I am not much of a DIY-er.  I always picture things in my head that look super cute, but they end up turning out like a 5-year old did the project.  But I finally think I got one right!

See, there was this table and chair set:

It was hiding in my sister’s garage.  I am not sure what they used it for, but according to the damage on it, it looks like they used it as a table to drill things on. 

Basically, it had seen better days.  I think someone even used the chairs as a chew toy.

So I sanded, and filled and sanded some more.  Then I painted.  A lot.  It needed a few extra coats of paint to cover all the pain it had endured.  Then I added chalk board paint to the top of the table and to the back of the chairs.  I think it turned out cute!

It is currently hanging out in my parent’s basement until we move to our new home!!  What do ya think??

Dear Lord, it takes me until Wednesday to get a weekend recap up…I have a toddler at home…

While my last post might lead you to think my weekend was depressing, that is not so.  I actually had a blast.  Last Friday, I got a call from one of my best and oldest friends (we met the 1st day of kindergarten).  She invited Hj and I up to her family’s lake house.  I quickly made a mental list of everything I needed to accomplish that day so that we could leave on Saturday…get snacks, make brownies, buy Hj a life jacket, pack, lose ten pounds, clean the house, find a dog sitter…

I was able to accomplish all but 1 thing on the list (can ya guess which one?).  Saturday came around and Hj and I loaded up the car (yes he helped, he carried a book!) and headed on our way.

The lake is only an hour and 20 minute drive.  Perfect nap time for my handsome little man and not long enough that I would get bored.  The only snafu we ran into was small towns in Iowa do not have “pay at the pump” options apparently.  I drove through 5 gas stations debating what to do…I even got out of my car and stared at a pump for quite a while trying to figure out how to work it.  Finally, with a tank full of gas (I caved and went inside old school style), we made it to my friend’s gorgeous lake house.  The lake is private (ou have to property there to use it), so it is not too busy.  And her parents and in-laws both have places there. 

She has 2 boys, so it took us a while to wrangle everyone up and get them in swim gear, bags packed for the boat and Hj to realize the life jacket was not going to harm him (although, when he would tip over he would flop around like a turtle on his back).  He loved looking at all the boats and didn’t even seem to mind the wind whipping him around.

The boys had fun checking out the scenery and dipping into the water.  After a few hours, we decided we should head in and eat.  My friends parents came over to eat and we even took the boys out on an ATV (Hj thought he was a cool kid on this). 

This is where I learned I am not the outdoorsy type.  My friends dad brought over a bucket of minnows.  The boys loved them.  They were reaching in the bucket and catching them and laughing.

I thought it was cute (but didn’t want to join in).  Then the fishing poles came out.  DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY DO WITH MINNOWS?!?!  My friend reached in the bucket and shoved a minnow on a hook!  I was disgusted, taken back and sad all at once!  Needless to say, I did not join in on the fishing activities (Hj enjoyed it though).  Fishing didn’t last to long, one of my friend’s boys decided to “set the minnows free”.  Which seems nice…only he set them free in the driveway and we didn’t notice in time.

After fishing, we had a campfire and made smores.  It was well past Hj’s bedtime when he finally got tucked in, but we had an awesome day!

The next morning we went on the boat and had brunch out on the deck…a perfect end to our lake trip!

Sidenote: smores isn’t a word on spell check…is this not a term that is well known???

Father’s Day officially became difficult for me.  Last year wasn’t bad.  Maybe it was because I had just found out I was moving and felt crazy busy.  Or maybe it was because Hj and I were not around daddys that day.  But yesterday was hard.

We had gone out-of-town with some friends (and had a blast), but seeing how much Hj admired and loved the “dad” was heartbreaking.  He was following him around, sitting on his lap, laughing at everything he said and running around to give him hugs.  It was obvious how “cool” Hj thought he was.  And it was hard to watch someone be such an amazing father and know that Hj does not have that.

I wish I didn’t feel this way…like I have said before, Hj’s father would not be a good role model.  And he would be nothing like the people we were with this weekend.  It is just so heartbreaking because Hj deserves the best.  I just wish I could give it to him.

 

I use to have a very exciting dating life.  I had fun meeting guys, going out for drinks, hanging out, getting free meals (a girl has to eat, right?).  But the dating world becomes a totally different ball game once you have a child.  I didn’t even think about dating for months and months after HJ was born. 

The first time I hung out with a guy was last August (HJ was 10 months).  I had just moved to Cedar Falls and came into contact with an ex from college.  Everything seemed awesome.  I was in shock how easily dating him came.  And although he had asked to meet HJ, I had a strict rule that I did not want them to meet until we were serious (I don’t want men coming in and out of my son’s life).  After 4 months of dating, I figured it was time.  I had already met his family, he had met some of mine, meeting my son was a logical next step.  He hung out with HJ a few times.  I could tell he was a bit uncomfortable, but he had not spent much time around babies before.  It was like he finally realized what my life was really like.  Then suddenly he stopped coming over as much.  We would still talk on the phone, but he had “things to do”.  It was around the holidays, so I took his word for it and let things slide.  Finally, it had become WAY to obvious something else was going on. 

He finally admitted that he had always pictured his life to go a certain way.  He wanted 2 children.  Of his own.  And my son would never be his.  I gave him the old “Life doesn’t always end up how you planned.”  And he shot back with “But mine still can follow my plan.”  Right, without me.  I took it kind of hard.  This was the first guy I had opened up to in a long time.  And now, the last 2 relationships I have had ended because of my son.  Makes me a little nervous about ever getting into a relationship again.

I know it has to be hard for someone to realize they will never be my #1.  That my son will always come first.  It’s also hard for me to date “just anyone”, knowing that any guy I bring into my son’s life instantly becomes his father figure. 

I also don’t have the same schedule as most single parents who might have every other weekend away from the child to go out and meet people or go on dates.  So even getting to the “first date” point is not an easy task.

Any advice on single parent dating?

Over Easter (yes, this is waaaay overdue), HJ and I went to visit my sister’s fam.  The place that we had brunch at had a kid’s Easter egg hunt and petting zoo set up.  While HJ did not get any eggs (whoops), he really enjoyed seeing all sorts of animals.  I think having a large dog makes him a little less fearful than the average child.

The cow was about the size of Ty, our dog:

He also “meowed” at the goat, so we might need to work on our animals a bit more.

And what Iowa petting zoo wouldn’t have piglets?

More goats…I was amazed at how long their ears are!

And of course, since it was Easter, the bunny!

But HJ’s favorite?  This:

He was so excited!  I actually had to pry his fingers off the sterring wheel when it was time to go.

HJ loves helping.  He puts dirty laundry in the basket, will throw things in the trash, even puts in new trash bags!  Yesterday, he decided to help me put the groceries away.  Which meant, I followed him around and then moved them to the correct place.  During his afternoon nap I discovered a few items I missed:

Whoops!

Here is how we spent the rest of our weekend:

PLAYING OUTSIDE!!!  I love summertime 🙂  How was your weekend spent?

HJ was about a month old, I couldn’t believe how fast time was flying by.  I had not talked to his father since HJ was born.  It’s not like I didn’t think about it.  He crossed my mind all the time.  But I was loving being a mommy and did not want to bring anything negative around me.  He had never called, texted or emailed to see how we were.  He did not even know “it” was a boy.  And he did not care.

My friend Lulu called and said she was stopping over to see us.  When she arrived she said it.  “I ran into Nate and his girlfriend.” 

I gasped.  A thousand thoughts quickly went through my head in the second that she paused.  Does she know about his child?  Did he ask anything?  Did he seem to care?

“I don’t know how to say this, but you need to know.”

Are they engaged?  What the hell is she talking about?

“She’s pregnant.”

Woah.

That was the last thing I expected to hear.  I felt like I had been punched in the stomach, over and over.  I felt sick.  I also felt hurt, jealous, heartbroken, confused, upset, irate, angry, hopeful…I can never accurately describe exactly how I felt.  But I felt it double for my son.

How could he have stayed with her while she was pregnant but not give me a second thought?  I am not saying I wanted him back, WE would have never worked, but I still wanted my son to have a father.

Maybe seeing how much he loves his new baby will make him realize what he is missing.

How could he choose one baby over another?

Did he not realize what he was missing out on?

I turned to the internet to get some answers…there it was…they were registered at Babies R Us..baby girl…with a due date only 5 months past his son’s.  Five months.

I emotionally lost it.  I became a jealous, vengeful person.  I was ugly, but I also felt justified.

I called him.  He didn’t answer.  I called again.  And again.  And again.  I left a message saying something to the affect of “We need to talk.”

He finally called back and said, “What do you need?”

“DID YOU NOT THINK I WOULD FIND OUT YOUR HOOTER’S WAITRESS GIRLFRIEND IS PREGNANT?”

I don’t remember his response.  I am sure it was ridiculous and pointless.  I mentioned how he had never even called to see how his child was.  How he didn’t even know if it was a boy or girl.  I asked him “Don’t you even care to know anything?”

His response was another blow, “Not really.”

The next day I called a lawyer.  I met with him and told him the story.  I told him how it was important that I have in writing that I have full custody.  I was not saying I didn’t want Nate involved, I just didn’t want him to suddenly enter our life’s 3 years later and take 50% custody.  It was something I could do to protect my son from his father.  We also mentioned child support.  I mentioned that I wanted some support since he would be providing for his other child (I felt HJ deserved something), but that custody was my #1 thing.  Meaning if Nate put up a fight, I was willing to negotiate on the money.  The lawyer couldn’t believe that the dad wanted no part and warned me it could get ugly if a custody battle ensued.  I understood.  And was concerned.  But knew it needed to get done.

The lawyer drew up the paperwork to serve and I gave him Nate’s girlfriends address to serve the paperwork.

A few days later I got a call. “Why the hell am I getting served with paperwork for child support?”

“Oh hi!  Yes, your son and I are fine, thank you.  And the paperwork?  Well, you have a child.  And as much as you want to deny it, you are obligated to support him in some way.”

“You said I didn’t have to be involved.  If you couldn’t do it on your own, you should have had an abortion.”

“Wow.  You are an ass.  Luckily, the state agrees with me.  The main thing I want is for you to sign over custody, and that is what the paperwork will have.”

“I would rather sign away all my rights to that mistake.”

I would love to say I was being strong, but I was sobbing.  How could he say that about my son?  My everything?  I officially knew what true hate felt like.