New Year, New Beginnings

Well, we survived 2015. It was a rough and pretty tough year. We had a lot of things that went wrong and not too many things that went right. I am not ashamed to say, I’m very glad to see 2015 come and go.

In 2016, I will be working at home and spending more time with my kid. Hopefully, I will find the reason for my funk and crawl my way out of it. Who knows, I might even take my meds consistently for more than half the year.

Social anxiety and agoraphobia took its hold on me in 2015, the causes are yet to be seen; even though I attend weekly therapy sessions. I’m not finding them to be any help really. But, I have a beautiful kid and she’s smart, and funny, and kind. She will get me through whatever rough patch my heart and mind have teamed up to battle me with.

In the meantime, I went through my pictures from 2015; the ones I have chronologically put in my hard drive and pulled out my very favorite of the year. As always, by month, here are my favorite 12 pictures.


I don’t generally make New Year’s Resolutions, I’m terrible at keeping them. So I am not doing that. I’m just going to go with the flow of the year, as always and try to be grateful for the things that do create happiness in my life.

Hope your family has a happy new year. 2016 will be the year things all turn around (I hope).


Christmas Eve “Eve”

The kid is in the tub, so I have a minute of quiet to myself. I never realized how much I craved that until this last couple months. It’s been so long since I looked at this blog or read anything on it, wordpress didn’t even remember my login.

For that I’m sad. Maybe the new year will bring a better blogger out in me. Because this year has brought a not too awesome person out in me. I’ve spent the last few months feeling like a failure as a wife and a mother and in general … a person.

I’m not really sure why or how that happened. I’m still trying to figure it out. I have so much in my life to bring happiness and love in my heart and yet, it’s heavy with sadness, riddled with anxiety. And most days, I am finding it harder to get out out of bed or breathe than it is to simply live.

I’ve spent a good portion of the last couple months on my couch. Binge-watching Netflix, maybe that’s true what they say, those who binge-watch Netflix are the most depressed. I don’t know. It seems relevant today.

Don’t get me wrong, I have an excellent job and I love doing it, when I’m there. When I can make myself get out of bed and actually go there. Luckily, this job has been so compassionate about my anxiety and agoraphobia, giving me health days and working with me to get set up at home. In a few short weeks, I will be able to work from home. That’s a step I’m hoping pulls me out of this funk. Will it? I don’t know anymore.

I look at this kid.



I’m more in awe every moment that we have a kid. And an ALMOST four year old at that. Everytime she calls me Mom I just melt. But, I can’t bring myself to stop cocooning myself in my computer and my couch to enjoy her. To really show her how in awe of her I am. To tell her just how in love I am with her. I hope she knows. I wish I didn’t wonder if she knew that.


I don’t feel connected to anyone in my life. Including my wife. The one person I love more than any other.  I don’t communicate, I don’t move, I don’t do anything. I feel more like a shell of a person than a living breathing person.

I hope to change that in the new year.

So with that, my 2016 goals are simple to most people, but sure to challenge me in every way.

  • Take Punky to more playdates
  • Perfect Attendance for at least half the year at work
  • Take my meds consistently
  • Communicate with my wife
  • Spend less time on the computer

I don’t know if there is any chance I will actually do these things. But hopefully, it will make me a more happy, less angry person. I don’t know the person I have become in the last few months. I don’t know how I got here and I’m not sure I see the light anywhere at the end of this path.

But, I have hope. And I have resolve. And … I have support. More support than I should have in my life. This too shall pass. How ever long it takes, whatever needs to be done, this too shall pass.

I know this post is heavy. Not exactly in the spirit of the season. But I had to get it out, put it somewhere. This is the only place that’s mine alone. So for that, I’m sorry. This too shall pass. It’s just a moment in time. May the new year be better for my heart, for my mind, and for my relationships.

Happy Holidays everyone and may your new year be bright.


Abandoned Corner of the Internet

I know I have simply abandoned my blog and for that I’m super sad. But lately, lots of things make me super sad. It’s a sad life to live when you find victory in just getting out of bed and going to work. And staying there. Mental struggles in my head are pretty rampant right now. I absolutely love my job and it’s sooooo much less stress than the old job, I just have no idea what the problem is. I’m working with a therapist to figure this shit out, but so far, I just feel like I’m floating around, buoyed by the sense that I have to keep going, just because that’s life and that’s what you are expected to do as an adult.

But, somedays, I feel like a disservice as a wife and a mom. It’s been difficult to engage in much. I having more and more anxiety and less nights of sleep. More nights of nightmares of shit that won’t actually happen and less pretend smiles. It really frustrates me that I don’t have a reason to be “depressed”. I have no reason to be the way I am.

I just am.

And there’s no reason for it.

Not when I have so much more in my life that is worth every bit of happiness I should be experiencing.

I do the best I can and I don’t feel like it’s enough. But, we have had some adventures, so I suppose that’s something.

We have been enjoying the nice Fall weather that looks like it might stick around finally.

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We have been spending time with friends in the Pumpkin Patch and carving pumpkins.

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And we have been counting down the days to Halloween. Punky is really looking forward to Halloween right now. When I asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween and she responded with “Kitty Fairy”. I was dumbfounded by what that meant, so we sort of pieced things together.

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There’s so much we have done and I can’t find much joy in any of it. It’s the hardest thing to admit. To myself, to the world. I just don’t know how to get out of this funk. It just gets worse. I can’t make myself get up off the couch and actually leave my house. It’s a struggle to get to work. A job I really like. It’s a struggle to dance with my kid. It’s a struggle to do anything but sit in my own thoughts and wonder where things went wrong and how to get back on track.

I have so much that I should be light about, and yet, my heart is too heavy to believe any of it.

Maybe a new year, god it’s already almost 2016! Maybe a new year will wash my slate clean – I don’t really want to wait that long, but dragging myself out of this hole of anxiety and depression has been a battle for several months. I am hanging on by my fingernails, for dear life.

Just making it. Doing the minimum and doing my best to not effect my kid with this funk.

Not So “Microblog Monday” – Teaching Consequences Without Fear

I started this blog as a way to connect with like minded parents who might be raising their kids without religion. I know I mostly don’t touch on it. The reason for that is mostly because that aspect of our parenting has very little effect on us or our day or our relationship with our kid. The absence of religious teaching in our parenting, is just that, an absence.

The fact that we don’t include religious teachings into our parenting, doesn’t change how to we parent much. We will instill the concepts of right and wrong; cause and effect; and rewards and consequences.


We still teach her manners and using please and thank you, not interrupting adults, and using “nice words”. And none of these have to be done with religious upbringing.

I don’t blog about our lack of religious upbringing because it doesn’t effect how our family functions. I still go to work, Kim still stays home with Punky. Punky still has rules and chores. We still sit at the table as a family at dinner time and discuss how our day was. We still dance around the living room or have picnics at the coffee table while watching a movie.

The point of this blog wasn’t to rant and rave about how religious upbringing is bad or the reasons why we don’t do it, but to simply show, that raising your kid without religion, doesn’t change the fundamentals or parenting dynamics. Our way isn’t any better or any worse than those who choose to parent with religion being the focus. It’s just different.

I bring this up, because our family is a lot of different things. But labels don’t define us. A “None” family. A two mom family. A free thinking family. A family of choices. A family of technology. A family of questions. A family who eats fast food. A time out family. A family who has no limit on screen time. A cry it out family. A family with mental illness. A family without labels or boxed in expectations.


I bring all of this up, because generally when I tell people that we are parenting without religion, the number one question I get is: “How does your daughter learn there are consequences for her actions without the fear of consequences?” And to that I simply say, “Why does there need to be an essence of fear?” I feared my dad growing up. I don’t want my daughter to grow up in a house of fear. I want my daughter to know that she can come to me with anything. Any questions, any problem, any choice. Any reasonable and respectful argument. Anything.

So, to make it about fear … to me, religion is equated with fear. Which is pretty much why I personally don’t want her raised in a religious household. Fear of “the consequences” are scary when you are a kid growing up with religion. Hell is a scary concept. Especially for a kid. Fear of rejection. From a loving God, but if you do wrong things, you are rejected. Unless you are forgiven, which you can ask for forgiveness for everything, so then your ‘sin’ doesn’t matter anymore. So those bad things you did, it’s ok, and you can keep doing them and keep asking for forgiveness.

Where is the consequence or lesson being taught there? The circle is maddening and it is (for me) simply a way to instill control on children at a young age and to keep people in a box. To make sure they do what their told, when they are told, and don’t ask any questions about anything, because it ‘just is’; ‘just have faith’; ‘you don’t believe enough’. All of which, in my mind growing up, equated to “You aren’t good enough if you don’t just believe in what we are telling you is right and true.” “You aren’t a good person if you don’t believe in this, if you question it, you question God and that makes you a terrible person and you are going to Hell. Repent now.” These are not the self esteem boosters I want for my kid.

Morals and ethics are not taught by religious leaders. That’s the job of a parent. Parents teach their children what is right and wrong in the world. What’s dangerous and what’s safe. Parents, regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof teach their children what society finds acceptable, what boundaries are in place (laws and social norms) and where those boundaries can be crossed or JUMPED (gender roles, pfft) over.


As a kid who grew up with a Christian background, I remember a time when my Sunday School teacher told the class, “Be wary of those who don’t believe in God. Those are not friends to keep.” And I raised my hand, I was about 12 or so, and asked, “But how do we spread the word or tell them about God, if we can’t be friends with them? Doesn’t it push them away from God to shun them from our friendship?” The teacher had no answer and didn’t answer it. She simply gave me look that made me instantly realize I shouldn’t question what she says. And I didn’t question again.

That’s the thing with religious teaching. There’s no questions. There’s blind faith. There’s no answers. There’s no thinking for yourself, only believe what’s being told to you or you are doing it wrong and you MAY end up in Hell. Scary shit for a kid, right? I know it was for me.

I refuse to subject my child to that kind of teaching or upbringing. coloringWith that said, I do have people who tell me “She has the right to believe if she wants to.” And to that, they are absolutely correct. She does have that right and I won’t be the one to take it away from her. My hope is that we can do our best to facilitate and foster an environment in which she can ask questions, think for herself, and really come to a conclusion on her own. One way or the other in which she believes, I will support her. I will love her just the same.

However, right now, she’s too little to understand the things being taught and she doesn’t know any better than to simply believe – without question. She doesn’t know she can question. she doesn’t know what questions she should ask. Until she is old enough to understand, facilitate and make those questions heard and thought through, she will not be subject or introduced to things that are religious in nature.

Her cousins are Jewish. We don’t really talk about it, it’s not something that comes up. But if she had questions, I would make a point to sit down with my sister in law and we could discuss what being Jewish means and how that effects Punky’s world view. Her grandparents are all (primarily) Christian. I have no problem with her being exposed to “Gram’s friend Jesus” on a necklace, or telling her that some people believe that their loved ones go to a place in the sky when they die. Some people do in fact believe that and I want her to respect other people’s beliefs and views. But, I also want her to question why people believe that, where that belief comes from and if she does in fact also believe in that.

When she’s old enough to make up her own mind, she will be free to do so. She will be able to explore the possibilities of belief and what that means to her. Growing up with an absence of religion, doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the choice to seek it out and be respected for her own growing belief systems. But I do want her to examine, question, and think about what she believes in. I want her to be able to stand up and confidently say what she believes and be about to articulate it intelligently – not “That’s what the Bible says” or “My Mom told me it is so, so it must be”. As it stands, at this age, she is not able to do that to the extent in which I would like her to.

So instead we teach her about family, about tolerance, about love, and respect. For everyone. And at the core, that’s what religious teachings do too, we just do it without a man in the sky or a guy on a cross, without a fiery damnation or a cycling guilt and forgiveness.


Not sure what Microblog Monday is? Wanna get involved? Check out the info here.

Another Half Birthday Has Come and Gone

When I was a kid, I always thought it would be so neat to have a half birthday. Like, then I could celebrate twice! That’s not something that happened for me, but when Punky was born, I was determined to have half birthday for our special ONE. We only have one after all, why not make it as special as possible. Yea, she’s a bit sassy, a tiny bit spoiled, but she’s the sweetest three and a half year old I know.

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Half birthdays don’t come with presents (unless you are me and my best friend, then small trinkets) but she does get a cupcake, we sing the song and she gets a special dinner she picks out. She’s gotten better at eating the cupcakes since the first half birthday!

This year I asked her a series of 20 questions. She wasn’t really paying attention, because she had better things to do than pay attention to me, but she answered them:

  1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world? Gram
  2. What is your favorite color? Pink and Green and Purple
  3. What’s your favorite TV Show? Daniel Tiger
  4. What’s your favorite thing to wear? Everything except for a cat
  5. What song do you love the most? Ballet music and Jumping music
  6. What’s your favorite food? Applesauce and cheeseburgers and chicken
  7. Who is your best friend? Everyone, including Mama and You.
  8. What do you want to be when you grow up? Changer Girl
  9. What’s your favorite word? Three
  10. What are you really good at? I’m really good at playing and coloring
  11. What’s your favorite toy? Minnie and Mickey toys
  12. Where do you want to go on vacation? Searching for animals.
  13. What do you dream about? I can’t tell you.
  14. What do you like to do with your family? Play!
  15. What makes you happy? Watermelons
  16. What makes you sad? The corner makes me sad and not having fun
  17. What do you want to learn about? Computers
  18. When I was little I used to? Play with computers
  19. What’s your favorite day? 90-30
  20. What is your biggest wish? The biggest present for my birthday is for Bubba (her godfather) to come

And for those of you who aren’t following me on Facebook, here is the photoshoot we took for her half birthday at a nearby garden village in town.

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She loves fountains. She loves water. She loves to put her hands in the water of the fountains.

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She’s sassy and she’s inquisitive. She’s creative and she has an imagination like no other child I’ve seen her age. The things she comes up with are so crazy!


She’s silly, loving, and easy to laugh. She loves to play and she gets bored easily, but she’s independent enough to find something to do to entertain herself. To say I have a unicorn of a child, I probably do. She’s not perfect, but she’s mine!


Trapped Inside My Racing Mind

Dear Punky,

Mommy is so in love with you. So in love with your smile and your laugh. With your imagination and your creativity. Mommy is so in love with being your mom. So thankful to have that chance. But, while I sit here and think about all the things I am so thankful for and so happy to have, a weight lays heavy on my heart.

I will never be the mom who participates in school functions that involves ‘fitting in’ with other moms. I won’t be the mom who chaperones your dances (I’m sure you will be thankful for that). I won’t be the mom who is actively involved in a play date group. My mind doesn’t allow me to feel comfortable in any of those settings. I hope that when you get older, it will not weigh on your heart as heavy as it weighs on mine.

As you get ready to turn 3 and a half, AND A HALF (where did the time go), I wonder what I have done to facilitate friendships for you – or have I contributed in isolating you. I try. I hope you know that I try. I intend to do so many things with you.

Even a trip to the park makes me uncomfortable. Makes me tired. Makes my hands sweat and my mind blur out of focus.

Will that strange mom I don’t know try to talk to me? Did I encourage her to come over with some look or something? What is so interesting about me that she has to come over here and talk to me? What do I possibly have in common with that woman? What does my face look like right now? Oh my god, I know I must be the most awkward person on the planet. This woman thinks I’m weird. Oh look, I’m the weirdo who came with her kid to the park by herself and doesn’t make any attempt to talk to adults, just her kid. That mom says you are adorable, of course you are. Did that come out snotty? Shit, I didn’t mean it to. “Your little girl is brave!” Is she secretly judging my parenting, letting my three year old climb this gigantic damn tower. A tower that the sign clearly says is made for 5 and up! Is she waiting for me to fail. Am I waiting for me to fail? Do I look fat in the shirt, I probably shouldn’t have worn this color, the pattern is too much. Maybe I can go sit on this bench over here, oh, now the whole park can see all my rolls. You’re the kid with the fat mom, awkward mom.


All these thoughts go through my head, in a matter of mere minutes in the park. I want to enjoy my time with you. I hide behind the camera instead, so that I don’t have to engage with random people. Oh, but look, now I’m the mom on the cell phone, not paying attention to her kid. The park is exhausting.  So when you ask me to take you, I want to say yes, and in most cases I say, “Yes, baby, we can go later.” Because I have every intention of getting off my couch and out of my laptop and taking you outside to play with other kids. But, my dear one, Mommy buries her head deeper into her own thing, so she doesn’t have to think about what will happen when we step outside the door and greet the day you are sure to have a blast in. SO we don’t end up going.

Let’s don’t forget the ride to the park.

Are you buckled in right? Is the carseat proper? Oh jeez, don’t post that picture, someone will surely have something to say about the way she’s sitting in there. It’s probably wrong. Look both ways as we drive across the street, what if someone side swipes us? What if she unbuckles herself back there? Those M&M’s you just had to have at the store and just couldn’t wait til we got home to open, I opened it. But then all I could think about is – it could choke her and then I won’t be able to get back there fast enough. Then I will have a wreck and I will kill my kid. Knowing my luck, I’ll be the one to live. I can’t live without this kid. And if we don’t crash, what if I leave her in the back, no baby don’t stop talking back there, I zone out sometimes and I don’t want to forget you back there. Sing me a song, tell me a story, and though I don’t sound like I’m listening, I am. Oh I am. It is reminding me that you are back there – because there are so many times that I have looked in the back seat and expected you back there and you aren’t. It only takes one slip of the mind. No matter how precious you are to me.

Sweet girl, I know you get sad when I go to work, I get sad too. Believe me – it takes every ounce of my energy to push myself out the door every morning. A battle, a war inside my mind. And I love this job. Don’t you know, this job is the best thing that could have ever happened to Mommy. But I still war with myself about leaving and driving there and being gone and not seeing all the things you are doing here. I would rather be sitting on our couch, watching you build a fort or serenade with a new made up song. But mostly, I would just like to zone out and not be in a car on my way to work, away from you.

What happens if someone tailgates me too close in the morning traffic? What if I sneeze too hard and close my eyes, veer to too much to the right and cause a wreck? What happens to you when I die? What happens to your mama? If I don’t make it to work, we don’t have the money for the new house we live in. If I don’t make it to work, you don’t get food in your belly. If I don’t make it home, who will tuck you in at night? If I don’t go to work, I can’t get you presents and fun stuff. But why go to work, it doesn’t pay enough to get you into preschool, where you could socialize, where you could be with other kids and not be sitting at home, bored and stir crazy. But to work I must go.

My mind is not that of a calm and peaceful stream. Instead it is a raging rapid of thoughts and worries. irrational thoughts. It should probably only get worse as you get older and though I am so thankful for all the things you bring to my life, I’m sorry you got me for your mom. Because it won’t be easy. It will be frustrating. For both of us.


We will butt heads, we are similar in that way. Stubborn, strong willed, whatever you want to call it. My psychiatrist (that’s the fancy doctor who gives me medication for these thoughts that don’t quiet) just says I might be made to be irritable. Basically, this moodiness, this reactive nature I have is not going away, it’s not something we can medicate. It’s his clinical way of saying, your Mommy will always be a bitch. Always lash out and always react to the most ridiculous of things. So in some ways, I’m a lost cause, in that way. Something we just have to live with – work together with. My patience is thin, my nerves are short, my worries are plenty.

But I will always wrap you up in my arms when you are hurt. I will always tell you that your drawing is beautiful, even as you beat yourself up because you “messed it up” or “ruined it” because to me, all the things you do are beautiful. You are the beauty of my world. You bring the bright spots to my mind. I will always hug you and kiss you as I tell you that you can’t lock your Mommy out of your bedroom. Not because I don’t respect your need for space or “alone time” or even privacy at three years old; but because the only thing I can think about when I can’t get to you is that if you get hurt, I can’t be there at a moment’s notice to kiss it away, make sure you are alright.

When you jump off the side of the couch, I don’t scold you because it’s wrong, or that I don’t want to encourage your adventurous spirit. My heart catches in my throat every moment. And while you are having the time of your life, flying through the air, the end result for me is seeing you face first on the hardwood floor, bloody lips or worse.

I’m not the mom who will toss you up in the air and catch you. I’m not the mom who will encourage you to swim in the deep end. And for that, I apologize. Its selfish of Mommy, it’s not fair to you.

May you always keep your creative spirit. May you always keep your adventurous spirit, in spite of me.


May you always know that I love you in the best ways I know how. May you always know that I want to keep you safe from harm, but I recognize I’m not able to do that. I also recognize you aren’t as breakable as my mind makes me think you are. You are a strong little girl. A smart little girl. Sometimes too smart.

So as you grow, let’s grow together, love. And hopefully, I won’t damage you. I won’t break you down to where I am. My hope is not to teach you to be afraid of the world. My hope is to help you venture out and see the world. My hope is not to teach you to mistrust everyone, to second guess a compliment or a friendship. I hope you don’t grow up to wonder what your friends really think of you when you aren’t around.

And maybe, just maybe, even when we fight and butt heads, because we will; oh we will, my love; you will know that I love you more than any person on this planet. In the whole universe. I keep you with me, you lighten my burdened mind and my worried spirit, even if it doesn’t appear that way.


I’m a mom with agoraphobia with associated panic disorder and PTSD. It’s a part of who I am. It’s who I will always be. I’m the mom that is described in this letter and so much more that I can’t put into words. My mind doesn’t stop, my world doesn’t stop spinning, but my sweet sweet little girl keeps me grounded, here in the present and as light as my mind will allow me to be.

A Month of Settling In and Smoothing Out.

We have been in our new house for almost a month. We have gotten most everything unpacked and our place feels like a home. I got to work in the morning, come home to dinner at the table with my wife and kid. It’s almost suburban. Punky sets the table and helps clear the dishes after dinner. She asks to be excused and tells me about her day.

Our kid is settling in. (her bed did break and now she is delightfully sleeping on her ‘pull out couch’ on the floor) She dances around the living room, makes up stories about ‘her kids’ and plays with the new sandbox in our backyard.

We have a backyard!


Watching all the kids on my Facebook feed headed off to Pre-K and Kindergarten; I get all sad that we can’t afford to send Miss Punky to preschool. I wish it was about education though. It’s not about education when you look into preschool. It’s about “daycare” – and we don’t need daycare. I’m not paying for daycare and education should be free.

So instead, her teacher is Super Why? And Daniel Tiger. Would someone think that inferior? Yea, probably. She gets “too much screen time” and then again, she’s learning a ton.

  • She knows how to write her name (backwards, but it’s all the letters)
  • She knows how to spell her name. (she can name the letters, when not prompted, because she’s not a monkey on command)
  • She can count to thirteen, she can recognize 1-5, and on a good day 1-10
  • She knows her ‘number’ (age) and her birthday.
  • She’s mostly potty trained, though the minute I type it out here, she will have six accidents on my new stairs. She’s not night trained. Without a washer and dryer (waiting on one soon!) we aren’t overly worried about it.
  • She’s known all her colors and her shapes since she was one.
  • Animal sounds are in the bag.

She pretends like no one’s business. She has ‘kids’ that she plays with. Not sure if it’s because she’s an only child or she is just a three year old with imagination and imaginary friend(s). She’s such a cute storyteller. She says all sorts of fun things.


She’s currently into babies, fancy dresses and magical lands. We have made the ‘trek to the Magical Land of Potty” at least four times a day in the last week. She’s all about adventure. Climbing. Dancing. She asks questions, questions I’m not prepared to answer – but I do.


She collects rocks and fairy stories. She watches the stars and asks the big questions. The questions on religion hasn’t come up. She’s not really been exposed. I have been thinking alot about that. When it comes. Because she has SO many questions. I don’t want to indoctrinate her one way or the other. I don’t want to give her my truth or their truth. I want to teach her to think and to question and to make up her mind.

That’s just too much for a three year old – so for now, I give her answers to the questions she asks, and prepare myself for the ones she hasn’t thought of yet.

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In the end, we made a move and we got back on our feet and we weathered the storm of our kid in the process. She’s somehow lost her listening ears along the way, but I’m confident we will get them back. Find out where she hid them. I’m hopefully that we will continue to smooth out, it’s already in the works.

Operation Move Out: Bumpy Road Still Traveled

We moved into our new home a week ago. I have not felt this light and stress free in a long time. So, with the new job being the perfect job for me, the new home being the perfect home for me, so far life couldn’t get much better in my mind. I wake up in the morning, I bask in the quiet of the day before I start getting ready. I go to work, I come home to ….

the BUMPS.

Punky hasn’t been adjusting near as well as I have. It makes me feel bad, but she’s been going between fits of hateful, to being her old happy self. To put some perspective on it, she was so little when we moved in with Gram, she doesn’t remember a time when it was just the three of us, in a house, alone. Throw in a few phrases that have been said around her hugely empathetic heart and she’s gotten worried.

She’s transfixed on the thought that Gram and Pop are lonely without her. She’s sad that she doesn’t see them every day. She is bored because she doesn’t get to go outside as much as she wants or doesn’t have a pool in the backyard. She’s pissy because she didn’t get a choice, she didn’t have control over this and it’s all so brand new still.

My first instinct when we decided to move was to make sure she had an awesome room that she could play in. That would be all hers. A place she could go and be and have her own space. And I think she likes her room. I wish she would have helped pick out more of the things, but being a three year old with a small attention span, Mommy was unrealistic in thinking that would happen. But we spent a whole night putting it together and when she got to see her new home for the first time, she got to see her new room.

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It hurts my heart though, to see her go through this. And it makes it even more frustrating, because I want to let her know that her feelings are valid and we value her emotions; but at the same time I want to teach her that there are appropriate ways to express your sadness, that you can can’t go around telling your  Mama you hate her every time you miss Gram.

Of course, reasoning with a three year old is like trying to nail jello to a tree or however that saying goes.


And so I feel sad that I am so much lighter since we have moved, so much has been lifted off my shoulders (emotionally, the bills haven’t come yet, as Kim liked to remind me the other day) and yet my little girl is struggling. It also sucks to come home to reports of the abuse that Kim has had to suffer at the hands of our three year old.

I know there are a lot of people in the world don’t think that a highly medicated woman with BiPolar Disorder is fit to take on the full time stay at home mom role. And it was never supposed to be the plan when we go pregnant. But that’s the life that we lead now and while I know it’s not ideal for Kim, she does an excellent job. We have had our moments this week, as we do, as all married couples do, but overall, I’m so proud of her for stepping up and taking on the responsibility.


Living with her mom afforded us a lot of luxury in saving money, saving time, saving energy. Sleeping in when we were sick, staying out if we needed a break. I know this move is an adjustment for Kim as well.

To add a rebellious three year old to the mix – who keeps telling her she hates her and she wants to move out and she hates this house and she wants Gram; it just isn’t making for a great home life for my two girls I don’t think. Add in there the fact that when Punky has a tantrum (which really are so few and far between) she resorts to hitting, anything her little hands can connect with. Kim’s not known for her patience, but she has been doing exceptionally well, given the circumstances.

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I’ve had to resort to telling Miss Punky if she can’t be nice to Mama she will lose the privilege of calling Gram and visiting with her. And until she has a better attitude (because she demands we call Gram when she’s mad or throwing a tantrum) we will not be calling Gram. I don’t like to say things like that, and I certainly don’t want to have to enforce it, but it really seems to be the biggest thing that Punky is responding to. I don’t know what else to do. She has suddenly lost her listening ears and she willfully does the complete opposite of what we say. She’s lost that happiness that exudes from her and the silliness and the manners.


I’m all about talking it out, figuring things out together, giving her a time and her own space. But there still have to be boundaries and limits. How do you parent with compassion and love and all that hippie dippie nonsense and still have order  and a clear balance in your house? We don’t spank her, often, like literally three times in her life I think. We don’t use physical punishment if we can help it and for the most part, she responds better to verbal talking it out, waiting til she’s ready to talk. Not lately. We haven’t figured it out yet. So it’s about 50/50 ratio of smiles and tantrums in our home.

Where did this kid go? When do we get her back?

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My rational mind knows that a big move is a big change for a kid that’s so small and doesn’t have much control over the things in her life. But, it’s frustrating, sad, and disheartening to see her battle us. Battle Kim mostly. I’m starting to feel a little helpless in how to make things better for either one of them. The only for sure peace we get is when she’s asleep. And she falls asleep AFTER us. She’s up super late, I feel like this may not be the best thing for her, but it keeps her content to lay in her bed and read books on her tablet, so we let her do it.


So far giving her little tasks and responsibilities has helped. She helps me set the dinner table and it seems to be a really cool thing to her. She likes putting the plates where they go and the silverware. She likes picking where each of us will sit for the night’s dinner. She wants to make sure the ketchup is on the table at all times, whether it’s needed or not. She helps me clear the table after dinner, putting stuff in the dishwasher. It seems to lighten her mood, make her feel like she’s in control.


I am hoping once we get more unpacked and more settled we will see more of these smiles and more lightness fill the eyes of our little one. Once things starting looking and feeling more like a home and not a massive pile over pile of boxes to unpack, hopefully my wife can feel the lighter load of stress on her shoulders that I feel a majority of the time now.

The Safari into the Housing Jungle

I’ve been a real “Debbie Downer” the last few weeks. Between being sick with a cold in the summer (who the hell gets those!?) and being turned down for every place we would inquire about or look at. It’s made me impatient, grumpy, SLEEPY, and overall a tiny bitch to be around. This is just been stress after stress, no after no and sometimes, I felt like I took it out on Kim and the littlest one in the house. The one for which is my existence, but parenting was tough, she doesn’t stop talking, she wants me to fifty different things all in the way she wants, she has 6 million questions a day (I lost count at the real amount, but that’s an accurate estimate.) At the end of this last week, I have been sick *literally* and tired *literally* of nothing going the way I wanted it to.


Last week we were told that the house we really wanted to look at was already rented, after we had been trying to get in touch with someone for a week before that. We were pretty bummed, we didn’t even get to look at it yet, but the square feet and the rental price was pretty decent for us, so we really would have liked it.

I told the lady renting it out that we would like to look at the other properties she had. They had  a couple others we could look at that were in similar price ranges. She called me on Friday morning and said that the people who rented, signed a lease and started to move into the one we originally wanted, backed out. We were next on the list if we wanted it.

Are you kidding? Of course I wanted it! At this point, I have put make more money than I have ever seen in my life and absolutely no one wanted to take it from me. It was burning a gigantic hole in my pocket and pushing me further and further into a funk that I was having a hard time getting out of.

So, we went and saw it and while it’s not the cutest or the prettiest. The set up is a little weird, with the first room you walk into being the kitchen; the bedrooms are in the basement and I can literally touch the ceiling for how short the basement ceilings are. But it’s clean, and new, and it could be ours. IF the application was approved. Of course, I knew my credit is shit and I owe our previous landlord at least $2000 from when we moved out last year, I had every doubt that the application would get denied again and we would be where we were before.

I wanted it! I wanted the day before yesterday! Take my money lady. That’s all I kept saying.

So we put in the application. The lady said the previous people were living in it for 3 hours and backed out, decided they didn’t want it and that was that. No reason why, they were evasive about the reasons. But that meant the landlord wanted someone in it, ASAP. So, I’m thinking – maybe they will overlook all the negative, if there’s such an urgency. I even agreed to a higher deposit, just to help them take my money.

3-5 days she told me on Friday. That was how long it takes for the application to go through. She said, he might fast track our application, but he doesn’t work on the weekends, so…. we just figured we wait. I waited for a big fat no, a new rejections in my face. Kim was painting the walls and decorating the living room with her mom in their heads.

I was leaving the house this afternoon to hang out with my best friend and on a SUNDAY I got a call from the duplex lady. I answered it and she said, “Hey how you?” And then she said….


And there we have it, I felt the burden lift from my shoulders, my giddy happiness is more than needed. I am propelled out of my funk and moving on to the next phase: dropping off the deposit. Finishing up the rest of the things to do and possibly moving our shit in to OUR NEW HOME as early as Friday.

We have our own place. This kid gets to have a backyard and a bedroom again! She might actually go to sleep at a decent hour and be able to play with her toys and we won’t feel over crowded!


We are saying goodbye to Gram’s house and hello to our own place. So exciting!

What?! WE WERE APPROVED! And I couldn’t be happier.

I’m just so damn excited.

So much and So Little

I’ve been negligent of this blog, mostly because – I just don’t want to write about all the thing that have been going through my head lately. The hit and run saga with the neighbor is still ongoing. The insurance has declined the claim, due to both a police report stating I’m not the one who hit his car and the pictures of the alleged damage dating back to 2013. He disputed it. So I had to get my car inspected by a Geico claim person, who again told me not to worry about it. My claims lady called last week and said we were waiting on him. I’m waiting on him. He’s the one disputing it, I didn’t hit his car, and I’m waiting on him. What an asshole.

In other news, we have been searching for a new place. We have been living in this basement for a year. It’s a lot longer than I ever expected to be living. With the move in of Kim’s sister, the house has gotten more cramped, not to mention we are now sharing our basement with our three year old. She’s going to bed later, getting up earlier, I’m beginning to think the sleep isn’t really happening for her, like it should.


Of course my work schedule has changed, so I’m also home later. I feel like I have no time with her. I make myself do things with her on the weekend, because even though I’m tired, I don’t think I get much time with her anymore. I probably get the same amount of time, it’s just the chunks are cut in half and at different times now. Morning and night. My whole day is at work. From 10-7pm.  I miss my munchkin, but  when I’m home, she misses me so much she suffocates me sometimes. Then I feel like a shitty mom for wanting my own damn space. And so the cycle goes on and on.

I think my life would feel lighter if we had our own place again. If we just had our own space. I had a place I could just go to for a few minutes to myself. A quiet space. A place of alone. But, the house hunting is going poorly. We have been declined on renting places twice now, and the few we have called on are too expensive for us to rent. This is mostly due to my poor credit, and I don’t know how to fix it. I never really cared about that kind of thing and being the girl who lived paycheck to paycheck, I’m learning we have been pretty lucky in the past. Not so lucky now.

So I’m becoming discouraged. It doesn’t bode well for my confidence or my self esteem. Not to mention that with my work schedule I don’t have time to call these places, and it’s my income and my information they need. Making the house hunting a pile of not fun and disappointment. What makes it worse is that I have saved enough money back for a deposit and a first month’s rent, and continue to put money back. I have the money in my hands and no one wants to take it from me. I have us on a budget, I have been able to make it to pay day with more than $30 in the bank. 44

These small victories are hard to celebrate and be happy about, when it amounts to nothing as we still live in this basement.

While it would seem that I don’t like my new job. I actually love it. I have never been in an atmosphere that is so laid back, so inclusive, and so diverse. It’s a great job full of great people and it’s where I need to be. I just wish I had jumped the ship at my previous sanity draining job four years ago. Maybe I wouldn’t have such a lasting damaging effect from it now. People surely wonder what was so bad about that job and I will just say that I was screwed over by the leadership so many times, I lost faith in a company that I was with for 10 years. It takes a lot for someone who is established somewhere for that long to up and leave. And I did it, because it was healthier for me. I feel better about myself, my life and my future.

My computer has been fried twice now in a week and it’s making it difficult to keep up with my Etsy shop. I so love my shop, but I’m starting to think I need to take a break from it. I don’t have the time. I want to have the time. I really enjoy designing things and there are so few invitations options for families like mine and the rest of the LGBT community, I don’t want to shut down and leave the options fewer.

The weight is heavy on my shoulders, but well, I know I just need to get out of my funk. It’s all piling up to create a beast inside. Making me not interested in enjoying anything or doing anything but lay on the couch and binge watch something on Netflix.

In better news, I have saved enough that I was able to buy a better camera from my sister in law. It was a happy coincidence that she got a new one and I was able to purchase her old one! It takes excellent pictures and it gets me out of the house with our sweet girl. We’ve been on a lot of adventures together with it.

My goal, whether I feel like it or not, is to never let my kid know how down I am. Never let her know that life is not as fun and carefree as her childhood reflects. She will never feel the weight on her own shoulders. I refuse to allow that. I will keep her a kid for as long as I can. A happy, fun, and carefree kid.

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If you follow me on Facebook, you have seen these pictures, but my kid is a climber. I call her monkey. She’s Punky on here, but she’s my little monkey. She climbs everything. Including this 30 foot rope pyramid. No matter how tall, as long as it is stationary and has hand and feet holds, she will climb the shit out of anything. She’s destined to give me pre-mature grey hair. Good thing I dye it!

Our weekends are packed full of a balance of relaxation and adventure! Yesterday was no different. We went to a flower garden in a heat advisory. Not the best planning on our part, but Punky’s best friend Cheeks and her mom went with us. These girls have been friends since they started walking and it’s been so awesome to see them grow up and play together!

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Regardless of the negative in my head right now, the outward is happy and beautiful. My life is worth so much of thankful things, things I have that are great. I just get stuck in my head sometimes. And the anxiety and worry and the beating myself up gets in the way sometimes of the beauty of my life right in front of me.