Saturday, December 24, 2016

Get it Together Kristi Ann..

The last month or so, I have been itching for change. Scenery, career, style.. weight. Really, I would be happy with any of the above.
 Tonight, slightly buzzed as my husband sleep's sound, I can't help but reflect.
 Feeling incredibly insecure these last few months, I can't help but reflect on the "why's"..
 Let me say first, how incredibly lucky I am, to have the husband I do. Tonight, while he worked hard, I sent him a text that read, "going to have dinner with Jesse and then we will meet you there! Love you!" to which he replied, "Awesome! Love you too!" or something so incredibly tolerant, loving and down right appropriate.
 I can tell you that I would probably be so much more annoyed with my husband if the roles were reversed. Not because I have any reason's to not trust him but because I am crazy insecure.
 Now let me tell you, this blog post isn't fishing for any compliments. So, save that shit for another time.
 Maybe it's just me or maybe it isn't but I am 31 and my life is really freaking incredible. I have family who loves me, friends who are there when I need them, amazing kids, 1.5 mostly-well behaved dogs, an incredible home, a career most people could only dream of and a husband who still, after 6 years looks at me with heart bubbles and tolerates my shenanigans.
 You might be asking,"WTF is wrong with you?!"
 To which I'll answer, "I have no-fucking-clue."
 In theory, I REALLY like me. I would totally want to be friends with me, if I weren't me. Sounds totally narcissistic but I am kind of cool.
 Then I glance in the mirror and I see ME.. the ME that I know. The petty, self sabotaging, slightly pudgy, almost mid life crisis bound, smile lines and crow feet, un even eye brows-me. The me that is so unreasonably insecure, it's kind of sickening. I try to justify these feelings by saying, "it's cause I'm a woman!" or, "maybe I am just being hormonal.." but to be really honest, I don't think it's either of those.
 I think that somewhere, deep down, stability and validation will always be a struggle for me.
 It is no secret that I had a pretty shitty up-bringing. It is also no secret that I try really hard not to use that as an excuse for the person I am today. Positive or Negative, I have made the conscious choice to be a decent human despite my past.
 So why is it so hard to just be "content"?
 Do other people struggle with this feeling? I can't be the only one.. I just wonder why? What is it, that makes me this way?  I am positive that a well qualified psychologist and extensive therapy is the only sure fire way to get an answer but I need feedback! Is it female accentuated, do men share these feelings? Is it an "age" centric thing? Like, do all my 30 something year old friends struggle with these feelings?
 Is it seasonal? Weather centered? Am I just sunny and warm weather deprived?!
 These feelings aren't only limited to my looks either. It's really, the whole fucking package. Like, I really feel like I am a HORRIBLE mother 90% of the time. For real, who thought it to be a good idea to let me raise other humans? I genuinely, sometimes, mostly feel bad for Sean. I wonder if he ever questions this choice.. Always, self doubt in this brain of mine.
Anyway, I don't really expect any of you to have an answer as to why I am me.. I just really needed to get this out. To word vomit anywhere that isn't inside my head. LOGICAL me knows how good I have it, how happy I should reflectively be and how appreciative I can be. Irrational me can't help but over ride some of those feelings though. (insert philosophical emoji face here.)

Monday, November 21, 2016

"All I want for Christmas is a Great Dane Puppy!!!"

..was my reply to my loving, patient, generous, did I mention SO handsome - Ginger, when he asked me what I would like as my Christmas gift this year...
 I have NO ragrets. (Not even one letter..)
 So, if you have a weak or queazy stomach, you should not read further. If you think poop and vomit stories are HILARIOUS, then this blog post is for you! You're welcome. 
 Day One with the catastrophe that is Sophie McOaferson was uneventful. She mostly excited/anxious pee'd and I smiled, high on the excitement of finally having my Great Dane. For the record, I have been asking for "her" since we closed escrow on this house.
 Day Two: We were at Universal Studio's and she was in the dog run all day. This was EASILY the best day.
 Day Three: This is where shit gets real.. I mean it, she shit.. in the hallway and my Ginger was the only one home to clean it up. I was SO super sad about that.
 Day Four: This is where it gets gross. I had let her out of her kennel first thing in the A.M. and then I fed her. I let her roam the backyard for a good 30 before I let her back in. She was just hanging out with me in the bathroom, until she wasn't anymore. Before I could register her lack of presence, Riley came running in my room, exclaiming, "MOMMY!! SOPHIE POOPED ON THE TILE!". Bro, I got this! Poop, on the tile? She's SO smart!
 I walk out of my room and into the living room when Cooper catches my attention. In a 2500 sq. ft house, my not yet so sharp child is hovering over the mountain of poop in the dining area as though someone other then me might have any interest in said pile.. only he's dry heaving. "huuuugh, huuuugh, huuuuugh". 
 I yelled at him to step away from the poop and that if he threw up I was going to lose MY shit. Then it happened.. he puked. "BLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEGGGGHHHHHHHH.." and just ten minutes before I had to leave my house to be 15 minutes late to work. Thats just how I roll..
 So, all is well after I spanked her, walked her to the back door and put her out. I leave for work and leave my woe's here at the house. Not an hour later, Sean text me to tell me she had poop'ed again and now she barks at her poop, on the tile, in the house. Sweet! The rest of the day was tiring and we were all in bed at a decent time.
 Day Five: SHE MADE IT ELEVEN HOURS IN AND OUT OF THE HOUSE WITHOUT ACCIDENT! Oh my geez, I was so excited and so was she that she pee'd on a rug. /;
 Day Six: TODAY!! TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY SHE MADE IT ACCIDENT FREE!!! We had no poop, pee, OR vomit in this house from a dog, today!
 Now, ya'll are probably thinking, "what a seriously, dumb thing to blog about.." and I will agree with you. However, I am incredibly excited about my dog. 
 She's the Miley Cyrus version of a dog, for sure. She enters every room head first and front legs last. She's a wrecking ball in every sense. She isn't very smart, I don't even think she understands the english that is coming out of my mouth but I don't even care! I think I have Puppy Love. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I Just Really Miss My Mom..

 So this week, I have been reminded of how kinda-sucky it is to not have a Mom. Like, a real, she's all mine-kind of mom. Most of you know that my Mom wasn't a great mom.. sometimes she wasn't even a good mom but she was MY mom.
 My mom and I had a roller coaster of a relationship. We had a lot of lows, with some sprinkled in highs. We fought hard but we loved hard.
 This week I can't help but be envious of my friends who have great moms and even better relationships with their mom's. I have friends who are off on wonderful vacations with their moms, friends who post about their mom's being their hero's and their biggest advocates. I also have a friend who recently lost her own mom - to see the loving things she had to say about her mom and the love she had for her grandchildren made me ache for her.
 My mom didn't get the chance to meet her grandchildren but I know she would have loved them, so hard. She would be present and she would be so accepting of each and every one of them. I know this to be true because she had a lot of guilt and regret that she couldn't wait to try and make up for.
 It's different for me, you can say things like, "Well, you have DeeDee.." and thats true. I actually have lots of strong woman in my life who play a dominant role but it isn't the same. I think that somewhere in me, I know that even if my mom were still here, we wouldn't be off on vacations together and she wouldn't be my hero. In a way, I guess I just keep mourning the loss of my mom but also the mom I wanted but didn't have. Pretty selfish, huh?
 Kinda like, I didn't like the one I had, so I am going to miss who she wasn't all at the same time.
 Though she had MANY faults and sometimes I find that coping with the loss of her is best when I remember to list all of them, so as not to miss her as much as I should will make the pain less. FYI, this doesn't help at all. She also had a few redeeming qualities. Some, that as I get older I see in myself.
 My mom was funny, she was witty, she was quick lipped and never missed the opportunity to make someone else laugh at her own expense or sometimes even better, their own. She was giving and despite all my own faults she loved me. She always took the time to tell me just how much she loved me and how proud of me she really was.
As I type this, with tiny tears rolling down my cheeks I can still here her, clear as day telling me, "Babygirl, I am SO proud of you! You are my hero and my greatest accomplishment!"
 At the ripe old age of 22, I didn't exactly understand how much those words would mean until the chance to hear them again were gone.
 I spent the first few years after she passed being angry. I was SO angry. Angry that she left when I needed her most.. though I was married and technically an "adult", I was a baby having a baby! I needed my Mommy! Then when I got divorced, I felt so alone. More alone then when she died. So many nights I wished I could have called her, because she would have had the right words even if she couldn't solve my problems.
 So many milestones that she should have been here for and she just wasn't, left me so mad.
 Today, I am mostly balanced and stable but after a week like this one, I can't help but pine for a mom, MY mom.. Someone who wants me around just as much as I want her to be here. Someone to love every part of me, faults and all. A mom who knows that because of her, I am me.
 If you're lucky to still have your mom and you have made it to the end of this terribly long pitty-party-post, even if she isn't the best mom, a great mom or sometimes she falls short of being a good mom.. take the time to appreciate what she is to you. It may be hard to see now but she's doing the best she can with what she has, even if it doesn't meet your standard.
 Appreciate the small things, the things that seem meaningless. The compliments, the hugs, maybe even the criticism. She loves you.
 Take it from the girl who didn't have much and didn't appreciate it while I had it - I'd give most anything to have it back. Because even though she wasn't outstanding, stellar, great or good she was mine. She loved me more then I could ever understand. <3

Friday, August 26, 2016

As A Parent, Are You Ever Enough?

This morning my "Mom guilt" is strong. We have an event at the end of the month (that I can't really go into specifics about) that I would love to be able to take all my children to. However, finances and schedules don't really permit for all four but just two to go.
 I've exhausted my resources trying to figure out a way to make it work and the only way its possible is to stretch myself beyond my "means".
 Our finances have never been made public to our kids and it's really no secret anymore that I grew up poor. It's also abundantly clear that because of my upbringing I try my hardest to make sure my kids experience so much!
 This year was a tough one.
 Aubrey has the opportunity to go to New York for her 8th grade trip. Last year when we found out about this trip I knew that there was no way we could afford our 1/2 of her trip. After many of conversations with Sean and Jeanette, we just couldn't do it.  We didn't have the extra cash just laying around or the ability to make the monthly payment. The amount it would cost to send her on this trip, we could afford to all go somewhere as a family.
 In this house, we had to say "No". Which was hard and heart breaking.
 LUCKILY, for Aubrey, between her Mom and her Grandma, she gets to go. I can't even begin to express how thankful I am and how excited I am for her.. but it still leaves my heart sad that we couldn't help send her.
 This year Aubrey also asked for a real cell phone. She thinks it's because we don't trust her that she doesn't have one. Oh sweetie, of all the kids, she is the most trustworthy at the moment. But try explaining to a kid that the 5.65 I pay a month for her gizmopal is just a tad more financially feesable then the 30 dollar smart phone she wants..
 We have been fortunate enough, many times to take our kids to do amazing things. For YEARS we exhausted ourselves with Disney passes, a trip to Hawaii, San Francisco, Reno, Arizona and PLENTY of expensive day trips. Never about the money but more the time and effort. The memories..
 Recently, my highly emotional eleven year old accused me of loving her little brothers more then I love her and her sister. What a blow that was.. How hard that hurt my heart.
 I try, even when they aren't in our home to show them I love them. I think about them. I don't love them any more or less then their brothers and I felt like, in that moment.. everything I have done is for nothing.
 I know this is total normal kid behavior and I didn't turn into a blubbering idiot when this accusation was thrown at me. I actually was just the opposite..
 Here's where my mom guilt comes in. We have done lots of things with our girls, separate from the boys. "Big kid trips" if you will.. and when they aren't home we try and make up for those trips by doing things with the boys, also apart from the girls because 1.) we can't stop living life every other week but also they need to know that our life continues to move forward with them too.
 Having a blended house hold really is hard.
 We have had many talks with the girls about how lucky they are, how they get to do things with Mom and Brandon just as much as they do with us. How they don't include their brothers in those things and that they shouldn't feel like they have to. Also, that they can't expect us to not do fun things when they aren't here..
 But when is it enough?
 Why do I still feel guilty for wanting to do things with either or sets of children?
 As a parent, do you ever feel like you have enough to give to your children? I don't mean just financially.. its everything. Finances, attention, boundaries, love, discipline, praise?
 Is this the pentacle of parenthood? Because this does not at all feel rewarding. It feels like failure..

Monday, April 11, 2016

Being Strong is Hard..

The last couple days I have been really sad. Unexplainably sad.. But I put on a happy face and do what I need to do...
 Today, Riley lost his first tooth. Man, that kid has so patiently waited for this day. He has asked me several times over the last two years when that would happen and WHY hasn't it happened to him yet?!
 I was SO excited to be able to pull that thing out! Wiggly teeth seriously gross me out. As soon as it was out and we could find the tooth (it was small and it got lost in one of the rugs) he asked me to take a picture and send it to Dad! As requested, I snapped the cutest picture of my baby and off into mass messaging it went, next to instagram and by default, Facebook.
 My next step was to call Jason, like all milestones and minor events.. it's a knee jerk reaction. Only to be slapped in the face once again that he would not be there to answer.
 This Mommy lost it. Out of nowhere, I had this overwhelming wave of emotion wash over me and all I could do was cry. I cried that my baby is growing up and I cried that once again, Jason is missing out on something so minor but so big at the same time.
  I know that these posts and these feelings are all so redundant but I guess thats the way of grieving, right?
 We put on our happy faces and went to celebrate with friends for a 7 year olds party. (Thanks for being born Eizen VonArx!)

Sometimes I Adult So Hard..

.. and sometimes I don't adult at all.
 So, this grief class I am in, is coming to an end. As I near the end, my homework assignments are a lot harder then when I started the class. This week I have to write a letter to Jason. I have to say "Goodbye" to the pain that is associated with his loss.. ironically, Monday the 18th marks the one year anniversary of his death.
 As you can imagine, I haven't done my homework for last week.. and this week's class was canceled.. which gives me plenty of time to continue to procrastinate.
 I should be writing my letter instead of writing in my blog.. All six of you who read this are definitely my top priority right now.
 Almost a whole year has passed since I have gotten to hear my friend's voice or see him in person and I am not ready just yet, to say goodbye to the pain I feel because of the lack of his presence in our life.
 Also, because of this class and because I have been an emotional basket case these last couple of days.. I have been reflecting on the OTHER major losses in my life. One in particular stands out and has been recirculating in my head the last few days..
 Why is losing a friend, so hard? I have lots of friends that I don't talk to on any sort of regular basis.. and sometimes I go MONTHS without contacting them or vice versa and all is right in the world.. but the solid motion of ending a friendship, why is that so hard to let go of?
 This particular friendship, was a friendship I thought would last a lifetime. I can't put into words here why it ended, or who was wrong.. or if their was even really a wrong.. I guess, in every situation we want to feel better by being the wronged, right?
 Anyway, I have tried to tell myself the last couple of years that I am better off without this friend in my life.. and though that may be true, it does not make it hurt any less. I have found myself making mental tally marks of all the times I was present for this friend.. of all the times I stepped up instead of stepping out only to realize that I am only making myself feel worse.
 What does it matter how many times I showed up to be a "friend"? What does it matter how many times she didn't?
 I recently commented about how, when Jason passed, this person didn't reach out to me for a solid five days and when she finally did, it was only to ask what happened to him. It felt like a slap in the face.. No contact from said person for seven months and then BOOM! Out of nowhere with a bullshit text message. (Obviously, I've let go of THAT anger..)
 Anyway, I need to let it go, I know. I need to accept that I won't ever get the apology I think I deserve from said person and I need to be ok with that. For my own self.. I need to accept that I can not, nor do I want to change the situation between myself and said non-friend.. So, I shouldn't keep hashing it out in my brain grapes.
 I know that I am not the only person who experiences these feelings when it's time to out grow a friend because I know that I have friends, who are human. Hell, some of you reading this are probably friends who have outgrown me or vice versa.. but I am just so fabulous, you're holding on and reading my drama! (kinda just kidding..) Sometimes though, when you're going through these feelings, it can be pretty lonely and that sucks.
 What it all boils down to is that I super need to accept that I am really happy with where our life has landed.. right here, even with all the bumps, mountains and terrain we have endured the last couple of years.
 I have an amazing husband who works REALLY hard for us, four beautiful, happy, smart, sometimes smelly but totally worth it-children, I have a great home and the ability to provide for our family. I have an amazing group of friends who ARE here, who ARE present and who have supported all of us in our up's and down's.
 I miss Jason terribly, for a lot of reasons. I was lucky we managed a pretty decent friendship.. and missing that on top of all the other stuff that makes my heart "feel" things is pretty crappy.
 I guess I'll end this here.. I probably won't go do my homework, to be honest.. I'll probably put it off till Sunday but it felt really good to get that other stuff off my chest and into something that I can sorta make sense of.  (:

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sometimes, It Isn't About Having An Opinion At All..

This week has been a tough one. This week has been exhausting and I am so glad this week is almost over.
This week, I have learned that being emotionally invested in someone is more work then I anticipated. This week, I learned some serious lessons.
 I learned that I can be a friend without an opinion. Though hard, I can stand by someone's side through the thick and thin. I can put judgment aside even when the world can't, I can still see the good in someone's heart. I have come to understand through my own poor choices that not one of us is perfect. This has been super fucking hard.
  The first part of my week I spent seriously questioning my judgment. My choice in people.. My, "WTF radar" was crazy on edge.
 I had to step back and assess my situation from an outside view. I had to remind myself that sometimes friendship's are hard and I had to tell myself over and over that I wouldn't want my people to turn their back on me in any time of need.
 What I have come to learn is that when someone makes a mistake and everyone wants to remind them, criticize them or snub them, sometimes, the one left standing beside them doesn't have to agree with them but can hold their hand without pointing a finger and shaming them.
 For a hot second, I worried what people might think of me, their opinion of how my support may jeopardize my moral compass.
 The lesson I learned is that though I do care what people think of me, I can't let that stand in the way of being present for my people. I have to trust that anyone who knows me, knows my heart and knows my worth as much as I know theirs.
 The first part of this week I almost went into "self preservation mode". You know the one, where you sever the limb instead of taking the time to fix it. I am really good at this mode. I can walk away and not look back, without skipping a beat! I'm super cold like that..
 However, my husband kept me on my path, he reminded me that there are points and purposes and that not everything is about ME.
 So, to the people I know and love.. all of you. You know me, you know I am going to call you on your bullshit. Thats why you chose me as a friend. Thats why as family, you still choose to talk to me. I am learning that I am not always going to like your choices, I will not always understand why you do the things you do.. but I love you, I will stand by you and I will do my best to put my judgments aside. I will always try to be the friend that I hope you will be for me when I make mistakes. I will be your friend and shoulder your burdens with you because thats what friends do.
 This week, I learned that even though being emotionally invested in someone is super, duper  fucking hard, being a friend is not.
 I don't blog this for a gold star or recognition.. I blog to remind others that sometimes putting your opinion's in your pockets and standing next to a person regardless of your own belief may be the difference that someone needs. You might not change the world but you may be a positive factor in an otherwise shitty situation.

Monday, March 7, 2016

No More Counting Days..

 Here we are, past our largest milestone, with no need to count down to anything anymore. Here we are, living our days the same as before.
 I want to say "Thank You" to all of our friends and family who came to our home to help us celebrate a monumental day for our family of six. Thank you to everyone who pitched in to make it great, who brought gifts when it wasn't necessary and those who showed up and showed support. We love you all.
 As most of you know, I have been attending a grief recovery group for the last five weeks. In this group we've touched on how the things we say, can impact a person.. even if we don't mean for it to and how some words of comfort, don't bring comfort at all.
 I bring this up because so many times before, during and after the adoption it was said to my husband what a "Real Man" he was for doing this for Riley (and sometimes, Me.)
 My husband (whom I lovingly refer to as my ginger) is SO many things but "MORE" or "REAL" of a "MAN" he is not, for the sole action of adopting a child that was always "ours."
 Sean is an amazing provider. He provides us with love, encouragement, strength, praise and his presence. He is also funny, smart, charismatic, loving but also, lovable. My husband is handsome.
 My husband has ALWAYS been a REAL MAN. (Crazy, right?)
 Let me back up for a minute though.. You see, the man I fell in love with was already great man. He was an amazing father to his two girls, he was a hard worker and a great friend. What was MORE was that he could be both of those things to Riley and me.
 From the start, Sean treated Riley as though he had always been a part of his life. He stepped in and changed dirty diapers, he spent countless hours awake at night so I could sleep, he cared for my child while I worked. In most cases.. he's a far more patient parent then I could ever be. He was a real man for me, from the very start. Sean has always been Riley's second Dad, so much so, that Riley doesn't remember a time when his "Seany" wasn't here.
  Now let me fast forward. For all of Jason's short comings he was a great father. Jason did not leave this world leaving Riley feeling like he was a burden or unwanted, that is for sure. So there was no metaphorical plate for Sean to step up to. Jason's absence was a series of events, yes.. but I do not think he purposely left his son. Riley will ALWAYS know how much BOTH of his daddy's have loved and do love him.
 So, for those that have said what a "real man Sean is to take on someone else's child".. though I am sure this is mostly generational and not meant to sound as absurd as it does.. It does not bid well as a compliment. In fact, it's almost demeaning to him and us. What was he before this life event? Has he been a "fake" man for the last five and a half years? What about the years before he "took on" my child? Do the seven he spent before us not count at all?
 I love my ginger, I love this family and I love the effort we have both given to each others children. I love that I can count on my ginger-bearded husband for any walk through our life. I can count on him to be a great dad, I can count on him to be an amazing husband and I know his heart has always been as loving as it is today.
 I love that we have blended our lives seamlessly and though it isn't always easy, he makes my life easier.
  I'm sure that this statement said to my husband over and over is mostly a response to not knowing the right words to say at all.
 So to my husband, I want to say.. I love you, I am thankful for you and I have always thought of you as a real man. I am lucky to know you, to be your wife and your side kick. I am a better person because you are mine and I am yours. Thank you for ALWAYS loving Riley and me, for allowing me to love whole heartedly our girls and for giving me Cooper, I am positive he is the universe's way of trying to teach me patience. Thank you for unifying our family because Riley asked you to. Thank you, for wanting to be his Daddy - no matter the title in front of it. Step Dad, Bonus dad, Seany dad or now, Daddy -here on Earth.. I love every part of who you are and why you are the person you are.
 (I made it a whole blog post without an obscene word, all for you, babe.)

Sunday, February 28, 2016


It feels like the last year of my life has been measured by days, months, markers and milestones.
 In the last ten months I have doubted myself as a person and as a Mom. I have been my worst enemy, my biggest critic and at times I have felt like I might just lose my mind.
 I sit here today, content. With lots of tears, hard work, self reflection, words of advice from just about everyone and therapy for 1/2 of the members in our house.. we are on the road to mending our very, broken hearts.
 It has been awhile since I have blogged.. I have been busy with lots of stuff and things. This last week though, I was asked some very personal questions about our dealings and adoption. Nothing that made me uncomfortable and certainly no criticism.. but because I was asked these questions.. I thought I might share them with the rest of you, who might be wondering the same thing. Here they are:
 1.) Why?
 Well this one is easy. The biggest "Why" is because Riley ASKED for this. Without prompting, without prodding.. Our child sought the knowledge he needed and wanted about sharing a "daddy" with his siblings and with counsel, we thought it to be the best decision for our house.
 My Why is the comfort and stability that my husband brings to this equation. Riley was very blessed to have two loving, nurturing fathers for 6 years and sadly, that number has dwindled to just one.. However, he is a great man for the "job". I find comfort in knowing that if something were to ever happen to me, Riley would have a parent here who knows my wishes and wants and he would have stability in an unsettling time.
 2.) Are you going to change his name?
 Yes. For so many reason's but again because Riley asked. He actually asked to change his whole name to Jacob Randall Ehart and I said No. Mainly because he isn't a Jacob, he is a Riley. Which, yes, I can hear you all saying, "but he isn't an Ehart either, He's an Ashworth." So i'll break this down too.
 For simplicity reason's, changing Riley's name makes sense. One day, when the funds are right we would like to travel with our kids. We would like to obtain passports, ect. and take them somewhere, anywhere.. before they are grown. If Riley is an Ehart, there is less documentation for me to acquire, keep track of and explain in every way.
 For unity. Remember, up there ^, where I have said a couple times that Riley ASKED for this? Riley asked for this because he wants to fit in, to belong, to identify. In his 7 year old heart he wants to be apart of this crazy family and I am learning by watching him.. that he doesn't want to tell his story the sad way anymore. This isn't to say he is forgetting his Daddy Jason, infact, its the opposite. We talk about Daddy Jason all the time and how Daddy Jason is still his Daddy in Heaven.
 Nothing is permanent besides Death (and my shitty blues clues tattoo.) but when Riley is 18, he will have the option to change his name back to Ashworth if he so chooses, Sean and I will both support him in that choice.
 3.) Why aren't you hyphenating?
 For the love of all that is Holy, this child has been through enough! Riley Fox Ashworth-Ehart sounds like it should have "and associates" at the end. My seven year old is not a law firm, a widow or an identity crisis.. He is a seven year old boy who is OK with being the same as the rest of us. Besides, remember I like things simple? Every-Single-Legal-Document would have to be written out as Riley Fox Ashworth-Ehart.. If you have ever purchased a home, I rest my case here.
4.) Is he excited?
 Our entire family is excited. Though it may not be visible from the outside, because, well, were pretty good at pretending that we have our shit together.. this has been a tough year for all of us. The girls have had to face a lot and be strong in so many ways, Riley had to deal with a loss that no child should have too and as parents we have done our best to side line and prepare for all the storms while doing our best to protect everyone involved. WE ARE ALL OVER THE MOON about this life event and we can't wait to party with all of you.
Thats pretty much the just of it. I hope breaking it down for you, helps you guys to understand where we are as a family. Riley is far more resilient then I could have ever imagined him to be.. but he's still a seven year old boy, wanting what everyone else has. He wants what any kid in his situation would want. He doesn't have to choose which parent he loves more, he isn't being pitted against anyone in an ugly battle. He is a boy who has had to face adversity young and who is finding positive in what would other wise be, a shitty, negative, horrible situation.
 Riley loves his Daddy Jason and he's also, always loved his Daddy Sean. He doesn't remember a life without either of them. He's a great kid, all of my kids are.
 So in closing, were happy, were mending and soon, we will be the #EhartPartyOfSix.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Even Mommy's Break..

Two hours ago we should have been landing in Seattle for an adult weekend away. We should be well into our trip up to Canada as I type this but we aren't. I am sitting at the table typing away as Riley and Cooper play video games with a friend who is sleeping over.. because we stayed home.
 The decision to cancel our trip was mutual and I am trying to be ok with it, since it was mostly my anxiety and fear that lead us in this direction.
 Cooper is having surgery in 19 days and I have to keep him germ free and healthy until then. So, the thought of even taking three days away and leaving him in someone else's hands made me cringe and lose sleep. Blame it on my control issues and I know we have time to take trips later.. (this doesn't make me any less sad that we aren't going today.)
 It has been 9 months since Jay passed. Somedays we do ok and others not so much. I realized not to long ago though that I have spent so much time hovering over Riley that I haven't stepped back to look at my own emotional situation.. and man, what a shit show that is.
 Here is what I realized. I need help because this Mommy is broken too.
 I noticed that I am struggling when it comes to parenting Riley. I don't want to yell, I don't want to take things away, I don't want to punish him because he's been through a lot! Logically, I know this isn't ok. Logically, I know that my seven year old can see right through this disadvantage and often runs with it. Logically, I know that every kid needs structure and discipline no matter whats going on. However, my heart isn't on that page yet and I don't know how to get it there.
 Don't get me wrong, sometimes he pushes far enough and I get on him.. but then I spend hours in my room, in tears because I don't want to yell, scream and discipline. Are you see'ing my cycle yet?
 I am see'ing a therapist now, the same therapist as Riley. I am being open about this because maybe someone else will see this and understand that it's ok to talk to someone. It's ok to be broken and it's ok to want help. I feel like the stigma that surrounds therapy or anti depressants is ludicrous, so here I am.. sharing me, with you. ( for the record, I am not on antidepressants because I would like that to be a last resort.. however, I am not against them.)
 In therapy I have learned that I am angry with Jay (which I have known..) but how deep my anger really goes is scary and something I need to come to terms with so that I can be able to let it go.
 I am not angry with him because of our divorce or the hate we spent spewing at each other for years.. but more because of how he left us, in this situation and how broken all the pieces are. Including my own..
 You see, Riley isn't a burden to me. He never has been and there have been several times I had to step up and be his everything. I have always done so because being his mommy and being a decent one has always been my priority. This time though, I feel like Jay broke us both and those pieces can't be put back together which makes me angry. I am angry at every milestone he isn't here for, I am angry that he is missing holidays and birthdays but mostly I'm angry that I can't tell him I am angry with him.
 I am working through these things but I am also learning what triggers them. Never in a million years would I have guessed that looking at Riley and see'ing a facial expression or a certain tone could rile my insides. Never would I have guessed that see'ing so much of Jason in Riley would make my heart ache and miss him and I would have never guessed it would make me mad. Yep, it makes me mad!
 Mad that for the rest of his life he will hear things like, "You look just like your Daddy.." or "Your Daddy would have been so proud of you for..". I learned that this makes me mad because these are things I grew up hearing and unless you have ever been compared to your dead parent, you don't really understand the proper response to these statements(their isn't a proper response, ever.) ... The responses to these statements are usually awkward silence, a half assed "thanks"  or a "really?" but what you feel inside is hurt. Inside, you feel a void that can't be filled. Inside you ache because you realize in that moment how much you're missing because of the absence of that person. (Remember a few months back, I blogged about how Riley's loss was probably going to mix up my own mommy and daddy issues?! .. Well here they are, folks! Grab some popcorn, it's going to get good.)
 I know that anger is part of the grieving process and I feel like I am spending a lot of time in this part of the process, so therapy will be good for me. I know that working through this with someone else is also beneficial for my own mental health.
 My therapist gave me a homework assignment this week. I have to write a letter to Jason. I have to put the things in my heart on real paper and tell him why I am mad at him. I have to tell him how his absence is affecting my ability to parent, how his absence pisses me off and how this life isn't being very fair. I have to write this letter as though I have the ability to hand it to him. For whatever reason, it's harder then I thought it would be.
 It's cathartic to put my feelings here. It's comforting to know that when I want to, I can scroll through our progress of the last nine months and smile, cry or embrace some of the shit we overcame. (the week from Hell, when the water heater broke and I stepped in warm, runny dog shit.. all in one day?!) I can imagine that once I start my letter, it will also be cathartic.. but getting started is a struggle. It has to be done by Monday. (insert procrastination face here.)
 Aside from the anger, I am getting through the rest of my days just fine.
 I am so thankful for Sean. Thankful to have such a loving, understanding husband who can distinguish between my love for Jason and being in love with Jason (which I wasn't anymore and hadn't been for a long time.) I am thankful that my husband knows without me having to reassure him that me being sad over Jason's absence is because of the presence he had in our life and that Sean misses him to. I am thankful he supports my need for therapy and offer's encouraging words.
 Just like the other storms I have endured, I will make it through this one too and so will Riley. He has some strong parents left here to get him through this crazy stuff.. and I am glad that I know myself well enough to know that I can't fix me on my own, which means I can't keep strong for him until I fix my own stuff.
 Being a parent is hard. Always. If you don't have kids yet and you think it's a walk in the park.. You're a dumb dumb. Though being a parent is hard, being a broken parent to a broken kid is harder then you could ever imagine. Being a broken parent to a broken kid and holding it together is like walking into a gun fight with a butter knife without the ability to hide behind someone or something.
 We will figure it out.. probably not in any kind of timely manner.. but we will none the less. (: