A picture always tells a story

Some more of my favorites.

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I can draw!

Somewhat.

I am a super creative person. Crafty and artistic.

I laughed recently as I was cleaning out the closet and reorganizing some boxes.

On any given day, I can pretty much guarantee that if you need or want to do some kind of project, I have the tools necessary to complete it.

Need a basket? I have some, with or without a handle?

Iron on letters, ribbon, artificial flowers, several types of adhesives…beads, buttons and yarn. To name a few.

I am literally a tiny craft store.

A lot of my stuff comes in handy when a makeshift repair needs made. Like a jewelry making ring to act as a zipper pull.

But, drawing is something I am only so so with.

I used to put little notes in my 9 year olds lunch bag.

But, that got boring. Recently, I began making drawings of some of their favorite characters.

I google pictures of them, and after my kiddos go to bed, I draw.

So now, it has become such a hit that I get special requests.

My preschooler doesn’t do lunch, but she has begun to make requests.

I don’t draw every night. Sometimes I am just too tired. I have also tried and failed with some.

There are way better artists out there.

But, I can only imagine the smiles on their faces when they see what I have drawn.

My oldest has started to hang them on the bulletin board in her room.

She loves Mario and a game called Five Nights at Freddies.

We all like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.

It’s fun to see what I can actually draw.

It is also super fun to do something special for my girls.

Apartment Life

First, to start I wasn’t going to write this.

I thought about it, and said that my apartment life would be funny to write about. Then, before I knew it, I apparently allowed anxiety to make the decision not to make this post.

Well shit. That was sneaky.

So now, I am going to write about it.

I have been living in a 3 bedroom apartment for nearly 4 months now.

The last time I lived in an apartment, I was a newlywed, now divorced. Also now, happily engaged. I had no kids. Now I have 4. I had no dogs. Now I have 2 Boxers.

Unfortunately, the past 3 years have been a true test of strength and it has lead us to downsize.

Living in an apartment building is interesting.

Luckily, because we have a 3 bedroom unit, our floorplan is a bit different than the 1 and 2 bedrooms.

This means, as we walk the long hallway past 10 other apartments, we hear what they are watching on tv. Conversations. The other day, a mans voice was heard in extacy through one door on my way to the laundry room. Oh my.

If someone is cooking fish, you get to smell fish. If someone is cooking bacon, you now instantly want bacon. When I make good smelling dinners, I think in my head, “how about that?”, wondering if my neighbors can smell it.

When showering, you must remain vigilant. You can usually tell a change is coming by the sound of the water pressure fluctuating. But, even still, if not quick enough you take the risk of 2nd degree burns. All because someone somewhere flushed a toilet or turned their sink on to brush their teeth.

Most people you see around, you have given a name to. Like, the crazy bike lady( remember this name, I will revisit her later), grumpy laundry lady, the doppelgänger car guy, the gamer dude….

I know the names of two people that live in our building, and I know the office girls that work here.

Now I will tell you about crazy bike lady.

She is an older woman.

She has signs hanging in her apartment window saying “don’t park here” and “no parking”. And nobody does.

She drives a car with a bike rack. When she leaves she walks out of the building and takes it with her, and when she comes home, it comes off and back inside with her.

It’s rusty and old as shit. Only once have we seen her riding it around here. Squealing and squeaking as she pedaled.

Often times when she leaves, she turns her hazard lights on as she slowly drives for the parking lot exit.

Yes, I have no life.

We have had to be evacuated by police because the people replacing the carpeting in the common areas were causing so much dust that it caused the smoke alarms to go off.

After the fire department ventilated the hallway and left, the workers again, caused the alarms to go off. We didn’t leave that time. But, the ear piercing sound continued until someone finally figured out how to shut it up.

You find out very quickly how disrespectful people can be. Leaving messes or doing stupid things that doesn’t affect them, but possibly the next person.

Leaving dryer sheets to litter the laundry room floor. There is a trash can right there. Or detergent spills. Leaving the dryer lint trap full of their scuzzy underwear fuzz.

NOT CLEANING UP AFTER THEIR DOG!

We have blatantly watched people, specifically one guy, not clean up after his dog repeatedly. We can see him from the couch if the blind is open. He takes his dog into the grass, watch it squat, and not once have we seen him bend over and pick up anything.

Then, you have to rely on everyone else not to do something stupid that could affect the entire building.

For instance, burning some food. Which resulted in building 1 to have to be evacuated and no shit, there were 4 different fire departments here.

We have to deal with the thumping and bumping from the tenants above who have 6 children, and you hope that your little maniacs are not causing the same disruption to the family below.

Apartment life definitely has its perks though. No grass cutting. No snow shoveling. Less space to clean. If something breaks, they fix it.

They recoated the parking lot recently. It caused chaos with parking availability until they were done, but we got to watch a guy we called ZZtop in action.

They even have special events around here, like this weekend they are hosting a trunk or treat for the kids to dress up in their costumes and get candy from participants who decorate the trunks of their cars.

We have a beautiful view from our balcony.

We can watch the horses in the fields at the stables nearby.

Lugging laundry and groceries down the hallway is a bitch, but we find ways to deal with it.

All in all it’s not so bad. This is where our journey has taken us right now.

Every day is certainly a new day. A new day for some people watching. Another day to be a part of a new adventure.

Ultimately, Another day to make the best of it.

Meant to be a mom

It occurred to me just a but ago, while I was making an ass out of myself to entertain Peyton, I am meant to be a mom.

Go back about 20 years and I would tell you differently.

I was never really around kids and babies growing up. I didn’t hate them, but I also had no opinion on them.

I have never been able to pinpoint where exactly in life I belong, but I sure as hell didn’t envision myself having 4 kids, all girls.

I have had my doubts, and haven’t we all. That moment where you just don’t think you can take much more.

My journey is a little bit different than most.

I also never planned to get a divorce.

Of all the obstacles I have faced in life, getting a divorce has been the most difficult.

The challenges continue.

You resolve one issue and have another one. Or there are things that remain hurdles and you just have to realize that it comes with the territory.

Like they say, “there are no winners in war”, and divorce is just that. No matter how ugly or amicable they are.

There are still casualties.

Through it all, I have primarily remained unchanged when it comes to how I am as a mom.

I have changed. I have grown. Life has changed. It is all just part of the aftermath.

I realized, that even though I didn’t see my life going in this direction, I had no planned direction to begin with.

I am literally writing my book of life as I go along. The following pages are blank, and I can write them as I wish.

Even though I didn’t go to college, get a degree, buy a big house, travel and whatever else goes along in the package of a “successful” person, I am successful.

I am good at being a mom. I am meant to be in this position.

If I were to sit down and list all the tasks and duties I perform just to keep them alive and well, the list would have no end.

Add in all the extras and well if it were a job, I would be getting totally screwed on pay and benefits.

But, I don’t bitch. Even though I struggle every day with the complexity of life in general.

I sometimes get tired. I get angry and sick just like everybody else. I am not perfect.

When I truly look at where I am, I am doing something I love. I am caring and nurturing and loving and it comes naturally.

I have improved my motherly abilities and damn it, I am proud.

4 little lives depend on me and I go above and beyond for them.

I am truly meant to be a mom.

If someone would have told me 20 years ago that I would have 4 beautiful lives to love and to hold and to help them to grow, I would have just laughed.

I have been through so much in recent years. I have quit and given up on things. But, my love and desire to be a mom is still as strong as ever.

I have succeeded at something.

Self Conscious

My skin has always been an issue.

I always wished I were one of those girls walking around with flawless skin.

Adult acne, due to hormones, was always a problem, up until now.

Us moms, our bodies go through so much shit as we age and go through pregnancies and beyond.

I am not at the beyond yet, but I know it’s around the bend as I approach 40.

This last pregnancy left me with a new skin problem that has really trampled my self esteem.

Mask of pregnancy or Malasma.

It it characterized by brown or dark patches of skin, mainly on the face.

Finally, my skin is pretty clear of acne, but now I have brown spots.

I guess I just can’t win.

So, today I finally got a haircut after many months.

And, I am sharing my face. Make up helps. But, it still looks like I have a 5 o’clock shadow above my lip and my forehead is affected too.

But, I have this gorgeous little girl now.

I have a 5 year old who also has marks on her face. She was born with a port wine stain on the side of her face and up around a part of her eye.

She rocks it! She is so beautiful. She is fully aware of them and just says that the birthmark just makes her her.

So, even though my spots aren’t as dramatic as my daughters, they are there. I am sure my anxiety fuels me feeling bad about them too.

Feeling good today with my haircut and not caring what anybody thinks.

I did it

I challenged myself to at least one thing.

It wasn’t big. But, it counts.

I have been wanting so badly to make my Jamberry business work.

One day I will get all pumped and want to really start putting some serious effort into success.

Then the following day a kid gets sick, then I get sick. Bills aren’t going to get paid and the stress just has your brain going through all possible outcomes. Or an old dog has become increasingly tough to handle.

There is always some obstacle that pops up to knock any positivity out of me.

And that there my friends is an excuse. In which I used to boast about making no excuses and going after what I wanted.

I lost that spark. I lost that fire.

I can not believe the path of destruction my divorce left.

But, Today, Today I did one thing different.

I exposed myself a little.

I made little packages, only 5 and left them in the mailroom. A flyer, business card, some samples and application instructions. Just as a test run.

A few hours later, I went to get the mail and they were all gone.

I have a feeling they did not disappear the way that I intended.

But, I did it. I did something I have been making excuses not to do.

I need to make more and I need to take them with me whenever I go.

And tomorrow, something else.

I hate Wednesdays

Every week, Wednesday is a crappy day.

I call it transition day.

That is the day I say my super “goodbyes” and “I love you’s” before they get on the bus.

That is the day I have to ride my preschooler to school and not come back for her.

Oh how my heart aches.

I know it is only a few days. I know it gives me more of a chance to relax and breathe. As much as I can with a three month old in the house.

But, I hate them.

Every Wednesday I think about my girls almost non stop. Hope they are having a good day. Which I basically do every day, but Wednesday I know I won’t get to see their smiling faces as they get off the bus. I won’t get the chance to ask them “how was school?”.

I don’t get to pick my 4 year old up from school and spend the next few hours with her without her older sisters.

Not to mention, Wednesdays seem to be particularly rough for her. Sometimes having break downs in school.

Wednesdays may be hump day for those who work. Yes, it’s the middle of the week and getting closer to the break the weekend offers.

For me, it’s the beginning of the count down until I see my girls faces again. One of the worst things about divorce.

So this morning, as I drove my one princess to school, we laughed and we talked and her happiness made me smile.

That song “Feel it still” was on the radio. (The only thing I can think of when I hear it, is that dude on the treadmill). I don’t normally listen to the radio because it is not my genre of music, but she was grinning and grooving. Like any mom would, I joined in.

I captured that moment at a red light.

And it has had me smiling ever since.

So, I am going to try to make the best of the time they are away. Because, in a few days, I have the opportunity to make more memories with them. That is something to look forward to.