Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dear Claire

My baby is three. 3. One two three. I can't believe it. It seems like I had her yesterday and it seems like she's been here forever. She's not a little fuzzy ball anymore. She's a true little girl...that both delights me and breaks my heart. I wish she'd slow down just a little...Mommy wants to keep her little as long as she can.

Claire is wild. Claire is uninhibited. Claire is obstinate. She's hard for a lot of people to control. Because of that I think she's a misunderstood little girl. I know I misunderstand her enough. She does frustrate me on a fairly regular basis. But I realized I confused her stubbornness for deliberate misbehavior, and that's not who my Claire is.

Claire has three baby dolls she often cares for. She is the best little Mommy I've ever seen. She lovingly rocks her babies, places them on pillows, covers them with blankets, she whispers to them in words I can't hear, but they're words of love and reassurance. She smiles at me from across the room. She walks over to me without a word, with both hands she brushes the bangs from my face, leans over, and kisses me on the forehead.

She worries when she thinks I have a "boo-boo." She finds band-aids and puts them on me in an attempt to make me feel better. She shares the apples I cut for her...hands me one, eats one, hands me one, eats one. She loves babies and likes to pat their heads. She loves to laugh from her belly and she makes the funniest faces I've ever seen...mean angry face to big cheesy grin.

Some days I really don't think I'm a great mom, or even a good mom. Some days I don't even know if I want to be a mom to be honest. But as soon as I walk through her door and see her sleeping in her bed, I know with every fiber of my being that Claire was meant to be here, and it's a blessing that she's mine.

I love my beautiful little girl, and this day will always be a day of celebration and thanks. Happy Birthday, sweet Claire.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The princess party and the royalty known as my friends!

Well, we pulled off one fun princess party today! My beautiful little sweetheart's eyes lit up when she saw her pretty pink princess dress, and she was just overwhelmed at all the decorations and people who came just to see her. I was very happy to have her friends (and mine!) there, and I think it was the perfect size.

We had fun doing a craft, opening gifts, blowing out candles, and settling in with popcorn for a fine piece of cinema, Dora's Slumber Party.

A few party pics:

I want to take a minute to thank my wonderful friends. Rose stopped by yesterday with my girlfriend Josie and helped me with my big cleanup project. More than that, she kept me company and provided free entertainment (Miss Josie). In-Sung brought extra little people chairs to help round out the princess party table. And all of them straightened the place up so well before they left that my cleanup was an absolute breeze.

My friends Nina and Rachel helped me get the gorgeous princess cake on Friday evening from my awesome cake lady, Carrie Shelley of Enchanted Cakes and Treats. When we dropped it off at my apartment, those two chicks came in and scrubbed the living daylights out of my kitchen and helped straighten up the entire place. They ROCK and I love them!

So in addition to celebrating Claire's 3rd birthday, today I also celebrated the fact that I am surrounded by some pretty amazing friends. Thanks to everyone!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Week in Between: Part I -- Cleanup

So here I am with an ENTIRE week where I don't have to go to work! I'm a little out of sorts, but I'm going to run with it. The Fuzz is still with her daddy, so I'm trying to tackle the big, ugly project head-on.

Cleaning up the catastrophe known as my apartment.

Ha, I think I blog about this a lot. I'm a messy child. I really am. I will lose my grip on the clutter for one day and then it spirals. And the clutter makes my anxiety soar. Combine that with the fact that I have a very important princess party to host on Saturday, and it's time to kick my butt into high gear.

I'm finally addressing my bedroom. I have an absolutely beautiful bedroom. Unfortunately, it's buried under six feet of crappola. It was honestly never properly unpacked from when I moved in the place in April. So six months later, I guess it's time to deal with it. I'm working one little section at a time. I know when I'm done it's going to give me the sense of peace it was intended to all along.

The rest of the week I'll work on the other rooms, although they're not bad. Having this week off was a godsend. I was really worried about having this whole party and not having enough time to plan, but I've already got all supplies ready and organized, will be picking up the cake on Friday night so Saturday isn't so frenzied, and then hopefully Saturday, after a few hopefully quick errands, will be ready to welcome the royalty to Claire's castle.

While I clean this place up, the week away from the chaos will also serve as a week to give my mind a good scrub. I am really looking forward to walking into my new job next Monday with high spirits and lots of motivation.

So have I procrastinated enough? LOL Back to the bedroom I go!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Finding Happiness in Familiar Places

So I've shared the news with most already. I hadn't intended to for another week or so, but circumstances dictated otherwise.

Months of miserable blogs stemming from my life circumstances, namely, my employment. I have always been proud of my career, loved to work. I was going along in life happy with my situation until one ugly day in April 2009 when it all came crashing down. I was laid off and scared out of my mind. I had no income coming in and a 1 1/2-year-old to take care of. So I made a job out of looking for a job and was hired 2.5 months later by a very small firm downtown. From day one, I struggled back and forth with adjusting to this new environment. At one point I thought I had come out on the other side of some rough patches and could really contribute. But there was so much doubt, so much frustration, so much pressure.

My daughter has had to suffer because of the commute. I had to drag her into daycare earlier and pick her up later. I have never been able to come to terms with that. And even so, I was late every day anyway, because I outright refused to yank her out of bed and throw her in the car, which is what was required of me to get there on time. Despite getting a very gratifying amount of reading done, I grew tired of the train, tired of the riff-raff I encountered daily downtown, tired of running from the work building at 5:20 to catch the 5:28 pm train, racing to my car and then to daycare before it closed at 6:30. Rush rush rush rush. That was my life.

Work became less satisfying for many reasons, and personalities began to clash. On one very difficult morning suffering with a terrible migraine, on four hours of sleep, all the frustration came spilling out of my mouth. On the ten counts of verbal assault, I find you, Kara B., guilty. You are sentenced to a miserable work existence for the unforeseeable future. And so the last month has driven me into a dark place where I could see no light. And I desperately searched for a flicker to lead me out.

And finally the flicker came. I reached out to the place that was "home," and they threw me a lifeline. My previous place of employment had contacted me after the layoff on two separate occasions to ask me to come back. Every fiber in my being wanted to accept both times, but both times I turned them down,trying to prove that I could do the job I was hired for, trying to make it work. But this time, I needed out. I needed out so badly it terrified me. So I called, and they answered.

And so, after months of duress, I am returning to the place where I was the happiest in my work existence. This move benefits my daughter...she is one mile away from me...I will get to her so much earlier in the evening. We will have more time to relax and play at night. Her mommy won't be sick from work conflicts. Her mommy will be two minutes away if she needs me.

Today as I drove home from daycare, I noticed a line of maple trees marching up the street. Their leaves were stained with red and gold, and the sun had weakened in the sky and streaked them with a pink hue. I noticed the tall trees on the road home, how they too were changed to the colors of fall. The sky was muted and the air was crisp. When did this happen, I thought. And then I realized, I had been RELEASED. I was opening my eyes for the first time in a long time, and the world was there in all its colors to welcome me back.

Hello old friend
It's really good to see you once again

"Hello Old Friend" Eric Clapton