Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

December 24th- Countdown to Sean's 1st Christmas!

"The fat man better not even think about coming down this chimney! I'm waiting for you, Mr Kringle!"

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 15th- Countdown to Sean's 1st Christmas!

Sean looks like he was just told that a big guy in a beard sneaks into your house at night while you are sleeping.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunday, December 02, 2012

December 2nd- Countdown to Sean's 1st Christmas!

What do you mean, "Only people with teeth get to eat Christmas Cookies?"

Saturday, December 01, 2012

December 1st- Countdown to Sean's 1st Christmas!

December 1st- The mailman is dropping off the first boxes full of gifts. Let the countdown to Christmas begin!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Before heading to the chapel, here is some advice from the trenches.

I read an article the other day about newlyweds.  It advised newlyweds to seek advice from divorced people about how to make a marriage work.

This made so much sense to me!  There really is no one else out there who could tell you better on what, why and how a marriage failed.  Likely, if they made it as far as quitting, they spent a lot of time agonizing over all of the details of what went wrong, what they could have done better, etc etc.

Of course, as with anything, there are the exceptions to these rules, but those people are pretty obvious.  The rush to the alter types usually end with several failed marriages under their belts and no wisdom to convey other than "Do not do as I do's
(I Do's, get it? Haha! Sorry, could not help myself)

I feel like I learned a lot from my marriage and even more from my divorce.  I don't mind sharing some of what I learned with the small masses that read my blog, as I think it is all useful in it's own way.

Having had a 7 year marriage and almost 16 years of an on and off relationship with one person under my belt, I feel like I have some authority on the "what not to do".

1- Be accountable.  Know how to admit when you are wrong.  I spent so many years with, "It wasn't me. I didn't do it" or just an excuse for everything and "Not my fault!".  I have to say, that is the one thing I miss the very least about being married and am so relieved I no longer have to deal with.
If someone tries to "It's not my fault" me nowadays, I react like a person with PTSD and go to a bad place in my brain.  I just want to shake them and scream, "I KNOW IT WAS YOU! JUST ADMIT IT ALREADY SO WE CAN MOVE ON!"
When you mess up, lose the remote, take a left instead of a right on the road, forget to take out the trash, forget to pay a bill, just say "I'm sorry" or "Oops!"  Don't rattle off a laundry list of all of the reasons why it is not your fault, and why the other person is actually the one to blame.  This goes all the way from forgot to take out the trash to serious marriage issues.
All issues take two people, but every now and then, we all mess up.  Be the better person and just fess up when it is your fault. 

2- Be loving.  I know that the person you are with does not look like they did when they are 25 (Unless they actually are 25, then this advice is for the future married you).  I know that you may even get to the point where you are sick of looking at them.  But make a point of telling the person or showing them each and every day that you appreciate them and you love them.
Even when you are fighting over something stupid.  It really only takes a millisecond.  But I will tell you, after several years of marriage, there will be times where you could easily go three weeks without exchanging so much as a handshake and not even realize it.  What you are missing when that happens is the growing rift between you, and how you are slowly getting over one another right under both of your noses.
If you let it go too long, one day you might wake up and realize that you have literally, "lost that loving feeling."
And for God's sake, whatever you do, NEVER use the Jack Nicholson quote: "Show me a beautiful woman and I will show you a man who is sick of f*cking her." That is not an point to win an argument, unless the argument you are trying to win is how to beat land speed records to divorce court.

3- Cohabitation. Live together for at least 2 years before you get married. Physically live together for at least a year before you even think about getting engaged.  I don't care what anyone says, you can't really know someone, or if you can put up with that someone for the rest of your life, until you live with them for a couple of years. 
When I got married, even though we had been off and on for many years and I really thought he was the great love of my life, I realize, looking back, that we never really spent a ton of time together before we got married. We saw each other all of the time, and we spent a lot of time together, but we didn't live in the same house for very long before we got hitched. 
We moved in together in August, were engaged by January and married by July.
Our relationship started out as one of those most perfect long distance relationships.  Where you only get to spend small chunk of time together and all of the rest of the time you spend missing each other.  And then with the amount he traveled for work, we continued to spend amazing amounts of time apart when we were actually living together. 
At about year three, I had the epiphany that we were a great couple when he was away because he had the long distance thing down.  The sweet phone calls, the longing for, the love and misses, everything that makes up the statement "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."  He was a master at the long distance thing.
But what I learned was that even though we were pros and being apart, we royally sucked at being together. 
I know, it sounds backwards, but it is true.
I thought I could not know a person better after all of those years, but when we lived in the same house, I learned things I never knew, and never would have been OK with, and I am certain he would say the same about me.  And it isn't even anything dramatic, it is just compatibility things that we would have figured out had we taken the time to live together!
Examples for anyone might be: how you like your house to look, how many pets you actually want in your house, do you want a TV in your bedroom, do you ever want to live in another state or city, how do you feel about the hours your partner keeps, personal hygiene, food habits, health and weight management, how loud they snore, how they spend their free time, how often either of you expect to have sex, weird kinks, how many hours a day you want the TV on, etc etc... there could be a million things you can never know about a person until you actually live with them.  You may even find out they have a psychiatric disorder like BPD, BiPolar, Depression, etc, that you never would have know before you lived with them.  Don't find these things out after you get married!! 

4- Expectations. I'm talking the big stuff here. Children. Taxes. Money.  Religion... Whatever it is that means the most to you.  Make a list of your future dreams that you know you can't live without and make sure your future partner is happy and willing to go in that same direction with you, or you will have a life filled with regret to look forward to. 
One of the biggest reasons I finally filed for divorce was that he promised children before we got married, which was super important to me, and what felt like minutes after we were wed, he told me what he actually said was that, "He would consider it, and he considered it and decided he didn't want any."
I made it very clear that if I were to get married, I wanted another child as it has always been my dream to actually have one baby the old fashioned way, with two parents who both wanted a child and planned it together and went through all of that fun pregnancy stuff together.  When I turned 35, been married for over 5 years and saw no progress or children on the horizon and so much wasted time behind me, I thought my dream of having one more child had been killed, and I saw the assassin as the person I was married to.
By killing that dream, he killed my feelings for him and I am certain it was not because he was trying to hurt me or doing it on purpose, it was because not having children was as important to him as having them was to me.
As much as he was a disappointment to me, I am certain I was to him in this area.
Luckily, my story had a happy ending.  I've won the lottery and met a man who shared the same dream before I got too old, and am now living that, but I do think about all of the people who stay married and are as miserable as I was because the person they chose to marry are the main roadblock to one of their biggest dreams.
For me, him standing in the way of my dream to be a mother one more time would have been the equivalent of me standing in the way of him making music.  Unacceptable.
Make sure you know all of the answers to all of the biggest questions before you say, "I Do", because if you don't, and you get surprised with the "wrong" answer after the fact, it will ruin your whole life.

5- Get a great therapist!  Love yourself, know yourself, know what you want and expect, and be honest with yourself about your own flaws before handing them to someone else to fix for you.  Because no one but you is going to be able to make you a whole person.  Don't go into a marriage expecting the marriage to save the relationship, or fix the parts of you that are broken.  Adding the stress of marriage on top of all of the voices that are already telling you you are not good enough to be loved, will just make that manifest in your marriage.
 Individuation.  It is a word you will hear a lot when things start to go south.  Look it up, learn it, own it, way before it becomes homework from your marriage counselor. 

That is all I've got, future newlyweds, or the small corner of the internet that actually reads my blog.
I hope no one sees this as some kind of character assassination or something, I don't mean it that way at all, this is just my attempt to be as honest as possible about what I see as useful information for other people who are about to take the plunge.  Learn from my mistakes as that is all history is good for.
If anyone learns from my mistakes and the years I had to suffer through unhappiness before I could come out the other side, than maybe it was a little more than wasted time. 

I still love and respect my ex-husband in a lot of ways, and I hope for nothing but his future happiness.  I just know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was so entirely the wrong person for me.  And taking away from those years what I have, I swear they have made my new partnership stronger and more loving than anything I ever imagined possible! 

Everything I ever wanted and dreamed of is coming true.  I have an amazing family, I'm having the baby I always wanted, the way I always wanted, and I am with a partner who is more like me and understands me better than anyone I've ever met.  I wake up happy every day instead of angry and in pain and uncertainty.  I never question the love I have, because I chose wisely this time around and I chose correctly. 

I don't know if I will ever marry again.  Right now, it doesn't seem important to either of us at this time as we have everything we want and we've both lived through broken marriages before, and agree that the best part or those marriages were the weddings. 

And anyhow, we have only lived together for 1.5 years, I'm not about to start breaking my own rules now!  ;-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sean Patrick - 32 weeks

Here is the most recent video of his adorable little baby face. They say he is measuring at 5lbs and the 89th percentile.  They said everything is fine, mom and baby both super healthy, he is just a big baby! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bad Ideas- By Justin Davis & Sean P Bates at Sugarcomb Salon

My very talented boy, videos from last eve's party at Sugarcomb Salon!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Hunger

I've found since I've announced this pregnancy, people tend to ask me a few of the same questions over and over.  
The first is always, "Is it a boy or a girl?"  It is a boy.

And the second is always, "Have you had any bad symptoms?"  Aside from some heartburn, I have been symptom free throughout this entire pregnancy.  Not even once did I go through morning sickness, afternoon sickness, or (like with Darian) evening sickness.   In fact, I was so symptom free in the beginning, I didn't really believe I was pregnant until I started showing, even after having it confirmed with an ultrasound! 

And the last question is always, "Have you had any weird cravings?" 
Yes I have!  I've tried to pay very close attention to what my body has been wanting, and coincidentally, a lot of the cravings I've had coincide nicely with what I've been reading as far as what I need at different phases of fetal development!  The body is a weird and wonderful thing when you learn to listen to it. 
Months 1-2: Apples everything.  Even before I knew I was pregnant, I wanted apples.  I swear I could even smell them better in the store and my mouth would water.  Apple pancakes, apple pie, apple and peanut butter, apple juice, etc anything apple. 

Month 3: Tomatoes and avocados.  I was eating them raw, with salt and pepper as a salad every day.  I was in love with them!  I actually became obsessed with a Ham and egg sandwich too, but soon found out that Deli meat was on the bad food list, so I had to stop eating it. 

At the end of Month 3 and beginning of month 4: I started to fall madly in love with fresh pineapple hearts.  I ate a lot of them.  I loved the taste, the smell, I was like an animal just tearing into whole pineapples.  So delicious!  I was also starting to find myself falling for dairy again.  Lots of milk, cheese and ice cream!!  And peanut butter and jelly for breakfast almost every day. Yum!

Months 5-6: I find that there is not one thing I'm especially craving, but I have quite enjoyed very ripe kiwi fruit and fresh raspberries.  I've also found myself wanting waffles quite a bit.  

The strangest thing I've craved was at about 20 weeks, we were having Mexican food and Sean ordered a margarita.  They brought the tequila in a sidecar for him to dump into the drink, I caught a whiff of it and for many days I found myself craving it.  This is probably right when I should have known he was a boy.  I don't even drink, so it was especially weird to be cravbing tequila!  Needless to say, he did not get any of that!  

Still waiting to see if that pickles on ice cream myth ever kicks in, but so far this child has steered away from that. I have eaten a pickle or three, but no more than the amount I eat when I'm not pregnant!  Kosher Dills have always been a favorite snack of mine! 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Dear Son, I love you.

Dear Son,
22 Weeks

I only just found out you were a boy last week.  I will admit, I was a little surprised.  I never imagined having a son.  Maybe it was because I've had so many wonderful little women in my adult life, and never really any little boys.  Sure, a few of my friends have amazing sons, but never anyone who lives nearby enough, or that I see often enough to where I feel like I was participating regularly in their son's lives.  I grew up with brothers, but raising baby boys is a mystery to me. It's an adventure I am looking forward to more and more every day.

I've been thinking a lot about the type of person you will be. Sure, there is all of the obvious stuff; will you have red hair and freckles like your dad, will you have grey eyes like your big sister, will you be super tall like my brothers... all of these things cross my mind when I imagine meeting you in a few months.

You have two big sisters who are both very excited to meet you.  Darian will probably seem like another parent to you as the age difference between her and you is about the same as the age difference between she and I.  She really wanted you to be a boy, because she wants to call you "little bro" and wants to teach you about video games, and comics and all of the things that are typically considered "boy stuff" that she really enjoys.  I have a feeling that your relationship with her will be a lot like mine with her.  She and I grew up together, and we have a very Mother/sibling type dynamic between us. Of course, yours with her will be more sibling than mother. I just see how she is with Sylvia, and how she is like a little mother, always trying to give direction and keep her on track in a positive way that only a big sister can, I can only imagine she will be the same way with you.

Then there is, Sylvia.  She is much closer in age to you than Darian is.  She can't wait to meet you. She asks me every week, "Is my little brother here yet?"
We told her on her birthday about you.  She was over the moon.  She is super excited to be a big sister.  She talks to you in my belly every time she sees me.  She has already offered to help with everything and wants you to sleep in her room from the day we bring you home.
I have a feeling she will also try to mother you quite a bit, like you are her own living doll.  She will want to introduce you to Pokemon and play dress up with you.  I think you two will have a lot of fun together.

My little man surrounded by all of these little women. I'm hoping that having all of these females around you will help you become a sensitive man, who has a real compassion and understanding of the fairer sex as an adult.  I don't worry too much about that though, because your Father is amazing, and sweet, and truly a compassionate person.  If you turn out anything like him, I will be so proud.

That is why I am giving you his name.  I've never met a man in my whole life who is kinder or more understanding, or has taught me more about what it is to really be in love or to be loved, than your father.  I could not think of any better tribute to him than to name you after him.  So, when you get older, and ask why we decided to make you a Junior, I will tell you, it is because you were made out of the most real kind of love and your name is a tribute to that feeling and that connection that he and I have.

I'm still kind of walking around in a daze because of you.  I've wanted you for so long, and really thought that due to turns I've taken on the road in this life, I've allowed too much time to pass to ever have you be a reality, but here you are.  I never expected I'd be having you, or that you were even a possibility.
I've seen you in the ultrasounds and now I feel you kicking up a storm every day, even as I write this, you are making your presence known.  You are this dream that is becoming a reality.
Since I met your dad a few years ago, this whole life with him has felt a lot like that.  I've never had so much happiness in my life as I have over this last few years.  And you are the cherry on top.

You have an extra special role in our family.  You are the son that gives our home balance, so your dad is no longer outnumbered by little women.  But more importantly, you are the brother and the son, the only person who is related to every single person in our house!  We are a family created and bonded in love already, but you will be the blood bond that ties each of us to one another forever.  You are the final puzzle piece that completes us and our home.  You are our little miracle.

I am less scared every day about the mystery of having a boy, but I am certain I will make mistakes as all parents do.  If there were just one thing I would want you to know from now until always, is that you are wanted and that you are special and that you are so very loved already.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Sean Patrick

I know, it has been a while.  This is the big project I've been working on for the last 5 or so months! Meet Sean Patrick!  We are very excited to meet him!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Stop Walking On Eggshells

For a while now, I've been dealing with a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder, on a fairly regular basis. I didn't really know much about the disorder until last year when the roller-coaster of drama really began.

Me, being the avid researcher I am, wanted to learn as much as I could about the disorder, to see if there was any logical way to deal with her as this is a person that, like it or not, I have to deal with.

The more I learned about the disorder, the less positive I felt about the situation, as there is very little that can be done to help the borderline person. In fact, I've learned that most borderlines don't even know that they are disordered, or they feel like it is everyone else around them that is disordered and they are the only "sane" one.

Here is a handy list of signs you might be dealing with a BPD:

A person with this disorder will also often exhibit impulsive behaviors and have a majority of the following symptoms:

  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
  • Identity disturbance, such as a significant and persistent unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving,binge eating)
  • Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
  • Emotional instability due to significant reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
  • Transient, stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative symptom

You can click here to read the entire article with more explanations. This is just one of many articles you can find out there with similar information.

In my research I've come across some very helpful and insightful books, but I think the very best books on dealing with someone with BPD are the ones by author Randi Kreger. This one in particular: The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder has been especially useful and full of tips on how to deal with the BPD person.

In many ways, reading it was frightening, because it was like pulling back the curtain of mystery as to why she constantly acts so crazy and unstable. And then, there is that almost heartbreaking moment when you realize there is little to nothing that can ever be done to make things better.

The most consistent advice for dealing with a BPD is to go no contact with them. As in, there is really no good way to deal with a person with this disorder.
These people will always cycle through friends, and find themselves at odds with everyone at some point. They "paint people black" who just a week ago they put up on a pedestal. They are always fighting imagined threats, always thinking people are out to get them, take things from them, talking about them behind their backs, or going to abandon them.

They live in these fantasy worlds where they are the victim and often times will regularly abuse the legal system by filing false restraining orders and claiming things like domestic abuse when in fact they themselves are the abusers.

They are the mothers with Munchhausen syndrome who are constantly eating up the attention of ERs from having "sick" children, and the attention seekers who tell so many lies about their "hard life" and how everyone has abused them that they actually begin to believe their own lies and gain sympathy and help from soft hearted people who want to do the right thing.
And then, when everything unravels, and the people who have been helping them, start to realize the actual truth about them, and who they are actually dealing with, they will turn on those people too. And the cycle of abuse starts all over again and again and again with new people.

The more I've learned about BPD, the better I can recognize the signs of it and protect myself from the person with it who has directed her rage at me on more than one occasion. I've been lucky to not have too many experiences with it. I would not wish this disorder or a person in your life with this disorder on anyone.

I wish there was more research into this disorder, and more doctors that are willing to even treat people with BPD out there. (In my research, I found that many doctors will not even treat the "un-treatable BPD patient" as they are too difficult to deal with and too little can be done and they cause such a strain on the physicians. many insurance companies will not pay for treatment of BPD either, so many doctors are unwilling to even diagnose it.) It is the worst of the worst of psychological disorders, because really, not a whole lot can be done to help them.

I feel for every person who has BPD and who has a BPD person in their lives. I really do. I wish there was more that could be done, but after much research, and hearing the stories of so many people around the world who have had nearly the exact same experiences with the BPD in their life, I've begun to realize that it is largely viewed as a pretty hopeless condition.

It is crazy reading the shared stories, it is sometimes like they have a camera in my world and are reporting blow by blow what she will do next. In a weird way, I find comfort in this, knowing that it is for certain nothing I have done or could have avoided, as her nastiness, negativity, anger, and lies, are all really just symptoms of a very nasty disease.

I've come to feel very sorry for her and feel the only thing I can do to fight the disease is to help educate more people about it. You say, Borderline Personality Disorder, to most people and they have no idea what you are talking about. That is why I wrote this blog. Maybe someone out there will come across it someday and find the answers I found myself looking for over a year ago when I was hurt and confused and frustrated by the actions of this highly disordered person.

It also helps me when dealing with my own frustrations with her. It helps remind me that she is a very sick person, and I should only feel sorry for her, not be angry with her, as she probably has no idea just how very sick and hurtful she really is. She is so blinded by her own inner rage that she is blind to her rages.

It must be absolute torture to wake up in her skin every single day. I would not wish that on anyone.

Friday, February 17, 2012

You give love a bad name...

Man, there is nothing that gets me more riled up than women who do things that make the rest of us ladies look bad. Excuse me while I prepare to get up on my soapbox for a few minutes, but I need to get this off of my chest.

1- The Girl Who Cried Wolf: You have all met her at least once in high school, and some of us have had the unfortunate luck to meet her in our adult life as well. You know the girl. The one who got drunk at the party and cheated on her boyfriend and then sobered up, felt bad about it and claimed it was non-consensual. Don't get me wrong, date rape is real, and so is domestic violence, but there are women who totally take advantage of these laws when they are not victims. In fact they use these laws that were set up to protect women, and try to victimize men with them when they are feeling like they are not getting their way.
I can't tell you how many stories I've heard of women going into jealous rages, throwing things at their boyfriends, having a full scale out of control tantrum, screaming at them and carrying on, and then, if he responds with one negative word, she dials up to the police and claims she is the victim. By taking advantage of these laws in this way, these women are basically directly abusing the women these laws were set up to protect. The girls who cry wolf and clog up the legal system with false accusations are worst than the real abusers and rapists, because their lies are making it easier for the actual criminals to get away with it. You disgust me.

2- "Don't blame me, it is in my blood. I'm just a fiery..."- I don't care what culture you come from, it is not an excuse to act like a jackass. I hear too many women use that as an excuse to justify their poor behavior.
No, it is not because you are a fiery Brazilian, Italian, Latina, Redhead, New Yorker, etc etc, it is because you are an immature jerk and you have no manners. You need therapy, not excuses. You can be passionate, and have a lot of fire, but that does not translate to an excuse for bad behavior. Pouting and tantrums are for two year olds, not for grown women. Grow up and quit insulting the proud ladies from your entire culture by trying to use them as an excuse.

3- "But he has so much potential."- Smart, attractive women who meet the biggest jerk in the world and allow him to treat her like a cheap Ikea Doormat. All with the excuse of, "But in the beginning he was soooooooo great!"
Listen ladies, any guy can be charming for a short period of time. It is called the Honeymoon period. Hell, I bet even some of the worlds worst criminals and dictators could probably have been charming for 3 weeks. So many women waste years and years trying to recapture those first three weeks.
Here is the deal, if you have had more than three major fights and broken up AT ALL in the first 9 months of your relationship, your relationship is doomed to fail, please just do everyone a favor and move on and quit whining to your girlfriends about it. We don't want to hear it. Because we all know what you are too blind to accept, you guys suck together, and we are all just waiting for you to break up for good.

4- The "I'm so wasted" mating call- Luckily, I have not met one of these in my group of friends in years and years, but whenever I go to a rock show, there is always one slumping around the bar. This is the girl who goes out of her way to get as wasted as quickly as humanly possible and then starts hanging all over everyone within arms reach. She is too loud, her lipstick is smeared and she laughs at all of her own jokes. There are usually a slew of creeps helping hold her up and she is making out with just about everyone. If she doesn't end up going home with someone that night, she can usually be found sprawled across the floor of the one working bathroom stall in the ladies room.

5- The Golden Uterus- This is the mother of all evil. I only found this term this last year. I have known these women exist, and have seen them a million times, but I had no idea there is actually a term that describes their abusive bad parenting so perfectly.
Women who have babies so they have a man to pay their way for the next 18 years.
I have never gone after child support. I raised my kid without expecting anything from anyone for the last 17 years and have never regretted it. When I see these women who put themselves before their children, who think that having a baby is tantamount to a free ride and an excuse not to work, they sicken me. This article pretty much says it all.
These women are the reason 20 year old men are rushing out to get a vasectomy, and I do not blame them.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Art show happening right now!

Here are some of the new pieces as well as a cute picture of Sylvia helping show my work!

More about the show HERE


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