Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #22

It’s Friday.  You know what that means!

Time for some Good Vibrations Gratitude!

8vTtZo5

Here are some of the things I am grateful for this week.

  1. Girls Night

    I got a chance to catch up with Kimmy Gibbler and The Architect.  And it was a lot of fun.

  2. Inner circle

    Not THAT Inner Circle.

    (We are also going to ignore the fact that this song was popular during my freshman year in high school.   Because I don’t feel like feeling old today.)

    download (1).jpg

    We are talking about this inner circle.  And the non-pictured husbands and boyfriends.

    output (16)
    I can’t imagine life without them.  Not just because they got my through the worse of my grief and they don’t make me feel bad when I talk about Bryon.  But just because they are awesome people.  This might sound cheesy but for the first time in my life, I feel like I belong.

    download

  3. Wedding Week

    On Saturday these two adorable kids are getting married and I am grateful that I get to be a part of their day.

    31944541_10100494516382353_2766830984488812544_n

  4. 8 Years of Friendship with Robin Brillantes

    Facebook reminded me that Robin Brillantes and I became Facebook friends eight years ago yesterday.  She remains one of my most favorite people of all time.  I couldn’t figure out how to play the cheesy video that Facebook compiled so you get this picture of us from last Saturday.

    31946466_10100494515823473_7056845216828882944_n
    Of course one of our friends says that Facebook is the lowest form of friendship.  But I am not going to worry about that with Robin Brillantes.  Because we know our friendship is amazing because it is built on love, laughter and tacos.

    fd80a0dba677d66e8578e0433ffe7744

  5. That I am still remembered on Mother’s Day.

    My daughter made the picture and cards  at school and my parents sent the flowers and the teddy bear.  Though my daughter has already claimed the teddy bear as hers.  I had a feeling that they had that in mind when they ordered it…

    20180511_005659
    What are you grateful for this week?

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mother’s out there!

    happy-mothers-day-16901152

Advertisements

Three and a half and asking questions

My daughter officially turned three and a half yesterday.

Where has time gone?

Yesterday she asked her first questions about her father.

We were talking and I mentioned that I missed him.

She asked me why.

I said that I missed him being here.

I could see her wheels turning, trying to remember him.  I told her that she was too young to remember him.

She accepted my explanation.

She then asks “Did you touch his hair?”

I said “Yes.”

Then she asks “Did you touch his body?”

I said “Uh…yeah…”

Then she asks “Did you touch his face?”

I said “Yes.”

She seemed satisfied with that knowledge and went back to watching Paw Patrol.

I know this is only the beginning to the questions she is going to ask about her father and why her father died.

Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #12

It’s Friday, you know what that means!

Time for some Good Vibrations Gratitude!

download

These are the 5 thing I am grateful for this weekend.

  1.  Seeing Les Miserables


    I mentioned in my previous post about how I saw Les Miserables on a school trip to NYC my senior year of high school and how excited I was to see it last weekend.  I had a great time.I was also intrigued at how sophisticated set design became in 22 years.

    We did learn a valuable lesson.  When you see a show at Proctors in Schenectady, make sure you make reservations if you want to eat at any of the nearby restaurants.  We didn’t.  None of us thought of it.  Ooops.  Luckily there was a stand at the theater that sold sandwiches, desserts and there was also a bar.

    This whole dinner debacle demonstrated a shift in my thinking.  The old Kerry would stress about everything.  Bryon used to say that I searched for things to worry about. The old Kerry would have freaked out that we didn’t have dinner reservations.  The New Kerry just thought “I am not really that hungry anyway but there is a sandwich stand.  If this is the worse thing that happens to me all night, then this is a great night.  I am out with friends and I am seeing a musical that I love.”

    I know I have grown as a person and it is nice to see evidence of that growth.

    26805454_10155211497387371_6778191681702939130_n

  2. My daughter’s first haircut


    I had so many emotions watching (and snap chatting) this.  This was my daughters first haircut.  There wasn’t much to cut off but her hair did grown in uneven so it was evened out. My hairdresser also put the hair in an envelope for me.
    So. Many. Emotions.  I tell you.

    My daughter loved going to the salon and had a great time being “grown up”.

  3. The Princess Party


    In a moment of insanity, I decided to buy tickets to the Princess Ball.  It was Sunday morning and I had stayed up late the night before.

    Ooooops.

    My daughter had a ball.  (Pun intended).

    I was texting Kimmy Gibbler and I told her that I was annoyed by all screaming kids and equally pushy parents.  This was the unimpressed selfie I took and sent her.  I was over it.

    20180225_102124

    But it was hard to stay annoyed when I saw how much my daughter enjoyed herself.  She has been telling everyone about the Princess Ball and in great detail too.

    I was actually surprised at the detailed questions she asked each of the princesses.  She didn’t just talk about dresses and tiaras.  She asked Anna about the speed of Kristoff’s sled.  My daughter is one smart cookie.

  4. Avocados

    Because they are delicious.  I love guacamole and avocado toast.

  5. My job

    I had my yearly review at my job.  It went well.  I am thankful for my job.  They hired me two months after Bryon died.  Some people told me I should take more time off but I felt it was time to go back to work.  Except for three weeks when my FMLA ran out, I hadn’t worked in 7 months.  I was ready.  That and our health insurance coverage through Bryon’s employment ended so that was also a motivating factor for going back to work.

    Before I became a sole parent, I never thought I would like working from home.  But now I feel like I couldn’t do it any other way.  My schedule allows complete flexibility.  I work a lot at night but that gives me the time to go to the gym, make doctors appointments and have the occasional lunch with friends.  It also gives me wiggle room if my daughter is home sick or there is a snow day.  The flexibility of my job helps me thrive (more like survive) in the other areas of my life.

    My employer also provides us with a large amount of educational resources so I am able to keep up the continuing education I need to maintain my credential.  That is very helpful because now I can’t go off and attend conferences anymore.

    They also have an amazing program that gives each employee five days to volunteer and give back to the community.  My company also donate money to  grant wishes of employees in need every holiday season.  I literally cried when they announced who won the wishes and told their stories.  My company has a heart.

    I also work with an amazing team.  I have only talked to them on the phone and through email but they are great people.

    And one last bonus gratitude-

  6. The random 3 Hello Kitty pull ups

    My daughter is mostly potty trained but still wears pull ups at night.  I didn’t realize that we were down to one last pull up until she went to put it on.  I know, I am totally failing at this motherhood thing lately.  Actually I am pretty sure I am failing at life in general.I got annoyed at myself because that means I have to go out in the storm today and get a package of pull ups.  But really no big deal.

    Well my daughter had a big poop in that one last pull up.  Of all nights.  This story happened literally right before I typed this so it is in the middle of the night (because I don’t sleep anymore).  I didn’t want to have to get her dressed and go to the 24 hour pharmacy to get pull ups.

    I told myself not to panic.  We had to have a random pull up somewhere in the house or maybe the car.

    I looked in my purse- none.

    Then I see a bag from my trip to Massachusetts for my grandmother’s funeral that I had not unpacked.  (I know, a month ago.  I told you, I am failing at life.  I am a hot mess.)  I looked inside and there were three Hello Kitty Pull Ups.

    So I am very thankful for those three random Hello Kitty Pull-ups.

    I am sure she is going to love reading this when she is older.  She is probably going to be so unimpressed.   She will probably say something like “Hey Mom, remember that time when you wrote about how I shit my pants and put it on the internet for the whole world to read?”  And then I will remind her that we all have shit our pants at one time or another and that the post was actually about princesses and pull ups.

    Those are the 6 things I am grateful for.  What are you grateful for this week?

    115q3k

Holidays 2017- the condensed version

This Christmas Season, I started ahead of the game but ended up getting bronchitis and it took me two weeks to feel better.  I used to get bronchitis every year or every other year through my teens and 20’s.  The last time I had bronchitis was in 2010 so I was long overdue.  It was a good run.  I didn’t remember bronchitis being so hard to get over but back then, I wasn’t chasing a little human.

Despite being sick, my daughter and I saw the Nutcracker.  Not the Russian Nutcracker (those who saw Bad Moms 2 will understand.)  My daughter loved it.  Well…except for the mice.  She is still talking about when she saw the ballerinas.

24958844_10156323741732841_9189498186158229319_o - Copy

Santa came to the daycare party.

We took the train to Christmas Town (formerly the Polar Express).  The boy with us is the son of Bryon’s best friend.  His mother and I had been talking about taking the kids on the Polar Express since we were pregnant and we felt that they were old enough to enjoy it this year.

A friend of ours graciously invited us to see Disney on Ice presents Frozen.  She had tickets in the first row. I am not going to lie.  Even as an adult, it was amazing.

We decorated cookies.  Last year the kids were two and not into it at all.  This year we just used kits and it worked out well.  Maybe next year we will bake and decorate.

We spent Christmas Eve Eve with my daughters Godmother and her family.

On Christmas Eve we had our second annual Feliz Navidad Lunch.

We spent Christmas Eve with some close friends and Elsa.  My friend gave me Red Sox wine.  She so gets me.

Someone stopped by.

We woke up to a White Christmas outside and a Barbie House in our living room.  Thanks Santa!

We had dinner with good friends.

25659829_10156363181872841_2415433667366106298_n

Boxing Day was low-key.  My daughter wanted to go to school so I brought her even though I had the day off.  I hit some after Christmas sales and a friend came over.

One the 27th, we had an amazing dinner at my daughter’s Godmother’s house.

My parents came the 28th.  I put my Dad to work and he assembled various items.  There visit ended up being cut short because I decided to go to Maine to attend the funeral of a friend.  They didn’t mind because they still got to spend time with my daughter…just in Maine,  not NY.

I spent New Years with good friends playing Cards Against Humanity.  My friend has an amazing brunch on New Years Day.  I really look forward to the event.  I love nothing more than to start the new year with my closest friends.

Their you have it.  Each of these events deserved their own post but I was too exhausted to write them.  I wanted to have one post at least documenting all the goodness that went on.  I went into the Christmas season feeling sad and while that is a totally normal feeling for a grieving person at this time of the year, I didn’t want to be sad.

Stinson

When I was writing my recent post about the last Christmas with Bryon, I had had an epiphany.  My daughter won’t remember that last Christmas (or Bryon for that matter- which breaks my heart) but she will probably remember this Christmas albeit vaguely.

It is up to me to give her amazing Christmas memories.  Bryon is gone and even though my heart aches, life is about the living and my daughter is living.  My friends and family are living.

It is up to me to try to push through my sadness and create happy memories for my daughter as well as my family and friends.  Because someday they will look back at their last Christmas me.

When someone experiences a profound loss, you realize just how temporary life is.  We need to embrace the now because someday we will only exist in a loved one’s memory.

I am glad I was able to enjoy the holidays this year.  Well except for a brief meltdown on Christmas Eve morning where I said some choice words to God and decided not to go to Mass.  But other than that, I had an amazing Christmas filled with gatherings, good food and laughter.

I have come a long way.  When I think of Christmas 2016, I am grateful for those in life but there was a deep sadness that hung in the air.  But I will look back on Christmas 2017 as a warm and happy season.  I am grateful for the healing that has taken place to get me here.

And for that, I truly am blessed.

Why I think being a widow sucks

  1.  I have no one to kill bugs anymore. 

    When everything happened with Bryon, people kept telling me that I was so strong and that was because I had to be.  That applies in this scenario, albeit on a lesser scale.

  2. Car maintenance becomes my responsibility.

    Car maintenance is not my strong point.  One time when Bryon and I were dating, I half-jokingly said that whenever I heard my car make a noise, I would turn the radio up and hope it would go away.  Bryon was appalled by that answer and said that he was going to take care of the car maintenance.  I was glad to be relieved of that responsibility and I happily obliged.

  3. Actually everything is now my responsibility.  

    I have learned that Bryon did everything.  The car maintenance, killed the bugs, took care of the yard and the finances.  I pretty much changed diapers, made sure there was milk in the fridge and did a half assessed attempt to keep up with the laundry.

  4. The empty bed.

    Some nights I just hope my daughter crawls in just so I won’t be alone.

    Or the cat.

  5. No date nights with my love.

    No more romantic dinner.  No more dances at weddings.  While I have learned to be a more independent person, I do miss these nights with Bryon.  And sure, I could date but I am very “meh” at the thought of dating.

  6. Being the third/fifth/seventh/ninth wheel.

    While I am so happy that my friends still choose to keep me in their lives, I always feel like the odd person out.  It could not be any clearer that Bryon is missing.

  7. Lack of sex.

    I supposed I could fix that problem but the thought of some strange guy touching me just isn’t my style.

  8. Having to troubleshoot any electronic problem by myself. 

    My cell phone was possessed.  I ended up just buying a new one because it was easier.  (To be fair, it was overheating too which I took as a bad sign).

  9. Being an only parent is exhausting.

    I know every situation with a single parent is different and some non widowed single parents are only parents and can relate.  But when you are a widowed parent, you are the only parent.  You have your kids 24/7.  They don’t go to their other parent on the weekends.  Between parenting, full time work, blogging,  fitness, housework, and dealing with grief, I am exhausted.  Then you have to throw in the new responsibilities like killing bugs and car maintenance on top of it.  I am lucky to get more than 5 hours of sleep in a night.  It’s a good thing I don’t want to have sex.  I wouldn’t have time for it.

  10. Single parent judgement. 

    It doesn’t matter how many stories I read to her, how many places I take her to, how many cute outfits I put her in or the fact that I am able to have her in dance classes and gymnastics.  People begin to judge every parenting decision you make and talk to you like you are ignorant and uneducated.  It’s like one day I was like all the other parents- married, educated and successful and now I am viewed as “white trash”.

    Just to be clear, I didn’t ask nor plan to become a widowed mother.  I wish I could have Bryon back.  He would put all those Judgey McJudedgersons in their place.  (Bryon always did that.  If I was being grumpy, he would say “Someone is being a Grumpy McGrumperson”.)  Actually he probably wouldn’t have cared what they thought.

  11. PTSD

    I generally process everything okay, but I know that if I ever date or marry again, I will always worry that that man was going to die.  It happened once, it can happen again.  Will I ever get to be carefree again?

    And while I generally stay calm in situations and get ice or ibuprofen or whatever, I worry about cuts.  Bryon had one infection after another and went into septic shock many times.  So even though it’s unlikely, anytime my daughter or I gets a cut, I bring out the neosporin and the Frozen band-aids because I am paranoid about sepsis.

 

Good Vibrations Gratitude Friday #2

1. The first thing I am thankful for this week is that I got to celebrate my friends birthday party.  I don’t usually use names in this blog so I will refer to her as the Slap Bet Commissioner.  She had a lovely birthday party at a bar called Wellington’s in Downtown Albany.  I got a baby-sitter, got a chance to catch up with friends and I even enjoyed a vodka club with a splash of cranberry because I am watching my macros.  I am thankful that the Slap Bet Commissioner included me in her special day.

 

2. The second thing I am thankful for was being invited to my friend’s Oktoberfest party. It was a fun afternoon with good food and good company.  And I even learned that there is a book genre called the Existential Detective novel or something like that.  I also learned about LARPing which is Live Action Role Playing.  Do any of you LARP?

22219800_10156147165482841_5832563939234992924_o

3. I already blogged about it but the third thing I am thankful for was our trip to the Springfield Museums because I got to see my cousin, her kids and my uncle.  My cousin’s son is 5 months older than my daughter so they get along really well.  It makes me happy that our kids are going to grow up together.  It gives me the warm and fuzzies.

4.  The fourth thing I am thankful for is my gym. I joined an awesome gym recently.  I don’t know the actually technical fitness terms to describe the workouts but there are a lot of weights.  And the workouts change every day so you never get bored.  I can feel my arms and legs getting stronger.  Everyday is a challenge but it is worth it.

5.  The fifth thing I am thankful for this week is that I am able to watch my daughter at dance class each week.  I am in awe of my daughter because she learns things so quickly and I love watching her grow and learn.

22384123_10156159383057841_853418905573700254_o

And who can resist this girl?

22424246_10156159431007841_6349881824090751435_o

What are you thankful for this week?

Warm October rain: Sunday Funday at the Dr. Seuss Museum

Last Sunday my daughter and I drove to Springfield, Massachusetts for a very special outing.  My cousin drove out from the Boston area to spend the day with us, along with her two kids (including her 3 month old daughter) and my Uncle.  It was our first time meeting her daughter, who my daughter calls “Baby Cousin”.

First we hit the Dr. Seuss Museum.  At first I thought that admission was a bit expsensive but the admission is good for all five museums and they are located all together.  You can easily hit several museums in one day.  After the Dr. Seuss Museum, we had lunch at the cafe on the premises and then we explored the Science Museum, which was kid friendly.

After the Science Museum, we tried to go to the Fine Art Museum but the kids had too much energy and after they kept trying to touch peices of art that had signs asking “do not touch”, we abandoned the mission.  I love art museums so maybe when they are older.

I am thankful to be building a closer relationship with my cousin.  Even though my family is spread out between Maine, Massachusetts and Florida, I appreciate that members on both sides of my family make an effort to be a part of my daughters life.  It is good to know that my cousin and I can meet in the middle and get the kids together.  I love knowing that my daughter will have cousins to play with.  I appreciate all the time my family makes for her.