13 September 2010

Singles Life Happily Interrupted

I am putting this out to the Universe and anyone who will listen: My singles lifestyle was happily, and unexpectedly interrupted with the arrival of my niece. She is my child, as much as any child of mine every can or will be. I feed her, bathe her, play with her, scold her, tell her stories, take her camping, do homework with her, teach her to cook, sing with her, pray with her, pray for her, love her.

She has been a significant investment, as are all children. She is loaned to me by God, as are all children loaned to their parents. She frustrates me, she makes me laugh, she makes me ache, she makes me grow and stretch, she makes me cry. She is what I live for every day.

To those I know who cannot or refuse to attempt to understand why I would accept this beautiful child into my life, or can only say: you are selfish and broken. To not want children or not have them is understandable. Not everyone is cut out for parenthood or wants to be a parent, and that's OK. But to treat others differently, shun them or ignore them because of a child- that is unacceptable. Parents are not lepers. Single parents are not defective (or lepers).

I live a life without regret over decisions I have made, both good and bad. I accept my flaws and imperfections. I am not a saint or a superhero. But I will not apologize for being a parent, or for providing a life for a child who would not otherwise have one. To those who treat me differently because of this- I forgive you. But get over yourselves.

01 September 2010

Wanted: An Help Meet

Don't usually take up blog space to complain, so this is a brief break from the norm. I'm tired, anxious and just over-worked, and I really need sex. Yes- I just said sex in my blog (calm down, Mom). So here is my ad for a husband. Totally serious. Mostly.
CSMBT (for those not in-the-know, that stands for Curvey, Single, Mixed-Breed Tia) seeks single male. Must be practicing LDS and have all of own teeth. Must like kids (not in a creepy way), as I am mom to my 10 yr old niece. Must also like or tolerate 2, small-breed dogs named after nerdy, fictional characters.

I am an excellent cook & home-keeper and am also happy to work outside of the home. I pack lunches and cook dinner. I don't like having to wake up early to cook breakfast, but will provide cereal. I love to clean & do laundry, but am not crazy about folding it.

I'm not looking for someone to take care of me, but to share a life with. I'm independent and encourage men to have hobbies (barring porn & nudie bars) outside of the home. Excellent kissers preferred. Nerd factor a total bonus & turn on. If you love Kung-fu, we might even be soul mates. Apply via email. Or show up at my place w/ a diet coke.

Tell your friends. Pass out my number. Blind dates are acceptable. The man who lands me will be lucky...and blessed. For reals yo.

27 August 2010


My company had a mandatory meeting today- in a movie theater. Naturally, a movie followed the meeting. It made for a very long day, and I was less than cheerful to attend, since this meant extra travel and making baby sitting arrangements for my child. Plus, I'm a movie snob and the movie was a secret. I feared the employees would be forced to watch some lame chick flick (no offense, chick flick lovers!).
As it turned out, the meeting was brief, and the movie was an underdog story: "Invictus." The story is that of apartheid-era South Africa and Nelson Mandela's use of the national rugby team to unite a nation. The movie itself was nice enough. But I cried during and after, and probably will again. President Mandela spent 27 years in prison for his political beliefs, then rallied for and forgave the very people who put him in prison. In the movie (don't quote me on real-life), Mandela says the words of a poem are what carried him through his darkest hours of captivity on Robben Island.

18 August 2010

Will I Always Feel This Way?

Empty by Ray LaMontagne
This has been on repeat in my head, and now on my iPod. I'm feeling a bit like the title of the song.

12 August 2010

A Lesson in Genetics

It's official. I've turned into my parents. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. I've got seriously awesome parents. But it truly caught me off guard.

The other night, I found myself wandering around the house, turning of lights to unoccupied rooms, muttering under my breath about what a waste of electricity. Thanks mom. I've turned into a lights-off freak. And tonight, my kid tried to convince me that she needs a laptop (note: I do not believe that 10 year-olds need laptops. Ask me why in private and we can chat for hours). The discussion went back and forth, always with a kind but firm, "no" from my end. Finally, in an effort to underscore the expense of a laptop I said, "Yeah- lets go buy one tonight. But first we have to go home and pick money off the money tree." Oh. My. Gosh! Thanks dad. I knew that money tree line would come in handy one day...Before you know it, I'm going to be threatening to turn the car around. Yikes.

Come to think of it, my parents are amazing people- they raised 3 nutty kids and we all survived into adulthood with minimal emotional scarring/therapy (Mom- that's a joke- we're OK). If I had to pick 2 people to emulate, my parents are right up there. I guess if I look at this the right way, parenting is bringing out the best in me, genetically speaking, of course.

10 August 2010

Card-Carrying Member

So, much to the dread of kids across the state, school in UT starts on August 23rd. Friends & family have helped out with my kid's wardrobe and school supplies. I've got her back on the official school bed time schedule (yes- my kid is one of those who needs a bedtime). And to top off our pre-school year fun: school enrollment night. I've never actually been to one before, so this was a first. Apparently you get to update all of your contact info, make an appointment to meet your kid's teacher and sign a seemingly endless pile of consent papers.

As I was "checking out" at the end of all of this hoopla, I was asked if I wanted to join the PTA, to which I quickly responded, "No thank you." Once the kind, soccer-mom looking woman explained the importance of joining the PTA, even if you couldn't actively participate (my issue, as a single mom), I was hooked. I handed over my $5 to show parental solidarity! It felt reverent, and almost patriotic in a very weird way. Then to my utter surprise and delight, soccer-mom handed me an official PTA membership card.

By the time I got back out to my car, I was practically giddy. I'm a member of the PTA. Hi, I'm a PTA member at my kid's school. Nice to meet you, I belong to my kid's PTA. For some bizarre reason, it was as if joining the Morningside Elementary PTA had transformed me from mere aunt status to officially awesome mom status, with a card to prove it. Go figure. Yeah- I work full time, don't get lunch breaks and will probably never be the mom who gets to herd kids on cool field trips or decorate for assemblies. But for that moment in time, I felt legit. Not an like the impostor mom faking her way through the day (which is how I generally feel).

So yeah...I'm a card-carrying member of the PTA. I'll bake you cupcakes, I just won't be able to take them to class. But I can show you my official membership card...

04 August 2010

Dream A Little Dream(s)

The good news is, life is never dull. That bad news is, sometimes hectic life interferes with our souls. Being a single parent is a joy. Truly. Every day is an adventure- sometimes comedic, tragic, ironic...yet every day takes a bit of a toll. Going it on my own makes it a 24/7/365 deal. Luckily for all parties in my life, my little one has been able to travel to NJ to spend a couple of weeks with the Abuelos (Spanish for "grandparents") and catch up with her old friends. I miss my cutie every day, while she has confessed to "missing [me] about 10% of the time." But its been lovely to have some time to myself. This is my first vacation, if you will, since she arrived nearly a year and a half ago. During this time, I have indulged in a number of late nights, eating out, and movies (oh- how I missed you!). But I've noticed life has been a bit more quiet, and has surprised me with a little twist.

19 July 2010

Mercy vs. Merits

Mercy versus merits. This is something I've been pondering for literally, years. Sometimes its more on the forefront of my brain, other times its on the proverbial back-burner. As rational humans (I can't account for the non-rational ones- there are just too many!) we tend to see the world in a cause and effect light. I speed, and therefore I get a speeding ticket. I consume more calories than my body burns, therefore I've got a bountiful booty. I am a good person, therefore I deserve good things.

It makes perfect sense. Its what we are taught as children: be good and you will go to heaven, study and you will get good grades, eat your veggies, it will put hair on your chest (channeling my dad for a second there)...you get the picture.

08 July 2010

Tune My Heart

I've been stressing and fussing over this and that. Money is tight, the dog's leg is broken, my head hurts, there's nothing on TV (kidding about that last one), my kid is grumpy...

I could whine for 28 paragraphs. But while listening to my iPod today, this gem popped up. Regardless of your choice of denomination, this old hymn is a perfect elixir for all that ails. I am blessed beyond imagination. I breath, I can see, read, type, hear. I have legs to carry me places, a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head. I have a loving (if slightly stubborn) child. We live in a land relatively free of all too common diseases which plague other countries- malaria, TB, measles. AND- I have air conditioning in my car and my home. On with the big girl panties, and off with the complaining.

Come thou fount of every blessing! Listen, ponder, repeat. I am.

06 July 2010

Pity Party: Table for 1

OK...so part of this story is funny, part of it pathetic. Let's get to the funny. I recently suffered a solid concussion. At work. In front of my entire team (and our maintenance man). To quote, "humiliations galore."

It all began with an innocent walk across the street to the local Maverick for a morning drink & breakfast treat. Having secured my diet coke, I proceeded out w/ goods in hand. Open just reaching the steep embankment down to the sidewalk, my flip-flopped foot hit a patch of mud and that was all she wrote. My feet went out from under me so quickly, there was no time to brace, my body slammed into the embankment, head hitting the concrete slab. Please note- I did not spill a DROP of my beverage. Oh yeah- I'm clumsy, but a pro!

18 June 2010

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

I cannot contain my excitement. Through a very lucky strike of fate (read: Divine Intervention), I am about to get a brand, spanking new BED.

Don't get me wrong, my current bed and I have been through some good times. Almost 10 years of slumber- its gotten me through a nasty car accident, a few surgeries, a 2 year battle against mononucleosis, and the odd night with a sick child next to me.

But the poor bed is definitely warn, and sadly it is time to part ways. Miraculously, through the absolute kindness of a complete stranger whom I have never met, I am about to go chose one of the most expensive beds money can buy. I am giddy. I revel in the thought of a good night's rest, without waking to my aching back & neck. I am elated! There are not enough happy and thankful words for me to use.

For anyone looking for a bed in the UT area, consider http://www.mycomfortmyway.com/. It is run by the local Pearce family, and while they are strangers to me, they are family in spirit for their act of selflessness.

HOORAY for the hope of a great night's rest! And many, many thanks to the Pearce Family, and the good Lord for this HUGE blessing.

14 June 2010

Me, Myself and I?

We had an "incident" in our home today which turned out to highlight what I'm thinking is a bigger problem. My child was given a little Poodle-Japanese Chin mix puppy a few months ago. His name is Starbuck and he is arguably the cutest puppy around (don't tell my dog, Mr. Frodo the Shiz Tzu). While his cuteness is undeniable, his stealth is downright lethal. I've tripped over him (including a painful tumble down the stairs), stepped on a little paw a time or 2. He's little- 7 lbs, and won't be getting any bigger. We will adjust & pray he lives a long life.

This morning, however, my little one stepped on the little one...and broke the dog's leg. Drama ensued. I had to take the day off from work, stay with the pooch, take him to the vet. $500 later, he'll be home- in a cast- some time tomorrow. All a part of parenthood, I say (as if I really know).

09 June 2010

Shock & Awe (but not really)

I was driving around the other day, listening to NPR, and really trying to pay attention to different advertisements, billboards & signs. I'm in graphic design now, and I was just trying to soak up ideas. In the process, I noticed something: our music performers (note I don't use the term musicians), are just trying to out-shock each other. The story on the radio was related to how our many manufactured pop stars are giving up actual talent to display their...assets. And maybe, just maybe, after almost 2 decades of this kitsch, this methodology is beginning to falter.

I always thought I was a liberal person. But now that I am raising a very impressionable 10-year old, I'm realizing how much garbage is shoved down our throats 24/7. Turns out, at the end of the day I am pretty conservative. When I was growing up, I loved music (still do, for the record), but it was about the music. Madonna was just on the scene and she was scandalous. The Cure was edgy and dark. I remember when Ozzy did his bat biting. But it was kind of a take-it-or-leave-it deal. If that was your bag, great. If not, great. I never felt inundated by it. You had to go out and find the perverse. Not anymore.

30 May 2010

Tic Toc

Some time ago I inherited my great-grandmother's bed side clock. She must have picked it up on one of her travels. Its a Linden Blackforest wind up clock made in "West Germany" by Cuckcoo. The clock is small- only about 2 1/2" tall by 2 1/2" wide. It is looks like it is made of brass, with roses inlaid on the sides and on the face serving as a delicate decoration.

A few years back I placed the clock in my living room and would wind it up when company was due, because friends would chide they stayed too long, never knowing what time it was. But that was short-lived. This little clock has a lovely, strong "tic toc" sound. I love it! For me it was soothing, metronomic. For visitors, it was an annoyance. And back to the bedroom it went. Every now and again I find myself winding the clock for comfort. It still functions like a champ. The seconds pass as if a heartbeat, steady and true.

25 May 2010

What's For Dinner?

If you know me, you know that cooking is my form of therapy. And boy- have I been in need of therapy lately! Around 9pm last night I began cooking today's dinner- lasagna. Mind you, I make this about once a decade. While I love the dish, I'm not so fond of a.) the expense of making it and b.) the calories involved in consuming it.

After putting my child to bed, I set to work in the kitchen. Dicing, picking herbs from my little garden, sauteing, mixing, layering. It was an absolute delight. For 2 hours I completely lost track of time and was blissfully engaged in making my version of an edible masterpiece. Woes melted away and the kitchen and I became one. Sound cheesy? For sure- ricotta style.

Once cleanup & some TV catch-up (LOST!!!!), I finally wandered upstairs to hit the hay. And for some reason, despite the ridiculously late hour, I was refreshed. Cooking is good for my soul. Its my means of self-expression. To feed you is to tell you I love you. And couldn't we all use a little more love in our lives? The last thing I remember before falling asleep-- the smell of homemade pasta sauce and herbs. For that brief moment between waking and sleep, all was right with my little world...

09 May 2010

My Mom, Miryam

OK...she'll probably kill me after posting this, but this post is brief but loving homage to my mom. She is a very modest woman, and not at all worldly in any sense, so I know she is not comfortable with public commentary. I will share the following only because other people deserve to know how blessed I am, and despite all the bad & crazy stuff going on in the world, there are good, decent, loving people around us.

My mom was born and raised in what she refers to as the poorest part of her country- El Cerro of Montevideo, Uruguay. She didn't have an easy life, but she had people in her life who love her, in their own ways, including her parents. At the age of just 19, she married my father and moved to the United States. Can you imagine leaving your country, culture, family, identity behind and heading for another continent? I don't know what went through my mom's mind. I don't know how she had the courage to come to a country whose language (at that time) she did not speak. There was no email, no skype, no cell phones. I think about that kind of decision in this day and age and think its completely nuts. But without her wisdom and courage, I wouldn't have been born in such a privileged and wealthy nation (yes- in this country we're rich, even when we are "poor"). I could have been a third world statistic.

05 May 2010

Dental Gems of Truth (according to me)

Although well past my 30th year on this earth, at least once a week I am still the delightful recipient of a call from my mom. Mom is technologically challenged, but has been slowly catching up to the pack. On a recent visit, I gave mom my old cellphone and she is proudly using it (a HUGE step forward!). Last night during one of these such calls, mom asked if I had blogged recently, and if not, when would I.

This simple notion made me smile to myself. 2 months ago, mom could barely open her facebook account. Now she wants to know when my next blog is coming out. Truth be told, I've been down & out w/ teeth problems for nearly 3 weeks. Its a long story which involves highly paid specialists, root canals (plural), meds and plenty of soft foods. I'm still kind of mumbly and don't like to talk at night because that is when I'm in the most pain.

13 April 2010

369 Revolutions, Infinite Revelations

369 days ago, my dear niece came to live with me. Some days it seems like she just got here. Other days, I feel like she's been with me from the start of her sweet, sassy life. April 9, 2009 was the day she arrived, along with my family, to make the transition. She went from living with my parents in NJ to living with her Tia (aunt) in UT. Her entire world changed over night. So did mine. Gone was the single life, and I was off to the races as a parent.

I could chatter for hours about the ups, downs, highs and lows, but instead of boring you to tears, I will highlight some of the more memorable moments to honor my beautiful, strong-willed, 10 year old child.

06 April 2010

Hidden Danger Or Stupid Mistake?

One of the great strides my niece has made since coming to live with me is her ability to socialize. She has gone from a child who essentially had no friends, to a little social butterfly. Its actually a bit a of a conflict, if anything. Her teacher has commented that she is a too chatty in the classroom. Secretly, this makes me happy. I LOVE that she has friends.

24 March 2010

In My Sleep

This tune has resonated with me. Maybe the "experiment" I'm working on will only ever come to fruition in my sleep...

The Experiment

Being hired as a Marketing Manager was a dream come true for me. After 9 long months of unemployment, I was desperate, both fiscally and professionally. 2 whole months into my "dream job," I was told my department was being dis-assembled, and I would be given a job in the Creative department as an artist. Gulp.

I may have exaggerated my meager design skills when interviewing back in the day, but that was back when my job was to market things- not design them. The move was shocking for me, but I was grateful to still have a job. If anyone can fake it until they make it, I'm you're girl! Nightly tutorials ensued. Daily projects of me drawing the lamest images you can imagine are the norm. My first projects were actually turned in to my new boss on paper-- as pencil sketches of stick people. (Its a good thing my new boss likes me). I'm conceptually brilliant. Its the execution which still lacks finesse.

09 March 2010

The Swim

When I was a little girl, my mom made my sister and I attend swimming lessons every summer. I was always giddy with joy. I actually thought I was part mermaid (or at least fish) and if my parents permitted, I could easily live in a pool all summer. So at the mature age of 6, I was to embark on a journey to learn to swim "for real."

And learn, I did. Turned out I was so good, that I got bumped up to the next level of class, making me the youngest pupil in the bunch. I could hold my breath, tread water and kick with the best of them. But the true test- the test of bravery and advancement- was to swim in the deep end, all the way across that giant pool without stopping. The reward: a Hershey Bar. Heaven in squares, wrapped in foil, tucked neatly into brown paper.

27 February 2010

(Learning) Curves Ahead

I spent the majority of 2009 unemployed. Laid off from my lovely marketing job in March, I thought I'd have a couple of months of fun, travel, then land a dream job. I learned life had other things in store for me.

I relaxed for about 2 weeks, took in a lot of matinees. Read a ton of books and found myself bored to tears. Not to worry- in April, my beautiful and amazing niece came to live with me. Life was busy if not utterly shambolic. The summer came and went, but job offers failed to materialize. I found myself in a very odd position. For the first time in my life I was 1.) unemployed and 2.) raising a young girl.

18 February 2010

Mail Order...Groom?

So...I'm new at being a parent, let alone a single parent. I've had my beautiful niece for nearly a year now, and I wouldn't trade her for the entire universe. But a kid is a ton of work! And holy poo, I would love to share the load with someone. I've been trying to network, and put feelers out there. You know, see if dating yields any prospects. But time is tight. And the pickings are slim. On a particularly glum day, I joked I should just order a mail-order groom. It was one of those ideas which is really funny in your head, but when you tell people they just look at you like you're daft. I decided I want a Viking.

08 February 2010

Sand for Water

mirage: (noun) something illusory, without substance or reality.

You are lost in the desert, having wandered for days. Water has run out, and quite frankly, the situation is looking bleak. You know you will perish if you cannot find water quickly. It’s a desperate situation, but its a reality that has befallen you.
Just before you reach the limits of existence, you see something on the horizon. It defies belief- an oasis. You are doubtful, yet a part of you hopes- nay believes, you may have found salvation. You can see water, smell it. Sufficient, though not abundant, it will surely bring you life.

03 February 2010

I Talk To Dead People

Let it be known, I can go for days, talking only to myself. No, I'm not schizophrenic, I just am easily entertained. I ask myself questions, answer questions, make jokes, laugh... I've been told by others its quite the thing to behold. So there you have it, I talk out loud.

23 January 2010

The Perfect Couple

For every one, there is a perfect match. No one goes without its "better half". Tall/short, heavy/thin, black/white..and it goes on. You know the story already. But not in my home. Oh no. There is no such thing as a perfect pair...of socks, of course.

18 January 2010

Murder Most Foul...?

Not quite a year ago, I found myself taking custody of my now 10-yr old niece. She's a sassy one, that kid. She had been without a mother figure in her life, and I have been without a family of my own, so we were an odd couple to say the least. Yet here we are, almost a year later, and I couldn't tell you what life was like before my little Pumpkin Pie.

That being said...parenting is still a bit of an experiment to me. I am very loving, yet very logical; 2 traits which are sometimes at odds. I've been making sure we have plenty of kid things to do, kid-friendly TV, games, the gamut. I show love and affection, and try to think of things from a kid's point of view. I even decorated for Christmas- tree and all. I thought I was in the clear until at least Easter.

And so it begins...

At a young age, I showed an amazing aptitude for writing. By the age of 7, I was crafting my own school notes which my parents would happily sign. I wrote an impressive book on the topic of the human heart in grade 4 (still unpublished, but a girl can dream). I've spent a pretty hefty chunk of my professional career writing in some form or another. Whether carefully crafting legal documents to accompany an explosives shipment to the Middle East, hammering out an apology letter in sketchy Flemish to a client, or sending out letters of encouragement en mass to an unsuspecting customer base...done it.

To boot, I am an official magnet to all things random, hilarious, inappropriate, quasi tragic and down right bizarre. Oh, I'm also a magnet to animals. Go figure. Anyway, through the invention of social networking, I've been commenting here and there about life as I see it, and persistently, I've been asked, "Where can I read your blog?" Well, call me old school, but I've never had a blog. So it goes. I'll try this little experiment for a time and see where it goes. If you enjoy, please post your comments. If you don't enjoy, be gentle with me. :)