The Demise of Old Faithful

After waking up from a nap when I was about five years old, I could not find my security blanket, Old Faithful.  After a fruitless search on my own, I asked my mother where she was. Nothing in my short life could have prepared me for the answer I received.

“Gone. I threw her away.”

NONONONONONOOOOOOOO. This must be a mistake!

The answer “GONE” was the singularly most shocking thing I had ever heard in my five years on this earth.

old faithful2 The Demise of Old Faithful

I was unable to answer, my eyes growing wider and wider. Looking back, I believe the correct term for my condition was Shell Shocked.

“You are a big girl. You do not need her anymore.” My mom continued. “I threw her away. You will be fine.”

(I emailed my mother this post before I uploaded it to the Internet for God and Country to see, and she said this: It was not an easy decision on my part but you were in kindergarten with front teeth that were going to make an orthodontist rich.
This is what I ask: two images , one of how you saw OF (power and strength) and how I saw OF (dirty germ laden pile of rags).
And stop blaming me for your therapy!)

julia buck teeth2 The Demise of Old Faithful

At the very least, Old Faithful deserved a dignified Burial At Sea. She had been my most trustworthy companion for five years! She had stood (laid?) beside me through it all. We had started preschool together. We had stood together, sisters in solidarity, when my middle sister came home from the hospital.  I was her FAVORITE!

At the depths of my despair, a terrible realization came over me.  The person who was responsible for this egregious breach of trust was my own mother! How could she?!

I remember fleeing from the room, wailing loudly for my fallen best friend. I found my backup Old Faithful, and while she did offer comfort, she just wasn’t the same.

My mother did win that round as I gave up my special lovey.  And, thanks to years of therapy, I can look at a blanket without breaking down. KIDDING! The offing of Old Faithful did scar me, and I would be lying if I said I still didn’t have a tiny grudge against my mom for her literal EXECUTION of my blankie. I did live to tell, and now I feel like the score is evened up a little bit- my mom might have broken me of my attachment, but I get to write about it on the internet for everyone to read! (Note to self: do not encourage Emma to blog…)

Old Faithful

My mother is amazing. She is kind, she is patient- she is basically that First Corinthians bible verse that is read at every wedding.

However.

She is not infallible, and she has made some questionable calls over the years. Some notable failures include her Stalin-esque take on Halloween, her Inability to Make a Decision, and Perms. But possibly the most remarkable, was when she threw away my ‘lovey’ (my special security blanket).

My blankie’s name was Old Faithful, and she was awesome. With her, I was Superwoman. I could leap tall buildings effortlessly, I could fly, and most importantly, I could be quiet. (For those who know me, you know this is a life long struggle. I’m trying, I swear.) I was so attached to my blankie that I even had a back up blankie that was put into rotation while Old Faithful was in the laundry. I HATED when Old Faithful got a bath because I liked her smell. In hindsight, this makes me gag, and is so incredibly gross I cannot stand it!

Sadly, I don’t remember the last time I saw OF. I do, however, remember the last time I looked for her. OF lived in my room, waiting for naptime and good night time. (Because I was a Big Girl, my time with my blankie was limited to times when I sleeping.) I started my investigation in my room, but no luck. I understood this was not a good sign, but I had an ace up my sleeve- the secret hiding place. My mother used a kitchen cabinet that was too high (or so she thought) for me to reach as the secret lair for OF. I will not go into details about how I accessed the inside of that cabinet (some things remain trade secrets to this day), but OF was not there. Still, I was not totally without hope… I was sure my mom would know where OF was.  (Hopefully, she was not in the laundry.) I believed then, and I still do, that my mom knows everything (well, almost everything. I don’t think she knew I could access the secret cabinet). I tracked her down, and using my best five year old investigational skills, I inquired about OF’s whereabouts.  For good measure, I even used my most polite voice, my best manners, and I threw in a cute face.

“Gone”, came the answer, like a ton of bricks.

NONONONONONOOOOOOOO. This must be a mistake!

Where could she be? And why was my mother so blase about her whereabouts?!

To be fair, when I questioned my mom about her super mean judgement call, this is what she had to say: It was not an easy decision on my part but you were in kindergarten with front teeth that were going to make an orthodontist rich.

Touche on the teeth…

Bubble Baths Aren’t The Same With A Toddler

When I think of relaxing, I think of things like soft, soothing music, muted lighting, light classical music, and bubble baths, and bubble baths (especially when paired with the aforementioned things) are wonderful. Since I had Emma three years ago, they have become even more wonderful- and, even rarer. These days, if I eke out time to take a bath, I find it hard to relax with the constant commentary Emma provides.  I am sure you are thinking to yourself: ‘this chick is crazy and creating her own problem. She should simply shut the door and ignore the protesting toddler. Surely, the child will get tired after a few minutes and find some other activity’.

So. Many. Problems. With. That. Statement.  (I wish I was still twenty two years old and knew everything about parenting.)

As those of us who currently reside in Toddlerville know, there is nothing as stubborn (or as verbal in their unhappiness) as a toddler. I understand that you might consider yourself strong willed- when people call me things like obstinate, inflexible, and immovable I take it as a compliment.  Toddlers are unbreakable. Toddlers should be used in government sponsored disciplinary activities. Toddlers basically win every time.

emma ice cream Bubble Baths Arent The Same With A Toddler

Sure, she looks sweet and innocent. Trust me, she has the stamina of Goliath.
www.karenlawsonphotography.com

 When Emma is home, I have approximately five seconds of peace during my “relaxing” bubble bath. Five seconds because that is as long as it takes for her to hear the door close (man do those toddlers have incredible hearing!) and the bath start to run. After she bangs and kicks the door until I open it (there was a time when I was in there alone, I’m almost positive. I don’t really remember it…), the questions start. I shan’t bore you with the exhaustive list of them; just know they are plentiful, oft repeated, and unending.

My baths are few and far between, which makes them even more special. A couple of weeks ago, the stars aligned and I was able to take a bath! However, it was not as relaxing as I had hoped…

vintage bubble bath beauty Bubble Baths Arent The Same With A Toddler

So wonderfully relaxing…
source

Mommy Brain Mixer Woop Woop!

Come on over this Saturday for a wonderful new blog series called “The Mom Connection!” You don’t want to miss out on parenting tips and advice from some of your favorite bloggers, so put this Saturday, November 10th on your calendar! We will be discussing the topic of sharing between siblings!

——

Welcome to week 16 of the Mommy-Brain Mixer, ladies!
Last week we had a wonderful 95 link-ups! The Mixer is thriving!

If you haven’t noticed, one of my favorite things to do here at Two In Diapers is to share stories about motherhood and my littles. One of my favorite things about sharing these stories is your comments with stories of your own children!

Welcome to…

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At the Mommy-Brain Mixer, we will be linking up our writings about anything and everything motherhood!We want to see funny posts, serious posts, sweet & sappy stories, mommy-brain episodes, memories from when your older children were younger, thoughts & lessons learned, and anything related to motherhood or little people. You know that post you wrote yesterday about your teething baby? Or that hilarious post you wrote about your 2nd grader’s school play? Those are perfect, so link ‘em up! 

The Mommy-Brain Mixer is the perfect place to find some great new blogs to follow, make some wonderful new blog friends, and enjoy some entertaining new reads!

To make things even more fun, my friend Mar, over at Raising Bean, is hosting a sister link-up
for you to join, too!
Head on over there after your finished here and link up your recipes, DIY, arts & crafts, and sensory activities!  

Let’s get to it, friends!
 
RULES:
{the first link below}
If you are new to the Mixer, please leave me a comment so I know to follow you back! I try to get around to all the posts but, as the Mixer is growing, there are some weeks that I’m not able!
2. Follow your co-hosts
This week’s lovely co-hosts {the first 3 on the linky} are:
Jennifer from Pushing The Lemons
Julia from Julia’s Math
3. Link up your mommy post!
4. Make sure to visit some of the blogs in the link-up and maybe even follow them!
{and comments are always loved}
5. Tweet about the Mommy-Brain Mixer to help spread the word! 

 
6. Grab this adorable button and place it somewhere on your blog!
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7. Don’t forget to check back throughout the week, as we gain many new links throughout the week!If you are interested in co-hosting a Mommy-Brain Mixer, send me an email at twoindiapers@gmail.com!


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We Cannot Ever Forget

ribbon black 68 We Cannot Ever Forget

I did not make it through the day without crying .
I have cried on this day for eleven years.

I look at my daughter, and it is crazy to think that she will never really know what this day is all about.  Sure, she will read about it in school, and she will undoubtably watch the horrific images.  Images that never get easier to watch.

9.11 We Cannot Ever Forget

Like all Americans, I will never forget where I was and want I was doing. It was my senior year in college, and I was at the gym, and at first I thought it was a bad movie and I didn’t understand why every single TV was tuned to the same bad movie…

9.11 fire We Cannot Ever Forget

I saw first hand the damage at the Pentagon later than year when we buried my grandmother at Arlington.

In a way, it makes me feel more connected with my grandparents, all four of whom were World War II veterans (Coast Guard, US Navy, and the Royal Navy).  They saw and experienced things that I will never understand, and things that cannot be explained.

I understand what my parents mean when they say they remember everything about the day that President Kennedy was shot.

One of my greatest fears is that as a nation we will forget. We will forget WHO did this and WHY they did what they did. 

emma beach We Cannot Ever Forget

I do not want my daughter, or anyone else’s daughter (or son) to experience a day like that day.

never forget We Cannot Ever Forget

God Bless America.

I Might Not Love Football, But I Love Thomas!

So I’m not the perfect girlfriend… and I don’t like sushi…  Thomas was still willing to be my boyfriend. And then, I revealed that I also pretended to love football, and to really love to eat wings while watching football. 

football widow I Might Not Love Football, But I Love Thomas!

Today, I mourn the beginning of football season the same way others mourn the end of it.(I found this article online at UK Daily Mail, evidently I am not the only one!)  I hate Sunday afternoons, because Thomas is “busy” and therefore is not available to fix things/do errands/yard work. As Emma still naps in the afternoons, one of us has to be home in the afternoon anyway so I cannot complain too much (yeah right, like silly things like FACTS are going to stop ME from complaining!)  Before she was born, we reached a compromise: Thomas would record the game and watch it later in the evening, so we would have an opportunity to “do stuff’. Initially, he was concerned that he would hear the outcome of the game. I assured him if he was with me, he would not hear a peep about football. In my world, I can go MONTHS without so much as hearing who is playing who, let alone a score! As I mentioned, I live in the South, where football is a religion.  On Sunday evenings, I Google all results so I know what to expect on Monday mornings from my colleagues. 

game day I Might Not Love Football, But I Love Thomas!

As far as wings go, it has been eight years since I have eaten one… and I have lived to tell about it! Now, before you starting grumbling about how mean I am, and how deprived Thomas is, know this: on the road, Thomas eats his fair share (and then some. I don’t ask!) of wings, and watches football like it’s going out of style.  He is fine!

Relationships are much easier when one is not living out of a suitcase, and both parties are in the same time zone. However, I would be fibbing a little bit if I said I did not miss the anticipation of seeing Thomas, and of both of us being on our Best Behavior…

good behavior I Might Not Love Football, But I Love Thomas!

:::Insert your own joke::::

You Have To Kiss Some Frogs To Find Your Prince

I was utterly and completely heartbroken.

It felt like my life died- I had been absolutely swept off my feet. I was young, and desperately wanted an instruction manual for grown up life. K was a few years older, and seemed very wise at the time. Additionally, that rosy new relationship glow- you know, that feeling where you can’t imagine that person will ever do anything wrong, and is so perfect, and so wonderful, and everything is amazing, and BLAH BLAH BLAH- was never extinguished because we never experienced “real life” stuff. We saw each other every couple of weeks, and he paid for everything. It was like Disney World for relationships. No one ever had to take the trash out, or compromise on what to watch on TV, or forgot to pick up the dry cleaning.

break up poem You Have To Kiss Some Frogs To Find Your Prince

A little sappy, but totally true.

Once I got over my despair, I got Angry. Very Angry. Psycho Angry. 

I may or may not have threatened to show up at his house so he could explain his virtual disappearance from the face of the Earth in person. (I had a plane ticket already booked for New Years, and I had his AMEX, so I could have totally made it happen.) It was not my proudest moment. At the time, I thought of myself as a Thelma and Louise gal, demanding answers for all girls who had been screwed over.

miss you ecard 700x490 You Have To Kiss Some Frogs To Find Your Prince

K did a great job of sucking me back in over the next year. And I wanted so so badly to be sucked back in, so it’s not like it took a lot. Sadly, it was obvious to everyone except for me that he did not want to get back together. He did however, want to mess with my mind. He would tell me he missed me. I would rush down to see him. Once there, he would decide that he did not in fact miss me that much and that we would not work as a couple.

K is my Dating Anti Christ. (A local radio show in Atlanta coined the term, and it fits perfectly here!) When I read He’s Just Not That Into You, it felt like Greg Behrendt had been spying on me for the past year. (If my suffering provided even one girl relief, it was still so so awful.) In retrospect, I did learn a lot from the experience. I learned that it’s OK to be That Girl Without A Boyfriend sometimes. I also learned what a true Knight in Shining Armor looks like….

t j laura wedding2 You Have To Kiss Some Frogs To Find Your Prince

My Knight

And Then My Life Died

Everything was perfect- K and I were so in love, and so happy, and just the picture of a Lifetime movie about Finding Love In Unexpected Places. And then, everything changed. One Friday in December, I got to work and called K. I couldn’t get him on the phone, which was weird as I could always count on him to answer the phone.  The day went on, and K still wasn’t answering his phone.  On Friday I was worried. On Saturday, I was pissed. By Sunday, I was levitating. You know that saying, “Hell Has No Fury Like A Woman Scorned”… That? Is a gross underestimate. 

no answer And Then My Life Died

He finally answered the phone Sunday afternoon.  He at least had the decency to be somewhat sheepish about his lack of communication. I demanded answers.  He first tried to placate me with stupid BS excuses, but as I am not blind, stupid, or newly born that strategy did not work. He then tried being defensive. Why was I calling so much? That did not end well for him either. 

Finally, he told me what had happened.  He and his ex-fiance were going to try again.  WTH?! Seriously? Remember, I already mentioned I was  young and impressionable. I also had convinced myself that I NEEDED this relationship to work out.  Empowered, independent women were turning out to be greater on paper than in real life.  I had believed him when he told me that he was done with her, that he felt nothing for her, and that the wedding would have been a huge mistake.  I needed to believe him when he told me how much he loved me, and that he was so excited for a future together.

dear john letter And Then My Life Died

His third option was to let me rant. And rant I did. 

 I demanded to know HOW this had happened because he told me that he never saw her.

I demanded to know WHY he told me things that were LIES.

I demanded to know what he was going to do to fix it, to fix me, to fix the unbelievable anger, pain, and loss of both a dream and of my rose colored glasses.

Also, what kind of COWARDLY mamby-pamby IGNORES frantic phone calls for THREE DAYS?!

Also, what jack ass waits to break up with his girlfriend when she is at work? This guy.

I worked for Nordstrom at the time, which is a store famous for its attention to its customers.  We had very strict rules for what was appropriate on the sales floor.  That Sunday, I broke every single one of them. I was a one woman s*** show. I was so scary that I did not get in trouble, I was simply asked to ‘please take my conversation outside’. I remember walking outside, in the snow, without a coat, for half an hour screaming.  I was so out of my mind that the crazy homeless people were running away from me. 

nordstrom And Then My Life Died

Of note: screaming, name calling, and crying are not encouraged. (No matter how much someone might deserve it.)

As I write this, I am attempting to put into words how angry and betrayed I felt (ten years later), yet words alone are not doing it justice. Also, I am getting mad all over again!

 

the dramatic ending tomorrow… I get mad, but do not break any stalking laws

 

The Forgotten Boyfriend

The other night, my husband and I were lying in bed, when he reminded me that he was not, actually, Boyfriend #3. After I thought for a minute, I realized that he was technically correct.  Somehow, I had completely blocked out the jerk who, for over a year I had called my boyfriend, until one day he took my heart and smashed it into a million pieces, set it on fire and then stomped on the ashes, just to make sure it was broken.

broken heart The Forgotten Boyfriend

Here’s how it all began… After N and I broke up, my BFF Erika and I went on a vacation.  We had just graduated from college, and before we joined the real world we wanted one last hurrah.  We were young, easily impressed, and ready to have some fun.

So we booked a cruise, packed our bikinis (and measuring cups), and we were off.  Of course, our first stop was the bar, where we met a super cute guy and his friend.  We started talking to them and they started buying us drinks (duh, we were adorable!)  (Allow me to digress for a moment about BFFs… everyone needs a friend who will ‘take one for the team’.  Erika TOTALLY did.  When said “cutie” and his friend wanted to hang out with us all week, she had no choice other than to put her game face on and attempt to make the best of it.  Thanks again girly!)

julia josh The Forgotten Boyfriend

:::Not my cutesst look:::

K (the super cutie) was too good to be true. He was sweet, he was successful, he was a gentleman, and he was totally in to me.  As life has taught me, (JULIA’S MATH: Anything in excess becomes a weakness.) The first red flag should have been the circumstances that sent those two guys on the cruise in the first place… The cruise had originally been booked as K’s HONEYMOON and when he couldn’t get a refund AFTER SHE CALLED OFF THE WEDDING WEEKS BEFORE, he decided to go anyway and take his friend. 

I was 22, and was not going to let things like a pesky ex finance’ stand in my way! He was perfect, and he was all mine! He lived in Florida, and I spent the next few months being whisked down to sunny, warm Florida from cold, snowy Chicago and treated like a princess.  (To be fair, it was way less expensive to treat me like a princess ten years ago than today. It was also way easier to impress me.) K even flew to St. Louis to treat my dad to a play-off Cardinals game when I wasn’t even in town!

snowy chicago The Forgotten Boyfriend

 

sunny florida The Forgotten Boyfriend

#UPGRADE

this is the first post, you can read the rest tomorrow!

My Knight In Shining Armor, or Boyfriend # 3

So, I married my third boyfriend. In real life, he is perfect.  However, on paper, Thomas was THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I WANTED. This makes life difficult interesting at times.  (Young couples: find a good therapist.  Trust me when I say that you will need one at some point. We LOVE ours.) At times, I wish our thought processes were more in line, but I when I stop to think about “Julia, Unchallenged” I sort of cringe.  I can be ruthlessly competitive (again, things to an extreme are NOT GOOD), and if I was in a marriage with someone as competitive as I am, we would have blood lust over simple things such as who did more chores (I cannot imagine the potential outcome of a Monopoly game). So, balance is good. I feel balance in most marriages is not about two extremes, but the heart wants what the heart wants, right?

Thomas is twelve and a half years older than I am. This is surprisingly less of a  big deal than you would think. As we both get older, the age difference becomes even less noticeable…

t graduation My Knight In Shining Armor, or Boyfriend # 3

Thomas, circa May 1985

 The only time my husband even remotely sounds like a “Chester” is when we discuss the events of 1985.  In May of 1985, Thomas graduated from high school… and in September, I started kindergarten.

julia 85 My Knight In Shining Armor, or Boyfriend # 3

Julia, circa 1985

 AGH! I know!  We can have entire conversations with cultural references that make no sense to the other one- for example; he will discover some terrible late 90’s show on cable and ask me if I remember it- um, no. I was at the bars from the late 90’s to early 2000’s, not watching TV because I WAS IN COLLEGE! Thank God for VH1’ s “I Love the 70’s and 80’s” because it provided context for many questionable references. (For both of us.  Thomas didn’t know much about He-Man, She-ra, or My Little Ponies.)

Lastly, Life Advice: In the end, marry someone who can make you laugh; marry someone that you want to make laugh, because nothing can stop a fight in its tracks faster than a silly, shared joke.  And, finally, marry someone that you would pick for the volleyball team, even if you wouldn’t pick them first.

 

t j laura wedding1 My Knight In Shining Armor, or Boyfriend # 3

Thomas & Julia, circa May 2011