Friday, December 11, 2015

To My Daughters..

Tonight as we drove home from Aunt Kasie's house, you asked Dad and me who has been harder to raise.. boys or girls. Dad told you that none of it is easy and you all had your pro's and con's.
 My answer was different, my answer is more complicated. My bond with you was not as easy to form as others and took far more patience on my end.. and lot's of those day's I had very little patience at all. The weeks were short but some of those days in the beginning were long.
 There is something I want you to know though and I mean this from the very bottom of my heart. I have loved you from the very beginning. I knew I loved you before I knew I was in love with your Daddy. I knew that my life wouldn't be easier with you in it but my life would be more complete then I ever imagined.
 In the beginning, you two held me to an un achievable standard. You held me to the standard of your Mommy, something that I will never, ever live up to and something I can't ever be. Do not mistake those words or take them as a statement of, "I'm not your mom nor do I want to be." But I will never be your Mommy. I will never know what it was like to grow you or carry you in my womb. I won't ever miss the sounds of your first cries because I was not there for those moments. However, I am so lucky to be an addition to your Mommy. I am so lucky to be your "Momma K", or as you so lovingly refer to me, your "bonus" Mom.
 I have been blessed to be apart of so many of your milestones.
 Madison, I got to help get you ready for your first day of Kindergarten, I have had the pleasure of being present at your awards ceremonies, your parent teacher conferences and we have had so much fun building our own family traditions.
 Aubrey, I had the pleasure of doing your hair and make up for your very first dance, we have had very meaningful conversations about my childhood, the grandparents you'll never know and I have also had the pleasure of being present for so much of your schooling milestones.
 I have been a fill in for sick nights, I have cleaned your vomit out of carpet, I have shuffled you to Dr. appointments, dentist appointments, play dates, back to school nights, science fairs, dances, sleep overs and countless vacations and even our trips to the local store are mostly enjoyable. What's most valuable to me though is how much I have gotten to watch you grow. I have watched you both come into your own, to have your own real thoughts and personalities.. you both are becoming beautiful, respectful, smart little women.
 What I want you to know and understand more then anything is that even though those beginning day's were hard for me I know they were just as hard for you.
 You guys went from being a family of four to being shuffled from parent to parent. You barely had time to adjust to that and really enjoy your daddy before Riley and I came into the picture. Then came Cooper! It was a lot of change, for all of us.
 The last five years have been fun, challenging and exhausting but worth every minute. I wouldn't trade any of you for the world, I would move mountains for all four of you and I can't imagine my life without any one of you. I am thankful for you, each and every one of you and I love you all so much, for so many reasons.
  Aubrey, you are so talented in so many ways. You are athletic and artistic, you have a beautiful singing voice and your confidence is admirable. You're so smart and beautiful beyond words. I am enjoying this part of your life and watching you learn how to build lasting friendships with your peers.
 Madison.. Oh Madison. You are also beautiful beyond words and incredibly intelligent. You are strong willed and independent. I pray that those two qualities take you down positive paths in your life. You make me laugh and listening to you talk tonight about how you would do anything you can to protect your brothers made my heart smile.
 My life is better with you two in it. My heart is full and I am looking forward to being present for so many more of your milestones..
 Our life might seem messy to a lot of people from the outside looking in, Hell.. some days it looks messy from the inside to.. but one thing is for sure, I love this life of ours, I love our family of 6 (8 if you count these mangy mutts).. but mostly, I love you. All of you..

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Breaking All of My Own Rules..

 If you know me, as a person.. or as a Mom.. You know I am a stickler for my rules. Use your manners, chew with your mouth closed, ALWAYS acknowledge the people around you, be humble and give thanks for all that you have. Be nice to your brother and sisters, respect your teachers.. ect.
 Mostly, do your homework, don't argue, showers and books then bed by 8:30! NO EXCEPTIONS and DEFINITELY no sleep over's during the week.
 Sean and I both had the day off and when he asked me what we should do, I replied with, "let's see if Dee will watch Cooper for the night and we can take Riley to the New Found Glory concert in Anaheim." .. Sean immediately replied with, "What about school tomorrow?" .. to which I replied, "He can still go, I'll take him on my way into work so he can have an extra hour of sleep.."
 Sean looked at me like I had two heads but he agree'd.
 Fast forward past everything everyone already knows and lets get to the good stuff.
 We dropped Coop off with DeeDee and headed down the hill from there. We told Riley in the car, that we were on our way down to see NFG. His first response was, "I GET TO SEE DRESSED TO KILL?!" Oh man, priceless.
 Sean told Riley all about how I had done my best to ask that they play his ONLY favorite song right now and that hopefully, nothing happens in-between and he get's to experience it, in person.  Riley said a few mentionable, cute things like, "Mommy, did you tell them that we have to drive down the hill so that they don't sing it without me?" .. I had to explain that this wasn't a personal show for him and that they would be singing the song (and a lot more) for a whole crowd of people. Little did I know, how wrong my explanation would be.
  Ian, who play's the bass for New Found Glory (and I am not name dropping to "name drop".. give me a minute) was the band member who responded to my requests today. He let me know that my plea's and down right ridiculousness (I had no idea what I was doing.. SO I called House of Blues and left my name and number with just about anyone who would write it down..) had not gone unheard or ignored and that they would play #dressedtokill this evening. Ian also instructed me to take Riley to the Merch booth for a special surprise. Seriously guys, totally unexpected. All I wanted was for my monkey to hear that song.. that was it. My only request.. not even an expectation, just a hope. I was stoked to think he might get a shirt or a CD. When Sean and Riley returned back to me during Tiger's Jaw I was so shocked and stoked to see Riley holding a drum head, addressed to him and signed by the entire band.. Ian even snuck some guitar picks onto the back. His face was so bright, it was the best start to an even better night.
 Riley held strong (he went to school today and came home, played with Coop, took an hour nap and then rocked like a star).. He only asked to be held once, he fought with me about ear plugs but mostly.. he just rocked the fuck out. Seriously..
 He danced around for Tiger's Jaw, he really rocked for Yellowcard (he said he liked that they cussed, they said the "F" word a lot but not as much as Mom.. those were his words.) Then, NFG hit that stage and he smiled from ear to ear. He rocked with his hands in the air, he sang the words he knew and he looked like he was exactly where he was meant to be.
 I should rewind a bit and explain how it is that we ended up front and to the right.. When we got to the venue, I asked if there was a way we could upgrade so that Riley had a place to sit. The security told me that VIP was full but to head downstairs to the bar on the right.. that SOMETIMES they had been known to let kids sit up there but it was all based off of the bartenders mood. Doesn't hurt to ask, right? The bartender's were all super awesome and immediately complimented Ri. They were more then willing to let the little guy sit atop their bar! However, one super awesome bartender went above and beyond and helped me EVEN MORE. He directed me to security by the stage and told me what to say.
 Security more then obliged. Security at House of Blues, you're all rockstars and you helped make this night even more amazing. Guard #50 (I never got his name..) directed Riley to the front of the barricade and stood watch next to him. Only a handful of times was Riley asked to move (for crowd surfers).. his first live musical experience was so much more then VIP.
 So, back to when NFG hit the stage, Riley was sitting tall and excited with his drum head.. in complete AWE. He was directly in-front of Chad, who plays guitar. Chad kept laughing and smiling at Riley and at one point, stopped and pointed out to the crowd how hard Riley was rocking. They invited him up on the stage at this point and planted him on a stool. They found some ear muffs for the kid and went right back to rocking.
 Then the time came.. the moment Riley was made for. They started singing Dressed to Kill and from the corner of the stage, my baby air drummed and sang his little heart out! Before I knew it, he had a microphone in his hand and he was on risers, singing to a sold out venue! He had Jordan's arm around him and he was singing his little heart out, almost every word, on point. He was jumping up and down off those risers and he was so interactive with the other members, I couldn't believe it was happening. All I could do was cry. Ugh, ugly, dinosaur tears for my tiny human!! He was the most happy I have ever seen him!!!! NFG let him take that part of the show and for that I will forever be grateful. I am grateful to all in attendance who cheered for my baby on that stage and who chanted his name, over and over. It was so humbling to see so many other pieces working to make MY son's night a special one.
 You all know Riley.. give him an inch and he takes more then a mile. The song came to an end and they placed him back on his stool.. only for Riley to rush back out onto the stage! My heart stopped as Jordan came crashing back onto him.. He got up, shook it off and went back to his corner. Later, when we asked if he was hurt or embarrassed he replied with, "not at all.. all I could say was, "Oh shoot!"
 Before the following song, Jordan apologized (totally not your fault!) and Chad ran some general rules off to Ri. He did great from that point on..
 They kept checking in on him, asking if he wanted to come back down with us to which he OBVIOUSLY replied, "No thanks". He had oatmeal cookies from the stage and he soaked it all in.
 When the show was over, they gave Riley the set list, some drum sticks and the ear muff's he had worn on stage. He came down off the stage with a light inside I haven't ever seen before! Everyone around us told him what a great job he did, they gave him High Fives and they all called him by his first name.
 As we walked out through Downtown Disney, Sean told Riley how proud he was of him. How his cheeks hurt from smiling and how Riley was so confident up on stage. As we walked, people kept pointing and saying, "THATS RILEY!" Oh, he totally ate up every bit of that.
 Sean took him to the bathroom, as I waited outside a guy walked by and said to his friend, "I can't believe that kid knew every word to dressed to kill! That was awesome!" .. Uhm, you're welcome.. I did that. I'll take credit for every, last bit of that! Thank you!
 So, not in short at all.. that was our night, our amazing, rule broken night.
 Tonight I got to watch my baby have one of the greatest musical experiences ever. Tonight, he was blissfully happy and whole.. tonight you would not know, for even a second everything he has been through in the last 6 months.
 Tonight we helped him make memories that will last him a lifetime. Tonight, we made 2015 a little less sucky!
 This morning though, at 3:07 a.m. .. I am so thankful to New Found Glory, to Ian, Chad, Jordan and Cyrus I don't know how to express to you how grateful I am for all the smiles that we got to see come from Riley. I wish that I could put into words, how much more this meant to me, as a Mom who just wanted him to hear his favorite song, live.
 I was already a die hard fan and I already have so much respect for musicians and the sacrifice you make. I understand that what you do is a give and take.. especially when you have your own families.
 Thank you for taking the time to read my Facebook messages.. for not only honoring my request but going above and beyond. All I know how to say in words is that the entire experience was humbling.
 Riley's 15 minutes of fame can be followed on IG, Facebook and I'm sure a youtube video, somewhere.
 Later this morning when his eyes open, he will be forced back to reality and back to school. He is already concerned that no one is going to believe he got to go to a concert, let alone on stage!
 "Mommy, you have to call Mrs. Streubing so that she knows it's all true!" -Riley Fox

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Beside Myself..

This has been an amazing week so far.. ending last week with a bang. We conquered Halloween like the beasts we are and moved right into Sean's birthday party the very next day. I felt like for as unorganized as I was and how unprepared I was for the amount of people who came, the whole party was a success from start to finish. I was so glad because my husband really deserves it all.
 Monday I recovered by cleaning floors and bathrooms, giving Bugsy a haircut and wash while keeping the boys entertained.
 Today though.. today has been rough from the start. I am tired and I woke up from a dream I haven't been able to recover from.
 My mom was in my dream and she was well.. she was happy. We were talking and laughing when an old high school friend appeared in my dream. (Chris Montalvo, if you're out there.. I wonder how you are from time to time.. Super weird that you appeared in my dream though.) Anyway, my mom and I were walking and talking about Cooper when Chris appeared and started yelling at me, "She isn't real! This isn't real! Why are you talking to her?! She isn't real anymore!" and like that, she was gone.  I burst into tears in my dream and thats what woke me up. 6:20 in the morning, I came out and started the fire place so I could collect my thoughts for a minute.
 Riley came out around 6:40 and sat with me for a bit, just some morning cuddles. All day though, that dream has been so real. The even more weird part is that I haven't dreamt of my mom talking since about 3 months after she died. Even crazier, I rarely remember my dreams.
 I don't know why Chris was the one to tell me it was all a facade though. In high school we had that common bond, we had both lost a parent but we weren't ever super close and I haven't talked to the guy in well over 10 years.
 The more I have thought about today, it has lead me to think even harder about tomorrow. Tomorrow Jason would be turning 31. In our world of "normal", Riley would be with Jason for this monumental occasion.
 Riley and I have talked a little bit about it and he asked if we would take him down and throw a party for his Daddy Jason at the graveside. Gah, heartbreaking.
 We plan to go down tomorrow sometime after school to plant something and say our Happy Birthdays. We plan to have dinner with Poppy and Memaw if schedules permit.. We hope for an easy, light hearted day (ok, I am hoping for that) but I know it will be anything but.
 We have experienced so many milestones in these short 6 months and each one makes me sadder then the last. I have tried to see so much positive that it even makes me sick. Somedays, I have to tell myself (like today) it's ok to just let it sit.
 I miss my friend, Riley misses his Daddy, Jason parent's miss their son, his siblings miss their brother, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends.. we all miss him and sometimes it's a lot. Today, it's a lot and tomorrow it will be even more /;
  Like every other occasion, we will get through it with grace (not much ease.. but we do things with grace.. Or like Miley Cyrus, resembling a wrecking ball... ) We will cry silent tears in the shower and make things as easy for Riley as possible. I always dislike see'ing his spirit change when we get to the graveside but I know it's something he has to deal with too.
 In the last 6 months it feel's like so many influential people have left this world, Sean and I were talking about it yesterday.. we're sick of funerals, we're tired of being sad and we're super over "final" goodbyes. This getting "older" stuff is for the birds.
 If you think about it, send some positive vibes to my baby and his family on his Daddy's side, tomorrow.. I would super appreciate it <3

Monday, October 19, 2015

I'm Opening the Floor for Public Opinion...

I have had some things on my mind and it has more been a discussion I have had a few times at work lately then here at home but somehow this topic/subject/situation keeps getting put infront of me.. and maybe, just maybe, it is so I will face it and move on. Who knows?
 So, I am coming here, to my blog spot.. to pose a few questions to my friends and family.. to make sure that I am not some super species of ass hole.. and confirm to myself that I am normal by relative terms.
 I have never had a lot of "friends" but I have always allowed "friendly" people to co-exist within my world. I have been content to live my entire life this way. I was not popular in school but I wasn't exactly a "loser" either. I have always lived my life as an open book. If you have been a client in my chair more then once, you know way more about me then friends you have had for 20 plus years, if you have managed to become a friendly staple in or around my world, you know you can ask me just about anything and vice versa.. I mean, even my instagram friends know when (every two weeks, mostly) and who (Nicole Vasquez at Cooper and Stropp) I get my nails done by. I like to share "myself" with others and sometimes, my life resembles something of a comedic sit com that others can laugh at. (Which I am ok with.)
 So, here is my current situation and question. I am content to not let people migrate to deep into my life (like, here at home.) I am ok with not having a slew of "best friends" or even "friends".. when I hang pictures in my home they are of my family.. as in, my kids and husband.. because I enjoy looking at their faces, everyday. Also, I am lazy and when we, as friends, break up.. I don't want to have to dedicate the day to removing you from my picture frames. I am also "ok" with cutting you off in a new york minute if you do not live up to my "standard", regardless of friend or family.. If you wrong me, I'm done. Mostly, because I feel like if I have made the effort to let you that deep in, my judge of character is compromised when you have failed to be the best you can be (for me) and that hurts a little. It also makes me question my judgment and I don't like to think to hard about my own self for to long.
 Here is the question part.. Is anyone else like this? Do any of my "friends" or "friendlies" set people up to fail? Do you set un-realistic expectations for others and then walk away when they can't maintain that level? Is anyone else I know content to live friend free and quiet or am I just an ass hole? I am being serious.. I want to know.
 I'm sure I can blame a large part of this lifestyle on my upbringing.. not having a choice in who was in or out of my life, yada yada.. Or maybe, some other people are like this to and its some form of normal?
 I pretty much implement this structure in every part of my life, including my work one too. It's rare that I get upset about a client leaving me for another stylist (I said rare, sometimes it happens..) or when a client moves away.. (mostly, this is more upsetting to me..) but as a whole, I move on and recompose fairly quickly from these failed relationships to..
 It isn't often I stop and ask myself if it's possible I did something wrong.. I try to be self aware in most of those situations and I try to understand that people probably are sick of me, need a change or for various reasons, leave and go else where.. which, is ok. Sometimes, when I have gained a sense of "friendliness" or "friendship" in my clients and I have heard or seen that they have gone somewhere else, it stings a little but mostly, I move on, quietly and quickly.
 So, for real's.. are there other people in my little world like me? Or am I far more selfish then I give myself credit for? Cause, this topic and situation has been presented to me several times in the last few weeks and to be honest, has me feeling a little insecure with how I am living my life. /:

Monday, September 14, 2015

Without Public Opinion.. Some Ehart News..

Prior to making this announcement we wanted to make sure we told the appropriate people first. Had all the right discussions and as a family, knew where and how to stand. With that being said, I am not blogging about this for anyone else's opinion.. but more or less to let you know the progression and how we are moving forward in our home.
 A few months back, we went on a family vacation.. as you all know. The details I left out about said vacation were that of a very memorable request and conversation between us and Riley.
 On the first day after Hearst Castle, we had dinner and returned back to our hotel to swim. As we were all getting ready, Riley, very stoic and sincere walked straight up to Sean and said, "Seany, I want you to donate me." .. Sean laughed and said, "what?".. to which Riley replied, "I want you to DONATE me.." as though yelling this and speaking slower, might help Sean understand.. (Duh!).. I rounded the corner from the bathroom and asked what he was talking about and his reply was gut wrenching, heart breaking, yet brave and exciting.. all at once, if possible. He said, "You know Mommy, when Seany becomes my daddy here on Earth!" .. to which Sean replied, "You want me to ADOPT you?" and with a big grin, Riley said, "Yes." 
  After Jason passed away, A LOT of people asked me if this were a possibility (never in the vicinity of ear shot to Riley.) to which I commonly replied, "Maybe someday, when Riley can have an opinion and a say.. but it isn't anything we need to address right now."
 After Jason was laid to rest the first part of May, a few weeks passed and Riley asked me what "adopt" meant. While playing with friends he had heard another adult ask me about it and heard my common reply. A lump formed in my throat and I asked Riley what HE thought it meant. He said, "In school it means you go live with another family.." GAH! My poor child thinks were going to ship him away now, was all I could think.
 I calmy and in my best "Mom voice" explained to my boy that SOMETIMES, your family can adopt you. I explained that this was the case for me, when my grandma and grandpa adopted me. He then asked, "Why would Seany adopt me?" .. My reply went much like this:
 "Riley, Seany would adopt you because he LOVES you. I need you to understand something though, ok? Your daddy Jason is ALWAYS going to be your daddy.. He will always love you but now he's doing it from Heaven. Some day though, if you wanted Seany to adopt you, you two could talk about it and he would be your Daddy here on Earth. If you wanted, you could change your last name to Ehart or you could stay Ashworth.. but what is most important, is that someday, if something happened to Mommy, Seany adopting you would just mean that Seany could take care of you and you would stay with your brother and sisters."
 Riley looked at me with those large doe eyes and walked away. He had all the information he needed and he set off to play. Not another word was spoken about adoption until our vacation, when Riley completely side swiped us with his request to be donated.
 Fast forward from then to now.. with lots of therapy and counseling sessions, classes required of Sean and some extensive back ground checks.. Sean is a candidate to adopt Riley and we have received our date for a home visit from the social worker in charge of our case. The fee's have been paid in full and to my knowledge, after the home check is cleared.. we sit and wait.
  Initially, after Riley's first request, Sean and I had decided to continue to hold off on this until things were "less raw".. and maybe his understanding of "permanent" was a little more clear. Two weeks to the day from Riley's first request, Riley asked WHEN was Seany going to adopt him? Why were we waiting? HE did NOT want to wait! .. So, this is when we brought all of this to the therapist. She helped us through the patches and helped us to understand that Riley is feeling lost.. almost like he has nowhere to belong. Though our family was far from conventional before Jason's passing, we were ALL his normal.. and now that "normal" was upset and RILEY was trying to tell us how to fix it but that as the parents.. we needed to decide if this was right for us.
 This in no way means that Riley is "fixed".. and most days Sean and I both feel like we're doing everything wrong. The adoption evokes good feelings and bad feelings from Riley on any given day, which his therapist reassures us that this is normal. Someday's he wishes his last name was Ehart right now because he wants to be like the rest of us!(But mostly Cooper, he identifies with Cooper) Other days, he's sad because Seany adopting him makes him miss his Daddy Jason. 
 Riley has gotten in the habit of calling Sean Dad and this was all his own doing. We have never forced the kids to call us Mom or Dad and we had mutually and quietly decided that the adoption wouldn't change that.. that Sean would be happy to be called "Seany" the rest of his life as long as he is in his life. I can see the bond between my husband and my son changing each day and that makes my heart smile. It seem's to be coming effortlessly and naturally for both of them..
 Our life certainly wasn't black and white before April 18th and most days we can't even be defined in the "gray" area. This is all new to all of us and were doing the best we can with what we have. Regardless if it's wrong or right.. were doing what we can to help Riley move forward.  
 I am beyond thankful for my husband. I know exactly how lucky I am and what a special man he is. Though he is remarkable, this situation has humbled us both in a lot of ways. He in no way intends to replace Jason and he has always been comfortable in his role as Riley's "bonus" dad. Stepping into the role of "Dad" for Riley were big shoes for Sean as he has always been cautious not to upset that line. He has always done a great job with our children and I have no doubt in my mind that this isn't a positive decision for our family. 
 We do not wish to phase Jason out or allow Riley to forget. We still regularly talk about Jason, he still talks about Daddy Jason and Jason's family is very much involved in Riley's life. None of that will change and as Riley gets older and deals with his loss, time and time again.. we will all be here to remind him of what he still has, how much he is still loved and how much his Daddy loved him and didn't want to leave him. 
 As we progress, I will do my best to update. I seem to be here less and less and more involved in day to day living.. which has been REALLY nice. (:

Monday, August 10, 2015

Most Nights, I Just Don't Know..

It's a working title.
 Since the start of school last week I have put on this brave face, this happy go lucky attitude and a make up caked smile.. but inside, I am sad, angry, hurt and going through some shit. (Yep, it's going to be one of those "blogs"..)
 After Jason and I divorced, I sought counseling. I got to go and really grieve the loss of my Mom, the loss of a Dad I never knew and deicide what part of my life was good, bad or ugly. I got to work through the issues I had with my Mom being a drug addict, the step dad who "stepped" right on out of my life and the father I never had the chance to know. It's amazing how working through those steps and knowing how good my life is now, how experiencing those things made me a stronger person today and how they helped me identify my behavioral patterns and my choice in people as an adult.
 It's also amazing, how watching my tiny little human go through heart break, can take every step I have made it through and every ounce of grief I have healed through.. and set me right back at the beginning. It's crazy to think, that at 30 years old.. I still have to work through some "Mommy/Daddy issues".
 I have always said that no matter what, my kids won't experience what I had to experience. My kids wouldn't know that life on any level.. and no matter how hard I have to work.. My kids will have everything they need. They will have a parent who is present, they will have a home to live in, clothes to wear, shoes that fit and a parent who loves unconditionally. Sometimes, I may go to extreme.. but I am almost always, doing the most I can for my kids.
 Yet here I sit, in this stage of life.. watching my child experience cloudy milestones, a life of loss, no matter how great the amount of people in his life and the imprints that have been left that I prayed he would never know and that my friends, leaves me feeling pretty shitty inside, incredibly frustrated and dare I say.. MAD.
 That also leaves me battling my own demons, which is fine.. I am used to that but now I am learning how to battle my demons with one hand while guiding a child through his with the other.. and still trying to find time and effort for 3 other tiny humans and 1 large. Oh, and the dog.. lets not forget my year old impulse.
 Some days it feels like yesterday that our life was flipped upside down and inside out.. and others it feels like 4 months. 4 months we have spent cycling through these patterns and 4 months we have spent trying to find normal, happy and routine.
 I know I end every blog with how this will get easier and how this phase will pass.. but honestly.. I just don't know anymore. It has been 7.5 years since my mom passed. A whole lifetime ago, yet some days, its so raw.. I feel like she was just here.
 So, as much as I try to candy coat my life and tell myself it's all going to be ok.. I just can't be sure. I do know, that were doing this one day at a time.. and I am giving it my all, which some days, isn't much.
 I guess when you spend your day's doubting every word, every lecture and every action.. You're bound to get something right.. and when they lay their heads down on their pillows at night and give me sloppy kisses.. there is a peace and comfort in knowing that no matter how bad I messed up that day.. tomorrow is a new one. (That I will likely, mess up).
 I have always joked that if my kids weren't in therapy by the time they were 18.. then maybe I hadn't done my job as a parent. Little did I know that one day that wouldn't be a joke and that 1/4 of my children would end up there, sooner rather then later.
 This isn't a pity post either, by any means.. It's therapeutic for me to get this all out and somedays I feel like unloading on my husband as he walks in the door from a long work day isn't healthy for either of us. Thats when I find myself here.. typing all my heartbreak into a box and hoping that maybe, someone will take comfort in knowing that no matter how bad their day was.. They aren't Kristi Ehart and that is a thumbs up.
 I know I am strong, I know how much I have endured and how little credit I give myself. I also know how much I can handle before I break.
 Today though and for the better part of last week.. I just felt crappy. I know thats ok but I don't wanna wallow anymore. I find myself getting stuck in the mud while trying to pull Riley out and in the struggle, we both start to sink.
 Until something better or worse happens, I'll keep on keeping' on. <3

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Back To School.. (YES!!!)

Tomorrow is the day that all parent's of multiple/school aged children look forward to. It is probably, by far, the most anticipated day of the year in this home. Quickly followed by the LAST day of the school year.
 This house hold has been prepping for tomorrow for weeks! We have shopped till we dropped, we have packed our bags full of pretty pens, pencils, erasers and paper galore!
 Officially tomorrow, I am the proud Mommy of a Pre-Schooler, a Second Grader, a Fifth Grader and a Seventh Grader! It isn't even bitter sweet, I am going to bask in those three quiet hours a day, until Cooper comes home to set my life straight again. But TODAY we made sure our brand new shoes still fit and those outfits we picked out were still ok! We packed our healthy fruits into smaller bags, checked all our lists, trimmed hairs, fingers, toes, brushed teeth, set alarms and tucked into bed!!!
Then it was this Mommy's turn to prepare for tomorrow..
 As I showered, I couldn't help but burst into tears. I am talking, sad, ugly tears.. that are already coming back and forming in my eyes. It dawned on me that in all my prep and all my gusto and excitement for tomorrow.. I am clouded with a sadness that Jason won't be meeting us at the school to see Riley off into his first day of second grade. Though I know my brave, happy boy won't say it, I know he will notice it too and that breaks my heart.
 It was a quick realization tonight that forever, my son's happy milestones will be clouded with the fact that his daddy isn't physically present. For once in this entire situation I can relate to exactly how he feels.
 Tonight as I ugly cry, I am filled with a lot of anger and sad and I HATE those feelings. I am SO angry that Jay isn't here anymore and I am SO sad that Riley will always know that feeling..
 I have been thinking so much lately about how this isn't how Riley's life was supposed to be. His life wasn't supposed to mirror mine. It was not easy for Jay and I to build a friendship after divorce but we managed to make it work. We made it work for Riley because thats who mattered. Riley was supposed to always have at least 3 loving parents to support him and be present for all his events. He was supposed to have Jason, Sean and me.. because thats how its been and thats how it worked, really, really well.
 I know I need to suck it up and quit wallowing.. but it's really hard. Though I am adjusting,  I don't so much like this new standard of normal. I am super thankful for the happy stuff to recall and the time we all had with Jason but today, I selfishly would like him to be present for tomorrow and knowing he won't be makes my heart super fucking achy. (pardon my language.. but its an eff word kind of day.)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Making it Through the Days...

There hasn't been much to update lately. Riley seems to be doing alright, dare I even say.. good. (:
 We took a family vacation a couple weeks ago and they all had a blast! We drove up the coast to San Simeon and toured the Hearst Castle, toured the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, caught two Giant's games, took a steam train ride through the Red Wood's and ran laps around the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.. all in a matter of four days. We maxed out those four days and it was an absolute BLAST.
 Riley and I have been doing some family counseling together, more so I can understand how to handle a grieving child and even more so that he can figure out how to deal, as a grieving child. It has been good for the both of us. He really is an amazing, resilient little human.
 Aubrey girl took off for the week, down to San Diego with her best friend Reagan and Riley ditched us to hang out with his Nana for the weekend, So today Madness and Coop went to work with me. Coop "behaved" better then expected and Madness helped out so much that she was treated to a manicure, haircut with style and even a brow wax! She felt pretty dang good by the time we left.
 Life has been busy but in the ways we enjoy. We have spent some quality time at the Narrows, Discovery Science Center and even the beach with some awesome friends. We have had BBQ's and plenty of sleep overs and are 4 games away from being done with basketball season.. all with a lot less sad in our world.
 It's hard to believe that tomorrow will mark 12 weeks since I got the call that Jason had passed. I can't believe that it's been nearly 3 months and some days it doesn't seem real at all.
 Today as I made the boys beds, I took time to look at the pictures of Jason we have hung in Riley's room.. it made my heart ache and it really made me miss my friend.
 I can't believe we have made it this far and this is not at all how I expected our world to be.
 We will keep on keepin' on though and everyday we grow a little more, some set backs here and there but mostly with smiles and laughs. (:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Oh Hey, Blog Fans..

It's been a few weeks and I know you all feel as though I have left you in the wait.. such assumptions are not true! I have been, busy. (Totally anti-clamatic, I know.)
We are doing alright over here. Getting through the long weeks and short days.
 So, I left off with a possibly fractured elbow and an emotionally damaged child. Now, we are a definite fractured elbow with a full arm cast.. and a few days better in our emotional damage. Good days and bad, Good days and bad.
 Riley is so incredibly resilient and smart. He is getting through this summer with some sad days but mostly, he's doing ok. He has been so busy with basketball, visit's with his Nana and a new, wiggly front tooth that our sad moments are few and far between. We are learning (and yes, I say "we".. because being a parent to a grieving child is always a "we" situation..) to deal with the sad moments but not to wallow in them. We are learning that sometimes our sad moments aren't triggered by anything.. and sometimes we have memories that make us sad.. So when those times hit, we share happy stories and move on and about our day. We are also learning that it's ok to be happy, a lot. It's ok to laugh and smile.. and have good days. "We" are learning that this is not an exact science and some days are really easy and some are unbearably hard but at the end of every day, we have a lot of people in our lives that love us and that is what matters most.
 Cooper, oh my Hell, Cooper is one day, going to be the death of me! We are on week 2 of cast and man, does this suck! He, also, is amazingly resilient though and has managed to make it through the days without to much holding him back. The hardest part though is not being able to swim.. Man, that really pisses him off! On day 4 of operation keep Cooper dry, we fully submerged it in water.. Yeah. that was fun. 2.5 hours on the floor of the bathroom with the blowdryer on "cool", blowing water out of that plastered mess was a blasty blast. (That entire last 1/2 was sarcasm, complete sarcasm.)
 The girls are doing amazing in basketball. Aubrey's team is undefeated so far and Madison's won their last game. I am so impressed with their drive and commitment to their teams! They really are good at it!
 Aubrey's birthday party day was a huge success. I think it was by far our biggest birthday party yet and she had an amazing time. I am still working on getting the pool clean.. So.Gross.
 Lastly, I am 30 now. When I left you all hanging two weeks ago, I was still 29.. It's crazy, not one bit of difference between then and now.
  My amazing husband planned an epic night out for us adults. We took a party bus to a piano bar down the hill where I managed to make horrible life choices, thanks to the influence of my friends. I remember very little and I am embarrassed to say.. it was ALL captured on video.
 I am going to end this here, it's 1:08 in the a.m and I have to be back to work bright and early. Just thought I would stop in and let everyone know that we are still hanging on and working on our new normal <3

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Because Big Girls do in Fact, Cry..

I don't know if it was the fact that I didn't pour myself into bed until nearly two am..
Or maybe the fact that I woke up to the news of a family friend's passing..
Maybe it's hearing my baby scream in agonizing pain as they set his arm in his sling last night that plays over and over in my head today..
Or the fact that today, for the first time in a long time I feel like I am not enough for my household. I am not physically, emotionally or mentally enough for both of my children who need me in two totally different ways today.
  Riley has really been my whole world for the last two months. I have focused on keeping him busy/ occupied, made myself available for his needs in school, here at home and in every way possible. I have been fortunate enough that my other three children have really been on auto-pilot and ok with the shift in dynamics. (with a few, minor hiccups..)
 Until today. Today, Cooper has needed a little more focus, a little more attention and more of me. Riley has expressed in various ways that he is NOT ok with this and I finally, had to have a "Mommy Meltdown".
 It started this morning in the car. Cooper needs to sit on the side of the car that is typically "Riley's side". The way the seat belt falls on Cooper's sling from the driver side of the car, puts to much pressure on his elbow and hurts so we have had to shift him to the passenger side. Keep in mind, this does not at all make my life easier as I now have to walk around the car to put him in and take him out because he is down to one hand. Riley's hissy fit was remedied when I said, "enough".. or so I thought.
 We left around 1:00 to go grab coffee and then head to the pediatrician's office. Riley proceeded to tell me from the driveway to The Grind how horrible his seat is, how horrible the seat belt is (really, kid?) and how unhappy he is that Cooper can't just "lift his arm over the belt!"
 You can imagine.. my nerves are shot but I still, patiently explained to Riley, the way the belt falls hurts his brother. I didn't yell or snap at him.. and even SHOWED him as we got out of the car together how the two sides are different right now.
 I made sure their iPads were charged and let them take them to the Dr.'s office today because I knew, being a same day appointment would make things a little congested for those see'ing us today..
While I was talking to our wonderful friend and doctor, Riley huffed and puffed and proceeded to interrupt us to let me know he wanted to go home, now.
 (Side note, Cooper was seen today to assess the damage and we are now waiting on a referral for a pediatric surgeon, STAT!.. He is still in a great deal of pain and in a splint for the next week and a 1/2.. or until we see the surgeon, whichever comes first.)
 If you have been around us in a social setting.. or not in a social setting, you know that I do not let this behavior slide. Today, I did not have fight in me.
We had to make a quick stop at Rite-Aid for a better sling for Cooper as the one he got at the ER isn't enough support and Riley had an opinion about that too..
 By the time we made our way to Costco I was out of steam. Riley started fighting with his brother in the cart and I couldn't handle it anymore. I still, did not yell.. instead I turned it into an example and the meaning of selfish. I explained to Riley that his behavior was incredibly selfish today. Knowing that selfish is not a word he knows.. we had the opportunity to talk about it. I explained to Riley that back when he was hurt and he couldn't walk on his leg that I carried him everywhere. I helped him go potty, I carried him to the car and his brother (and sisters) sat through a few appointments for him.. without complaint. I made sure his leg was always up on a pillow and I made sure he had his medicine and everything he needed when he needed it. I also gently reminded him that lately, we have been very sensitive to his feelings, his needs and we even still accommodate his fear of dogs at our friend's houses.. so the fact that he is fighting with me over a seat, picking on Cooper and his iPad, fighting with him in the cart.. is really making it hard for me to get through this day and that was pretty selfish of him. Man, that was hard.. because as tears streaked down his face (I promise, I wasn't yelling!) It dawned on me that yes, though my six year old was being selfish.. I was not enough for both of my children in that moment and that was a moment of complete, failure.
 We pulled it together (meaning he stopped crying).. and he and Cooper fell asleep in the cart. I finished the shopping that I had no intention of doing and loaded the kids into the car.. on opposite sides of "normal".
 I backed out of the stall and made my way to the gas pumps.. where I had a total and complete Mommy Melt Down. I silently and heavily cried my eyes out as I waited in that long line for gas. Tears streaked down my face as I pumped my gas and as I drove down the 15 fwy, in the slow lane to get home. I got off on 18 and realized.. I still need to feed these monsters dinner. To go home and cook? I didn't know how much longer I could stay upright and together.. So I veered toward McDonalds.
 Yeah, today I was that Mom.. the one who couldn't pull it together and the one who everyone silently judges. Not only did I purposely, pre meditated, electronically babysit my children at the doctor.. but I ended the night by feeding them mediocre crap, fast food.
 Honestly, I'm not even sorry for it.. Judge that.
  As Cooper continues to sleep on the couch and ignore dinner that I slaved over.. Riley and I talked here at the table as he ate his Cheeseburger, plain, ketchup only and his Gogurt.. I said Sorry for hurting his feelings and he said Sorry for not being more helpful.. We are "all good" now and he's off to play.
 I took my mommy time out to blog this and cry some more.
  Today, I would like for my universe to take pity on me. I would love for today to stop sucking and for my world to be upright.. Today, I am very much having a pity party and I only invited myself.
 Today will turn into tomorrow and the next day.. and this feeling will go away. Today though, this feeling of inadequacy and failure did not feel so good and I have a hunch that these feelings and myself will meet again, sooner rather then later.
  I am going to end this, "Dear Diary" rant here and just say.. My sincere condolences go out to the Valdez family, Roger, you will be missed. Your laugh was contagious, your sense of humor crass and your language as foul as mine. Our conversations were always long but I always took something away from them.. mostly a smile.
 I will finish today with more grace then I started with.. and though 2 of my 4 babies are broken.. I will give Thanks that my house is still standing and that it is almost bed time. (:

Saturday, May 30, 2015

"Mommy, is being a Mommy hard?"

Ohhhh, my perceptive little six year old..
 I have admittedly, been very snappy and short with my children today. I did not sleep well, I woke up with a migraine and I feel like I hit the ground running today. The fact that they didn't do anything I asked them to do yesterday left me feeling residual aggravation this morning.
 I made the kids chore lists today, to complete while I was at work, or else! (They were wise and did what they were supposed to do..) but still, today, I have been snappy.
 Aubrey is staying the night at her friend Reagan's, Madison is with Jeanette for the evening so its just us and the boys. They were so good and quiet this evening while I tried to sleep off my migraine that we treated them to Nubi's.
 We got home, they showered and as they got themselves dressed, I switched over the fourth load of laundry for the day. Riley came walking through the house, yelling, "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, MOMMMMMM.." and in an aggravated tone, the minute he was close enough to hear me reply, I said, "WHAT Riley?!" .. he lovingly stopped in front of the laundry room door and as though he didn't notice my aggravated tone and asked, "Mommy, is being a "mommy" hard?" .. I smiled and kinda chuckled. I said, "Yes Riley, some days being a Mommy is really hard. All day all I hear is Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom can I? Mom will you? Mom please can I? Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom.. and I still have to do laundry, cook you guys meals, drive you all over the place and back.. sometimes I go to work just so I can relax!"
 He laughed and he said, "You're silly mom."
 I have thought about this question for the last hour (as I folded laundry, put it away and made piles for the kids rooms for them to put away..) and here is the conclusion I have come to..
 Being a Mommy is so hard. Being a Mommy when you didn't grow up with an example of what a Mom should be or do.. is even harder. Being a Mommy for me.. is super hard.
 I have some friends that I look at with total admiration. They do this Mom thing so effortlessly, they are always calm, cool, collected. They don't let their kids tones or attitudes get to them, messy houses don't matter and food in the living room is A-OK! I wish I had it in me to be that Mom but I just don't.
 I am a busy Mom, a Mom with lots of structure, prompt bed times, no wet towels on the floors, pick up your messes, please don't wipe your hands on your clothes!, please don't wipe your hands on your brothers clothes!, stop pee'ing on each other, don't pee outside, for the love of God get your finger out of your nose, clean this house, PUT YOUR SHOES AWAY, use your manners, did you forget how to say please? I don't want to hear you chew your food, working kinda Mom.
 I say it all the time.. I need to be a more playful mom.. a mom who enjoys playing zombies in the back yard, wants to jump on the trampoline and "be in the moment" kinda mom. I just don't know how!
 I admire that about Sean, he's always been able to stop whatever is going on in life and hand his time over to our kids. He will stop what he's doing to build a log house with Coop, he will walk away from things to play video games with Aubrey and Riley, to watch a show with Madison in her room.  I love to watch these things from the outside. I love to watch my kids having fun with each other and with their Dad..
 Watching what Riley has had to go through the last month and a half has been so hard. Not being able to fix everything in my kids lives is hard. I can handle E.R visits and stays, I can handle emergencies like appendectomies and tonsil removals with ease and grace (I lose it AFTER everything is all better..) but watching heart break day after day, thats tiring. I know.. with time..
 Even though being a Mom is hard, it's worth it. Everyday, I know for sure I am doing it all wrong. I might seriously be damaging these little humans that look to me for everything but at the end of the night when they all hug me goodnight and give me kisses.. it almost wipes the slate clean. I am sure the savings accounts we have set up for college will fund more therapy then education.. but maybe that's just what life is about.
 I love that my kids give me the opportunity, everyday, to be their Mommy. Without them.. I might be wealthy, have the ability to travel a lot and not have to use hair color every three weeks! Without them though, I wouldn't be complete. (:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

We survived..

I feel as though 2015 should be referred to as the Ehart/Ashworth apocalypse and every day should be looked at in a survival mode.
 We made it another day, we barricaded, provided food, shelter and minimal hot water to our off spring. "The Neighbor's" survived with us..
 In all seriousness though, I ran today like a marathon and we all came out on top. I spent the morning in the class room's of my three older children while Sean stayed here with Madison (who is recovering from the plague) and Cooper.. who isn't at the age of school just yet. Sean made us home made Lasagna (including the noodles, from scratch) that I was able to pop in the oven as soon as we were able to walk through the door today and in that very moment, that I preheated the oven, I thanked every part of my universe for sending me such a wonderful man.
 After I got home from the school, I was able to inhale some semblance of a lunch, kiss my husband and children before I ran out the door again for an appointment with my heart doctor. Today was an ultra sound and I won't get the results until the 21st, when I go in for the stress test.
 I was out of that appointment in time to swing BACK by my house (for reference sake, I live off Kiowa and my heart doctor is off Hesperia Rd.. "swinging back by" is a loose reference..) to grab the littles, pulled Aubrey from school 10 minutes early JUST IN TIME to be 15 minutes late to their 2:30 dentist appointment. Please applaud, at least we made it.
 Proud Mommy moment, three of my children have made it 6 months without a cavity. (Riley doesn't go again for 2 months.. fingers crossed that I get gold stars across the board.)
 We made it home by 4:45, the kids made dessert with Casondra while I popped that amazing lasagna in the over and steamed up some green beans.
 We ate without anyone choking or coming down with some zombie like infection.. the night is still young.
 Day two of free loading off "The Neighbors" hot water was far more successful and organized then day one. We did get word today that our new (not part, but WHOLE water heater) will be replaced and installed tomorrow. I also get a new phone tomorrow.. So, silver lining to yesterday's debacle.
 Aside from the hot water heater and phone, I am very much looking forward to my husband being home tomorrow, I miss him and by the time he's home, I have cried myself to sleep the last few nights or shortly after his arrival.
 Prop's to all the single moms out there, bigger props to the ones with multiple children. It's only Tuesday and I am ready for that tropical vacation to be dropped on my door step.
 Sean said I should let Riley pick some lottery numbers for us.. He's about ready for a break (and so are we). Maybe once our week stops nickel and dime'ing us to death, we can afford to play (:
 In all seriousness though, I am pretty indifferent today. I think I was to busy to be anything but that, "busy".
 I can't deicide if I am waiting for zombies in this new age scenario, or if we are still lying in the wait, for the buffalo on our Oregon Trail. Either way.. I'd rather fast forward to a calmer place in life, as this spot isn't it.
 Oh, the dog. For the record, she's still alive and has only pee'd in the house twice today. She is just as mad at me as I am her.. so, we have pretty much avoided each other today. She's pretty bitchy and so am I.. the only difference is, I have the authority to lock her outside and leave her out there for my own desired length of time. Suck on that, Charlie.
  Good Night everyone, I sincerely hope that lately, when my loved ones have a trying day.. they think, "Whew, it could have been worse.. I could have been Kristi today." Love you guys!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Yuck.. Just YUCK!

UGHHHHHHHH all over today! From start to finish, I have had enough.
 Today has just been a crap day, literally.
It started this morning when we walked into the garage to take Riley to school.. Sean noticed water on the garage floor. The hot water heater had failed and the device that lights the pilot and seal broke, so our water heater was spewing water, everywhere. Sean was able to shut it off and drain the heater and I was able to contact our home warranty people.. They had someone out within the hour. Awesome, right? No.. It's going to take days to order the part we need.. because of course, that water heater isn't popular anymore. Thank God for the amazing neighbors we have.. who by the way, have names. Casondra and Eric. They not only have been gracious enough to put up with my moody, bitchy self these last few weeks, cook us endless meals and listen to me cry.. but now they have offered up a bathroom for us to use for any length of time needed.
 Let me get back to this day.. I picked the girls up from the bus and we headed to the mall for a few things I needed. Life was good, dandy even. We got home and they got ready for basketball try outs while Casondra took Cooper to play with B. My girls did AWESOME at try outs.. for never playing before, they were pro's. I took video and pictures and was that slightly, "GIVE ME A SMILE!" obnoxious mom.. As we were loading into the car after try outs, my left hand spasmed and I lost control for a second.. That second left my iPhone, face down in the James Woody Parking lot. Shattered. Thats ok! I pay for insurance for a reason, right?! I called, I was passed off to someone else.. I called someone else, they didn't have an answer, check online! Online, my deductible was 199. Eff that! I finally, called Apple directly and low and behold.. it's only 79.00! The kicker is that the store doesn't have an opening until Friday..
 The Apple technician talked me into express shipping.. Cool. Only, I have to turn off "find my iPhone" before he can set this up. It get's better folks.. I can't turn it off from my phone because my screen is shot. So I login, from my computer and he walks me through turning off "find my iPhone" through the iCloud! YAYYYY! .. No, not yay. The "technician" had me wipe my phone clean.. which means I lost all those super proud mommy video's and photos and then we got disconnected when my phone rebooted itself for the "cleanse".
 I finally spoke with a woman, who had a brain and she set me up with an instore appointment for Sunday.. because Sunday, as it turns out.. is the only opening Victoria Gardens has right now.
 I walked over to Eric and Cosandra's to find that Cosandra had not only fed my children but showered them too and was getting them ready for Dessert. Yeah, I told you, they are awesome.
 Cosandra walked me home and helped me get the kids situated.. she sat down to talk to me and I heard Charlie come in her dog door (which I had opened for her when we got back over here).. She walked right over to my large rug and pee'd on it! OBVIOUSLY I lost my cool.. because I really can't take anymore and she HAD JUST COME IN HER DOG DOOR! I locked her outside!
 After the neighbor went back home, I let Charlie in and told her to go get in her kennel.. as I come walking into the room behind her, I find her squatting in my bed room, pooping on the floor. Not just normal dog logs though, it was of course, diarrhea. Because that isn't easy to clean up and the smell makes me want to vomit but its cool.. UGHHHHHH!!! MY LIFE RIGHT NOW!! .. I picked her up and held her over the tile and then I  proceeded to step in it.
 Poop is apparently the straw that breaks my back. I burst into tears and here I sit, sobbing into my blog because I seriously, whole heartedly do NOT have the time to be an alcoholic. Nor do I have the patience to continue on this path of yuck!
 I miss my friend,  I can't fix my broken kid, I feel a ton of pressure right now to do and say the right things for everyone else, to care about every one else's woe's and sadness.. when really, I truly wanna be super selfish and run away.
 I'm tired of being told I am strong, I can do this, it's gonna get better.. it could be worse, count my blessings, just pray, think positive, just cry, just smile.. I JUST DON'T WANNA DO ANY OF THAT RIGHT NOW.
 This moment, this one as I type, I wanna give the stupid dog away, I wanna cry until I have no tears left and I wanna take a hot bath in my bathroom that I pay a hefty mortgage for.
 I wanna walk right up to wherever it is that Jason is and bring him right back down here for our son to have so that his tiny little voice doesn't break my heart anymore when he says, "I just want my daddy."
 I want to spend more then one day a week with my husband because our schedules are so crappy and he's coming as I am going and vice versa.
 Most of all, in this moment, I don't want my room to smell like dog shit.
 I know my language has been less then desirable here and on Facebook today and for that I want to be sorry but I am not.
 I have spent so much time apologizing for who I am lately that I am not sorry that I said fucking or shit.. because to put it mildly.. my life has been pretty much both of those words lately.
 I have tried to laugh at almost every incident thrown my way but today I have no laugh left, only tears. I know tomorrow it will be a better day.. My phone can't get any more broken and the water can't be any less hot.. I am just, very much, in need of a break.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Today, my boys were trying. They were testy, bratty and down right mean to each other.. but they were boys and they were mine.
 All of my kids make me thankful, every day to be a Mom.. but my boys are what MADE me a mom. Growing a child in you for nearly 10 months.. and whatever method of birth you choose or are forced into.. MAKES you a mom. I am lucky enough to be Mommy to two incredible boys and "Kristi" or "Mom" to two beautiful girls.. depending on what they want from me. Lol.
 Today, I miss my own Mom. It has been 7 years since she passed and I would give anything to be able to talk to her.
 I was able to celebrate with my aunt DeeDee and cousins this evening which was amazing, fun and much needed. Nothing fills the void of a parent though.. and thats my biggest fear for Riley.
 Sitting at that dinner table tonight, or celebrating with Shondra, Kalyn and Ann today doesn't fill the void of my own Mommy and sometimes, makes me miss her that much more. She wasn't a perfect mom.. or even a good one but if it weren't for her, I wouldn't be here. That makes me miss her.
 I am grateful to both Jason and Sean, for giving me the ability and opportunity to be a Mom. Seven years ago, when I grew Riley into the perfect little boy that he is.. This is not at all what I planned his life to be. I did not expect to be divorced, or re married or to have the opportunity to mother a child from another man or children who are not biologically mine.. but here we are.
 I love this life and everything it entails.
 I love Riley because he is sweet, kind hearted and handsome. He is the perfect blend of myself and Jason while being well mannered and loving. He is strong, hard headed and stubborn but also kind, loving and gentle. He has my eyes and chin.. but everything else from his dad. I am loving every minute of him growing and am looking forward to his future.
 I love Cooper because of his independence and charm. He is sweet and adorable.. and without calling me fat, reminds me daily that I have chubby cheeks. He loves his brother and I think part of him is lost when Riley isn't here.. He is funny and sweet and will always be "the baby"..
 I love my Aubrey Girl.. for so many reasons. I swear.. she may be biologically mine! We have so much in common. She is artistic and witty, she is funny and romantic. She is beautiful inside and out and I am so blessed to have her as a BONUS child. Never a step but an addition to my life.
 Madison, OHHH my madness. Because I list her last does not mean I love her less. She definitely gives me a run for my money. She is beautiful and funny, she is smarter then she gives herself credit for and she is so loving. She is so much like her mother but that is a good thing!
 Because of these four, I am a Mom. Everyday, I do my best and give my all so that they can have more and be more. Everyday, I complain and talk trash but I love them, endlessly. I love them without stipulations and expectations.. I love them because they complete me. I love them because every day is mothers day.. which, if you are a mom, you know that a "Mothers day" doesn't exist. Everyday is about my children and every day will continue to be about my children because they are what matters most.
 Happy Mothers Day to all the Mommies out there. Mine in heaven, my Mommy DeeDee here with me, My other Baby Momma Jeanette and ALLLLLLL of my mommy friends! I hope today was fabulous, regardless of how you celebrated. <

Thursday, May 7, 2015

It has been a good few days..

Despite the sickness, life has been pretty darn good this week.
 Tuesday Riley's fever finally came down and by yesterday the rash and itch were gone.  Tuesday we did a few errands but we mostly stayed in and cooped up, which drove Riley crazy and caused the boys to fight.. consequently, by 4:30 I let them go run circles in the back yard, for my own sanity.
 Yesterday Riley spent a good part of the day with his Nana and then came home in time for a nacho bar here at that house with a bunch of Sean's Costco family and a few close friends. He ran around like a crazy kid with his brother, sisters and a TON of kids. "The Neighbors" as my kids so fondly refer to them as, brought the trampoline over for everyone to bounce on.
 His light is coming back, which makes my heart smile. Like everyone, he spends a lot of time thinking at night so bedtime and slow, down times seem to catch up with him but for the most part.. his smile has turned up a bit.
 I got report from Riley's teacher that he had the best day today since all of this happened. He managed to make it through the day without needing to leave class, he played with his peer's and told them about his time at home, sick. They all expressed how much they missed him and he genuinely was excited to be back.
 It feels like the last three days here at home with him were very much for a reason. He hasn't asked to many questions but we talk a lot. He finds some positive in all of this which I am grateful for. He said he likes being home with Cooper more because, "Mommy, Coopee-Doo missed me a lot when I was gone for a whole week.."
 I am thankful that once school ends they immediately start basketball, I think staying busy through the summer will help.
  Going back to work today was much needed. I love my family but when things get heavy here I love that I have somewhere to escape to, where I can talk with super fun adults. My clients are so amazing and know me so well that one brought me alcohol and the rest brought me coffee. LOTS of caffeine was consumed today, so much so that I don't know that I will be able to fall asleep anytime soon.
 I feel like life is slowly resuming back to a normal state and I hope I don't disrupt ours by putting that out in the universe. It's been chaotic since about February!
  I don't know how my life ended up where it is today or what I did in a past life to deserve this one. Though it can be chaotic and really down at times, it's still a good one and I am thankful for what I have, even on the bad days.
 I know we will still face some bad days and down times, I know that with time we will figure out our "new" normal.. whatever that means but for today, we are doing a-ok and even a little good. (:
 .. and for all of you who I have made cry with my last few posts.. I want you to know that I cried while writing them. I sobbed, actually.. like, super ugly cry.. but today I am smiling. Today I am thankful for all of you who love me enough to love my family. To care enough to ask, or even read this crazy diary of mine, comfort and shower me with Starbucks and booze.
 So many of you started out as clients and are now my friends. SO many of you have seen me through the good, the bad and the really ugly. Through it all, you guys have shown me an amazing amount of support and for that their isn't enough thanks that I can give. I hope you all know how special you are to me and soon enough, I'll be the same snarky, quirky and sarcastic stylist you have all grown to love. <3

Sunday, May 3, 2015

It isn't "Tomorrow" anymore..

We survived yesterday. I was a big girl and didn't call in sick on life..
 The services for Jason were beautiful. He was loved by so many people. His parents did an amazing job. Everyone who spoke, spoke of him for who he really was.
 Rosalie did a beautiful job with her musical number and Eric (Jason's best friend) gave the best Eulogy ever.
 Riley needed to share about his Daddy and for a scared, sad 6 year old little boy.. He did a great job. He told everyone that he knows they will all miss Jason and it's ok to be sad but it's also ok to be happy, just be you and that Jason will always be in our hearts.
 Riley was sad and happy at the same time. He had cousins he had never met and some he knew very well to run around and play with.
 We left around 2:00 and Riley spent most of his day very down, sad and quiet. I felt like he kept looking for excuses to be sad. When we got home I asked, "Bud, do you just need to cry?" and he said, "No.." and I said, "are you sure? because you look like you just need to cry.. and if you need to cry, let it out!".. my baby broke down. He sobbed and cried and just repeated over and over, "I want my daddy back, I want my daddy back.." I just held him and let him cry.
 We were supposed to go see the Avenger movie as a family but by the time I got home my head was pounding from crying and I felt like I had no steam left in me. Sean, being the amazing man he is.. took Riley and Cooper to see the movie, while the girls and I stayed home and then got ready to go to friends houses.
 With it being such a heavy, sad day.. we all just needed a break. Riley went to his Nana's for the night per his request, Aubrey to her friend Taylor's and Madness to her friend Alexis's house.
 By the end of the night, Sean and I had ended up at our friend Matt's house (ugh.. that guys is such a lame).. and we laughed for a good part of the night.. genuinely, laughed, had a good time and we didn't talk about funerals or sad children.. we got to be us and happy.
 Today my heart is at peace, I woke up knowing tomorrow is behind us and we can begin to move forward. I know it won't be easy but we can do it because we are strong and a family full of love for one another.
  Thank you to Sherry (Taylor's mom) for taking Aubrey and showing her a good time, Thank you to Joie and Trevor (Alexis's mommy and daddy) for taking Madison and making sure her night ended with laughs and a good time and Thank you to Matt, Mary Beth, Colin, Gabby, Theresa, Matt and all the other people that I promised I would forget their names for showing us a good time last night.
 I am going to end this blog here because our AMAZING neighbors have made breakfast for Cooper, myself and Charlie (yes.. even the dog) and we must now shuffle over there in our jammies.
 Happy Sunday, everyone. <3

Friday, May 1, 2015

Insert witty title here..

I can't help but want to call in sick to life tomorrow.
 I know that isn't the appropriate feeling but I am beginning to feel like "strong" isn't in me anymore.
 I am tired, really tired. I know this can't be about me right now and really needs to be about Riley but right now I need to have a break down moment and I know that that is ok.
 I looked at Riley today and at times I felt like he is just a shell. He looks on the outside how I feel on the inside and I hate that.
 I hate that I can't fix his little heart. I hate that he has to experience this and today, today I want to yell and scream and throw my own temper tantrum, pitty party. I won't.. but that doesn't change the fact that I want to.
 Please don't confuse this anger today with an anger towards Jason. I am not angry with him and that is the honest truth. I am at peace and I hope he is to..
 It just breaks every part of me when I look at my baby and that light in his eyes is gone. That once ear to ear smile.. seems a little less visible and way to slanted downward for him to be my boy.
 Today I keep asking myself, How did we get here? How did this tiny speed bump turn into this horrible, rough and rocky mountain. How did it go from being a Thursday call to Daddy/Mommy because he missed one of us.. to he's never going to be able to talk to or see his Daddy again?
 How is that fair? I don't want to be angry and sad, I don't want to be a wreck anymore.. But Damn, it's hard!
 Every time he looks at me with that sad, defeated little face I break inside. This isn't how it was supposed to be for him. Our "normal" was a good one!
 I know with time it will be less raw, I know once we make it through tomorrow we can all begin to heal, I know that in a blink of an eye we will talk about how many years have passed, how hard it is to believe and how it will always feel like it happened just yesterday.
 The urge to pick up my phone and call Jason on a day to day basis hasn't gotten any better or easier.. in fact I find my hand in my phone and unlocked ready to call before it dawns on me, he won't be on the other end to answer.
 Today is overwhelming knowing that tomorrow will be here sooner rather then later. Today, I don't want tomorrow to come because I am not ready to say goodbye.
 Tomorrow makes everything final, real and I am really scared for that.
  For all the times I watched Jason waste a life (because if you knew Jason, you knew he had 9 more then a cat..) I never imagined this would be how his end would come.
 In high school Jason drove his car off the side of Mt. Baldy and didn't have a scratch to show for it.
 I watched him drink like his liver was competing for an olympic medal..
 I saw him WALK OUT OF ARROWHEAD REGIONAL the day after he was life flighted in from a motorcycle accident.
 Car accidents, broken glasses, getting hit by cars, wrecking on his bicycle and relapse after relapse.. Never did I think his end would come at 30, with our 6 year old lost, sad and feeling alone in a crowded room.
 Today, I am tired. Today, I am sad and today, I don't want it to be tomorrow.
 Today, I just want to laugh and really feel happy. I want to smile but not because the world expects it.. Today, I want my baby to be more then just "ok".
 I'm going to spend tomorrow away from my phone. We plan to take the kids out for some fun after the funeral because a beautiful Saturday can't be spent being super sad all day. Tomorrow, I hope we can start the road to healing because being "stuck" right here, right now, hurts all of us more then it helps.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

So, very tired.

 I swore I was going to be more diligent in using this blog and shocker, I failed. As most of you know, Jason, my ex-husband passed away nearly two weeks ago. This post won't be about him though.. this post is to answer most of the questions and statements I have been asked the last two weeks and maybe, to express a little of my own fear for my child.
 My Riley Fox. What an amazing, talented, sweet, loving, adorable and handsome little man I have had the pleasure of being mom to for the last 7 (when you count the time I grew him in my womb.) years. Did you know that Riley means Courageous and Valiant? That was why I picked his name in the first place, Jason liked that it has an irish origin.. but to me, that meaning meant so much more.
 Riley is doing "ok". On the outside, he is a normal little boy who still loves his legos, loves to taunt and tease his brother and push his sister's buttons. He still gets up and gets dressed the same way, he still fights me in the morning when it comes to styling his hair and he's still my monkey, who hates homework. 
 You know what I saw today though, that I have never seen before? I saw a fear on my child's face when he couldn't immediately see me in a crowd. I saw the panic and anxiety that came over him when I would step out of sight or he couldn't feel my presence. 
 My strong, independent, handsome little man, is not so independent right now.. and that breaks my heart in so many ways that I can't even begin to make sense, let alone explain.
 Over the last two weeks a lot of people have told me how lucky Riley is to have me as his mommy. That if anyone can get him through this, it will be me, because I know how he feels. I know these are meant to be words of comfort for both myself and Riley but they can't be more far from the truth.
 My mom was a drug addict and my dad was gone before I could say words or wipe my own butt.
Riley had a chance to know his Dad. Riley won't have the same story as me, his will be harder because he lost his hero.
 I don't know the proper way to comfort my child and help him grieve but I sure am giving it my all. 
 If you know me in the real world, you know I am a matter of fact person. I grieve, I get angry, I get over it and I move on. 
 This time, I refuse to move on without my baby and I feel as though we are stuck and for once I am ok with being stuck.. as long as he knows I am here. 
 I have had to hold my baby and reassure him of his daddy's love for him. I have had to tell him that his daddy misses him just as much as he misses his daddy. I have had to tell my son that for the first time, I can't fix his hurt and that kills me.
 I have tried my best to prepare him for what is to come on Saturday. I have told him that lots of people will cry for his daddy, lots of people will tell funny, happy stories and lots of people will want to hug him. I have told him that we will be there for him and we all love him so much.
  I wish I had more words for people when they ask how "we are doing".. but I don't.  I wish I could fix my baby and his heart but I can't.  More then anything I wish I could give him "enough" of everything I know he will eventually feel like he's missing. Because even though our stories are different, that feeling of abandonment is the same for anyone who has lost a parent.
 I know we are strong and I know we will get Riley through this. I KNOW how much love Riley has around him and how special all my kids are. 
 We haven't been laughing as much lately but we are definitely trying.
 Thanks for all the love, support, words of encouragement and even to those lucky enough to hear me rant and cry. I love you all right back and I don't know where we would be without all the love and support.