Calm Stands Warm Stands

I am going to warn you this is going to be one of those weird blogs where I somehow came to an epiphany about something. So last week has been pretty hard for me. Although I was given the opportunity for some me time with friends downtown weekend for the LGBTQ Pride Parade, this week just has me drained emotionally.

So for those of you who aren’t familiar with cognitive therapy, there is alway a plan put in place for when something gets you down or angry or whatever. So my plan has always been to listen to music, write, and or play video games. So I was in the middle of talking about happiness with a friend and I joking said, ” I keep hoping that I can my road will eventually lead to warms sands.” For those of you who don’t know, I am huge Skyrim fan. So much so that my for my birthday I want thieves guild tattoo ankle and dark brotherhood tattoo on my shoulder. I jokingly call myself that night mother who is the leader of the dark brotherhood. The warm stands saying is something that Khajiit, the cat people of Skyrim. All of a sudden it hit me. What if it wasn’t just a joke what if this was something I could live by or at least a meaningful saying.

Sayings or Mantras mean a lot to me because sometimes you don’t have a piece of paper or napkin isn’t around. Sometimes your iPhone is dead and there is no outlet. Sometimes you don’t the time or the luxury to veg out gaming or nerding out. When nothing else is available to combat those bad thoughts fight them with good thoughts. For me, the idea of sifting fine sand through your finger reminds me of home. Maybe I am cat person…. in both senses of the term ooooooooooooo. Either way, I am still the Night Mother.

 

 

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Don’t Tell Me Out to Potty Train

So my son is 22 months old. He has gotten to the point where if he soils his diaper he tells me or tries to take it off. He will even pick up his own diaper and throws it away. So of course from time to time, I might mention this to a friend or two. So to my surprise, I received a lot of, “So you are going to potty train him right.”

I think what caught me off guard the most were the friends that didn’t have kids that were admint that it was time of me to start potty training. How does one who have never give birth to child all of sudden decide that a child is capable of knowing they are ready to to go to the potty. Now let me remind you… my son is a little over one in half and close to 2 years old or 24 months.  Most girls start at around 2 and boys somehwere between 2 and half to 3 years old.  Although my son is able to understand that his soiled diaper is not something you would like to keep in his room, he doesnt seem to understand the process before the soiled diaper. He knows during. He will hide himself. However there are still sometimes he will go and still keep playing. I just know he isnt ready yet.

But this isn’t about if my son is really to potty train as much as it is people feeling the the need to tell me how parent my child espcially people lacking the life experience. As if I am not potty training just beccause I like changing diapers. I know I am new mother. I am always look for ways to do things the right way. So I am open to sound suggestion… when I ask for it.  Even if they did have experience I didn’t ask you for your input. And maybe that is rude but, its also rude to interject when no one ask you to. 

I know I sound angry, but I bit perturbed. I don’t want to force my child to do something he isn’t ready for just only create self doubt in his abilities to do anything not just potty training. So I can say oh my son is already using the potty. Parenting isn’t just about hitting milestones and it especially isn’t about hitting them early. 

Mommy is doing the Most

Yes, I stress about being a mommy. A couple days ago I was walking to one of my best friends about my blogging situation. He is a hipster and will say it without any issue. Like most of my friends very childless and hoping to stay so. He asked me about things that I cared about as a mom. I started listing some things. Then he started listening something things. You know the outlandish stuff like essential oils ( which supposedly can make you or your kid really sick) and gluten. I started laughing.

Don’t get me wrong gluten is a serious thing… to kids gluten allergies. We all hear about that mom or see some form of them as characters in a TV show or movie. Still, to this day I don’t believe that kids should be vegetarians because of watching, “About a Boy.” But let’s be honest we have all been there. My irrational obsessive over parenting for awhile was fear of Autism that was constantly being brought up by my ex and his family. Which got slightly worse after my son’s pediatrician was worried about my son speech development. At 18 month my son only knew a handful of words such as hi, my sister’s name, my given name, and Duchess (our chihuahua). One of my close friends is Autistic, and I love him very much. No one wants their kid to have autism.  I was obsessed with anything that could cause Autism. “Could be his diet… All the stress I had during my pregnancy… can gluten cause Autism.” I am joking about the gluten. 2 months later my son speaks in full phrases. In fact this morning he handed me my Xbox one controller and asked, ” Do you want this?” Maybe later I guess.

Again… don’t take it the wrong way. Mommy sense is the best thing ever. It what helps you know your kid is in danger. And not everyone gifted with mommy sense. Sometimes I wonder if I have strong enough Mommy sense. But sometimes in an attempt to keep kids safe we not only are going overboard but we are also harming them. You have heard it before and most people call it helicopter parenting. But I am not just talking about helicopter parenting. I am also talking stressing about every little thing. Do your research and maybe not microwave your kid’s food in plastic or recycle more. But don’t break out into a hot sweat over little stuff.

Not Being the Parent, My Parents Were

I am the oldest of four. I am 60 parts my father and 40 parts my mother. I can tell you neither of them knew how to deal with the person they helped create. Now, it’s sort of a given that parents have no clue what they are doing with their first child.  Hell, I have no clue what I am doing. It’s sorta sad, because had they taken the time to actually listen and communicate effectively it would have saved everyone a lot of trouble.  But… Let me tell you a story.

A couple of days ago my mom and I were having a conversation about her belief that turning the other cheek in certain situations or even apologizing. I told her she went about it all wrong. There was a certain situation in which my aunt got upset with me when I was 12 and cursed me out like a grown woman. My other aunt lied and said I had yelled at that swore at me. I called out for her to try to explain not yelled. But I was forced, not asked, to apologize to that aunt. I took it as my parents didn’t trust my word. I also internalized that as that I wasn’t worthy of respect. It wasn’t until I was an adult to work through the pain and anger that I didn’t even know I held on to that day.

However, the conversation got me to think about not just learning from my mistakes as a mother but my parents’ mistakes. I also learned I have to undo the mistakes I left behind with my son. This a growing person who is learning who they are. It’s my responsibility to make sure my son functions at a healthy emotional level. I don’t him turning 29 and realizing that he is acting out on a situation that happened to him over 15 years ago.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my parents. I also completely understand that working with the tools given to them by their parents. Let me tell you my grandparents are like a bag of knotted rubber bands. I think my parents did the best they could with what knowledge they had. I wish they would have handled it differently, but wishful thinking in the past gets us nowhere… on both sides.

Why I Take Myself Serious Enough to Wear Makeup

I have always thought of myself as homely. I am a home girl. I wear jeans, t-shirts, and Chuck Taylor tennis shoes. I read books, play video games, and worked as a writer. I was too busy for makeup. It wasn’t until after dealing with my post-partum depression and help from friends that started looking ways for self-care.

This blog was one way, and my appearance is another.My appearance has always been a big deal for me. However, sometime in high school, I wanted people to take me seriously I stop wearing makeup. I stop dressing up unless asked. Now don’t get wrong… I like I stated I love jeans and t-shirts, but I also make a conscious choice of what I am going to wear. But getting myself back into the idea of self-care was a struggle.

My first time applying makeup was in early middle school. I was still applying my make up like an 11-year-old. I have the artistic skills of a toddler. It is literally the grace of God that  I can apply my eyeliner in a straight line. So I had watch video after video, which was cathartic as well, to get an idea of what I was doing. Then next it was purchasing brushes, applicators, primers, and etc. Not to mention a very unproductive visit to Sephora where I left looking like an Oompa Loompa. I eventually figured it out how to do a simple beat. I am still learning.

I think people don’t understand how small things help with maintaining your overall mood. I needed something to remind me that I am human. Taking care of myself helps tremendously.  At the end of the day if you look good you feel good.

 

Separation Anxiety

My partner called me one day and says, ” I think our son has an anxiety disorder.” I paused for minute as to take into account what my partner was thinking. He went on further to explain to me in detailed why he thought this was true. At that point my child has started crying at the idea of people merely leaving him. In all honest, that was normal.  This is a baby who just go hang of crawling now realizing that when you leave a room. He is all alone.

About 3 weeks ago my son turned 10 months and something that was seemed normal to me has now grown into a monster. I use to be able to leave him with a friend of family member and he would smile. Now he searches their faces or a moment as if to see if he can trust them. If I leave he is done. I thought maybe this stem from the fact that I had been dividing my time between my parents house and my own. This has left my son in situation where maybe I had to leave the room for a minute to take care of things and I had no one to hand him off to. I also thought that taking on short term freelance jobs was the issue. This was alarming maybe for a couple day till I did my research.

So yes, at around 10 months babies become little more aware that world doesn’t revolve around them. This cause the idea of you being gone for long periods to cause slight anxiety. Yes, all of that makes sense to me. However, not everyone has a 27 lb. 10 month old. I sometimes can carry him on a back baby carrier like women do in some portions of Africa. The issue is he doesn’t like to be constricted and will try to kick his way out of the rap. I have tired singing to him while I am in another room so he knows that I am near by. That stopped working. I am running out of ideas. I have done a better job of getting him acquainted with other family members or caregivers. This seems to be the only thing that slightly works.

I know  it will get better in the coming months, but I need help. Or I could just come to the conclusion that I will have Serena Williams/Michelle Obama arms with in the next couple of months. That would be plus after a negative.

The Nice One

Well, I hope anyone who reads this had a great Independence Day. I was too busy helping my parents move so no BBQ or Fireworks for me.

I want to discuss something interesting about judging ones character. This weekend my uncle became very sick. He has pre-existing condition that can cause him to need to go to the emergency room sometimes. He called one evening and asked if I would be willing to take him to the hospital. I of course said yes. What type of person would say no if they had means to do so. After waiting hours, on my uncle was released from the hospital after a blood transfusion.

A couple of days later it start circulating around my mother’s side of the family that all of a sudden I have become a super nice person. I have even been told that I must have become nicer because of my child. Not True. If anything I have learned to handle less BS. So here is the question I posed … well to the universe. Does being a introvert and having a resting bitch face cause people to see you as mean?

I am not a happy- go lucky person.Despite my love of high fashion, I think I fall under pastel goth or loli goth.  I only smile at cheep jokes and thoughts of revenge. I hate small talk and I don’t see the purpose in greeting every person I meet. Not for the reasons you think. I am super awkward, and I am always afraid of saying the wrong thing. If you keep your output to a minimum, you are less likely to say something stupid.

With all that being said one of the particular reasons why I think they think this is because I have cut out certain family members from my life. While living by myself and going to therapy I had a conversation about with my therapist about how there are people in my family I would rather not speak to.  She looked me plainly and said, “Then don’t talk to them.” In that instance I knew I was grown up, and I shouldn’t be forced into converse with people that are destructive.

My mom’s side of the family is has mental health issues. I am not looking down on them for it (my father and I both suffer from situational and clinical depression), but I am being honest. These issue cause over all stereotypical messiness that comes with certain women. I try to stay away so that I don’t get roped in. Their illness and how they manage them dictates how I deal with them.  Certain person seem to actually feed on roping people into her bipolar mania. It has lead me to some seedy places and situation that I rather not be a part of. Other people in my family are not honest with her about managing her issues or taking responsibility for behavior. So I made a conscience decision to cut all ties with her. It was a difficult process because I had to make sure I wasn’t doing it out of anger or hurt, but place of healing. As her actions have caused me lots of hurt over the years. I have to think about my physical and sociological health. I have to be very vigilant and strict about this as even taking a phone call or acknowledging her presents could lead to people not respecting the boundaries I created.This including my own mother. The concession I have made is she gets the rest of the family whenever she feels like it. I get my peace of mind.

Another reason that I might come across as nice is that I had been gone for 4 years. I worked in North East for 4 years between New England and New York. I lived pay check to pay check with my parents paying my cellphone bill. When I did live here I was a college student with an ailing father and mother who was trying her best to take care of household that ran on just my father’s income. My priority became my sisters and brother. Whatever I did have went to them which wasn’t much. Two of them have graduated from college and have jobs of their own. I only have to worry about Little Bear (my youngest sister). So yeah I can pick someone up and take them to hospital. Yes, I can bring my grandmother food when she needs it. Yes, if someone needs to place to crash for the night they can sleep on my couch.

I think the issue is that people think that when you can’t be bothered with everything you rather be bothered with nothing. I won’t say I was always a nice person, but have always been a thoughtful person. Oh who am I kidding . If my life were the movie the “First Wives Club” I am more often an Annie than a Brenda. In closing I am not the spawn of Satan. I merely the spawn of Sea Witch. It’s completely two different things.

Not so Great Pride Weekend

So it’s been a couple years since I have attended a gay pride weekend. I really wanted to this year after this situation that happened in Orlando a couple weeks ago. I was also unable to attend last year because I was so pregnant. Here in Houston  a lot of people were scared to go because of threats of violence. I usually no scared of much so I offered to go with friends.

This were it went all wrong. The night before I pulled a muscle carrying around my sumo wrestler size child. So I had already woke up sore as hell. I also like to spend my Saturday’s alone. I just realize that for the next 18 years I will never have Saturday again. Part of me wanted to just to some yoga and eat turtle cheesecake. However I said I was going to do something I had to do it. I said I was going to be there.

So at 5pm I texted my friends to see where they were going to go. I should have been aware of the second problem when I realized they wanted me to meet them at the Burger King on Westhimer and not downtown. One of my friends kept asking if there was a lot of people there. I kept saying, “No, there is never a crowd in Half Priced Books.” Come to find out they thought the parade was on Montrose where all the gay bars and clubs are located. So this made us late as hell. Parking downtown was upwards of $5 to $40. Yes, 40 dollars. I was chosen to lead the way to downtown but I didn’t know where to lead them to parking so we circled around the parade route a good 3 times before my friends found a place to park.

Then one my friends had a great idea to pick up my partner after he got off work. As the parade is starting I had to drive 20 blocks up to go pick up my partner who wasn’t aware were coming. Then my friend and my partner were lolly gagging. I love them but time doesn’t stand still. So we make it downtown to catch one float after walking 7 blocks over piss, broken glass bottles, glitter, and confetti. So after walking another 3 blocks we found the rest of our party where everyone decided to go to a club.

I am sure I have mentioned to you guys that my partner is Marine Corps veteran with PTSD which usually comes with a anxiety around crowds. So not only are talking about the confined space of a club, but Saturday… during pride week …and at a gay club. This was not the best scenario for us. So again I am parking 7 blocks away from the club this time. I am completely turned around because I am only in this area during the daytime. We finally get there to find out that my partner didn’t have his ID. So after trolling around for 45 minutes for a parking space then walking for another 20 minutes we end up turning around 3 minutes after we reach the club. I also got lost looking for my car.

After I was at Walmart in the Heights walking like an old worn out ballerina to get turtle cheesecake. It wasn’t my ideal night. I have come to the that I had to be more content about being there for friends than what  I missed. Anyways… Happy Pride!

The Child Who Doesn’t Nap and Other Horror Stories

I remember when I was in high school, my mom use to tell people stories about when I was a kid. One of the stories she would tell was how I use to get in trouble for not napping. I actually remember what she was talking about. I remember being in kindergarten and laying on my cot either looking out the window or telling stories to myself. I couldn’t and still can’t nap really. However there are rare occasions I get tired enough to dose off during the day.

This last Friday I got off early. Which means I had my son by myself for a couple hours. However with him wake up in the middle of the night and my chronic sinusitis have made it hard for me to get a restful nights sleep. So when I got home at 2pm I tried my best to entertain him just to fall asleep on the couch. Of course I woke up… I haven’t finished baby proofing the house. Our living room, although full of fun, isn’t a safe area. But there I was trying to keep my eyes open and my kid crawled back and forth looking for something he shouldn’t. So I had to get up and will myself awake.

This isn’t anything new. It’s just getting harder for me to maintain the house no matter if I am freelancing or not. No naps means that I am constantly running after my kid. My partner doesn’t know how to clean and because of his meds he is very forgetful. So that means, I pay the bills, organized the house, clean every crevice, and have time for myself. I am not saying it’s my child fault. I sympathize with him. I hated naps! It would just make my life easier if he was able to nap like a normal child. It’s also not that he isn’t sleep. My kid has FOMO (fear of missing out) bad. He fights sleep.

For now I will continue the good fight of a mother of stereotypical little boy who doesn’t want to sleep.

 

Making Friends and Taking Names

    So right now I am still doing the none traditional full time permanent position, but instead going for freelance or temporary positions. This gives me the opportunity to nab the position I want while broadening my skill set . As a result I have not only more free time for my child, but myself as well. I have decided with my free time I could also volunteer, take up new hobbies, or even just attend events.

    This idea started with that”events near you”section on Facebook. I found out last weekend that we had a Japanese Festival within walking distance of our apartment. My partner was was posted in Japan for a while. He and I love Japanese culture (me, just a tad bit more). However this situation wasn’t ideal.

    The Festival started at 10 am and I wanted to get there at 9:30am. I end up there at noon which was the worse time. Here is the reason why… Noon is the worst time to go anywhere because that is when people either are freed form something that is tying up there time or an hour after they decide to wake up. Also it was humid and hot that day. Worst of all, my partner cannot do crowds. Everyone decided to show up. So the kid was running away from the crowds sweating with our son on his shoulders. I sit there and wait in heat on my little sister which was the reason we were late. To top it off, I drove instead of walking. I was done before I ever even got there. I strongly believe that had we arrived at 9:30 am like I wanted it would have gone better. I did find out about the Japan America Society of Houston where you can get super inexpensive classes on all sorts of things even learning Japanese.

    Many of my ventures have gone far better. I volunteered for our local Fotofest which was awesome. I love photography and adore the organization. This weekend I am looking into a mommy breakfast and yoga not too far from my house here in 3rd Ward/Museum District area. I know it hard for moms to get out and do something for themselves. I again firmly believe that as mom sometimes the best thing you can do towards being a good mother is doing for yourself.  So if you can when you can…. After that nap think about one thing you want to this week or the next two weeks and start setting your plan.