attention a helluva lot sweeter. So to all the unfavorites, the castaways, the parents who change diapers with no fringe benefits, trust me when I say that you will eventually unlock the keys to your kin’s seemingly cold, cold heart. And once you do, the wait will have been totally freaking worth it.