Awesome Parent Shout Out- Yolanda M.

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Mom to an awesome spunky, smart girl – you know i had to give the spotlight to the bestie today

What your kids call you: Mommy

Your Passion: doing my best as a Christian, wife and mother

Funniest Mom Memory: I’ll read things to her and she will tell me that I am wrong, since it’s in Spanish (which it is not) then will proceed to “translate” it for me correctly

Most difficult time being a parent: when I needed to go back to work and my nanny situation fell through.  I couldn’t bear the thought of sending her to daycare.

If you could give someone advice what would it be: relax; be present; enjoy each and every moment

 

For the love of Pi

pi-day-2015  Its March 14 and do you know what that means? Its Pi day! (3.14159265359) Yep 3/14 and in our house that means we celebrate with pies! As i type I’m trying to figure out a Taco pie and an Apple pie that i can whip together for us after work today!

Why the fuss? Well, I’ll tell you. It started with a 5 year old kid (my kid) and his love of math. He was introduced to pi in school and became instantly fascinated with the irrational endless number. Everything was pi! When you would ask him and still to this day what his favorite number is – hell respond with pi. If you ask him to rate something on a scale of 1-10 and he really likes it, he’ll bypass 10 and go straight to pi. That’s when you know you have a winner! Chicken and broccoli? 8, soup? 2 , fruit loops? pi, Pizza, Nachos, brownies? duh pi.

So you can only imagine my delight when during our usual game of outdoing each other took a turn for awesome. Normally i would start off with “I love you more than all the stars in the sky” and he would try to top it by saying something along the lines of “I love you more than all the drops of water on earth” this would go on and on and on until we would come up with something ridiculous and the other would concede. Well one day he said “Mommy, I love you more than pi” More than pi?!! How could that be? That’s a never ending number?! Be still my heart for my baby boy loves me more than pi! The time after that he said he loved me “more than pi times pi” – woo this is serious business we are now multiplying pi!  Now he has eve sprinkled in “I love you more that pi times pi times infinity” Holy cow batman! I don’t know about you guys out there but i think Ive hit the mother-load (ha-ha)

 

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For the love of pi

All kidding aside i love this about him. It has been 6 years since that was introduced and at 11 years old he still say he loves me more than pi and uses the rating system. Which is why this past year it was only right to get a little tattoo honoring him.

So from myself and my kid- i hope your day is more awesome than Pi. Go celebrate and Treat yo’ self to a slice in solidarity!

 

When a dream is just a dream

  They say the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.  I used to always laugh whenever I heard that saying because in the past it has never served me well.  The heart wants what it wants and when it doesn’t get it,  it throws your whole mind off balance.  Kind of like an emotional hostage standoff with yourself but you never really win.  The mind is logical the heart acts like a three year old in a toy store throwing a tantrum over a toy it can’t have.  Unrequited love,  it’s the story of my life. 

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  I’ve lost count how many times I have fallen hard for Mr Wrong.  How i completely open up and love so very hard.  There was Mr. Untouchable -who guarded his heart with a steel fortress, Mr. Soul-jah who was a vital part of me growing up and I remember anytime I would say I love you,  i would say it in a whisper almost afraid it would fly away if i said it any louder,  Mr. I really can’t stand you-but im gonna do the right thing-until i can’t-then I’m going to tear you down piece by piece until you are a shell of your former self and the oldie but recent who has so many names :Mr.  Nomad- mister Mt Everest- mister soul,  mister best friend,  mister music, mister not in my life at the moment because I woke up one day and over waffles and conversation i realized he would never love me. This one in particular has been rough.  It has me dreaming about him,  it has me angrier than I’ve ever been,  it has me sadder than I’ve ever been.  This one has been someone I’ve loved for  15 years on and off, who became more than a love,  but someone who knew what i was saying without me saying anything at all.  He was my version of the unattainable,  unconquerable Mr.  Big,  except in this ending there is no him chasing me down in Paris or standing outside my window with a boombox in Say Anything style.  There’s not going to be a fight where we run outside and kiss in the pouring rain,  there’s no being away and suddenly running through the airport,  flagging down a taxi and banging on the door to declare that this whole time you’ve been an idiot and in fact are in love.  That crap only exists in movies,  in real life you get the occasional “hey ” text and then deafening silence in between.

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  My friends are so amazing and supportive and still hold on for hope that one day someone amazing as me will come into my life.  My family or more so my mother has realized I’m 36 and in a loving,  only a way a foreign mother can say- has all but given up on that hope for me,  but reminds me that at least i have a child,  a house and a car.  Every now and then she sprinkles in the occasional “it’s ok to be a lesbian joke” as if she’s trying to coax me out of a closet that doesn’t exist or come to grips that I’m not married. Lol but in her ultra feminist rant and in the same breath will just say “ju dont need a maaan” (say it with a thick accent like Sofia Vergara- that’s how my mom sounds) but behind closed doors im sure it’s more like this

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  So back to friends. They have helped me swipe on dating apps and told me to let go of my Mr. Big, who have been there for my numerous rants and ups and downs they have been great.  They tell me to get out more and offer dating advice from their married couches.

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Imagine their surprise when i told them that a co worker is setting me up on a blind date with Mr. Unicorn.  Mr.  Unicorn has earned this nickname because he frankly sounds too good to be true.  My matchmaking friend has told him about my independent,  feminist, no nonsense,  single mom, big booty,  plus sized life and he’s still interested. I have been told personality traits that border on the line of unreal and get the fuck outta here- no one is that awesome. (6’9, has a career,  no kids,  likes to send flowers, likes plus sized girls,  is a good friend ect) So i dubbed him Mr. Unicorn because you hear of people like this,  but i personally have never met one) so you can imagine the  flurry of excitement and advice on how to act,  what to say,  what to wear,  what not to say.  A team,  a freaking team of friends have thought of every excuse i could come up with and have combated them with solutions before i could come up with them.  I have 6 back up babysitters in case i try to use my child as an excuse,  i have 3 sets of couples who can show up unannounced and “bump into me ” at said location. i have a team of women mad that i won’t pick an outfit and people treating this like I’m the fucking next in line to take on the throne lol.

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I guess it doesn’t help that i haven’t been on a date since 2003. I’m not even lying about that part.  I mean yes I’ve been with guys in between that time but my self esteem was so low i didn’t require much maintenance so no formal dates were had. So i know I’ll muck this up by being super awkward

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So here i go,  doing what i know is not best by trying to get under someone else to get over someone else.  It has failed in the past but maybe I’ll get to meet some awesome people.  And in the words of the amazing,  talented Kristen Chenowith, Maybe this time. …

-Go out & be awesome ♡ Denise

Confessions of an A-hole

sarcasm So I think every now and then you have to sit back and take an honest assessment of self. Like you know ask the real tough questions you know need to be asked and answered but you avoid and watch YouTube videos about cats instead. They may range from “Can i really pull off faux leather leggings to Should I be worried that I find it better to sit at home then having to interact with people?”

It’s no secret I’m a single mom- duh that’s the name of the blog. And my friends will affectionately joke that “I get sick of people sometimes” – and to clarify I have had most of my friends for over 20 years so my sickness of people really just applies to newbies. Ive been officially single since 2013 and life is good now. My son and I have a groove, a routine. We know when the other needs a little space. We get along great. He’s the perfect roommate lol except he doesn’t pay bills and I have to feed him, clothe him and nurture him.

I often express that I am worried that the more I live alone and get used to being alone that I may not be any good as a mate. Ive grown used to doing what I want when I want. Ive developed and interesting new tic- called Honesty. And its the type of Honesty sprinkled with a dash of humor and a little color. For example, instead of saying “Hey maybe you should take this breath mint?” I tend to say things like “Hey eat this breath mint, its smells like death all up in there” or instead of “that person is getting on my nerves” i say “Every time she speaks i want to commit a crime”. I also tend to pepper in under breath comments when people say stupid things. Its not that I’m mean, its that I have a very low tolerance for B.S and I literally tend to just say whats on my mind. Its like there is very little filter left and that concerns me.  I feel that living alone, and the longer I live alone the stronger my Assholiness gets.

I find that the older I get I just kinda say whats on my mind and I am numb the reactions around me. Now don’t get me wrong I wont put people down or be mean about body, race, religion, sexual orientation or important things like that. No, mine are more comments under the breath to people who’s elevator doesn’t reach the top and make me wonder how they mange to survive this long. See? I just did it.

That being said, I need to learn to adult or be more feminine or soft or some shit like that. I need to use “Bless her heart” and leave it at that, not follow it with “Bless her heart, her mama must have drank through her entire pregnancy” I need someone to follow me around with a Red light and just as I am about to push that person over the imaginary cliff- it needs to light up and be like “Stop it right there” I feel like at 36 I am taking my 86 year old lady liberties too early. I always said i was going to be the old lady that didn’t give a shit, I just didn’t think that my day would come so early.

So it brings me back to my main concern. Do I lack the people skills to effectively communicate with another human being without an eye roll or my acerbic wit shining bright like a diamond?

What made me think of this you ask? Well, let me tell you. I downloaded a new dating app called Bumble. I found a match and he liked me so we began chatting. This is a big deal because literally the dating situation is so dire and desolate that I’m starting to feel like that town in Russia where the nuclear plant exploded. What was that place? Oh yeah Chernobyl. My dating life is like effing Chernobyl. Anyway this morning Mr. Kayak (what i will refer to him based on my fav pic) asked for my number. Sweeeet! This is progress. Of course you can have my number Mr. Kayak… doot doot doot. (Thats the sound of me sending him my number….play along) Anyway he sends the Hey text, i Heeeey back. he answers back that He’s just hanging out on the couch. I say something along the line of “oooh lucky, I’m stuck at work” Now before I tell you how the conversation hit shit town from this- I will say that I have been SO SO careful when responding to any questions and holding myself back from my sarcasm because it does not translate well to a stranger or over text. I need you guys to understand that every response was read over and over before I hit send. I also need to remind my new readers who do not know me in real life that I tend to weed through bull crap really fast and one of my favorite things is to call people out when they are being inappropriate or condescending. Its a sport really. Another thing about me is that I have been so badly hurt in the past that I am pretty guarded as far as letting people occupy the space that is my heart. Add to the fact that I’m a single mom who wants to make sure I make the right choice for me and my child and my propensity for B.S is literally at a negative. That being said you must understand that I am literally walking around guns loaded, scared shitless and using my sarcasm to fill in the gaps where I don’t know what to say.

So back to how I ruined the chances with Mr. Kayak by the third text. Back to the couch text right? “Oooh how lucky blah blah blah” to which he responds “You could curl up to me” to which I give an eye roll so big that it could have literally caused a Tsunami that messed up Eco systems for years to come. Corny as hell right? I also then have like forty-leven red flags (or the crazies) pop up and go- ugh I know where this convo is gonna go- cue the d!&* pics and some stupid sexual innuendo. So i wait, slightly annoyed (poor guy does not know what is coming) And I playfully respond with the this meme0cb50b50f5171b37d36c01cffcc98253.jpgfollowed by “How about I learn your last name or basic info before we go straight to couch cuddles.” Followed by LOL Because Lol makes it OK right? Its like a text band aid  right? “Your mothers a whore!” is insulting but “Your mothers a whore LOL!” is OK right? OK maybe not. Maybe LOL isn’t the magic band aid that I thought. My bad.

So anyway Mr. Kayak takes a minute to respond and says he was just trying to be sweet. Followed by an “Oh Well” followed by his last name. I instantly feel bad, but part of me feels that its important to get across that No shenanigans will be had this early with this girl. Its a shenanigan free zone. I’m not the one to send pics of myself naked or sext or things like that. I’m raising a hopeful future president or Nobel peace prize winner and I need to make sure my life does not mess his up. Though this blog may have done that. (Meh another topic for another time) anyway I don’t want to get into a situation where I’m looked at for just a good time. I’m actually very smart and interested in current events and pop culture…..and I just realized if anyone is looking for a Trivia partner I’m your girl. Anyway texting pretty much came to a halt after that and I tried some friendly text to let him know i was being playful. But I got ghosted. I’m OK. (in case anyone was wondering) but I’m wondering if the bigger problem is me. I want someone who thinks I’m smart and wants to have conversations about smart things.  I feel the need to quote the amazing Tina Fay as Liz Lemon in 30 Rock:

Liz: “I want someone who will be monogamous and nice to his mother. And I want someone who likes musicals, but knows to just shut his mouth when I’m watching LOST. And I want someone who thinks being really into cars is lame and strip clubs are gross. I want someone who will actually empty the dishwasher instead of just taking out forks, as needed, like I do. I want someone with clean hands and feet and beefy forearms like a damn Disney prince. And I want him to genuinely like me even when I’m old. And that’s what I want.”

Except add that I would also like him to like my acerbic wit and my sarcasms and to think that my ass-holiness is endearing. I feel like I have been out of the game so long – circa 2003 that I don’t know how to do this. How to be soft and feminine and attract a decent human being and then actually want to hang out with them and do couply things. And then I just think- meh whats on Hulu? and make some popcorn- cuz i kinda don’t mind the silence and Ive never been a soft cuddly feminine gal and I’m good with that. Until then please understand if were gonna be friends that :

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A month of reflection- Self awareness and loss

life    Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. 2016 seemed to come in at full force like ocean waves crashing into everything. At first i thought that the year would end up great- since i said goodbye to 2015 in such a grand way and brought in the new year with carefree abandon and an adventure crossed off the list.

I expected this to be a time of transformation in my life. This blog, this challenge- to try new things was supposed to help me grow. To become a better version of myself. I expected it to be fun and lighthearted. What i failed to realize that in order to get to the fun stuff, you have to do a whole lot of cleaning first.

I started ,accidentally ,by having a conversation with a good friend over a breakfast at Waffle House. As i listened to this person go on and on about their views and beliefs and current situation i realized that this certain individual was not valuing me as a person or a friend. They were not speaking in malice and honestly were so oblivious to the fact that the more words that escaped their lips the more of a dagger it was to my soul. They didn’t love me the way i wanted them to love me and the reason wasn’t them- it was that I hadn’t set a higher standard of love for myself. And once i realized that i started to re-evaluate things and really check myself. How was I showing myself love? How was I honoring my true self? How was I going to get healthier in spirit and mind? How was i going to command those around me to love me when I didn’t understand that for myself? So i did a little housekeeping. I stepped back and started to voice my needs and wants and offered no apologies. I developed a new mantra : If it doesn’t bring me joy or help me grow then i have no use for it. Sadly that meant the end of a friendship. Not out of anger, but because it was no longer nourishing me and instead was depleting me and keeping me from growing.

So I’ve been growing. Ive been reaching out to old friends and having dinners and making new friends and new memories. And I’m happy. I am taking the time let people know i care and love them and need them in my life. I am trying to be a better friend, daughter, sister and mother. If i haven’t gotten around to you, don’t worry i will.

One thing that 2016 has reminded us (unless you have been living underneath a rock) is that life is beautifully glorious and awfully short. For the first few weeks it seemed like you would turn on the TV an another great icon had passed away. We collectively mourned and posted status updates to Facebook and reflected on how complete strangers had influenced our lives. I was distracted by the media and never realized it would hit close to home.

Last night we lost an old friend. His name was Alex Santiago . Alex was 36 and a husband, a father, alexa son, a friend. We became friends over 20 years ago and then lost touch over the years. Social Media reconnected us and although not as often as I should have, on occasion i would reach out. Often saying hello and always greeting him or signing off with the words “Old friend”. Cancer took my old friend. Words cannot describe how I am feeling. How my heart breaks for his wife, children and family. How at my age 36, i cannot fathom how this is possible. How this is unfair. All the feelings that I’m sure everyone who has lost someone has felt. I wish i would have made an effort all those times when i went back home to visit, to see him, to see anyone. I want to change this. I want to hold hands and hug and kiss and laugh with the majority of you that I grew up with. I don’t want the connection to be wireless but rather I want to be tethered to your lives and included in the memories.

Lets make memories. Lets grow together. Lets reconnect. For those that know me reach out lets make this happen. I don’t want to miss out on life.

A Single Mom’s Christmas List

I havMom_Overwhelmede found a wonderful supportive online community on Facebook and I belong to a Single Parents group. We trade stories, atrocities, vent our frustrations, celebrate our successes and make new friends. Sometimes, there are things you feel better talking to complete strangers about then you do with people who are closer to home. I don’t know why but it does. Well at least to me. I have been inspired by the ladies in my groups and have learned that through this all I am not alone in my feelings or struggles or thoughts. I woke up this morning to a blog post from one of a fellow mom’s Emma Shaffer post about her feelings during this time of year. The dreaded holidays. I know when I was coupled up I didn’t think about things that I think about now and I feel that now I’m privy to a broader world outside of my own four walls. Its no secret that being a single parent is hard and I have posted before how sometimes we feel lonely or forgotten and that it is hard to communicate that.

Emma’s post couldn’t have said it better. It reminded me that as a person, I need to voice my concerns and needs and sometimes that is overwhelming so we bite our tongues.Although the post may not apply to all, I am sure it applies to some. Id like to share her post with you as another perspective from a single mother and if you are interested in reading more please check out her blog at If You Say What You Feel

A Single Mom’s christmas list

 
What do you want for Christmas?

I didn’t used to hate this question, though I always found it awkward. I loathe it now. What do people want me to say?
     “Oh! I’d love a cute pair of red flats!”
     “I would love nice maple cutting board. I love to cook!”
     “I’m dying for a new attachment for my stand mixer!?!”
I always feel obligated to ask for things that feel like gifts to give. People like buying you things that they think are a treat or things you wouldn’t buy yourself. But do you know what I really want for Christmas?

I want groceries. No seriously,  I want groceries. I don’t want to have to play “what else can we put on top of rice” game, and I don’t want to tell my son for the umpteenth time that we can’t go to the store and buy fresh fruit because mama doesn’t get paid for another week. I don’t want to get everything on my grocery list in my cart and then try figure out which third of it to put back. Do I put back the cheese, juice and broccoli, or the apples, milk and tortillas?

I want the money to fill my cavities. My dental insurance only covers one cavity every THREE YEARS, and I have 4 cavities. I have had 4 cavities for a year, and they are starting to get painful. I would seriously love to fork over the cash and have the pain be gone. You weren’t going to spend $400 on my present??? Oh, how forward of me.

I want you to come clean my house. Not because I secretly hate you and want to see you toil cleaning up my messes, but because I am fricking tired, and I just can’t do it all. Not even with a toddler who knows to take a rag to spills and pretends his plastic golf bag is a vacuum cleaner.

I want socks and bras and underwear. Please, PLEASE can you buy them for me? Taking a toddler into a women’s clothing store is my worst nightmare. I can never seem to justify replacing the bras that are only kinda pokey, and the underwear that is totally the wrong size, but not disgusting enough to be               thrown out.

I want more sick days. I use all of my 2 official sick days and most of my paid time off on sick days for both me any my son. We always get sick in tandem, and that always makes for double the days needed off of work.

Among other intangibles: I want to feel less lonely, I want to leave the house on time (OK even half of the time having on-time departures would be nothing short of a miracle). I really, really want to be told I’m doing a good job, but don’t know how to ask for this, and then feel that the reply is genuine. I would really like to feel like less of a burden to society, but I know that I’m asking for a lot here.

So I guess I’ll settle for asking for cooking classes, bath salts and fancy coffee. Because if I ask for what I really need you might be uncomfortable. And then we might actually have to do something or feel responsible as a society for forcing single moms to fit their square peg of a life into a round hole of convenient holiday gift giving. Please just give me the gift of being able to ask for the help I need and not simultaneously feel bad about it. That’s what I really want.

– Emma Shaffer, http://ifyousaywhatyoufeel.blogspot.com/

It takes a village

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So often we have heard the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” but what we don’t realize is that it also takes a village to just function and I personally think it takes a village to help a Mom- in whatever form you take. Married, single or separated. We all need a village, a squad, a group of homies ready to help at a moments notice.

My son and I live in a suburb of Atlanta, GA. We are 324 miles (5 hour drive) from my immediate family in Florida. We miss out on the grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins with a lot of things. So we (I) have built us a very close knit family consisting of friends who have become equally as important as blood relatives. In fact, they have all been introduced to my family who accepts them as one of our own. I used to get sad that we lived s far away and missed out on things. I used to think I was doing damage to my son by being so far from family. But ill have to tell you, the ladies that support us are amazing. We have had cheering from the stands at games, summer adventures all over the city, sleepovers, dinners, community groundings (were all the kids get in trouble at once lol) arts and crafts, trick or treats, birthday parties, fundraisers, car pools, last minute babysitting, pot lucks poolside lunches and the solid rule that whoever is watching our kid is resident acting Mom and if she says your grounded, timed out, or even mentions the side eye my kid gave…woe to the child lol . I even have had an imaginary tooth fairy on speed dial. You name it we have it!

I honestly don’t know where we would be without our honorary Aunts, Tias, Uncles, Coaches, play cousins and brothers and hermanas. My son is very loved and we are so much richer for having you in our lives. For those in my “squad” reading this, thank you for making us part of your families. Living in a town with no relatives is hard. Living in a town with no relatives and being a single mother is harder and I am honored.

So if you have time today, take a moment to thank your “life support” your comrades, your sisters from another misters, and if you are lucky enough to have landed one of us single moms in your crew – come over for wine or a hang out- we love having you here!  ♥

 

Single Girl Problems

A good friend of mine with an equally effed up personality and sense of humor as me came across this little gem and tagged me on it. I laughed so hard at my desk at work and wrote back to him that i didn’t know if I should feel loved that he tagged me or feel sad that he thought of me and knew I could relate. I wanted to share a few of my favorite pictures from the article but please check out the post in its entirety at Single Girl Problems

I have realized that in life you have to have a sense of humor about most things. Thinking humorously about things really makes the time go by smoother and it doesn’t weigh on you as much. I like to think of laughter as a fun, umbrella drink that you order because of the taste and sometimes it knocks you out of your seat.  I have been officially single for about 2 1/2 years, its so noticeable that my 11 year old son actually brought it up last night while we were in the car driving home. He asked me out of the blue “What ever happened to you trying to get an online date” and I replied “Well, I tried and it didn’t go so well, not really getting any hits” then in his 11 year old wisdom he replies “Wow that sounds real sad, like you should be depressed” and I said ” well damn, no I’m not depressed (this week), I have a really good life and its not all summed up by whether or not someone likes me” and he said “Well, yeah but it sounds a little sad”. I should have been a little bummed but in honesty I wasn’t and then I laughed that I raised a child that is comfortable enough to be open with me and speak with such candor. Mom win. Totally- even if my son thinks that temporarily I’m a loser.

I did question myself the other day as i was shaving and thought- meh no one is gonna see this…and then I thought No ma’am, if you let this go, whats next? What if I am randomly driving down the street and I get rear ended by some tall dark and handsome man who then falls in love with my acerbic wit immediately and wants to whisk me away on an impromptu vacation and then coyly touches my leg and to his horror and mine, my hairy legs get tangled in his watch… Not likely to happen. However just for funsies I’ll shave the legs and the whatnot’s. You just never know.

In the meantime, I’ll pass the time with my friends who share in my laughter and like to poke fun at me. They are the best anyway. Like a good shot of tequila after a bad day

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome Parent Shout Out- Henry

Henry

Name: Henry B.

What your kids call you: My son calls me Dad & my daughter calls me Daddy

Your Passion: I’m passionate about education and extracurricular activities. I want to expose my kids to everything and give them the opportunity to achieve whatever they desire in life.

Funniest parenting Memory: my 5 year old daughter tells my 10 year old son, he’s smart, but not smart smart… I asked her to explain and she says, if he were smart smart, he’d learn how to stay outta trouble!

Most difficult time being a parent: when anyone I the house is sick!

If you could give someone advice what would it be: being a father is the hardest job in the world, but it’s also the most rewarding. I get the opportunity to shape the minds of two impressionable children and prepare them to do greater things than I can even imagine