“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”
–Mary Engelbreit

Notice anything different about the blog?  Look up at the address bar.  Or the Title.  That’s right.  Things are changing around here.

There are numerous reasons why I went for the change.  It has been a long time coming, it just took me a while to figure out how to change EVERYTHING (not the best with computer stuff).  The thing is, yes I am a single mom.  That is where the original Single Mama Life title came from.  No, I didn’t go and elope, I am still a single mom.  But that’s not all I am.

When I started the blog, I think I still held a large amount of bitterness and resentment for Harrison’s father.  Little by little, that has been going away.  I wouldn’t say I have forgiven him completely.  But I don’t cry over it anymore.  I don’t get angry or stressed after talking with him (which might happen every 4 or 5 months…I can’t even remember the last time).  And now that I have come to the realization that I may never get child support, the doesn’t infuriate me.

Over time, I have been able to let go.  Even though I have said in the past we are better with out him, now I know for sure.  I know it would be hard to hand off a child every other weekend or holiday.  I am also aware that the parenting Harrison would get by going to his father’s would be challenging for Harrison and myself.

I know I have said these things over and over, but since last spring, I have been able to truly let go.  Healing brings about change.  You may have noticed a change in my posts in the last year.  I occasionally have the “UGH what a deadbeat” rants, but not nearly as many.  I have realized that the path my son and I are on is amazing.  Wonderful.  Happy.

Harrison and I have a special bond.  One that not many get to experience.  We are lucky.

I am no longer “just” a single mom.  I am a mother.  I no longer wanted to be pigeon-holed.  I know some people wouldn’t look at the blog because they thought it was primarily about “single-parenting” as opposed to just parenting.

I will still write about my struggles and successes.  In fact not much will change but the title.  And the look (yup, I am really excited about that one!).

Today, I am linking up with Sunny with a Chance of Sprinkles for a Trendy Little post.

On a typical day, my son likes to rock comfy clothes.  But every now and then, I can get him excited to look stylin’.

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The blue pants are from the Gap, white shirt is from old navy and the plaid shirt is from the Gap.  The tie is from a site on etsy.

Holy cow, trying to get a 3-year-old to stand still is impossible.  I bribed him with m&m’s.

He cleans up nice.  And, oh my lord, I can’t believe how big he is getting.

This past weekend, HJ and I spent an afternoon watching a movie at the bf’s house.  The bf and HJ were eating popcorn as we all relaxed on the couch.

“Hey, MOM!”

“Yes HJ?”

“You no like popcorn?”

It’s true I don’t.  “Nope I don’t, bud”

“Mom, you should just try it.”

I looked at him and said, “But, I don’t like it.”

“Just TRY it.”

This is something I say to him a lot at the dinner table, so I could see he was giving me a taste of my own medicine.

“Ok HJ, I will try it.”

I grabbed a piece of popcorn and threw it in my mouth.  “Ugh, I don’t like it, it tastes like packing peanuts.”

HJ suddenly got a strange look on his face.  It was a look of disgust and laughter all at once.

“MOM!  IT TASTES LIKE PENIS?!?!”  He said, looking completely confused.

I tried to hold back laughter.  “No HJ, I said packing peanuts.”

Guess I need to emphasise my words a little more.

 

 

HJ was born at 3:15 am on November 4th.  Being born at that time of the day means not many people are awake.  I went into labor the evening of the 3rd, and pushed from midnight on.  It was exhausting.  But at 3:15 am, I knew the greatest joy.  This little person was placed in my arms and everything changed.

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My wonderful friend Amy had helped through the labor (don’t worry, she is a labor and delivery nurse).  She had been at work when I went into labor, just finishing a 12 hour shift.  And then continued to finish off a full 24 hours by helping me through it.  She got to cut his umbilical cord :).

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After all the craziness following labor (weighing, measuring, crying, pictures, more pushing and lovely stitches), Amy went and got my mom.  Shortly after, Amy went home, to finally get some sleep.  My mom stayed with us for a bit, but then went to my apartment to finally get some sleep.

About this time, a nurse came in to take HJ’s footprints and give him his first bath.

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She said another nurse had made a hat she wanted HJ to have.  We laughed that he looked like a little cupcake.

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And then she left.  It was just me and the most perfect person I have ever laid eyes on.

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And then it hit me.  We were all we had.  I was alone.  The tears came quickly as I told HJ over and over, “I am so sorry.  It’s just me and you.  I am sorry.”

I knew throughout the pregnancy that I would be raising him alone.  But it never really hit me like it did at that moment.  And I had never felt so alone.  Or scared.

I held him tight as the tears rolled down.  I tried calling my mom, my sister, a few friends, but no one answered.  It wasn’t even 6am.

6:15 rolled around and I figured I could send the obligatory mass text. “Harrison James was born at 3:15am, 6lbs. 15oz, 19 inches”

The “congrats” texts started rolling in.  But I was still alone.  Feeling guilty that I didn’t have more to give my son.  That I couldn’t give him a dad.

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Remember last year when I ordered canvases from Canvas on Demand?  You don’t?  And you don’t want to click that link to view my old post?  That’s ok, here is what they looked like:

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Oh, my cute little monkey!

Well guess what?  Thanks to another Groupon, I recently received HJ’s 3 year canvas:

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How cute!!!

The hall is starting to fill up, so I might have to get creative with how to hang these.  Or move to a house with a bigger hallway…that seems logical.

Here is what the hallway looks like at night with my terrible lighting and camera hone (forgive me)

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See?  Going to need a bigger hallway!

We have been having lots of snow storms in Iowa.  Friday, HJ and I hit up a local sledding hill and went down the hill a few times before SOMEONE declared themselves cold.  And then I had to pull the sled with toddler in tow for a 10 minute walk.

That night, I decided to bring the snow inside.  I filled up a tupperware container and laid out some toys.

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Then HJ put on some mittens and a hat (not sure why he picked the hat, but he did).

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He dug the snow, buried toys, and followed the rule that “the snow has to stay in the container”.  This fun little activity kept him occupied for over an hour.  I was able to clean the kitchen and play at the same time :).  Clean up was also easy, I just took the toys back to the toy room and dumped the snow in the yard.

 

On Saturday mornings, HJ and I head to his swim lessons.  I have tried making small talk with the other parents, but everyone is short with their answers.  They are all too busy.

No, they aren’t to busy watching their children.  They are all on their phones.  This past Saturday, I paid close attention, of the 12 parents I could see, all but one of them was on their phone.  The one who wasn’t on her phone was reading a book.

I am not posting this to tell you what a good parent I am.  I was on my phone too.  Until I noticed what everyone was doing.  It made me put my phone away.  At that moment, I looked at my son who was looking right at me.  He was wanting me to watch him.  To pay attention.  I told him he was doing great and clapped for him.  He beamed.  I noticed the other children glancing over for approval.  I paid attention the rest of the class.  I told them they were doing great and cheered them on.  Everyone else?  They were on their phones.

Since then, I am being more conscientious of my phone usage.  I am making a point to leave it on the counter until HJ goes to bed.  I will glance at it every once in a while to respond to a text or make sure no one has called.  For the most part though, my eyes are on my son.

I know there aren’t too many years left where he will want me to chase him around the house or join him in the play room.  I won’t hear, “mommy, watch this” all that much longer.  So for now, I am embracing it.

I am loving watching how excited HJ gets over things.  Listening to how wild his imagination has become and how much he has turned into a “real kid”.

I feel bad for the parents who are missing out on these moments.  All because they are checking on statuses of their facebook friends or browsing the internet.  For now, I will play.  I am focusing on HJ.  I don’t want to be that mom that misses a huge moment for their child because I was “too busy”.  I will see when HJ becomes brave enough to go under water by himself.  I am watching him grow.

I hope this will also teach him that it is more important to pay attention to those around you then to be on your phone.  I don’t want him to grow up associating me with my phone.  I want him to remembering me being there for him.  Watching him and cheering him on.

Do you have rules on phone usage while at home?  If not, are you willing to implement some so you can have “play time”?

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It’s time for another round of “Make Me Pretty”!  This month, Vicki from Domestic Mamma picked a smoky eye tutorial.  I have always wanted to master a sultry, smoky eye, so I was excited to give it a shot.

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Click here to watch the tutorial!

Here are the supplies I used for the smoky eye:
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I used an eye shadow base (similar to skin tone), a dark smoky shadow, black eye liner, a pink shimmery shadow, a high light color and mascara.

I started by applying an eye shadow base onto the eyelid.

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OMG I hate taking self portraits…especially with my eyes closed!

Next, I packed the dark smoky shadow onto the brush and applied to the eyelid.  During this, I made sure to “press” the shadow on to avoid have specks of shadow all over my cheek (learned that the hard way).  Then I blended it out to the crease of my eyelid.

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Next, I applied black eyeliner along the top lash line and all along the bottom water line.

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Then, I applied a pink shimmer on the outer corner and blended that in.  Next, it was time to high light along the brow bone.

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I then applied the smoky shadow under my eye, and applied mascara.

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Here is the before and after:

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While the smoky eye might be something I will try again for special occasions, it is a little much for me to wear too often.  I was also paranoid all night that it was going to start smudgeing all over my face (it didn’t).  Also, HJ asked why I painted my eyes.  I can’t imagine that  means I looked awesome.

And yes, I did eventually do my hair for a night out on the town.

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This picture makes me realize it’s time to get my hair thinned out, yikes!

Want to join in on the Make Me Pretty Experiment?  Link up at Domestic Mamma!