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There is no right answer..

I sit at the table and try to have a quiet lunch while scrolling, scrolling, scrolling through Pinterest. We’re having a conversation about a girl in his church “class” and how much he likes her and if I can call her mom right now so she can come over and slide on his slide. He’s standing on his cooler at the kitchen counter, shaking (what I can only assume will end up to be) and entire salt shaker into a bowl.

Just moments ago he was sitting at the table with me. My phone was put away and he was painting a section of concrete that he took out of the driveway. We talked about how beautiful he was making it and he asked for more purple paint. His paper plate is an inch thick with paint he’s swirled all together but I open the purple and squirt another dollop on top of the huge mess.

Later he’ll walk into my room and want to see the new humidifier. A word he can actually say clearly that reminds me he’s not a baby anymore. He’ll drag a chair over to my dresser, stand on it to turn the humidifier on full speed and dance under the fog of wet air. But when that gets old he’ll take the water reservoir off, set it on my dresser, spilling water everywhere and watch the water dance. As it splashes EVERYTHING in sight. I’ll calmly go get him a towel and he’ll get down to get a box of tissues.  One by one he’ll put the tissues into the water (at which point I will turn off and unplug the humidifier) he’ll empty almost a whole box of tissues into the water then take some out to “clean” the dresser. I’ll sit on the bed and we’ll keep talking about the fun things he did this week. Then when he is bored with that, I’ll throw away the tissues and wipe up the water with the towel before tossing it into the laundry hamper.

He asked for spaghetti and hotdogs for breakfast. It was the first thing he said to me that morning. So after a little cuddle time in bed I got up, got the leftover spaghetti, warmed it up. Along with a hotdog  at 8am. He ate every bite and thanked me as he ran off to his next adventure.

I’m getting impatient wanting him to get dressed so we can leave the house. He asks if he can please wear his jammies, Justin Beiber coat and ladybug boots today. It isn’t exactly what I had picked out but we aren’t going to a beauty pageant today.

Tonight as I go to bed I’ll set out a piece of bread in a baggie. His honey and a plastic knife neatly on a paper towel. When he wakes up in the morning he’ll go make himself a honey sandwich then climb into bed next to me as I bleary eyed turn the tv on.  It’ll already be on PBS because that’ll be the last thing I do before going to sleep. One last thing I have to think about. His cup of milk is on the bottom shelf of the fridge, if he gets thirsty, he’ll go get it. And while I’ll this is going on, I’ll steal a few more moments of sleep.  Whatever mess happens because of those two things can be cleaned up later, I remind myself.

But then it’ll get too quiet so I’ll walk into the kitchen. See the sugar, butter, cinnamon and bread out on the counter. Riddick (the dog) sitting eagerly at his feet. I sneak around the corner and hear him explaining to the dog how to make cinnamon toast. I smile and walk to the linen closet where I get out a  dish cloth. Wet it in the sink then help him clean up all the spilled sugar. We laugh about how silly it is.

I’ve learned a lot about myself as a parent lately. It seems like all my peers with kids the same age are in a constant battle of how to do this parenting thing better. Constantly struggling and most importantly, fighting a lot. It seems it’s the topic of every mom gathering lately. Whether at play groups or just a bunch of us standing in the hall at church.

My conclusion: I don’t fight.

Unless something is life threatening, I don’t make a big deal about it. I pick my battles with him. I don’t have the energy, or patience or attitude to be able to correct him all day. He’s learning. I let him learn then take a few extra moments to clean up WITH him.

Isn’t he spoiled because he “gets away with anything he want too?” I would say no. He is polite. He says excuse me as he walks through a crowd. He says please and thank you when even I forget. I would say he’s BETTER behaved because he doesn’t have to try to get away with things.  He doesn’t try to push boundaries, because there aren’t many boundaries he can push.  He’s smart. He’s experienced a lot and had the best memory of anyone I’ve ever met. He follows instructions when he’s asked to pick something up or let the dogs out. He eats better than ANY toddler I know. He’ll choose broccoli over chocolate cake everyday. He rarely eats “junk” food. But can drink an entire bottle of pickle juice



He’s a 3 year old. A BRAND new 3 year old, who was just 2 a month ago.  He’ll still grab a toy out of another child hand and take of running  the other direction. He’ll still scream that something is “MINE” if he wants to play with it. And he’ll demand that someone buy him a toy when we’re at the store. I have nights (and days) I am so frustrated with him. Days when everything seems like a battle  and we both end up in tears. It isn’t always perfect. Nothing is.

What works for me, and for us may not work for anyone else.

Parenting is HARD. Finding something that works is HARD. It takes matching the personality of your child (or children) with yours and finding something that works. Some parents have time and energy to fight, some children NEED boundaries.  I GET THAT.

But TO ME, I dont care if he throws food to the dogs, becasue he eats well. If he didn’t, my perspective may change.
I don’t care if he stands on chairs, sits on the kitchen table, or climbs up on the counter. He knows how to handle himself in those situations. If he didn’t, my perspective may change.
I don’t care if he empties the entire bin of wooden track all of the floor. We’ll just pick it up later.

We’re learning and growing together. And having a whole lot of fun at the same time.

We’re all doing the best we can with what we have. We all deserve pats on the back, and to be a little gentler with ourselves.


Navigating without direction..

Being an adult is a crazy ride.

You get married and realize there isn’t a handbook on the way to have a successful happy marriage.  So you fumble, you succeed, you fall, you get back up. And some how you figure it all out.

Until a baby comes along. Then you’re completely lost again, wondering where in the world your book is on how to do this right. Suddenly “doing it right” is A LOT riskier. But again, you figure it out. (sorta.) And you keep doing your best to figure it out.

And then, when the worst happens and you’re faced with divorce and shared custody, you find yourself PLEADING for a handbook. There are no answers for you on how to handle things. How to make sure your child suffers as little as possible. (you’re just kidding yourself if you think your child won’t suffer at all. No matter how young or how old. This is realized quickly.)

So here I am.

Stumbling. Picking myself back up. Crying just as hard as Miles is as I hug him. Having great days. Having the lowest of low days. It comes and goes. And I still don’t have a clear direction of which way I shouldn’t or shouldn’t go.

Right now, I would say that Aaron and I have a pretty good relationship. Since the initial separation we haven’t had very many FIGHTS. (the screaming yelling crying kind) There is very little drama.

There was a time when I only reached out to my close friends, most of who don’t know me in real life. And asked for advice.

The greatest and most inspiring came from a friend that I had NO clue had been through divorce. She confided in me and helped me more than she’ll probably ever know.

“…every day I told myself I wanted to be proud of how I acted when I was 80 and looked back on it. I wanted to be able to go to God and say “I did your will”. It was the hardest thing I ever did.”

I have CLUNG to those words every day since that day.

I do what I can to make sure I can look back on this time and be proud. Not only in my own eyes but in God’s eyes also.

I don’t always succeed. I have bad days where my mouth gets the best of me, or my emotions take over, but I try.

Miles is a strong boy. He understands and communicates so much better than other {barely} 3 year olds than I know.

So for now. He decides. He decides when he comes, when he goes and who he is with at any time.

I think it’s the right things to do.

But is it?

This isn’t a fun road.

I’ve struggled with wanting to just get it all out. Should I start an anonymous blog? Or twitter? Just get things out.

But then I remember, I want to look back on this time and be PROUD.

Those things I WANT to say, don’t NEED to be said.

So I just keep driving, PRAYING I’m making the right choices. PRAYING I’m doing what’s best for Miles. PRAYING this road has an end.


Oh Minnesota..

PHEW.. we survived. There we definitly more than a few moments in our 6 days in the midwest that I wondered what in the WORLD I was thinking traveling 1300 miles across the country with a 2 year old with no help. Solo parenting had a few rough moments.

And other than the SWELTERING heat index of 117 degrees (Thank you, Minnesota for making us prisoners to air conditioning), it was a wonderful break from everyday life filled with even better company of great friends.

My nerves were as high as they could possibly get as we entered the airport. Ready or not, we were there and I was about to take a 2 hour plane ride alone with my toddler who was SERIOUS about not riding on an airplane big in the sky.

So… I just didnt tell him where we were going. We walked down the jetway and he walked with tripdation down the isle of the plane to our seats. Until he saw all the other planes out the window and FINALLY got excited about going on a plane.

He sat nervously… But the “DD” player was going and snacks we close by..

It didnt take him long to get comfy and kick back with his feet up on his tray. He loved every second. No sound, or bump or anything made him nervous. He watched all the clouds go by and even the cars on the road as we prepared to land..

Minnesota took my breath away. I have never really been in any sort of humidity, and Minnesota didn’t mess around with it’s level of humidity. I wasn’t prepared, and probably complained a little more than was necessary.


Miles took advantage and spent a little more time than normal “nakey”… (he also spent WAY more than the normal amount of times watching movies in our room because he couldn’t figure out how to play nicely.. ahem..)

I knew that NO trip to MN would be complete without a trip to the Mall of America. We honestly saw one hallway of stores and half of the amusement park. Miles and I rode on a couple rides, but it was quickly approaching the little’s bedtimes.

That was probably the only regret I have. Not being able to spend more time there. I was secretly hoping our flight home would be oversold and we could spend the evening playing there. I would have loved to visit the museum and look around a little more. It was definitely a cool place! And ample (free) air conditioning!

We attempted a firetruck museum in Minneapolis. I say attempted because this train table was one of the first things in the door, and we lost Miles to it almost the entire time. But considering our goal was just to get out of the house.. we accomplished it!

We attended one of the BEST birthday parties we have ever been too. Miles had an absolute blast. I had a great time talking to mom’s with silly accents. And Miles had an opportunity to boss someone other than OBoy around for a few hours. Win Win all around.

We spent lots of time just relaxing. Anyone with kids knows that sleep and vacation dont mix well. Naps were short, if at all and night we’re late and mornings were early. But we made the best of our tired time and cuddled in bed.

We had an absolute blast at the Children’s Museum. Playing for 5 or 6 hours. That, coincidentally was also the best night of sleep he had.


We ate good food, spent time as a family and enjoyed each other so much.  Just when I thought we maybe planned too long of a trip the rest of the time went zooming by and I wasn’t ready to leave..

We are so grateful for the amazing friends we have in the O’s .. and for everything they did for us while we were there.

The best part of the 6 days?????

THIS.. was my view from the time we sat down on the airplane (before we even took off) till 5 minutes before we landed in Salt Lake.
Miles slept the ENTIRE flight. It was glorious, and lonely, and glorious.


“Is it …….. beautiful, mama?”

He asked, holding up a dandelion before blowing it into the wind.

Words could not even describe what his heart is like right now.

Everyday I am blown  {like that dandelion} into a million pieces by him.


“It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, baby.”

“At least he doesnt have a peanut allergy”

“At least he doesn’t have a peanut allergy.”

That phrase is said to me AT LEAST once a day.

I’m feeling frustrated/overwhelmed/whoa-is-me lately about Miles’s food allergies. Or maybe not “his” food allergies, maybe just food allergies in general. It may be just because I am more sensitive to it, but people just don’t get it.

I day dream about going to a restaurant and asking Miles if he wants a hamburger or chicken strips for dinner. Instead, I pack a whole meal for him for an hour before we leave.

Don’t read me wrong, I am not upset about his allergies. I don’t dread doing those things. But I think a lot about “Do other parents realize how easy they have it.”

(But in retrospect, do I realize how easy I have it? I have a child who is healthy, can walk, can talk and has a roof over his head, food in his belly and loving parents..)

I digress, food allergies are HARD, yo!

I love this article that Katie wrote, it sums up how I feel so much. One of the comments really struck me (almost bringing me to tears)

Drayre says:
I feel terrible for parents of kids who have severe food allergies. Do they ever feel that their kids are safe? Even with bans on peanut or nut products in school can you really trust that every parent is going to respect that mandate and not send their kids with a PB&J? or a peanut butter cookie?

NO! a big huge NO! I NEVER feel like Miles is safe. EVER. I question everyone, everything that goes into is mouth is looked at by me. I am worried always. I can never let my guard down.

It was easier when he was little. I controlled everything, but now he’s older. He walks around, he can reach things, open the pantry door and wants what all the other kids have.

We work tirelessly on what has “allergy.” If you were ever in a grocery store with my  2 year old you would be shocked at the amount of things he can point out that have “allergy.” We live around the corner from his hospital, we pass it daily. He reminds us every time that it is the “owie tummy hosbible,” we in turn reiterate “What give you an owie tummy.” He answers “allergy.”  My two year old. My two year old has to know what he can eat and what he can’t eat, and he has to know if he eats something wrong, he has to go to the “owie tummy hosbible” I hate that. So much, for him.

but at the same time, I take a deep breath and remember, there are 2 year olds on chemo. There are 2 year olds waiting for organ transplants. My kid just cant eat stuff, no big deal. I try to remind myself a lot, but this still sucks for us, here and now.

I am SO grateful my parents “get it.” My mom reads everything so closely, and then asks me to read it. Since they live with us, I am glad I can rest a little easier knowing they understand. But I still check, “Is that his butter you used on the bread?” “Did you touch that spoon to our food?” “Don’t feed him off your fork.” “Don’t let him touch that, it touched cheese.”

It never ends.

“At least he doesn’t have a peanut allergy.”

He does. He does have a peanut allergy. But more than that, his dairy allergy is equivalent to a severe peanut allergy. So I say “He does have a peanut allergy, but it’s not very severe. His dairy allergy is as severe as the peanut allergies everyone is afraid of.” Which is always followed by “Thank goodness his peanut allergy isn’t that bad, could you imagine?” YES, i can imagine! THAT is what is dairy allergy is like. He has the WORST dairy allergy his allergist has ever seen. But for some reason, people don’t see that as a big problem. But it’s okay.

Sometimes I answer with “Yes, he actually does have a peanut allergy, and a dairy allergy, and an egg allergy and a soy allergy, and a rice allergy, and an oat allergy, and a chicken allergy and a turkey allergy.”

That usually shuts them up..

My (then) 8 month old baby 5 minutes into his 1st allergy test... 

3 more months before we head to the allergist for another testing.. …