Do it again! Do it again!

Thanks, ladies.

The ones who commented here, the ones who emailed and the ones who called. Thank you.

Y'all are what keeps me going with a smile on the days that all the magic and love and light my girls hold is just enough to keep me putting one foot in front of the other. The support and compassion is much appreciated - thank you.

There are days, however, when the girls put the smile on my face and there is *nothing* that can take it away.

In my wallowing I've neglected to post about Miss O's (very) belated 18-month check, her language explosion and her growing skills.

Her (actually) 23-month check bumped her up and out of the bottom of the Bell curve for height and weight and she's firmly in the 60th-ish percentiles for both. Thanks to her dad, her head circumference knocked it right out of the park (as usual) and stayed above 95%. She's 34" tall and weighs 27#. She's still a pixie compared to her bruiser-sized big sis, but she's a big little person now!

The ped was thrilled with her growth and her overall Miss-O-ness, so she said we could count this as her 2-year check and come back when she's three. Go LuLu!

She's acquiring language at a rapid pace now, after essentially 20-ish months of the bare minimums. She is enamored of princesses, which sounds more like "pin-sis", and pumpkins "pum-pin", and says everything as many times as she sees an object. In other words, if there are four princesses in a picture, there is a "pin-sis" to announce each and every one of them. Driving around a neighborhood yields a ton of joyous "Hi pum-pin!"s, although that's tapering off as Thanksgiving approaches.

I do things just to get a reaction out of her. At night, she will, on rare occasions, want me to sing a song. On the other nights, I'll start singing something just to get her to put out a hand and ask me to "Top, mama". I'll sing the opening lines to anything I can think of to get her to stop me because it's so. stinkin. cute.

She's also bound and determined to do everything herself. Everything. And gets mad if you do it for her or make a move to do it for her. She'll insist "LuLu DO IT!" where do and it run together into one indignant doit! She can climb everything at the playgrounds now, and will slide down anything. She even took on the big girl swings the other day. When she (inevitably) fell, she cried a little, stood up and looked at me, with tears still on her cheeks, and said "more swing?"

She's also potty-curious. The other night, while she was in the tub, she said "pee-pee" and got out and peed on her potty!!

She actually told me "poo-poo" the previous time she took a bath, and I took her out to try on the potty, but she didn't go. Put her back in the tub and a few minutes later heard her wailing forlornly "pooo-pooo!" Sure as, well, sure as sh*t, she had pooped in the tub. Meanwhile, Bean was playing with her back to Lu, blissfully unaware of the party foul that had occurred behind her. It took a few "everybody out of the pool!" yells to even break her concentration enough for her to realize what had happened. And even then, the reaction wasn't a freaked out "Doodie!", but a low-key "LuLu pooped in the tub." and a casual climb out.

Course then I had to move them to my tub, get out my haz-mat suit and clean out their tub, including an overnight bleaching for tub and toys. *Sigh*. Meanwhile they're splashing away in my room, overjoyed at being in mommy's big bathtub. Or, to Bean, "mommy's pool!"

I'll close, since it's way past my bedtime, with the most brilliant Beanism to date: "I wish Brett Favre was my daddy. Do you with Brett Favre was my daddy, mommy? I love Brett Favre. And I love my old daddy too."

If only ...

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Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain.

Started with a little bit scratchy throat yesterday afternoon, and now it's full-on scratchy with a ton of congestion. Yay. No fever, tho, so it looks like it will just be an annoyance and nothing major. I felt like crap last weekend with suspected strep (got results back Tuesday that it wasn't), but since I was kid free, I got to lay around, sleep and recover pretty quickly. Since I'm on mommy duty this weekend, there's no rest for the weary.

It's funny how when I'm alone and feeling somewhat rough, I'll veg out in jammies and not leave the house. When the girls are here, I'm dragged out of bed before 6:00 and forced into cheerful conversations and outings no matter how bad I feel. I'd love to be sleeping now, and then sacking out on the couch for a day of football, but I know that's as likely to happen as me suddenly being paid what I'm worth :)

I've been hurting a bit lately. Not sure why, tho the fact that I'm obviously very easy to replace and it's yet another holiday season alone isn't helping at all. While he's doing serious relationship #2, I'm still sitting here trying to come to terms with how to make love stay and how not to be played for a fool again.

I still don't understand how and why my marriage had to end, and since I'm the kind of person who really likes to understand things fully and to learn lessons, it's very hard for me not to dwell. Marriage isn't supposed to be easy or blissful all the time, it isn't supposed to be "oh, things aren't the way I thought they'd be, so I'll just look for a greener pasture", but with 50% of marriages ending in divorce, it's obvious that a lot of folks aren't making the effort that marriage requires. And it scares me and makes me feel so vulnerable, because I never want to go through any of this again.

And since someone who promised to love and honor me forever, someone who I really believed understood that forever meant forever, could throw me away like garbage when things got hard, how can I ever make that promise or believe that promise again? What's the point? It feels like it would be easier and safer to just never risk all that again. Because going through that much pain again is not something I can deal with.

Ah, yeah. That took a 180-degree turn from just not feeling well. I get a little faklempt when I'm sick ... kinda maudlin and emotional. Makes things that I'm still working on inside percolate just a little too close to the surface. Going through a divorce as a mom of young kids means you don't get to spend time just wallowing and submerging yourself in everything you feel; you have to hold back and compartmentalize, and for me that seems to have led to prolonged processing. Instead of being able to rip the bandaid off, I've had to pick away at it.

I couldn't cry and rant in front of the girls, couldn't say what I wanted to say, or even really feel what I wanted to feel, because I was and am too focused on making it as easy on them as possible. So I have to smile and nod and engage while Bean talks about the girlfriends and their kids, while he just goes ahead and smashes my kids' lives into whatever relationship he's working on. Because I can't just say "I am so friggin' SICK of hearing about so-and-so and her kids!" or scream when Bean says for the hundredth time that weekend: "Kid so-and-so this, Miss so-and-so that. I went hiking with Miss so-and-so; I want to be just like kid so-and-so."

Ugh. That all sounds so bitter, and that's why I've been holding back on posting. I want to talk about this stuff, but I also don't want to sound like I'm all man-hating and bitter. I'm not, I don't think. I don't want any of this to still be bothering me or to still be hurting ... When you loved somebody as much as I loved him, and believed in your life as much as I did, I guess it's hard to look forward and say "I could risk all that again." I date, but I hold myself back. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be able to let myself go again.

I'll close with a Beanism. Just to lighten the mood a little, because I hate to be all Debbie Downer. She and I were watching a big cat show on Animal Planet, and she was a little down about having watched cheetah cubs take out a Thompson's gazelle fawn. As she watched a group of cheetah take down an Grant's gazelle, she cheered herself up and said "Oh rock on! They just killed a male gazelle. They know they shouldn't kill mommy or big sister gazelles because they are more lovable."

Oh yes she did.

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You know me -- all about the good deeds

No good deed goes unpunished.

I've mentioned that before, right?

Took the kiddos to Barnes and Noble with Shirley and her kiddos, then to Petco and PetSmart to say ho to animals. Then, idiots that we are, we thought "hey, let's take them to eat at Chili's"

It was two adults, two four-year-olds and two under two. In other words, it had "stupid" written all over it. Ironically, Bean was actually the less volatile of the two, but Miss O was a royal PITA when it came to just sitting in her high chair and letting me eat. I think I ate about 4 of the chips that came with the queso and maybe a third of my burger. I just scarfed down a yogurt and some beef jerky to round out my meal; my molten chocolate chip brownie and ice cream are still awaiting my consumption. I just can't eat a calorie bomb like that before bed ... if I make it my lunch or my breakfast, I have the rest of the day to burn all of it off, ya know?

Mmmm ... molten chocolate chip brownie + ice cream for breakfast. That has potential. Will surely take some of the edge off the blahs the day throws my way. Maybe I can give the kids a banana and some V8 Frusion and sneak the brownie past them when they aren't looking.

When we arrived at B&N and were walking in, Bean told her friend "Just deal with it - you get what you get and you don't throw a fit." I can't tell you what R was talking about that prompted that from Bean, but I had to work at not laughing out loud. I had been mourning the passing of the one-liner Beanisms, and she hooked me up.

She also told me, in the car, that "At my school, some of the kids aren't showing me respect." When I pushed for more details, it's apparently one kid who told Bean she didn't want to be her friend. "She did it to hurt my feelings, and that's not nice." I can deal with kids saying 'I'm not your friend', since no-one is going to be everyone's friend. I'm not clear if this triggered the one hissy fit Bean admitted to throwing today. But she also told me she doesn't have to throw as many hissy fits here because the kids and the teachers are nicer to her.

Oh yeah, I'm that good a mom. I use "hissy fit" to describe her nonlinear moments, tell her she needs to respect me, my rules and my things, and have told her to deal with it. Generally none of it in a snotty way, mostly in discussion, but still. Have I mentioned I'm not a sugar-coater?

She did finally freak out in the car on the way home this evening, and I'll be damned if I can tell you why. I only mention it for context for this: she wanted to know if someone was going to shoot her since she was bad. I have *no* idea where this line of thought comes from, but I've heard her go down this path a couple times.

After I assured her that no, no-one was going to shoot her, and, more importantly, she wasn't bad, she asked me "Why do only grownups get pissed off and shoot other grownups?" After trying to convince her not to use 'pissed off' (have I mentioned what a good mom I am?), I got to field: "Why did someone shoot Martin Luther King?"

Trying to explain racism and the associated stupidity to a four-year-old in terms that she'll understand but that don't go too deep or get too scary is no easy task. It's not a concept I really want her worried about, but she knows that Martin Luther King Jr was shot by a bad man, so we have the associated conversations from time to time.

Tho honestly, I'd rather tackle that than the ongoing "I want my whole family together" or "You and daddy still love each other a little, right?" pleas.

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I'm drawing a blank

I've been meaning to share this picture Bean drew at school a while back. It was during a "family" themed week, though she really doesn't need a themed week to focus on her family.

Anyways, this is what she drew. Be sure to click on it to see the full-sized version. From left to right is Bean, mommy, a rose, daddy and Miss O:

I crack up every time I see the disgruntled look she put on her dad. When I asked her to tell me about the picture, she doesn't say why she made him look that way, or why he and Miss O have the freaky hair going on. Even without a Beanism to explain the picture, it's still entertaining.

Speaking of Beanisms, they're much more involved these days. Gone is the simplicity of lines like "Look - it's a whole family of poopie!" and "Mommy! I just licked a bug off your table!" Now there are whole conversations a la Bean. Like a convo we had about skyscrapers, where she asked me about them, and I explained about building up instead of out, yadda, yadda. As she's done in the past, she listned thoughtfully and then essentially told me I didn't know squat:
"No mommy. Skyscrapers scrape water from the sky and then bring it to the oceans so the fish can live. You don't know anything about skyscrapers, mommy."

It seems like we have a lot of conversations where she's telling me I'm wrong, or I don't know stuff. Is that a Bean thing or a four-year-old thing?

Now, be a good tin soldier and, uh ...


It's been awhile, huh?

Sorry 'bout that. Been a bit ... overwrought of late. So rather than piss and moan, or be all sad and whiny, I've been laying low. The fact that I've not had a full day off from being a mom in over two weeks hasn't helped me find my Zen or the time to blog, either. Throw in a sick kiddo and a sick mommy, and, well .. I'm moaning, aren't I?

The girls seem to be adjusting well to their new school. I'm not in love with it, but if they're happy, I can deal with my issues. I'm just not a big believer in / fan of Montessori. They say it's all child-centric, but to me, it seems like a program to create little automatons. Maybe it's my own gut reaction to regimented activity. And maybe *regimented* isn't fully accurate or fair, either. But seeing my little almost-two-year-old queued up, and having to get and carry her own stuff. I just don't like it.

It probably makes me insane that I don't like her being trained to be self-sufficient, doesn't it? Actually, Miss O is pretty well-suited to the environment, it's just kind of creepy to me. And like I said, she seems to be doing fine.

Bean seems to be doing well, too.

Note the use of "seems"? Yeah, I did too. I can only say "seems" because the communication from the school/teachers leaves a lot to be desired in my book. In the morning, you kind of do a rolling dropoff, where you pull up, unload, and the kiddos go in. In the afternoon, it's the same thing, but in reverse: pull up, they tell your kids you're there (the kids are sitting on the floor just inside the door) and they come out to you.

There are no daily report sheets, no talks with the teacher (oops, sorry, "guide"). The director and assistant can find time to nag me about the girls' paperwork not being complete - and I don't think they realize that the stress I've been under makes nagging me a real risk - but there's no talk about how the girls are doing.

Instead, I get to ask the girls how their days were. Bean responds with "I don't know" or "I don't want to tell you" and Miss O just says "no" to everything while shaking her head and wearing a sh*t-eating grin. It's less useful than you'd think. Really.

Mommy: Bean, did you have a good day?
Bean: Yeah.
Mommy: What did you do today?
Bean: I don't remember.
Mommy: Did you play with any friends?
Bean: Can we go to the park?
Mommy: Sure. But I want to know about your day ...
Bean: Squirrel!

Mommy: Miss O, did you have fun today?
Miss O: No.
Mommy: Did you play outside today?
Miss O: No.
Mommy: Did you like your lunch?
Miss O: No.
Mommy: Squirrel!


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