Friday, July 12, 2013

Someone is 2

This post is a little delayed, as E's birthday was a few days ago. Better late than never!

My wish to have time slow down (or even better, stop for a while) was not granted. My baby is 2! I am not sure how this happened. One day I brought home a teeny little guy and the next thing I know my guy is 2.

When E was born, he was the tiniest baby I had ever seen. His little body was going through a lot of changes and he had his days and nights mixed up (so much fun for mommy). He's come a loooooong way to this energetic toddler who has absolutely no fear. None.

E can:
  • say short sentences, usually beginning with "I want"
  • run and is trying to skip
  • do a half somersault (we're working on it)
  • climb to get what he wants (mama's not so happy about this one)
  • turn the tv on when it's time for his shows
  • climb the stairs and go back down again
  • feed himself with a spoon and almost spear things with his fork (still needs a little help on that one)
This might seem silly to some people, but if you had known E when he was born...well, let's just say that this is a miracle to me. My aunt (a special education teacher) even thinks he's advanced in some areas, which puts me over the moon. There's an old saying that every mother has the cutest baby and in this case, it's the truth. I love my little stinker. Love might not be a strong enough word. When he barrels himself into my arms calling, "Mama, mama!" I melt every time. When I started this process, I wondered if I would ever be called that by my child. Now, I get a thrill every. single. time. Happy birthday my sweet E. Mama loves you!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What If...

I saw in the news yesterday that Pierce Brosnan's daughter died from ovarian cancer. It's the same cancer that took her mother and her grandmother, both in the prime of their lives. It's also the same cancer that gave me a huge scare earlier this year.

I had gone into my doctor's for my annual exam when she noticed that something didn't feel right. One ultrasound later and it turned out that I had a softball sized cyst on my ovary. The technician and the doctor were surprised I hadn't felt any pain due to its large size; I had no idea that anything like that was growing in my body. The doctor sat me down and explained that it probably was nothing, but there was a chance (albeit a small one) that it was malignant. She sent me for a blood test that began the longest 5 days of my life.

I called my mother and immediately burst into tears. You see, my grandmother (her mother) also had ovarian cancer. They found it when she was undergoing surgery to remove her spleen. This kind of cancer is extremely deadly to women because it's not detected until it's often too late. She lived for 10 more years before it flared again and took her life. I didn't want that to be me.

There was a huge weight on my shoulders. For the longest time, it was only me that I had to worry about, but now there was E. What would happen to him if something happened to me? Thank God I have a wonderful family who would take care of him and raise him like he was their child, but I didn't want to think about having to leave him. I love him, I prayed for him. He is my little boy and I never want to leave him. I had a whole new set of worries to contend with and I was sick with them.

In the end, everything turned out fine. It was benign and removed and everything is back to normal. But reading the article in People had me tearing up thinking about the pain this family is going through (and the pain of anyone who lost a loved one to this terrible disease). Life is short. Grab it and run. I hug my E and kiss him and let him know how much his mama loves him. And if something happens, God forbid, I hope that he remembers the love that I have for him for now and for always.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summertime Blues

The best part of being a teacher, is that we have don't work in the summer. However, ask any teacher and they'll tell you that most teachers work in the summer to supplement their income. There is one income in my house: mine. That salary has to stretch 12 months and include daycare plus the major needs in life for myself, E, and my fur family. 

I've been a teacher for almost 10 years and have worked almost every summer to earn extra money. There are 2 exceptions: when I got my first teaching job, lived at home, and made more than enough to take care of my bills, and the summer after my son was born (but I still worked 2 weeks of summer school so I don't know if it counts). 

This year I'm teaching 3 weeks summer school again. I'm lucky that my mom is able to come down and watch E or this wouldn't happen. However, it's sometimes hard not to feel upset when I realize that I barely see E during the school year work week and, though the hours are better, I'll be gone again during the summer. The mommy guilt will kill you if you let it. Also, the summer is when I mentally recharge from everything so I'm fresh and ready for another year with my students.

The money is going to pay the bills, as well as pay for next year's vacation to Disney (yay!); therefore I can't complain too much. I need to work and there's a venue for me to help kids, which is why I became a teacher in the first place. Let me end this by saying that maybe money doesn't buy happiness, but it certainly helps.

Friday, June 21, 2013

It Takes a Village

A lot of people tell me that they could never be a parent on their own and they don't know how I do it. Whenever someone says this to me, I am not sure what to say. I grew up in a two parent household. My parents were very supportive of my decision to adopt as a single mother. This may be because I am adopted or because I have always wanted to adopt and made my feelings very clear from the time I was 20.

I've seen a lot of great relationships (my grandparents) and countless relationships that ended in break ups, divorce, or one spouse doing the work of 2 spouses in a marriage. Don't get me wrong: I believe in marriage. I would love to get married one day, but I also didn't want to wake up one day and realize that I missed my chance at motherhood. Single parenting is the only way I know how to be a parent. We're a team of 2 instead of 3!

How do you do it? Build your village. I have a village surrounding my child. Hillary Clinton wrote a book with the same title, and she's completely right (I'm sure my dad is rolling in his grave as I'm writing this). E is surrounded by a loving family, even if they are far away. He is the center of attention at family gatherings and when we visit home, my aunt and uncle always make sure they visit so they can see him. He has 2 Nanas and one Papa (my uncle) as well as my sister, cousins, and their spouses that get very excited when he comes to visit.

I also have extremely supportive friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Helpful hint: when someone says they'll babysit when you need them, take them up on the offer. I had a co-worker say that she would take E if I ever needed her. He brought home the stomach bug when he was 7 months old and passed it on to me. My mother lives several hours away and was working at the time so she couldn't help. I couldn't take care of E (my worst fear) and I called my co-worker for help. She picked him up the next day so I could sleep and kept him for 6 hours. She's also taken him so I could have a Mommy's Night Out with friends (well needed!).

I have three very good friends that E sees regularly and have been with me from the beginning of the adoption process. Two of them are moms and I have called them many, many times for advice or hand holding. The other friend is a great listener and, though she has no children, takes E once a month so that I can get my hair cut and styled (one of my few mommy must haves).

Build your village. Surround yourself with friends and family (if possible). Don't feel guilty if you need to call one of them for help or advice. You would do it for them.